2016-12-31

Define distraction


With all the debates about “fake news” going on, I think it is important to realize the attempt to blinding out information which one kind of people don't like to see, though it really matters to the lives of other people and the more-than-human world. Freedom of speech and choice must remain as first steps to a deeper kind of Freedom.

Yes, the obituary for the Great Barrier Reef, as an example, was a straight hoax, yet it served as a means to shake people out of their dream state; the reef's advancement in bleaching is being covered more closely by the press now. Though not as closely as it deserves, which is also true for the hundreds of animal mass deaths each year which rarely make it to the front page and never produce the kind of questions they should invoke:

What the hell is going on here? Would we still think that money, economic growth, and jobs are more important than lives if those dolphins washed ashore were ourselves and our beloved ones?

Many serious events never make it to the front, if they make it at all. Instead, what we are confronted with are truly fake news: world championships in sports, allegations of espionage, yet another bird flu, threats of one president against another, stock market developments, or the isolated acts of terrorists(?) overshadowing mass death and mass destruction resulting from the war on terror, from alcohol abuse, from motorized traffic, from air pollution etc pp.

All of which are fake news by themselves because nothing about any of the above-mentioned subjects, fake or true, is new(s) at all, but rather long-standing predicaments. Nor do we ever see the full story. What's really real is hard to tell. So neither politicians nor economists nor religious leaders have an answer to the pressing – no, killing – issues of our time. We are just hanging on hanging on, patching patch on patch, because nobody dares to look at the most obvious of facts: That this whole civilization is a fake paradise based upon the most ridiculous of post-truths – separation. 

"Don’t worry about fake news. The whole scare is, itself, fake news. Don’t believe a word of it.
Could it be that the news media is still trying to distract us from their own poor performance? After all, if inaccuracy makes a thing “fake,” then all the pundits’ and pollsters’ pre-election day predictions were pretty bad offenders." --Jordan Shapiro in: Forbes, 26.12.2016

If life seems often so surreal, it is because, as a society, we have turned our backs on reality like 10,000 years ago. Comparison with any of the other, indigenous cultures we have gathered information about (and for most part driven into extinction) leaves no doubt in me.

You may agree with me so far or not, yet the discussion around “fake news” is a distraction from that which is not televised and that you are not supposed to see. Run a Gogle search on Facebook & Fake news & funding to see the hand of the 1%, and don't miss out on the billion-Dollar trace leading to climate change denial.

Exclusive broadcasting of certified information, more commonly called censorship, is based on the the post-factual assumption that Uncle Sam knows better what is true and good for you. To keep people from making their own choices, even if those choices are “wrong”, means that most people may never learn to distinguish truth from illusion, and that those who do are being showered in government and corporate propaganda with very little sanity to hold on to, apart from their own internal Selves.
Though... who knows... this might help with focussing on a Truth that is deeper than words.

2016-12-28

This eerie silence

Extreme events bring our true values to display. Sometimes, when we talk about it to our friends and family, we are in for a surprise. And often times, that is not convenient. How often do I see decision-making being reduced to the question of financial feasability; money and jobs "trump" literally every other value I might want to put forward, which only goes to show how fear and greed are governing the minds of almost all the inmates of industrial civilization. Humanity and human rights are clearly not our foremost concern, as opposed to what many constitutions and soap-box oratories pretend to hold. By observing reactions to an urgent piece of communication we are getting an insight into people's true values, some sincerity seeping through involuntarily. 

In a way that is much better than the eerie silence most people react with when it comes to inconvenient news and that subsequently covers such news in a thick layer of unexpressed negativity. What is this silence about? Is it shock? Is it irritation? Dismissiveness? Moral illiteracy? Satiation? Numbness?
Which truth does silence in the face of horror express ... with you?

I think that, as things are getting more dire by the day, as natural and social systems are falling apart, and as the breaking point is nearing, the World as represented by activists and activist writers deserves being joined by a larger audience -- the choir of voices not yet heard, the silent listeners and mute readers and quiet observers. Speak up in favour of those writing and acting on behalf of life, by giving comments and likes, by reacting and sharing, and by contributing your own voice and hand to what is unfolding around you. But first and foremost, act as you feel you should have been all along.

