Most of us know that the environment has a tremendous effect on our physical and mental well-being but did you know that our thoughts directly affect the way we physically feel? Remember always that we live and exist as part of a vast, elaborate, and intricate matrix of consciousness where everything affects everything else. There are numerous causes to any one effect. Reality is far more complex than we sometimes realize. It’s far easier on our brains to overly simplify Reality’s operating system yet by doing so we can end up blocking out an understanding of how we are living a shadow of the amazing life we could be experiencing. Let’s take a look at a program in the operating system of Reality that affects us on a daily basis in very intimate ways: our thoughts affecting our well-being.
Anger Makes You Physically Sick
According to a 2006 Harvard study, 10 million adult men in the United States are so angry that they’re sick. In fact, their disease has a name: intermittent explosive disorder, or IED. It’s been something recognized since 1980 but has existed for millenia before humans discovered the facts of the matter. Besides a person filled with anger and rage being an immediate threat to any property or people that may happen to be within swinging distance, there is some serious damage that is happening internally as well. People who experience frequent outbursts of anger have been found to be more likely to die of heart disease or stroke.
In fact, more than 30,000 heart attacks each year are triggered by momentary anger, according to a 2004 Harvard study. “People who have a lot of anger invest a lot of energy in trying to control it, and that kind of friction is likely to increase the probability of a heart attack,” says Charles Spielberger, Ph.D., a University of South Florida psychologist who developed the most widely used test to measure anger. “The more intense the anger, the more likely the heart attack.” Other studies have shown that angry men are three times more likely to develop premature cardiovascular disease, six times more likely to have an early heart attack, and three times more likely to have a stroke.
Your Attitude Affects How Long You Live
Research into the body-mind connection has discovered that if you expect illness you increase the odds of getting an illness and if you expect good health your chances of enjoying good health are increased. The University of Texas found people with an upbeat view of life were less likely than pessimists to show signs of frailty and disease. Another study that was published in the same journal suggests that physical performance can be influenced by mental attitude, indicating the intimate interplay between physical and mental systems.
Researchers from North Carolina State University did a study with results that showed that memory performance in older adults was lower when they were primed with negative stereotypes. In contrast, there was much less difference in performance between young and older adults primed with positive stereotypes. The researchers say their findings suggest that if older people are treated like they are competent, productive members of society, then they perform that way too. This shows that the thoughts of others about us affect the thoughts we have about ourselves if we are aware of what those thoughts are. Once again the intricate network of inter-connectivity shows itself to be very, very real.
Negative Emotions Affect Our Life Force on Subtle Levels
In the book Pranic Healing there is a more subtle look into how our thoughts and emotions affect our well-being. The following is a quote from the book on this:
Energetically speaking, anger and frustration result in pranic (chi/qi/energy) depletion around the solar plexus and abdominal areas or may manifest as pranic congestion around the solar plexus and heart area. In the first case, it manifests itself as indigestion or loose bowel movements. In the long run, it may manifest itself as ulcers or as a gall bladder problem. In the second case, it may manifest itself as a heart enlargement or other heart related problems. It seems that a certain type of negative emotion may manifest as a certain type of disease in one patient but may manifest as another type of disease in another.
Anger and intense worry devitalize the whole bioplasmic body so that the body becomes susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Negative emotions cause disturbances in the bioplasmic body so that the whole physical body becomes sick. You may have experienced that after an intense anger or an intense altercation, you felt physically exhausted or became sick. This is because both the bioplasmic and visible physical bodies are drained of prana and became susceptible to infection.
Too Much Relationship Commitment May Increase Anxiety, Depression & Hostility
This one is definitely worth elaborating on. As in my article on what happens in a relationship when passion overrides love, we can find yet again what happens when we allow our egos invest an unbalanced amount of energy and focus towards one person. Because of the dynamics of human interaction and relationships when there is a state of disequilibrium the relationships can fail and when they do the emotional pain is magnified several times over.
A study by the University of Houston has found that there is too much emotional weight placed on a relationship one or both people involved will evaluate their self-worth by the out comes of their romantic interactions. This happens so commonly psychologists even gave it a name (relationship-contingent self-esteem).
People with high levels of RCSE are very committed in their relationships but can experience manic, needy, and obsessive behaviors with regards to love. Researcher Chip Knee said that “when something happens in a relationship, these individuals don’t separate themselves from it. They immediately feel personally connected to any negative circumstance in a relationship and become anxious, more depressed and hostile.” What goes wrong doesn’t even have to be a big event. It can be as simple as the other person not returning their texts, calls, snapchats, etc. The study doesn’t suggest that commitment is bad in itself but rather the wrong kind of commitment like the kind that arises from an egoistic desire to fill a void in a person’s life with another person that becomes a desolate wasteland when that person isn’t there in some capacity.
Being Happier Leads to Better Health
Monty Python famously sang “Always look on the bright side of life.” Yes there is death and destruction mercilessly given out but there is also compassion and creation introduced into our world. Just like the ancient adage says that the world is our mirror, so too does this apply to health through happiness.
Several studies have found that optimism does indeed lead to greater happiness and longevity. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine did a study on post-menopausal women and found that they were healthier and lived longer than their counterparts that chose to dwell in pessimism. With 100,000 women being a part of this study who were tracked for 8 years, the results are quite firm. Women in the “cynically hostile” group suffered poorer health, had a 16% higher risk of dying from any cause, and a 23% higher risk of dying from cancer.
If you have an optimistic state of mind you have a better ability to become accomplished in life, are better able to cope with stress, and can take on life challenges more resiliently…all of these have been confirmed by modern scientific studies but have been talked about by the wise ancients for millenia. In the book Being Happy! author Andrew Matthews looks to the scientific research that have been done that showing just how damaging a negative state of mind really is and the results are shocking. For instance, when blood samples taken from people who were feeling anger and fear were injected into guinea pigs they literally dropped dead in less then two minutes. Negative emotions are self-destructive and if there was ever a reason to consciously stop fear and anger in their tracks, that’s a big one for sure.
Happy a Positive Attitude Reduces Pain and Fatigue
Even when we are on death’s doorstep, happy a positive attitude about it will reduce the pain and suffering we feel. A study done by Dr Margot E Kurtz and her team from the Michigan State University with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy found that cancer patients with more optimistic outlooks were able to feel less pain associated with the cancers. Patients who had a strong sense of control over their environment experienced less severe fatigue.
It’s difficult to stay positive when you’re face with your own mortality in such a life-changing way but if you understand that there is a degree of pain and suffering that doesn’t have to exist on top of that which you can’t control, it all becomes much easier to cope with. At the very least, we can reduce the pain and fatigue we have in these kinds of life circumstances if we find ways to elevate our spirits out of the dark depths of confronting death.
Stress Can Literally Cause Cancer
Stress is called the mother of all dis-ease and with evidence of cancer being sprung into existence with the help of stress we can truly say stress is a menace to society. Prof Xu and a team of researchers at Yale University did a study on fruit flies and found that everyday emotional stress triggers the growth of cancerous tumors. What happens is that stress opens up pathways between cells that allow mutations to spread, leading to cancer taking over. Stress, be it physical or emotional, is never good. This seems like a given yet how often do we find ourselves unnecessarily stressing over things we either can’t control or that we blow out of proportion? Stress is something that can be controlled with things such as deep breathing, being tuned into the present moment, and of course having a regular meditation practice.
…and Bias Towards Negativity Causes Stress
Riding on the “stress causes cancer” train, researchers have found that people who notice negative information over positive information are more stressed out. This is especially true for ‘news junkies’ and ties into research that found reading the news can make you want to grab a bottle of antidepressants and swallow all the pills. Researchers from the University of Essex found that they could predict the body’s reaction to stress up to eight months after they measured a person’s bias towards positive or negative images. The results indicate that people who are biased towards negativity have a much greater risk of having an anxiety disorder as a result.
Optimists Are Less Likely To Get Heart Disease
Just by living in a positive state of mind greatly reduces your risk of heart disease according to new research. This was the first study, in fact, that made a direct connection between positive emotions and lower risk of heart disease. The study which went on for 10 years found that people that don’t dwell in positivity had a 22% greater risk of developing heart disease. That’s too large of a risk to not take to heart. Since happier people tend to sleep better and not have such erratic sleeping patterns, their bodies are less stressed and strained. Happier people are also better able to move on after something unfortunate happens to them than unhappy people who tend to dwell longer on negative experiences.
…and Fight Off Illnesses More Easily
It turns out that when we are pessimistic we actually have a weaker immune system response to illnesses such as viral infections. This can result in a prolonged cold or flu that we definitely would not enjoy. In a study where scientists tracked the well-being of students for a year and tested their immune systems, they found very strong responses to challenges to their immune systems if those students were generally optimistic. There was a clear demonstration that when they were optimistic their immune systems got stronger and when they were pessimistic their immune systems got weaker.
You Really *Are* As Old As You Feel
Obviously we won’t stay 21 forever but if we shift our perception of reality in such a way that we don’t fall into negative thinking about how we’re getting older and therefore we’re going to ache more, sleep less, weigh more, and so on, we’ll have more vitality. A study led by Markus Schafer found that if we mentally keep on imprinting our minds with the idea that we’re old (or rather, that we’re going to experience the negative effects of aging before we actually get old) it will have a direct negative effect on our physical bodies. “We found that these people who felt young for their age were more likely to have greater confidence about their cognitive abilities a decade later,” Schafer said. “Yes, chronological age was important, but the subjective age had a stronger effect.
Your Vision Can Improve If You Think It’s Improved
In a remarkable case of our thoughts shaping our reality, our eyesight can improve if we believe that we can see especially well. This finding, by psychologist Ellen Langer from Harvard University shows that perception can truly become reality, or at the very least help usher that reality into existence. Out of all the findings Langer had in her research, the most incredible one was when 20 men and women (all with normal eyesight) were shown a reverse eye chart that was arranged so the letters became larger the further down they went, not smaller. Surprisingly, they accurately reported more letters from the smallest two lines than they did when shown a traditional eye chart with the largest letters at the top. The conclusion from all of the findings was that while vision may not improve itself, out mind-set is more accurately perceiving what it is seeing.
Insecurity in Relationships Leads to Greater Risk of Heart Problems
People who feel insecure in their relationships have been found to have increased heart problems later on in life. In a study published by the American Psychological Association which examined data on 5,645 adults found that people who felt insecure in relationships or avoided getting close to others are at a higher risk of developing several chronic diseases. The cardiovascular system seems to be especially hard hit from relationship insecurity and this makes sense since a relationship is heart-based in nature.
Other Physical Effects of Negative Emotions
- A Harvard Medical School Study of 1,623 heart attack survivors found that when subjects became angry during emotional conflicts, their risk of subsequent heart attacks was more than double that of those that remained calm.
- Men who complain of high anxiety are up to six times more likely than calmer men to suffer sudden cardiac death.
- A 20-year study of over 1,700 older men conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that worry about social conditions, health and personal finances all significantly increased the risk of coronary heart disease.
- An international study of 2,829 people between the ages of 55 and 85 found that individuals who reported the highest levels of personal “mastery”— feelings of control over life events—had a nearly 60% lower risk of death compared with those who felt relatively helpless in the face of life’s challenges.
- Three 10-year studies concluded that emotional stress was more predictive of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease than smoking; people who were unable to effectively manage their stress had a 40% higher death rate than non-stressed individuals.
- A study of heart attack survivors showed that patients’ emotional state and relationships in the period after myocardial infarction are as important as the disease severity in determining their prognosis.
- In a study of 5,716 middle-aged people, those with the highest self-regulation abilities were over 50 times more likely to be alive and without chronic disease 15 years later than those with the lowest self-regulation scores.
- A new study has found that our state of mind can either speed up or slow down how fast we heal from an illness. The study looked at diabetes patients and found that those with the worst depression were the least likely to heal quickly from foot ulcers.
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world”. This is how I start off a detailed section on how our thoughts and states of consciousness shape our reality in my book The Creation of a Consciousness Shift. These words, said by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago, have always been true (and on many levels), yet now we have verifiable proof of it using our scientific method of understanding our world.
Now that we are more aware and better understand the power of our thoughts, it’s time to take that awareness and understanding and apply it to our lives. Why choose to live anything less then the most optimal life you can? ‘Knowledge is power’, it is said. You have the knowledge now. Use your newly-found power to your advantage and elevate you well-being.
The physical arises from the subtle. Formlessness gives birth to form. Your thoughts, leading a seemingly vaporous existence, have more power over you then you may think. Initiate the Gamechanger…let your thoughts become your ally, increasing your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. You can either empower yourself or continue living life at the behest of untamed and uncontrolled thoughts. The choice is yours. What choice will you make?
About the Author
Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, author of The Creation of a Consciousness Shift, and co-founder of SHIFT>, a social community focused on anchoring in the new paradigm and assisting the positive transformation of humanity. With the drive to be aware of and experience the wider horizon of Reality, Paul has developed an extensive background in the spiritual and transformative elements of life; one that is both knowledge and experienced-based. Visit his website www.shift.is, follow him on Twitter or visit the Shift Facebook community.
Source: Waking Times
Art is dangerous. It makes people move out of standard-response channels.
They don’t see what they’re supposed to see anymore. They see what they’re not supposed to see.
That’s why colleges teach brain-deadening courses in art history. Every attempt is made to codify the students’ reactions.
I’m not just talking about political art. I mean anything that truly comes out of reliance on imagination.
Those who run things—and their willing dupes—want reality to look a certain way and be experienced and felt in certain ways. These limited spectra form a shared lowest common denominator.
Even so-called spiritual experience is codified. It’s called organized religion. I call it “give money to the ceiling.” You give your money and they tell you high how the ceiling of your experience is and what you’ll find when you get there.
Art has none of these limitations. It’s created by people who’ve gone beyond the shrunken catalog of emotions, thoughts, and perceptions listed by authorities.
Art, by which I mean imagination, throws caution to the winds. It invents realities that engender new reactions, never before experienced. It blows apart old rigid perception.
The hammer blows and the soft propaganda of the common culture install layers of mind control: “See things, experience things in these prescribed ways.”
Over the years, I’ve encouraged a number of people to become artists. Aside from the work they then invented, I noticed their whole approach to, and perception of, life altered radically.
Their sense of vitality, their courage, their adventurous spirit came to the foreground.
Mind control, externally applied and self-induced, is all about putting a lid on creative power. That is its real target.
The one trap an artist—which is to say anyone who lives through and by imagination—has to avoid is thinking of himself as a victim because he is “an outsider.”
Outside is good. Outside has great strength.
When an artist invents himself as a victim, he then goes on to lash out at people who have nothing to do with the fate to which he’s consigned himself.
Authorities in any society, no matter what they call themselves, are invested in systems that will maintain a status quo of perception. They are constantly producing new systems for that purpose.
Technocrats would like you to believe that hooking your brain up to some super-brain computer will fulfill your needs and desires. They seek to prove that all invention, all creation, all art, all imagination is merely a set of calculations within a closed system.
This effort betrays their own despair. They see no way they can truly create.
It is the vacuum in which all elites live. They build up a frozen dead consciousness of models and algorithms and “solutions,” and they seek to impose it, as reality, on the minds of populations.
Essentially, they’re saying, “If we have a soul-sickness, you have to have it, too.”
It’s called hatred of life.
On the other hand, individual creative power launches from a platform of freedom and rises through layer after layer of greater freedom.
From that perspective, authoritarian power looks like a sick-unto-dying charade.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails atwww.nomorefakenews.com
In the 1999 sci-fi film classic The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, is stunned to see people defying the laws of physics, running up walls and vanishing suddenly. These superhuman violations of the rules of the universe are possible because, unbeknownst to him, Neo’s consciousness is embedded in the Matrix, a virtual-reality simulation created by sentient machines.
The action really begins when Neo is given a fateful choice: Take the blue pill and return to his oblivious, virtual existence, or take the red pill to learn the truth about the Matrix and find out “how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Physicists can now offer us the same choice, the ability to test whether we live in our own virtual Matrix, by studying radiation from space. As fanciful as it sounds, some philosophers have long argued that we’re actually more likely to be artificial intelligences trapped in a fake universe than we are organic minds in the “real” one.
But if that were true, the very laws of physics that allow us to devise such reality-checking technology may have little to do with the fundamental rules that govern the meta-universe inhabited by our simulators. To us, these programmers would be gods, able to twist reality on a whim.
