November 25, 2010

Upper


Aw, whenever I'm tired, stressed out or a bit down pictures like these always put a smile on my face.

November 23, 2010

Prelude To War?


My heart skipped a beat when I saw the news this morning. North Korea fired artillery shells at a South Korean island. Have a bad feeling about this one and I fear it's going to escalate. Things have always been tense between the two countries but it starting to look more and more like a powder cake just waiting to explode. North Korea has practically always been the bully whenever an incident took place and I'm guessing they started the shooting here as well.

A while back I saw a documentary on the National Geographic channel and it was about a visit of doctors to North Korea whom specialized in eye deceases (cataract etc.), secretly they were accompanied by a few journalists who made recordings. The surgeons performed the operations and instructed the local physicians how to do the procedure themselves. What was totally flabbergasting is that when the people were helped and had their sight back they started giving praise to their great leader Kim Il-sung. Most of them were totally brainwashed.

I seriously hope this thing is going to blow over and that the two countries will finally reach a peace settlement, but at the same time I don't have any illusions.

November 22, 2010

Words Of Wisdom

My basic point is that while I agree a cultural transformation is occurring, which defines this entire movement, it is naive to assume this path is clear or simple. Strategies will be shifted as the conditions change. "War" is used here to express a severity of perspective by many. You are seeing this already in other groups. I can assure you all that eventually, for example, alex jones will extent his "infowar" to us... and I can assure you all that the establishment will do everything it can to marginalize and engage in propaganda against these ideas in the form of an "ideological war". The trick is to ignore it all and keep restating the foundation of the system and its merits.

Eventually I will write a piece on the "Spectrum of Marginalization". It is important people understand the age old trick of confusing ideas and shutting down investigations of the external by creating false associations. Just as a racist person derails thought/consideration of a group by calling them "just wops/niggers/spics"; just as the West derails opposition to globalization by calling them "Terrorists"; just as America has derailed any alternative system of economics as "Communist"; so too will the zeitgeist movement be derailed by overarching, thoughtless terms designed to shut down critical thought.
The current ones being used are evidence enough- so far we have:
"Conspiracy Theorists"(this is modern one, btw- design for anyone who questions any aspect of truth put forward by the establishment) Marxists/Socialists/Communists/New Age/Satanists/Theosophists/Cult/Hippies/Leftists/Truthers/NWO... and there will be many, many more.

It is called Ideological Bigotry

The trick? Ignore the titles thrown at you and stay on track with the reasoning. Nothing can stop the reasoning. The sad thing is that people really do fall victim to these categories and due to their narrow identity/ self-interest and fear of what others think of them, they will shut down their interest right there. Brilliant mind control - the art of marginalization. Take a moment to watch Bill O'Reilly or Glen Beck or Sean Hannity and you will see the art form in its most advance state.


Peter Joseph

November 17, 2010

Government Conspiracy Theories


You know, I'm a member of the Zeitgeist Movement and as such I get some comments at times saying that the movement is all about conspiracy theories. While the first Zeitgeist film certainly touched upon this subject, it is by no means a constant for the movement. Zeitgeist 1 was a personal project of director and filmmaker Peter Joseph and should be viewed as such, although there are some folks out there having difficulty accepting this and rather play a 'guilty by association' type of tactic. Often what you hear is; 'you're [the movement] all about conspiracy theories!' Which is of course a convenient and underhanded way of criticizing something. But if your position is against conspiracy theories, let me introduce you to this one. It's from the Bush administration just before they invaded Afghanistan.

Above is a depiction of the complex at Tora Bora which was all over the news at the time. Allegedly Bin Laden had a state of the art complex there. In the video below secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld can be quoted as saying there were many such installations in Afghanistan! A mountain was supposed to be completely hollowed out, creating many chambers that housed personnel, sleeping quarters, armories, power generator rooms, the works. The Taliban and Al Qaida were also believed to have Stinger missiles. (Supplied by the C.I.A. but that's another story.) How many times have you read that Allied aircraft were attacked by Stinger Missiles? I can't remember one incident.

What happened after Coalition forces captured the complex at Tora Bora? Have you seen videos of news teams (or the military for that matter) showing the inside of the 'complex' at Tora Bora? I haven't. Now why wouldn't there be such a video? Because there was nothing to show, there wasn't a state of the art military complex - just a couple of caves. This story about strong military hide-outs were completely fabricated and politicians such as Rumsfeld are caught redhanded telling fairytales. It's a first grade, first class, top of the line, immaculate, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, outright Conspiracy Theory perpetrated by the U.S. government.

