Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Cold War - An American racket

Why did (and still does) America wage wars against socialists in _other_ countries, killing millions and millions of people (including a huge chunk  of the civilian population), when being a socialist is perfectly legal in America?  - That's just got to be insane.

So why did (and still does) America wage its Cold War?

Is it because socialist regimes stifle democracy?  Well, so does America.  America's posture has been (and still is) "You can have any  regime you like as long it's 'America friendly' i.e. as long as you allow  American corporations to exploit your people and your resources - and if  you don't, we'll make sure your regime is toppled. We'll even install a  dictatorship if we have to.  We'll even invade you if we have to."  That's  democratic, is it?  Clearly _not_.  It's totalitarianism - American capitalist totalitarianism.  So the Cold War was/is absolutely  NOT about spreading freedom and democracy.

Is it because socialism doesn't work?   Well, let's think about that for a minute, shall we?  America so severely throttles and constrains socialist regimes with trade sanctions, embargoes, blockades, internal undermining (including black ops and assassinations), etc., that their economies collapse.  For America to then say "See, socialism doesn't work" is a complete scam - it was (and still is) a massive Mafia-esque racket.

Is the Cold War about human rights abuses by socialist regimes?  Hardly.  The pro-American dictators (generals, shahs, kings, sultans and emirs) that America has installed in countless countries around the world have had just as bad a track record on human rights as any socialist regime - if not more so.  Ask yourself this: Has America ever invaded a capitalist dictatorship?  No!  Interesting, eh?  Wonder why that is... So, the Cold War was/is absolutely NOT not about human rights. 

Hang about... If it's not about freedom, democracy, human rights or "lifting them out of poverty", then what is it all about? Why _did_ America kill millions and millions of people in its wars,  trade sanctions, embargoes, blockades, internal undermining (including black ops and assassinations), etc., against "evil" socialism?  

It was always about America's self-serving "interests".  

And what are  these "interests"?  They are money, money, and more money.  Corporate profits sucked out of underdeveloped countries and sent back to America. It was always about the economic rape and pillage of underdeveloped countries, without which America's economy would totally collapse - it would be a basket case of Venezuelan proportions.  

And now we can see clearly why socialist regimes have been deemed "evil": Because they disallow parasitic American corporations to suck the lifeblood out of the domestic economies of underdeveloped countires - and make them forever dependent on America.  That's a nice racket...

American capitalism is a global parasite keeping Americans rich at the expense of underdeveloped countries.  You don't have to be a genius to understand that this tends to breed socialist (anti-imperialist) ideologies in those countries - and if a socialist regime rises to power,  America starts its mass murderous Mafia-esque racket all over again. 

In 1934, Smedley Butler, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two-time Medal of Honor recipient saw it all coming - and he wrote a book titled "War Is A Racket".

(It's a PDF file you can download for free.)

Trump era update:  With Trump's belligerent isolationist and protectionist attitudes driving his Make America Great Again agenda, his actions and words have spooked the G20 countries to such an extent that the risk of a new global financial  crisis far worse than that of 2008 looms large.  One possible reaction to Trump's insane policies is that America gets ignored, kicked out, and the resultant G19 making new trade deals with each other to protect themselves against American economic aggression.  In other words, the world keeps going with a kinder, less brutal, more inclusive form of capitalism, whilst America goes down the economic drain.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Second Gulf War - a History

It's ANZAC Day here in Australia.  A day on which Australians are supposed to reflect on war and the glory it bestowes upon those who took part.

The war that has most occupied my thinking since September 11, 2001, has been the Second Gulf War.  Why?  Because of the utter insanity of that war, and the lies told to "sell" that war the world.

Here's my take on it:

After nearly ten years of war against Iran, Iraq (America's proxy),  called it quits.  Iraq had lost 350,000 dead and five times that number wounded - it was exhausted.  But America was not happy that Iraq was no longer killing Iranians on its behalf.  All of a sudden, now that he was no longer America's favourite "strong man", Saddam Hussein was branded an "evil dictator".

