“Sprawling across almost 200 light-years, emission nebula IC 1805 is a mix of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds. Derived from its Valentine's-Day-approved shape, its nickname is the Heart Nebula.
Click image for larger size.
About 7,500 light-years away in the Perseus spiral arm of our galaxy, stars were born in IC 1805. In fact, near the cosmic heart's center are the massive hot stars of a newborn star cluster also known as Melotte 15, about 1.5 million years young. A little ironically, the Heart Nebula is located in the constellation Cassiopeia. From Greek mythology, the northern constellation is named for a vain and boastful queen. This deep view of the region around the Heart Nebula, cropped from a larger mosaic, spans about 2.5 degrees on the sky or about 5 times the diameter of the Full Moon.”
Rule One: You will receive a body. You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.
Rule Two: You will be presented with lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called 'life.' Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.
Rule Three: There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors, and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that work.
Rule Four: A lesson is repeated until learned. Lessons will be repeated to you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can then go on to the next lesson.
Rule Five: Learning does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
Rule Six: 'There' is no better than 'here'. When your 'there' has become a 'here,' you will simply obtain a 'there' that will look better to you than your present 'here'.
Rule Seven: Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
Rule Eight: What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you.
Rule Nine: Your answers lie inside of you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
Rule Ten: You will forget all of this at birth. You can remember it if you want by unravelling the double helix of inner knowing.
"When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb tonight.
The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.
You must learn one thing: the world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness
to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you."
"We all have our cherished theories about everything from famous quips to favorite cures, not to mention history. But the facts tell a different story. Did showman P. T. Barnum really say, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”?
No, he didn’t. Here’s how we fell for this misconception, according to the Barnum Museum: In 1868, a man named George Hull, of Binghamton, New York, arranged for a slab of gypsum to be carved in the shape of a huge human being, then had it treated to resemble an ossified corpse and buried it on a farm near Cardiff, New York. About a year later, the artifact was “discovered” when the owner of the farm engaged some friends to help dig a well. Newspapers everywhere picked up the story of the “Cardiff Giant,” and soon thousands of the curious were paying 50 cents apiece to view it. Hull sold part ownership to a group of investors led by a man named Hannum, who moved the giant to Syracuse and doubled the admission fee.
Barnum made an offer to buy the giant but was turned down. Not to be outdone, he had a duplicate giant carved, which he exhibited, claiming Hannum had sold the original to him and had replaced it with a fake. Newspapers picked up Barnum’s version, and the crowds started coming to see his giant. It was then that Hannum- not Barnum- was quoted as saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” assuming his giant was real and the thousands paying to see Barnum’s fake were being ripped off. Hannum sued Barnum for calling his giant a fake. In court, the original hoax was revealed, and the judge ruled for Barnum, finding that Hull’s Cardiff Giant was a fake and Barnum was thus not guilty of anything. Hannum and Hull have long since been forgotten, but the “sucker” quote has stuck to Barnum- who was nobody’s fool."
"Something I’ve become very aware of recently is how often I say or think “I have to” or “I need to” when, actually, I don’t. You probably do this too. Almost everyone does. I’m thinking of things like:
I have to clean the kitchen this weekend. I need to phone my mother. I have to try a bit of that cake. I need to lose weight.
In almost every case, it’s just not an accurate way to describe the situation. In particular, any time you start feeling that you have to or need to do something because it’s what society (/your friends/your dad/etc) expects, then it’s time to pause for thought. The truth is, there aren’t many things which we truly need to do. And if you’re want a life which is meaningful and fulfilling to you, then it’s better to focus on what you want to do.
We Don’t Need To Do Much: There are also sorts of things which we might feel we just have to do. Perhaps everyone we know does the same. Perhaps we’ve been taught from an early age that we “should” do certain things. I’d encourage you to pause a moment and think about anything where you feel you need to do something (even if you secretly hate having to). Maybe it’s visiting particular relatives. Maybe it’s your job. Or your degree. Or ironing. Or going out for a drink on Friday nights. The truth is, we need to do very little in order to survive. We need food, water and shelter, and (arguably) some level of social contact. All around the world, people live in vastly different cultures. And even within your city, within your street, people may be living very different lives from you.
Legal Requirements: Do we need to obey the law (as in “I need to wear a seatbelt”)? In the strict sense of “need”, we don’t, but I’d guess the consequences are such that most of us want to. Plus, you may well hold values which include not breaking the law– even laws which you personally may disagree with. Which leads me on to…
Do You Want To? I think that asking ourselves what we want to do is incredibly useful– and it surprises me how easy it is to ignore or brush off this question. Maybe you feel that what you want doesn’t matter… because society (or family, friends, etc) expect a certain set of behaviours from you, and you’re obliged to stick with those. In most cases where we grudgingly feel we “need” to do something, it’s because different wants are conflicting. Perhaps:
You want to be a dutiful son/daughter and visit your parents regularly, but you also want to have your weekends to yourself. You want to eat dessert every day but you also want to lose 50lbs. You want to have a great time shopping but you also want to save for the future. You want to pay the mortgage but you also want to quit your job.
It’s tough when different wants conflict. Sometimes you might need to balance short-term pleasure with long-term fulfilment (like with dieting or getting out of debt). Sometimes you need to simply accept that there is a conflict there: perhaps you find visiting Aunty Agatha every month really boring, but the value which you place on family means you want to carry on doing so out of a sense of duty.
There might not be a perfect solution. But getting honest with yourself– about what you want to do, and why you want to– is a good start to working through a problem. It can also help you accept a particular situation in your life, rather than feeling anxious or angry about it.