If you want more there are always the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Remember those? Colin Powell heading a U.N. council meeting showing all kinds of schematics of mobile chemical weapons delivery systems, again underground facilities where WMD's were produced, holding a vial of anthrax in his hand. How much of the information that the government provided at the time turned out to be factual? Nothing! Again it was a first grade, first class, top of the line, immaculate, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, outright Conspiracy Theory perpetrated by the U.S. government.

If you're really that hellbent on debunking conspiracy theories might I suggest you start with the Bush administration and how much unsubstantiated nonsense they sold the American public not to mention the entire world? I'm assuming of course that you have the courage and mental integrity to do so in the first place. The Zeitgeist Movement is a grass roots movement and has no impact on your life whatsoever. The U.S. government is the complete opposite. Any sane person would start there.

November 14, 2010

Socialist Moneybomb


Meet conservative radio talkshow host Alex Jones in his brand new studio, paid for by his fans. The guys at Infowars started something called a 'moneybomb,' raising money for a new project. The aim was $500.000 and that was reached within a month. What's strange for me is that from what I've been reading Jones isn't doing that bad, financially. Sources say he's living the American Dream, big fat house, sports cars, boats - the works. He's also selling a variety of dvd's for 20 bucks a pop, lots of commercials on his show and website. It's safe to say he's earning a lot of money. That begs the question; 'why do the fans have to contribute financially to an already successful business enterprise?'

I mean, isn't that pure socialism? Letting other people pay for your own programs while you apparently have the means yourself. If I'm not mistaken this isn't the first time Jones let his fans pay for new projects. Other fundraisers amounted up to $350.000 and $50.000. Yet when you visit his website you'll find something like this.


Socialism bad! Sucking money from your fans, good! The hypocrisy involved here curls my toes. Conservatives often complain about government interference and taxation, especially the latter is quickly deemed socialism if it means the money is transferred to a healthcare system. That is viewed as distributing wealth and nobody should mess with that. However, if they are socialist enough to send you money while you already have it in abundance, well that's not socialism. Just call them friends and fans and forget about the socialist act they just performed. By the way, Jones is standing in his brand new studio just 2 days after the fundraiser ended. Meaning, he already acquired it before the fundraiser ended.
Told you he already had the means. Only in America!

Zeitgeist Summary


Video commentary (from YouTube);
This film features an interview with Peter Joseph, the hugely successful director of the internet film phenomenon Zeitgeist: The Movie which has had millions of online views. We also speak to Jacque Fresco the architect of the Venus Project. The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is a worldwide grassroots organization that serves as the communication and activist arm of The Venus Project, founded by industrial designer and social engineer Jacque Fresco. It describes itself as a "sustainability advocacy organization" and is focused on raising awareness for a global social change, by transitioning society from a Monetary-Based Economy to a new, sustainable social design called a "Resource-Based Economy". The Zeitgeist Movement was inspired by the social response to Peter Joseph's films Zeitgeist: The Movie and Zeitgeist: Addendum. (It was Zeitgeist Addendum which first introduced The Venus Project.)

November 13, 2010

Exposing The Noble Lie


Fine documentary about critical thinking.

November 12, 2010

Mystery Missile


Some strange things were going on this week of the coast of California. An object left a vapor trail for everyone to see and nobody knew where it was from. The military had no scheduled tests or launches, even Norad didn't have a clue. Some people say it was a normal jetliner leaving an enormous trail in combination with atmospheric conditions. Others also added 'optical illusion,' but nobody knows exactly what it was. That in itself is strange because with today's modern radar technology and computerized air traffic control systems it should have been as easy as pushing the button on a keyboard and identifying the object in question.

What also struck me when I watched this item on American news channels was the amount of fear projection associated with this story. "No terrorist attack," "no foreign powers involved," "no threat to national security" were some of the phrases immediately added to the story. That shows a climate of negative expectations and where people are constantly reminded of possible attacks. While it's not completely unjustified to remind the public of the dangers of terrorist attacks, it also might not be wise to scare the public at every opportunity, because that creates a culture of fear. I do realize that possible rocket launches of the coast of the U.S. could potentially be a threat but on the other hand, we are not talking about Israel here. Rocket attacks on U.S. soil are unprecedented so there's no need to wet your pants if something unexplained happens.

