February 26, 2011

Birds Of A Feather


My last blog was about G. Edward Griffin and the John Birch Society and what I found interesting at the time is that these so-called organizations for freedom are pretty much highly dualistic in nature. While they may be patriotic and for 'freedom' the bottom line is that they are highly capitalistic as well. Organizations such as the John Birch Society are made up of businessmen and are sponsored by the extremely wealthy. NWO fighter Alex Jones, an outright adversary of elitist machinations, flirts with a group that with a little imagination and extrapolation, fits the same bill.

In the picture above you can see the exchange between Jones and John McManus, president of the John Birch Society. I already figured that the philosophy of Jones and the society were pretty much close together, and with a little research I found the article above proving it beyond a shadow of a doubt. What I discovered is that the sought after 'freedom' here also entails the unrestricted quest of financial gain. That's what these gentlemen stand for. The freedom to make a buck at the expense of everything else. That's why they're touting their horns about government restrictions, taxation, evil banks and so on. In the end they simply want more for themselves yet fail to recognize that identical people higher up the pyramid do the exact same thing.

If Jones really gets into bed with people like you find in the John Birch Society, I'm afraid his days of battling the NWO are over (if there ever was such a thing). He'll be put on a (financial) lease and made to walk properly alongside his masters. Maybe that is already the case? I hope people realize that in a highly capitalistic society everyone can be bought and corrupted. Having a lot of wealth and money enables you to have much greater influence on an outcome, and greatly adds in protecting your own interests. Such mechanics are visible here if you can shed your conservative mindset for one minute. In a democracy, a.k.a. 'how do I get my hands on a lot of money,' people think about their own selfish interest first, make no mistake.

Whenever you hear conservatives like Alex Jones, Edward Griffin, John McManus and other folks from the John Birch Society talk about freedom and government interference, you need to keep this in mind and I quote now from commentary John McMurty made in the movie Zeitgeist Moving Forward. Government interference means; 'blocking maximization of turning money into more money for private money possessors.'

February 24, 2011

Hidden Interests


Couple of days ago I did a blog on G. Edward Griffin and his commentary on the movie Zeitgeist Addendum. I've seen Griffin comment in a number of video documentaries so I already knew who he was as an author and from what angle of the political scale he was coming from, generally speaking. His entry on Wikipedia is also quite extensive, which I read but at the same time I didn't follow up on every link in the article. Yesterday I came across a remark on YouTube by someone who praised Griffin but who was also very skeptical of his involvement with the John Birch Society. I went back to the Wikipedia article on Griffin and his membership to J.B.S. is plainly visible and it opens up a whole different can of worms as far as I'm concerned.

The John Birch Society itself is listed as "an American radical right-wing political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom." Griffin's comments on Zeitgeist Addendum can be directly traced back to what this society advocates. Not unusual in itself and neither is the political advocacy of the John Birch Society. Yet the latter fears that the nation will be sold out to the U.N. by a "cabal of internationalists, greedy bankers, and corrupt politicians" which will eventually result in a 'one world socialist government.' This is of course the same rhetoric you hear on the Alex Jones show, the machinations of the New World Order. Accusing others of collectivism is the main offensive tool. But something else came to my attention which I want to focus on more.

The organization itself was founded in 1958 by a group of 12 people which consisted mostly of businessmen as far as I can tell. Businessman Robert Welch headed the society for many years and helped with its creation but another name that stands out even more and who was also involved from the very beginning is Fred Koch. Who is he? Well, he founded Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States. Starting to smell fishy already? Read the Wikipedia article, Koch Industries made a 100 billion dollar revenue in 2009, they also have a list of violations and subsequent fines the size of my arm. They lobby to support the oil industry and donated to groups who oppose the current consensus on climate change. They have also been rumored to sponsor the Tea Party movement. The Koch family are major players and the John Birch Society isn't the only group they have helped to create or support financially.

Many of these groups oppose collectivism, including wealth redistribution, economic interventionism, socialism, communism, and fascism. Yet they also advocate limited government. When you really think about it, who gains the most from such a political approach? Yes of course, it's the (already wealthy) businessmen themselves.

And that's the whole ball of wax. They advocate this approach because in the final analysis they benefit the most from small government and little to no interference in the free market system. These clowns simply want to make more for themselves. They play into sentiments of the public who are against taxation and "big government" because should these political tactics be adopted they are the ones who profit the most. The trick is that they need a large portion of American society to implement their plans and that's why they sponsor those segments of society most likely to support them and their philosophy. To a large degree they have been successful already but the system isn't going to last. Greed will be its own undoing as usual.

G. Edward Griffin, who has been a member and officer of the conservative John Birch Society is also a contributing editor to its magazine, The New American. Complete misnomer if you ask me. The Old American is far more appropriate. Griffin himself fits right into a Western movie and that kind of cultural baggage is what I perceive here. A bunch of cowboys heading into the open range, ready to claim any riches they may encounter and feeling completely entitled to do so. Founding their own towns in the Wild West, securing a railroad connection so that anybody can visit and even live there. But they remain the patrons, the landowners, the bosses. Nobody tells them what to do.

The movie Zeitgeist Addendum opted to do away with the monetary system and let technology itself solve problems. Griffin saw this as a mega dose of the disease itself namely collectivism. But is it that simple? Aren't many of the problems we see today in our world caused by the lack of money? Poverty in the world basically means a lack of funds to acquire the necessities of life. It has nothing to do with collectivism. If you ask me that has more to do with individualism, the uneven distribution of wealth and plain old-fashioned greed.

The disease here isn't collectivism, it's money itself which everyone wants but there never seems to be enough of. The world is addicted to money, like a drug addict everyone needs a shot on a daily basis. We all need the dealer banks to give us our shot and when we don't get it, we start to feel sick. Governments are hooked as well, they need their fix through taxation. Hopeless addicts, like Griffin and his compadres at billionaire sponsored disingenuous "think tanks" like the John Birch Society want more and more for themselves and blame everything but the drug itself. Addicts are often if not always in denial. The movie Zeitgeist Addendum offers a solution to this disease. Go cold turkey...