Iraq also had a long-standing territorial dispute with Kuwait, going right back to when the colonial Brits had drawn lines on middle eastern maps with their flair for "divide and conquer" strategies.  Kuwait had also started massive slant drilling operations at the border with Iraq, plundering Iraqi oil deposits and undercutting the price of oil, thus seriously damaging Iraq's war-ravaged economy.

The American ambassador to Iraq gave Saddam good reason to believe that the US would not intervene if he invaded Kuwait - virtually giving Saddam the green light to invade.   Had America threatened Saddam with massive military intervention, analysts these days
overwhelmingly agree that the First Gulf War would never have happened.  But be that as it may, George Bush (snr) understood the importance of leaving Saddam in power because his regime effectively controlled the majority pro-Iranian Shia population of Iraq.

George Bush (Jnr), manipulated by the neocons, and too stupid to understand the forces at work in Iraq, launched the Second Gulf War in 2003 and destroyed the regime of  Saddam Hussein.  As a result, a massive pro-Iranian (Shia) political force took over Iraq and the
Sunni population, having been sidelined, mounted an aggressive insurgency, attracting al Qaeda and other foreign (Sunni) fighters to its cause  

In neighbouring Syria, a Sunni insurgency was also under way.  Soon these Sunni insurgencies joined forces and formed what became Islamic State (ISIS) - a "terrorist" organsation hundreds of times bigger than al-Qaeda was in September 2001.

The former Chief Strategist in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the US State Department, David Kilcullen, has said that "There undeniably would be no ISIS if we had not invaded Iraq." 

America waged war against these Sunni "terrorists" and supported, armed, and trained Iraq's (Shia-dominated) government in Baghdad, apparently oblivious to the fact that the Shia were loyal to Iran.   

Who won the Second Gulf War?  Iran did.  Hands down.  And there's little America can do about it now. Game, set, and match.  Unless of course America wants to score a second own goal by invading Iran...  That would be fun...  Not...

And what of the Trump regime?  Trump has alienated America's "allies" to such an extent that it is questionable whether they would join America in invading Iran anytime soon. Trump has shown America's true (self interest) colours, and its "allies" have long memories.   Trust, once broken takes a long time to re-establish.

Thanks to Trump's idiotic presidency, global power has shifted away from America and more towards Europe, China and Russia.

We live in interesting times.

And don't get me going about Theresa May's idiotic Brexit move.  Unbelievable stupidity!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Let's build a wall...

Let's build a wall.  We've got to build a wall.  A metaphoric one will do.  To keep the 
"riff raff" out.  To protect our "beautiful", "superior", "civilised" capitalist way of life. 

They're coming...   They're coming because we destroyed their way of life.
Because their towns and cities have been destroyed. Because they want what
we've got.  Because they want to live like us.  Because they don't have jobs that
pay a decent, living wage.  Because they're been reduced to live like slum dogs.

And who destroyed their way of life?  We did. And who bombed their towns and
cities?  We did.  And who reduced them to living like dogs?  We did.

And how did we do it? We sent in our corporations to exploit them for resources.
We sent in our corporations to exploit them for cheap labour. And if they objected,
we bribed and coerced their leaders - and if that didn't work, we sent in our armies.

And what of those who tried to rise up against what we were doing to make their
countries safe for capitalism's greedy rampage?  They were demonised. They were
lied about. They were tortured.  They were raped. They were murdered.

And who are we?  We're the "superior" people.  We're the "civilised" people.  We're
the White European race.  We're God's chosen Master Race - and we're PROUD
of who we are !!!   Hooah !!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Trump: The end game?

From The New Yorker comes this tasty tidbit:

    This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency. This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth. I know dozens of reporters and other investigators who have studied Donald Trump and his business and political ties. Some have been skeptical of the idea that President Trump himself knowingly colluded with Russian officials. It seems not at all Trumpian to participate in a complex plan with a long-term, uncertain payoff. Collusion is an imprecise word, but it does seem close to certain that his son Donald, Jr., and several people who worked for him colluded with people close to the Kremlin; it is up to prosecutors and then the courts to figure out if this was illegal or merely deceitful. We may have a hard time finding out what President Trump himself knew and approved.

