by Rand Clifford Featured Writer Dandelion Salad August 15, 2010 “…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.” That was GHW Bush’s answer to reporter Sarah McClendon’s question in 1992 regarding what Iran-Contra was all about. He also told her that, “If the American people really knew what we had done, we would be … Read More
Dead men still bite, even nine years after dying—the proof is official. Just when it seemed the American public is too full of terrorist propaganda to swallow any more, Osama bin Laden is back. Could it be that CorpoGov is testing the waters to see if the gullibility of Americans is even deeper than has already been proven?
The most frightening aspect is not that Osama bin Laden “…may be flexing his muscles” to prove that al-Qaida is “…still alive and kicking,” and “…remains strong and able to launch major attacks on western targets,” no, it is that the American public is “officially” considered so incredibly gullible. Do people really believe muscles dead for nine years can still be flexed?
Richard Feynman was a genius whose free-spirited panache made him one of the world’s most popular scientists. He worked on the Manhattan Project, insisting he was persuaded to help build the world’s first nuclear bomb because of fears that Nazi Germany might beat us to it. In 1965 he won a Nobel prize in physics for his work in quantum electrodynamics. Call him the “Great Explainer”. He was a key player in the Rogers Commission which investigated the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In his appendix to the commission’s report, Feynman wrote: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”
Ray Davies, front man for the British rock band The Kinks, sang in 1974: “I can visualize the day when the world will be controlled by artificial people, but I don’t want to live a lie in an artificial world.”
The song is titled, Artificial Man, from the album, Preservation Act II. Ray Davies’ words were very apropos in 1974, even more so in 2010—especially with the fresh Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling that dissolves any restrictions on the amount of money corporations may spend to influence elections. By overruling two important precedents regarding the 1st amendment (1) rights of corporations, the SCOTUS opened the floodgates, allowing unlimited corporate cash to inundate elections, thereby further depleting the already meager power of actual American people to choose our elected officials and influence America’s future course.
Anyone care to peer behind the the curtain, and see what our “wizards” might be planning for us?
Well, perhaps we either pull back the luxurious velvet folds and look underground while there may still be time to mitigate America’s accelerating, conjured collapse…or we get herded off to oblivion because we don’t have reservations, underground. Have we believed too many lies? Do we lack the courage to be free?
In the 1933 Paramount motion picture “Tillie and Gus”, W.C. Fields said:
“There comes a time in the affairs of men, when we must take the bull by the tail, and face the situation.”
The term “motion pictures” is rather archaic nowadays, but there’s nothing archaic about W.C.’s insightful wisdom—almost 80 years ago spinning a clear image of precisely where we are in 2010. Indeed, ours is a confusing time of wars over fossil energy, imperialism, secrecy, disinformation, massive upward transfer of wealth, economic collapse, environmental devastation and, well, bullshit. We’ve actually been deep in the stuff since even before Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, wrote a more sobering scenario:
The concept is an old one. The amount of human blood spilled over control of fossil energy deposits and associated transfer routes, in the 20th Century alone, probably rivals the amount of oil BP’s Macondo well has unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico so far. But in the 21st Century the concept has gained a popular name, and really hit its stride—all the way to perhaps relegating the entire life-support system of Earth as an energy sacrifice zone.
“…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.”
That was GHW Bush’s answer to reporter Sarah McClendon’s question in 1992 regarding what Iran-Contra was all about. He also told her that, “If the American people really knew what we had done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched.”
Imagine saying to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “My, you’re very tall.”
Imagine denigrating anything not hailed as truth by institutions such as government, or mainstream media, as “conspiracy theory.”
What’s the connection? Much deeper than at first it might seem, much deeper than the absence of critical thinking—it’s a pattern of apathy. Both instances lack wit and subtlety…no thinking, whether stating the obvious, or scoffing at any truth not “official.” So why has conspiracy theory become such a knee-jerk label? First, let’s look at what “conspiracy theory” means, institutionally and officially.
Conspiracy theory is most often used to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at stealing power, money, or freedom from the people. “Wikipedia” even adds the zest, or invitation for the absurd (more on this in a moment), of secret plots by conspirators of “…almost superhuman power and cunning.”
Wednesday it was, 2/11, 9 years into the new century.