This story and others like it that have surfaced over the last year or so also remind me of an episode in ufology. In 1946 many people observed 'missile' sightings in Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia. They were called "ghost rockets" and while many people thought they were rocket launches by the Russians who had captured the facilities at Peenemunde (where the V1 and V2 were created and tested), however no conclusive explanations were ever presented. The mystery actually remains. Perhaps the California sighting will fall in to same category. We just have to wait and see what the official explanation will be and how much water it will hold.

November 7, 2010

ZG Media Project

For those interested in art, videos and pictures relating to the Zeitgeist Movement, there's a website made especially for this and you can find it here.

November 6, 2010

The Best That Money Can't Buy - Excerpts

Many people throughout history have wondered why politicians don't act on the people's behalf. The reason is clear when one understands that, even in modern democracies, leaders are not elected to improve the lives of average people, but to maintain the preferential positions of those in the established order. There are growing indications of awareness on the part of people in various areas of the world that events have gone beyond the control of political leaders. Everywhere we see political figures and parties come and go, and political strategies adopted and then discarded for their inability to satisfy the demands of one faction or another. There is nothing to be gained from writing your congressman, or any number of governmental agencies, because they lack the necessary knowledge to deal with society's problems. Their focus is on preserving existing systems, not in changing them.


Change can come from disasters or from major technological advances. The introduction of agriculture brought a significant change in society, as did the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of money to the exchange process. From a historical perspective all of these appear positive. At the time of of their inception, however, people lost jobs, new skills were required, and entire ways of life disappeared. The direction change takes is not always for the better, and it doesn't always improve the human condition. Change is risky. Deprivation or scarcity that is artificial or real drives the economy. Power-seeking leaders command weapons powerful enough to annihilate entire populations and render our planet uninhabitable. Humankind's potential for creativity and innovation far exceeds its inclination to destroy, but every time we exercise destructive power, we take a thousands steps backward for every few forward.

J. Fresco

November 5, 2010

Macaroni A La Ed


One of the easiest and quickest meals to make is macaroni. It just has to boil in water for like 5 minutes and you can add ingredients to your liking. Personally, I like to add ham but if you're a vegetarian no meat whatsoever is of course also possible. You can also add spam if you're a real meat-eater. For veggies I used peas and corn (out of a can), warm it up in the microwave oven and add it to the macaroni when that is ready. Eggs is a standard addition as far as I am concerned, but the real tip here is to add fried onions. Over here you can buy a bag for 70 cents - Indonesian recipe. It really adds an interesting flavor to the dish. Finishing touch ketchup of course, view the picture and see fresh squirt.

Sketchzoid #18

November 4, 2010

Book Review - The Best That Money Can't Buy

To transition from our present politically incompetent, scarcity-oriented, and near-obsolete culture to a more humane society will require a quantum leap in both thought and action. Until recently change came slowly. One group of incompetent leaders simply replaces another. The problems we face today cannot be solved politically or financially. Our problems are highly technical in nature and require fundamental changes in our thinking and values. There is not enough money available to pay for the required changes, but there are more than enough resources. This is why The Venus Project advocates the transition from a monetary society to the eventual realization of a resource-based world economy.

Today I finished reading Jacque Fresco's book 'The Best That Money Can't Buy.' It's 168 pages long, A4 size mind you with 20 chapters and lots of illustrations. It's an easy read and it has the 'feel' like Fresco is talking to you especially if you've seen one of his lectures or interviews on television or YouTube. Not so strange considering that Fresco dictated the text and with the help of other people it was streamlined into a book. The book is of course about the Venus Project which Fresco and his partner Roxanne Meadows started, and are promoting through many venues.

The thing that struck me halfway into the book is that many elements that are used in the film Zeitgeist Addendum (by director Peter Joseph), are also plainly visible in 'The Best That Money Can't Buy.' Elements such as the mechanics of the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking and the concept of 'money is debt,' are in fact mentioned in the first half of the book. I'm beginning to believe that Peter Joseph based the movie Zeitgeist Addendum on this book, or at the very least got a great deal of inspiration from it. The continuity is there. Fresco also 'wrote' the book in 2002 while Addendum came out in 2008.

