When some things distract and blind us from the beauty of life, we either live in illusion, illiminate the distraction, or learn to see the real nature of things in common reality. Often times, we must do that second one before the third. But in turn, treat every thing as though it were yourself.
"Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always sex,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of
To elaborate is no avail, learn'd and unlearn'd feel that it is so.
Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well
entretied, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.
Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not
my soul." Read more!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ram Bahadur Bomjon, please visit here (1st, 2nd)to understand the context this speech is presented in.
The following is a translation of Ram Bahadur Bomjon's speech given on August 2nd, 2007. The translation was provided by the good folks at Paldendorje.com, a newborn site dedicated to distributing the messages of this phenomenon. A video of the speech can be found at site.
"A message of peace to the world… murder, violence, greed, anger and temptation has made the human world a desperate place. A terrible storm has descended upon the human world, and this is carrying the world towards destruction. There is only one way to save the world and that is through ‘dharma” (religious practice.) When one doesn’t walk the righteous path of religious practice, this desperate world will surely be destroyed. Therefore, follow the path of religion and spread this message to your fellows. Never put obstacles, anger and disbelief in the way of my meditation’s mission. I am only showing you the way; you must seek it on your own. What I will be, what I will do, the coming days will reveal. Human salvation, the salvation of all living beings, and peace in the world are my goal and my path. “Namo Buddha sangaya, namo sangaya.” I am contemplating on the release of this chaotic world from the ocean of emotion, on our detachment from anger and temptation, without straying from the path for even a moment, I am renouncing my own attachment to my life and my home forever, I am working to save all living beings. But in this undisciplined world, my life’s practice is reduced to mere entertainment.
The practice and devotion of many Buddhas is directed at the world’s betterment and happiness. It is essential but very difficult to understand that practice and devotion. But though it is easy to lead this ignorant existence, human beings don’t understand that one day we must leave this uncertain world and go with the Lord of Death. Our long attachments with friends and family will dissolve into nothingness. We have to leave behind the wealth and property we have accumulated. What’s the use of my happiness, when those who have loved me from the beginning, my mother, father, brothers, relatives are all unhappy. Therefore, to rescue all sentient beings, I have to be Buddha-mind, and emerge from my underground cave to do “vajra” meditation. To do this I have to realize the right path and knowledge, so do not disturb my practice. My practice detaches me from my body, my soul and this existence. In this situation there will be 72 goddess Kalis. Different gods will be present, along with the sounds of thunder and of “tangur ,” and all the celestial gods and goddesses will be doing “puja” (worship.) So until I have sent a message, do not come here, and please explain this to others. Spread religious knowledge and religious messages throughout the world. Spread the message of world peace to all. Seek a righteous path and wisdom will be yours"
P.S - I'm gonna try to find out what these phrases and words mean. Please feel free to help out.
“Namo Buddha sangaya, namo sangaya.”
"puja" Read more!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
This is in address to an earlier post that was not commentable. While I personally support the use of psychedelics for spiritual experience up to a point, I do personally believe that the drugs do cause one to focus on a certain dimension of existence, and while you can experience God there, a full experience of God should happen in sobriety, in order to have no conflict with the sober state of mind, and to be complete enough for complete faith in God. While the Bible may not say anything directly against it, the Bhagavad Gita does, and, this book has been around much longer than the Bible: in fact, the Hindus claim it has been around longer than humans could have by Darwin's evolution model, since they believe humans did not evolve from the ocean, but that all creatures have simultaneously been in existence since the beginning. I find the Vedic scriptures to be much more fulfilling and accurate, based on a science and philosophy that is clearly logically argued. In the Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 verse 18, it states:
"Those who study the Vedas and drink the soma juice, seeking the heavenly planets, worship me indirectly. Purified of sinful reactions, they take birth on the pious, heavenly planet of Indra, where they enjoy godly delights."
"When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death."
"But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form - to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have."
