Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"The Majority Of Us..."

"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."
- Leo Buscaglia

"When We Don’t Take Action: The Effect of Not Doing"

"When We Don’t Take Action: The Effect of Not Doing"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

"Our actions shape our lives, but what we don't take action on can be just as powerful. Life is sculpted on a moment-to-moment basis. Every one of the thoughts we think, the words we speak, and the actions we take contributes to the complex quality and character of the universe’s unfolding. It simply is not possible to be alive without making an impact on the world that surrounds us. Every action taken affects the whole as greatly as every action not taken. And when it comes to making the world a better place, what we choose not to do can be just as important as what we choose to do.

For example, when we neglect to recycle, speak up, vote, or help somebody in immediate need, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to be an agent for positive change. Instead, we are enabling a particular course to continue unchallenged, picking up speed even as it goes along. By holding the belief that our actions don’t make much of a difference, we may find that we often tend to forego opportunities for involvement. Alternatively, if we see ourselves as important participants in an ever-evolving world, we may feel more inspired to contribute our unique perspective and gifts to a situation.

It is wise to be somewhat selective about how and where we are using our energy in order to keep ourselves from becoming scattered. Not every cause or action is appropriate for every person. When a situation catches our attention, however, and speaks to our heart, it is important that we honor our impulse to help and take the action that feels right for us. It may be offering a kind word to a friend, giving resources to people in need, or just taking responsibility for our own behavior. By doing what we can, when we can, we add positive energy to our world. And sometimes, it may be our one contribution that makes all the difference."

"How It Really Is"

“So Many People Are Badly Traumatized by Life in America: It's Time We Admit It”

  
  “So Many People Are Badly Traumatized by Life in America:
 It's Time We Admit It”
From a crushing economy, to government spying, to endless wars, are we breaking down?
By Lynn Stuart Parramore

“Recently Don Hazen, the executive editor of AlterNet, asked me to think about trauma in the context of America’s political system. As I sifted through my thoughts on this topic, I began to sense an enormous weight in my body and a paralysis in my brain. What could I say? What could I possibly offer to my fellow citizens? Or to myself? After six years writing about the financial crisis and its gruesome aftermath, I feel weariness and fear. When I close my eyes, I see a great ogre with gold coins spilling from his pockets and pollution spewing from his maw lurching toward me with increasing speed. I don’t know how to stop him.

Do you feel this way, too?

All along the watchtower, America’s alarms are sounding loudly. Voter turnout this last go-round was the worst in 72 years, as if we needed another sign that faith in democracy is waning. Is it really any wonder? When your choices range from the corrupt to the demented, how can you not feel that citizenship is a sham? Research by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page clearly shows that our lawmakers create policy based on the desires of monied elites while “mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

Our voices are not heard. When our government does pay attention to us, the focus seems to be more on intimidation and control than addressing our needs. We are surveilled through our phones and laptops. As the New York Times has recently reported, a surge in undercover operations from a bewildering array of agencies has unleashed an army of unsupervised rogues poised to spy upon and victimize ordinary people rather than challenge the real predators who pillage at will. Aggressive and militarized police seem more likely to harm us than to protect us, even to mow us down if necessary. 

Our policies amplify the harm. The mentally ill are locked away in solitary confinement, and even left there to die. Pregnant women in need of medical treatment are arrested and criminalized. Young people simply trying to get an education are crippled with debt. The elderly are left to wander the country in RVs in search of temporary jobs. If you’ve seen yourself as part of the middle class, you may have noticed cries of agony ripping through your ranks in ways that once seemed to belong to worlds far away.

I know that a serious illness could bankrupt me.
I am afraid I will never be able to afford to have a child.
My nightmare is to end up poor and abandoned in my golden years.
If you have fewer resources, the terror is even more immediate, the trauma more searing.
My father and brother are in prison.
I am afraid of being shot as I walk down the street.
I have never trusted any adult in my life.

A 2012 study of hospital patients in Atlanta’s inner-city communities showed that rates of post-traumatic stress are now on par with those of veterans returning from war zones. At least 1 out of 3 surveyed said they had experienced stress responses like flashbacks, persistent fear, a sense of alienation, and aggressive behavior. All across the country, in Detroit, New Orleans, and in what historian Louis Ferleger describes as economic “dead zones” - places where people have simply given up and sunk into “involuntary idleness” - the pain is written on slumped bodies and faces that have become masks of despair.

We are starting to break down.

When our alarm systems are set off too often, they start to malfunction, and we can end up in a state of hyper-vigilance, unable to properly assess the threats. It’s easy for the powerful to manipulate this tense condition and present an array of bogeymen to distract our attention, from immigrants to the unemployed, so that we focus our energy on the wrong enemy. Guns give a false sense of control, and hatred of those who do not look like us channels our impotent rage. Meanwhile, dietary supplements and prescription painkillers lure us into thinking that if we just find the right pill, we can shut off the sound of the sirens. Popular culture brings us movies with loud explosions that deafen us to what’s crashing all around us.

The 21st century, forged in the images of flames and bodies falling from the Twin Towers, has sputtered on with wars, financial ruin and crushing public policies that have left us ever more shaken, angry and afraid. At each crisis, people at the top have seized the opportunity to secure their positions and push the rest of us further down. They are not finished, not by a long shot.

Trauma is not just about experiencing wars and sexual violence, though there is plenty of that. Psychology researchers have discussed trauma as something intense that happens in your life that you can’t adequately respond to, and which causes you long-lasting negative effects. It’s something that leaves you fixated and stuck, acting out your unresolved feelings over and over.

Unfortunately, the cycle doesn’t end with you: trauma comes with a very high rate of interest. The children of traumatized people carry the legacy of pain forward in their brains and bodies, becoming more vulnerable to disease, mental breakdown, addiction, and violence. Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, an expert on trauma, emphasizes that it’s not just personal. Trauma occupies a space much bigger than our individual neurons: it’s political. If your parents lost their jobs, their home or their sense of security in the wake of the financial crisis, you will carry those wounds with you, even if conditions improve. Budget cuts to education and the social safety net produce trauma. Falling income produces trauma. Job insecurity produces trauma. Consider the following:

• Over 2.7 million children in America have a parent in lock-up, a situation considered traumatic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are twice as likely to develop mental illness compared to the rest of the youth population, and more likely to experience a host of problems, including asthma, obesity, and academic issues.
• Unemployment is increasingly linked to suicide, the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers find that losing a job is more likely to cause a person to take her own life today than in the past. Increased job insecurity and stagnant wages have heightened our sensitivity to economic distress over the last few decades.
• Up to 15 percent of adults in the U.S. over 60 exhibit PTSD symptoms. Homelessness among the elderly is increasing and is expected to leap 33 percent by 2020. Rates of economic hardship among elderly women, in particular, have leapt in recent years - up to 18 percent live in extreme poverty, and that number is expected to rise.

