Posts Tagged ‘jacques cousteau’

TELL THE TRUTH AND RUN

March 22, 2011

Resurrection Machines

LOOTING THE TOMBS OF EGYPT:

“These people who have the crazy theories of the origin of the pyramids, I call, ‘pyramidiots.’” – Dr. Zahi Hawass, 1st Minister of Antiquities, Head Archeologist, Egypt.

VERY SAD BREAKING NEWS March 18, 2011: Why Dr Hawass Resigned

Q: Dr. Hawass, for many years you have been the image of modern Egyptology. Why are you leaving now?

A: “I am leaving because …during the Revolution of January 25th, the Egyptian Army protected our heritage sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in the last 10 days the army has left these posts because it has other tasks to do. The group now in charge of the protection of these sites is the Tourist Police, but there are no Tourist Police to do this either. Therefore, what happens? Egyptian criminals, thieves (you know, in every revolution bad people always appear…), have begun to destroy tombs. …They attacked a storage magazine at Saqqara and we do not yet know how many artifacts are missing; they opened two storage magazines at Giza; one tomb dated to the 19th Dynasty, the only one in the Delta in fact, was damaged…; and a store …has been broken into and looted for antiquities. People have begun to build houses and to excavate at night, everywhere, putting heritage sites all over the country at risk. I had to write a report …to the Director of UNESCO. That is why I said: “I cannot stay in Egypt and see antiquities being stolen when I cannot do anything to stop it!” This situation is not for me! I have always fought to return stolen artifacts to Egypt. I did fight Ahmed Ezz as well, the man in the Parliament, who was the most powerful man, because he wanted to allow antiquities to be sold in Egypt again….I will never be able to protect the antiquities I love and I will never be able to work during this mess. All my life, I have been excavating, discovering, writing books and giving lectures all over the world. My work is responsible for bringing many tourists to Egypt, which helps our economy. But now I cannot do this! Therefore, I decided to resign”. READ MORE: http://www.drhawass.com/blog/why-dr-hawass-resigned

Canon Fodder

LOOKING FOR RELIGION: Odd Shots and Idle Pensees Nr. 7

I don’t know how people can choose between one idiocy and another, but they obviously do, in the billions. They will defend their chosen idiocy to the death against all other idiocies naturally, but most importantly, as the Truth in whatever form it takes, for losing one’s faith in one’s chosen idiocy is the same awful shock as discovering that Santa Claus isn’t real. We call this phenomenon Santa Trauma.

Just when you think Homo sapiens can’t get any dumber, science discovers that our image of the Neanderthal was based upon sloppy scientific interpretation of the bones of a single arthritic Alzheimer geriatric. For all these years, we’ve maligned the Neanderthal as a stooped, bow-legged moron. He wasn’t, but you still wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one.

Why do the innocent suffer? Because shit happens. Nature and human nature are indifferent to collateral damage, accidental or intended.

“Even if you’re a born loser, you can and should be holy.”– Mother Angelica, cable TV nun

“Only fools and priests do squander life with thoughts of death.” — The Green Knight (Sean Connery), Sword of the Valiant.

Dean Martin: “You saved my life, parson. What can I do for you? Robert Mitchum: “Come to God’s house every Sunday for a month. Dean Martin: “That’s a steep price for just my life.”

I’m looking for a piece of the divine pizza pie.

“Nothing is impenetrable or incorruptible!” — Swede, Zulu Chief.

“Blame is for God and small children!” — Dustin Hoffman, Papillon.

The most direct anagram of “Heal Thyself,” is “Healthy Self.”

Islands w/ apple.

Lately, I’ve narrowed my philosophy to a small set of ideas:

From the Tao – The Way: Center in the now. Guilt is a burden, don’t carry it. Learn from the mistakes of the past and add them to your toolbox of experiences. Don’t worry about the future. Do what you can to prepare for it, but take pleasure in the moment. Live now, fully and completely and with joy. Go with the flow.

From the Buddha: Go forth in joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. The world is inherently unjust. It has its absurdities, which we cannot understand and which defy understanding. Accept this and do what you can to improve things. There are only two responses: one is negative and the other positive. Choose the positive, for it brightens the world, fills you up with energy, and prepares the way.  Others may learn from your example and so the brightness shall be extended.

From Joseph Campbell: Follow your bliss. If it makes you happy and can be done without harming yourself and others, do it.

From the Christian tradition: The Golden Rule. Nothing else. Nothing more is needed.