So should we say yes to the offer to take the red pill and learn the truth — or are the implications too disturbing?
Worlds in Our Grasp
The first serious attempt to find the truth about our universe came in 2001, when an effort to calculate the resources needed for a universe-size simulation made the prospect seem impossible.
Seth Lloyd, a quantum-mechanical engineer at MIT, estimated the number of “computer operations” our universe has performed since the Big Bang — basically, every event that has ever happened. To repeat them, and generate a perfect facsimile of reality down to the last atom, would take more energy than the universe has.
“The computer would have to be bigger than the universe, and time would tick more slowly in the program than in reality,” says Lloyd. “So why even bother building it?”
But others soon realized that making an imperfect copy of the universe that’s just good enough to fool its inhabitants would take far less computational power. In such a makeshift cosmos, the fine details of the microscopic world and the farthest stars might only be filled in by the programmers on the rare occasions that people study them with scientific equipment. As soon as no one was looking, they’d simply vanish.
In theory, we’d never detect these disappearing features, however, because each time the simulators noticed we were observing them again, they’d sketch them back in.
That realization makes creating virtual universes eerily possible, even for us. Today’s supercomputers already crudely model the early universe, simulating how infant galaxies grew and changed. Given the rapid technological advances we’ve witnessed over past decades — your cell phone has more processing power than NASA’s computers had during the moon landings — it’s not a huge leap to imagine that such simulations will eventually encompass intelligent life.
“We may be able to fit humans into our simulation boxes within a century,” says Silas Beane, a nuclear physicist at the University of Washington in Seattle. Beane develops simulations that re-create how elementary protons and neutrons joined together to form ever larger atoms in our young universe.
Legislation and social mores could soon be all that keeps us from creating a universe of artificial, but still feeling, humans — but our tech-savvy descendants may find the power to play God too tempting to resist.
If cosmic rays don’t have random origins, it could be a sign that the universe is a simulation. National Science Foundation/J. Yang
They could create a plethora of pet universes, vastly outnumbering the real cosmos. This thought led philosopher Nick Bostrom at the University of Oxford to conclude in 2003 that it makes more sense to bet that we’re delusional silicon-based artificial intelligences in one of these many forgeries, rather than carbon-based organisms in the genuine universe. Since there seemed no way to tell the difference between the two possibilities, however, bookmakers did not have to lose sleep working out the precise odds.
Learning the Truth
That changed in 2007 when John D. Barrow, professor of mathematical sciences at Cambridge University, suggested that an imperfect simulation of reality would contain detectable glitches. Just like your computer, the universe’s operating system would need updates to keep working.
As the simulation degrades, Barrow suggested, we might see aspects of nature that are supposed to be static — such as the speed of light or the fine-structure constant that describes the strength of the electromagnetic force — inexplicably drift from their “constant” values.
Last year, Beane and colleagues suggested a more concrete test of the simulation hypothesis. Most physicists assume that space is smooth and extends out infinitely. But physicists modeling the early universe cannot easily re-create a perfectly smooth background to house their atoms, stars and galaxies. Instead, they build up their simulated space from a lattice, or grid, just as television images are made up from multiple pixels.
The team calculated that the motion of particles within their simulation, and thus their energy, is related to the distance between the points of the lattice: the smaller the grid size, the higher the energy particles can have. That means that if our universe is a simulation, we’ll observe a maximum energy amount for the fastest particles. And as it happens, astronomers have noticed that cosmic rays, high-speed particles that originate in far-flung galaxies, always arrive at Earth with a specific maximum energy of about 1020 electron volts.
The simulation’s lattice has another observable effect that astronomers could pick up. If space is continuous, then there is no underlying grid that guides the direction of cosmic rays — they should come in from every direction equally. If we live in a simulation based on a lattice, however, the team has calculated that we wouldn’t see this even distribution. If physicists do see an uneven distribution, it would be a tough result to explain if the cosmos were real.
Astronomers need much more cosmic ray data to answer this one way or another. For Beane, either outcome would be fine. “Learning we live in a simulation would make no more difference to my life than believing that the universe was seeded at the Big Bang,” he says. But that’s because Beane imagines the simulators as driven purely to understand the cosmos, with no desire to interfere with their simulations.
Unfortunately, our almighty simulators may instead have programmed us into a universe-size reality show — and are capable of manipulating the rules of the game, purely for their entertainment. In that case, maybe our best strategy is to lead lives that amuse our audience, in the hope that our simulator-gods will resurrect us in the afterlife of next-generation simulations.
The weird consequences would not end there. Our simulators may be simulations themselves — just one rabbit hole within a linked series, each with different fundamental physical laws. “If we’re indeed a simulation, then that would be a logical possibility, that what we’re measuring aren’t really the laws of nature, they’re some sort of attempt at some sort of artificial law that the simulators have come up with. That’s a depressing thought!” says Beane.
This cosmic ray test may help reveal whether we are just lines of code in an artificial Matrix, where the established rules of physics may be bent, or even broken. But if learning that truth means accepting that you may never know for sure what’s real — including yourself — would you want to know?
There is no turning back, Neo: Do you take the blue pill, or the red pill?
The Matrix Revealed
Tantalizingly, just weeks before The Matrix came out in 1999, astronomers analyzing the light from distant galaxies published hints that the universe’s “constants” might not be so constant. Specifically, they found that the value of the fine-structure constant — which determines how the galaxies’ light should appear — is one thousandth of a percent bigger today than it was 10 billion years ago.
Glitches caused by our simulation being patched up could also be at the root of truly bizarre results that defy the normal rules of physics. One such possible effect appeared in 2011, when physicists working on the OPERA experiment in Europe made headlines as they claimed to have measured subatomic particles called neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light, considered the universal speed limit.
Unfortunately, neither case proved a slam-dunk for a virtual universe. Independent tests could not back up the fine-structure constant data, and the speedy neutrinos turned out to be due to a faulty experimental setup. But there is a more fantastical explanation: These inconstant-constants may have instead been simulation glitches, glimpsed just before our programmers fixed them.
Source: Zeeya Merali | Discover
Obama has no one to blame but himself:
He was the one who campaigned, in 2008, on Hope and Change. He was the one who deployed high-flying rhetoric to promise a new day in Washington politics.
He was the one who said he was going elevate the level of discourse and make government transparent. He positioned himself as a new kind of leader. He was the one who turned his candidacy into a religious experience.
He was the one who convinced voters he stood above the fray, as a man and as a symbol, and on that basis they boarded his train and rode it all the way.
He was the one who, inheriting a desperate economy, made his signature move upon gaining office:
Not jobs. Not prosecutions of corporate and banking criminals.
He made devastating choices for all Americans.
He was and is the one who has presided over a sinking economic ship.
Given his proclivity for big and bigger government, he could have launched a serious public program, one which really put people back to work, repairing the infrastructure of the nation. But even this was beyond him.
And getting out of the way and letting Americans expand their small businesses, and supporting them with the same intensity of rhetoric he used to win his election? Out of the question. Not in the playbook. Not for a second.
His big play out of the gate, Obamacare, shocked his closest advisers. They assumed jobs would be his number-one priority. They were dead wrong.
And what about “post-racial” America? That was not only a dud, it was a disaster. Division and polarization are the order of the day.
How about dependence, and government as the solver of all problems, as the beneficent giver? How has that worked out? How can it possibly work out? America is going to become one big Sweden? Really?
It’s one thing for a Clinton or a Bush to lie and skate and divert and play the usual horrific games. But Obama set himself up as a man who was fundamentally different. That was his ace. That was how he won the Presidency. That was what people bought into.
So he falls further, even as his media supporters keep launching blizzards of lies to prop him up.
Many of his loyal followers believe “powerful forces” have fenced Obama in and sabotaged his efforts to work positive transformations. If so, then as a transcendent figure, he should step forward and use his oratorical powers to expose the criminal enterprise that surrounds the Presidency. He should speak directly to the American people and lay it on the line.
Or else he confesses that he is, in fact, another Clinton, another Bush.
The public loves fairy tales and myths, but considering the shape this country is in, that fascination is wearing very thin. It isn’t going to sustain the next three years of Obama in the White House.
The Matrix Revealed
90 million people are out of the work force. 50 million are on food stamps. Recovery? Is the President really going to keep pushing that narrative?
Admitting the truth might, as a long shot, create a platform from which Obama could launch a real campaign to restore jobs…but faking the unemployment crisis has been his chosen path.
The government Obamacare website is a shambles. It doesn’t appear that a simple fix is possible, which means chaos will continue for many months, perhaps longer. Private insurance companies are canceling hundreds of thousands of policies.
The last seven years of American political life have added up to a disaster. Blaming it all on Congressional gridlock, on delaying the ability of the White House to invent trillions more in debt at the drop of a hat, isn’t working.
So many actions and omissions of madness…it leaves us with the reasonable conclusion that Obama’s Presidency was designed from the outset to flame out and fail.
And the principal target was the economy.
The President, fresh off an election victory in 2008, and in that glow, could have used his monumental leverage to put people back to work. He could have hammered on it day and night. He could have rallied support and energized the country.
But now…what do we have? Welfare America to the nth degree. Beyond what anyone thought was possible. And media traitors are backing it.
For decades, for more than a hundred years, power has been in the wrong place.
It belongs with you and with me.
Source: Jon Rappoport
First and foremost we should be governed by common sense. ~ Vladimir Putin (Time Magazine, 2007)
President Vladimir Putin is audaciously attempting to remove the brush covering from atop the common sense rabbit hole, which is not only a truly rare and subversive act in the eyes of the Con, but a potentially great gift to humanity – if only humanity had the sensitivity to appreciate it.
Nonetheless, this will no doubt prove to be a thrilling ride for those willing to take up the challenge. Russians are fortunate to have such a sane leader, and the West would be wise to follow his lead, but what exactly does Mr. Putin mean by Common Sense?
Here’s a quick peek at a couple of dictionary definitions:
1) Sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgment.
The ability to soundly judge is important to understanding what common sense is all about, as is the fact that judgment is not an isolated act made according to individuated, specialized knowledge, but of something that is of a more general nature that is shared, common or native to the species as a whole.
To better understand how common sense operates as a cognitive process, Aristotle provides a clear and useful description:
The reason for having several senses is in fact that it increases the chances that we can distinguish and recognize things correctly.] Each sense is used to identify distinctions, such as sight identifying the difference between black and white, but, says Aristotle, all animals with perception must have “some one thing” which can distinguish black from sweet.]
see section on “Aristotelian Common Sense” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
This shared or common sense, as opposed to a two-step Stimulus-Response model, appears to operate, according to Aristotle’s description, as a three-step process:
B) Understanding (through comparative analysis)
Why is something as fundamental and basic to humanity’s existence operating according to a three-step rather than two-step process?
If you look around the world today, everything is presented in opposing, pairs: A-B. Not A-B-C.
As such, critical A-B-C thinking, aka Common Sense is fundamental to the evolution of awareness, consciousness, cooperation and love which seems to occur with great frequency in nature, but not nearly as much in most human societies.
The Con understands this reality quite well, and they exploit it to their benefit. The Con does everything it can to lock humanity into a system characterized by dualism, stimulus-response programming, isolation, separation, competition, narcissism and egotism.
According to Aristotle’s logic, while each individual is inseparable from the whole, without common sense,i.e. a shared vision of the whole, perception of reality is too narrow, distorted and false.
Aristotle also said:
Common sense is where comparison happens, and this must occur by comparing impressions or symbols or markers of what the specialist senses have perceived. This is therefore also where consciousness originates, “for it makes us aware of having sensations at all”
see section on “Aristotelian Common Sense” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense
Aristotle emphasizes the act of comparison as critical to Understanding (Step B) the three-step A-B-C Common Sense-making process.
After perceiving an object, the perceiver compares and contrasts that object in relation to similar objects found within the perceiver’s experience. Finally, based on that understanding, the perceiver, in a creative act of synthesis, finds the true center or third way derived from the act of comparison and projects that decision out into the world.
In 2006, after carefully analyzing and deconstructing Vladimir Putin’s year 2000 Millennium Manifesto, author Gavin Slade from the Central European University in Budapest, an affiliate of The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), affirms the Russian leader’s propensity for utilizing in the political arena the type of Hegelian common sense widely discussed in this article:
In the 1990s Russia’s political discourse was framed in terms of good and evil. There was little compromise or synthesis.
The rejection of revolution and change shows that Putin is effectively trying to establish a discourse focused on unity and stability knowing that the binary oppositions of politics during the Yeltsin era had created a situation where the state was unable “to muster a critical mass of leaders who articulate[d] one or another political discourse that resonate[d] in political society.
Rare among today’s world leaders, Vladimir Putin appears to well understand the evolutionary necessity of this third way approach to governance based on common sense-derived synthesis, and leverages that knowledge to promote unity, social cohesion and commonality of purpose on a national and international scale.
Aristotle even goes as far as to say that common sense is where consciousness originates. So if a society is lacking in common sense, and there’s little to no conscience, morality, empathy, consciousness, creativity, taste, discernment or love, how does one propose to govern such a population? This no doubt created a quandary for the rulers of large populations in the past, and clearly still presents governance challenges today.
The system’s time-honored, traditional answer to the problem of populations lacking in common sense was to oppress them into submission, with increased submission leading to an ever more constrictive cycle of dominance, oppression and abuse. It’s not outrageous to consider both parties to be at fault for this social dynamic that still exists and thrives today.
The cognitive process of common sense is part of humanity’s spiritual endowment and is similar to the Greek idea of knowledge or nous, which is the divine spark or knowledge within that is shared or common to all.
While nous may be common to all, it seems at present to be buried deep within the human psyche, and as such, unfortunately, is largely inactive.
Humanity’s drive to separate, exceptionalize and specialize (such groveling at the feet of society’s beloved specialists), is but a tiny sliver of the whole spoon-fed matrix. These absurd, self-destructive values are automatically downloaded at face value and parroted aloud as that which everybody knows.
These automatic, pre-programmed responses demonstrate the process of individual and social decay which epitomizes dualistic A-B programming, and as such represents an evolutionary dead-end. And yet despite its flaws, this system, while abhorrent to many not only does have value in populations largely lacking in common sense, but also provides stark contrast to utopian social visions, as well as important motivation for those who wish to overcome its glaring inadequacies.
So cheer up, the news is not entirely bleak. To find oneself, one must first lose oneself, and so humanity has intentionally (if not consciously), led itself astray. The capacity for auto-correction is built into the natural system of the Earth and undoubtedly woven into the very fabric of cosmic existence itself. And yet in order to auto-correct, one must first dare to walk down dark paths leading to destinations unknown.
Compliance with Globalist diktat is ensured by the Con’s ability to provide endless streams of mindless distractions and short-term pleasures quick as you can afford them. And if you can’t afford them but still crave them, you get a gold star for being a motivated world citizen.
But try inducing people to step off that wheel, swallow the red pill and slide down the rabbit hole. Just see how that works out.
Of course this makes no sense. Why choose isolated, short-term pleasures over long-term ones? Freedom is sold cheap in exchange for a handful of trinkets and beads. But as the late great George Carlin once said: “nobody seems to notice; nobody seems to care.”
The average person, lacking common sense, is unable to step outside his bubble and recognize the divinely entangled oneness of reality.
How many times do you have to read in the alternative media about the daunting lack of empathy on the part of the Globalist controllers, and this is true, but how about the lack of empathy among the masses? Without common sense, there is no empathy, and the masses are sorely lacking in common sense.
The inability to put themselves in the shoes of others keeps the un-awoken strapped to the bed of their own egotistical, narcissism. Good luck getting through to them. They are simply incapable of being awakened in anything less than a repeatedly rough manner.
Russian history is chock-full of examples of these rough awakenings, and it therefore should not be so surprising that today’s Russian population is relatively more awake than those still snoozing in the pampered, declining West.
Perhaps this is why those cast in the role of Controllers – along with their robotic minions – are as nasty and brutish as they are, since it falls on them to rouse Joe Sixpack in the only way he seems to understand: by shoving his face deep down into the toilet bowl of an unexamined life. Spend enough time down there, and you may finally see that all your dreams of wealth, success and material gain have just been so much meaningless crap.