What’s Important to You? Whatever you do with your life, there’ll be someone who heartily disagrees with you. If you make unusual choices, in the pursuit of your own meaning and purpose, then you’ll almost certainly get some criticism. But even if you try to live a blameless life, doing all the things which you feel you “should” do, you’ll find that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again. You get to live your life. No-one else has to. So what if someone doesn’t like your pink Mohawk? It’s your hair. So what if you want to read 18th century novels or knit or play the saxophone or read web comics? It’s your time. And so what if you decide to paint all your walls bright red? It’s your house. You get the picture. Other people’s comments and disapproval can be really hard to shrug off– I find this very tough myself. But ultimately, you’ve got to decide what matters to you, and build your life around what you really want to do.
This isn’t about pursing a hedonistic lifestyle. This is about figuring out the reasons behind something. Maybe you want to go to work because you enjoy having a regular paycheck. Maybe you want to lose weight because you’d love to be able to run around with your kids. And so on. Over the next few days, pay attention to any time you find yourself saying “I need to…” or “I have to…” or “I should…” and ask yourself Do I want to?"
"A vacationing businessman was walking along a beach when he saw a young boy. Along the shore were many starfish that had been washed up by the tide and were sure to die before the tide returned. The boy was walking slowly along the shore and occasionally reached down and tossed the beached starfish back into the ocean.
The businessman, hoping to teach the boy a little lesson in common sense, walked up to the boy and said, “I have been watching what you are doing, son. You have a good heart, and I know you mean well, but do you realize how many beaches there are around here and how many starfish are dying on every beach every day. Surely such an industrious and kind hearted boy such as yourself could find something better to do with your time. Do you really think that what you are doing is going to make a difference?”
The boy looked up at the man, and then he looked down at a starfish by his feet. He picked up the starfish, and as he gently tossed it back into the ocean, he said, “It makes a difference to that one.”
"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything
would appear to man as it is, infinite."
- William Blake
"I have just finished reading Brian Greene's new book, “The Fabric of the Cosmos”. As with his earlier book, “The Elegant Universe”, he does a damn good job explaining the almost unexplainable - string theory, braneworlds, multiple universes, and all that. None of this stuff has an empirical basis, and is not likely to for the foreseeable future. So does it qualify as science? Well, yes, barely. Because in principle at least experiments are possible. We should value the wild speculations of the theoretical cosmologists precisely because they are pushing the limits of what is imaginable.
We live in an imagined world. Some parts of that imagined world are so tightly bound to sense perceptions that we call them "real." The chair I'm sitting in is real. Atoms are real. The common ancestry of humans and raccoons is real. Strings and branes and multiple universes are not yet real, but they spring from the same storytelling tradition. Democritus and Lucretius told stories of atoms long before atoms were real.
It is ever for us as it was for the singer in a famous poem by Wallace Stevens:
"Even if what she sang was what she heard...
there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang, and singing made."
So, what is the real? My own views on the matter were given shape when I was young by the poet Wallace Stevens. More influential was a book I read as a graduate student, the physicist-philosopher Henry Margenau's "The Nature of Physical Reality" (1950). Margenau uses a simple diagram to illustrate the conceptual maps we make of the world. Down the middle of the page he draws a vertical line that he calls the "perception plane." It is the locus of our immediate sensations of the world - sights, tastes, odors, touches, sounds - the interface between the world as it is and the world as we know it. To the left of the line is the world "out there," which we know only through the windows of our senses. To the right of the line Margenau draws circles representing "constructs" - names, descriptions, or ideas we invent to make sense of our perceptions. The more abstract the construct, the farther the circle from the line.
Immediately adjacent to the perception plane are constructs that correspond to direct sensations: "blue," "bitter," "pungent," "brittle," "shrill." The construct "dragonfly" is a bit further from the perception plane, but not very far away. I feel a sensation on my finger ("tingle"), I see a color ("blue"), a quality of light ("iridescent"), a shape ("long and narrow"). I name this ensemble of sensations "dragonfly,"
As my experience of the world increases, the construct "dragonfly" becomes enmeshed in a web of other constructs at varying distances from the plane: "insecta," "Jurassic," "mitochondrial DNA," etc. Resilience and interconnectivity of the web are the defining characteristics of the real. "Atom" is bound to the perception plane by a dense and sturdy web of constructs. "Cosmic strings" and "branes" are way out there, far from the perception plane, dangling by a gossamer thread.
Perception and cognition are hugely complex processes, endlessly debated by psychologists, neurologists and philosophers. Margenau's simple schematic of connected constructs is itself only a construct, a useful way of describing the devilishly complex business of perception and cognition. The important thing is to realize that our ideas about the world are not the same as the world itself (a point often missed by true believers). Nevertheless, only the most obtuse idealist would hesitate to call "dragonflies" or "atoms" real."
"A Bridge to Acceptance: Dealing with Disappointment"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM
"The gift of disappointment is to bring us into reality so we don’t get stuck in the realm of how things might have been. Whenever we do something in life with an expectation of how we’d like it to turn out, we risk experiencing disappointment. When things don’t go the way we had envisioned, we may feel a range of emotions from slightly let down to depressed or even angry. We might direct our feelings inward toward ourselves, or outward toward other people or the universe in general. Whether we feel disappointed by ourselves, a friend, or life in general, disappointment is always a tough feeling to experience. Still, it is a natural part of life, and there are many ways of dealing with it when we find ourselves in its presence.