Next day, Amit R. Paley wrote in the Washington Post, “The titans of Wall Street, already humbled by the financial meltdown, were hauled before Congress for the first time Wednesday to face the rage of the nation.”
Paley’s article, titled, Congress grills bailed-out bankers, reflects gravity of the situation with heavy lines such as, “Lined up in a row at a nationally-televised hearing, the chieftains of eight banks that received $165 billion in federal bailout funds were pounded with ferocious questions from lawmakers demanding to know whether the firms were misusing taxpayer dollars.” Just the concept of questions themselves somehow possessing ferocity suggests an almost surreal situation. And that it was…rather like a circus except there were little more than tigers and clowns.
The titans’ testimony was their most “full-throated” response yet to lawmaker and analyst criticism that banks are hoarding the bailout money instead of making new loans with it, as Congress intended. Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase insisted his firm made $150 billion in new loans in the last quarter of 2008-with consumer loans “jumping” by 2.1% over the previous quarter.
by Rand Clifford
featured writer Dandelion Salad
January 22, 2009
Originally published 12.13.08
The price of gasoline is falling toward $1 per gallon, while merely one of the enormous hidden costs of fossil fuels has the arctic seas “burping” methane. Researchers are finding areas above the Russian continental shelf literally bubbling and foaming with methane. Concentrations in areas covering thousands of square miles are being measured at levels 100 times above normal. Geologic records show that a series of this kind of methane burping around the end of the Permian period killed nearly everything on Earth.
That was 251 million years ago. 70% of land species and 95% of marine species vanished. Another methane burping episode about 55 million years ago again caused extensive species loss while disrupting the climate for well over 100 centuries. Is it beginning again?
Those ancient methane catastrophes were apparently triggered by warming caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) elevations from surges in volcanic activity. And now, humans seem to be causing CO2 emissions of comparable magnitude primarily with massive burning of fossil fuels. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that we are loading the atmosphere with CO2 at a rate 150 times that of current volcanism. It would take roughly 17,000 additional volcanoes similar to Kilauea in Hawaii to emit as much CO2 as we do with fossil fuels.
Truth in our time has become so muddied, the first thing we need in any search for fundamental, unambiguous truth is a good working definition. Something to clutch as a certain cruciform against vampires…a touchstone to help us better navigate lies.
truth \’trüth\ n. : That which is true
Hhmmm…so precisely what is “true”?
Truth. Truth is true.
That Möbius strip leads nowhere. Could a better understanding of truth as an aide to our search for it be found by examining the opposite of truth—by examining untruth?
American life floods us with one particular very tried and true untruth: Everything our federal government tells us, either officially, or through mainstream corporate media. So, a reliable working definition of truth here could be: “Exactly what government does not tell“. Certainly they tell occasional superficial truths, but those always have tendrils merging into the massive and nearby body of deceit.
by Rand Clifford
featured writer Dandelion Salad
January 16, 2009
Originally published 12.18.08
Is Moronity a place, or a condition? Since America is our focus, and since America seems a fine example of something at once both place and condition, let’s consider Moronity to be both. Continue reading →
Heaven, and hell, they both shimmer in the neural universe behind our eyes — in the electrochemical flower we inherited in three parts. High in the blossom sparkles transcendence of miseries humans inflict upon the entire biosphere; down in the stem lurk thorns of greater misery.
Evolution of reptiles into mammals and then humans has given us three unique brain systems: the reptile brain; the mammalian brain; the human brain. Perhaps no story better illuminates the spectrum of potential in our triune brain than that of “The man who lit the world”…history’s premier visionary engineer, Nikola Tesla.
While compulsory lying, distractions and inane diversions reduce our fourth estate into corporate government’s fifth column, it seems omission is the key tactic so solidly embedding mainstream corporate media into an exploiter of the people. Americans remain well informed regarding celebrities, entertainment, sports and weather—but when it comes to information people need to vote intelligently, understand what corporate government is really up to, or understand environmental issues, corporate media is little more than special-interest propaganda. And when it comes to the complex relationship of the nation and its citizens to the 95% of global population that are not American…strategies such as omission perpetuate the fossilized notion of “we’re number one” being all that Americans really need to know.