The effects of the misguided policies that contribute to these horrors ripple throughout our families, our communities, and ultimately, our entire society.

What then, are we supposed to do with our anguish? Part of our despair comes from participating in a system that is so damaging to so many, so brutal to our natures, both the physical environment and our internal selves. I eat a tomato knowing that the person who picked it may well have been an abused undocumented immigrant. I use products like Google knowing that my personal information is being used for purposes of profit and control. I vote for a candidate knowing that inaction and betrayal are the likely outcomes of putting this person in power. I can’t get away from it.

As I reflect on the scale of the trauma, I wonder if there is any point in writing about it at all. But isn’t part of our task as human beings to bear witness, to tell each other what we know? Talking about our feelings of guilt and helplessness reminds us of our connections to each other and our desire to confront injustices. It helps us to resist the temptation to withdraw into isolation and denial. Refusing to be silenced is one way to restore a sense of at least some vestige of agency.

I think we all have many selves, and I know that I have a self that is so angry and disgusted it simply wants to numb out, to immerse itself in the distractions of shallow consumer culture and look away from things it feels helpless to change.

But I have other selves, too. When I walk into Grand Central Terminal in New York City, with its soaring ceilings painted with the starry sky, I feel a sense of wonder at what Americans have achieved through common effort and recognition of our shared experience. I feel pangs, too, of the threats to those treasures, and the desire among many elites to privatize these public wonders and take away the hope that these spaces represent. But they remain, at least for now, as monuments of the possible. Their existence defies those who would subordinate and divide us.

When I hear the thunderous voice of the Reverend William Barber, leader of the Moral Monday Movement, I remember that outrage and anger can be transformative and help us to lift each other up and overcome our fears of taking on the powerful. Leaders like Martin Luther King are not simply voices from the past; they live among us.

When I do something as simple as nurture a friend in need, or let myself be drawn in by an artistic creation, or meet the eyes of a stranger with kindness, or plant a living tree, I’m intervening in the trauma and rewriting its trajectory - perhaps only a paragraph, but many paragraphs can make a page, and many pages, a volume.

The etymology of the word “trauma” is associated with the Greek word “wound.” To be human is to be wounded, and the ability to cope with our wounds is the essence of life’s journey. Without wounds, we can’t know our own strength and competence, and we can’t develop empathy for our fellow creatures. Moving from the static place of trauma to something fluid and transformative is the key. The trauma doesn’t go away, but it's possible to bring it along in a way that helps us witness each other, hear each other, and help each other.

In his recent book on trauma, The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk describes the concept that helped South Africans deal with the pain of their society as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was in progress. “Ubuntu” means shared human experience, the idea that “my humanity is inextricably bound up with yours.”

In the act of writing to myself and to you, I am reminded that we are bound, and that even if a dark age is looming, we can still pass the light between us. I can't fool myself into thinking that the ogre is not coming — but walking to meet him together is much better than standing alone. Connectivity is the only intervention I know.”

"We Are the Enemy: Is This the Lesson of Ferguson?"

"We Are the Enemy: Is This the Lesson of Ferguson?"
By John W. Whitehead

"If you dress police officers up as soldiers and you put them in military vehicles and you give them military weapons, they adopt a warrior mentality. We fight wars against enemies, and the enemies are the people who live in our cities—particularly in communities of color."- Thomas Nolan, criminology professor and former police officer.

"Should police officer Darren Wilson be held accountable for the shooting death of unarmed citizen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014? That the police officer was white and his victim black should make no difference. In a perfect world, it would not matter. In an imperfect world such as ours, however, racism is an effective propaganda tool used by the government and the media to distract us from the real issues. As a result, the national dialogue about the dangers of militarized, weaponized police officers being trained to act like soldiers on the battlefield, shooting first and asking questions later, has shifted into a largely unspoken debate over race wars, class perceptions and longstanding, deep-seated notions of who deserves our unquestioning loyalty and who does not.

Putting aside our prejudices, however, let’s not overlook the importance of Ferguson and this grand jury verdict. Tasked with determining whether Wilson should stand trial for Brown’s shooting, the grand jury ruled that the police officer will not face charges for the fatal shooting. However, the greater question—whether anything will really change to rein in militarized police, police shootings, lack of accountability and oversight, and a military industrial complex with a vested interest in turning America into a war zone—remains unanswered.

Ferguson matters because it provides us with a foretaste of what is to come. It is the shot across the bow, so to speak, a warning that this is how we will all be treated if we do not tread cautiously in challenging the police state, and it won’t matter whether we’re black or white, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat. In the eyes of the corporate state, we are all the enemy.

This is the lesson of Ferguson.

Remember that in the wake of the shooting, Ferguson police officers clad in body armor, their faces covered with masks, equipped with assault rifles and snipers and riding armored vehicles, showed up in force to deal with protesters. Describing that show of force by police in Ferguson, Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, stated, “This was a military force, and they were facing down an enemy.”

Yes, we are the enemy. As I point out in my book "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State," since those first towers fell on 9/11, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.

There was a moment of hope after Ferguson that perhaps things might change. Perhaps the balance would be restored between the citizenry and their supposed guardians, the police. Perhaps our elected officials would take our side for a change and oppose the militarization of the police. Perhaps warfare would take a backseat to more pressing national concerns.

That hope was short-lived. It wasn’t long before the media moved on to other, more titillating stories. The disappearance of a University of Virginia college student and the search for her alleged abductor, the weeks-long man-hunt for an accused cop killer, the Republican electoral upset, a Rolling Stone expose on gang rapes at fraternity parties, Obama’s immigration amnesty plan, and the rape charges against Bill Cosby are just a few of the stories that have dominated the news cycle since the Ferguson standoff between police and protesters.

It wasn’t long before the American public, easily acclimated to news of government wrongdoing (case in point: the national yawn over the NSA’s ongoing domestic surveillance), ceased to be shocked, outraged or alarmed by reports of police shootings. In fact, the issue was nowhere to be found in this year’s run-up to Election Day, which was largely devoid of any pressing matters of national concern.

And with nary a hiccup, the police state marched steadily forth. In fact, aided and abetted by the citizenry’s short attention span, its easily distracted nature, and its desensitization to anything that occupies the news cycle for too long, it has been business as usual in terms of police shootings, the amassing of military weapons, and the government’s sanctioning of police misconduct. Most recently, Ohio police shot and killed a 12-year-old boy who was seen waving a toy gun at a playground.

Rubbing salt in our wounds, in the wake of Ferguson, police agencies not only continued to ramp up their military arsenals but have used them whenever possible. In fact, in anticipation of the grand jury’s ruling, St. Louis police actually purchased more equipment for its officers, including “civil disobedience equipment.”