Soma, for those who don't know, is the most ancient of psychedelics, a mushroom used since the beginning of what we are aware of. Now, this does not contradict with achieving God from the Christian standpoint. If what you seek is heaven you shall get it, but it is temporary due to the impure method of achievement. The hindu's viewed the purpose of spiritual life at the end to be freedom from all attachment except that directly pertaining to Krishna, or God. This can only be done when one realizes God in every facet of their existence. You were not born, nor did you live your life, on psychedelics, therefore, your realization on them will not apply to all of your memory, leaving some subconscious doubt, whether or not you firmly know it applies to all these dimensions. Read more!
Recent research into addiction has shown where in the brain drugs work. The drug in the brain does not affect, as previously assumed, the frontal cortex, or the section of the brain located at the third eye (right behind the forehead above the eyebrows) to cause the selfish and seemingly insensitive behavior of the drug addict. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain that assigns meaning to anything we perceive. For example, you see a chair, and you realize its shape, the fact that you can sit on it, or perhaps use it to stand on to put a painting on the wall. But the frontal cortex is what allows you to also perceive that chair metaphorically, such as, the chair of the philosophy department at a university, or allow you to attach personal emotion to that object. The chair was your grandfather's, and he would read in it every day, etc. Instead, the drug affects the midbrain, or the part that decides instinctually, immediately, in terms of survival, before you get to think a thought. For example, you see that chair, and in an instant, decide whether or not to kill or fuck it, right off of the bat. This is why an addict can profess all the deepest desire to change and perform well for the rest of their lives and sincerely mean it, but when they see that crack pipe, it all goes out the window. It has become a problem of survival: Right now they have to have that drug! It is a deep painful craving, and they want that drug just like someone would want to back away from the edge of the empire state tower. INTERESTINGLY enough, this part of the human brain is identical, or developed directly from, that of the REPTILE, from an evolutionary standpoint. The snake thinks and acts entirely on this dimension: something fuzzy: kill, eat. Another snake, male or female: fuck it. Hey, 50/50 chance right? This is also why the snake is the fastest attacking animal that we are really aware of. No hesitation. I remember watching the doors movie, and there is a part where Jim is guiding the band through a poyote trip. "Kiss the snake, kiss the snake... but if he senses fear, any fear at all, he will consume you, instantly!" There is a reason Jim called himself the Lizard King, he spent much time mastering this instinctual nature, for he decided he was going to enlighten through the midbrain, as opposed to the frontal cortex, or in conjunction with. This instinct from a spiritual perspective, when pure, can be flawless at interpreting people, even from a few seconds of interaction, or knowing what to do in a situation where there seems to be no way to come to a logical conclusion, at least that fast, or with an inadequate amount of information. Basically, we are all part Reptilian, a very important part. We need to integrate perfectly our frontal cortex's reasoning and spiritual belief abilities with our own innate instincts. This requires complete self-awareness, and complete self-trust. I believe the human way to do this is to lead or suppress the midbrain, the reptilian, until the frontal cortex comes to complete realization. I believe the Reptilian way is to follow the midbrain until realization is obtained through sheer experience. This is why the Reptilians might be perceived as evil: they can kill with little or no regard. I should note that apart from the above about the research, this is all my own speculation. Unfortunately, I think we all hit walls were we can't understand anymore, at least not within this lifetime, or without dying and directly experiencing the seperation from the material world. This is when we have to let go, as the buddhists or zen monks say, and simply allow the instinctual side to take over. I remember a story of a man going up to a zen monk and asking him to help him find his true self. The zen monk ignored him, completely. The man asked repeatedly and repeatedly, and still, was ignored. Finally, the man simply said, "Well screw you man! I'm out of here!" The monk promptly turned and said, "There! There is your true self!" Become an observer of the self, not a controller so much. So how do we do this without becoming the evil reptilian? We purify our intent, not just based on belief, like, I want the world to be happy and everything is one, because these are thoughts that come AFTER the midbrain functioning process, not before. You need to