As with any feeling, disappointment has come to us for a reason, and we don’t need to fear acknowledging it or feeling it. The more we are able to accept how we are feeling and process it, the sooner we will move into new emotional territory. As we sit down to allow ourselves to feel our disappointment, we might want to write about the experience of being disappointed—the situation that preceded it, what we were hoping would happen, and what did happen. The gift of disappointment is its ability to bring us into alignment with reality so that we don’t get stuck for too long in the realm of how things might have been.
As we consider other disappointments in our life and how we have moved past them, we may even see that in some cases what happened was actually better in the long run than what we had wanted to happen. Disappointment often leaves us feeling deflated with its message that things don’t always turn out the way we want. The beauty of disappointment, though, is that it provides us a bridge to its other side where the acceptance of reality, wisdom, and the energy to begin again can be found."
When the blitzkrieg raged, and the bodies stank..."
– The Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for the Devil"
"Yesterday, Canada was the latest nation in Christendom to come under attack. At least that was the way the Wall Street Journal put it. "Terror in Ottawa," began the security industry's chief shill: "The Global War on Terror remains very much global. The war now being half-heartedly waged against ISIS and other jihadist groups is not some faraway struggle, but part of a war also being waged on Western streets."
We will return to the battle on Western streets in a moment, but first let us talk about the battle on Wall Street...
Mr. Fed vs. Mr. Market: It is a battle between the Fed and the market. The Fed wants stock prices high and going higher. We don't know what Mr. Market wants. He will declare himself in good time. But we have had the weakest economic expansion on record. From 1791 to 1999, US economic growth averaged 3.9% a year. In the first half of this year, the economy has grown at an annual rate of only 1.2% – not even one-third of the average. And the typical household – the foundation upon which the edifice of a modern consumer economy rests – has less income today than in 1997.
How could that possibly power higher the roughly half of S&P 500 revenues that come from America? And last time we looked, growth in the rest of the world – where the other half of S&P 500 revenues come from – is slowing down, not speeding up. Why would the S&P 500 be near an all-time high? Where will new revenues, and new earnings – needed to justify higher share prices – come from? Hard to say... which is what makes us guess that Mr. Market... when he gets a chance... will kick the stool and leave investors hanging.
Comic Larceny: The trouble with the warmongers is they have no respect for war. And no appreciation of real fighting or real dying. From their comfy desks at the Wall Street Journal, or their cushy posts at the Project for a New American Century, they have no experience of real fighting... and no imagination. They've never seen a man blown to pieces... or had a frostbitten foot removed, without anesthesia, by a field hospital surgeon with a dull knife.
War is hardly a noble undertaking, but it is at least an honest one. People fight – usually over trivial stakes – and die. It is what it is. But today's military boosters degrade war into nothing more than comic larceny. The poor grunts are sent on fool's errands for the sake of money, status and a clownish power that only an oaf could appreciate.
Too bad they couldn't have been in Atlanta when William T. Sherman showed up, almost exactly 150 years ago. He had 34,000 troops under his command. General John B. Hood, of the Confederate States of America, had 40,000 ill-equipped and underfed soldiers in the Army of Tennessee. They were no match for Sherman. And when the battle was over, one in eight of the rebels was lying dead and Atlanta was burned to the ground. That was real war. Something real was at stake too: the sovereignty and independence of the Confederacy. And in Sherman's words, it was hell.
Or maybe a little time travel could put their fat derrieres where war raged, in Leningrad in 1941. The battle for the city pitted 28 fully armed, trained and determined Wehrmacht divisions – with rifles, machine guns, artillery, aircraft tanks – against an even larger but less well-organized Soviet force. The Germans encircled the city on September 8. By the start of November, the civilian population was out of fuel, power and food. On November 8, Adolf Hitler said, "The city must die of starvation."
"Only Tanya Is Left": It almost did... People ate cats, dogs, rats... and then one another. More than a million people died. Cannibalism was common. Without heat or fuel, pipes froze. There was no water. And no way to bury the dead in the frozen earth. People stumbled over corpses... An 11-year-old girl, Tanya Savicheva, left a record. She noted that her sister, then her grandmother, then her brother, uncle, another uncle and then her mother all died of starvation. Her last three notes:"Savichevas died." "Everyone died" and "Only Tanya is left." She died a little later.
The siege lasted two and a half years. When it was over, the cost of real war was tallied. In addition to the civilian dead, more than half a million German soldiers were casualties and nearly 3.5 million Soviets. And Leningrad was still governed by the same incompetent sociopaths who had control of it before the war.
And now a man who said the devil "put voices in your head" has killed another man in Canada. Is that war? Don't make us laugh. Why such a hysterical and outsize response from the Wall Street Journal? Why would a single crime, the perpetrator of which is now at room temperature and no further threat to anyone, cause a whole nation and its giant neighbor to the south to panic?
“'Godzilla' Sunspot Takes Aim: X-Class Flare Thought To Be
Responsible For Widespread Power Outages and Internet Problems"
by Mac Slavo
"A massive sunspot dubbed ‘Active Region 2192′ has rotated into an earth-facing position. NASA says the Jupiter-sized magnetic anomaly on the sun is crackling with energy and several days ago it fired off an X-class flare right in earth’s direction. Then, yesterday, it launched another flare that was measured to be five times more powerful than the first. Though the classification of both flares was fairly low and rated in the 1.0 to 2.0 X-class range, the earth’s power and internet infrastructure has experienced some unusual effects over the last 48 hours.