And so the seemingly endless stream of futile chatter in the alternative media referring to the slumbering masses and how if they just had the right information is, sorry to say, nothing but pure fantasy, wishful thinking and projection on the part of the awakened, common sense minority.
The Great Awakening that many feel today, and it is palpable, is not widespread; it’s actually emanating from a very small, scattered fraction of the global population. It’s just that this small but slowly growing group of A-B-C common sense types, specialists in their own right, have a tendency, despite their incessant utilization of the common sense process, largely due to a lifetime of incessant “all men are created equal” propaganda, to erroneously project their common sense values on to the masses, and as a result are time and time again disappointed when their best intentions to rouse the herd are not taken seriously. Boo-hoo.
If the world was in fact brimming over with common sense, which currently it is not, reality would appear quite different than it does. No, the prison planet has been specially designed to serve the masochistic masses precisely what they need in order to evolve. It wouldn’t actually be so bad if it weren’t so damn destructive. If anything, it’s not dull.
As it is presented today, the Con’s “reality” is designed to stroke the mass ego consciousness with just enough happy endings to keep the machine humming and its occasionally unruly parts alternately motivated, sedated and restrained. This seems to be an unfortunate yet necessary design for an emotionally immature, Id-raging majority.
On the other hand, within an awakened community, no matter how small, which is not characterized by delusion but common sense, the rules of the game could not be more different. Within such a community, you can always choose another path and consciously create what you want. Life there is no longer an either/or A-B equation. You can finally transcend childish dualism as you take a quantum leap into the common sense adult world of contemplation, awareness, empathy, consciousness, comparative analysis, and synthesis. In this vitally thrilling world, A + B = C.
The goal of discourse is to create the transcendental, a higher centre of meaning outside the plurality of visions and interpretations, ‘to arrest the flow of differences, to construct a centre. ‘Thus, ‘at the base of Putin’s policies and what we shall describe as his “third way” lies the idea of a grand transcendence of so many of the conflicts that had both shaped and torn Russia in the modern era.’ -http://www.sras.org/deconstructing_the_millennium_manifesto
Mr. Putin has tirelessly and with increasing success preached his neo-Gnostic common sense gospel to a Russian population that has in the not-so-distant past become familiar on an unprecedented scale with such intense suffering and pain that an increasingly large portion of them now appear eager to listen to and act upon Putin’s challenge to reclaim their common heritage as intelligent, discerning and consciously evolving individuals in a country of rich heritage and national achievement. This development on a national scale is uncommon.
The economic prosperity that Putin’s leadership has helped generate, impressive as it is, pales in comparison to the raising of individual consciousness en masse in Russia, which is what can happen to a nation when real common sense is applied to governance. That requires rare leadership qualities on a level that few in other countries have experienced in a long while.
What many in the West often fail to comprehend (because they lack empathy) is that when you’re the leader of a 9 time zone wide, 17 million square kilometer (6.6 million sq mi) Eurasian land mass comprised of a wide range of European, Caucasian, Asian and Indigenous cultures, in order to successfully lead and inspire such a diverse group, you must possess a Yin Yang-balanced, personal and diplomatic Swiss Army-like skill-set.
This mixing of Western and Russian ideas is only a part of a blend of inter-discursive features adopted by Putin. It is in his co-optation of different discourses and ideas that Putin attempts to suture rifts in identity and win the war of position within discourse. It is, as some have said, a ‘third way.’
As an individual, Vladimir Putin displays many attributes of the modern Renaissance Man. He’s a vigorous yet contemplative gentleman of refinement and culture with an admiration for various art forms and a genuine appreciation for the diverse beauty and splendor of nature.
Although Mr. Putin enjoys hunting and fishing, it’s not part of some macho power trip to defeat and kill defenseless animals, but rather as a way for him to feel vitally connected to the natural world that we share with each other and are invited to explore if only we dare.
Here’s a striking passage from a May, 2011 Outdoor Life Magazine interview where Mr. Putin candidly describes his experience obtaining a whale biopsy:
OL: In August 2010, you helped scientists obtain skin samples from a whale off Russia’s Pacific Coast by darting one with a crossbow. I imagine that has to be one of the more incredible of your wildlife encounters.
VP: That was indeed an unforgettable experience, and I remember very well how impressed I was.
First, all that surrounded me—the low sky, the stormy sea and, of course, the whales—was magnificent. Besides, these elegant giants showed us a real performance, leaping out of the water in front of our boat.
Second, I was really thrilled. I do not want to offend your feelings as a hunter, but, by its intensity, its dynamics, that was a real hunt. But without killing the animal. And this was a special pleasure. This is not a melodramatic statement. That’s the way it really was.
We left not just to see the whales, but to take a biopsy—in other words, to dart one of the animals with a crossbow arrow, which can rip off a small part of whale skin necessary to make a special analysis. It was not that easy; three times I failed, and only the fourth attempt was successful. Of course, I could justify myself that the boat was tossing badly and that it was the first time for me to handle a crossbow, but the main reason I see was my anxiety, because participation in the scientific experiment is a very important undertaking.
OL: After you successfully darted a whale, a reporter asked you if it was dangerous. You replied that, “Living, in general, is dangerous.” Do you have any comment on that?
VP: I think what I meant by that is obvious. Despite all the achievements of civilization, the human being is still one of the most vulnerable creatures on earth. None of us is protected from crimes, epidemic outbreaks, natural and technogenic disasters. What I am saying is not a fatalistic view of the world, it is a realistic one.
Mr. Putin, with obvious empathy for the whale and a humble appreciation for the magnitude of the moment, describes in a nutshell the fragility of the human experience within a natural world that is both nurturing and fraught with risk. Unlike his ego-driven political counterparts who can never admit to any weakness, it’s a feather in his cap that he does not appear to be afraid to convey his fear and anxiety at being in the middle of what most would agree was an unsafe situation.
Mr. Putin seems to be implying that you might as well take risks because risk is inherent to life. To therefore feel some degree of anxiety when taking bold steps is natural, and nothing to be afraid of. Taking those bold steps is part of a personal and national awakening process.
Having repeatedly put his personal safety in jeopardy for the sake of the greater good, as demonstrated by his biopsy of whales, soaring with endangered cranes and tranquilizing tigers…
…it should come as no surprise when Mr. Putin applies a calculated risk approach to diplomacy, as demonstrated by his swift response to an extraordinary early August 2013 meeting with the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar, an event first reported in the UK Telegraph and widely acknowledged in the Russian press as well as a number of other sources.
This colorful September 30th, 2013 recapitulation of that same fateful meeting comes courtesy of an approving Pravda opinion column, “Come the Day, Come The Hour”:
Essentially, Bandar Bush went to Putin – purportedly with the full backing of the US, and offered to cut a secret deal to carve up the oil profits if Russia would back off on Syria and allow a regime change. Putin quietly and politely offered a nyet. He was not for sale and neither were his principles. Bandar went on to then threaten Russia by turning loose Chechen terrorists to cause havoc in the Winter Sochi Olympics. Saying that all terrorists groups are under their control and that they can turn them on or off as they like. Well, it appears that at this stage, the negotiations moved from being polite – Putin warned Bandar that if Syria is attacked, Russia would bomb Saudi Arabia. At last, someone with balls. This threat was communicated to senior members of the Armed Forces with instructions to prepare to strike Saudi Arabia. Obviously, this was leaked.
The now famous and universally acclaimed accord on chemical weapons aside, wouldn’t it be more than likely that President Putin’s declaration of intent to bomb Saudi Arabia if Syria was attacked is the real, under-reported reason why a near-certain U.S. strike on Syria was called off? Just a theory…
President Putin, a man of principle and a strong advocate of International Law, rejected out of hand Bandar’s pathetic bribe, since unlike many other politicians, he has principles, and can’t just be bought off.
Nonetheless, upon digesting Prince Bandar’s incredible admission of he and his country’s direct support for state-sponsored terrorism, despite his usual placid demeanor, President Putin’s jaw must have dropped when he received a not-so-thinly veiled threat of Olympic terrorist attack if cooperation on the Syria question was not forthcoming. President Putin rightly determined that this was not only a direct threat to Russia, but to the entire civilized world, and so he did what he had to do: stand up to the bully.
Only a leader so level-headed and eminently comfortable in his own skin could stare the impudent Saudi down and call his bluff in terms that were crystal clear and absolutely appropriate to the threat. Exercising his capacity for A-B-C common sense, Mr. Putin perceived, understood and decided what to do without hesitation.
When threatened with force, sometimes the only way to get the other party to take you seriously is to threaten them right back. That took guts and is deserving of recognition.
World War III was averted (for now), and Putin’s stock has deservedly risen to such a high level around the world that he was in serious contention for the Nobel Prize. The fact that he didn’t win is probably better PR than if he had won, since Obama won it for bailing out the bankers. Putin is probably ok then with an honorable mention.
When an individual like Vladimir Putin, who both at home and abroad is recognized as having an authentic character, repeatedly demonstrates sane, balanced actions, as he declares the rule of law and common sense governance as the goals of the nation and backs it up with corresponding actions, he naturally enjoys widespread support and trust.
Sadly, these common sense leadership qualities, which should be essential prerequisites for every political leader, are sorely lacking in the West, where there seems to be a permanent disconnect between common sense and politics.
Often unfairly lampooned in the press for his bare-chested macho man image, Mr. Putin also appears to genuinely be in touch with his feminine side.
As a Judo master, Putin is adept at using his opponents’ momentum against them, which can only be done by respecting the power of each “adversary,” as well as being sensitive to the flow of energy emanating from that person. A perfect example of a real world application of that principle is how President Putin “flipped” and redirected the Saudi Prince’s malevolent, threatening, violent energy right back at the Prince and synthesized the product of that energy for the purpose of creating peace.
Check out Putin’s judo moves here:
Sometimes Presidents really do need to act like car salesmen, but the car that Putin is selling is built to last and runs efficiently on common sense, common law (i.e. as long as you’re not hurting anyone, you’re acting within the law), and community. And that’s a vehicle more and more Russian citizens are being convinced by Putin to buy, since he drives one himself.
Putin’s manifesto is rich in inter-discursivity, appropriating elements from competing ideologies and rejecting binary oppositions in order to win the war of position within the discursive field thus creating ‘an all-national spiritual reference point that will help to consolidate society, thereby strengthening the state. This reference point, a new Russian idea, helps construct an image of the state as a nation of people represented by a spokesperson, the president.
Those of the awakened minority who are frustrated and at odds with Globalist domination strategies should find solace in the fact that the dream of a New World Order, of which much of the world is presently dreaming into reality, must according to its unnatural and unsustainable underlying principles, much like its Soviet system predecessor, inevitably collapse under the weight of its excessive absurdity.
And if you’re one of the small but proud members of the common sense minority community, if you haven’t already done so, please do yourselves a big favor and cease all efforts aimed at trying to wake up humanity, because it can’t be done. Instead, continue waking yourselves up.
Humanity can only wake itself up one individual at a time. The newly awakened, in their own time, will make connections with others without your incessant nudges. So try to let go. You’ll feel better if you do.
In stark contrast to the West’s current political downward slope, it’s fascinating to observe the progress of Vladimir Putin in his quest to help instill and nurture a return of common sense to the realm of politics. It makes one hopeful that new leadership possessing similar strength of character will follow President Putin’s lead.
Unlike Mr. Putin, we can’t all play the part of hero in this movie, although there’s no character too minor and no act too small.
Continue speaking your truth, get along with others, and have a good time. The rest will take care of itself.
That’s just plain old common sense.
And to close the show, Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of all ages, live from the internet, the one, the only…:
Source: Waking Times
When this Jesuit genocidal pogrom supporter took the throne, we knew this guy was going to be a doozy. And he has peeled away from the previous pack of popes fast. After Benny Dicked Us got his marching orders and was quarantined in some hermetically sealed apartment free from prosecution, Pope Frankie went bonkers setting new precedents and getting his billions of followers used to marching to “larger tent” orders in their robotic religious paradigm.
Just look at this latest, which would have easily driven the “faithful” crazy in an earlier era. But hey, he’s the voice of god, so what’s to question?
Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion
Pope Francis said the Catholic Church shouldn’t be “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception and should instead try to reach out to a broader congregation.
“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Francis told the Catholic publication, La Civilta Cattolica. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”
Francis, the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years, distinguished himself from the start of his papacy by speaking out in favor of the world’s poor. In the first six months of his papacy he’s also made overtures to other faiths and attempted to root out corruption in the Vatican Bank.
“He is getting back to the real values,” Veronica Chambers, 68, a practising Catholic who lives in Los Angeles said in a telephone interview. “Those of us who have any brains, us modern Catholics who need it, want it, will welcome this message.”
His comments marks a contrast with that of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who struck a more conservative tone on sexuality and was criticized for not doing enough to root out sexual abuse in the clergy.
The Church should be “the home of all,” Francis said in the 12,000-word interview conducted in August at his quarters in the Vatican guest house, which he chose over the rich papal apartments of his predecessors. [Source]
The Church As “The Home of All”?
Of course they’ve been evangelizing forever but this has a new bent. We knew he’d be an activist with his Jesuit background and our globalist state of being funneled into a new world order, but he’s moving very quickly and setting a completely different tone, and a radical new direction.
How? Simply check the fairly sizable goal. “Home of all.”
With an estimated 2.2 billion Christians on the planet and over half of these maneuverable followers remote-controlled Catholics, they are bound to be a major focus of control for the ruling psychopaths. Is it any wonder then that a “progressive” program pushing Jesuit should lead the charge into promoting the acceptance of a new world religion, using “tolerance” and “acceptance” as its platform?
Isn’t that the ongoing meme we’re witnessing? All while they actually exacerbate the opposite, pitting everyone against each other while preaching otherwise to push their program? Unity under their centralized control. Pretty clever these demonic entities.
The NWO Religion Gets Birthed By Default
What is their objective? One world everything. Militarily, their coming imposed digital currency, surveillance subjugation, control and exploitation of the masses, and a “unified” belief system? All under the guise of “no more differences – we are here to save you from all of that” – after having caused it, of course.
Problem, reaction, solution… on its grandest scale.
The religious part will be a tough one, as they know how deeply entrenched “believers” are. They have to be won over in a whole other way, or manipulated to kill each other off. Such is the Christian vs. Muslim meme being perpetrated now.
Very effective, and they’re at it big time and getting away with literal murder with this one.
It’s Time to Wake Up
Just another sign of the slumber party being perpetrated on beautiful, living humanity. We, the real people, are awake and aware of this crap and are cocked and ready to release anything and everything we can to dissipate their darkness. We have the tools of empowerment,the love, the right motives and the heart to do exactly what needs to be done at the right time.
So fuck you, controllers. You are virtually sleeping pawns in the very real game of life; so why don’t you wake the hell up and champion your own kind instead of the designs of the destroying matrix? What is your problem? Fear and insecurity? Just wait untill the real forces get through with you.
You’ll know we were right then. But too late.
Why not wake up now? Especially anyone under their control. I invite you.
That’s my message.
Source: Zen Gardner | Just Wondering
Contrary investing used to be a profitable endeavor. Things have changed. The doom business is in full swing as many financial prognosticators seek to hedge their normally ecstatic outlooks in order to sell their advice. When tragedy becomes a consensus sentiment, it used to be the time to buy. Now that formula has to factor in a different set of risks. Namely the incoherent political intrusions and stimulus-austerity gyrations has to head the list. Has forecasting become a lost art or did it evolve into an algorithm supercomputer project? In either case, the doom factor is sure to continue to be a stable from the Cassandra circle as long as an economic recovery allures the former members of the middle class.
Nevertheless, the bulls want you to believe that economic indicators are guardedly improving. The Global Economic Intersection boldly portends.
“Our September 2013 Economic Forecast shows a change of trend. Many portions of our economic model started to expand over the previous month’s baseline.
We continue to warn that consumer spending increases are expanding at a much faster pace than income – and that eventually either a jump in income or a fall in consumption must occur to close this gap. This remains an economic headwind for 3Q2013.”
Surely, equities are back in vogue as spending flows. Yet, Tom Stevenson writing in The Telegraph recommends Take forecasts with a pinch of salt…or move to Omaha, for those who have the courage to bet their money on picking particular stocks.
“The problem for investors is that very often, at the individual stock level, good news is not built into valuations for some time after it has become publicly available.