    However, I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is "knee-deep in dirty politics"; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into his daughter Ivanka’s role in the Trump hotel in Vancouver, for which she worked with a Malaysian family that has admitted to
financial fraud. Back home, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka were investigated for financial crimes associated with the Trump hotel in SoHo - an investigation that was halted suspiciously. His Taj Mahal casino received what was then the largest fine in history for money-laundering violations. [...]

    The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations.

=    =    =    =    =    =    =    =    =

Won't be long now before they drain the swamp...  

And Trump voters, in order to reconcile this with the crap their deluded minds have been telling them, will turn into the world's most ludicrous conspiracy theorists...

It will be a joy to observe the unravelling of their tiny little brainwashed minds...

This is what happens to a democracy when, for decades, you dumb-down the population with jingoistic propaganda claptrap: "USA!  USA!  USA!  USA! "

Given the huge amount of human suffering inflicted on the world by the USA over the last 70 years, all under the mendacious pretext of "fighting for freedom and democracy", I offer no apology for my obvious schadenfreude. Offence freely given to those who wish to take it.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Senator Molan's bullshit

We've got a new senator in the Australian government.  He's a retired Major General.  His name is Jim Molan, and I think it's probably fair to describe him, based on his (reported) past comments, as a white supremacist, anti-Islamist right wing death beast.  

Fair enough...

But what really gets my goolies is a comment he is widely reported to have made recently.  That comment was: "I've put my life on the line for major Islamic, Muslim countries in this world."  I think that is a crock of sh*t straight out of the "patriots" propaganda playbook.

Before I get deeper into Senator Molan's dodgy comment, I think I'd better establish some context for what's about to follow. 

Firstly, I will assume the reader has read Major General Smedley Butler's 1935 book titled "War is a Racket".  (It's a free download.)

Secondly, the reader needs to understand that I assert that any war we wage on foreign soil
for dubious and debatable imperatives is, in my view, nothing less than state sanctioned mass murder.

So, now back to Molan's "I've put my life on the line for major Islamic, Muslim countries in this world" comment:  Molan's major "achievements" were in the Iraq war during 2004-2005.

If Molan wants to tell us that his tour of duty in support of George W. Bush's war against the people of Iraq was waged for the benefit of the people of Iraq then he's either a deluded fool or a lying scoundrel of the lowest order. 

That war was fought for only one reason:  To bolster the West's energy interests (read "oil theft") in the Middle East.  The war's objective was to transfer Iraq's oil profits from the people of Iraq to Western oil corporations.  

That war killed in excess of one million Iraqis and gave rise to a massive insurgency which greatly swelled the ranks of al Qaeda and subsequently led to the rise of Islamic State.  

That war was a total disaster for Iraq.

Sorry, Senator Molan, but your disingenuous war propaganda bullshit doesn't cut it with those of us who have bothered to inform ourselves about the West's machinations in the Middle East over the last 100+ years.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Decoding Trump's "Making America Great Agian" message

OK, so we're all excited about Trump, the Savior of America, but what's the guy up to? 

Here's my take on it:

Remember back in the 50's and 60's when the catch cry for America's capitalist Cold War was "free enterprise"? Remember when communism had to be stopped because it was "the enemy of free enterprise"? Remember that?

Well, a funny thing started happening in the 70's - Capitalism's true psychopathic nature - foretold by Karl Marx - became evident when it said to itself "Hey, why pay decent wages in the "developed world" for jobs which can be done for peanuts in the "third world".   After all, that's good business, right?

Welcome to Globalisation. We had to kill communism (in case it went global) so that, by default, capitalism could go global.

And then, thanks to a charge led by American capital, it soon became a race to the bottom with jobs (production) going to the lowest bidder in a global market - and all of a sudden the American workers found themselves in deep shit. Big Money was laughing all the way to the bank while the worker got shafted. "Competition", once the darling child of capitalism, became the workers' worst nightmare and collusion and corruption soon took over (who would have thought, eh?)