In the face of hate, greed and fear, 
spread the the message of love, of care, and of reason
and be the first to heed it.

2016-12-27

Civilization – a glossary


Or: The lives of the primitive are nasty, brutish and short.

The following is a translation of a German article I didin 2011 featuring words, phrases and terms that name destructive forces and their consequences to everyday life in industrial civilization. 

abuse of office, administration, advertising, agritourism, air pollution, animal abuse, anthropogenic climate change, anthropogenic mass extinction, antibiotics resistance, apocalypse, arms exports, asylum seeker, assassination, average citizen
bankruptcy, battery farm, blasphemy, booking fee, bra burner, bubble economy, bureaucracy, burn-out syndrome, butter mountain
calendar reform, cap & trade, carbon storage, cartel, casino capitalism, certificate, cheap labour, christianization, chemical spill, child abuse, clearcutting, clone, commodification, computer virus, consumerism, control, copyright, coral bleaching, corruption, crop failure, crown of creation, curriculum, customs duty, cyber attack
debt, depression, development aid, dictatorship, dioxin, discrimination against...., disease of civilization, distortion of history, divorce judge, draft, dragnet investigation, drawdown, drill sergeant, drug abuse, dying forest syndrome
economic crisis, egoism, electric chair, elite school, emulsifier, endlösung, energy slave, espionage ring, exceptionalism, exploitation, explosives
fad, fake democracy, falsification of documents, fangirl, fastfood, fetishism, financial crisis, firing squad, flavour enhancers, food dye, food riot, forced labour, foreclosure, forest of traffic signs, Fortress Europe, fracking, fraudulent labelling
gate keeper, genealogy, genetic engineering, genocide, getto, gift shop, glacier melt, globalization, gold rush, government, grass mower, green revolution, Grim Reaper, guardians of the status quo, guerilla tactics
heavy metal poisoning, hell, heretic, highrise, holocaust, homeless, homophobia, hooligan, hospital bug, housing shortage, human resources, human superiority, hunger catastrophe
ideology, illegality, illiteracy, imperialism, indefinite detention, industrial farming, infallability, inflation, inquisition, interest rates, invasion, iron curtain
jihad, juuggernaut, junkyard
killer game, Ku Klux Klan
labour division, landmine, land use plan, large hadron collider, lawyer, legislation, life insurance, long-distance relationship, loss of the sense of reality
machine gun, manager salary, maneuver training, market analysis, mass grave, mass hysteria, mass migration, mass murder, mass unemployment, mass poverty, mass production, mass uprising, materialism, McJob, medical-psychological assessment, milk pool, mining disaster, misanthropy, money laundering, monocrop, monopoly, moralism, mortgage, mountain top removal
nanny state, nationalism, nation state, neo-liberalism, nervous breakdown, nihilism, noise pollution, no-man's-land, nuclear bomb, numerology, numerus clausus
occultism, ocean acidification, oil spill, original sin, otherness, overkill, overpopulation, overview of grades, ozone hole
palace, pandemic, panic buying, pay freeze, peak-oil, penal system, pension fund, permanent nuclear repository, pesticide, pillager, pipeline, plane crash, plastic bag, plattenbau, politics, police, pornography, precariat, presidential election, price war, prison population, privatization, proletariat, property, psychotherapy, public utility, punctuality
quality management, quantum theory, quarry, quisling
radioactive waste, racism, railway mission, reactor accident, rebel movement, recreation, reform deadlock, refugee crisis, regulation mania, religion, revolution, rip-off, risk group, river control, robbery, Russian roulette
sanitarium, school massacre, secret diplomacy, secret service, secret societies, serial killer, sewage treatment plant, sexual offence, shareholder value, shortages of..., shylock, slaughterhouse, smuggler, soil erosion, social insurance, solar radiation management, spending spree, spiritual bypassing, squatter scene, stalker, standard period of study, standardization, state of emergency, stock market crash, street-walker, strike breaker, structural violence, subsidy, supertanker
tar sands extraction, tax increase, tax injustice, tax payer, terminator seed, technical failure, terminator technology, terrorism, therapy, think tank, thrashmower, time constraint, time keeping, toilet attendant, torture camp, tourist trap, toxic waste, traffic offense, traffic rush, trash trade, trash vortex
ubermensch, underdeveloped country, uniform, urban sprawl, usury, utilitarianism, Utopia
vacccine, vacuum cleaner, vandalism, vermin, virtual reality, vivisection
wage slavery, war crimes, war on..., waste of energy, weapons of mass destruction, weeds, welfare scrounger, workaholic, World Bank, world war
xenophobia, x rating, XTC
y2K bug, Yakuza, Yankee, yeoman, youthism, yuppie
zealot, zero-dimensional space, zoo animal