This means that contrary to markets as a whole, where it can be better to travel than to arrive, good company news can trigger sustained outperformance as investors slowly accept the improved outlook.
This might sound like a counsel of despair for investors, but it shouldn’t. Awareness of the limitations of knowledge is actually strangely liberating when it comes to managing your investments.”
Woe is me, what opportunities are missed by sitting on the sidelines? Almost moves one to subscribe to some of those pricy newsletters. But before you brush off the dust on your wallet, heed the lesson that Ian R. Campbell references when he asksEconomic forecasting – how credible?
“Frequently in this Newsletter I have said I believe that many economists wrongly advance a theoretical forecast framework based on irrelevant history when reaching conclusions on what is prospectively going to happen in any particular economy at any given point in time – and hence many economists inherently are doomed to get things wrong before they put pen to paper.”
The prediction record of most experts is dismal at best. Therefore, when Charles Colgan, former chair of Maine’s Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission is cited in On economic forecasting as a ‘forlorn hope’. He “humbly admitting he’s botched the past several annual forecasts, Colgan compared himself to Charlie Brown, ever the optimist, who repeatedly tries to kick the football being held by his friend Lucy.”
Yes, the small investor is just as dimwitted as Charlie Brown. The fate of most plays in the M A R K E T S, are sealed before they get started. In a corporatist economy, the balance sheets of companies swell, but the return on equity to stockowners often falls short.
One needs to admit, before placing funds in the hands of Wall Street money managers, that the game is speculation, not investing. Fortunes are made by knowing the insider decisions before the public is even aware of the news that a stock is in play. Even bigger sums are extracted from shorting a vulnerable public company as the vultures sense a ripe carcass.
Any thinking citizen with even a modest understanding of economics and commerce must conclude that the consumer patience is still gravely ill. Sophistication in interpreting trend forecasts is not necessary when CNNMoney provides the evidence. “The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has reached an all-time high of 11.4 years, according to the market research firm Polk. And that average age is sure to keep climbing, the firm said.”
If the financial sages deem the consumer superfluous and define a healthy economy by a growing public sector, the prospects for a doomed system are inevitable.
For those who reject this analysis and want to be informed about the latest perspective from The Economist, signup for the Global Forecasting Service. Get unrestricted access to full, updated and interactive coverage of our world economic outlook, including projections of key indicators and analysis of developed and emerging markets.
Reading such international financial establishment pronouncements usually provide a reassuring crutch even when countries are going bankrupt. Telling as it is for the spin you are meant to accept, the forecast for personal success in the investment jungle is wrath with predators of all species.
Now all this caution is moot if the global economy enters into a new golden age. Duplicating the prosperity of the industrial revolution with a cyber collection matrix that digitally spies on propitiatory business secrets is not exactly the formula that generates wealth, which is shared by the masses.
The incomparable Paul Craig Roberts is the best political and economic forecaster. In his 2011 article, How the Economy was Lost, Doomed by the Myths of Free Trade, he explains the basic reason for the doomed forthcoming financial meltdown end game.
“As the issuers of swaps were not required to reserve against them, and as there is no limit to the number of swaps, the payouts could easily exceed the net worth of the issuer.
This was the most shameful and most mindless form of speculation. Gamblers were betting hands that they could not cover. The US regulators fled their posts. The American financial institutions abandoned all integrity. As a consequence, American financial institutions and rating agencies are trusted nowhere on earth.”
This is the forecast that you can bank on.
In the early 1960s, Yale professor Stanley Milgram conducted a serious of famous psychological experiments to measure people’s obedience to authority. A volunteer was instructed by an experimenter to help administer a simple test to a subject in another room. Cards were drawn to determine which of two “volunteers” would play each role, but the cards were rigged such that the actual volunteer was always given the same role each time, and the other role was played by an actor. This gave the volunteers the impression that the role they happened to be assigned was arbitrary.
The test subject (i.e. actor) could be heard but not seen by the volunteer. Whenever a test question was answered incorrectly by the subject-actor, the volunteer was instructed to administer a shock by pressing a button on a control panel. These shocks began at a negligibly low voltage, but with each wrong answer, the shocks were to be increased in 15-volt increments until eventually the final level of 450 volts was reached. The shocks were fake, so no one was physically harmed, but the volunteers didn’t know that the shocks were fake.
As these shocks were administered, the subject in the next room (who again could be heard but not seen by the volunteer), would express discomfort in a manner befitting the severity of the shock, including complaining of a heart condition, screaming louder and louder, and banging on the wall. After a certain voltage was passed, the shock-receiver eventually become completely silent (as if to simulate unconsciousness or death). Even after this point, the volunteer was instructed to continue administering shocks.
Milgram’s experiment was intended to test how far the average person would go. At what point would they refuse to give out any more shocks, despite being told by the experimenter to continue?
If you haven’t already heard of this experiment, what would your prediction be? What percentage of people would go all the way to the end?
Before the first experiment was run, senior psychology students polled by Milgram collectively predicted that only 1.2% of the test volunteers would go all the way to 450 volts. They expected that about 99% of people would stop before that point, figuring that most people are not so sadistic. Similar polling of professional psychiatrists yielded a prediction that about 0.1% would go all the way to 450 volts, meaning that 99.9% would stop before that point.
What was the actual result?
In reality, 65% of volunteers made it all the way to the end of the experiment, which required pushing the 450-volt button not just once but three times in a row.
This experiment has been repeated numerous times with highly consistent results, even when the experiment was updated to conform to today’s stricter experimental ethics guidelines. Compliance rates are generally in the 61-66% range, meaning that most people go all the way to administering the full 450 volts.
Milgram himself reported 19 variations on this experiment that he conducted. By tweaking different factors, such as whether a fellow volunteer participant (played by an actor) voiced strong objections and quit, or obeyed until the end, Milgram found that the compliance rate could be tweaked up or down. In one variation he was able to achieve a compliance rate of 92.5%, while in another he was able to get it down to 10%. The effect of peer pressure had a strong influence on the results.
Incidentally, the compliance rate was the same for men and women alike, so the female volunteers were no more or less obedient than the male ones.
Instead of being blindly obedient or downright sadistic, the volunteer would usually object to going further at some point, often around 135 volts. In response to each verbal objection voiced by the volunteer, the experimenter would instruct the volunteer to continue with the following statements:
- Please continue.
- The experiment requires that you continue.
- It is absolutely essential that you continue.
- You have no other choice. You must go on.
If the volunteer objected a fifth time, then the experiment was halted. And of course the experiment would end if the volunteer objected more strongly at any point such as by getting up and walking out of the room. So the experimenter would eventually take no for an answer — but not right away.
There were also a few custom responses that the experimenter would give as replies to specific types of objections. For instance, if the objection was about doing irreparable harm to the subject, the experimenter would assure the volunteer that although the shocks were strong, no permanent tissue damage would occur.
As payment for participating in the experiment, which took about an hour, each volunteer received $4.
How Nazi Are You?
Milgram’s experiments were partly conceived in response to the trials of Nazi war criminals after WWII. Did the Nazis have to recruit unusually sadistic people to implement their plans? Did they have to use fear and force to get people to obey? Or is it actually much easier to get people to obey a perceived authority, even when it runs contrary to the person’s conscience?
I recently returned from a 30-day trip to Europe, during which I visited Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. This was an interesting progression as it relates to WWII since I went from the the aggressor (Germany) to an occupied country (Netherlands) to one of the victors (UK). I visited WWII-related museums and sights in each country and talked to locals about their perceptions of this phase of European history.
It was a compelling experience to visit some of the actual WWII-related locations I’d previously only read about in school or had seen in movies. I visited an old WWII bunker. I walked through the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis. I explored the underground war rooms used by Winston Churchill and his staff. I caught trains at some of the stations that were once used to transport Jewish people to concentration camps.
Other than Pearl Harbor (which I visited when I was a teenager) and various constructed memorials, the USA is largely devoid of significant WWII sights. I can’t just stroll around Las Vegas and point to places where bombings or battles occurred. But when walking around certain European cities, such locations are hard to miss.
In many American WWII films, the Nazis are depicted as a society of evil, inhuman sadists. A great example of this portrayal can be seen in the role of Amon Göth (played by Ralph Fiennes) in the movie Schindler’s List. The real Amon Göth, who was the commandant of a concentration camp, would do things like make the Jews pay for their own executions, taxing them to compensate the Germans for the bullets used to kill them. After the war he was tried as a war criminal, found guilty, and executed by hanging at age 37. Apparently it took three tries to hang him before the execution was successful, due to a miscalculation of the rope length. As an SS Captain in charge of a concentration camp, Göth had plenty of people under his command to carry out his orders. So why did people obey him? More importantly, how many factors (like the threat of punishment) can we strip away and still see people obeying orders from someone like Göth?
Stanley Migram set out to discover some deeper truths. What would it take for a typical person to override his/her conscience and obey commands to hurt or kill others? As it turns out, for most people it doesn’t take much at all. If someone assumes an air of authority and tells people what to do, there will be plenty of people willing to obey, even if the commands contradict a person’s sense of ethics and morality.
According to Milgram,
“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”
A key to the Milgram experiments is that a person is gradually eased into overriding their conscience. They aren’t instructed to give the 450-volt shock right away. Instead they begin with a voltage that isn’t even noticed. They progress from there in small increments.
The Nazis used a similar strategy. They didn’t immediately begin shipping Jews to gas chambers. They changed the climate and the culture slowly, such as by producing lots of propaganda, progressively restricting Jews’ rights, increasing Jews’ taxes, isolating the Jewish community in ghettos, and then moving them into camps. They started small and tuned the dial several notches each year. And people went along with each incremental step, which was a little stronger than the previous step.
It’s been interesting to observe some social changes that are happening today, which strike me as part of a gradual progression. For example, Microsoft recently announced the XBox One device, which comes with a Kinect camera system. This device actually watches you while you use it. It can closely monitor your eye movements, allowing it to determine exactly which part of the screen you’re looking at. It can register small shifts in your body movement. Supposedly it can even detect an increase in your heart rate, which tells it which part of a commercial may be affecting you emotionally.
Years ago a device like this would have seemed unconscionable and incredibly creepy. Some people will undoubtedly perceive it as such today, but as part of a progression towards greater personal surveillance and less privacy, this can also be viewed as just another incremental step. It’s only an entertainment system, right? But it also helps you get used to putting a surveillance device in your home, one that watches you, collects data about you, and rewards you in accordance with behavioral conditioning practices (such as by giving you points for watching commercials). If you object to some aspects of this, you may choose to disable those aspects initially, but of course not everyone will. Society will have time to get used to each progressive step, just like Milgram’s volunteers.
You may object verbally of course, but your verbal objections won’t be an issue if you still tolerate the outcome in the long run. As Milgram discovered, just about everyone objects at some point, but most of them still obey.
Another example is Google Glass, which is slated to be released next year. This device has already been banned by many businesses, including Las Vegas casinos, largely because it can function as an unwelcome surveillance device. Google claims that the privacy concerns regarding Glass are overblown. Cell phone cameras are already ubiquitous, and this is just one incremental step beyond that.
And of course if various authorities tell us these next steps are okay, nothing to worry about, then it shouldn’t be a big deal, right?
I’m not saying that this is a terrible thing per se. But I do think these are interesting examples of how progressive acquiescence can be used to change behavior, one incremental step at a time. When people object, it doesn’t necessarily kill the progression. It just means that people may need more time to get used to the current step before moving on to the next one. Verbal objections may slow the progression, but they aren’t sufficient to stop it.
If Milgram could get people to issue painful/lethal electric shocks by having an authority figure tell them to do so, you might imagine that it’s even easier to get people to take less extreme (but still questionable) actions, such as working long hours for low pay doing meaningless busywork.
Even though many people would naturally object to throwing so much time at empty and unfulfilling work, they’ll still go ahead and do it if someone tells them to. Most people with jobs don’t like the work they do, but they still show up, even if the incentives aren’t very compelling.
What if you want to quit, but your boss, your parents, or some other perceived authority figure objects? Will you surrender and go back to work if they say something like this:
- Please don’t quit.
- We need you to keep working.
- Many people are out of work. You should be glad that you have a job at all.
- You have no choice. You have to go to work.
Getting people to do meaningless work is actually pretty easy. Most of the time, you can just have an authority figure like a boss command them to do it, and they will.
Is this a trap you’ve fallen into?
Another place where people succumb to overrule-by-authority is their relationship life.
What if you want to split up, but your partner objects? Now what if your family objects? Or you partner’s family? Or your mutual friends? Or what if you sense that society at large objects to your desire to split up? What if you’re married? Do you have the inner resources to make this decision for yourself without being overruled by someone else?
What’s especially interesting about Milgram’s experiments is that just about every volunteer resisted in some way. They verbally questioned the experiment. They sweated, squirmed, groaned, or dug their nails into their skin. Some said they didn’t want the $4 payment. A few even had seizures. The experiment produced obvious signs of stress and discomfort in the volunteers. Yet the majority of them still obeyed all the way to the end.
We see these results all the time when people stay stuck in unfulfilling jobs or relationships. They show obvious signs of distress. Some complain. Some have nervous breakdowns. Some read self-help material incessantly, looking for a way out. Yet the majority still stay in those situations, lacking the inner strength to leave.
Do you allow anyone in your life to wield authority over your relationship decisions? Do you need anyone’s approval or fear their disapproval?
Students and Authority
Many students get suckered into high-stress situations at exam time. They’re told by authoritative professors and administrators that they must be tested and that exams are necessary. But the apparent necessity of exams is a manufactured illusion of academic life. Outside of such domains, the academic examination process is largely irrelevant. No one outside of school cares what exams you have or why you think you need them. In fact, many people consider the academic testing process ludicrous and dysfunctional.
During my first run at college, I disliked exams, so I declined to show up for many of them. A predictable consequence was that I failed many classes and was soon expelled. But I learned that the decision to take or not take any exam was mine to make. No one ever forced me to take a test — my permission was always required. I could see that behavioral conditioning techniques were being used to compel me to behave a certain way, such as rewards or punishments. Once I saw through this silly game, I became free to choose for myself whether to play the role of academic student, knowing that it was entirely my choice and that it was impossible for anyone to force me to be tested if I didn’t want to be tested. This turned out to be a powerful mental shift. When I returned to college later, I found it easy to ace my exams without undue stress and generally without needing to devote extra time to studying. I understood that submitting myself to testing was always my choice and never something I had to do. I could only be tested if I chose to be tested.
As a reward for taking and passing certain exams, you may receive a slip of paper that says you know something, but you’ve probably forgotten most of that material a week after the exams anyway. The purpose of the exam was to temporarily convince someone else that you know what they want you to know. What that slip of paper really says is that you’re obedient to authority and that you’ll do the assignments and take the tests that are given to you, and that in itself is something that many employers value. But if you don’t care to submit to another authority, then that slip of paper is of minimal utility. I have one in a box in my garage from my university days, and no one has ever asked to see it. In retrospect, I regard the effort required to earn it to be largely a waste of time, even though I did it faster than most people. (Incidentally, if you still want that slip of paper and you’d like to graduate faster than normal, read “10 Tips for College Students”.)
If you’re currently a student, recognize that no one has authority over you. You don’t actually have to show up to class, take exams, and do busywork. Participating is your choice, and no one can force to you play the role of academic student without your permission. The best they can do is apply behavioral conditioning techniques to try to get you to submit to their authority, but if you see through their silly games of rewards and punishments, those techniques lose a lot of their power. You may still choose to play the academic game for your own reasons, which is perfectly fine. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any part of it is being forced upon you. The whole thing is your choice.
Now that you know about this tendency of human beings to obey authority even when strong objections may be present, how shall you deal with this?
The first step is to become aware of any areas in your life where you may already be succumbing to the pressure of authority and allowing it to override your own morals, ethics, values, or desires.
If you value your time, then where are you feeling pressured to waste time or to invest in activities or responsibilities that aren’t actually important to you? For example, how much time did you invest in social media or web surfing this week? Was that a conscious decision on your part, or did you behave that way because someone or something else was conditioning your behavior with the promise of updates, information, or the illusion of pseudo-connection?
If you value freedom, where have you been encouraged to give up some of that freedom in ways that feel uncomfortable to you? What do you feel compelled or obligated to do this week? What are your have-tos? Are those genuine needs you’ve decided to fulfill, or were you progressively lured into a trap by giving your power away unnecessarily? For instance, did you choose to take on as much debt as you have now, or were you subtly enticed to go there, one easy step at a time?