By 2016 the American workers, underpaid or unemployed, were getting seriously pissed off. And along came Shyster Trump with a spiel they were too stupid to see through - he promised to "make America great again" by thumbing his nose at globalisation.

What even Blind (unemployed) Freddy could have told the average dumb-ass Trump voter was that America's Big Money was never going to let an idiot like Trump spoil their (global) game.

 What does the future hold for America's underpaid and unemployed workers? Well, when they finally get that Trump was a lying, cheating, corrupt con man, they'll vote for the New Democrats, and the United Socialist States of America (USSA) will be born.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place...

* * * * *

And that Trump-and-Putin thing?  Well, those two lunatics think they will join forces to take out China and split the global economy between them - whilst each is also thinking that they'll shaft the other one afterwards. Welcome to World War III - the three biggest nuclear powers having an all-out war. 

Making America great again...

That should be fun...

 * * * * *

Now... About the Australia-US Alliance...   Australia, think very, very carefully...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Celebrating Australia Day 2017

To the racists, bigots and "patriot" scumbags who claim that they are the "true blue" Australians, I have only this to say: "Watch this youtube video"

(Sorry for this prolix post.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

What does it mean to be human in the 21st Century?

For 50 years America, the self-appointed Boss of the Western World, waged war against the ideologies of communism and socialism (i.e. they waged war against the idea of people sharing  the collective wealth generated within a community.)  

In the post-colonial era the idea of wealth-sharing was so popular in countries previously under the yoke of colonial powers that the Home of Greed and Unsustainable Consumption, the Oligarchy of America,  was terrified that this idea of caring and sharing might go global, and so we had to have fifty years of overt and covert wars in which tens of millions died for what was cynically sold to the masses as "freedom and democracy". 

And here's my prediction:  When globalised capitalism (corporate colonialism) has fully conquered the planet and imposed its psychopathic regime, there will be the mother of all revolutions, waged by the starving masses, and some form of globalised wealth sharing (i.e. some  global form of  communism or socialism) will be implemented.

The only alternative I can see is that the rich and powerful (and their lackeys) will deploy robot armies to carry out the mother of all genocides.  Thanks be to your favourite imagined God that I will no longer be around for that shit fight.   :-/

So tell me, oh wise ones, what does it mean to be human in the 21st century?

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


Alas, I fear that if and when "the mother of all revolutions" happens, given the de-enlightening nature of oppression and exploitation, there will not be the required number of enlightened revolutionary leaders around to ensure that it is a strictly nonviolent revolution, and therefore the rich and powerful (and their lackeys) will feel justified in deploying  robot armies to carry out the mother of all genocides.  

You see, dear readers, I have given up on the idea that resistance movements have what it takes to commit, absolutely, to rigorous principles of nonviolence and therefore have no hope of success.  No doubt Martin Luther King Jnr, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabbi Jesus, and Gautama the Buddha, are all shaking their heads in sadness as we inexorably descend into the next Dark Age from which we may not emerge for hundreds of years, if ever.

I wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel - but I cannot.   I have lost all faith in humanity's ability to defeat the forces of darkness which have conjured up the ogre of globalised capitalism 

And the shrinks have got one hell of a job trying to help me with my depression because I refuse to take their complacency-inducing drugs or allow my brain to be subjected to their "efficacious" electroshock "treatment".

George Harrison nailed it when he wrote:
I look at you all, see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps 

(That song makes me cry every time I hear it.) 

Here endeth the rant... 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Aussie comedian Jim Jefferies nails it on US gun culture

Diogenes Surfer shared this video link with me via email. 

Says it all about the US gun culture. 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Review: Raw Man - by Fred Rivera

I've been asked to review Raw Man by Fred Rivera.   Here it s:

Politicians sold us the Vietnam war as a just war, a necessary war.  A massive stack of well researched books has since debunked the blatant lies and warped thinking which led us into that war. Fred Rivera's Raw Man, stripped of all the usual machismo and chest-thumping hero worshiping faux patriotism one often finds in personal accounts of soldiering, gives a brutally honest, soul searing glimpse into the reality of that most stupid of wars, and what it did to the bodies and minds of those who were so callously exploited to serve such dubious imperatives. 