(Endlessly expandable)

What's wrong with “recreation”? Are our lives not better than that of primitive man? – Go and find out.

2016-12-22

Jacke und Hose rücken enger zusammen


Ich denke, wir sollten uns mit dem Gedanken vertraut machen, dass wir es hinsichtlich sogenannter Terroristen nicht lediglich mit Leuten mit einer politischen Agenda zu tun haben, sondern mit Überzeugungstätern, d.h. Leuten, die weder gekauft noch überredet werden können. Die Hauptantriebsfeder könnte in den weitaus meisten Fällen – und das trifft sicherlich auf Selbstmordattentäter zu – ein tief sitzender Schmerz über die Zustände um sie herum sein. Dass sich ihr Hass ausgerechnet gegen uns Deutsche richtet und an Privatpersonen austobt, wundert mich nicht weiter. In dem Maße, wie wir „unseren Wohlstand am Hindukusch verteidigen“ (Merkel) und wie das Töten dort eine Zivilbevölkerung trifft, die sich grundlos und wahllos angegriffen fühlt, werden wir mit einer entsprechenden Reaktion leben müssen. Im Grunde setzt sich an Orten wie dem Breitscheidplatz in kleinem Maßstab fort, was als staatlich organisierter Massenmord in Bagdad, Kundus oder Aleppo begonnen hat. Der Versuch, solchen Vorkommnissen mit staatlicher oder militärischer Gewalt zu Leibe zu rücken, führt daher unausweichlich zu einer Eskalation der Lage. Ich würde nicht darauf wetten, dass Terrorismus gezwungenermaßen oder von sich aus endet, also nur ein vorübergehendes Phänomen ist. Dafür ist er schon ein paar Jahrzehnte zu lang Teil des Zeitgeistes. Ich möchte mit Daniel Quinn sogar behaupten, dass Terrorismus zu jenen Plagen gehört, deren Anzahl und Intensität mit fortschreitender Zivilisierung des Planeten zunimmt.

Vorausgesetzt, es liegt nicht im besten Interesse der Mächtigen, dass diese Bluttaten stattfinden, was es ihnen erlaubt, Feindbilder zu definieren und ihre Bevölkerung noch enger in den Würgegriff zu nehmen. Es ist nicht abzuleugnen, dass solche Vorkommnisse zumindest zu diesem Zweck ausgeschlachtet werden, wie unmittelbare Reaktionen der Politik auf den LKW-Angriff und die Geschichte seit 9/11 gezeigt haben.
William Perry, ex-US-Verteidigungsminister, erläutert in seinen unlängst erschienenen Memoiren, „My Journey at the nuclear brink“, dass technische Innovationen, Privatprofite und Steuergelder, zivilies Technikspielzeug und Massenvernichtungswaffen, Satellitentechnik, Computer und die sich ständig ausweitende Überwachung sehr viel miteinander zu tun haben.

Das Sprichwort, dass uns die (europäische) Jacke näher wäre als die (arabische) Hose, ist am Breitscheidplatz auf Kosten von Menschenleben einmal mehr falsifiziert worden.

Manch einer mag denken, ich wolle hier terroristische Gewalt rechtfertigen oder Partei für einen der Kontrahenten im Kampf der Kulturen ergreifen.
Mitnichten.
Ich weise ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass Gewaltanwendung, auch wenn sie einen evolutionären Zweck erfüllen mag, nicht dazu geeignet ist, anderer Gewalt zu trotzen, die in großem Maßstab begangen wird. Die Mehrheit der Menschen ist allerdings nicht bereit, auch nur ansatzweise über Alternativen nachzudenken. Jene, die ihre innere Blockade diesbezüglich durchbrochen haben, kennen die Antwort bereits und praktizieren sie. Andere mögen folgen, wenn die durch das Gewaltparadigma verursachte Totalzerstörung ein Umdenken erzwingt – falls dann noch jemand lebt.