Humor At Fox









February 22, 2011

Zeitgeisting Griffin


Ran across this article on Infowars.com and it's about the movie Zeitgeist Addendum. Most Zeitgeist supporters probably know what Alex Jones had to say about the second Zeitgeist movie but I found Edward Griffin's comments particularly interesting. Griffin has done remarkable work exposing the Federal Reserve System but to be honest I find his analysis of Addendum rather disappointing. It's strange that Griffin's analysis on the Fed and that of Addendum lie so close together yet could be in different galaxies for that matter. It's almost like there is a dimensional reality barrier. Lets bring out some of the commentary Griffin made.

"1. The information about the Federal Reserve is, for the most part, right on target. However, I practically fell out of my chair when the program repeated that old, silly argument about the Fed not creating enough money to cover the cost of interest on debt; and, therefore, the world must forever be in debt. I knew right there that the writer did not read The Creature from Jekyll Island or, if he did, he forgot my analysis of this common myth. For those who are interested in that topic, it is fund on pages 191-192 of The Creature."

While I don't mind self-promotion and advertising ones book it would have been nice if Mr. Griffin thoroughly explained the matter and busted the myth with solid arguments instead of hinting that people should buy the book. No real information is shared in this paragraph. Furthermore, Addendum doesn't state that there isn't enough money to cover the cost of interest on debt. The movie implicitly states that new money is continuously created, all be it through the Fed or fractional reserve banking. If I'm not mistaken this is the engine that drives inflation and looking back at economic history this seems to be a constant. I'm not sure where Mr. Griffin is getting at and from my perspective he missed the opportunity to clarify the matter.

"2. The next jolt came when the program praised Civil War Greenbacks, calling them debt-free. Actually, Greenbacks were contrary to the U.S. Constitution and, although they were not fiat money issued by the banks, they were fiat money issued by the government. That was better than paying interest on nothing to bankers, but they still wiped out the purchasing power of American money through massive inflation. They can not correctly be called debt-free, either, because they represented debt on the shoulders of the government, which means, of course, on the shoulders of the taxpayers. It never ceases to amaze me how people think that the solution to money created out of nothing by those big, bad bankers is to have money created out of nothing by those nice, trustworthy politicians. Yet, that is what this program supports."

My interpretation of this segment of Addendum is that the director, Peter Joseph, made a suggestion to look at alternative usury (like that with the Greenbacks) in order to get away from debt based currency. I don't recall Joseph giving the Greenback a firm approval - in fact 22 minutes into the film when the Greenback section comes up, there's nothing of the sort! To be frank, I'm somewhat amazed already at how Mr. Griffin viewed the movie Addendum because the bottom line is that all currency leads to a form of economic slavery and should therefore be abandoned. The Greenback is a minor side-issue in the grander scheme of the movie, so why get hung up on it in the first place? I'm not even sure that a debt-free currency is possible in the first place and judging Mr. Griffin's comments he leans to that conclusion likewise. Both banks and government issuing money will inevitably lead to inflation and the quest for even more money, something the movie points out on more than one occasion and what Mr. Griffin himself points out in his commentary. Realizing that there are highly similar notions, I have to wonder what Mr. Griffin's core disagreement with Addendum actually is since so far it's just window dressing.

"3. There is a lengthy segment in which the author of I Was an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, tells the story of how propagandists in the U.S. manipulated public opinion to support military action against several Latin American countries. Then Perkins says that these propagandists scared Americans by telling them that the leaders of these countries were Marxists who were aligned with the Soviets. This, of course, is a half truth that is just as dangerous as a total lie. It is true about the propagandists and their strategy to scare the public into supporting military intervention in those countries, but it is false to portray those dictators as great humanitarians who cared only for the well being of their people. That is total bunk. They WERE aligned with the Soviet Union and they WERE part of a Marxist/Leninist strategy to dominate Latin America; a strategy that continues to this day."

Now we're getting somewhere. In Addendum John Perkins comments on a number of political figures, however, it is not as simple as Mr. Griffin here portrays it to be because not all of the people involved were communists allied to the Soviet Union and not all of them were dictators. Perkins starts with the C.I.A. sponsored ousting of Iranian prime-minister Mohammed Mossadegh who was in fact a social-democrat. Next is Jacob Arbenz Guzman of Guatemala who was in fact a communist! Jaime Roldos Aguilera of Ecuador, a human rights activist belonged to a populist political party who only leaned to the left when it was pressured by the U.S. Omar Torrijos of Panama was a leftist dictator who didn't answer to Moscow and opposed communism at the same time, and had the support of the United States. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a socialist, but he came to power in 1992 after the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

There are many nuances here. With the exception of (true dictator) Omar Torrijos, all of them political figures above were democratically elected. Something Mr. Griffin also fails to mention. Instead there's the sweeping generalization that all of them were "commies" and nasty dictators which is simply not true. Mr. Griffin is right when he says that half a truth is just as dangerous as a total lie and obviously he's guilty of the same act. The Monroe Doctrine is seemingly still alive and kicking, seeing how interference in Latin America and the protection of U.S. national interests is more or less justified in Griffin's critique. That is something that continues to amaze because I was taught in school that the U.S. is the land of the free, home of the brave and a beacon of democracy. But it turns out the U.S. interferes in other countries, even toppling over democratically elected regimes, when it suits there own selfish national and business interests. And that's not spreading democracy, that's pure fascism.

"4. Perhaps the biggest insult to our intelligence is the main theme of the program. It is that profits are the root of all our problems today. That being the case, we must change mankind to reject profit and we must work together on some other basis. It is never quite clear what that basis is, but, whatever it is, it will be administered and directed by an elite group, at least in the beginning. I was stunned by the fact that this is pure Marxism. Marx theorized that people had to be re-educated (in labor camps, if necessary) to cleanse their minds of the profit motive. He and his disciples, such as Lenin and Stalin and Khruschev, said that, eventually, the character of man would be purged of greed, and then the state would wither away because it no longer would be needed. Sure! We saw that in the Soviet Union and China, right? Yet this Marxist nonsense is exactly what is offered in this video program. It is Communism without using the name."