either see without a doubt or have a profound experience that changes your perception of this reality to such as that our oneness is the only logical, rational conclusion that you can see at all, and I mean oneness more from the scientific perspective, for this is all inclusive by nature. Then you let the instincts take over. You may still do things that the old self would have considered negative, or bad, but in the end, I believe, if you truly have had this deep realization, and have truly surrendered to a higher will, they are in accordance with that higher will. In Hindu mythology, there is Sri Caitanya - Caritamrta, a Jesus basically, a direct manifestation of Krishna, or God. He is known for bringing the Hari Krsna movement to us in this age, or for saying that the purest way to enlightenment is through chanting the Lord's name(s). There is a section where his guru growing up describes to him, as he is passing this knowledge on, to the awakening of a true love of God, which I believe is a syncronization of the frontal cortex with the midbrain, and he says such as follows:
"The conclusion of all revealed scriptures is that one should awaken his dormant love of Godhead..." "It is a characteristic of love of Godhead that by nature it induces trancendental symptoms in one's body and makes one more and more greedy to achieve the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord." "When one actually develops love of Godhead, he naturally sometimes cries, sometimes laughs, sometimes chants and sometimes runs here and there just like a madman."
This is also I believe the purpose of most shamanistic rituals, tribal dancing, etc. This type of action requires amazing amount of detachment, because you cannot be second guessing yourself: the moment you do, you have lost the ability to instinctually interact to that situation. Read more!
I've been making a mental note to watch this movie for too long. Maybe this weekend.
Arthur Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear?! You think you've merely stopped a business deal -- that is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!
Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen, and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and A T & T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war and famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.
And I have chosen you to preach this evangel, Mr. Beale.
- Arthur Jensen, Network (1976) [Source] Read more!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I always liked that one joke: You elected him! Oh wait no, you didn't.
"It's no secret -
the election was a fraud
George Bush has shredded the Constitution; bankrupted the country; blackened our reputation as a people; and lied us into an illegal, immoral, self-destructive military operation in Iraq.
And he was never elected president.
Not in 2000. Not in 2004.
And the news media, Congress, and the Democratic Party have never even attempted to do anything about it.
If you're living in America, that's the kind of country you're living in now.
It's not a question of when or if we'll lose our democracy, it's been gone a long time. The only question is what we're going to do to get it back." [Source] Read more!
Palestine: A History of Occupation and Resistance
Recent events have focused new world attention on Palestine: the killing of seven Palestinians at a Gaza beach by Israeli artillery shells (and the Israeli government’s outrageous attempts to deny responsibility); the clashes between Palestinian groups, in particular Hamas and Fatah; and the intense suffering of the Palestinians because of the cut off of international aid. Revolution will analyze developments in occupied Palestine more in future issues. In this issue, we present a basic fact sheet on the history of Israeli occupation and Palestinian resistance.
A central reality about the state of Israel is that it serves as an attack dog for U.S. imperialist interests. In the Middle East, those interests focus on controlling this strategic crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa and its vast oil reserves.
Without U.S. backing, the state of Israel could not survive. The U.S. gives Israel $2 to $3 billion a year in aid, allowing Israel to build up one of the most powerful armies in the world. The book Deadly Arsenals estimates that Israel has 100 short-range and medium range missiles that are nuclear capable. And Israel has nuclear weapons that could be delivered from fighter jets or launched from ships.
Israel is a direct oppressor of the Palestinian nation. It has also carried out many vicious assaults on the masses and other crimes in the region and around the world on behalf of imperialism. Israel invaded Lebanon in 1976—and again in 1982, killing over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians. In 1982 Israeli warplanes bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq. In 1991 and 2003 Israel supported U.S. wars against Iraq. Israeli agents have trained torturers from Guatemala to South Africa and sold weapons to reactionary pro-U.S. governments all over the world.