2016-12-21

Who cares


I have been a 'die-hard metal fan', as they call the kind of folks that bang their heads at the thrashing beat of drums and screeching sounds of guitars, a guy who, like all the other die-hard metal fans, used to say, “I don't give a shit what people think. I really couldn't care less.”

Well, I was lying.
Of course I cared! That's the whole point of being a die-hard metal fan. You yearn to be other than the others, you want to show off your freedom to all those sheeple out there who don't dare to bleat. You want to be seen.
So I was lying; I did care, and I was wrong about my perceived liberty, too, as I know now. Being different, as well, is not the desirable thing I thought it was. There are no sheeple. Or rather, all of us are sheeple, the lifestock of the 1%, and each living being deserves getting cared about in kinder ways than rejection as an 'other'.

Caring is the point of being an activist. Because, if you didn't give a damn you wouldn't be out there risking your reputation, your job, or, for some of you, even your life. Yes, you want to make a difference, physically. And then you want for that difference to take roots in the collective consciousness, you want for it to persist and have a lasting impact; you wish for people to finally wake up to what you can see so clearly.

Yet, to get to the point where you can see so clearly what most others don't, you must have significantly reduced caring about mainstream opinions, and that means, you let go of wanting to be an acknowledged, highly valued member of society. Because the very moment you start to deviate from their kind of truth you are on your way out.

From this perspective, a quote from one of Richard Bach's novels makes a lot of sense:

"Well, what's wrong with losing ninety percent of my audience? What's wrong with losing ALL my audience? I know what I know and I talk what I talk! And if that's wrong then that's just too bad." --Richard Bach

In the end, as an author, you are writing for the sake of truth as such. You are writing in support of those who already understand the truth you tell, the ones who need support with staying strong and sane in an ocean of falsehood. You are writing for the ones you care about. You are writing for whom and what you love. Hell, does it make a difference! It makes an infinitely greater difference than voting for the right guy or buying from a green shop.

So let's care. Let's care a lot! Let's care about our friends and neighbours, about the toads, the grass, the cockroaches, the sky, and the creek. Let's care about truth.

Truth is not depending on a democratic majority, or anybody else but its speaker at all. Let truth be told, no matter what. You don't know what else to say. A certain way along the path, you cannot stand anything but the truth; no matter how small the deviation, you cringe under the slightest of falsehoods, and you would rather be dead than contributing to the big lie that is our culture. This is how much you care.
You'd rather be dead.

2016-12-17

Muscat intermission

[A note taken during a four-hour wait in transit]
Every time I traverse a city I wonder why anyone would live amidst all this clutter, garbage, noise, stench, crowdedness, and hectic activity. To call it an eyesore was an understatement. To me, it seems like ugliness manifest, an attack against all of my senses. Well, you can hardly avoid those endless sprawls of buildings, adverts, vehicles and their unpleasant byproducts when you travel afar. Large airports don't grow in the middle of untouched wilderness...

Ok, I'm a misfit.
You know you are a misfit when, after three hours of flight, you are greeting the hardy grasses and shrubs at Muscat airport as your fellow beings while your plane passes them by on taxiing to a terminal. I wanted to pull the emergency break - where is it??? - smash a window and jump out of the cabin right there to go touch some of those islands of life inhabiting this desert of silicates and asphalt.
Everything about air travels is, of course, artificial, and it painfully feels like this to me. Worst of it all are the terminals with their a/c air, their weird lighting and their shiny surfaces, all glass, steel, aluminum and plastic; I always imagine being an insect on a life-repellent surface, not welcome, every move eyed suspiciously. I should have counted the checkpoints; probably a two-digit figure already, and I still have to absolve the second leg of my journey.