Above is a fine display of fear projection by an apparent right-wing fanatic. I thought the movie was altruistic in nature but seemingly Mr. Griffin sees Marxism in everything remotely free of charge. Bringing up the examples of the Soviet Union and China is also somewhat simplistic and I sincerely doubt anyone watching the movie with an open mind wants to repeat that part of socioeconomic history. When you look at China right now, is it really communist? Or are they very much involved with capitalism? It's the latter I'm afraid. While there's still a lot of state interference in China, business reigns. They caught on to that and right now they are the second largest economy of the world. The Soviet Union was a brutal regime, nobody disputes that but does that automatically imply anything remotely like it will follow the same path? I don't think so, and to do so would be a classic example of fear mongering in my book.

This is what the movie also pointed out on this matter. Communism, socialism, fascism and capitalism are subservient to something else and that is monetary-ism. Even though the Soviet Union was a communist state, they had to deal with a global monetary system. They used money and banks themselves and had to trade with other countries. Hypothetically, what would have happened if they didn't spend a dime on defense but all their efforts went to transportation, housing and feeding everyone using the latest technology? Regardless of the Soviet Union not being a democracy, at no point in time did it ever truly care about the wellbeing of its citizens.
How free are you really in a highly capitalistic society like the U.S? I'm not arguing that the Soviet Union was a better society in any way, but looking at the political system in the states I don't see that much diversity either. Basically there are 2 parties, Republicans and Democrats, and both primarily serve financial/business interests and secondary the needs of the people. While you can walk freely around, you're only as free as your purchasing power will allow. Seeing how corporations can have so much influence on the political process (by lobbying) I would postulate that the U.S. is not a true democracy either. For over a century there has been a tremendous influence of the most dominant institutions (banks and other large corporations) in that country. How free are you really?

"Zeitgeist Addendum ignores this reality. At one point the narrator even says that the greatest evil in the world today is "the free enterprise system." That’s an incredible statement, especially inasmuch as the free enterprise system has been dead for several decades. It lives in name only. The whole world now is in the grips of non-competitive monopolies and cartels that have forged partnerships with governments. All of the evils to which this program alludes are the result, not of the free enterprise system, but of the abandonment of free enterprise and the adoption of collectivism. This program creates a mythological boogeyman and then advocates more of the very thing that has brought us to the mess we are in today."

Now we are getting to the bottom line. The profit motive is a good thing according to Griffin provided it is implemented in a free system where government does not intervene in the market place. The age old marketing phrase; 'the best quality products and services for the lowest possible prices,' is thrown in for good measure. To top it off Griffin seems to think that present day free enterprise has fallen victim to collectivism. The underlying belief here is that a free market system, without the interference of any type of government, will produce a stable economy and thus society.
I'm sorry Mr. Griffin, I couldn't disagree with you more. No matter how you twist and turn it, the free market system is a type of economic survival of the fittest. In essence it is social darwinism. The competition itself weeds out the weak and lets the strong and dominate prevail. Small local businesses will compete, some will fail and go bankrupt while others will simply transform into big businesses. Those big businesses will have tremendous influence and what do you know? That's precisely what you have right now in American society. That didn't happen by mistake, it's a direct consequence of the free market system.

Often I see American people protest on television, they want lower taxes and smaller government but they do want to make money. These people want to protect their own interests. Well, guess what? Those big corporations are basically made up of people with the same mindset and just like a blue-collar worker they will protect their interests as well. The difference is that they are wealthy and probably millionaires. This is not collectivism, this is selfism on multiple capitalistic levels. That's why you'll hear the Republican Party advocate "we wont distribute the wealth." That kind of selfism appeals to people and that's why they get many votes but people are ignorant to how far this goes on the social ladder.
It is clear to me that Edward Griffin is locked in this paradigm. He loves the American Dream yet is unhappy with the result that some are more successful and have influence over the rest. If I can make an analogy here, people like Mr. Griffin love the game of poker (capitalism) but when they are dealt a hand that wont secure the game they insist on a reshuffle so that they can have another shot.

For me, Zeitgeist Addendum was an eye-opener and a confirmation of what I already experienced and learned in the world. It offers a viable alternative to the economic turmoil that's going on right now. It's the quest of acquiring money itself, the need to survive that brings out the worst in people. Edward Griffin, like many Americans, is seemingly oblivious to this notion and will blame everything else as a "disease" before looking at himself and the root causes of problems in our society. When the bottom line is that every single person on the planet will do whatever it takes to survive, do you really advocate a system that's based on selfism and competition? Or do you advocate a system that brings out the best in people?

February 19, 2011

Galanthus


Always the first bulbous plant to bloom, and when it's still wintertime. Holland is of course known for its tulips but there are many others plants like Galanthus that do equally well. In fact tulips gets worse over time because they make smaller bulbs which only produce leafs. Bulbs like Galanthus or Muscari do even better and bloom every year guaranteed. If you're ever in Holland and want to buy bulbs, get the ones I mention here (besides tulips) because you'll be enjoying them for a long time.

February 18, 2011

Price Jam


A new album by Pearl Jam is out, Live On Ten Legs. The title is reminiscent of the 98 album and I'm sure the guys had that in mind, at least the marketing ones. 18 tracks are on the album. Sounds like a good cd to buy but I'm not going to do that although I'm a fan. The reason is somewhat simple. I already have 6 live cd's from PJ concerts around the world and also Live On Two Legs. Around 8 years back the band released a cd from every live concert they did (in that time) to stop the bootlegging that was so rampant and at the same time give the fans an opportunity to have a decent live recording, but to be honest the latter is questionable since I'm sure there was also a profit motive. With the new album over here they charge 20 bucks for it in the stores. The thing is, I bought Backspacer and Eddie Vedder's solo album Into The Wild for that same price when they were just released only to find out 6 to 12 months later that those prices dropped considerably. You could buy them for 10 bucks and I saw one store that had Into The Wild for half that price. Sorry guys, I'm already decently stocked with PJ live material and just going to wait for a bargain.