Imperialism, Israel, and the Palestinian People
From the 1500s up until World War 1, Palestine was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. In the course of resistance to Ottoman rule, the modern Palestinian nation was forged with a common culture, contiguous (connected) territory and a truncated, but coherent national economic life based on agriculture and processing agricultural products (like olive oil). At the end of World War 1, in 1918, there were 680,000 Palestinians and 56,000 Jews (some of whom were refugees from pogroms in Europe) living in Palestine, and Palestinians owned 97 percent of the land.
After World War 1, imperialist powers carved up the Ottoman Empire, including Palestine. The rivalry was intense because oil was now a precious economic and military commodity. In 1922 Britain got a League of Nations “mandate” to rule Palestine as a colony. Between 1933 and 1945, the British imperialists, along with the U.S., severely restricted Jewish immigration into their own countries in order to push Jews toward Palestine—at a time when Jews in Europe faced the Holocaust.
Zionist Jews from Europe began to colonize historic Palestine (what is today Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank) in the late 1880s. The Zionist movement arose in part as a response by sections of Jews to their persecution in Europe. But, in opposition to forces - often led by communists (who also had a significant following among Jews) - that were fighting to forge opposition to reaction and fascism, Zionist leaders instead offered to set up a settler-state in the Middle East in service of various imperialist powers. When British imperialism took up this offer in the early 1900s, a wave of Zionist settlement began.
In 1936 Palestinians launched an armed uprising against the British and the Zionist settler-colonialists. The British brutally crushed the uprising in 1939 and passed emergency laws condemning to death any Palestinian found with a gun.
Through World War 2, the U.S. emerged as the top imperialist power in the world and moved to replace Britain as the main power in the Middle East. In November 1947, a U.S.-backed UN resolution partitioned Palestine into a Zionist state and an Arab state. At that time, the Palestinians outnumbered Zionist settlers two to one and owned 92 percent of the land. But the partition gave Israel 54 percent of the land. In May 1948—after the Palestinians and the Arab countries refused to accept the UN partition—Israel launched a war against Palestinians. Israeli forces massacred 250 villagers in Deir Yassin, including 100 women and children. Israel used this atrocity to spread terror among the Palestinian people, and many fled their homes in panic. By the war’s end in January 1949, nearly 800,000 Palestinians—two-thirds of the population—had been driven into exile; Israel had seized 77 percent of the land.
The 1960s saw a revolutionary upsurge among Palestinians. Palestinian guerrilla organizations launched armed struggle against Israel in 1965, with the aim of creating a democratic, secular (non-religious) state throughout Palestine. In March 1968 Palestinian fighters held off a major Israeli attack at Karameh, Jordan. In 1967 the Israelis launched the “Six Day War” and seized the remaining 23 percent of historic Palestine—the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem—along with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Syria’s Golan Heights.
UN Resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from all areas seized in the 1967 war. But the Israelis began to build heavily armed settlements in the occupied areas. Since 1967, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have been under harsh military occupation, denied basic rights and unable to develop any viable economy.
The Deadly “Peace Process”
The Palestinian intifada (uprising) that erupted the late 1980s deeply shook Israel and the U.S. imperialists. In addition to outright bloody suppression, the U.S. and Israel initiated a so-called “Peace Process.” A key part of U.S. strategy has been the “two-state solution”: official Palestinian “recognition” of Israel and end to all resistance, in return for a small state in the West Bank and Gaza. By the late 1980s Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had basically agreed to this.
The U.S. and Israel have never intended to allow a truly independent Palestinian state. Under the Oslo “peace process” begun in 1993, Israel transferred about 40 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (PA). But this PA territory is only about 10 percent of historic Palestine and consists of small disconnected pieces of land surrounded by areas under Israeli control. The main roads, key water resources, and access to neighboring countries and the sea are all controlled by Israel. And the Oslo agreement made no provisions for the four million Palestinian refugees living outside of Israel, West Bank, and Gaza. During the years of the “peace process” (1993 through 2000), the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank doubled.