From Ghandi: Act. “Without action there is no result. You may not see the result in your lifetime, but if you do not act, there will be no result at all.”

From Jacques Cousteau: Hope for the best. “I hope for the best, although I can’t say why.”

From FatLemon: “Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the Man in the Moon!”

That is my concise philosophical grab bag for a successful life. JPL, 1-2000

Peaceable Kingdom

ODD SHOTS and IDLE PENSEES Nr. 7

When we die in America, we go to Disneyland!

Martin Luther was a coarse German monk given to self-flagellation in place of normal human contact. Because he had horrible chronic constipation, he composed most of his philosophy while sitting on the toilet. [True].

“Call now and start your personal relationship with God!” — t.v. Bible salesman.

Be right, not righteous.

Of course I believe in God! Every time I fear for my life, my job, or my sanity, I pray for divine deliverance! Seriously, though…

“I am bored by people who keep returning life to a moral plane, as if we were reducible, now, to some Biblical concept or its opposite, as if all our history and prehistory had not conditioned us for what we’ve become. It’s enough to make a moral nigger out of a man. The niggers are down there, no doubt about it. But Jack didn’t put them there and neither did I. When we get off the moral gold standard, when the man of enormous wealth is of no more importance to anybody than the man in rags, then maybe we’ll look back to our own day as a day of justifiable social wrath. Meantime, the game is rising, not leveling. Jack taught me that. Cured me. (Brother Wolf, are you listening?)” — William Kennedy, Legs.

Freedom from Religion Foundation

How confusing as a child to know the truth, to see that which is real, but not to touch, or look at or even think about it because it’s socially proscribed by similarly conditioned adults.

“Paradise is a far promise; fame is a food for dead men – take the cash and let the credit go.”

“Instead of argument that frets the soul and spoils digestion, share good food with good friends. Abandon a life sick with brooding on unhappy cares; do not count on dubious treasures in some inaccessible heaven. All that we know of life is that it is an enigma, and that it is short, and that, nevertheless, it can be made not only bearable but also pleasurable.

“Thus, fill your life as you would a cup. Do not torture yourself with a forbidding future; ignore “the rumble of a distant drum.” Let what may be Beyond remain beyond. Tomorrow has not come – tomorrow may never come – at the moment tomorrow does not exist. There is only today, and today is ours.

“Having failed of finding any Providence but Destiny and any world but this, Omar set about making the most of it; preferring rather to soothe the Soul through the Senses into acquiescence with things as he saw them, than to perplex it with vain disquietude after what they might be.”

Omar Khayyám, The Rubáiyát; Louis Untermeyer, editor, 1947 ed.; Edward Fitzgerald, editor/translator, 1859.

“Their fear shrinks the world down to the size of their own lives!” – Millennium.

“The world is a dragon of incredible size. We only see pieces of it for to see it whole is to have it burn you. The dragon is everywhere. These trees, these rocks are its scales. Its poison strikes like lightning. Be comfortable in the arms of the dragon. You have no choice. Sleep. Dream.” — Nigel Terry, Excalibur.

We must say it in full knowledge that others may wish us to be silent, but with the conviction that the Truth is more precious than their regard.

“Why so many questions? Can’t we just have a little blind faith around here?” – Sunday School Teacher, The Simpsons.

Astrology, advertising, politics and religion are all purposefully ambiguous, in order to encourage the consumer to see whatever it is that they wish to see, and to ascribe all failure to achieve success to personal inadequacy.

All the different tribes built a pillar to the sky. Each was a work of wonder and delight and they were all dedicated to the same god, although they did not see it.

“That seems to be the peculiar legacy of Jesus: to be adopted by others.” – Old Jewish man, Shaka Zulu.

“Separateness is a useful illusion.” – The Big Kahuna. Separateness is a youthful illusion. JL.

The biggest difference between Phil Knight and August Schindler is that Schindler had to work for the Nazis, so that any kindness he extended to his slave labor may be regarded as courageous resistance to slavery, and not just a way to save a nickel.

“It never ceases to amaze me: one second you’re alive, the next, you’re dead – no fanfare, no lights, nothing. You’re just dead.” – Loretta Switt, Mash.

“[By] nature man is more afraid of the truth than of death. For man is a social animal – only in the herd is he happy. It is all one to him whether it is the profoundest nonsense or the greatest villainy – he feels completely at ease with it, so long as it is the view of the herd, or the action of the herd, and he is able to join the herd.” – Kierkegaard.