In case you missed the link to the book's website, here it is again:

Even though I've read a free e-copy of the book, I've actually bought a hard copy for my library.  Need I say more?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

CEO's have all the fun...

One afternoon, the CEO of a very large corporation was riding in his limousine when he saw two men on the side of the road, on their hands and knees, eating grass.

Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and got out to investigate.

He asked one man, "Why are you eating grass?"

"We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass."

"Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the
CEO of the very large corporation said.

"But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree."

"Bring them along," the
CEO of the very large corporation replied.

Turning to the other poor man he stated, "You may come with us, also." The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and six children with me!"

"Bring them all as well," the
CEO of the very large corporation answered.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine.

Once under way, one of the poor fellows turned to the
CEO of the very large corporation and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you. "

CEO of the very large corporation replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high." 

[Found on the InterWeb and adapted for this blog.]

Monday, May 06, 2013

Standing in the corner...

I recently spent two interesting weeks taking part in 13 Rooms, a performance art project staged by Kaldor Art Projects. I was one of six veterans performing Santiago Sierra's work.

<<< That's me !!!

<<< Veteran of the war in Afghanistan

Want to know more? Here are some more links:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Will Not Fight For Queen and Country

 Ben Griffin is a British ex-SAS soldier who served in Iraq.

In February this year, as part of a debate at The Oxford Union, he gave a speech titled
"I Will Not Fight For Queen and Country."

This man has encapsulated everything I've been trying to say in my nine years of blogging.

Below is a slightly abridged transcript of that speech:

I Will Not Fight for Queen and Country.

Fight for Queen and Country, what does that mean? It is a jingoistic phrase dream’t up by some propaganda merchant intent on stoking the fire of that false religion patriotism.

The idea of fighting for Queen and Country is held tight by those who never have and never will actually fight. It is held by those who long to bask in the reflected glory of war. It is held by those who have no experience of the suffering that war inflicts. It is an idea held up by those who gain the most from war, Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.

It is a phrase that is dredged up again and again to stifle dissent and build unquestioning support for the aggression we choose to unleash.

We must look at what lies behind this decrepit phrase.

Who is it doing the fighting?

A well-trained and professional force that’s highest collective desire is to go to war, any war. This force does not fight for Queen and Country. it fights when it is told to fight. Even when the Generals believe that a certain war is illegal or un-winnable or detrimental to the long-term security of these isles, when it comes to the crunch they always want war.

What does the fighting involve?

Well if you believe the media or the citations written for medals awarded you might imagine that the fighting consists of bayonet charges, lone hand grenade assaults on enemy positions or modern-day spitfire pilots scrambling to some noble action.

In my experience the reality is a lot darker. Long periods of waiting punctuated by unforeseen moments of extreme violence. Having your legs blown off by an IED. A supposed ally shooting holes in your chest. Dying in a helicopter crash. Burning to death in a transport plane. Being beaten to death by an angry mob. Being shot in the face as you break into someones home.

The reality is setting up thousands of checkpoints in the country you have occupied, disrupting the lives of the people and then killing them when they approach too quickly or fail to stop in time.

The reality is raiding people’s houses, using explosives to enter homes. Detaining previously unknown males some as young as 15 and handing them over to be tortured. Whilst their families are left to fend for themselves, Traumatised by your action.

The reality is killing people from the safety of an attack helicopter or drone control room. As if you are playing a computer game, with no regard for the lives of people who have been dehumanised.

Haji, Raghead, Sand Nigger, Chogie, Argie, Paddy, Gook, Chink, Jap. Kraut, Hun. All terms used by our armed forces. The product of a society which still believes in its superiority over other peoples and cultures.

We pretend that we wage war for higher, noble causes. We claim that our armed forces fight for Freedom, Democracy or Human Rights.

This is not the case. We wage war according to Policy. It is a choice determined by Government. This policy is influenced by those who gain the most from war. Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.