Sketchzoid #26

February 16, 2011

Tea Party Pipe Dreams


Always fascinating to see this particular aspect of American society and also the Tea Party movement in general. I say that with mixed feelings because on one hand I sympathize with what the people are striving for yet on the other hand I'm of the opinion that they are barking up the wrong tree here and are to some degree woefully ignorant of the entire system they support with its causes and effects. "Don't tax me" seems to be at the core of the current grievance with the government, and many signs during protests carry that message one way or another. People are concerned about their own personal wealth and money, and here is where the trick lies, because in case you haven't noticed billionaires and investment bankers do the same thing.

Lets get back to taxation though. Yes, America is going through a rough patch. It has been doing that since the Cold War ended. Military expenditures didn't exactly cut back, although there was a slight dip in the mid 90's it has skyrocketed ever since. You can ask yourself why billions of your taxpayer money are continued to be spend on defense. Public debt has increased to 14 trillion dollars with half of that owed to the Federal Reserve and a quarter of that to foreign countries. The politicians you voted for, no matter if they were Democrat or Republican, are responsible for the situation you are in. Yet even they are bound to the laws of the monetary system.

Where does taxation originate from? This may seem weird to you but it is automatically generated by fiat currency. The dollar in your wallet which is issued by the government basically has no value, it is being given value by what the government can put up in collateral (taxation). In other words the value of your money hinges upon taxation. The two are intimately connected. Fiat currency demands an immediate return in order to give it value, it has to have a backing. That backing is what the government can haul back should it need to. It gets even worse though. Money is basically debt - created out of thin air by banks who loan that money and demand interest on it.

The Federal Reserve creates money out of nothing, loans it to the U.S. treasury which has to be paid back with interest. How do you pay it back? Through taxation of course. That's the whole kicker. Any new money that's being created through the Fed will have a direct effect on the American taxpayer. The Fed itself is also made up of 'members banks,' private commercial banks who own stock and get a guaranteed 6% dividend on their capital. This is the singularity where money becomes debt because with its creation there's an immediate negative balance which can only be repaid through taxation and the creation of new money. This is a monetary law.


Socialism? No, I don't think so. This is pure capitalism. Accusing the Obama administration of socialism is a misnomer. A Republican administration is bound by the same monetary laws although they do have a tendency to tax less and make cutbacks on social programs. In the long run this changes nothing since the current public debt, which the Bush administration was also largely responsible for, still requires heavy taxation. The hole is already there and not going away anytime soon. On the flip side, even socialism is (and was) obligated to meet the demands of the (global) monetary system.

Socialism has a tendency to nationalize, while capitalism has a tendency to privatize. Here's a silly question. Is the U.S.A. a textbook case of nationalisation or privatisation? Of course it's the latter. Most of the healthcare system is privatized, defense hardware is researched and developed by private contractors. Even the point of money creation, the Federal Reserve is privatized. Private commercial banks are authorized to create new money using "fractional reserve banking." I'm sorry, socialism just isn't there. It's all capitalism whether you like it or not.

The credit crisis of 2008 wasn't a feat of socialism, it was unrestricted capitalism which brought many financial institutions on the brink of collapse and where the government felt to need to interfere in order to avoid a domino effect. Tea Party protestors often speak off not wanting to pay (more) taxes but at the same time they are perfectly happy to rake in the dollars themselves through private businesses operating in the free market system. They seem to neglect the fact that what you see today IS the free market system. Another pipe dream is to think that the free market system will provide for everyone in equality. It never has.

The free market system is a competition and as such is a type of economic survival of the fittest. Small businesses will eventually grow into big businesses or they go bankrupt. Don't think that your store or your job will provide economic stability for eternity. The economic jungle, the profit motive and the advent of new technologies will put your way of life in jeopardy sooner or later. Big business interests, just like the Tea Party protestors, will have their own financial (self) interest at heart. Like you - and what I hear often from Republican politicians - they are not about distributing the wealth. You know who's responsible for the current economic turmoil? Since you're supporting a system and seemingly oblivious to its drawbacks, you are responsible as well.

Solar Chaos?


A Belgian astronomical institute (KSB) issued a warning that the sun had produced an extreme large solar flare that is heading our way. The data is based on the findings of the Belgian Proba-2 satellite. The geo-magnetic storm could possible interfere with GPS signals, cellphones and air traffic control systems. Also satellites and radio communications can expect interference and possibly malfunctions. Car drivers are also warned that there TomTom's can give faulty readings although its expected this will stay within a 10 meter deviation. Nothing on the NASA website (yet). The solar material is expected to reach us on thursday, the 17th of February. More information here.

February 14, 2011

Ghosts Of 9/11


I've gone on record stating that the attacks on 9/11 were not an inside job yet what I mentioned back then and what I still have now is basically suspicions and doubts. Today I recalled a segment from the documentary Zeitgeist the Movie where a picture is shown of a steel beam cut at an angle. (See picture above.) I must admit that at the time of watching the documentary I didn't give it much attention and the first Zeitgeist film is not the best of the series but I decided to look up that particular photograph today on the internet anyway. It can be found quite easily using Google Images and a few keywords such as WTC and steel beams. The longer I stared at the photograph the more the feeling came over me that something is very wrong here.

The beam in question, just behind the fireman, is clearly cut at an angle. More remarkable is the apparent molten metal that seemingly has dripped down along the lines of the fracture before it settled again. I can see why this is an argument for the (conspiracy) theory that the World Trade Centers were brought down with the help of a controlled demolition. The cut itself is in fact used by demolition experts in this manner because the structure above it slides away from the column under its own weight. It's a technique used specifically in demolition jobs. No self-respecting engineer would design or use an angled steel beam in this way because it goes against structural integrity. Here's a close up.