Fresco makes a case for a Resource Based Economy, sharing all the world resources for the benefit of all mankind, doing away with the monetary system and implementing the latest technology to achieve a high standard of living for everyone. His approach is somewhat holistic but seeing how many people join the Zeitgeist Movement (the activist arm of the Venus Project) every day, many are starting it to see as a viable alternative. Those people that are more oriented towards capitalism, nationalism or patriotism will probably have more problems with it.

The main focus in the book is about ideology and the realization that our world leaves much to be desired. Fresco offers no highly detailed actual blueprint or roadmap to the future but does hand out many ideas on how our problems could be handled. The scientific method is what Fresco proposes to use in many situations. Many of our world problems can be solved by using the latest technology according to Fresco. His question is not 'do we have the money?' It's 'do we have the resources?'
Anyone interested in technology and politics should consider buying this book. It just might the real alternative our planet so direly needs.

P.S.
Don't buy the book on Amazon, the prices there are ridiculous. You can order them here from the Venus Project website new, and at a much better price.

November 3, 2010

Background Story

People sometimes inquire why I became a Zeitgeist/Venus Project supporter and it's not something that simply fell out of the sky. I guess the most adequate answer I can give is that my life's experiences and much internal deliberation led me to support the ideology of the Venus Project. It's not that I watch the news and think 'what a nasty world,' I've been through some nasty things myself. I would like to share a story that transpired a long time ago and what was a real eye-opener for me in how the world works.

Some 20 years ago I finished my tour in the military. Lots can be relayed about that period in my life as well, such as the low pay for the common conscripted soldier and the high pay for incompetent (professional) officers, but that's something for another story. After the military I started working for a company that dealt in logistics. I'm going to be a bit vague here with names and places since some of the things I will say are inflammatory and there's no real need to confront some people with skeletons in their closets.

Anyway, I started working for that company. It was a family-owned company, meaning that relatives were in all the high places of the corporate structure. Even in those it was already understood culturally wise that working for such a company entailed hard work and limited advances. Nevertheless, I had a great time. The work was diverse and I got along great with most of my colleagues. Aside from getting screwed once by one of the family owners I got along great with them as well. I even organized a big party for all of the employees. The pay wasn't that great, the overtime salary was however generous. Business was booming in those days so I worked a lot of extra hours. Quite often I worked 2-3 evenings in the week besides my normal hours. Friday evening was reserved for going out. I don't know how many times we visited restaurants and bars. Truly a fun time.

It wasn't meant to last. The owner of the company and head of the family was already well into his sixties and decided to call it a day and retire. He sold the company to another business man who I will call M. M was already a multi-millionaire, owning several companies including one large national transport company bearing his name. Everyone was introduced to him during a meeting and M introduced the new director (whom I will call) D who would head day to day operations. D happened to be a friend of his, at least so I was told.
After the new ownership everything changed. A reorganization program was immediately initialized and the entire corporate structure was put upside down. This lead to work falling behind. I and many others picked up the slack by putting in a lot of overtime, even working on saturdays and sundays. D, the director, was also quick to alter company rules. He made and handed out to everyone a booklet which we had to sign for - agreeing to the rules. D had also promised we wouldn't work on friday evenings which was fine by me and other folks since we were still going out and having a good time. One change D made was not received with enthusiasm, he cut down the overtime pay so much that it wasn't even profitable (after taxation) to do it.

To my shock some people were getting laid off, fired, after minor transgressions such as accidentally sleeping in or being a day late at work after a vacation due to car trouble and not calling it in. These people weren't slackers or regularly being late on the job, they were good folks - good workers who more or less just had an accident. D, the director and M the owner of the company, couldn't care less. They had the same attitude towards managers. In a 3 month time period 3 managers were replaced in succession (in the same department).
At the time I had a friend in accounting who had observed all the changes just like me. He shared with me some amazing information. D had to go to an exhibition for one day in Germany, leaving in the morning and returning in the evening. The next day he drops a note on the desk at the accounting department requesting a management fee be paid to him of 5000 guilders for one day abroad. I was absolutely flabbergasted at the time because this was the same guy who had announced that overtime pay was to be severely cut back and here he was filling his pockets. The word got out which led to even more disgruntled employees.