The U.S. and Israel dropped this “peace process” and pursued even more unrestrained tactics after the year 2000. Meanwhile Israeli settlements have multiplied, now numbering hundreds, with Israeli troops protecting their land grab and aggression.
Since the late 1980s Israel has at times promoted the growth of the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas as a countervailing force against secular forces and to stoke clashes among Palestinian groups. Hamas, with its reactionary ideology, is in some ways a perfect foil for the U.S. and Israel, who try to portray themselves as modern democracies confronting obscurantist theocracies. (Enlightened people in the West who want to oppose fundamentalist theocracies can start at home: the U.S. has a president who is deeply connected to Christian fascist theocrats.) The U.S. and Israel have used the victory of Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections to justify intensifying brutality against the Palestinian people by further embedding these attacks in the overall rationale of the “war on terror.”
Intensifying Brutality of Occupation
Israeli brutality against the Palestinian people became even more deadly after Ariel Sharon—the man responsible for the 1982 massacre of hundreds at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon—was installed as Israel’s prime minister in 2001.
In 2002 Israel began erecting a fortified barrier—concrete walls, electrified fences, electric sensors, razor wire, trenches, and watchtowers—across more than 400 miles of Palestinian land in the West Bank. This apartheid wall further isolates many Palestinian towns, separates farmers from their fields, and steals more land from the Palestinians.
In September 2005 Sharon carried out a “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip, dismantling Israeli settlements and military installments—as part of a plan to make Gaza into a big prison for the 1.4 million Palestinians there, while moving to annex more land in the West Bank. Sharon’s successor, Ehud Olmert, has continued on this path, announcing a plan for “unilateral withdraw” from the West Bank—which means consolidating Israeli control over the most valuable and strategic territory, while intensifying the siege around the scattered Palestinian enclaves.
Further adding to the misery of the Palestinian people, the U.S. and European powers invoked Hamas’ victory in the elections for the Palestinian legislature in early 2006 to cut off or restrict aid to the Palestinian Authority. This economic strangulation is having a traumatic effect on the Palestinian people. More than half of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza now live below the international poverty line of $2 a day. The UN’s World Health Organization has warned of a “looming” health crisis, with hospitals and clinics running out of medicine, fuel, and other vital necessities. [Source]
So those are the facts. Now we can talk about HOPE for the Palestinians who are not standing down anytime soon. I learned that from this article. Read.
[p.s. I'll shorten this later. We reset the template temporarily.] Read more!
Rant Transcript Here
::Applause, Encore!:: I was going to comment on the topic but I think he's said it all. This is one of my if not ultimate favorite direct rants he's done. Keith Olbermann is my favorite journalist. That's the kind of quintessential representation and articulation of a people's frustration and outrage I want to see more of in the media. Mr. Olbermann would have to be one of the 5 people at my birthday party, MisterBarbarian. Read more!
Let Afghanistan Grow the World's Opium Supply
By Ethan A. Nadelmann, AlterNet. Posted August 31, 2007.
Given that farmers are going to produce opium -- somehow, somewhere -- so long as the global demand for heroin persists, maybe the world is better off, all things considered, with 90 percent of it coming from Afghanistan.
It's easy to think that eliminating opium production in Afghanistan -- which today accounts for 90 percent of global supply, up from 50 percent a decade ago -- would solve a lot of problems, from heroin abuse in Europe and Asia to the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan. I'm not so sure.
The current dilemma for the U.S., NATO and the Karzai government is clear. The best way to reduce opium production in Afghanistan is with an aggressive campaign of aerial fumigation -- but that would cause massive economic dislocation and even starvation in a country where the opium trade accounts for roughly one-third of GDP. The second best, now under way, is manual eradication, but the result this past year was a net increase in opium production nationwide. Either way, these options play very much into the hands of the Taliban, who gain politically wherever farmers fear or witness the destruction of their livelihoods.