As of this morning, numerous power outages have been reported by internet providers, electrical utility companies, cable companies and even large inter-networks like MSN.com and Amazon. The outages are being reported by users on Twitter all over the northern hemisphere, including from Canada all the way down to Boston. Many of the companies involved have suggested that the outages were planned or the result of wind storms, but what is curious is that at the very same time all of these outages were being reported on earth, the National Weather Service’s National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) announced that their space-based satellite systems stopped reporting data.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But an alternate theory is that the solar flares emitted by AR 2192 have something to do with it. How else can we explain widespread outages for literally hundreds of thousands of people occurring almost simultaneously at key utility and internet nodes across thousands of miles on earth, and happening in tandem with a breakdown in communications from the NCEP’s weather monitoring satellite?
Sunspot AR2192 causes Internet & Power Outages Worldwide
An X-class solar flare designated in the 1.0 to 2.0 range doesn’t usually take down power grids and communications infrastructure, though they have been known to temporarily knock out satellites and cause problems with Global Positioning Systems and radio communications. The outages being reported by users are more than likely temporary without any permanent damage to the physical equipment involved in carrying the signals from point-to-point.
However, historical examples of large-scale outages resulting from solar flares have been well documented. In 1859 a massive solar flare known as the “Carrington Event” left newly developed Telegraph systems inoperable and reportedly even led them to explode and set stations on fire. In 1989 a geo-magnetic storm caused the collapse of Quebec’s hydro electric power station. The flare that took only 90 seconds to bring the electric company to its knees was a fairly powerful x15-Class discharge.
Given these examples, it’s not out of the question to suggest that a solar flare directly targeting Earth could potentially take out many modern day systems hooked into the grid. In fact, 18 months ago the sun emitted what researchers called a “Carrington Class” solar flare. It just slightly missed earth, but had the sunspot been earth facing at the time it could have been the Kill Shot that took the majority of the planet back to the stone age.
‘The world escaped an EMP catastrophe,’ Henry Cooper, who now heads High Frontier, a group pushing for missile defense, told Washington Secrets. ‘There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us,’ added Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission.
Major Ed Dames, who has long proposed that a massive solar event known as the Kill Shot will eventually hit earth, says that when it happens, expect widespread global outages. Unlike what we experience with lower classification X-flares, however a Kill Shot will be a long-term event: "Yeah, if any particular grid goes, they’re not all going to go down at once and some will never go down. The ones that are stretched out over long wide spaces, they will. They will under the right circumstances and the right circumstances are happening real soon, watch the solar flares from (sunspot) 2192 as a harbinger of what’s coming real fast. When the grids go down, we’re looking at easily no less than 6 months, but probably 2 years. A lot can happen in terms of Mad Max scenarios."
It’s a sentiment that has been expressed by many, including members of Congress, who say that that the threat of a massive solar flare is a clear and present danger to the United States and the world:
"We are only one act of madness away from a social cataclysm unlike anything our country has ever known." - Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), Senior Member House Armed Service Committee
"EMP is one of the small number of threats that could hold at risk the continued existence of U.S. civil society." - Dr. Robert Hermann, Commissioner US Congress EMP Commission
"Just one violent active region on the sun can cause continent-wide, perhaps even planetary-scale impacts to our critical infrastructure." - John Kappenman, Principal Investigator US Congress EMP Commission
"The Likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%."
- Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Senior Member House Homeland Security Committee
One study concluded that, because of our complete dependence on electricity for everything from food transportation to gas delivery, should such an event take place it could leave up to 90% of Americans dead within a year.
Tess Pennington, author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, says that if there’s one event that could cause the veritable ‘S’ to hit the fan, this is it: "So, what happens if and when the grid goes down for an extended period of time? Aside from the aggravation of not being able to determine what is happening through traditional media channels, for the Average Joe, his problems have only just begun. Our dependency to the grid doesn’t just stop at lack of electricity in our homes to power our appliances or an inability to charge our cell phones; it is much broader and affects every aspect of our lives.
We are regularly inundated with news reports covering outages that last several days or weeks resulting from inclement weather like snow storms or hurricanes, or heat waves in southern states that threaten to overload the system. During those times, when entire metropolitan areas or regions experience black outs, we get a glimpse into what a truly widespread emergency might look like. It is often the case that the first thing residents of affected areas do is rush to grocery and hardware stores hoping to acquire critical supplies like food, water, batteries, flashlights and generators. And while these supplies acquired at the onset of crisis may provide short term sustenance, any long-term grid-down situation that lasts for many weeks or months will prove dangerous, and perhaps fatal, to the unprepared."
Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. While manageable during a short-term disaster, losing access to the following critical elements of our just-in-time society would wreak havoc on the system. Tess goes on to suggest various strategies designed to prepare you for a widespread power grid outage occurs.
While such an event is unlikely, it remains a distinct possibility. Moreover, as Pennington notes, it is one of the only natural disaster events that would have near cataclysmic global consequences. The AR 2192 sunspot is just a reminder that it can come at anytime."