These scoundrels always predict victory. Always insist that violence is the answer. They Ignore the inevitability of unforeseen consequences. The existence of Blow-back The fact that it is our own policy that creates our enemies.

They deny that we have been defeated to maintain support for current and future bloodletting.

The reasons they give for starting wars rarely match the reasons they give for continuing wars and rarely match the actual outcomes.

These scoundrels currently hold the noble position of backing a military junta in Mali against insurgents that we decided to arm in Libya.

Before that they celebrated the Arab Spring whilst turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabian aggression in Bahrain. Where weapons that we supplied were used by our Saudi allies to kill civilians engaged in non-violent protest. Their silence in this matter shines a light on their complicity.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, once the reasons for going to war were found to be false, or unattainable or just forgotten, those with a vested interest in continuing the wars resorted to one of the oldest tricks in the book. They cultivated the myth of the soldier as hero. They told you that you might not understand why the war continued but that you should support the soldiers. They Told you that to stop the pointless slaughter would be sacrilege to those heroes that had already died.

I am a Human Being and my allegiance is not to Queen and Country but to the whole of Humanity. I no longer accept the lies which perpetuate war. I no longer accept that violence can lead to Peace.

Never again will I be complicit in the killing and torture of my Brothers and Sisters. Never again will accept the vile religion of Patriotism. I refuse to pull on that rancid uniform. I refuse to fight for Queen and Country.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Military intelligence and other oxymorons...

According to the U.S. military's Joint Publication 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, reissued on March 25, 2013, "War is socially sanctioned violence to achieve a political purpose."

"Socially sanctioned" ???   Does this mean that a significant majority of the U.S. population has to be in agreeance with a proposed war _before_ we send our troops there?    A plebiscite to decide war?  What a novel idea...  And will we here in Australia be allowed to vote on that as well?

"Violence" ???  A nice euphemism for the butchery, mass murder, rape and maiming of people caught up in a war zone, and the subsequent maiming and killing of millions (future generations) living in the erstwhile war zones heavily polluted by stuff like agent orange, agent blue, depleted uranium, and strewn with unexploded munitions, landmines and cluster bomblets.

" achieve a political purpose" ???   I've been saying for years that war is politics gone stark raving mad.  Their own definition now verifies it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Is the Universe a Hologram?

The concept of the universe being a holographic projection makes a lot of sense to me.  It neatly supplements both Buddhist thought and quantum theory.


Read this article for openers >>>

Interested in reading more?  Well, a neat book on the subject is The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.  I found it very thought provoking. 

Here's a review of the book by Damian Nash (from the website):
This is one of the most provocative books I have read in years. In the first few chapters Mr. Talbot describes the emerging holographic paradigm in science, drawing on David Bohm's work in quantum physics and Karl Pribam's work in neuroscience. I found both descriptions to be fascinating, and especially enjoyed the historical context for the work of these two seminal thinkers. As a person with a master's degree in neuroscience and chaos/complexity theory, I found a couple of his simplifications misleading, but would give him high marks for his overall comprehension of the conclusions of Pribam and his followers.
The remaining 2/3 of the book is a discussion of how the holographic paradigm may provide a rational basis for interpreting a wide variety of phenomenon located around the fringes of established science. He looks at everything from strange historical "miracles" like stigmata and appearances of the Virgin Mary to modern psychic abilities and LSD experiences, from out-of-body and near-death-experiences to UFO abductions. In addition, he compares language used in the modern scientific discussion of holography with the language used by ancient mystical traditions.

Mr. Talbot's writing style is unusually clear and lucid. All of this makes for a highly engaging book. It kept me up late every night for more than a week. I am a person who has had an OBE/NDE (out-of-body, near-death-experience), and can tell you that his description of such events is an astoundingly accurate portrayal of what I experienced.

I am also a scientist, and know that most of my highly rational, empirical colleages would have trouble accepting a majority of Mr. Talbot's conclusions. This work addresses something so completely out of the realm of everyday experience for most people, and probes a world that is normally invisible to the five senses. Hence, objective, empirical science -- as defined by a conventional theorist or practicing technician -- simply cannot address these experiences. They are outside the range of focus of the tool that Western minds currently rely on.