“Tell the truth and run.” – Andrew Seltser.

Buddha Swirl

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MACHIAVELLI and the BEAST

January 20, 2010
 
Canon Fodder

The Beast Wins.

I must finally admit it.  Religion is necessary.  Machiavelli said it.  Since the majority of the people are ignorant and superstitious, it’s easiest to control and direct them if they share a common value system around which to build action.  Any action taken will look familiar and god will ostensibly attest to its rightness.  It’s a powerful tool for use by the powerful and cynical.

This presupposes that people are ignorant and superstitious and that one cannot do very much about that during the course of a single lifetime.  One can chip away at the edges of the monolithic vacuous ness, possibly erect a structure that others can follow to advance the knowledge project, but finally, one will be defeated by the overwhelming tide of senseless, unreasoning humanity.

The species isn’t really designed to survive; it persists in the complete absorption of its resources to the point of starvation and a fearsome, deadly, entirely avoidable catastrophe.  We are our own worst prophecy; it’s embedded in our bones, wrapped around our DNA and destined to create the wasteland we will all die in.  Have at it cockroaches; it will be your turn soon.

Read Colin Turnbull’s The Mountain People about the Eke tribesman of eastern Africa – of how a whole tribe starved, its members separated into individuals, each clinging shallowly to life, boiling dirt for soup, casting children out at two to fend for themselves when mother’s milk gives out, husbands not helping wives, wives not helping husbands, mothers and fathers and grandparents left to die, each one, separately and alone in the dirt, not even mourned by their own.  Learn how fragile society can be.  Learn how inhuman the majority of humanity actually can be, and often is.

Machiavelli maintains that all human beings are inherently evil.  That’s why we need laws and religion – to keep them in check.  Structure is necessary for peace and prosperity.  Therefore, I must finally admit it: Religion is necessary, but only to control and direct the mob.  It is a tool to control the unreasoning.  Please don’t ask me to believe in it.  – jl.

The Obama Administration seems to concur with me, but apparently translates it into more power, more control.

US Corporations, Private Mercenaries and the IMF Rush in to Profit from Haiti’s Crisis By Benjamin Dangl, Toward Freedom. January 19, 2010.

In the midst of a colossal human disaster, Washington is promoting unpopular economic policies and extending military and economic control over the Haitian people.

US corporations, private mercenaries, Washington and the International Monetary Fund are using the crisis in Haiti to make a profit, promote unpopular neoliberal policies, and extend military and economic control over the Haitian people.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, with much of the infrastructure and government services destroyed, Haitians have relied on each other for the relief efforts, working together to pull their neighbors, friends and loved ones from the rubble. One report from IPS News in Haiti explained, “In the day following the quake, there was no widespread violence. Guns, knives and theft weren’t seen on the streets, lined only with family after family carrying their belongings. They voiced their anger and frustration with sad songs that echoed throughout the night, not their fists.”  READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/world/145279/us_corporations%2C_private_mercenaries_and_the_imf_rush_in_to_profit_from_haiti%27s_crisis 

Obama Confidant’s Spine-Chilling Proposal to ‘Cognitively Infiltrate’ Conspiracy Theorist Groups By Glenn Greenwald, Salon. January 20, 2010.

Recent paper by Obama adviser Cass Sunstein proposes bizarre methods to stamp out “false conspiracy theories,” including taxing the people who engage in them.

Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs.” In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-“independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the government.  This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here. READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/rights/145229/obama_confidant%27s_spine-chilling_proposal_to_%27cognitively_infiltrate%27_conspiracy_theorist_groups

Astonishing Report: We’re Executing Gitmo Prisoners and Calling It Suicide By Andy Worthington, Andy Worthington’s Blog. January 18, 2010.

The three “suicides” in June 2006 were not suicides at all. The men were killed during interrogations in a secret prison block and the murders were disguised to look like suicides.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this profoundly important story by Scott Horton, for next month’s Harper’s Magazine (available on the web here), but let’s try this: The three “suicides” at Guantánamo in June 2006 were not suicides at all. The men in question were killed during interrogations in a secretive block in Guantánamo, conducted by an unknown agency, and the murders were then disguised to look like suicides. Everyone at Guantánamo knew about it. Everyone covered it up. Everyone is still covering it up.  READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/rights/145257/astonishing_report%3A_we%27re_executing_gitmo_prisoners_and_calling_it_suicide

Patriot's Dream

Jacques Cousteau: “I hope for the best, although I can’t say why.”