But imagine if the entire crop could be eliminated by a natural disaster such as a drought or blight. The United States, NATO and the Karzai government would be blameless -- although no doubt many Afghans would blame the CIA -- a reasonable suspicion given support in some U.S. circles for researching and employing biological warfare in the form of mycoherbicides. The Taliban would suffer doubly, losing both revenue and political advantage. And the United States and NATO could follow up emergency assistance with investment in alternative agriculture and economic development without having to compete with black market opium. Outside Afghanistan, heroin would become scarcer and more expensive; fewer people would start to use; and more addicts would seek treatment. Seems like an ideal scenario, right?
Think again. Within Afghanistan, the principal beneficiaries would be the warlords and other black market entrepreneurs whose stockpiles of opium would shoot up in value. Millions of Afghan peasants would flock to cities ill prepared for them, with all sorts of attendant social problems. And many would eagerly return to their farms next year to start growing opium again, utilizing guerrilla farming methods to escape intensified eradication efforts. But now they'd be competing with poor farmers elsewhere in the world -- in Central Asia, Latin America or even Africa -- attracted by the temporarily high return on opium. This is, after all, a global commodities market like any other.
And outside Afghanistan? Higher heroin prices typically translate into higher rates of crime by addicts working to support their habits. They also invite more cost-effective but dangerous means of consumption, such as switching from smoking to injecting heroin, which translates into higher rates of HIV. And many drug users will simply switch to pharmaceutical opioids or stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. All things considered, wiping out opium in Afghanistan would yield far fewer benefits than is commonly assumed.
So what's the solution?
Some have revived an idea first proposed during the 1970s when southeast Asia supplied most of the world's heroin: Just buy up all the opium in Afghanistan -- which would cost a lot less than is now being spent trying to eradicate it. That might provide a one-year jolt, but over time it would simply become a price support system, inviting farmers inside Afghanistan to save a portion for the black market and others outside Afghanistan to start growing opium. Then there's the Senlis Council's "Poppy for Medicine" proposal, which would license Afghan villages to grow opium and convert it into morphine tablets for domestic and international markets. It's been widely criticized as unworkable -- but the same can be said of current policies.
Or, given that farmers are going to produce opium -- somehow, somewhere -- so long as the global demand for heroin persists, maybe the world is better off, all things considered, with 90 percent of it coming from Afghanistan. Think of international drug control as a global vice control challenge, and the opium growing regions of the country as the equivalent of a "red light" zone. The United States, NATO and the Karzai government could then focus on "regulating" the illicit market and manipulating the participants with the objective of advancing broader political and economic objectives. They might even find ways to tax the illicit trade.
This is one of those proposals that sounds unworkable -- until it's compared with all the others. It surely wouldn't be the first time U.S. or other government officials have gotten their hands dirty dealing with criminal entrepreneurs to advance broader political objectives. And if this particular heresy becomes the new gospel, it opens up all sorts of possibilities for pursuing a new policy in Afghanistan that reconciles the interests of the United States, NATO, the Karzai government and millions of Afghan citizens.
I first heard the story on NPR. There will always be a black market for drugs, especially in places where a full 90% of the supply comes from. Rock and a hard place. Druglords and opium farmers need to eat too, you know. Read more!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
A challenge to revolutionary-minded people:
The situation we face—the situation the whole planet faces—cries out for change. Urgently.
As Revolution Newspaper stated recently: The "conventional wisdom" says that fundamental change is unrealistic, even impossible. But in reality the most "unrealistic" thing in the world is to hope to touch things up around the edges, to put your trust in official channels and established authority, while things continually get worse. If a different—a better—world is possible, you've got to struggle to understand how and fight to bring it into being.
We've met a lot of passionate people lately (many at the Rock the Bells concert...see VIDEO of Zac from Rage challenge us all) who are deeply disturbed at the direction this country is going in, and also sense the shallowness and complicity in 'politics as usual' even among the "left".