The molten metal is what stands out. When you go back to the top photograph you'll notice that no one is working in that area and that it's also not accessible. Smoke is still coming out of the ground so it's safe to assume this photograph was taken within days of the collapse. The reason why I mention this is because workers did in fact cut metal beams on ground zero into smaller pieces using acetylene torches, as this picture proves.


I would imagine that working on a vertical column and trying to cut it down is very dangerous, and I'm assuming that if such work has to be done it would preferably be done horizontally as to not create hazardous working conditions. When you cut a steel beam that's standing upright and weighs tons and it's going to fall somewhere with the potential to kill, I would surmise you would try to avoid such a scenario anyway possible. I don't doubt that the workers cut metal beams in the aftermath of 9/11, and I even believe that they would cut the material at an angle. Yet the thing is, I've gone through a number of photographs where the blackened and molten steel is not visible while a diagonal cut has definitely been made.



So what could cause the typical cut and molten steel? It turns out thermite can. There has been a lot of discussion on the internet and in mainstream media about thermite. Many people have said that while thermite burns hot, hot enough to melt steel, it's not a practical way to do it since it ignites in every direction. With conducted tests you also often see someone filling a garden pot with thermite and letting it drip on steel. That has been proven not to work in creating a fracture in the metal itself. Yet what many people in the media apparently forget is that there is a technique you can use that overcomes that deficit. It's called a shaped charge and the guy in this video uses it to cut through a steel column at every angle.



Jonathan Cole conducted many experiments with thermite on metal and as the pictures above show he was highly successful in using it as a means of demolition. Again we also see the resettled metal that has dripped down under the force of gravity. Despite what many sources led you to believe, thermite could have been used with the addition of a shaped charge. This is just one component of the 9/11 mystery that seems to go on till this day. I have left out other items such as the molten metal that was dug out of the ground at ground zero. This blog is about the cut metal beam. Is it conclusive? I would have to say no since no research has been done on the metal columns directly taken from ground zero and sadly much of that material was quickly whisked away, but what I have learned is that the "whacky conspiracy theorists" certainly make a good point for the 'thermite case.'

February 12, 2011

Blowback Cartoon


Above is a cartoon made by Adriaan Soeterbroek depicting Dutch politician Geert Wilders and as you can see it's quite charged and politically incorrect. There's a background story to this. Last week Wilders opted to round up all the scum from the streets and put them into specially constructed villages (made out of containers) so that they would no longer be a danger to society. Wilders heads the right wing party PVV here in Holland. Not everyone took that comment very well including the aforementioned cartoonist.

In the cartoon itself there are a number of references to WW2 and the persecution of Jews yet the people displayed are off Muslim descent. That's because Wilders is a staunch anti-Islamist. The figures also wear the letter T on the chest which is a reference to the Dutch word "Tuig" meaning scum. The placement is also reminiscent of where the Jews had to wear the Star of David. The cartoon clearly depicts a fenced camp site and the guard (Wilders) is halting them and pointing towards a sign named "douche" which means shower in Dutch. The references are there for anyone to see.

Naturally Geert Wilders was more than a little bit upset and called the cartoon 'disgusting and sickening.' Which is quite weird since he had no problem defending Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed in less than flattering ways in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Back then Wilders harped all about freedom of speech. It's causing quite a stir here in Holland. There are a number of people who defend him and there are those that attack him. What's obvious, at least to me, is that Wilders is a "do as I say - not as I do" kind of person. Freedom of speech apparently wasn't a main concern for Wilders when the negativity was focused on him.

He has no problem criticizing Islam on a regular basis and was also heavily involved with the controversial film Fitna. The fallout of such actions are highly predictable, even for Wilders - make no mistake. Clearly he loves to tackle but if he's the one on the receiving end he screams bloody murder. But then again he's a politician who loves to create waves in the masses but when accountability knocks on the door he's not home. Personally I think that although the cartoon is distasteful, it is food for thought on multiple levels.

The Egyptian Dilemma


The Egyptian regime change was constantly on the news the last few weeks. The people of Egypt were tired of president Mubarak who ruled the country like a dictator for 30 years. The uprising seemed to have blown over from Tunisia with the recent ousting of president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. That aspect alone, a people's revolt, in two Islamic countries and in quick succession is remarkable by itself. These regimes lasted for decades and were brutal to its own people. There's another aspect which stands out even more if you ask me.

In the media, especially in the U.S. but also in Europe, Mubarak was quickly dropped as a good choice for the people of Egypt. The media is full right now with segments where political analysts state that the country should move towards freedom and democracy. Not unsound advice mind you, but why is this so out of the ordinary? Well, because often those same political analysts you see in the news right now supported Mubarak for many years. There's definitely some hypocrisy involved here. Mubarak was supported by the U.S. because of his willingness to accept and make peace with the state of Israel and because of the clamp down on (religious) extremists elements in his own country.

Mubarak was considered an ally in the geopolitical arena for decades, yet right now he's dropped like a bad habit. Also interesting to note are the weapon sales to Egypt, both the Egyptian Air Force and Army are largely equipped with American military hardware. Such deliveries can only come with the approval of the U.S. government. Should this large weapons inventory fall into the hands of more extremist elements after the regime change the U.S. and Israel would have a major problem. What's most remarkable is how the media currently harps the freedom and democracy tune while they hardly reflect on the support Mubarak had for decades. If Egypt will reach a state of democracy is anyone's guess.

It's not unreasonable to assume that politicians and intelligence services in countries outside Egypt are very concerned about the situation. History has shown that security and stability takes precedent over freedom and democracy. You just have to recognize the ugly truth, the U.S. has always done business with dictators as long as it was in their interest. Freedom and democracy were of little concern in places like Chili, Iraq, Argentina and Egypt. When dictators like Samuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein stopped playing ball it became a different matter altogether. How the Egyptian dilemma is going to play out is still uncertain. My guess is that the military will still hold a major influence over domestic policies and will continue to have the support of outside sources even if the country attains more democracy.