IT AIN’T OVER

December 16, 2009

Citizen Paine

VIDEO: Howard Dean Tells Dems to Kill Senate Health-Care Bill by AlterNet Staff, AlterNet.

With no public option and no Medicare buy-in, the Senate bill is not worth voting for, the former DNC chairman tells “Countdown.” Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean would rather see no health-care bill than a bad one. So he tells MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.

Are Americans a Broken People? Why We’ve Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression By Bruce E. Levine, AlterNet.

A psychologist asks: Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves?

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not “set them free” but instead further demoralize them? Has such demoralization happened in the United States? Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further? What forces have created a demoralized, passive, discouraged U.S. population? Can anything be done to turn this around?

Yes. It is called the “abuse syndrome.” Abusive pimps, spouses, bosses, corporations, and governments stay in control [by shoving] lies, emotional and physical abuses, and injustices in their victims’ faces, and when victims are afraid to exit from these relationships, they get weaker.

Does knowing the truth of their abuse set people free [from] abuse syndromes?

No. The truth of their passive submission to humiliating oppression is more than embarrassing; it can feel shameful — and there is nothing more painful. It is not likely that the truth of humiliating oppression [will] energize constructive actions.

Has such demoralization happened in the U.S.?

In the United States, 47 million people are without health insurance, many millions more are underinsured or a job layoff away from losing coverage. Despite the sellout by their elected officials to the insurance industry, there is no outpouring of millions of U.S. citizens protesting this betrayal.  And, the majority of Americans oppose U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the taxpayer bailout of the financial industry, yet only a handful has protested.

[In] the 2000 U.S. presidential election the Florida Supreme Court’s order for a recount of the disputed Florida vote was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a politicized 5-4 decision.  Justice John Paul Stevens remarked: “…the identity of the [loser] of this year’s presidential election…is perfectly clear. It is the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.” Even this provoked few demonstrators.

When people become broken, they cannot act on truths of injustice. Furthermore, …truths about how they have been victimized can lead to shame about [allowing] it, …[and make them] even more psychologically broken.

U.S. citizens do not actively protest obvious injustices [because]…they feel helpless to effect change. The more we don’t act, the weaker we get [and]… move to shut-down mode and escape strategies such as depression, substance abuse, …which further keep us from acting. This is the vicious cycle of all abuse syndromes.

Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?

Maybe.

Shortly before the 2000 U.S. presidential election, George W. Bush [joked] to a wealthy group, “What a crowd tonight: the haves and the haves-more. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.” Yet, …citizens who had come to despise Bush and his arrogance remained passive in the face of the 2000 non-democratic presidential elections.  Perhaps the “political genius” of the Bush-Cheney regime was in their full realization that Americans were so broken that the regime could get away with damn near anything… [Even slamming] a boot on their faces.

What forces have created a demoralized, passive, discouraged U.S. population?

The U.S. government-corporate partnership has used its share of guns and terror to break Native Americans, labor union organizers, and other dissidents and activists. But today, most U.S. citizens are broken by financial fears.

The U.S. population is increasingly broken by the social isolation created by corporate-governmental policies. A 2006 American Sociological Review study (“Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades”) reported that, in 2004, 25 percent of Americans did not have a single confidant. Social connectedness is disappearing in virtually every aspect of U.S. life. There has been a significant decrease in face-to-face contact with neighbors and friends due to suburbanization, commuting, electronic entertainment, time and money pressures and other variables created by governmental-corporate policies. Union and other ways that people support each other to resist oppression also decreased.

We are also broken by a corporate-government partnership that has [taken] control [of] basic necessities of life, including our food supply. We are broken by socializing institutions that alienate us from our basic humanity. A few examples:

Schools and Universities: Do most schools teach young people to be action-oriented — or to be passive? Do most schools teach young people that they can affect their surroundings — or not to bother? Do schools provide examples of democratic institutions — or examples of authoritarian ones?  School is nothing less than a miniature society: what young people experience in schools is the chief means of creating our future society. Kids learn to comply with authorities for which they often have no respect, and to regurgitate material they often find meaningless. These are great ways of breaking someone.