People want to DO something...and they can and should. Resistance is needed, and resistance can happen on a scale large enough to make a difference if we continue to organize and act in defiance of this system with the goal of real change always in mind. So...we are challenging all of you who see the need for real change to get down with Revolution newspaper and become emancipators of humanity.
How to do that? There are lots of ways to get active on your campuses or workplace.
1) Be a Revolution Newspaper distributor: Spread real revolutionary consciousness, form networks, open up a whole new kind of debate and discourse
2) Donate to the $500,000 fund drive...
The ability to place major ads in and around hubs of revolutionary people like they did in Los Angeles (check out inspiring "Next Stop...Revolution" Youtube of it)
3) Take advantage of the special offer of Revolution DVD ($25 for 4discDVD + 10wk. subscription to paper) and host a video showing
4) Get down with Revolution Books ( in Berkeley, www.revolutionbooks.org discussions are every Sunday at 6PM) also stores around the country (Los Angeles, NYC, Atlanta, Seattle, etc.) for discussions, movie showings, etc.
5) GET IN TOUCH WITH US! Let us know what your questions are and how things are going!
*KEEP CHECKING THE REVOLUTION WEBSITE: (This week's issue is a special one about the 2 year anniversary of Katrina and the systemic failures of this system...also a special 'back-to-school' supplement on the suppression of critical thinking on campuses)
*add the RevolutionDVD to your myspace page: www.myspace.com/revolutiondvd
*Download FREE mp3 talks by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, on www.bobavakian.net
(He's an innovative and critical thinker who has taken Marxism to a new place; he's a provocative commentator on everything from basketball to religion, doo-wop music to science and he's a pit-bull fighter against oppression who's kept both his solemn sense of purpose and his irrepressible sense of humor)
"In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about "democracy"— without talking about the class nature of that democracy and which class it serves—is meaningless, and worse. So long as society is divided into classes, there can be no "democracy for all": one class or another will rule, and it will uphold and promote that kind of democracy which serves its interests and goals. The question is: which class will rule and whether its rule, and its system of democracy, will serve the continuation, or the eventual abolition, of class divisions and the corresponding relations of exploitation, oppression and inequality." -Bob Avakian Read more!
Posted by Sylvia at 8:08 PM
Sunday, September 2, 2007
If not, then I don't understand the commotion. So it's been 10 years. She's dead and she was dead 10 years ago and since. That's all that needs to be said. I really don't care what she did 1 minute before she died. 2 minutes. 3 hours. The route she took. What she was wearing. Who drove by the wreckage. Who built the tunnel. Diana herself is turning in her grave at the publicity her 10 year anniversary is being given. So much for anyone meaning "Rest In Peace". Rest in everlasting scrutiny, morelike. The media is doing nothing to respect her memory with any kind of memory respect paying. Real respect would be knowing that Diana's work was all about influencing peace in the world and helping others and social justice and then featuring stories that promote that. But no, let's talk about the prospect that this one woman, out of the millions that die regularly, might have been pregnant the night she died. WHO CARES?!
I'm also partial because I saw the movie The Queen yesterday and I rather sympathize with Queen Elizabeth II's wish that D's death be considered a private matter and rejection to make any statement to the press. The British people were outraged that the royal family weren't making flashy shows of grief like the people that didn't even know this woman. It's sad, this modern world. Read more!
By Claire Gutierrez
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned.1 The CIA's inspector general released a report recommending that former CIA director George Tenet and other senior officials be held accountable for failing to prepare for the threat of Al Qaeda before the September 11 attacks,2 and the Pentagon announced it would close Talon, the database created after September 11 to monitor and store information about security threats and peace activists. 3 Grace Paley died.4 In a motion filed by the Justice Department, the Bush Administration argued that the White House Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, even though the office is listed as one of six presidential entities subject to FOIA on the White House website.5 The American Psychological Association ruled that many of the interrogation techniques used against detainees at U.S. facilities—including mock execution, simulated drowning, sexual and religious humiliation, stress positions, sleep deprivation, hooding, forced nakedness, exposure to extreme heat or cold, physical assault, and the use of mind-altering drugs—are immoral.6 At the court-martial of Army Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, the only officer to be charged in the Abu Ghraib scandal, witnesses for the prosecution said that Jordan did not “sign off on anything,” and that he had “nothing to do with the interrogations,” and “nothing to do with those detainees being abused.” The prosecution later rested its case.