February 11, 2011

Junk Fence


Starting last weekend we had 5 days of stormy weather. The picture above depicts my neighbor's garden fence which catastrophically failed under the punishing winds. Well, it wasn't really their fence. I think it's 5 to 6 years old and was constructed by the previous people who lived there. Last summer I constructed a new fence for my garden and refused to buy a (cheap) ready to go panel from the do-it-yourself store. The reason why should by clear by viewing the photograph. You basically buy junk at those stores (for those prices) and while the wood is impregnated you'd still need to coat it with a good outdoor paint. Cheap is not always better.
My brother bought and constructed a fence using hardwood almost 2 years back. It's expensive material and I think he almost spend a €1000 on it, but I was at his place a few weeks ago and I noticed that in all this time there wasn't a single blemish on the wood. Above you can also see how much moss already infected the material. We have a slang word for that kind of material in Dutch although it loses something in translation; "blowtree-wood."

Origins


Guess who the guy with the extended cigarette&holder is? It's Dutch right wing politician Geert Wilders who's often in the news the last few years criticizing Islam. He's 20 years old in the shot above and personally I don't mind his appearance, after all, we were all young once. What's so fascinating about Wilders, and what many Dutch voters don't know, is that he has strong ties to Israel. After school and in his late teens Wilders moved to Israel and lived in a moshav called Tomer for a while. It's not illogical to assume that his anti-Islamic views were developed there. Below he's at the Western Wall in Jerusalem paying his respects. Some ideologies can have a clear origin. There's already some talk that Wilders is a stooge of Israel or on the payroll seeing how his views coincide with hardline Israeli views. Don't think that is the case here. I think Wilders, although a politician and a populist, really believes what he is saying regarding Islam.

February 9, 2011

The Other Side Of Zeitgeist


For some time now I find it fascinating how Americans view their own society and how it should be improved. Things aren't going well at the moment, economy wise, so many people complain. American culture is quite remarkable since practically everyone hinges their arguments on the constitution and see the fallout of the current economic turmoil as an infraction on their rights. Naturally they fear increased taxation which is not totally unjustified. How else can the 14 trillion dollar public debt be repaid? Yet being against social programs which will acquire funds in the form of taxes will also diminish the accessibility of said programs and their effectiveness for society as a whole.

What it boils down to, and what seems to a typical American character trait, is that people don't want to pay for anything if it doesn't help them directly. They see paying taxes as a violation of their rights, in this case the right to happiness a.k.a. making lots of money. After all, the American Dream is based on collecting money and wealth, not giving it away. The latter is what permeates through American culture and what is at the core of the dissatisfaction with the government. Is adopting such a philosophy healthy in the long run? I sincerely doubt it, but lets delve more into the subject matter. On the internet I often see the same argument coming up and it goes something like this;

"True prosperity and freedom comes from individual liberties based on private property right upheld by voluntary contracts enforced by a small local government."

What's so fascinating is that practically all of the political flows in the U.S. advocate this ideology one way or another. The GOP, the Republican Party often speaks of small government, yet at the same time they are also strongly against regulating the market. (And what aspect of society caused the 2008 credit crisis?) Democrats only differ in that they want to tax a bit more for social programs such as healthcare. Libertarians such as Ron Paul use the phrase above as well but not many people seem to realize that he is a laissez-faire capitalist and for the free market, against minimum wage and for low taxation of corporations. (How's that trickle-down effect working for you?)

From an outsiders perspective there isn't much difference between those major political flows in the U.S. They more or less state the same thing with minor deviations. All of them flow towards the same core pillars; prosperity, freedom, individual liberties, private property and small government. Yet these pillars, whether you realize it or not, are strongly connected to something else entirely; capitalism and the free market system. When you dig really deep down, what causes the friction between what you consider infringement upon your rights? It's your own ideology and the free market system!

What causes the 'friction' are the 'big business interests.' Wall Street, which is a direct result of the free market system, has a tremendous influence on domestic policy. Yet Wall Street is based on the same pillars. Prosperity, that which generates a profit. Freedom, the freedom to invest and buy property or stock. Private property, that which you can buy and call your own or sell. Small government is what Wall Street wants as well. Less regulations the better. Knowing this and that there isn't much difference in ideology, something else must be at the cause of the friction.

It's selfism and protectionism. What Wall Street is doing right now is simply trying to make money any way they can and protecting their "property" at the same time. This is what collides with those less fortunate, who are preoccupied with the same mechanics - protecting their self interest - and find themselves at the short end of the stick. The irony here is that there isn't much difference between the mindset of an investment banker on Wall Street and a shop owner in small town U.S.A. Both are selfish and ignorant, and focused on making money. It's the people just like you that caused the credit crisis of 2008.

That's the ugly truth, and no small government or less taxation is ever going to change anything. Small businesses eventually grow into big businesses with massive wealth and big interests. Saying that true prosperity and freedom comes from the system is sticking your head in the sand because at one point you'll simply have conflicting interests by different layers of society. It's the mindset, the ideology itself that causes the problems. You live in a world that's basically a corporatocracy and where money comes first, and people are secondary. That is the root cause.


February 6, 2011

Next Gen


Just read an article that the United States Navy field tested the unmanned aerial vehicle, the X47B. The idea is that in the future this remote controlled plane can be launched from aircraft carriers. The stealth bomber took off from Edwards Air Force Base and made a 29 minute maiden flight without incident, apparently. Numerous U.A.V.'s are already in service but the X47B will be the next step in stealth and weapons delivery. It's also a safe bet that the technology, both hardware and software, will be cutting edge. While not clearly described in the article it might be possible the aircraft also has advanced software which will enable the craft to operate largely autonomous and with little input from the operators. That is something that's been worked on for quite a while now. Too bad so much effort, time and money goes into weapons technology, and not in solving human problems.

February 3, 2011

Pyrite


"The Zeitgeist movement is the first Internet-based apocalyptic cult, centered around a doomsday-proclaiming film and an ideology filled with classic anti-Semitic tropes."