The service that Mr. Talbot provides is a challenge to rethink the conventional definition of science so that it can take into account a much wider range of human experience. What he argues for is the acceptance, as valid scientific data, of the experiences of individual humans, across cultures and throughout history, that are remarkably consistent with one another. These experiences address aspects of reality that are invisible to the skeptical eye, but become obvious to the person who chooses to develop other forms of perception.

As a person who was unwittingly thrown into an OBE/NDE experience, I am naturally inclined to read a book like this one with an open mind, and felt immensely rewarded for doing so. However, if I had reviewed the same book before having my own personal experience of some of the phenomena it describes, I would have reviewed it as a new-age excursion into a realm of fantasy. I am completely sympathetic to some of the reviewers who see it that way, and respectfully disagree.

I believe there is an extraordinary synthesis happening among the realms of human experience, one that can validate each individual's story, however unusual, and also one that honors all the different ways of knowing. I see Mr. Talbot's work as one of the more important bridges yet constructed between traditional science and spirituality, between rational discourse about repeatable, empirically verifiable phenomenon and the quirky, esoteric or mythological elements of personal experience that actually define most people's experience of reality. This book is a "must read" for any passionate seeker of truth. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, when he was a Cardinal in Argentina, lived a very frugal life.   Rather than avail himself of his entitlement to a chauffeur driven limousine, he would use public transport to get around.

Now that he is the Pope, will he forego the use of the Popemobile?

I've often wondered why the Pope needs bodyguards and a bulletproof carriage.  Does he not have faith in God to protect him?

Tsk, tsk, tsk...

A New Pope

The Roman Catholics have chosen a new pope.  Pope Francis.  He is a Jesuit.

I did not know much about Jesuits, so I read up on them a little.

One thing that I thought cute was that they have a special vow of obedience, Rule 13, which says that if you think something is white and the Church says it is black, then you ought to declare it to be black.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Malalai Joya tells it like it is

   "As history shows, the U.S. has relied on criminals, dictators, human rights violators, and reactionary forces in many other countries of the world. Recently in Libya the U.S. and NATO supported fundamentalists who are worse than Qaddafi; in Syria they are supporting Al-Qaeda and other such dirty groups. So it is not surprising that they are once again working with the Taliban and with Hekmatyar and other criminals in my country.

   It was the U.S. that brought the warlords into power in Kabul, and the U.S./NATO puppet Karzai is even more shameless than previous Afghan puppets of the British and the Russians. While the puppets of Russia and Britain negotiated behind closed doors, Karzai is publicly selling Afghanistan to a foreign master. The so-called strategic agreements like the Bilateral Security Agreement provide for long-term U.S./NATO military bases in Afghanistan. The U.S. wants to remain in Afghanistan because of its geopolitical location: to be able to control other Asian powers like Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China."

To read the entire article by  Elsa Rassbach on Common Dreams , CLICK HERE

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Drone War in Pakistan

Noor Behram remembers why he started on his mission to photograph the scenes of drone attacks in Pakistan. The reason was 12 dead people — an entire family extinguished in what was officially a US attack on militants. But the 39-year-old, who works for Arabic language news network Al Jazeera, had sources in Waziristan who told him the official story was only half of the truth.

“A family that lived on a neighboring slope heard the noise and watched the incident down in the valley. In this moment a US fighter jet roared over and shot a rocket at their home. Eight women and girls, along with four men, died.”

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day 3 in Fallujah - David Bradbury reports

Progressive and veteran film maker David Bradbury is currently visiting Iraq investigating the plight of yet another new generation of birth defects there believed to be caused by the depleted uranium (DU) that the Americans and allies have applied there as they had with Agent Orange in Vietnam. Here is David's moving eye-witness account. The huge humanitarian crisis arising from DU is so under-reported. Feel free to forward this report to your network to get the word out to more people:

Saturday, 16 February 2013, David Brabury
Subject: Day three in Fallujah. The tenth anniversary of people taking to the world's streets to stop the war...