Of course, my number also came up. One friday work was behind. I had already done lots of overtime the previous weeks despite the lower pay and we had plans going out. Besides, the management had stated we wouldn't work on friday evenings so I walked out the door meeting owner M on the way out (without saying something to him). That was before Easter weekend so on tuesday we had to work again. Rather quickly I bumped into M who ordered me to do another job and added that I left 'early' the previous friday. Should have noticed that he was already foaming at the mouth and when I countered his argument he fired me on the spot. In my country an employer has to have solid grounds in order to fire someone. The next day I received a letter from the company claiming I was guilty of 'work refusal.' Naturally I got a lawyer, told the story and that I did no such thing. What was advantageous for me is that I had a witness who was standing right beside me when M flipped. After a month or two in the legal battle the company offered to pay me damages and I accepted, although had I taken it to court I surely would have won. There were also legal pressure games played at the time and one day I had to make a decision within an hour. Thought it was best to move on.

I stayed in touch with my former colleagues and the happenings of the company. Other (former) colleagues went through the same thing I did. Some of them got fired for no (legitimate) reason and also made a legal issue out of it and the company again paid them damages. Even the previous owners, members of the family who stayed in the company were fired. Couple of years later I ran into a colleague who told the ultimate story. D, the director and friend of M, was fired. He had enlisted the help of prostitutes and had send the bill to the company. D started working for the competition, something he had explicitly forbidden in the company rules he had formulated.
Five years after I left that company M decided to have another reorganization and moved the entire company to another part of the country. All the people were fired without any restitution. Couple of years later an ex-colleague told me that M had died from colin cancer and added; 'it went too quick, he died in a week, I wish he had suffered more!'

In closing, nobody has to tell me the world can be corrupt or morally bankrupt. I've experienced these things first hand myself. People in a position of power can make rules which they don't follow themselves. They can say you should receive or get paid less while they do the exact opposite at the same time. Business people like the ones I encountered are basically mafia types. The only thing missing at that company I worked were a couple of muscle guys shoving me against the wall after work, reminding me I should behave. Luckily, such matters are not tolerated in a democracy. Other business tactics however, are seemingly tolerated to a large extent. Not one government official or institution intervened on behave of the workers of that company while I know for a fact many requests were made to investigate the matter. Nothing was done.
Experiences like these constantly remind me that the world should be a better place. Maybe now you know why I find other kinds of ideology, where there would be no money or corporations, appealing.

November 2, 2010

Work Vitamins


Here are some "work vitamins" for Muertos, by far the most prolific commentator on my blog. (You gotta throw them a bone sometimes.)

Anger Management

Ed Stein made a wonderful commentary on his website displaying the sentiments that are currently so abound in U.S. society just before the elections.

Anger is the emotion of the day. Homeowners are angry. The unemployed are angry. Voters are angry. Conservatives are especially angry, and Tea Partiers are the angriest of all. A New York Times poll shows that 6 out of 10 voters don’t like their own representative. And, by gosh, we’re going to throw them out, those who haven’t already been thrown out in the primaries. They’re all a bunch of greedy politicians beholden to lobbyists who’ve lost touch with the voters. So we’re going to make John Boehner, the most beholden to lobbyists of them all, Speaker of the House. And we’re going to put the folks back in power who got us in this mess in the first place, because, by gosh, the people we replaced them with two years ago didn’t get us out of it fast enough. Because they’re socialists, we think, or something worse, like Big Government Big Taxing Big Spenders and we need to boot them out and replace them with the Small Government Tax Cutting Big Spenders who waged two wars and cut taxes without paying for it, and who want Big Government out of the business of telling the bankers who destroyed the economy they can’t do that again, because that’s Socialism or Government Meddling in the Marketplace–or something. And we don’t want Obamacare because if we all have health insurance it will lead us down the path to what those stupid Europeans have, which is much better health care than we have, but they do it with Socialism and Big Government, and we don ‘t do that, even if it means that w’re sicker and we die younger and we go bankrupt because of medical costs. And mostly we’re angry, ANGRY with Obama because we’ve noticed that he’s just not quite like us.

As deeply satisfying as it is to feel that righteous rage burning deep inside, I’m beginning to think that blind fury is not necessarily the best approach to solving our problems, or to choosing a government.

Perhaps instead we should get some help with that anger problem of ours.