That's how the article by Michelle Goldberg starts who, amazingly, actually has a masters degree in journalism. The Brooklyn based author and journalist has written a couple of books and published many articles in magazines. She's married to Matthew Ipcar who was involved with the Obama administration during the elections and after. From the looks of it Miss Goldberg is Jewish and a libertarian not that typecasting is desirable or conclusive in relation to other matters, however it can explain some of the motivations behind certain statements.

Apocalyptic cult and anti-Semitic rhetoric, I must say, is a brand new terminology to describe the Zeitgeist Movement. I've heard Zeitgeist being accused of communism, fascism, occultism, cultism (in the general sense), satanism and of NWO-ism. Anti-semitism is the 'new kid on the block.' Michelle Goldberg must be congratulated in finding the latest and most innovative way to smear a social movement.

Claiming the movement is apocalyptic is taking matters somewhat out of proportions, but that seems to be a constant in the entire article. To be honest, a collapse of the current socioeconomic paradigm is something that is portrayed in Zeitgeist Moving Forward. That doesn't imply everyone wants to see the current system collapse with all the hardships and possible loss of life that could very well go along with it. In fact, I think that most people would like to avoid such a scenario from ever taking place. That's why we advocate a different system to begin with. We are not hoping things fall apart tomorrow, we do take into account that such a thing could happen. The latter is based on a multitude of factors.

Oil is going to run out. It's that plain and simple. There's a limited amount still in the ground and we are consuming the oil reserves at an increasing rate. The entire world economy is based on it. Many products are oil based. The mathematics is very simple here. When oil runs out you'll have a problem. Nothing doomsday about it, it's reality. When you watch the news about the economy you see massive unemployment and increasing debt everywhere. Cities and states are tightening their belts. The U.S. has a public debt of 14 trillion dollars. Who do you think is going to pay for that? I'll give you a hint; it's not the banks. In fact it's the taxpayer. Honestly Miss Goldberg, how much more can the economy of the U.S. take before it's essentially bankrupt?

Are we really that apocalyptic or are we realists? Maybe we are not the ones sticking our heads in the sand? It's also always startling to see when the derogatory word 'cult' is thrown around every time a person disagrees with the philosophy of a certain social group. It's a convenient way of dismissing and discarding the ideology of that group without having to confront the points it raises. Quickly labeling a group as a cult is in reality a very weak intellectual argument, and it also shows the character of the one making the claim. Cults can be found everywhere when applied loosely. Republicans, New York Yankees fans, the Amish, Apple users. Take your pick.

Brenton Eccles, a former member is hallowed more or less as a cult member who broke free from the clutches of the 'evil cult.' I don't know all the details about Mr. Eccles departure, if I'm not mistaken he divulged personal information to third parties and was asked to leave. Can the ideology of Zeitgeist leave you with a sense of disconnect to the current world? Of course it can, it presents a more optimistic environment. You can also ask yourself why some people find the ideology in Zeitgeist so appealing compared to their own current reality. There are a lot of people who have to work 40 to 50 years, doing less than fulfilling jobs in order to acquire the necessities of life, paying off a mortgage and so on. All of this under the constant risk of losing it all when they lose their jobs and can't pay their bills. Many Zeitgeist members are aware of what lies ahead for them. In the final run, what really occupies the mindset of Zeitgeist members, cultism or altruism?

How the author can come to the conclusion that Zeitgeist is right wing and anti-semitic is beyond my comprehension. You really have to connect some strange dots yet the author manages to do exactly that. A fantastic journey is made through the bowels of the intellect and when the end of the mental digestive track is reached a sticky and steamy pile of conclusions is produced. It goes something like this; Peter Joseph used material here and there which could be interpreted, if you dig really deep, as having anti-semitic tones - therefore he probably is an anti-semite even though he works with Jacque Fresco who's actually a semite. Although the author can't prove her assertions that Peter Joseph or the Zeitgeist Movement are directly and in plain sight anti-semite, she even admits this by saying Zeitgeist says nothing about Jews, the (conspiracy) theory is forwarded nonetheless that they are just that. Well, excuse me if I press the flush button on this one and don't stay around to take in the aroma.

What this amounts up to in my book is that Michelle Goldberg is just using her background in order to expedite an outcome. Over here in Europe we call that "positive discrimination" and it is often used by groups who were genuinely victims in the past but use that fact strictly for their own advantage. For example, a black man can walk into an institution applying for a job there and at the same time demanding the institution should hire more black people and if they do not they ought to be deemed racists. Goldberg employs a similar method by forcing the outcome that Zeitgeist is anti-semitic (without providing clear evidence) while simultaneously leaning on her Jewish back ground. And to be clear, I have nothing against Jews. Drama queens are an entirely different matter altogether.

To finalize, I think it's sad that a person like Miss Goldberg, who is in fact educated and highly literate, can come to these conclusions. I'm not even sure if she's serious about the article. Several times I got the notion that she must be joking. Playing the Jewish angle is also a convenient vehicle to get where you want. That also seems to have been the main trust of the article, at least in my opinion. The critique on Zeitgeist is also a reminder that while some people can be experts in their particular fields and are well educated, it doesn't mean they can step outside the confines of their ideological box. Not everything that shines is made of gold.


Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Zeitgeist & The Redneck Rebellion


Zeitgeist translated means 'spirit of the time' and it's more accurate as a definition for the times we live in than you might think. While there are a number of supporters of the Zeitgeist films and the Venus Project in particular, there are also a number of detractors who are very vocal. We live in a free society of course and everyone is entitled to their opinions but some of the accusations I see lately are cause for concern. Some comments are taken to the extreme and personally I fear that someone might take that in too literally and in the final run will hurt somebody in the physical world instead of just throwing words on the internet.