Just a few weeks after the Ferguson showdown, law enforcement agencies took part in an $11 million manhunt in Pennsylvania for alleged cop killer Eric Frein. Without batting an eye, the news media switched from outraged “shock” over the military arsenal employed by police in Ferguson to respectful “awe” of the 48-day operation that cost taxpayers $1.4 million per week in order to carry out a round-the-clock dragnet search of an area with a 5-mile-radius.

The Frein operation brought together 1,000 officers from local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as SWAT teams and cutting edge military equipment (high-powered rifles, body armor, infrared sensors, armored trucks, helicopters and unmanned, silent surveillance blimps)—some of the very same weapons and tactics employed in Ferguson and, a year earlier, in Boston in the wake of the marathon bombing. The manhunt was a well-timed, perfectly choreographed exercise in why Americans should welcome the police state: for our safety, of course, and to save the lives of police officers.

Opposed to any attempt to demilitarize America’s police forces, the Dept. of Homeland Security has been chanting this safety mantra in testimony before Congress: Remember 9/11. Remember Boston. Remember how unsafe the world was before police were equipped with automatic weapons, heavily armored trucks, night-vision goggles, and aircraft donated by the DHS.

Contrary to DHS rhetoric, however, militarized police—twitchy over perceived dangers, hyped up on their authority, and protected by their agencies, the legislatures and the courts—have actually made communities less safe at a time when violent crime is at an all-time low and lumberjacks, fishermen, airline pilots, roofers, construction workers, trash collectors, electricians and truck drivers all have a higher risk of on-the-job fatalities than police officers.

Moreover, as Senator Tom Coburn points out, the militarization of America’s police forces has actually “created some problems that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.” Among those problems: a rise in the use of SWAT team raids for routine law enforcement activities (averaging 80,000 a year), a rise in the use and abuse of asset forfeiture laws by police agencies, a profit-driven incentive to criminalize lawful activities and treat Americans as suspects, and a transformation of the nation’s citizenry into suspects.

Ferguson provided us with an opportunity to engage in a much-needed national dialogue over how police are trained, what authority they are given, what weaponry they are provided, and how they treat those whom they are entrusted with protecting.

Caught up in our personal politics, prejudices and class warfare, we have failed to answer that call. In so doing, we have played right into the hands of all those corporations who profit from turning America into a battlefield by selling the government mine-resistant vehicles, assault rifles, grenade launchers, and drones.

As long as we remain steeped in ignorance, there will be no reform. As long as we remain divided by our irrational fear of each other, there will be no overhaul in the nation’s law enforcement system or institution of an oversight process whereby communities can ensure that local police departments are acting in accordance with their wishes and values. And as long as we remain distracted by misguided loyalties to military operatives who are paid to play the part of the government’s henchmen, there will be no saving us when the events of Ferguson unfold in our own backyards.

When all is said and done, it doesn’t matter whose “side” you’re on as far as what transpired in Ferguson, whether you believe that Michael Brown was a victim or that Darren Wilson was justified in shooting first and asking questions later.

What matters is that we not allow politics and deep-rooted prejudices of any sort to divert our efforts to restore some level of safety, sanity and constitutional balance to the role that police officers play in our communities. If we fail to do so, we will have done a disservice to ourselves and every man, woman and child in this country who have become casualties of the American police state."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Musical Interlude: Liquid Mind, “Velvet Morning” ("Void of the Stellar Winds")

Liquid Mind, “Velvet Morning” ("Void of the Stellar Winds")

"A Look to the Heavens"

“Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium. Gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster. Ultraviolet ionizing radiation from the Trapezium stars, mostly from the brightest star Theta-1 Orionis C powers the complex star forming region's entire visible glow. 
Click image for larger size.
About three million years old, the Orion Nebula Cluster was even more compact in its younger years and a recent dynamical study indicates that runaway stellar collisions at an earlier age may have formed a black hole with more than 100 times the mass of the Sun. The presence of a black hole within the cluster could explain the observed high velocities of the Trapezium stars. The Orion Nebula's distance of some 1500 light-years would make it the closest known black hole to planet Earth.”

The Poet: May Sarton, "Unison Benediction"

"Unison Benediction"
 

"Return to the most human,
nothing less will nourish the torn spirit,
the bewildered heart,
the angry mind:
and from the ultimate duress,
pierced with the breath of anguish,
speak of love.

Return, return to the deep sources,
nothing less will teach the stiff hands a new way to serve,
to carve into our lives the forms of tenderness
and still that ancient necessary pain preserve.

Return to the most human,
nothing less will teach the angry spirit,
the bewildered heart;
the torn mind,
to accept the whole of its duress,
and pierced with anguish…
at last, act for love."

~ May Sarton 

"Give Me the Stars... Life Wants to Live!"

"Give Me the Stars... Life Wants to Live!"
by Rick Tumlinson

“I have been asked how I can so easily cross party lines during this election time, when it comes to supporting or chastising politicians based on their actions regarding the opening of space. Why do I care about opening the space frontier more than any other issue? How can I support this one who is doing this, or attack that one who is doing that? How can I even deal with that guy who is doing so much harm, and why do I attack that woman who has done so much good for other issues? So many reasons, so important to many, but I and the members of my cause have work to do.

Because in the grand sweep of space and time, little matters or will be seen through the eyes of those to come as having mattered beside what we do right now, in this time, not just to save this precious planet but to expand its life to worlds now dead. Because this one cause encompasses all causes worth being causes. Be it freedom, resources, the economy, the environment, opportunity, hope, or another cause, there is no other single cultural and societal action that can and will do more to transform our lives, our civilization, and the course of life itself than this one thing. Period.

And I do it because when I turn off the pundits and puny little power players, power down the iPad and iPod and portable civilization modules that surround us with our own voices and visions, and step out into the darkness of the quiet night, below the full moon, and just stand there in a field of green grass and trees and all the sounds of all the creatures around me, and look at the infinity of stars, I realize just how small it all is, all that noise and sound and fury, and how grand it can be, if we can but quiet listening to those voices and find the ones inside us- how grand we can be, why we are here, really, and how much responsibility we have been given as the stewards of life.

Life: It wants to live. From the microbes in the soil below me to the grass at my feet to the crickets and birds to whatever life might be out there in that unlimited sky looking back at me out of the night overhead to our little girl in the making in her mother's womb, we share in something beautiful, powerful, and important. And simple. Life comes forth for no other reason than to be and make more life. It will fight and crawl and do anything in its power to live, and once alive it will stand against all to remain alive. Its existence is its own argument. Life is passion, celebration in the face of chaos, light in the face of darkness, hope in the face of despair, and joy, for the universe without life feels nothing, is nothing, and does nothing except slowly die.