Another week, another Ebola infection. This time, in crowded New York City. This after the government declared “U.S. Ramps up Fight on Ebola.” This time, a young American doctor who returned after treating Ebola victims in West Africa. I cannot believe we do not have a travel ban and/or mandatory quarantine and testing for everyone coming from West Africa. It seems too stupid to be stupid to “keep track” of people when we could just stop people from coming here, and we would not have to “keep track” of them. We are getting hundreds of folks from West Africa coming in every month. Do you feel comfortable with the government keeping track of anything, let alone potentially sick people that could cause a deadly outbreak? It’s almost as if they are inviting a pandemic to America. Oh, and by the way, the new Ebola Czar, Ron Klain, reportedly said his biggest fear for the world is “how to deal with the continually growing population.” Yes, that’s right. The new Ebola Czar’s biggest concern is over-population. That should make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Terror, terror everywhere in North America. The only difference is that, in Canada, they call it Islamic terror. In the U.S., they call it work place violence. You heard about the guy who took an ax to some New York City cops. They shot the ax attacker dead, but not before he hurt some police. This week, one of the editorial pages in USA Today talked about Christian extremists, but no one mentions Islamic extremists. You don’t hear Christian extremists hacking police up with an ax. It is simply outrageous not to call it what it really is, and I think more terror is on the way. We are at war with extremists in the Islamic world. That is clear.
Good news at the gas pump as prices are going down. How long is that going to last? Saudi Arabia has finally cut production to prop up oil prices. It’s not all good news as shale oil needs a price of $85 a barrel to turn a profit. That business could come crashing down as it is highly leveraged. Also, it’s is not all supply and demand causing the prices of crude oil to fall. It is financial war by the U.S. and the West to punish Russia over Ukraine. The lower price is hurting Russia because Russia gets half its operating revenue from energy sales. Russia is not going to sit idly by and be attacked. For example, Russia wants the EU to guarantee it will pay Ukraine’s natural gas bill this winter, and the EU is balking. Russia will cut natural gas supplies if it is not paid, and that is only the beginning of this financial war. Nobody is backing off from the sanctions, and this situation is only going to get worse this winter.
Finally, Fed Head Janet Yellen says “Inequality is worsening.” She talked about this late last week, and I cannot believe she can say this with a straight face. At one point last year, the Fed was printing and handing our $45 billion a month. Much of that went to the bankers to buy their toxic mortgage-backed securities. You print trillions of dollars to bail out your banking buddies and hedge funds, and you have the gall to stand up and complain of economic inequality? That is rich.
Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up."
"If you haven't yet read "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston, a non-fiction book published in 1994, you're way behind the curve on the truth about Ebola. This book reveals all sorts of astonishing truths about Ebola which have since been buried or distorted by a modern-day government operating in total denial. For example, the book documents numerous cases of an Ebola variant spreading via airborne routes among monkeys housed in completely separate rooms in level-4 biohazard facilities run by the U.S. Army. The fact that Ebola could spread through the air was known in the 1990s (but is ridiculously denied by the CDC today).
"The Hot Zone" was written by Richard Preston after he conducted dozens of interviews with virologists, scientists and doctors, many of which spent time on the front lines in Africa, hunting for the origins of Ebola. One scientist spent so much time looking for Ebola carriers in caves that he was jokingly called "Dr. Bat S#!t." The book also documents the outbreak of Ebola Reston in a U.S. Army primate laboratory, and it describes the heroic efforts to contain that outbreak.
But one of the most disturbing and fascinating passages in the book appears on page 310 in the soft cover print edition. This passage appears to be an aggregation of the thinking of the many scientists interviewed by Preston. (I don't think these words are the direct opinion of Preston himself.) Keep in mind that at the time this passage was written- the 1990's- the world population stood at only around five billion people. AIDS had just recently emerged, and global concern about deadly viral pandemics was on the rise.
Here's what Preston wrote in 1994: "Humans are "an infection" and Ebola is Earth's immune response. "The emergence of AIDS, Ebola, and any number of other rainforest agents appears to be a natural consequence of the ruin of the tropical biosphere. The emerging viruses are surfacing from ecologically damaged parts of the Earth. In a sense, the earth is mounting an immune response against the human species. It is beginning to react to the human parasite, the flooding infection of people, the dead spots of concrete all over the planet, the cancerous rot-outs in Europe, Japan and the United States, thick with replicating primates [i.e. humans], the colonies enlarging and spreading and threatening to shock the biosphere with mass extinctions.
Perhaps the biosphere does not "like" the idea of five billion humans. Or it could also be said that the extreme amplification of the human race, which has occurred only in the past hundred years or so, has suddenly produced a very large quantity of meat, which is sitting everywhere in the biosphere and may not be able to defend itself against a life form that might want to consume it... The earth's immune system, so to speak, has recognized the presence of the human species and is starting to kick in. The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite."
"Humans are the parasite and Ebola is the cure...": If all this sounds like a scene out of "The Matrix," that's because Agent Smith utters this same line of reasoning, almost word for word, to Morpheus. "Humans are a disease, and WE are the cure!" (The "we" referring to the machines, in the case of the film.)
This classification of humans as a disease "infecting" the planet is surprisingly prevalent among many scientists and environmentalists today. From their point of view, it is difficult to observe the global destruction of the biosphere, the pillaging of natural resources and the collapse of natural freshwater resources without reaching the conclusion that there are simply too many people on this planet who are consuming too many limited resources.
This realization has given rise to the discussion that the circulating strain of Ebola observed today may indeed be a bioengineered weapon whose purpose is to radically reduce the world population of human beings. After all, some of the most influential people in the world -- like Bill Gates and Ted Turner- continue to openly call for sharp reductions in global population in order to save the planet from the destructive ways of the human race.
World's top virologists warn that this Ebola is far more dangerous than any previous Ebola: Ebola expert Dr. Michael Osterholm has also gone public with a worrisome declaration that this strain of Ebola is far worse than any strain of Ebola we've witnessed before. Click here to watch his video where he describes why today's Ebola strain is so different and so much more dangerous than any previously known strain.