Mental Health Institutions: Aldous Huxley predicted today’s pharmaceutical society “[I]t seems to me perfectly in the cards,” he said, “that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude.”  Today, increasing numbers of people in the U.S. who do not comply with authority are being diagnosed with mental illnesses and medicated with psychiatric drugs that make them less pained about their boredom, resentments, and other negative emotions, thus rendering them more compliant and manageable.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is an increasingly popular diagnosis for children and teenagers [who] “often actively defy or refuse to comply with adult requests or rules,” and “often argue with adults.” A more common reaction to oppressive authorities is passive defiance – e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Virtually all children diagnosed with ADHD will pay attention to activities that they actually enjoy or have chosen. The “disease” goes away when ADHD-labeled kids are having a good time and in control.

When human beings feel too terrified and broken, they may stage a “passive-aggressive revolution” by getting depressed, staying drunk, and not doing anything — one reason why the Soviet empire crumbled. But, diseasing or medicalizing rebellion and drug “treatments” even weaken this power.

Television: In Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1978), Jerry Mander compiled a list of the “Eight Ideal Conditions for the Flowering of Autocracy,” claiming that television helps create all eight conditions for breaking a population.

(1)   Occupies people so that they don’t know themselves — and what a human being is;

(2)   Separates people from one another;

(3)   Creates sensory deprivation;

(4)   Occupies the mind and fills the brain with prearranged experience and thought;

(5)   Encourages drug use to dampen dissatisfaction (while TV itself produces a drug-like effect, this was compounded in 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxing the rules of prescription-drug advertising);

(6)   Centralizes knowledge and information;

(7)   Eliminates or “museumize” other cultures to eliminate comparisons; and

(8)   Redefines happiness and the meaning of life.

Commercialism of Damn Near Everything: Gross commercialization of spirituality, music, and cinema deadens their capacity to energize rebellion. So now, damn near everything – not just religion – is an “opiate of the masses.”

The primary societal role of U.S. citizens is no longer “citizen” but “consumer.” Citizens know that buying and selling within community strengthens that community and that this strengthens democracy, consumers care only about the best deal. Citizens understand that dependency on an impersonal creditor is a kind of slavery, consumers get excited with credit cards with a temporarily low APR.

Consumerism breaks people by devaluing human connectedness, socializing self-absorption, obliterating self-reliance, alienating people from normal human emotional reactions, and by selling the idea that purchased products — not themselves and their community — are their salvation.

Can anything be done to turn this around?

When people get caught up in humiliating abuse syndromes, more truths about their oppressive humiliations don’t set them free. What sets them free is morale.

What gives people morale? Encouragement. Small victories. Models of courageous behaviors. Anything that helps them break the vicious cycle of pain, shut down, immobilization, shame over immobilization, more pain, and more shut down.

The last people to turn to are mental health professionals. Specifically required talents are a fearlessness around image, spontaneity, and definitely anti-authoritarianism, which are not traits medical or graduate schools encourage.

If you want to feel hopeless, there are a lot of things you could feel hopeless about. If you act on that assumption, then you’re guaranteeing that’ll happen. If you act on the assumption that things can change, maybe they will. The only rational choice, given those alternatives, is to forget pessimism.

A major component of the craft of maintaining morale is not taking the advertised reality too seriously.

An elitist assumption is that people don’t change because they are either ignorant of their problems or ignorant of solutions. An elitist who has never been broken by his or her circumstances does not know that people who have become demoralized do not need analyses and pontifications. They need a shot of morale.  READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/politics/144529/are_americans_a_broken_people_why_we%27ve_stopped_fighting_back_against_the_forces_of_oppression

SPECIAL BONUS: A Global Philosophy for Successful Living in Eight Aphorisms.

From the BUDDHA: Go forth in joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.

From JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Follow your bliss.

From CHRISTIAN TRADITION: Practice the Golden Rule.

From GHANDI: Act. “Without action there is no result. You may not see the result in your lifetime, but if you do not act, there will be no result at all.”

From JACQUES COUSTEAU: Hope for the best. “I hope for the best, although I can’t say why.”

From TOM PAINE: Use Common Sense. “Reason is the most reliable path to the truth.”

From his holiness the 14th DALI LAMA: “If you want the best idea of how the world was created, don’t pick the best mythology, consult the best science.”

—————————
From FatLemon: “Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the man in the moon.”

LAST THOUGHT:  Don’t get mad, get even.  Fight harder.  Take back the Democratic Party and elect Progressives to all offices in the land.  Continue to fight the oppressive fascist powers.  Bill Hart stood for courtesy, courage, and justice.