Life: To live, to touch, see, feel, experience, and be.

And while there are so many ways in this universe and world that life can be extinguished, there is but one way that life can leave this one world and spread its glorious being out there, and that is through us. So I and a few others who share this vision have chosen to take a stand that this is important. Out of all the billions of us in this world, each with his or her own priorities, dreams, fears, fights, passions, and pettiness, out of all the arguments and battles and wars and campaigns and crowded cluttering of the mind and spirit with sound and fury and righteousness and wrong, out of all these possible things and things to do and fight for, I- we- have chosen life itself. And not just the preservation of life, for that is important, too, even if to many of us it seems a bit of a defensive play when we would rather take the offensive. I want to capture and express that passion I see in life all around me to go wild, to push into anywhere we can, and make of those places new domains for life. Like the little patches of grass you see trying to poke up through the asphalt of an interstate, or that lone tree rising out of condemned ruins, we want to harness that determination and say, "Yes, we are alive, and we are coming! And it will be epic!"

In a thousand years we won't care which politician went negative on which other; this news cycle will just be a nanoscopic footnote at the bottom of an infinitely large digital box in a tiny corner of a mega storage unit orbiting a human colony light years away. Perhaps some tiny thing I and these others might have done today will have made a difference, so that that colony of life can be out there, and not just one, and not just human but more and greater and all carrying the seeds of life...

Perhaps by stepping out of the normal game others play in the sandbox of today, we can create a new tomorrow. Perhaps what we did by taking this stand among all the others changed a vote on a science budget to a "yes," showed a skeptical media machine a new way of looking at the stars, helped a new built rocket touch the sky, inspired a kid somewhere to change their career so they can fly, or to stay in school, or convinced someone to simply think a little differently about her place in the world and the hope that lies ahead for her, and gave our world permission to dream.

And ever so gently, we will perhaps have helped push this crazy silly life form we call humanity and the life of this beautiful and precious world upwards and outwards... so that it can live.”

Chet Raymo, “Cuddle And Cudgel”

“Cuddle And Cudgel” 
by Chet Raymo

"Click on the image above to make it as big as you can on your screen. It's pretty, is it not? It is, in fact, an image of something invisibly small, so small and so beyond apprehension by the unaided senses that it can only be represented schematically, in his case as a TinkerToy construction of balls-and-sticks (upper right) and, more abstractly, as a multicolored ribbon (left).

What is it? The stick-and-ball construction is the "cuddle" hormone, oxytocin. 43 carbon atoms, 66 hydrogens, 12 nitrogens, 12 oxygens, and 2 sulfurs: the basic TinkerToy set of organic chemistry. It's all in the way they go together; it's all a matter of shape. The ribbon is the carrier protein neurophysin, that links with oxytocin and carries it from its source in the hypothalamus to receptors. Oxytocin mediates many responses, having to do with sexual arousal, lactation, mother-infant bonding, and so on. It is perhaps best known for promoting bonding between groups of individuals in many animals, including humans. Hence, "the cuddle hormone."

Research reported in an issue of "Science" (June 11, 2010) by Carsten De Dreu of the University of Amsterdam and colleagues confirmed that nasally administered oxytocin does indeed enhance altruism within parochial groups. More surprisingly, it also promoted defense mechanisms against those outside the group. Not just cuddle, but "tend and defend." The study, by the way, involved only male participants; it would be interesting to repeat with female subjects.

It is increasingly apparent that humans have evolved the biochemical basis- including oxytocin- for cooperative behavior within local groups, and for defensive and aggressive behavior toward those outside the group. Which raises the question: How much of what we read in the newspapers is mediated by biochemistry over which we have little or no conscious control? How do we achieve a world of universal harmony when we have hormones kicking around in our brains that had a head start of tens of millions of years? That is to say: How can we get the tend without the defend?”

The Daily "Near You?"

Renton, Washington, USA. Thanks for stopping by.

"The Mysterious Phenomenon of 'Shadow People'"

"The Mysterious Phenomenon of 'Shadow People'"
by Bernard Powell

"One of the most interesting and intriguing phenomena in the world of paranormal activity is that of the "Shadow People." Each and every week there seems to be more and more stories and reports involving these mysterious beings, and they certainly have become a hot topic and a subject of growing interest of research by investigators. Stories about these strange entities and their natures vary from harmless, quiet and shy observers to malevolent and downright nasty creatures of mal-intent. As with most things in the paranormal field, no one can say with any degree of certainty what these shadow beings are, but we will explore a few of the prevalent theories.

Shadow people have gained their nickname because they are most commonly observed or reported as having a human-like form. Unlike the typical descriptions of ghosts who are usually described as having human form with discernible characteristics such as physical features, clothing and accessories, shadow people are said to be feature-less. Generally, they are described as appearing to have mass, though their natures seem to vary from simple two-dimensional shadows, to distorted three-dimensional forms. Their movements are sometimes described as "unnatural" seeming to be very quick and disjointed. Sometimes they are said to move in slow motion, as if they were submerged in liquid, and then to suddenly move rapidly from one place to another within the room.

Again, some accounts differ even more widely and describe a completely black being with red eyes, a cloak, and a hat. This variation has become known as "the hat man". Many witnesses describe feeling a strong presence or a sense of being watched, many times they will get a glimpse of 'something dark' out of the corner of their eye, they turn to look in the direction of the presence only to see it disappear into thin air, or flee right through a wall. Sometimes they are reported as being childlike and playing games with witnesses. These seem to be curious and are also almost always seen through peripheral vision, when the witness turns to see them, rather than disappear through a wall or into thin air; they usually flee in a particular direction. Once while visiting my house, my sister reported chasing a small child around from room to room. Many times people interpret the presence of shadow people as being ominous and equate experiences with shadow beings with feelings of dread, ill intent and pure evil. Sometimes these shadow beings seem to be curious about the people who are seeing them.

Theories surrounding the nature and origin of shadow people abound. Some believe that they are inter-dimensional beings which exist in a universe parallel to our own. Others suggest that they are demonic entities, or are observers from another place, some even suggest that they may be thought forms unconsciously created by negative psychic energy and related to a place or event in which extreme emotional or physical stress/trauma has taken place.