Yes, I went by my own choice. I chose to apply all those tech resources that I so fiercely reject. Such are the lives of hypocrites - and each and everyone of those who have been born into this bloody hell so proudly calling itself a civilization and who hate the guts of it. In having been born to this time and age of all-encompassing madness we, the misfits, had no choice; we only have the freedom to reduce mother culture's grip on us a weeny bit, and to tear its phoney, fraudulent myths to shreds with every word we speak:

the goverment fraud, the military fraud, the science fraud, the technology fraud, the God fraud, the money fraud, the human-superiority fraud, the separation fraud, the control fraud.

Just watch the December 2016 CNN presentation on the sixth mass extinction to see a few things that are wrong with our culture - at least this much has been acknowledged by mainstream culture, as it is impossible to hide it any longer from public awareness - only to take the heat out of it by pretending our predicament was still manageable without having to change our lifestyle:
 "experts say we have the solutions we need."
 Hilariously stumbling closer to truth, the author added,
"What we don't have is time."
That's right. Time has been running out decades ago. Which is not to say we shouldn't do all the things the CNN presentation proposes; only that the situation is far beyond technological fixes. Action has to be part of our living for what we love, a pursuit of excellence without attachment to a specific outcome. Letting go of control over a situation opens the gateway for "miracles", which are, rationally spoken, unexpected solutions, unaffected of improvement for the worse. Short of a miracle, as I see things, we are in for the eradication of life on Earth by the hands of civilization. Not fighting it will make a difference, but whether we care.

2016-12-10

The iceberg is sinking fast


I am currently translating a book on climate change, its consequences, and how do deal with it. One of the sources mentioned in there is a Report of The Environmental Pollution Panel by the President's Science Advisor Committee, issued in November 1965 to advise US President Lyndon B. Johnson on the effects of pollution on the nation's health and economy. The report's title is, “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment, which implies that said environment had already decreased to a significant amount in quality, and that this was acknowledged. In fact, the table of contents reads like from an eco warrior's bible.

I would like to quote a few passages from it, to illuminate the extent to which the US government knew fifty (!) years ago where the train of industrial civilization is headed.

On “possible effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on climate”

“We may compute from his data [F. Möller, On the influences of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of earth's surface and on the climate; in Journal of Geophysical Research, 1963] that with a 25% increase in the atmospheric CO2, the average temperature near the Earth's surface could increase between 0.6C and 4C” (p121)

and they go on to describe how water vapor plays a role in increasing the effect of atmospheric CO2, through a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

They also mention C. G. Callendar's groundbreaking work in the late 30s and the 40s regarding temperature increase through carbon increase. (p122)

Atmospheric warming due to an increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere may result in a catastrophically rapid melting of the Antarctic ice cap, with an accompanying rise in sea level. [The authors think, though, that] such melting must occur relatively slowly on a human scale.” (p123)

Well, we know about self-reinforcing feedback loops and we can witness first-hand how both Arctic and Antarctic ice caps are melting like snow in the sun, with record losses on both poles at the same time in October and November 2016, which is a first in human history. Imagine it's winter on the North pole, it's pitch dark and it's supposed to be below -20C, but sea ice is melting.

Pronounced effect on the distribution of some fisheries through warming of the oceans' surface water counts among further ramifications of increased CO2 levels. The authors note that “the amelioration of oceanic climate also resulted in a marked retreat of sea ice around the edges of the Arctic Ocean.”
The authors furthermore note that the burning of limestone for cement and other construction purposes contributes a significant amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, that the growth of agricultural area has reduced forests and grass lands and has triggered the oxidisation of ocean-based and soil-based carbon into CO2, which means they identified another self-reinforcing feedback loop (p123f)

The authors then conclude:
“Through his worldwide industrial civilization, Man is unwittingly conducting a vast geophysical experiment. Within a few generations he is burning fossil fuels that slowly accumulated in the earth over the past 500 million years. The CO2 produced by this combustion is injected into the atmosphere; about half of it remains there. The estimated recoverable reserves of fossil fuels are sufficient to produce nearly a 200% increase in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.

By the year 2000 the increase in atmospheric CO2 will be close to 25% [accurate!]. This may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate, and will almost certainly cause significant changes in the temperature and other properties of the stratosphere” (p126)

It's 1965 and they are accurate again!