Met two very interesting women doctors today. Dr Samira is the doctor at the frontline of birth defects here at Fallujah hospital. We saw one little chap this morning - Hassan - born two days ago with a small head. His birth defects don't allow the brain to grow properly and therefore mental retardation and convulsive fits will be his future. Doctors will operate but problematic. They don't even have a specialist ultra sound machine here that would allow doctors to diagnose in early pregnancy birth anomalies in the womb. That would give the doctors a big start to assemble and prepare a specialist team for the birth so they can do what is necessary to give the baby a better fighting chance at least upon birth. They can't reverse the anomalies and genetic malformations the use of US weaponry brings to the life of these little ones. But at least ease the burden and do basic surgery if can do upon birth. As it is now, the poor bub comes out, the mother freaks out and they have to deal with it. Still many babies born at home with midwife. And quietly buried if they die after a few days. Big shame factor and denial for stunned parents who suddenly discover they have a 'monster' on their hands. Death is a blessing in most instances but many live with these birth defects causing hardship and tensions within the family. As well as shame. Imagine stepping into the market place with a baby with a big head, a cleft palate or club foot or twisted face or hunch back etc.

We met little Safe today. Same age as my darling little 3 year old Omar back home.

Safe is a sweet little boy. Normal face and arms etc.(see photo attached) But at 8 months it became obvious he had problems. He still can't sit up or walk. He can only crawl. He has no speech other than shrill noises. Seems a handful. His father completed his Masters in Islamic Science. He is a respectful, educated and humble man who holds his head high with dignity.

Safe's parents told us of their entrapment in Fallujah by the Americans who wouldn't let them out of the city when the heavy fighting began first in April 2004. Then again in November. Aerial bombardment by the Americans and door to door, street by street fighting with many civilians forced to stay in their homes as the fighting intensified. American snipers practised on little kids. The civilian casualties mounted as they were laid out in rows on the footpath. Hair samples taken in recent years gives the game away. Traces of enriched uranium, and other heavy metals. The Americans it is alleged used not only 'depleted' uranium which they used widely in Iraq in 1991 and 2003 but traces of the much more radioactive, potent concentrated uranium --- enriched uranium which is the next stage of processing towards purifying uranium from which nuclear bombs and nuclear fuel rods for power plants are made.

Safe's parents believe it was uranium weapons responsible for his deformities - though there is no way of proving it. Interestingly enough, the woman gyno told us this morning until they have the equipment to do the genetic testing (they have the trained people, they just can't get the machines...), it's speculation always whether it was genetic, chromosomal abnormalities or environmental pollution (which includes DU). So aside from 'might makes right' so like with Agent Orange there is no reciprocity on the American military or Pentagon in a World Court of Human Rights (which there should be in our modern times...), the American military manage to tough it out yet again and slide out from any responsibility to clean up the mess they left behind and make some token restitution for what they have done en masse to the Iraqi people and their environment.

Dr Muntaha, the sole gynocologist here is about 40, not married and lived through the siege of Fallujah too. She told us they have 14,000 babies born a year. 50 a day. 43 maternity beds. The mothers, whether they have natural birth or a caesar are obliged to be 'tipped out' after 8 hours in the hospital after make way for the next shift. They have 7 staff total to give birth and deal with any complications, lab testing etc. She says Fallujah is so big they need 3 children's hospitals, not the one. Iraqis were a sophisticated and highly educated people in the 1980's despite Saddam's tyranical reign.  Dr Muntaha said they lead the Arab world in so many areas, including medicine and health. Now she said with a tinge of bitterness they are at the bottom of the pile.

She got quite angry (fair enough) when she told us of her experience travelling to her fellow Arab countries where with her Iraqi passport, she is 'treated like a dog'. Her words. Her Iraqi friends present their British gained passports and slip straight through. She has to wait and wait and be treated like a criminal or a 'terrorist' (my word, not hers) because she comes from Iraq. A highly educated, sophisticated, lovely, lovely warm woman. And so it goes on and on. Sound familiar?