It is extremely hard not to notice the subconscious symbolism implied by these manifestations. In Jungian Psychology and Philosophy the shadow is associated with the hidden aspects of the conscious mind; it is an archetype of the secret, repressed area of human nature and behavior, perhaps that is why feelings of fear and malevolence often accompany interaction with these beings. Possible Scientific Explanations:

Hypnogogia: Some of the conditions reported in shadow people experiences are similar to occurrences in episodes of sleep paralysis. Often times witnesses to shadow people have reported that the experiences occur just before falling asleep, or just after waking. Many times victims are in bed and report being 'held down' during visitations. Physiologically, this could be the result of a condition called hypnagogic paralysis. The body naturally goes through a state of paralysis during REM sleep in order to keep us from acting out our dreams physically. A temporary and unsettling paralysis can occur when we are suddenly awakened from an REM state into an awake state, but the bodily paralysis is still occurring. This causes the person to be fully aware, but unable to move. In addition, in this state the person is able to consciously perceive images from their subconscious mind. These hallucinations can be very real and can include some, or all sensory perceptions; the individual can experience taste, smell, auditory, tactile, and/or visual phenomena. Hypnogogia is sometimes known as 'the faces in the dark phenomenon' because sufferers commonly report seeing faces while experiencing waking-sleep. Similar hypotheses have been put forward linking this condition to a number of other apparent paranormal experiences, including alien abductions.

Pareidolia: In most instances, witnesses report seeing shadow people through their peripheral vision. This area of vision is linked to the area of the brain that is hard-wired to find familiar patterns, while providing less detail to the brain than center-forward vision does. This can lead to a condition known as pareidolia, in which the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns of light/shadow or texture as being familiar patterns such as faces and human/animal forms such as seeing familiar forms in clouds. This pheonomenon is known as 'matrixing' by many paranormal investigators.

Electromagnetic Fields: Recently, it has been found that electro-magnetic fields can interfere with the functions of the temporal lobe; creating altered states of perception in which auditory and visual hallucinations can occur. In recent studies researches have been able to recreate many of the experiences reported during paranormal encounters or hauntings under controlled conditions. Researchers have also documented correlations between naturally-occurring magnetic fields and areas where paranormal events have been reported.

As I said in the opening of this article, there is no way to definitively explain any reported occurrences in the paranormal field- yet. However, if we are ever to get to the root of these matters, and be able to one day discover what the nature of these experiences are, it is important for us to keep records of personal experiences and for those who are experiencing these things to come forward, so that we can have these stories to contrast against findings in the field. As for the shadow people, maybe they are a figment of our imaginations, maybe they are something more... maybe they are the Gatekeepers, at The Crossroads."
- http://www.sott.net/
Additional information: http://paranormal.about.com/

"Are You Feeling Stressed Out?"

"Are You Feeling Stressed Out?"
by Jonathan

"Have you got endless demands tugging at you from all directions? Does your life seem to be spinning out of control? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out when you can’t ever seem to catch up. Do you think bringing your life into balance would require a major life change? It may not be as difficult as what you imagine. Did you realize that, regardless of your circumstances, a true sense of balance actually comes from within you, not from your surroundings?

3 Ways to reduce feelings of stress: Here are three simple strategies to help you reduce feelings of stress by building a greater sense of inner peace and harmony.

1) Make some time for you. One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we are busy is our personal time. Instead, we devote all of our energy and attention to being productive and taking care of those never-ending demands. Over time this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities. This feeling of being weighed down increases our perceived level of stress. To create a greater sense of balance, having some quiet time to your self is essential. You may be thinking: “I don’t have any time available for that,” but something amazing happens when you regularly make some personal time; you find yourself feeling happier and more energetic, your focus improves – and you still get plenty done! Just a few minutes spent doing something that you truly enjoy can help restore your inner sense of peace and happiness.

2) Look after your personal well being. Beyond making time for things you enjoy, there are many other practical ways to balance your life on a daily basis. Getting enough sleep so you actually feel rested is a great start. Replacing fast food with nutritious food and getting some form of daily exercise will make a huge difference. Have you ever noticed that when you’re really tired or stressed, even the smallest problem can seem like a nightmare? On the other hand, when you’re feeling well rested and centered, you’re much better able to handle those little ups and downs. Caring for your physical needs is one sure way to consistently replenish your energy and emotional resource levels. This means that you’ll have the strength, patience, and stamina to handle daily challenges without getting stressed out.

3) Give yourself some leeway. Did you know that one of the biggest causes of stress is rigid expectations? We all do it from time to time; get a mental picture of how our lives “should be” – and get really annoyed when our outer circumstances don’t cooperate! One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is a flexible state of mind. In other words, learn how to detach from unrealistic expectations and go with the flow. When you have a flexible mindset, you’re able to deal with problems much more effectively because you’re not working against a preconceived notion of how things “should be”. You’re able to tap into your creative problem solving skills and move through challenges without all the drama and frustration. So cut yourself some slack instead of stressing over every detail.

Changing our perspective is a good start: We see that a few minor changes in perspective can dramatically reduce our stress levels and raise our sense of well being and balance, but that’s not the whole solution. Now that you’re feeling more resourceful, you may also want to examine your external circumstances and see if there are some small adjustments you can make to help support your new, more balanced mindset.

Are there ways that you can tweak your schedule or reduce the complexity of your daily routine? Are you caught in multitasking mindset? Have you over committed your time and resources? These are all possible sources of external stress that you might want to examine now that you’ve cleared away some of the internal sources. As is true for most things, balance is the key to overcoming stress and finding greater joy in your day to day life."

“Anxiety About Change: Anticipating the Good”

“Anxiety About Change: Anticipating the Good”
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

“Change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to embrace it while releasing the past with grace. When we find ourselves going through any kind of change in our lives, our natural response may be to tense up on the physical, mental, or emotional level. We may not even notice that we have braced ourselves against a shift until we recognize the anxiety, mood swings, or general worried feeling toward the unknown that usually results. There are positive ways to move through change without pushing it away, however, or attempting to deny that it is happening. Since change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to make our response to it an affirmative one of anticipation, welcoming the new while releasing the past with grace.

One thing we can do is change our perspective by changing the labels we use to identify our feelings. We can reinterpret feelings of anxiety as the anxious butterflies that come with eager expectation. With this shift, we begin to look for the good that is on its way to us. Though we may only be able to imagine the possibilities, when we acknowledge that good is there for us to find, we focus our energy on joyful anticipation and bring it into our experience while allowing the feelings to carry us forward.

We can also choose to do a ceremony to allow our emotions to process. Every culture has created ceremonies to help people make the transition from one phase of life to the next. We can always create a ceremony too, perhaps by burning written thoughts to watch the smoke carry them away, thereby releasing them, or we can welcome new endeavors by planting flowers or trees. Some ceremonial activities such as a farewell send-off or housewarming party, we may do automatically. Society also has built-in ceremonies, like graduation and weddings, which may satisfy the need we feel. Sometimes the shift from denial to acceptance is all that is needed to ease our anxiety, allowing us to bring our memories with us as we move through nervousness to joyful excitement about the good to come.”