On top of that, former U.S. Army virologist Dr. Jahrling has just gone public with a similar warning about the increased danger of the circulating strain of Ebola. As WashingtonsBlog.com reports:  "Another top Ebola expert- chief scientist at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and discoverer of the Reston strain of Ebola (Dr. Peter Jahrling) – said last week that this strain of Ebola appears to be more virulent than other strains we've seen, producing a much higher viral load much quicker than other strains."
Is it possible that this strain of Ebola is far more dangerous precisely because it has been tinkered with- "weaponized"- with a specific purpose in mind?
Scientist says Ebola is a bioengineered weapon: The idea that Ebola might be a genetically engineered bioweapon was openly discussed by a top Liberian scientist named Dr. Cyril Broderick, who published a front-page story in the Liberian Observer containing the astonishing statement, "Ebola is a genetically modified organism (GMO)." That article is still viewable at this link, in which Broderick goes on to assert that the U.S. Dept. of Defense has been using African women and children for bioweapons experiments.
In his own words, he talks about "...the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases and improve the health of black Africans overseas." The book "The Hot Zone" confirms that infectious agents like Ebola were once developed into bioweapons by the United States Army, but it points out that such research was outlawed by President Nixon in 1969.
U.S. military bioweapons research moved offshore? This may explain why such research may be taking place in Africa. Conducting bioweapons research on the African continent, away from the prying eyes of the U.S. media, allows such operations to be conducted in a covert manner with the necessary deniability. Strategically, there is no question that a world power nation like the United States would never abandon its intellectual capital into bioweapons research. The banning of the research by President Nixon was merely a public relations and diplomacy strategy in much the same way that nuclear nations frequently talk about "disarmament" while building more nuclear missiles.
No nation can strategically allow itself to be wholly unprepared against an Ebola attack from an enemy nation, therefore Ebola bioweapons research must always be continued in order to research potential defenses against it (even if the bioweapon is never intended to be used as a tool of aggression). The only rational conclusion here is that the Pentagon never really halted Ebola bioweapons research but instead moved it offshore.
And that is potentially where Africa enters the picture. What better place to research the GMO Ebola bioweapon than in a continent where any accidental releases or outbreaks can be blamed on bats and monkeys? Ebola, after all, cycles naturally in African mammals. So any experiment that goes awry can simply be blamed on Mother Nature, whom some scientists have begun calling a "serial killer."
You are not being told the truth about Ebola, bioweapons and the depopulation agenda: There is no absolute proof that this current Ebola outbreak is an intentional release of a doomsday depopulation weapon, but there are plenty of reasons to suspect such a scenario needs to be explored. Some of the signs in support of this reluctant conclusion include the U.S. government's determined unwillingness to isolate the USA from Ebola by controlling air traffic and national borders. The government's mishandling of Ebola in Dallas also smacks of something far beyond incompetence, bordering on "intentional failures." (Who the heck tells a nurse to treat a BSL-4 infected patient while wearing level-3 protective gear?)
The coming global debt collapse, California water collapse, food shortages and social unrest are all red alert triggers to a government that realizes it is losing control of the population. From the point of view of a totalitarian government, a deadly Ebola outbreak solves many problems all at once: it reduces the number of so-called "useless eaters" who tend to riot in the streets, it puts the government in an immediate position of medical martial law, and it allows the government to present itself as the savior of civilization while demanding absolute obedience from a population that will soon be begging for quarantines, vaccines and emergency food supplies.
There is no way to know for sure if today's Ebola outbreak is accidental or intentional, but if you ask the question "who benefits from an Ebola outbreak?" some of the answers become rather obvious."
"1. Fox Newsian (Shep Smith) breaks rank, says something sensible. Rush Limbaugh promptly mocks him for it. There was a strange outbreak of sanity this week on Fox News. Well, not an outbreak. One case. Shep Smith made an impassioned statement about how Ebola hysteria is counterproductive, and Americans should not be swept up in it. "Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and the television or read the fear-provoking words online,” he urged his viewers. “The people who say and write hysterical things are being very irresponsible."
Whoa, Shep. What are you saying? Sowing fear and panic is your network’s bread and butter. This is heresy. One day we may really have something to panic about, Smith continued. And we’re not going to ready for it. We’ll have spent all our panic chips. “We're not gonna panic when we're supposed to and we're certainly not gonna panic now," Smith pleaded. "We have to stop it."
Fortunately, this outbreak of somewhat inarticulate reasonableness was contained. The rest of the Fox News team donned their Hazmat suits and ratcheted up the crazy, irresponsible fearmongering and Obama-blaming. Good ol' Rush Limbaugh sagely did the manly thing and mocked Shep Smith, calling him a sissy. “Shep Smith was crying so much during his reporting from New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina his mascara was running,” Limbaugh said. “But we need to dial it all back here.”
All is right once again in the right-wing conservoverse, where sanity proved to be an isolated case.
2. Dr. Keith Ablow: Obama has it in for us; that’s why he’s trying to give us Ebola. Reality seldom impinges on the world that Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of Fox’s “medical A-team,” is creating in his own head. In this world, President Obama hates America and that’s why he isn’t protecting Americans from the Ebola virus by closing the border. Ablow explained all this on Fox radio this week, that Obama thinks of himself as a “citizen and a leader of the world” who has no affinity for any particular country “perhaps least of all this country because he has it in for us as disappointing people. People who’ve been a scourge on the face of the Earth.” Ouch.