What areas of your life are causing you signs of distress? Where are you sweating, squirming, complaining, or biting your nails? What parts of your life are causing you the equivalent of mild seizures?
Notice where some part of you is objecting to the state of your reality. Is this an area where you’re still obeying some kind of authority, even if you’re not happy with the results?
As you become aware of your tendency to submit to authority, even if it’s hard to stomach all the areas where you’ve been doing so, this will increase your alignment with truth. At first these realizations might sting a little. But please don’t allow yourself to sink back down to a place of denial and ignorance. Do your best to maintain this level of awareness, even if you don’t feel ready to act on it yet.
A run of one of Milgram’s experiments with a single volunteer took about an hour. That didn’t give people much time to think about their decisions — they were caught in a high-pressure situation. In real-life situations, however, you’re more likely to have some time to pause and reflect on your decisions. This is especially true when it comes to career and relationship decisions. Use this reflection time to your best advantage, and learn to trust yourself in those quiet spaces where the influence of a perceived external authority figure is minimal. For instance, pay attention to how you feel about your job when you’re not at work, and notice how you feel about your relationship when your partner is away — in these moments you’ll have access to a more accurate assessment of your feelings.
Peer pressure certainly played a role in some of the Milgram experiments, either increasing or decreasing the compliance rate. The nice thing about peer pressure is that you can consciously create your own peer pressure to align with your desires.
When it’s possible to do so, seek out the support of others. When your inner voice is being squashed by the seemingly louder voice of some perceived authority, reach out to connect with others who’ve been in similar situations and have already moved beyond them. Especially target people who already have the results you desire, such as a fulfilling career, a happy relationship, or a stress-free academic life, and seek their counsel. Ask such people what they would do in your situation and why. See if their answers resonate with you.
You’ll often find when you talk to such people that they’ll have very different attitudes towards the same authorities that tend to overpower you. I experience this all the time from the opposite side when people share their current challenges with me. They constantly fall into the trap of giving away their power to some perceived outside authority. They often don’t even realize that they can choose to disobey, and that once they get past their resistance to doing so, everything will work out just fine. Disobeying may seem very difficult before you do it, but afterwards you’ll look back and kick yourself for making such a big deal out of it. In many cases it’s as simple as saying no and meaning it.
The student can’t change his/her major because Mom and Dad would be disappointed. The unhealthy relationship can’t end because the needy partner would be hurt. The crappy job can’t be quit because the bank wants to keep receiving the monthly loan payments.
You’re the authority in your life. Not your parents. Not your partner. Not your bank.
You can expect that other people will apply behavioral conditioning techniques to get you to comply with their wishes. Parents do it. Partners do it. Bosses do it. Banks do it. But in the end they’re all powerless to force you to do anything. The only way you obey is that you mistakenly believe that you have to obey. They tell you to obey, and you obey. But like the ornery volunteers in Milgram’s experiments who refused to go all the way to 450 volts, you always remain free to stop administering shocks at any time — especially to yourself.
The good news is that you’re not alone. Other people will be delighted to support you on this path, if you choose to invite their support. But they won’t be the same people who’ve benefitted from your obedience in the past, so don’t go looking for support from the authorities who are still giving you orders. If you go complaining to Amon Göth, you’ll get a bullet in the head for your troubles.
Don’t feel you must make a dramatic shift overnight. You may find it more realistic to make gradual, step-by-step progress.
In the Milgram experiments, even the subjects who objected and quit didn’t generally do so immediately. Their resistance increased gradually as the experiment progressed. As the voice of their conscience grew louder, their willingness to blindly obey authority gradually diminished.
During the 5-year Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the Dutch didn’t immediately jump to maximum resistance. At first they tried to accept the occupation and adapt to it, but as the Nazis grew more oppressive, the Dutch pushed back with greater levels of resistance, including helping people go into hiding, printing underground newspapers, espionage, sabotage, and armed resistance.
Members of the Dutch resistance also sought to collaborate and coordinate their efforts, working together to support each other. Individually they were weaker, but collectively they could support each other in resisting the occupation on the long journey towards Liberation Day.
Demolishing Unauthorized Authority
Ultimately the task before you is to dismantle the external forms of authority in your life that you’re no longer willing to accept.
One memorable act of rebellion from my own life was when I was 17 years old and realized that I didn’t actually believe in the religious gobbledegook that had been fed to me throughout my childhood. For the first few months, I held this awareness only to myself, not having anyone in my life that I could safely confide in.
When I eventually shared my honest beliefs openly, the reaction from others was predictably negative. Initially this was a stressful time for me. What kept me going was the feeling of certainty that I was in the right, which was largely something created from within.
I experienced a powerful shift when I stopped giving my power away to the old perceived authority figures in my life. I stopped believing that they were smarter or wiser than I was. I finally allowed myself to believe that they could be wrong, mistaken, or deluded. By seeing them as fallible, I no longer held them up as worthy authorities over me.
In other words, I de-authorized those previous authorities. I rescinded permission for them to wield authority over me. Once I experienced that shift in my thinking, I then had the power to think and choose for myself, and no amount of behavioral conditioning tactics (i.e. rewards or punishments) would cause me to yield. As people recognized this shift in me and realized that they no longer had my permission to wield such authority over my thinking and behaviors, they soon gave up on trying to control me. Really I gave them no choice.
The power of Milgram’s experiment lies in the volunteers’ belief in the authority of the experimenter. By giving this person permission to wield authority over their decisions, they gave their power away and became capable of denying responsibility for the pain they may have caused. This allowed them to justify their participation as that of a cog in a machine.
One way to opt out of such an experiment before reaching the end is to place anyone who tries to claim authority over you on a lower rung than yourself on your mental ladder of authority. Don’t assume the experimenter is smarter or wiser than you. Realize that they may be mistaken, wrong, or unethical in their dealings and that you may be right. Stop doubting what your own mind is telling you.
Who or what have you authorized to be a greater authority than yourself in your life? If someone in a position of authority tells you that something is okay, but inside you feel creeped out by their actions, do you go along with them, or do you listen to yourself and say no? What if most of your friends and family go along for the ride? Will you succumb to that kind of peer pressure, even if you feel something isn’t right?
Note that the word authority includes the word author. To wield authority over your life is to become the author of your life. You can’t consciously author much of your life if you give someone or something else authority over you.
Objecting to the misapplied use of authority isn’t enough. Just about everyone objects at some point. People object yet still obey. At some point you have to be able to object and disobey, which means to obey your own inner guidance above the demands of any perceived external authority.
Subjectively speaking, there is no external authority. What’s happening internally (within your own mind) is that you’re stressing yourself out. The stress is a result of trying to deny your own power and authority, make yourself weak, and act like a cog in a machine. This is stressful because it contradicts your true nature. The reality is that you’re very powerful and creative, and if you desire to change some aspect of your reality that doesn’t suit you, you can do so. But in order to do so, you must recognize and accept your power. If you don’t like the way the world is right now, you can step up and do something about it. Pretending to be a powerless victim of circumstance doesn’t suit you.
Becoming an Authority
If you de-authorize the phony authorities in your life and become your own authority, you’ll begin to experience the flip side of Milgram’s experiment. Instead of being the hapless follower, you’ll soon find other people following your lead.
This is where the authority game becomes much more interesting. Instead of being a blind follower, you can transform yourself into a conscious leader. By authoring your own life more proactively, you’ll inspire others to follow your example.
I think that’s the secret fear that many people have when it comes to authority. Once you regain your personal authority, it’s an easy progression into the land of greater public responsibility. When you take charge of your life, you’ll attract others who want to follow your lead and do something similar. You won’t even have to try — those people will come to you.
If you know in advance that authoring your own life will result in others wanting to experience a similar story, is this something you can accept? Are you willing to step into the role of leader? Can you welcome that role into your life? Or would you rather keep playing the follower for a while?
You can follow, or you can lead, and there isn’t much of a space in between. If you’re not willing to lead, you’ll end up following by default.
If you’re willing to lead, then how are you going to lead? When people recognize the authority you have over yourself and become attracted to it, how will you deal with that? Will you try to ignore them? Will you accept that kind of responsibility and do your best? Will you abuse it and become a sadist?
One benefit of leadership is that you can learn a great deal more about your own path when you have a chance to see it reflected in those who seek to join you. Just as Milgram’s experimenters could observe when their volunteers were experiencing stress in response to the unethical demands placed upon them, you can also gauge the response to the authorship of your life from public feedback — but without giving your power away to that feedback. Allow the requests of others to serve as input, but make your own decisions from your personal sense of authority, wisdom, and conscience.
Reclaiming Your Power
Incidentally, Stanley Milgram was only 27 years old when he began conducting his famous experiments (he died at age 51), so don’t make the mistake of assuming that he was some wizened old senior professor. In his day he was quite the rabble-rouser, shaking up the status quo by challenging people’s beliefs.
As a result of going against the grain, Milgram had some authority-based pressure used against him as well. He moved from Yale to Harvard, but he was denied tenure at Harvard, probably because of the controversial nature of his experiments. His membership application to the American Psychological Association was also put on ice for a year.
Many of Milgram’s peers challenged the ethics of his experiments because the experiments caused significant stress to the volunteer participants. Yet most of the original participants, when interviewed about it later, were glad to have been part of the study. Some of them even wanted to work with Milgram. They understood the significance of his work, even though helping him with his research was stressful.
If Milgram’s experiments were indeed unethical, then wouldn’t it also be unethical for teachers to use their authority to stress out their students with exams and grades, for companies to control their employees with rewards and punishments, and for parents to demand that their children comply with family traditions and expectations? When is it okay to use stressful psychological tactics to control the behavior of another?
When stress-producing tactics are used on you in order to manipulate you into behaving a certain way, try to recognize these tactics for what they are — an invitation for you to give your power away. Realize that you can always decline this invitation, reclaim authority over your own life, and make your own conscious choices.
Even if most people continue to give their power away, you don’t have to be one of them. You can stop the shocks whenever you want. The shocks were never real to begin with.
Source: Steve Pavlina
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” — Pablo Picasso.
From George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to the Wachowskis’ The Matrix, Stephen Spielberg’s Minority Report and most recently Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, writers and filmmakers have used science fiction to both forecast the future while also holding up a mirror to the present. The best among these transcend what is largely escapist entertainment and engage their audiences in a critical dialogue about what happens when power, technology and militaristic governance converge.
With its dystopian vision of a post-apocalyptic Earth in which the majority of humanity is relegated to an overpopulated, diseased, warring planet while the elite live a life of luxury and perfect health on an orbiting space station, Elysium fits in perfectly alongside the futuristic books and films featured in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, which warn of a totalitarian future at our doorsteps.
However, while much has been said about Blomkamp’s use of Elysium to raise concerns about immigration, access to healthcare, worker’s rights, and socioeconomic stratification, what I found most striking and unnerving was its depiction of how the government will employ technologies such as drones, tasers and biometric scanners to track, target and control the populace, especially dissidents. Mind you, while these technologies are already in use today and being hailed for their potentially life-saving, cost-saving, time-saving benefits, it won’t be long before the drawbacks to having a government equipped with technology that makes it all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-powerful far outdistance the benefits.
For those who insist that such things are celluloid fantasies with no connection to the present, I offer the following.
Fiction: One of the most jarring scenes in Elysium occurs towards the beginning of the film, when the protagonist Max Da Costa waits to board a bus on his way to work. While standing in line, Max is approached by two large robotic police officers, who quickly scan Max’s biometrics, cross-check his data against government files, and identify him as a former convict in need of close inspection. They demand to search his bag, a request which Max resists, insisting that there is nothing for them to see. The robotic cops respond by manhandling Max, throwing him to the ground, and breaking his arm with a police baton. After determining that Max poses no threat, they leave him on the ground and continue their patrol.
Reality: The United States government is presently developing robot technology that can mimic human behavior. Consider ATLAS, an android being developed by the Department of Defense. Standing at 6 feet tall and 330 pounds, the robot moves, walks, and runs like a human. While still in testing stages, it bears an eerie resemblance to the robotic cops featured in Elysium. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine a time in the near future when artificial intelligence robots are responsible for policing citizens. Considering how difficult it is today to exercise one’s constitutional rights when confronted by SWAT-team attired police with little regard for the Constitution, imagine trying to assert your rights when confronted with autonomous machines programmed to maintain order at all costs?
Fiction: In another scene ripped from the present, Max Da Costa is hunted by four drones while attempting to elude the authorities. The drones, equipped with x-ray cameras, biometric readers, scanners and weapons, are able to scan whole neighborhoods, identify individuals from a distance—even through buildings, report their findings back to police handlers, pursue a suspect, and target them with tasers and an array of lethal weapons. These drones, strikingly similar to currently existing Quadrotor drones, are depicted in A Government of Wolves.
Reality: Comprising an $82 billion industry, at least 30,000 drones are expected to occupy U.S. airspace by 2020. These drones, some of which will be deceptively small and capable of videotaping the facial expressions of people on the ground from hundreds of feet in the air, will usher in a new age of surveillance in American society. Not even those indoors, in the privacy of their homes, will be safe from these aerial spies, which can be equipped with technology capable of peering through walls. In addition to their surveillance capabilities, drone manufacturers have confirmed that drones can also be equipped with automatic weapons, grenade launchers, tear gas, and tasers. The FBI, DEA, and US Border Patrol are already using drone technology for surveillance operations.
Biometric scanners and national IDs
Fiction: Throughout Elysium, citizens are identified, sorted and dealt with by way of various scanning devices that read their biometrics—irises, DNA, etc.—as well as their national ID numbers, imprinted by a laser into their skin. In this way, citizens are tracked, counted, and classified. The end result is that there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide to escape the government’s all-seeing eyes.
Reality: Given the vast troves of data that the government in its many forms (NSA, FBI, DHS, etc.) is collecting on all Americans, we are not far from a future where there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. In fact, between the facial recognition technology being handed out to police across the country, license plate readers being installed on police cruisers, local police creating DNA databases by extracting DNA from non-criminals, including the victims of crimes, and police collecting more and more biometric data such as iris scans, we are approaching the end of anonymity in America today. It won’t be long before police officers will be able to pull up a full biography on any given person instantaneously, including their family and medical history, bank accounts, and personal peccadilloes.
Fiction: In a meeting with his robotic parole officer, Max finds his mood and emotions being scanned, analyzed and assessed by his android counterpart. Perceiving a heightened level of stress and frustration in Max, who is finding it difficult to reason with an automaton lacking in reason, the robot offers him mood-altering pills to counteract his perceived “aggression.”
Reality: Advances in neuroscience indicate that future behavior can be predicted based upon activity in certain portions of the brain, potentially creating a nightmare scenario in which government officials select certain segments of the population for more invasive surveillance or quarantine based solely upon their brain chemistry. Most recently, researchers at the Mind Research Center scanned the brains of thousands of prison inmates in order to track their brain chemistry and their behavior after release. In one experiment, researchers determined that inmates with lower levels of activity in the area of the brain associated with error processing allegedly had a higher likelihood of committing a crime within four years of being released from prison. While researchers have cautioned against using the results of their research as a method of predicting future crime, soon it will undoubtedly become a focus of study for government officials.
Brain to Machine Interface
Fiction: In Blomkamp’s world of Elysium, humans are not only able to store computer data in their brains and transfer this data by way of brain-computer interfaces, but they can also plug directly into computer systems that control every aspect of society and government. In such a world, a single key stroke can establish a dictatorship or unchain an enslaved population.
Reality: Although still in its infancy, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished—for good or ill—using brain-computer interfaces. Scientists have already created machines that allow people to manipulate robotic arms using just their thoughts. In the near future, we may see scientists observing human thought using “smart dust”—nanomachines the size of dust—which can be placed in the brain to observe neural behavior. Furthermore, hackers have already been able to “steal” information from human brains using extant brain-computer interfaces which read brain waves and are commercially available for $200-300. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have created a brain-to-brain interface between lab rats, which allows them to transfer information directly between brains. In one particular experiment, researchers trained a rat to perform a task where it would hit a lever when lit. The trained rat then had its brain connected to an untrained rat’s brain via electrodes. The untrained rat was then able to learn the trained rat’s behavior via electrical stimulation. This even worked over great distances using the internet, with a lab rat in North Carolina guiding the actions of a lab rat in Brazil.