"How It Really Is"

"Politics is the best show in America. I love animals and I love politicians, and I like to watch both of 'em at play, either back home in their native state, or after they've been captured and sent to a zoo, or to Washington." 
- Will Rogers

“Breakfast with a Lord of War and Nuclear Weapons”

“Breakfast with a Lord of War and Nuclear Weapons”
By David Galland

“For reasons that will become apparent as you read the following article, I was quite reluctant to write it.Yet, in the end, I decided to do so for a couple of reasons. The first is that it ties into Marin Katusa’s best-selling new book, “The Colder War,” which I read cover to cover over two days and can recommend warmly and without hesitation. I know that Casey Research has been promoting the book aggressively (in my view, a bit too aggressively), but I exaggerate not at all when I tell you that the book sucked me in from the very beginning and kept me reading right to the end.

The second reason, however, is that I have a story to tell. It’s a true story and one, I believe, which needs to be told. It has to do with a breakfast I had four years ago with a Lord of War.
With that introduction, we begin.

Breakfast with a Lord of War: In late 2010, I was invited to a private breakfast meeting with an individual near the apex of the US military’s strategic planning pyramid. Specifically, the individual we were to breakfast with sits at the side of the long-serving head of the department in the Pentagon responsible for identifying and assessing potential threats to national security and devising long-term strategies to counter those threats. The ground rules for the discussion—that certain topics were off limits—were set right up front. Yet, as we warmed up to each other over the course of our meal, the conversation went into directions even I couldn’t have anticipated.

In an earlier mention of this meeting in a Casey Daily Dispatch, I steered clear of much of what was discussed because frankly, it made me nervous. With the passage of time and upon reflection that it was up to my breakfast companion, who spends long days cloaked in secrecy, to know what is allowed in daylight, I have decided to share the entire story. During our discussion, there were four key revelations, each a bit scarier than the last.

Four Key Revelations: Once we had bonded a bit, the military officer, dressed in his civvies for the meeting, began opening up. As I didn’t record the discussion, the dialogue that follows can only be an approximation. That said, I assure you it is accurate in all the important aspects.

“Which country or countries most concern you?” I asked, not sure if I would get an answer. “China?”

“Well, I’m not going to say too much, but it’s not China. Our analysis tells us the country is too fractured to be a threat. Too many different ethnic and religious groups and competing political factions. So no, it’s not China. Russia, on the other hand…” He left it at that, though Russia would come up again in our conversation on several occasions.

As breakfast was served, the conversation meandered here and there before he volunteered, “There are a couple of things I can discuss that we are working on, one of which won’t surprise you, and one that will.” “The first is precision-guided weaponry.” Simply, the airplane and drone-launched weaponry that is deployed so frequently today, four years after our breakfast conversation, that it now barely rates a back-page mention. “The second,” he continued,” will surprise you. It’s nuclear armaments.”

“Really? I can’t imagine the US would ever consider using nuclear weapons again. Seriously?”

“Yes, there could be instances when using nukes might be advisable,” he answered. “For example, no one would argue that dropping atomic bombs on Japan had been a bad thing.” (I, for one, could have made that argument, but in the interest of harmony didn’t.)

“Even so, I can’t imagine a scenario that would warrant using nukes,” I persisted. “Are there any other countries doing the same sort of research?”

“Absolutely. For example, the Russians would love to drop a bomb that wiped out the people of Chechnya but left the infrastructure intact.”

“So, neutron bombs?”

“Yeah, stuff like that,” he added before turning back to his coffee.

“Okay, well,” I continued, “you at least have to admit that, unlike last century when hundreds of millions of people died directly or indirectly in world wars, pogroms, and so forth—most related to governments—the human race has evolved to the point where death on that scale is a thing of the past. Right?”

I kid you not in the slightest, but at this question the handsome, friendly countenance I had been sitting across from morphed as if literally a mask had been lifted away and was replaced with the emotionless face of a Lord of War.

“That would be a very poor assumption,” he answered coldly before the mask went back on.

I recall a number of thoughts and emotions coursing through my brain at his reply, most prevalently relief that I had moved with my family to La Estancia de Cafayate in a remote corner of Argentina. We didn’t move there to escape war, but after this conversation, I added that to my short list of reasons why the move had been a good idea.

Recapping the conversation later, my associate and I concurred that Russia was in the crosshairs and that if push came to shove, the US was fully prepared to use the new nuclear weapons being worked on.

Four Years Later: As I write, four years after that conversation, it’s worth revisiting just what has transpired. First, as mentioned, the use of precision-guided weaponry has now firmly entered the vernacular of US warmaking. Point of fact: there are now more pilots being trained to fly drones than airplanes. And the technology has reached the point where there is literally no corner on earth where a strategic hit couldn’t be made. Even more concerning, the political and legal framework that previously caused hesitation before striking against citizens of other countries (outside of an active war zone) has largely been erased. Today Pakistan, tomorrow the world?

Second, instead of winding back the US nuclear program—a firm plank in President Obama’s campaign platform—the Nobel Prize winner and his team have indeed been ramping up and modernizing the US nuclear arsenal. The following is an excerpt from a September 21, 2014 article in the New York Times, titled “U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms”

"KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sprawling new plant here in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the aging weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines. It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars."

Third, the events unfolding in Ukraine, where the US was caught red-handed engineering the regime change that destabilized the country and forced Russia to act, show a clear intent to set the world against Putin’s Russia and in time, neutralize Russia as a strategic threat.

So the only revelation from my breakfast four years ago remaining to be confirmed is for the next big war to envelope the world. Per the events in Ukraine, the foundations of that war have likely already been set. Before I get to that, however, a quick but relevant detour is required.

The Nature of Complex Systems


Last week the semiannual Owner’s & Guests event took place here at La Estancia de Cafayate. As part of the weeklong gathering, a conference was held featuring residents speaking on topics they are experts on. Among those residents is a nuclear-energy engineer who spoke on the fragility of the US power grid, the most complex energy transmission system in the world. He went into great detail about the “defense-in-depth” controls, backups, and overrides built into the system to ensure the grid won’t—in fact, can’t—fail. Yet periodically, it still does.

How? First and foremost, the engineer explained, there is a fundamental principle that holds that the more complex a system is, the more likely it is to fail. As a consequence, despite thousands of very bright people armed with massive budgets and a clear mandate to keep the transmission lines humming, there is essentially nothing they can do to actually prevent some unforeseen, and unforeseeable, event from taking the whole complex system down.

Case in point: in 2003 one of the largest power outages in history occurred. 508 large power generators were knocked out, leaving 55 million people in North America without power for upward of 24 hours. The cause? A software defect in an alarm system in an Ohio control center.