Ablow said that "as a psychiatrist," this is his professional and considered opinion. He cannot even believe the suggestion that his views on Obama being un-American and loving people in Africa more than Americans could possibly be construed as racist. He is shocked, shocked I tell you. “I would say the same thing if he was from Luxembourg,” he said.
Well, that ought to settle it.
In fact, Ablow is so unracist that he graciously offered to treat the president, whom he called, “Our patient in chief.” Ablow would love the opportunity to sit Obama down and explain to him why he hates America so much, and why this is a problem. “It’s psychologically difficult to defend and protect a country that you have it in for,” he said.
Clearly a doctor with deep compassion.
3. Donald Trump: The president is a ‘psycho.’ Blowhard businessman Donald Trump has not been able to get any of his blatantly racist birther theories or other accusations to stick against the black man who has taken over the White House by being elected, twice. But Trump, who counts excessive germophobia among his charming traits, is particularly worked up about this Ebola thing. Ever the nice guy, he opposed allowing Ebola-infected American doctor Kent Brantly back into the country for treatment in Georgia a while ago, because maybe Trump would catch it in New York. And of course, Trump favors the travel ban from West Africa that conservatives are calling for. Because, of course he does. Trump also loves to tweet, and can always be counted on for his usual thoughtfulness in that medium. “I am starting to think that there is something seriously wrong with President Obama's mental health,” Trump tweeted this week. “Why won't he stop the flights. Psycho!”
Sure hope Trump runs for president again. He can always be counted on to lift the level of the discourse.
4. Laura Ingraham thinks Africa is a country... (oh, yeah, and that Obama wants Americans to die). The right cannot get over the fact that Obama will not impose a travel ban. They are, ahem, borderline fetishistic about America’s borders, and about the fact that people, especially dark-skinned people, can go across them. But no one beats Laura Ingraham for obsession about borders. Like Dr. Ablow, Ingraham has a full-blown alternate universe in her head that she thinks explains Obama’s refusal to impose a travel ban on people from West Africa. “The WHO is admitting it botched its efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Africa,” the xenophobic talker said on her show this week, “Yet Obama keeps citing ‘experts’ in his opposition to a travel ban. We can’t have it because it’ll make matters worse…for who?”
Ah! There’s the rub, Obama hates us. Ingraham claims that the left even admits this, when it is being honest. “If a few Americans have to die to make Africans’ lives better, that’s what has to happen,” was her version of Obama’s and the left's position. “We owe a great debt to other countries, including Africa, and if that means Americans have to die, we just have to die.”
This is all kinds of wrong and crazy, but we’ll just note that in Ingraham’s alternate universe, the Dartmouth-educated ranter thinks Africa a country.
5. Louie Gohmert: Infected nurses are evidence of the Democrats’ war on women. Texas tea partier Louie Gohmert chatted with Glenn Beck this week and brought his unique spin to the Ebola story. Gohmert called CDC director Tom Frieden the leader of the “Democratic war on women nurses!” Oh, burn! See what he did there? Everyone’s always saying it’s the Republicans who are waging a war on women, just because they are trying to take reproductive choices away from us and deny us equal pay for equal work. Well, take that Democrats! Louie Gohmert’s got your number.
When Beck asked Gohmert how he was, Gohmert seemed a bit stumped. "As far as I know, I’m okay. But do any of us really know for sure?" (Because the CDC is lying to us, of course. Get it?)
Well, actually, Louie, some of us do know for sure if you are okay. You should see your doctor, because your stupidity is metastisizing.
6. Scott Brown: Ebola would never be happening if Mitt Romney were president. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has already greatly added to the Ebola conversation by cautioning Americans about Ebola-infected terrorists coming over the Mexican border. Now the New Hampshire Senate hopeful wants to remind America that Ebola would never have happened if his boy Mitt Romney were president. “Gosh can you imagine if Mitt was the president right now?” Brown asked. “He was right on Russia, he was right on Obamacare, he was right on the economy. And I guarantee you we would not be worrying about Ebola right now and, you know, worrying about our foreign policy screwups.”
Gosh! That is so true! Because nothing ever bad happens when Republicans are in the White House. 9/11 attacks don’t occur (under Bush), we don't start stupid wars in Iraq (Bush), and AIDS doesn’t become an epidemic (under Reagan). Because Mitt would have waved his magic Ebola wand, and everyone would be safe.”
"The Grapes of Wrath" (Excerpts) by John Steinbeck
"They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat."
"The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it."
"It ain't that big. The whole United States ain't that big. It ain't that big. It ain't big enough. There ain't room enough for you an' me, for your kind an' my kind, for rich and poor together all in one country, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat."
"And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed."
"How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him- he has known a fear beyond every other."
"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage...”
- John Steinbeck: American writer of “The Grapes of Wrath,” the 1939 Pulitzer
prize-winning novel. Born 1902. Died 1968. Nobel Prize for Literature 1962.
“According to a new report, the richest one percent have got their mitts on almost half the world's assets. Think that’s the end of the story? Think again. This is only the beginning. The “Global Annual Wealth Report,” freshly released by investment giant Credit Suisse, analyzes the shocking trend of growing wealth inequality around the world. What the researchers find is that global wealth has increased every year since 2008, and that personal wealth seems to be rising at the fastest rate ever recorded, much of it driven by strong equity markets. But the benefits of this growth have largely been channeled to those who are already affluent. While the restaurant workers in America struggled to achieve wages of $10 an hour for their labor, those invested in equities saw their wealth soar without lifting a finger. So it goes around the world.