Making the Leap from Fiction to Reality
When Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931, he was convinced that there was “still plenty of time” before his dystopian vision became a nightmare reality. It wasn’t long before he realized that his prophecies were coming true far sooner than he had imagined. The question that must be asked, writes Huxley in Brave New World Revisited, is what can be done about it?
Does a majority of the population think it worthwhile to take a good deal of trouble, in order to halt and, if possible, reverse the current drift toward totalitarian control of everything? … [R]ecent public opinion polls have revealed that an actual majority of young people in their teens, the voters of tomorrow, have no faith in democratic institutions, see no objection to the censorship of unpopular ideas, do not believe that government of the people by the people is possible and would be perfectly content, if they can continue to live in the style to which the boom has accustomed them, to be ruled, from above, by an oligarchy of assorted experts.
That so many of the well-fed young television-watchers in the world’s most powerful democracy should be so completely indifferent to the idea of self-government, so blankly uninterested in freedom of thought and the right to dissent, is distressing, but not too surprising.
“Free as a bird,” we say, and envy the winged creatures for their power of unrestricted movement in all the three dimensions. But, alas, we forget the dodo. Any bird that has learned how to grub up a good living without being compelled to use its wings will soon renounce the privilege of flight and remain forever grounded. Something analogous is true of human beings. If the bread is supplied regularly and copiously three times a day, many of them will be perfectly content to live by bread alone—or at least by bread and circuses alone.
“In the end,” says the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s parable, “in the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, ‘make us your slaves, but feed us.’” And when Alyosha Karamazov asks his brother, the teller of the story, if the Grand Inquisitor is speaking ironically, Ivan answers, “Not a bit of it! He claims it as a merit for himself and his Church that they have vanquished freedom and done so to make men happy.” Yes, to make men happy; “for nothing,” the Inquisitor insists, “has ever been more insupportable for a man or a human society than freedom.”
Nothing, except the absence of freedom; for when things go badly, and the rations are reduced, the grounded dodos will clamor again for their wings—only to renounce them, yet once more, when times grow better and the dodo-farmers become more lenient and generous. The young people who now think so poorly of democracy may grow up to become fighters for freedom. The cry of “Give me television and hamburgers, but don’t bother me with the responsibilities of liberty,” may give place, under altered circumstances, to the cry of “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Source: John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute
Before you jump to a conclusion that the famous quote from Ronald Reagan is still operative, examine the sentiment of the throngs of benefit seekers who actually believe that government help is a good thing. The historically impaired reads this Reagan quip as a talking point out of the Obama playbook. Demanding your own government welfare tailored to the needs of your perceived little slice of paradise, is the new American dream. The reason why empirical evidence of a stained record and miserable failure of government programs does not resonate with the vast expanse of the great unwashed, boils down to the simple fact that the assistance deficient multitude, insist that they are owed a never ending flow of public financed payback.
What once was a healthy distrust of government cradle to grave intrusion, has become a dependency cultural birthright. With the upsurge of services and regulations, a tremendous explosion in public budgets is burying the taxpayer in a sea of debt. When more than half of the dole beggars, no longer pay taxes to their federal benefactor, it inevitably follows that the taste of free bennies, just wets the appetite for an endless feast.
If you doubt this assessment, attend a local town meeting. It all starts with local officials, knocking on every door, to apply for additional grant money to expand their town budgets. Financing bloated programs with excessive payrolls, on the backs of property owner taxpayers, has reached the point of punitive ruin. Renters have the attitude that their monthly payment entitles them to the finest and most comprehensive range of public services that someone else pays. Their goal is to become a “public servant” so that they can cash those government checks while building up their retirement fund.
As more local municipalities approach bankruptcy and petition state and federal jurisdictions for a financial lifeline, the escape from reality just pushes up to the next higher level of corruption. Enter the helpful government man, better yet, woman. At every step in the process of spreading the nonexistent wealth, the hungry parasites raise their voices for more government-baked bread. The ”let them eat cake“ mentality has become, You Won’t Believe This Surfer Living the Food Stamps Dream.
“Today, the federal government operates roughly 80 means-tested welfare programs, and very few promote work. American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray explained to Fox News that government welfare “is systematically undermining a civic culture of independence that was a great American treasure.”
With the viral reaction to the unapologetic lifestyle of Jason Greenslate in the video, Fox News Follows California Beach Bum Living Off Food Stamps, an outraged Middle America is eager to label deadbeats as unrepentant spongers. The hypocrisy from defenders of the state extortion establishment goes unnoticed, when they devote their lives to gaming the system. The tsunami wave of abusive public expenditures is a direct result from the clamor of devoted mainstream subjects. Their calls for a new swimming pool at the local government school or for a state of the art fire truck ignore the destructive implications of taxing the homeowner out of existence.When surfer dude thumbs his nose at the taxpayer, why is that any different when a school employee casts a ballot to raise the borrowing limit for a new bond issue that directly benefits his or her own vestige interests?
Oh, cries that the civic good demands public services that pay wage benefits based upon the great responsibility of the position is entirely a phony argument. In an economy, that is rapidly becoming a part-time privilege to find employment, the government careerist stands out as a serial abuser of the public trust. Still, the justifiable criticism leveled at the public sector needs to recognize that the typical populace not only tolerates this insult but also supports the growth and expansion of the government services.
ZeroThink writes about the quote: Hi, I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.
“It was 25 years ago today, that President Reagan said those famous words in a speech to the Future Farmers of America. In that speech, he called them the 10 most dangerous words in the English language.
Ronald Reagan went on to say that the ongoing expansion and economic success of the USA at the time was because ”… the truth is, we just got out of your way.“ You did it; we didn’t.“
Quite a departure from President Obama: ‘If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’
“. . .There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.) If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. . .”
Do you believe that the type of electorate that cheers the collectivist sentiment that coroneted the Obama regime, the embodiment of state despotism, would select Ronald Reagan as POTUS today?
Jason Greenslate was a baby when Reagan led the country to a fresh renewal of optimism. Nowadays there are millions of self-entitled beachcombers, deriving their living from the government dole and walking the public beaches.
Where are all the fiscally conservatives these days? Many are six feet under and the remaining are now targeted as domestic “Tea Party” terrorists. An insightful gauge on the relative health of the society can be measured by the damning attitudes towards the Tea Party movement. Who hates most, what the Tea Party represents? Just go back to another local town meeting in your community to witness the hostility towards anyone who wants to restore a modicum of fiscal sanity in civic affairs.
The disconnect between legitimate basic public services and the shameless demands for an all intrusive and ostentatious social safety net, defies not only the historic limits and relationships between citizens and government, but also relegates plain common sense to the bowels of passé panache.
Former emotional soccer moms have transformed into Saul Alinsky lobbyists. They retain their co-dependence while acquiring a crazed militancy. Giving any and all the support to make government more egalitarian and fair, includes destroying the last sectors of a free market economy.
Fundamentally, government is not in the business of helping. Most of the social engineering of the last century has done more harm and perverted cultural standards. The results of such experiments produce generations of dysfunctional dependants.
Why blame Greenslate for being the poster boy for the welfare state. Look to your neighbor if you are unable to face your own guilt in the mirror. The breakdown of society is not accidental. Genuine conservatives have been warning fellow citizens about the danger of surrendering individual liberty for the promise of secular security. This message rejected by the government class and their subordinates, is nevertheless still valid.
Refusing to deal with this destructive shift in attitude, which scorns self-reliance, leads invariably to the FEMA principle for normality. Not a new normal, but the only idealism acceptable in the “PC” acquaintance demands in support of government. How did the people do during Katrina? The federal enforcement mental asylum is the only reality that government provides. What kind of help is this?
The abandonment of rational administration, substituted with coercive governance, remains official policy. By supporting such a matrix, foolish government sympathizers are fostering the rot that cannot be intellectually unheeded any longer.
Most dismiss that the SWAT knock at the door will ever be for them, but if it is, remember that all your support for expanding the role and scope of state functions, bears your responsibility. Obama’s victimhood message, coupled with the cynicism that “you didn’t build that“, either requires you to confront a dishonest system or accept a bleak existence. Hey bro surfs up . . .
UN Gun Control(Pictured: Twisted Gun sculpture outside of U.N. Headquarters. New York City, USA)
Inch by inch it is a cinch. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Many planners realize that nothing monumental is quickly achieved and dogged persistence over time is needed to overcome obstacles in the pursuit of a valued goal.
Nobody has utilized the principle of incrementalism better than the globalists in the pursuit of their goals related to the establishment of the New World Order.
Gun Confiscation has begun. In two different geographical locations in two differing countries, the authorities have confiscated guns without probable cause or the exigent circumstances required by constitutional law. But alas, I almost forgot, there is no rule of law in the United States. There is not one amendment in the Constitution that has been left intact.
Can there be any doubt that the United Nations is behind these gun grabs? How do we know that the United Nations is behind this beta test related to the disarming of private citizens? Read about the United Nations intent to control all guns here. I implore that all of you heed this warning and use it as a guiding principle in the months and years ahead. The United Nations is the enemy of humanity. I have this rogue organization, which is controlled by mafia bankers, in my sights and am planning to expose their anti-humanist agenda to all that will listen with an open mind. The United Nations is behind national health care which is going to bankrupt millions in this country, or result in the early demise of millions of people through treatment exclusions and denial of care. The UN (UNESCO) is behind the sabotaging of the American education system in such ill-conceived programs as No Child Left Behind and now Common Core. And the United Nations seeks to disarm all citizens prior to enacting their planned nightmarish tyranny upon the world.
Listen to me America, the United Nations is your mortal enemy!
Tyrants Always Seize the Guns Before Subjugating the People
We all know that the American Revolution commenced with British troops marching on Lexington and Concord in order to seize the arms of the colonial resistance to the tyranny of King George. The British were soundly defeated as the colonists vigorously defended their only means available to stand up to the British.
Let the record show that upon this moment, history is indeed repeating itself as the UN backed ideology is rearing its ugly head and attempting to disarm citizens without using due process of law.
Floodwaters prompted the evacuation of 13,000 residents in a small Canadian town. Following the evacuation, the authorities took it upon themselves to rummage through the personal possessions of the local residents and seize all the guns they could find.
The 13,000 residents of High River, Alberta, are still waiting for the authorities’ permission to return to their homes. Dozens of High River residents have actively confronted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at a checkpoint at the edge of their small town since floodwaters prompted a forced evacuation last week. The RCMP have posted private guards on trails leading to the town. They have placed spike strips on the roads leading into town. Apparently, the RCMP authorities are not done looting the possessions of their citizens.
This is the Lexington moment in world events. As was the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, so too, is the first of the beta tests for UN inspired gun confiscation.
Arizona is experiencing a Concord event. And as you will witness, that this time, the patriots at Lexington (High River, Canada) and at Concord have failed (Arizona) and the tyrants have won.
“If a law enforcement officer contacts a person who is in possession of a firearm, the law enforcement officer may take temporary custody of the firearm for the duration of that contact.” -13-3102 Section K, Arizona Law.
Under the law, there does not have to be any suspicion of wrongdoing. The seizing of the guns does not have to be in any way connected to a criminal investigation and the period of time that the police can confiscate guns is not specified under the law. This is the legalized public theft of private property and an egregious violation of the Second Amendment.
An Arizona court of appeals has upheld the law. According to CBS 5, in Arizona, one dissenting judge argued that Arizona police can only confiscate guns if there is investigative cause or suspicion of criminal activity. Even the dissenting opinion does not go far enough. Under the Constitution, Americans cannot be deprived of property without due process of law. This ruling effectively gives the police on the street the power of judge, jury and executioner. This is a clear separation of powers issues that the courts failed to address.
Beyond the immediacy of this outrageous ruling, lies the implications. Both the Canadian and the Arizona cases of gun confiscation speaks to a much larger and more sinister agenda.
Gun Confiscation is a Bad Omen for Any People
History clearly demonstrates that widespread gun confiscation, in any form, is an ominous sign for any country. The following is a brief synopsis of gun control.
1. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915-1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves against their ethnic-cleansing government, were arrested and exterminated.
2. In 1929, the former Soviet Union established gun control as a means of controlling the “more difficult” of their citizens. From 1929 to the death of Stalin, 40 million Soviets met an untimely end at the hand of various governmental agencies as they were arrested and exterminated.
3. After the rise of the Nazi’s, Germany established their version of gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and others, who were unable to defend themselves against the “Brown Shirts”, were arrested and exterminated. Interestingly, the Brown Shirts were eventually targeted for extermination themselves following their blind acts of allegiance to Hitler. Any American military and police would be wise to grasp the historical significance of the Brown Shirts’ fate.
4. After Communist China established gun control in 1935, an estimated 50 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves against their fascist leaders, were arrested and exterminated.
5. Closer to home, Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayans, unable to defend themselves against their ruthless dictatorship, were arrested and exterminated.
6. Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves from their dictatorial government, were arrested and exterminated.
7. Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million of the “educated” people, unable to defend themselves against their fascist government, were arrested and exterminated.
8. In 1994, Rwanda disarmed the Tutsi people and being unable to defend themselves from their totalitarian government, nearly one million were summarily executed.
The total numbers of victims who lost their lives because of gun control is approximately 70 million people in the 20th century. The historical voices from 70 million corpses speak loudly and clearly to those Americans who are advocating for a de facto gun ban. Governments murdered four times as many civilians as were killed in all the international and domestic wars combined. Governments murdered millions more people than were killed by common criminals and it all followed gun control.
I would remind the reader that gun confiscation is not an end unto itself. It is a means to an end. For when the people are finally disarmed, the banking mafia that runs this country can have their way with this country with very little opposition. And if that ever happens, you will soon learn why the NSA is engaged in massive data base collections of your communications. This Sunday evening, on my talk show, I am interviewing someone who worked for DARPA at Arizona State University and he knows about the threat matrix scores which are being assigned to individuals and groups. This is real and yet, our people continue to remain in a slumber as the eye of the storm approaches.
At what point does or America, and for that matter, the people of the world decide that they have had enough of the banker inspired tyranny which has hijacked almost every nation on the planet through central banking?
Inch by inch the globalist bankers have been imposing their brand of tyranny. They are not at the gate, they are inside your home, inside your computer, inside your cell phone, inside your car and even inside your bedroom.
If there ever was going to be a tipping point, isn’t this it?
Dave Hodges is an award winning psychology, statistics and research professor, a college basketball coach, a mental health counselor, a political activist and writer who has published dozens of editorials and articles in several publications such as Freedom Phoenix, News With Views, and The Arizona Republic.
The Common Sense Show features a wide variety of important topics that range from the loss of constitutional liberties, to the subsequent implementation of a police state under world governance, to exploring the limits of human potential. The primary purpose of The Common Sense Show is to provide Americans with the tools necessary to reclaim both our individual and national sovereignty. You can follow Dave’s work at his web site, on Facebook and Twitter.
“If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” — Morpheus, The Matrix.
As long as you are plugged into the computer program that is running your reality, you can’t escape its hold over your life. You are literally programming and reprogramming yourself, without your conscious will, to toe the line of some very sneaky potentates who would like for you to forget just how powerful a being you truly are.
As long as you are subservient to the status quo — the belief that you must slave away for the monarchy, namely the Rockefeller/Vatican/Gates/J.P. Morgan/World Bank delusionists, then you will not ever truly know that you can change your reality in the blink of an eye. The world in its current state is not meant to be your experience of life, yet playing the computer game that has been set before you keeps you disillusioned and deluded. It’s time to wake up. Following are 5 of the practically infinite ways by which the powers that be keep you thinking you are small, helpless and powerless, when in fact, you are Infinite in scope:
1. They are hypnotizing you with their agenda. If you participate in the mainstream media — watching its television programs, sitting in front of its Hollywood movies, or even leaving the tube on as you go to sleep, then you are programming your brain with the entirely ‘wrong’ frequency. Of course, it’s a choice. There really is no wrong or right — we can continue to portray minorities, women and any person who isn’t rich and white as less intelligent or capable, or portray endless scenes of violence and bigotry, hate and racism, but we have to ask ourselves what purpose this truly serves. It seems if we are fighting against one another, because of the color of our skin, our religious or cultural backgrounds, our sexual preferences or our gender, then we can’t really focus on the true ‘enemy’, which is really only like Oz behind a curtain.