Two humanitarian groups in Iraq announced that the “surge” in the number of American troops has led to a large increase in the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes, furthering the country's division into sectarian enclaves, and a new National Intelligence Estimate predicted that Iraqi politicians would be unable to fix sectarian rifts any time soon. 1 2 Returning from a three-day trip to Iraq and Jordan, Senate Chairman of the Armed Services Carl Levin (D., Mich.) declared the Iraqi government “non-functional” and recommended that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet be replaced. “We care for our people and our constitution,” said Maliki, who was visiting Syria, “and can find friends elsewhere.”3 4 The U.S. Justice Department released documents showing that Dr. Ayad Allawi, Maliki's chief opponent and the man most likely to replace him as prime minister, is paying the G.O.P. firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers $300,000 to lobby on his behalf.5 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards dubbed himself the “candidate for change,”6 and the hip-hop magazine Vibe dubbed Barack Obama “B-Rock.”7 As part of President Bush's $15 billion anti-AIDS program, the United States will begin paying for African men to be circumcised,8 and researchers in Uganda said that washing the penis after sex increases the risk of HIV infection. “Don't just finish and jump out of bed,” advised Dr. Ronald Gray, co-author of the study. “There ought to be a little time left for postcoital cuddling.”9 Bob Allen, the Florida state representative who was arrested in July after offering to fellate an undercover police officer, was stripped of his legislative-committee appointments but remained unfazed. “I'm waiting,” he said, “for the politics to say it's okay to hug Bob Allen again—and they will.”10 Patrick Leahy, the 67-year old Democratic senator from Vermont who as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is pressing the Bush Administration to turn over documents relating to its warrantless wiretapping program, revealed that he has a small part in the upcoming Batman movie, and that he had to let his remaining hair grow out for the role.11 Researchers found that cornrows can cause permanent bald patches.12
Two bears at the Belgrade Zoo, Masha and Misha, spent the annual beer-festival weekend feasting on a 23-year-old Serb, who was discovered naked, dead, and half-eaten in their cage. “Only an idiot,” said zoo director Vuk Bojovic, “would jump into the bear cage.”1 Melting ice in the Arctic revealed previously unknown islands that have yet to be claimed.2 Studies in the U.S. showed that one in four adults read no books last year, that white youths are happier than the youths of other races, and that senior citizens are enjoying an active and varied sex life that includes masturbation, vaginal intercourse, and oral sex.3 4 5 After waiting 55 years for a Purple Heart, Nyles Reed, a 75-year-old Korean War veteran and former Marine, received a form letter from Navy Personnel Command saying the medal was out of stock and suggesting that he buy his own.6 Vacationers aboard a Taiwanese airliner in Okinawa slid down escape chutes and sprinted to safety moments before the plane exploded. “I ran so hard,” one passenger said, “my sock tore.”7 Scientists in England determined that Tyrannosaurus rex would have been able to outrun a professional soccer player.8 Thirty years after murdering six people, David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer, sent a letter to amNew York in which he apologized for his misdeeds,9 and previously unpublished letters by Mother Teresa revealed that beginning in 1948 and continuing until the end of her life in 1997 she was unable to sense the presence of God. “Repulsed—empty—no faith—no love—no zeal,” she wrote. “Heaven means nothing.” 10 Scientists found a very big hole in the universe.11 Read more!
The first part of this video is part of a William Buckley interview with Allen Ginsberg in which he reads a poem he wrote while on LSD. The second part of the video is audio taken from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. While protestors and police fought, Ginsberg chanted Om over the microphone. And of course, sock puppets.