The bottom half of the world’s people now own less than 1 percent of total wealth, and they’re struggling to hold onto even that minuscule portion. On the other hand, the wealthiest 10 percent have accumulated a staggering 87 percent of global assets. The top percentile has 48.2 percent of the world wealth. For now.
One of the scary things about the wealth of the supperich is what French economist Thomas Piketty pointed out in his best-selling book, "Capital in the 21st Century." Once they’ve got a big chunk of wealth, their share will get bigger even if they sit by and do absolutely nothing. Piketty sums up this economic reality in a simple and horrifying formula: r > g.
Basically, this means that when rate of return on wealth is greater than the overall rate of growth of the economy, as it has nearly always been throughout history, the rich will grow inevitably richer and the poor poorer unless there is some kind of intervention, like higher taxes on wealth, for example. If r is less than g, the assets of the super-wealthy will erode, but if r is greater than g, you eventually get the explosion of gigantic inherited fortunes and dynasties.
This is happening now: If you look at the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest people in America, you see a lot more inherited fortunes in the upper ranks than you did a couple of decades ago, when the policies that held inequality at bay began to get dismantled. In today’s top 10, there are more scions of the Walton family than entrepreneurs like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. These people have essentially done nothing of value for society, and yet their undue influence shapes our political landscape with the wave of a wad of cash.
There have been moments in history when things were not so lopsided. During the post-war period, inequality was contained because governments made sure their rich didn’t accumulate at such alarming rates by doing things like taxing their estates at a high rate. At the same time, they created policies to lift the incomes of the less well-off and allow them to have some basic security. But that’s an exception in history. Most of the time, this kind of intervention did not happen, and so the rich kept gobbling more and accumulating more power to keep it that way until one of two things happened — a revolution or some kind of catastrophe or disruptive event, like a war, shook things up.
As the Credit Suisse report states: “Wealth inequality has been the case throughout most of human history, with wealth ownership often equating with land holdings, and wealth more often acquired via inheritance or conquest rather than talent or hard work. However, a combination of factors caused wealth inequality to trend downwards in high income countries during much of the 20th century, suggesting that a new era had emerged. That downward trend now appears to have stalled, and possibly gone into reverse.”
That’s right. We’re on a turbo-charged ride back to the days of Downton Abbey. Piketty warns that we’re in the early stages of reverting right back to periods of massive inequality, like 19th-century Britain or 18th-century France, where great dynastic fortunes ruled and everybody else fought for scraps.
What the statistics and formulas don’t show is the kind of human suffering that results from this kind of extreme inequality. While the global elite zip around the world in private jets and watch their stock portfolios expand on computer screens from within their gated mansions, the bottom half stays awake at night trying to think of how to pay for medicine for a sick child. The things that give life dignity and meaning, like a quality education, a decent job, and the security of knowing you have a roof over your head and a doctor to care for you when you are ill grow further and further out of reach. Anxiety never leaves because one unforeseen mishap can push you down into poverty, and if you’re already there, you spend much of your time searching, often fruitlessly, for a way out.
But there’s a little bit of anxiety percolating at the top, too. On the June cover of the conservative magazine American Spectator, a cartoon shows an incensed mob looking on as a monocled fatcat is led to a bloody guillotine — a scene evoking the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. The caption reads, “The New Class Warfare: Thomas Piketty’s intellectual cover for confiscation.” In the story that accompanies the image, James Pierson warns of revolution and a growing class of suffering people who want to punish the rich and take away their toys.
That would be one way to address things. Another would be the recognition that inequality is extremely destabilizing and dangerous, and that non-violent interventions are possible, as we saw in America with the New Deal. Things like robust tax reform, unions, regulation, changes in corporate governance and CEO pay, affordable education, jobs programs, expansion of Social Security and universal healthcare.
Or we could just do things the old-fashioned way and wait for a disaster even bigger than the meltdown of 2007-'08. In that case, fasten your seatbelts. This ride could get very rough.”
“U.N.C. Boosters Outraged That Some Athletes Took Real Classes”
by Andy Borowitz
CHAPEL HILL (The Borowitz Report) — “An organization of University of North Carolina athletic boosters expressed shock and outrage today over a report that a few members of U.N.C. sports teams may have taken real classes, despite the widespread availability of fake ones. The report, which alleges that several players may have fulfilled the curriculum requirements of actual classes, sent shock waves through the U.N.C. booster community. “These players apparently attended classes, wrote papers, and took exams,” Hal Cowlington, the president of a prominent U.N.C. booster club, said. “The impact of these distractions on their athletic performance is, to put it mildly, incalculable.”
A spokesman for the university was quick to say that the cases of athletes taking real classes appeared to be “isolated incidents,” but promised that U.N.C. would press forward with a full investigation of the matter. “As a university, it is our sacred duty to protect our athletes from education,” the university spokesman said. “We can—and we must—do better.”
Q: "Who is going to defend the country without the Army?"
Zappa: "From what? The biggest threat to America is its own federal government... Will the Army protect anybody from the FBI? The IRS? The CIA? The Republican Party? The Democratic Party The biggest dangers we face today don't even need to sneak past our billion-dollar defense systems, they issue the contracts for them."
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” - Thomas Edison
Why is this blog here?
"Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'" - Kurt Vonnegut
"Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?"
But remember: "I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth." - Morpheus
Ad astra per aspera...
Oderint dum metuant.
Especially... Nullius in verba.
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I’m a Choctaw “Native American”/Euro mongrel, living in Arizonastan, scavenging for nuggets of truth and soul nourishment wherever they might be found. Random observations, comments, rants, satire and discoveries from the road to NowHere.
“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
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"You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." - Morpheus