I mention this in the context of this article because, as complex as the US power grid is, it is nothing compared to the complexities involved with long-term military strategic planning. This complexity is the result of many factors, including:

• The challenges of identifying potential adversaries and threats many years, even a decade or more, into the future.
• New and evolving technologies. It is a truism that the military is always fighting the last war: by the time the military machine spins up to build and deploy a new technology, it is often already obsolete.
• The entrenched bureaucracies, headed by mere mortals with strong biases. Today’s friend is tomorrow’s enemy and vice versa.
• The unsteady influences of a political class always quick to react with policy shifts to the latest dire news or purported outrage.
• The media, a constant source of hysteria-making headlines masquerading as news. And let’s not overlook the media’s role as active agents of the entrenched bureaucratic interests. In one now largely forgotten case, Operation Mockingbird, the CIA actually infiltrated the major US media outlets, specifically to influence public opinion.

All you need to do to understand the bureaucratic agenda is to take a casual glance at the “news” about current events such as those transpiring in the Ukraine.

And, most important, human nature. We humans are the ultimate complex system, prone to a literally infinite number of strong opinions, exaggerated fears, mental illnesses, passions, vices, self-destructive tendencies, and stupidity on a biblical scale. The point is that the average person assumes the powers-that-be actually know what they are doing and would never lead us into disaster, but quoting my breakfast companion, that would be a very poor assumption. Simply, while mass war on the level of the wholesale slaughter commonplace in the last century is unimaginable to most in the modern context, it is never more than the equivalent of a faulty alarm system away from occurring.

Those history buffs among you will confirm that up until about a week before World War I began, virtually no one in the public, the press, the political class, or even the military had any idea the shooting was about to start. And 99.9% of the people then living had no idea the war was about to begin until after the first shot was fired.

Back to the Present: It is a rare moment in one’s life when the bureaucratic curtain falls away long enough to reveal something approximating "The Truth." In my opinion, that’s what I observed over breakfast four years ago. That, right or wrong, the proactive military strategy of the US had been turned toward Russia. Knowing that and no more, one can only guess what actual measures have been planned and set into motion to defang the Russian bear.

Based on the evidence, however, the events in Ukraine appear to be a bold chess move on the bigger board… and to be fair, a pretty damn effective move at that. The problem for the US and its allies is that on the other side of the table is one Vladimir Putin, self-made man, black-belt judo master, and former KGB spy master. And that’s just scratching the surface of this complicated and determined individual. One thing is for sure: if you had to pick your adversary in a global geopolitical contest, you’d probably pick him dead last.

Which brings me to a quick mention of "The Colder War," Marin’s book, which was released yesterday. I mentioned earlier that the book had sucked me in and kept me in pretty much straight through until I finished. One reason is that while you can tell Marin has a great deal of respect for Putin’s capabilities and strategic thinking, he doesn’t shy away from revealing the judo master’s dark side. As you will read (and find quoting to your friends, as I have), it is a very dark side. But the story is so much bigger than that, and Marin does a very good job of explaining the increasingly hostile competition between the US and Russia and the seismic economic consequences that will affect us all as the “Colder War” heats up.

Before signing off for now, I want to add that it is not Marin’s contention that the Colder War will devolve into an actual shooting war. In my view, however, due to the complexities discussed above, you can’t dismiss a military confrontation, even one involving nukes. Every complex system ultimately fails, and the more the US pushes in on Putin’s Russia, the more likely such a failure is to occur. I recommend Marin’s book, "The Colder War;" here is the link. We’ll leave the lights on down here in Cafayate."

"In Defense of Obamacare's Jonathan Gruber"

"In Defense of Obamacare's Jonathan Gruber"
by Bill Bonner

"US stocks hit new highs last week. Gold fell back below the $1,200-an-ounce mark... and MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber came dangerously close to committing truth. The ancient Egyptians believed Pharaoh was divine. They called him a god. That gave him the right to tell people what to do. This belief persisted in ancient Rome. The Romans referred to the first Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, as Divi Filius – "Son of the Divine." Later, the emperor Caligula declared himself a god. (After announcing he would leave Rome to live in Alexandria to be worshipped as a god, his guardsmen assassinated him.) 

And in Britain up until the Revolution of 1688, and in France up until its revolution a century later, people believed their king was divinely appointed. He wasn't a god. But God had given him the divine right to tell others what to do.*

Now people believe that God has nothing to do with it. Voters elect their leaders, who do what the public wants them to do. 

Popular Myths: All of these descriptions of government are popular myths. Diary readers will recognize a drop of fresh water in the murky puddle of political fantasy in the recent remarks of Mr. Gruber who, as a consultant, helped put together the Obamacare bill: "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting this thing to pass. If you have a law that makes explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it wouldn't have passed."

Poor Gruber is getting little support or appreciation. Instead of being thanked for helping us understand how the system really works, he is being assailed from right and left. To the right, he is a slick political operative, deceiving the public to get what he wants. To the left, he is a dumbbell and a traitor, who has revealed a few too many unsavory ingredients in the Democrats' sausages. 

What can we do but rise in defense of Gruber, as we do with all underdogs, diehards and mental defectives? He is wrong about the stupidity of the American people. The typical voter is no dumber than the typical person he votes for. Voters have better things to do than to study the rampant folderol of the legislative process. It would be time wasted, anyway, because he can do nothing about it. Besides, he is just doing what he should do: playing his role in the fantasy.

A More Corrupt World: French king Louis XIV reportedly believed God gave him his job assignment. The king was supposed to rule; the population of France was supposed to submit to his rule. Each had a role to play. Likewise in today's America, the elite who control the workings of the government are supposed to pretend they are acting on behalf of the voters. Voters are supposed to believe it. Voters could perfectly well understand what is going on if they invested the time and energy to look at it closely. But what would be the point? 

The system depends on the cooperation of the conniving Grubers as well as the "stupid" goobers. Both must work together to make a more corrupt world. USA Today helped elucidate the mechanics of the fantasy in an article on "dark money" last week. 

Big Pharma sets up "advocacy groups" that pretend to be genuine public interest outfits, but whose real purpose is to push drugs. The nuclear power industry operates a "Clean and Safe Energy Coalition." It sounds like a citizens' lobby; in reality it is an extension of the industry's lobbying efforts. And the Center for Consumer Freedom is a front for the junk-food industry, says USA Today. 

The newspaper doesn't seem to like "dark money." It wants the elite to do something to stop it. Why? Like an alarm at 5 a.m., it disturbs the dream.”
The Divine Right of Kings, indeed... lol

"A Look To The Universe"

Knowledge In It's Purest Form, “The Detailed Universe”
Please do watch this in full screen mode.