“The climatic changes that may be produced by the increased CO2 content could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings.” (p127)

Ha! And not to mention from the point of view of failing ecosystems. The authors then go on to describe fantasy technology needed to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere. This must be one of the first mentionings of geo-engineering.

“We can conclude that, at least during the recent past, fossil fuel combustion has been the only significant source of CO2 added to the ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system.” (p131)

So much for solar activity, cosmic rays, or natural climate cycles being responsible for Earth's predicament.

Subsequent reports, like the research done by Exxon (temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible”), the briefing of the Alliance of Small Island States to the Copenhagen Climate Summit (“350ppm is a death sentence”), and a scenario created for the Pentagon, all underline the reality of the climatic threat and the necessity for action. The Pentagon report (An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for US National Security, by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, October 2003) is “imagining the unthinkable”. It states:

"There is substantial evidence to indicate that significant global warming will occur during the 21st century. […] gradual global warming could lead to a relatively abrupt slowing of the ocean’s thermohaline conveyor, which could lead to harsher winter weather conditions, sharply reduced soil moisture, and more intense winds in certain regions that currently provide a significant fraction of the world’s food production. With inadequate preparation, the result could be a significant drop in the human carrying capacity of the Earth’s environment"
“These [changes] could occur in several food producing regions around the world at the same time within the next 15-30 years, challenging the notion that society’s ability to adapt will make climate change manageable.”

I think we have read enough to understand that the governments of the world are well informed on what is really going on with the climate, but they don't tell.
I also think we all have seen enough in our own environment or on the news to come to the conclusion that climate change is neither a hoax nor a pony farm experience we could wiggle our way out of easily.

Throughout all those years since 1965, something could have been done to stop, curb, or mitigate the development. Our boat didn't have to hit the iceberg, yet it did so at full speed, and catastrophic damage is irreversibly done – only this time, the berg is sinking... first.

I therefore think that in today's situation don't ask, don't tell is a non-appropriate policy – more than ever, for it never was. We should not only ask ourselves, but our governments, economic leaders and media enterprises why none of this makes the headlines of every single news show, similar to the financial crisis of 2008 when all frequencies bothered us with banks' death screams for months on end. Why have they driven us into this – in broad daylight, in full sight, and the headlights on?

When you hear your government – be it the German, the Indian, the Chinese, the Russian, or the You-name-it government – when you hear your government claim that they are doing something about climate change, be aware that, in fifty years, they have done exactly nothing to curb the effects of industrial activities and the corresponding lifestyle; they have hidden the facts, as described above, from you and deliberately downplayed the ramifications of industrial pollution while economic growth has been maintained as the primary objective in decision-making. How likely is it that anything has changed in the meantime, given that major experts warn of near-term human extinction due to temperature increases way beyond 4C while your favorite politician, whoever it is, holds we could stop at the 2C we have already (!) reached? Think about it.
 
Dance of death to the music of the abrupt heating of the Earth has started. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and anyone who thinks you can drive 200 species a day into the abyss and have a planet that is empty except for eight billion humans is dreaming. At one point, it's going to be us – not because we run out of ideas, but because our ability to grow food will have been destroyed utterly.

Maybe it's time for you to take some time and think about how you would live if your time was short. What is truly, deepy important to you? What would you like to pursue?
Why are you not doing it right now?

2016-12-07

On the arts


Art thrives on misery and suffering. Tough times produce great writers, painters, musicians etc. Art is a means of self-fulfillment.

But: true Creativity comes from the connection with our joyful center, when you act from what you intuitively know to be right and true and good. Art is a means of service.

I found both to be accurate. I had my most creative writing bouts when I was totally miserable, and once again after I had woken up to the fact that the misery, including the reasons for it, were an illusion and fully committed myself to reconnecting to the Sacred. During the intermittent period I shut down writing activities almost completely for several years. I knew nothing then, I was totally disoriented, and I saw no meaning in anything.
Writing does have to make sense, not only to the reader, but to the writer as well. If this is missing from your life, forget about being creative. Don't even try.