CBS and ABC both have officials that have top positions in the Obama administration. Monsanto and several large Big Ag, Big Pharma, and Big Oil corporations have cronies in almost every leg of the mainstream media. These people don’t report the truth. They promote their own greedy agendas. With just a little crack in the looking glass, you can see that there is another reality. David Icke’s The People’s Voice Network is just such an example. It’s literally time for a different program. Cut your addiction to mainstream media. They are keeping you enslaved to a decaying paradigm.
2. They are poisoning the enlightenment right out of you. Big Corporations are poisoning your water with fluoride, heavy metals and endless other toxins. Big Ag is poisoning your food with GMO crops. Big Pharma is supplying you with drugs that actually make your food-induced cancer or heart disease worse, as well as dumbing down entire generations with autism, while quietly paying out families for the damage that MMR vaccinations have caused. The secret of the Matrix is that these addictive patterns — high fructose corn syrup, McDonald’s Happy Meals and nutrition-less foods — do more than make you fat and sick. They literally block your ability to have an enlightened experience of the world — explicitly one which allows you to see outside the Matrix. These companies provide the pain and then feed you the pain-killers, which are really just another way to kill you. You are not a depressed, dark, lonely individual. You are a creature of light and hope, love and prosperity beyond your current imagining. Don’t let them drug you into oblivion. Eat wholesome foods, detox your pineal gland — the seat of enlightenment — and participate in age-old natural healing. It is not only for your physical well being, but for your spiritual ascension — and a great and final unplugging from the Matrix.
3. They use religion to perpetuate a lie. This is a hot button for many people. The truth is that use of religion alone is one of the easiest ways that they can divide and conquer. Every religion has at its core, a message of truth and LOVE, not the bastardized, quantified, you-need-me-to-get-to-God message that so many people mistakenly proselytize to the masses in order to keep them in check. The leaders of great religious movements know that we can only survive together as one. There are sites around the world that teach an integrated, accepting approach to realizing the Great Mystery of which we are all a part. Thanksgiving Square, for example, has been visited by the Dalai Lama, Catholic nuns including Mother Theresa, Zen Monks, famous Hindu yogis, Muslim and Christian spiritual leaders, and so forth. It is time to elevate our spirituality to one of inclusiveness instead of segregation and division. Realizing this is a great way to shun the Matrix lie that there is only one pathway to God.
4. They indoctrinate you early in public school. Henry Louis Mencken puts it so perfectly:
“The aim of public school is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry [slaves to the Matrix], to put down dissent and originality.”
There are numberless geniuses who were able to skip a ‘cursory’ education and, instead, used their own curiosity and creativity to guide them through the material world. Michael Faraday opened a famous bookshop without any formal education, but he also experimented with electricity, magnetism and other sciences on his own. William Herschel, a musical composer with no formal education in astrophysics, discovered the planet Uranus and was only later called an ‘astronomer’ for his discovery. Don’t let them tell you what you can know or limit your genius. This is another tactic to keep you enslaved to the Matrix. Teach your children to think for themselves and seriously question whether they need to attend public school at all.
5. They convince you that this is the only ‘REALity.’ You can create a world that does not poison its people, pollute its oceans, rivers and streams, air and soil. You can create a world where people do not engage in endless wars and genocides. You can create a world where a few greedy bastards don’t run the whole show. You have the choice to run another program. It starts with waking up to the reality that has been forced upon you so that you can choose differently.
Kurt Vonnegut once said in Mother Night:
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
You are just pretending this reality right now. You can just as easily choose another. As long as you have the belief that you are stuck in this version of reality, you will be. They reinforce this belief in every way they possibly can. Though our minds have a hard time conceiving of Infinity, it exists. Start expanding it to new levels, and suspend your disbelief. This will help you to untie your bondage ropes to the Matrix.
“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Source: Christina Sarich | Waking Times
But these are fictions. There is no such thing as rule by everybody or by “the voice of every citizen.”
Politicians and their cronies, of course, know this. So one of their jobs is to present illusions of “togetherness.” These illusions are crafted. They are long-term covert ops.
PR people and propagandists and educators and media pundits are deployed for the purpose of painting pictures of “free democracy,” whatever that means. (Note: it doesn’t refer to the Bill of Rights, because that was part of designing a constitutional Republic.)
In a democracy, organizations of citizens are put together. These groups then reach out to government with their agendas. Each group becomes a faux individual seeking…what? Key symbols and phrases are deployed to answer that question—and one of the most potent is JUSTICE.
Groups are going to government to find justice.
This action becomes part of the mythology of what democracy is.
Hundreds, thousands of groups in the democracy seek justice, which simply means: favorable treatment. I’m talking about every kind of favor, from government-funded gender-changing surgery all the way to massive corporate tax breaks…and everything in between.
If you add up all the long-term effects and outcomes of this seeking, you discover that much of what the groups win for themselves doesn’t last. It deteriorates over time. Planned obsolescence is built into the system.
The quality of individual, free, independent, responsible, ethical life, for example, certainly doesn’t improve. Instead, we get politically correct life, in which people are expected to talk and act in ways that reflect “care, concern, mutual admiration, acceptance, passivity.”
This charade is promoted as progress. It’s really a program. It’s a script. It’s a stage play. It’s called democracy.
It supports small, medium, large, and jumbo crimes. Paid for by taxes.
What’s actually happening in democracy is consolidation of power at the top. The top includes both corporations and governments. But what’s out front is share and care. That’s the flag rippling with all its stars to obscure the true operation.
If a constitutional republic, with severely limited government, can exist at all, it requires eyeballs looking at each other close up. It requires small populations, educated and dynamically charged with living ideals, not dead ones.
The covert op called democracy, on the other hand, requires groups seeking so-called justice to be pitted against each other to fight over a limited pie.
Here is a cameo. In the early 1980s, I interviewed a dean of students at UCLA about the mood and attitude on campus, in the wake of the Vietnam war.
He told me that, during the late 60s and early 70s, students were united in their protests against the war, but once the forced military draft was called off, the students broke up into groups seeking justice (money) from the University.
The competition among groups, he said, was quite nasty and vicious. It involved character attacks, wild accusations, and threats.
This might seem like a vindication of the unity that had prevailed during Vietnam, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that the military industrial complex made out quite well during that war; and various wars and police actions since Vietnam—Iraq and Afghanistan the most extensive—have continued to line the pockets of military-industrial mongers.
Here is the elite psyop formula:
- endlessly promote democracy;
- create and empower groups that will seek justice from government;
- grant some groups favors, reject others;
- set these groups against each other;
- in the ensuing conflict, pretend to appeal for unity;
- grab more and more power at the top.
By osmosis, the individual learns what works in a democracy. He must have a cause, and that cause must reflect an unjust and disadvantaged status. He needs to seek redress and help from government. He needs to chisel and cheat and game the system.
He also needs to vote. He needs to vote for the side most likely to give him favors and breaks and loopholes and $$.
Many individuals will conclude that, in this hustle, the superior choice is to work for the government. A few years ago, I compiled a very rough tally of numbers of Americans who work for some form of the State. The total was 1 out of every 9 people.
In a small nation, that might be shocking. In a large country like America, it’s disastrous.
During a recent radio interview out of Norway, I was told that nearly 50% of Norwegians work for the government. We’re not there yet, but we’re moving in that direction.
The concept of democracy, once you peel back the layers on the covert op, is a scam. But the even greater problem comes when overwhelmingly numbers of people organize their own minds to match that scam.
They assemble and coordinate their own mental processes for the job of living and winning inside a massive crime-bubble.
Obama, like every president, operates as a PR front man for the op called democracy. The difference is, he’s made the PR into a religion. He’s taken it to a new level.
It may seem strange, but a person living out of an Obama-welfare cell phone, and a Wall Street investment banker dealing from an office high in Manhattan, are both working from the same basic mental playbook.
Their situations are vastly different, but they’re making moves inside the crime-bubble.
And if, by some miracle, they could sit down and talk long enough and honestly enough, they would see, emerging out of the fog, familiar game plans.
Yes, Virginia, there is true injustice in this country. It comes from the power grab at the top, and it leaks down to every person. But you won’t find that injustice revealed in the ubiquitous PR-op. There you’ll only find lies and groups toiling to push the rock to the top of the hill, while fighting a war of attrition against each other.
There you’ll only find the great hustle, the con, short and long, and layers of operators telling us “we’re all in this together” to remedy wrongs.
One of the keys to breaking out of mass mind control is being able to see and make the distinction between the real thing and a fake copy.
To survive and meet scheduled payoffs and bribes and deliver calculated favors and demean the independent individual, a democracy must fly the highest flags of ideals. The songs must be sung by pros. Every drop of sympathy must be wrung out of that rag-flag. Every soap opera story must be elevated to tragic heights.
And every mind must confuse this with the real thing.
Which takes us to education of the young, and the preparatory mind-control programs for living as an adult in a democracy.
I won’t bother to run down the various teaching tools for this job. I’ll simply remind you of how willing and open the young mind is.
When I was 12 or 13, my parents took (dragged) me to a lecture. The speaker was Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey. I dreaded the all-too-predictable pain I was in for. I would rather have been eating a casserole of spinach, broccoli, liver, and cockroaches.
On this night, in a jammed hall with a few hundred people, I listened to the Senator for two hours. He spoke about progress and humanity and hope and share and care.
I was riveted. Nailed to my chair. In a contest, that version of Humphrey would put Obama away cold and turn him upside down.
I saw visions of a new world. I saw humanity rise as one and conquer all obstacles. I saw liberalism and all it stood for as a god on Earth.
Those were the days when the Humph was at the absolute top of his game. He was on fire. He ascended one mountain range after another. He stood on a troubled sea and opened up the sky.
It took me a decade to realize I’d been conned by a master.
The op works. It taps into oceanic impulses in every mind and diverts them along channels that turn poetry into fake religion. It freezes poetry and sculpts it into idols and symbols of a labyrinth that eventually dumps you out into an alley at midnight with empty pockets.
You’re chewing on a dream of stale bread and figuring out how to get home.
People say that in a modern society, poetry no longer has meaning or force. This is one of the titanic jokes of the age. Poetry always strikes the deepest chords. It always parts the sea of the mind.
The only issue is, to what ends is it put? Does it rest there on the page and on the tongue and ear with its own fierce beauty, to be absorbed and re-imagined by the reader and the listener? Or is it run along channels where wardens of the State patrol, catching souls in their nets?
This is an MKULTRA rarely spoken of. It has stood the test of time.
It feeds on rubes and yokels and sleepwalkers and the desperate, from freezing caves in prehistoric Asia, down to the deserts of ancient Egypt, over to dank cathedral vaults of Europe, across to the streamlined consumer paradise of America.
It winds up as: Democracy. Progress. Enlightenment. Equality. Sharing.
Neon signs in the bought and paid for sky.
The great civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the marches, the rallies, the protests, the suffering, the pain, the violence, the legislation—all based on a simple premise: equal protection and opportunity under the law.
Groups sought redress and justice from the government.
The movement celebrated victories. And then it was taken and twisted down other train tracks and turned into a slow-motion crash the likes of which we’re seeing splattered across television screens and the pages of newspapers around the world today.
How did that happen? How did the civil rights movement come to Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman?
Through careful planning. Through manipulation of people and ideas, to transform honor into great misery.
The Statist machine gives, and the machine takes away. True justice is never its goal.
It preys on the worst human instincts and praises them as legitimate. It sets the agenda for democracy and gives the mob the drug of hope based on, yes, poetics.
Understanding the frequencies along which that hope is broadcast to the populace, and how the populace sponges up those transmissions, is a step out of the maze.
When you hear the particular strains of music that convey widely held sentiments, and you know the music is made for tin ears, because your ears aren’t tin, you’re regaining a species of true hope most people can’t understand.
You get a piece of the immortal joke that has traveled through eons and dipped into countless places, ever since the universe was dreamed up as a holographic blueprint on somebody’s notepad.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
Source: Jon Rappoport | No More Fake News
Congress is now debating an update to the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Turns out it’s already a misdemeanor to “exceed authorized use” of a computer, but the DOJ wants to make it a felony.
Of course, what does “exceeds authorized use” mean? Well, it means, for instance, an employee sending emails to pals while he’s at the office—because his employer has a rule against that.
In other words, the feds want to back up employers’ rules and turn them into felonies. Splendid.
“Yeah, you remember Jack, don’t you? Used to work here? One day he made an online reservation at the Wynn in Vegas, and now he’s in jail. Life is tough, keep your eyes straight ahead and don’t mess with the boss.”
“And Betty? She ordered three lipsticks on a slow Thursday and she’s now upstate. I hear the shrinks got hold of her. Dosing her with an anti-psychotic. Hope she has three live brain cells to rub together when she gets out.”
Then there’s the Facebook issue. The company, originally bankrolled by a CIA front, has a rule against users setting up accounts with fake names. Does the DOJ want to go after Facebook users who break the rules?
The Surveillance State, aided by Facebook, wants to know who you are at all times. They want you to be your name and no other name.
It’s a technical issue, see? It’s a lot easier to spy on you if you’re Mary Jones all the time when you’re online. As opposed to Mary Jones and Dragon Lady and HiHat and Ben Franklin and The Beast From 40 Fathoms…
The joke is, most people lead lives that are fictional already. The NSA and its allied partners spy on those lives.
Here’s the same thing from another angle. John Smith, citizen, follows the straight and narrow. He, like every other John Smith, is a target of the Surveillance State. He hasn’t committed any crimes. He isn’t a threat. But that doesn’t matter. He’s there. He’s a unit. Therefore, he’s on the radar.
But John Smith is a fiction. He’s a convenient, solid, average, normal persona/role in the stage play called Society cooked up by the Real John Smith, who is hiding. Inside himself. You rarely see him. Once in a blue moon, he pokes his head out and says something off-key. Then he retreats behind his facade.
There are millions and John Smiths, and the NSA is spying on all of them. The fake ones. The fictions.
What if every John Smith invented six or seven new personae?
“Sir, are you pretending to be somebody else?”
“Yes, and the pretending is now more intense. It’s ongoing.”
“But you see, sir, that introduces confusion, when we spy on you.”
“I used to believe I was a John Smith android forever. Wow, was I kidding myself. I used to go to one church service on Sunday. Now I go to three different churches. And I’m also an atheist.”
“I campaigned for Democrats only. Now I campaign for Democrats, Republican, Libertarians, Communists, and Anarchists. Of course I don’t vote for anyone. I’m exploring monarchy as well. I think the divine right of kings could make a comeback.”
“But who do you actually worship?”
“The NSA, of course. And the CIA and DIA, Interpol, MI-5, the old GRU, and the Chinese Secret Service.”
“Sir, we have you on the record talking about eight different wives.”
“Only eight? I must have misplaced a couple.”
Some people will assume I mean they should actually marry a dozen women. Those people are the literalists. They always go for the lowest-common-denominator reading. They think if they have a little fun, do a little acting, a little pretending, it might infect their minds. It might take them over. They’re the John Smiths. They live inside walls of fear.
Reality is one fiction among a limitless number of possible realities.
The basic problem with Reality is that’s it’s only one.
Any baby can teach you that. Play with the kid in just one way, over and over, and he’ll develop an itch he can’t scratch. He’ll cry and go off on you. Play with him a hundred different ways and he’ll gurgle and laugh and wriggle and decide coming into this life was a good idea after all.
Every kid needs an uncle and an aunt and a few cousins and a brother or sister. Parents tend to repeat themselves. Their repertoire wears thin. The kid needs a boost, a change, a different face, a new joke, a shift of rhythm.
People who can make you laugh take you out. They take you out of the one, forever, exhausting IS. Reality is the fiction of one and only one IS.
There are two types of laughs. One blows up reality. The other, which is the android laugh, comes across like tranquilized mule with a hernia.
The NSA is super-serious about the one persona that is supposed to be the super-serious you. That’s what they’re spying on.
The internet thrives on anonymity. This causes a lot of nonsense and crap to surface. That’s the price we pay. But the Surveillance State doesn’t want anonymity. It wants “just the facts.”
It wants to scare people into being their android-selves and nothing more, nothing else. It wants The One Reality. If they can make that happen, they win. Afterward, it really doesn’t matter what people do.