“One Day at a Time: Stepping Stones”

“One Day at a Time: Stepping Stones”
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM

“Taking one step at a time makes life much easier to navigate rather than always looking at the big picture. The years of our life do not arrive all at once; they greet us day by day. With the descent of each setting sun, we are able to rest our heads and let the world take care of itself for a while. We may rest assured throughout the night, knowing that the dawn will bring with it a chance to meet our lives anew, donning fresh perspectives and dream-inspired hopes. The hours that follow, before we return to sleep once more, are for us to decide how we want to live and learn, laugh and grow. Our lives are sweeter and more manageable because we must experience them this way: one day at a time.

Imagine the future stretching out before you and try to notice if you feel any tension or overwhelm at the prospect of the journey still to come. Perhaps you have recently made a lifestyle change, like beginning a new diet or quitting smoking, and the idea of continuing this healthy new behavior for years seems daunting. Maybe you have started a new job or are newly married and can feel an undercurrent of anxiety about your ability to succeed. If you can shift your focus from what may happen years down the line and return it to the day that is before you right now, you may find a measure of calm and renewed confidence in your capabilities. You may also discover an inner faith that the future will take care of itself.

The way we show up for our lives today and tomorrow has an enormous affect on who we will be and what we will be experiencing years from now. If we can remain fully engaged in the day at hand, enjoying all it has to offer and putting our energy into making the most of it, we will find that we are perfectly ready and capable to handle any future when it arrives.”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fukushima: "All You Really Don't Want To Know"

“Fukushima Equals 6,000 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow;
There is No Place On Earth to Escape the Rad” 
by Bob Nichols, “Veterans Today”

“My opinion only, as requested by Alfred Webre, Dec 28, 2013, 1,024 Days from Mar 11, 2011.

First thing, grasp the difficult concept that this is an ELE or Extinction Level Event. There is no escaping our fate, there are no solutions. 

We can extend our lives somewhat, though. These steps are personal. People can do them or not. You will die quicker, or later, your choice.
1. Take off your shoes and outer ware (coats) when you enter your place.
2. Stay under a protective Roof as much as possible.
3. Filter your water. 
Bonus: Eat foods as low on the food chain as possible that are thought to be less radioactive and eat electrically negatively charged foods each day.

Several people who have heard about Fukushima since the early days are puzzled that so many are “still alive”. Others, in addition to the psychopaths who apparently believe themselves to be immune from radiation poisoning, are those of the EXTEND AND PRETEND strongholds of delusions and galactic thought, along with the ‘end of times’ crowd expecting clouds to part and higher beings to ride in and ‘save us’.” You are going to have to make your own choices. You will live a little longer, or, die sooner by these choices, as will I. No one is exempt. The radioactive particles are all over the world now.

What’s next?  Friends, virtual and non-virtually, have said and asked things like: 

Question: In basic math terms, in comparison to Hiroshima, how much worse is Fukushima and why?”
Answer: Fukushima, now, equals the detonation of 5,910.11 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs or it’s about 6,000 Times worse than the A-Bombing of Japan; and, it is still going strong, with no end in sight. That is equal to 6.45 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs a Day for 916 Days. There are only 336 cities on Earth with more than One Million people. That is the equivalent of 17.5 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs apiece.

Question: In basic math terms, in comparison to Nagasaki, how much worse is Fukushima and why?
Answer: The Nagasaki Bomb was slightly larger; therefore Fukushima equals slightly fewer Nagasaki  Bombs. However, at this point, it makes no difference.

Question:  In basic math terms, in comparison to Chernobyl, how much worse is Fukushima and why?
Answer: At 916 days of growth Fukushima is 14.75 Times bigger than the Chernobyl atomic disaster in 1986. The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) stated: “The accident at Chernobyl was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima…” Fukushima so far is 14.75 Times worse than Chernobyl and growing.

Question: In basic non-scientific language, what causes this to be an ELE, Extinction Level Event, and is there any shot at it being reversible?
Answer: Throughout the time humans lived on Earth, humanity has never experienced radiation this high. The radiation and its associated Lethality is very high and will kill everybody. The Radiation’s Lethality will last well past the end of every one’s lifetime. No, there is no shot at reversing the effects and every human on Earth is included.

Question: How long before we are tripping and stumbling over dead-dying bodies?
Answer: In a sense we already are. Human fetuses are the first to die and are typically cremated at the hospital. We just don’t see them. Women, children, already sick people and the elderly infirm are next. Middle aged men are last.

Question: Anything you recommend to lengthen ‘shortened-life spans’?
Answer: No.

Question: Any resources you would direct interested people to?
Answer: No.

Question:  What other questions must be asked when confronted with an Extinction Level Event, and why have any hope whatsoever?”
Answer: Ask what is the published lethality of all of the released isotopes and do not let the Empire paid trolls fool you by using radioactivity numbers; it is the LETHALITY that counts. When you find the numbers for the two Cesium Twins multiply by 14 for the total radiation in a single release from an active reactor core. Multiply the combined Cesium137/134 radioactivity numbers by 5 for the total radioactivity in a single release for old fuel rods. Those will give you a rough idea of the radiation released for that instance. As for “hope,” that is fine, knock yourself out."
Sources and Notes:
1. AIPRI, Thursday, September 5, 2013, “The Bitter Waters of Fukushima Daiichi, by Dr Paolo Scampa, Physicist. AIPI was founded in 1993. The bitter waters of Fukushima-Daiichi. (II)
This is a simple theoretical calculation based on two public data sets 1) 300 m3  groundwater have passed through the Fukushima to leak at sea every day for two and a half years, the other, 2) according to information provided by Kurion that water from the plant is loaded with Cs-137  up to 2 million Bq per milliliter. The product of these two factors gives chills…” http://aipri.blogspot.com/  
2. “Frequently Asked Chernobyl Questions,” Copyright©, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna International Centre, “The accident at Chernobyl was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima,” http://www.iaea.org/
“It’s even worse that CNN has reported, a horrific equivalent of radiation equal to 10 Hiroshima’s an hour 24/7 has been pumped into seas for since 3.11.13. That’s equal to about 8,700 Hiroshima’s. Is it any wonder our world is dying? What the Fukushima?!”

“West Coast Residents: Dead Men Walking From Fukushima Radiation”

“2014 Fukushima Radiation Fallout Review:
Fukushima Global Radiation Crisis, USA Radiation Fallout"

Helen Caldicott, MD, “The Horrible Truth About Fukushima”

“Radioactive Water From Fukushima Is Systematically Poisoning The Entire Pacific Ocean”

Dr. Steven Starr, “Fukushima: Cesium-137”
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDgnBqBJZNc

“If any man is able to show me and prove to me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change, for I seek the truth, by which no man was ever injured. It is only persistence in self delusion and ignorance that does harm.” - Marcus Aurelius