Let's take some examples from the internet. The gentleman above is a person who goes by the handle of Lonestar1776 on YouTube. His particular problem with Zeitgeist is that according to him it's part of a NWO plan and that 94 year-old Jacque Fresco is "evil." It's not hard to detect that this person is from Texas and he's not an exception since there are more folks from that state who are vocally anti-Zeitgeist. You have to wonder if this particular aspect is the handy-work of Texan Alex Jones who called Zeitgeist a "luciferian sun-worshipping cult" and part of a scheme planned by the equally evil new world order. Jones himself is a conservative Christian and anti-government, it seems only logical that he would attract followers to his show that are of the same disposition.

How much influence Jones had on the outlook of Zeitgeist is uncertain but it's easily detectable that a number of people adopted his methodology concerning Zeitgeist. I've seen many blogs, articles and videos that criticize Zeitgeist and the remarkable thing is that (in my estimation) 90% of the people come from the United States. A few come from Canada or the U.K. but the majority come from the U.S. That in itself is a sociological phenomenon. It shows which culture generates the most friction with the ideology that can be found in Zeitgeist. Sharing all the world's resources, doing away with the monetary system and establishing a society based on equality seemingly somehow gets lost. Yet that is no accident. Barriers in the minds of people will automatically do just that. Culture will do just that.


James Kush excels in coming up with negative viewpoints towards the Zeitgeist Movement which he'll jam into his articles that he produces like a conveyor belt. Kush probably spends many hours scouring the internet looking for dirt, seeing how many websites he visits for source material. It's quite remarkable that a person can come up with so much negativity that you have to wonder about the motivation, what drives people to act in this manner? Judging from his comments above there seems to be more than one thing. Religion, the occult, cult mechanics, anti-Americanism, conspiracy theories and so on. It's quite the list but is that really the truth?

I don't think it is. What you'll often find with critics is that they borrow from each other. Kush clearly lists other websites from other critics. If you check up on critics in intervals you'll find sometimes that they have added certain types of critique. Kush first started of with claiming that Zeitgeist was into the occult. That was based on the first Zeitgeist movie that criticized religion and used alternative sources to convey the point. Those sources are on the opposite side of religious dogma so for a conservative religious person it's easy to take offense. Later on Kush adopted the 'cult' angle, more or less claiming that members of the Zeitgeist Movement are (being) brainwashed.

What it boils down to is this. It's not so much one particular aspect of all the critique that is so important, it's using critique, any type of critique they can find, just to do some damage. I think people like Kush even don't believe that all the people that make up the Zeitgeist Movement are into the occult or anti-American and cult members. Such a claim is untenable to begin with. People from all walks of life join the movement and not all are atheist myself included. I wouldn't have anything to do with satanists to begin with, my religious upbringing is still a factor if I would detect such matters. I would surmise that something else is at the core with critics and their behavior. Something aroused them that resulted in acting the way they do.


Couple of days ago I found a video on YouTube by a guy named Maynard. He doesn't waste any time and fires on all cylinders claiming the Zeitgeist Movement is (and I quote) "a neo-satanist cult looking to convince the masses that they need to be rounded up for their own good and the good of the planet." There you go! Um, so as a member of a movement that strives for a better world I can be regarded as a 'neo-satanist?' Call me strange but isn't such a statement highly derogatory to begin with? Of course it is. Maynard's message isn't really about that we are "evil" people (let alone that he can prove it), it's about portraying the movement in a bad light. It's about how that person wants another group to be perceived. The actual truth has nothing to with it.

I asked that person if he was a conservative Christian or a religious person in general and he claims he was not. That automatically begs the question; 'why would you use a heavily charged religious word like 'satanist' if you're not religious in the first place?' The answer I think is very simple. It enables the person to smear. Other matters such as nationalism or patriotism are far more likely to be at the root cause. In another video Maynard can be found holding a speech with the flag of America and the Tea Party in the background, as the picture above shows. It is a culture conflict that drives people like the ones I described above to act in the manner that they do.

Where it gets more than a little discomforting is when people start to throw the 'terrorist' accusation around, like the YouTube user below. A bit more research regarding this person reveals that he's a religious fundamentalist. Now we at least know the cause of his argument(s), but stating that Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows should be arrested on the grounds of terrorism is more than a little bit whacky or derogatory. It enters a field where people are so upset that the next possible thing is actual physical harm. This is a realm we shouldn't enter of course. I would rather be called a "satanist" than to see someone getting hurt or killed.

I think that only in a few cases there's an actual religious person that is genuinely offended, most critics I've seen so far like to use the religious angle but aren't really that religious to begin with. It is more a means to an end than anything else. Other influences are far more likely to be the core generator for discontent. As stated previously, nationalism and patriotism play a big role. Most Americans are raised to pledge allegiance to the flag and are taught by their parents that they live in the greatest country of the world. If anything would present itself that challenges that perception they would react and sometimes (if not most of the times) not really fully grasping why they do it.

If the Zeitgeist Movement suggests that all the world's resources ought to be shared, well that's not something they were brought up with. Apparently they are locked in a certain mindset. From my perspective the great irony here is that many of the critics I've seen on YouTube or who simultaneously share private information on their websites or blogs, are not bathing in luxury themselves. In fact most of them have modest means, live in a small apartment or house and drive old trucks. It's a bit shocking to see that they feel the need to vehemently defend what little they may have while the Zeitgeist Movement will be the last to take that away from them. Chances are that their current government but most of all the banks will have that questionable honor.

I sincerely hope it doesn't devolves to physical harm. Name calling can still be tolerated, injuries can not.


All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

February 2, 2011

Dude, Where's My Car? VIII


Here's something you don't see every day. In New Hampshire a car slipped, flipped and landed on its nose where it miraculously stayed in position. Driver was unhurt and made it out, without tumbling the car over. Hmm.

February 1, 2011

Chicken&Rice


Chicken and rice, so easy to make. What I found out lately is that it's best not to cut the meat that small, otherwise you'll be flipping them over like crazy when they are about done. Make "strips" which you can always cut down later. For veggies I used onions, mushrooms, paprika and leek. Total work time; about half an hour. Not counting doing the dishes later on.