I remember watching the very first episode of the original CSI. At the murder scene, the techs were going over an apartment, collecting evidence, bagging it. Then we were back in the lab. More analysis.
I thought, are they kidding? They believe people want to watch this stuff?
Well, people did. They wanted to watch the lab, the fine-tuning of hair, blood, DNA. The categorization, the tracking, the accessing of the data banks.
The first cousin to Surveillance.
You want to talk about operant conditioning? The whole CSI franchise is one giant psyop. For more than a decade. Getting people used to ubiquitous looking and spying and tracking, on behalf of justice.
That’s what NSA wants to be. That’s how NSA wants the public to view it.
Super-serious-android-NSA spying on super-serious-android-us. In the one and only Reality. That’s the op.
So…step back and calculate our chances if we continue to live in the one and only Reality and try to fight them from that position.
Of course, entering and inventing other realities takes imagination. That’s the catch. It always was.
Ever since the first elite priest class on Earth cooked up some crazy spiritual Ponzi scheme to suck in the rubes, imagination has been the nemesis of the State.
Paraphrasing Grouch Marx: “In the 1930s, you could make a movie in which a woman fell down a flight of stairs, and people would laugh. But eventually it couldn’t be a movie. It had to be a real woman falling down a real flight of stairs.”
People are trained like dogs to appreciate and accept only one IS. The “real” IS. They convince themselves this is a good idea. These people are unconscious allies of the Surveillance State.
What’s that? People are into all sorts of multiple virtual realities? Yes, for a while, but they keep coming back to believing in The One and Only Just-the-Facts Reality. If they actually wanted new realities, they’d be cooking them up themselves, they wouldn’t be dreaming inside somebody else’s.
In light of all of the above, the universe of propaganda becomes more vivid. Its aim is reduction. Reduction of the way we see ourselves. We’re given bound images of human beings as citizens living in a walled fortress, where our every thought and action needs to be boiled down and made transparent, so our leaders can make threat assessments.
This is the fiction we’re being fed. Over and over.
“It’s not asking too much, is it? It’s too hard to seek out and find terrorists. We need to collect everything on everybody, and then with suitable algorithms established, we can select out the dangerous ones.
“In fact, it’s better if we consider everybody dangerous and track and limit their movements. That works.”
Yes, the NSA is looking at you. They’re looking at you as if you’re an android. Well, naturally. They’re androids. Wherever they look, they see androids.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
Source: Jon Rappoport | No More Fake News
Having recently celebrated their nation’s independence on July 4th, Americans were invited to recall the spirit of protest, rebellion, and revolution that marks the popular myth of the birth of the United States of America.
The Declaration of Independence still stands as an important example of how the tolerance of any man can be exceeded by the actions of an over-bearing and intrusive government. Yet, 237 years after the signing of this document, one has to wonder what has happened to the spirit of fearlessness and rugged self-determination that set the American experiment in motion.
As a form of redress of grievances by a people to it’s leadership, protest is as much of a historical part of democracy as voting is. A near-last resort when the populous is bereft of political power, publicly voicing dissent in an organized, peaceful, and constructive manner is a critical and vital sign of life for a society that wishes to be free. Yet, when a ruling elite and political class become too intrusive, parasitic or too dangerous to the population, protest is often a precursor to violence, therefore the outcome of rebellion and protest is never certain and often disastrous. However, the fate of a people without the will to resist the suffrages of an encroaching tyranny is just as foreboding.
While giving credit to the Occupy movement, those who engage in protest at global summits and party conventions, growing national actions like the Tar Sands Blockade and Idle No More, and growing localized activist movements, the nation has no formidable popular mass-movement for dissent. Apparently the American people have little interest in expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of leadership we have in America today.
Why are the American people so permissive of government abuse, intrusion, waste, corruption, cruelty, and stupidity?
Here are 5 reasons reasons why more Americans don’t protest.
1. Protest is Unwelcome in the Matrix
The matrix cannot function properly when people are in the streets speaking truth to power, therefore, protest is an unwanted inconvenience for the economy, the media and the government.
For this, the government is engaged in squashing domestic protest and the media makes every effort to marginalize and ignore popular dissent. Increasingly, protest and civil disobedience are also being viewed as security threats to be met with near-military force. ‘First amendment zones,’ event permits, and laws that equate protest with terrorism all assist in dissuading Americans from participating, while tricks like agent provocateurs, police intimidation, arrest and assault are used to shut protest events down.
The modern American protestor faces regulations, intimidation and physical threats from military crowd control technologies like flash-bang grenades, the LRAD acoustic weapon, pepper sprays, surveillance of all modern types, and even the prospect of microwave pain ray technologies.
All of this already makes protest and dissent seem rather unpalatable to the average American, but, the media further demonizes protest by highlighting and focusing in on any violence that may occur, while downplaying the peaceful moments where intelligent people come together to articulate valid grievances with an out of control system.
The media tarnishes the image of any protest movement to take advantage of the fact that most people are natural followers, not natural leaders, and that most people are watching the protest in relative isolation at home, separated from friends and neighbors. Creating the perception that protests are dangerous events involving un-American, un-patriotic and irresponsible people who are likely to get hurt, helps to prevent popular support on any single issue from reaching critical mass by convincing the average person that it is too complicated and too risky to get involved.
2. Conflict Consciousness – Divided We Fall
Are you a liberal or conservative? Democrat or Republican? Are you on this team, or that team?
It doesn’t matter at all really, but, we’ve been brainwashed into dividing ourselves into an inescapable prison of bi-polarized pigeon-holes.
We blame our neighbors, friends and families for the mismanagement in the world. We blame those different than us, those in different countries, those with different color skin. We trust in authority, those with matching uniform shirts and batman belts, while we distrust and fight amongst each other. We have become culturally programmed to argue, compete, fight, and win for no real purpose. Winning, and being on the winning team has become more valuable than learning, gaining wisdom or uniting.
In this climate, with a social atmosphere so rigidly divided and so pointlessly competitive, any energy for consensus and widespread concerted action is sapped in inter-personal and tribal-like conflict. We are missing great opportunities for compromise, reciprocity, healing and growth. The consciousness of conflict ensures our self-destruction.
3. Higher Priorities… Work and Play
The American Dream of personal freedom and the opportunity for prosperity as a reward for hard work has been transformed in recent decades, influenced by an ongoing sales pitch about what life should be like for the average person. Convenience, ease, comfort, entertainment, excess, escape, work, money, debt. These are the values most available today.
Americans are working harder than ever, if they’re working at all. The economy is in terrible shape and in decline, and the American lifestyle has become so heavily invested in consumerism and debt that the average person is too dependent on continuity of income to risk even a single paycheck. Protesting is at the bottom of the list of things to do on vacation day.
Outside of work, life for most people has become a screen. Television, movies, the internet, work, handheld devices, iPads, Kindle, whatever. A new version of reality has emerged in the delivery of media and the sophistication of entertainment. Our priorities have evolved to put entertainment and escapism at the top of the list, and increasingly less value on honest government, human rights and justice.
Life is also still very good in America for most in the middle class. Food is easy to come by, credit still widely available. Charity, welfare and government assistance in some form are available to most if sought.Drone strikes and IED‘s are not yet to be seen in the homeland.
Commitment to protest and social change requires personal sacrifice. In our social atmosphere of extreme busyness and dumbed-down priorities, participation in social causes is now too risky, too inconvenient, and insufficiently fun. Our natural and historical energies for rebellion and protest are effectively expired in the office, at the bar, or at the movies, or projected onto a character on a screen.
Life has become a hamster wheel of superfluous labor and deliberate distraction.
4. Mindset of Fear, Apathy, and Resignation
Mindset is everything in our quantum-world, and our emotional under current governs how we relate to and participate in the world. Regarding politics, participatory democracy, and protest, the typical American mindset generally falls into one of three categories:
Fear - We are heavily propagandized to approach life from fear-centered consciousness. Life is to be viewed as a threat. America has already become a police state, and is heavily invested in the combination of fear and security. To the average person, the prospect of facing militarized police and possibly being beaten, gassed, dispersed, arrested and perhaps even criminally charged for voicing dissent is certainly an adequate deterrent.
Brutal, violent oppression of dissent works famously well to stop a protest, and for this, people logically fear getting involved.
Apathy - Apathy is another symptom of our cultural decline, and a mindset that keeps most people from participating in civics or protest. Apathy is a nearly-conscious choice to remain ignorant and distracted about something while pursuing the path of least resistance. Apathy seems to be the number one byproduct of our culture of convenience. People don’t care about the quality of our world enough to become involved.
Resignation - Many Americans understand all too well what is happening to constitutional and lawful government and realize that until a much more massive awakening occurs and far more people take interest, there is little to be gained from protesting. This resignation has led many to focus instead on preparing for the worst, including for scenarios like economic collapse and social unrest. Storing food and developing emergency plans is now seen by many as a more productive use of energy than attempting to influence acorrupt political system by participating in politics or protest.
While there are signs that Americans may be slowly waking from the dream-like state that is preventing any unified form of mass protest, it appears that for now, the formerly American qualities of courage, independence and self-determination have been replaced with fear, apathy, and resignation.
5. People Approve of the Status Quo
Americans, by and large, are still happy to enjoy the lifestyle that the status quo delivers, even if it means further forfeitures of privacy and essential human rights. Additionally, the lack of public opposition in mass is also a de facto approval of the political and economic status quo.
‘It is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission,’ goes the saying, and by not objecting to any scandal or violation, no matter how offensive, the majority of America consents to being governed by this domineering logic.
Whether actively or passively, the majority of America supports any and all actions by our government and the corporate status quo.
America is a wonderful place with a vast and breath-taking landscape and a rich culture of ingenuity and creativity. Americans are interesting and generous people. It is difficult to grasp the contradiction between the beautiful and comfortable aspects of American life and the troublesome developments emerging from our leadership. It not easy to understand the gap between the values extolled in still celebrated Declaration of Independence and the lack of public will to hold the government accountable to even the simple Bill of Rights.
Why don’t more Americans protest things like government spying, endless wars, the fraudulent banking system, the growing police state, the destruction of the environment, genetically modified foods, the assault on natural health, or even torture?
While the above 5 reasons are merely one person’s observations and generalizations about American culture, the patterns that emerge here are useful in helping to recognize opportunities for our own personal and collective evolution.
Source: Waking Times
“V For Vendetta,” a film that portrays evil in a futuristic England as a proxy for the evil that exists today in America, ends with the defeat of evil. But this is a movie in which the hero has super powers. If you have not seen this film, you should watch it. It might wake you up and give you courage. The excerpts below show that, at least among some filmmakers, the desire for liberty still exists.
Whether the desire for liberty exists in America remains to be seen. If Americans can overcome their gullibility, their lifelong brainwashing, their propensity to believe every lie that “their” government tells them, and if Americans can escape the Matrix in which they live, they can reestablish the morality, justice, peace, freedom, and liberty that “their” government has taken from them. It is not impossible for Americans to again stand with uplifted heads. They only have to recognize that “their” government is the enemy of truth, justice, human rights and life itself.
Can mere ordinary Americans triumph over the evil that is “their” government without the aid of a superhero? If ideas are strong enough and Americans can comprehend them, good can prevail over the evil that is concentrated in Washington. What stands between the American people and their comprehension of evil is their gullibility.
If good fails in its battle with Washington’s evil, our future is a boot stamping on the human face forever.
If you, an American, living in superpower America lack the courage to stand up to the evil that is “your” government, perhaps the courage of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and tiny Ecuador will give you heart.
A US senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Ecuadoran government that he would block the import of vegetables and flowers from Ecuador if Ecuador gives asylum to Edward Snowden. The cost to Ecuador would be one billion dollars in lost revenues.
Menendez’s statement–”Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior”–is ironic. It equates bad behavior with protecting a truth-teller and good behavior with betraying a truth-teller. Menendez’s statement is also a lie. The US government only rewards bad behavior. The US government consistently rewards those who conspire against the elected governments of their own countries, setting them up as dictators when Washington overthrows the elected governments.
Menendez’s threat did not work, but the senator did succeed in delivering yet another humiliating blow to Washington’s prestige. The Ecuadoran President, Rafael Correa, beat Menendez to the punch and cancelled the trade pact with the US on the grounds that the pact was a threat to the sovereignty of Ecuador and to moral principles and was being used by Washington to blackmail Ecuador. “Ecuador doesn’t accept pressure or threats from anyone,” added Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado who then offered Washington foreign aid to provide human rights training to combat torture, illegal executions and attacks on peoples’ privacy.
Washington, exposed with its hand in the cookie jar devouring the privacy of the entire world and prevented by its hubris from acknowledging its illegal behavior and apologizing, has so mishandled the Snowden affair that Washington has done far more damage to itself than occurred from Snowden’s revelations. Washington has proven conclusively that it has no respect for anyone’s human rights, that it has no respect for any country’s sovereignty, that it has no respect for any moral principles, especially those it most often mouths, and that it relies on coercion and violence alone. The rest of the world now knows who its enemy is.
Washington’s presstitutes, by helping Washington demonize Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Manning, Assange, and Ecuador, have demonstrated to the world that the US media is devoid of integrity and that nothing it reports can be believed. The US print and TV media and NPR comprise a ministry of propaganda for Washington’s immoral agendas.
On June 24, the Stasi State’s favorite whore, the Washington Post, denounced three times democratically-elected Rafael Correa as “the autocratic leader of tiny, impoverished Ecuador,” without realizing that the editorial not only demonstrated the Washington Post’s lack of any ethics whatsoever but also showed the entire world that if “tiny, impoverished Ecuador” can stand up to Washington’s threats, so can the rest of the world.
President Correa replied that the Washington Post “managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that support him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced.” Correa added that Washington’s “world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral.”
The reason Washington hates Correa has nothing to do with Snowden. That Ecuador is considering asylum for Snowden is just an excuse. Correa is hated, because in the second year of his first term he repudiated the $3 billion dollar foreign debt that corrupt and despotic prior regimes had been paid to contract with international finance. Correa’s default threat forced the international financial gangsters to write down the debt by 60 percent.
Washington also hates Correa because he has been successful in reducing the high rates of poverty in Ecuador, thus building public support that makes if difficult for Washington to overthrow him from within.
Yet another reason Washington hates Correa is because he took steps against the multinational oil companies’ exploitation of Ecuador’s oil resources and limited the amount of offshore deposits in the country’s banks in order to block Washington’s ability to destabilize Ecuador’s financial system.
Washington also hates Correa for refusing to renew Washington’s lease of the air base in Manta.
Essentially, Correa has fought to take control of Ecuador’s government, media and national resources out of Washington’s hands and the hands of the small rich elite allied with Washington. It is a David vs. Goliath story.
In other words, Correa, like Venezuela’s Chevez, is the rare foreign leader who represents the interests of his own country instead of Washington’s interest.
Washington uses the various corrupt NGOs and the puppet government in Colombia as weapons against Correa and the Ecuadoran government. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before Washington succeeds in assassinating Correa.
American patriots, who feel that they should be on “their” government’s side regardless of the facts, would do well to remember what true patriotism is. For Americans, patriotism has always meant allegiance to the Constitution, not to the government. The oath is to defend the Constitution against enemies domestic and foreign. The Bush and Obama regimes have proven themselves to be the Constitution’s worst enemies. It is not possible for a true patriot to support a government that destroys the Constitution. The United States is the Constitution. Our country is not the Obama regime, the Bush regime, or some other administration. Our country is the Constitution. The Constitution is our country.
Beyond obligations to one’s own country, all humans have a responsibility to human life itself. Washington’s puppet states, such as the NATO countries, Japan, and Colombia, by providing cover and support for Washington’s aggression are enabling Washington to drive the world into World War III.
The temptation of Washington’s money easily overwhelms weak characters such as Tony Blair and David Cameron. But the governments of NATO countries and other accommodating states are not only selling out their own peoples by supporting Washington’s wars of aggression, they are selling out humanity. Washington’s hubris and arrogance grow as Washington bumps off country after country. Sooner or later Russia and China, will realize that they themselves are targets and will draw firmer lines. Arrogance will prevent Washington from acknowledging the lines, and the final war will be launched.
Washington’s hegemonic impulse is driving the world to destruction. The peoples of the world should realize this and force their governments to stop enabling Washington’s aggression.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts