Democtatorship

The Washington Post revelations that NSA is spying after our Facebook, Gmail, CellPhone accounts are not only outrageous but also require a special setup by smart internet users. Internet users should avoid contributing private information over the internet, or any personal details that may be used to identify your online activity. Users may use free encryption programs to decode their online activity, emails, messages and articles. It is not the right of websites to ask you for your date of birth, occupation or any other private information that later on may be used against you by those spying agencies. Private information is used to double-cross your identity with your location, IP or other information. You may want to consider to delete all your personal information from Facebook and Gmail, or maybe even obscure your identify with faked photos, faked ideas, faked private information. Encryption can be also done in the source of information – by encrypting the documents you email to your friends and colleagues, for example. Changing servers and using several email addresses is also a good idea. Note that If we flood the NSA and SIS with the wrong data, their spying methodologies won’t be able to beat us.

The fact that even Obama, who was our hope for better and just world, is justifying those acts of tyranny architected by George W. Bush, should make us all very worried.

New Zealand, considered to be a “free” country, has also given excessive spying power the police, the SIS and other spying agencies. Add this to the new “electronic spying bill” being pushed forward quiet aggressively by John Key and our government,  while in the background we evident a collapsing paper-money economy, we should all wonder if the foundation of our democracy are at risk.

Not a lot could be done at the moment – except sitting on the fence and watching the plot. If any non-violent legal demonstrations are scheduled around you, you should participate. We should all look carefully at our Parliamentary candidates and select those which strictly oppose the new regulations of dictatorship. In case of change of government, a new government should be committed to rolling back into sanity by de-regulating those laws of tyranny.

(*) “Democtatorship” is a term originally used by Eran Ben-Shahar as a name for Dictatorship government hidden in a democratic government by all sorts of “democratic rules” which concentrate the power in the hands of specific authorities.

A better government

Stephen Blackheath

They say we get the government we deserve.

The Australian government is busy legislating itself the ability for psychiatrists to order sterilization of children they deem mentally ill without their parents consent if they have “sufficient maturity” to consent themselves, or if the family court authorized it (without anyone’s consent).

The same government has been secretly blocking websites.

People have the idea that because the motives of governments are not easy to prove, we shouldn’t guess what they are. A court considers it good enough to infer the motives of a person from their actions, but somehow this doesn’t apply to governments.

Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, two governments we can be sure in retrospect had evil intent, first obtained power and then they used it. Soviet psychiatrists believed that to challenge the authority of the state was itself a mental illness, and this was used against dissenters on a vast scale.

Today Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a childhood “mental illness” where a child has a consistent pattern of actively refusing to comply. In the near future in Australia, it might even be grounds for sterilization. If you were diagnosed with it as a child, it would be on your medical record. What might the authorities think of that later if you decided to challenge them?

Many of us think there’s a certain line that governments shouldn’t be allowed to cross: It only takes a very small loophole to gain great power. So what are the Australian government’s motives? Are we actually living through one of those great historical events we read about in our history books? What to do?

Well, I’ve decided to improve myself. I want to deserve a better government.

UN promotion

by Stephen Blackheath

In a speech to the NZIIA Major Economic & Foreign Policy Issues Seminar, NZ Green MP Kennedy Graham said,

We do not see the world as being composed primarily of an international community of sovereign nation-states.
Rather we see one planet, whose beauty and bounty is shared by humanity with other species.

The speech talks of the UN in glowing terms:

Global Community: A world in which societies respect the cultural beliefs of others, embracing the common global values identified by the UN

He called for people to get behind UN programmes that will have huge effects on everyone’s lives:

The Green Party calls for humanity’s Ecological Footprint to be of a sustainable size by 2030. This will require collaborative support through the UN, building from the pioneering initiative of UNDP with the Human Development Index that began two decades ago, expanding that to embrace the current work of IUCN, WWF and the Global Footprint Network

He called for global governance infrastructure to be built up:

The effective resolution of these problems requires a restructuring of our institutional architecture – through far-reaching reform of the UN and Bretton Woods system.

This is just the sort of talk the NZIIA likes to hear, since the NZIIA (New Zealand Institute for International Affairs) is a branch of the RIIA (Royal Institute for International Affairs), and the United Nations is a project of that group.

The United Nations likes to promote war. For example, “UN general assembly backs resolution on Syria”:

The UN general assembly has overwhelmingly denounced Syria’s crackdown and demanded the securing of its chemical and biological weapons.

Voting was 133 in favour, with 12 against and 31 abstentions.

The resolution says “the first step in the cessation of violence has to be made by the Syrian authorities”.

How is this promoting war? The Free Syrian Army, who are painted as fighting for freedom against the tyrannical Syrian authorities, were funded and armed by NATO, so when the UN calls the Syrian authorities the aggressor, this is a deception for the purpose of war promotion. They’re drumming up support for “humanitarian intervention” (i.e. military invasion).

And… the people who speak for the Free Syrian Army in the media turn out to be working for the Council on Foreign Relations – another group connected with the RIIA!

Oh what a tangled web we weave.

Is it really wise to entrust a warmongering bureaucracy called the UN with vast global legislative power? Is that really the solution to our environmental problems?

The UN certainly thinks so. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see UN promotion creeping in everywhere – your local library, city council, schools, children’s magazines, etc. And it’s your money they’re spending to promote it.

Supermarket Plastic Bags are not so bad…

Even that I’m greeny in philosophy and in lifestyle, I find it thrilling and annoying every time that I finish my shopping trip and the cashier is asking me “can I stick it all to one bag?” or sometimes “do you want to buy a re-usable bag?”

Honestly, are those plastic bags the major environmental problem originating from the supermarkets? I will show in this article that the answer is “Definitely not”, yet the supermarkets (and also some other organizations) are massively campaigning against those plastic bags, decepting the public opinion from the real and major environmental issues that supermarkets create.

1.       Other supermarket packages have larger imprint on the environment

About 40% of each and every product that we buy, either food product or other products, is actually plastic packaging. Plastic bottles (Milk, fuzzy drinks, yogurts, milk products…), shrink plastic (cheese, meat, fish, dried food…), hard plastics packages (plastic boxes, shampoo containers, soap containers, yogurt contained products, peanut butter containers….) cans (conserved food, tin cans)…. All those packages have much bigger molecular weight than a plastic bag (each pack is about the weight of 20 to 50 plastic bags), they consume much more energy and raw materials in order to produce. A plastic bag that carries your shopping has no more than 5% impact in comparison to those other packages, as you can carry about 20 products (in average) in each plastic bag.

2.       The supermarkets are promoting major environment-poisoning products

Plastic is actually NOT such a bad material: it is organic (mainly carbon based) and when sealed back into the ground, its impact is not as high as other dramatically poisoning materials that have major affect on the future of this planet: the heavy metals. Production of heavy metals is massively poisoning our water reservoirs, oceans and soil as it requires poisoning materials like arsenic to be damped someplace. When the heavy metals are damped back to the soil in the shape of old electronics, liquid “health care products”, food conservatives, etc…: nothing can make them disappear. Aluminium, Cadmium, Nickel, Radium…. Have fatal affect on animals, plants and humans and are a major environmental concern.

Another environmentally poisoning material which the supermarket distributes without any control is….  Protein. Protein is a NON NATURAL molecule produced inside the buddy of mammals and designed to be used for internal consumption and internal consumption only. NOTHING in the environment can break a protein except if it is consumed by a living organ. When milk products are dumped back to the environment (either by the dairy factory, which usually have lots of Milk washed down to the sewage and from there to the soil / rivers / ocean, or by the private household that dumps the leftovers to the sewage system) the affect on the environment is fatal.

3.       The supermarkets are promoting non healthy food and nasty chemicals

This point brings me back to the starting point: as a greeny I tend to buy only healthy food. However I find it quiet hard to find healthy food in the supermarket: 99% of the supermarket products contain nasty chemicals and genetically engineered amino acids. The affect of those on the environment is not yet known, however their affect on human beings is obviously not good.

So why supermarkets are “so concerned” about the environment when it comes to plastic bags?

You must note that when you buy a supermarket product, the 40% of packaging is already reflected in the products’ price. But when you finish you shopping and ask for a carry bag, the price of it is paid by the supermarket only. The supermarket is highly motivated to LOWER this expense, since:

  • Margin profit on food products is fairly low – 5% – 10% only.
  • If we said that every carry bag is about 5% of the packaging, and packaging is about 40% of the average product, so the maths yourself: the supermarket is adding an expense of about 2% pay for packaging, which is eating about 0.5% from their profit!

If they really wanted to assist the environment, they could have used the technology to produce “100% compostable” carry bags from sugar canes or cannabis plants: those have zero affect on the environment, and if they really wanted – the large supermarket cooperations could have invested money and use those environmentally friendly bags.

However, a supermarket is a business, and as a business they don’t really care about the environment, but about…. leveraging and maximizing the profit.

So next time they ask you about those plastic bags, remember that the supermarket is USING your environmental awareness in order to…. keep their positive profit, and not in order to genuinely solve any environmental problem.

Legal poison in our food

My family is not buying organic – because of the high price – but we do make an effort to buy simple and healthy food. However, an intellectual investigation of the supermarket food will exclude 99% of the products that a healthy eater could buy. What I am trying to say is that finding healthy food in the shops is becoming almost an impossible mission.

The personal process I experienced was not because I am an “organic fanatic” or the type of person that is fighting for animal rights: my agenda was different: All I wanted to achieve was self sufficient lifestyle. So I bought a little farm, and started to grow my own food.

In order to succeed, I figured out that my shopping list should shrink…. Coca-Cola is out of the list merely because I can’t grow Coca-Cola on my land (I never drink Coca-Cola, this is just an example). After all – how could one become self-sufficient if one continues to consume things that one could NEVER self produce? So the thumb rule was very simple… – We buy only what by potential we can grow ourselves.

It was a very interesting process: first, we had to examine HOW to grow things. The questions were –

  1. Can this plant / seed / herb / animal grow or raised in our farm?, and –
  2. How can we grow (or riase) it (how to start, how to take care of it etc..)

But in order to succeed in those two challenges, we have had to face the basic challenge, and it is to understand WHAT actually each product that we buy is made of. It means that in order to understand HOW to grow things, we needed to KNOW what is exactly inside them! Then, if we break each product / dish to its basic ingredients, we could (by potential) become self sufficient

But in order to know this, we were required us to do two things –

  1. First – to read the list of ingredients on each product that we wanted to buy, and –
  2. Research carefully what each specific ingredient is actually: does it have any alternatives or maybe it could be spared at all

I will give an example… my wife likes Yogurt. We have wild goats on our land. Milking the goats is possible (by potential). Making yogurt is (relatively) simple process of warming the milk to 60 deg. Cel. , introducing a bit of Yogurt starter and letting it cool gradually. So Yogurt is IN OUR SHOPPING LIST.

Now things become tastier… apples can grow on our land – conditions are good for that here. In the supermarket there is a yummy Yoplait Yogurt with bits of apples inside. So Apples Yogurt is in the shopping list, as well as many other types of Yogurt. This we slowly built our shopping list: lots of veggies, nuts, flour, corn based products, etc.

But wait a minute… should the Yoplait Yogurt really be in our list??? Well… theoretically yes, but as I said in (3) – I examined the label of ingredients…. OMG! Well, the plain Yogurt has milk some bacteria inside, this is obvious. But what the hell is that long lost on the “Apple Yogurt” label? I was quiet surprised to find a very long list of un-identified ingredients there – with LOOOOOOONG names that fit a chemistry lab.

That’s how I discovered on the huge amount of poisoning chemicals introduced into our food. Cancer, heart diseases, other illnesses – when I googled the names of the chemicals in our food – I GOT SHOCKED!

Suggested reading: http://www.foodrenegade.com/

Guilt and GMOs

by Stephen Blackheath

From Natural Society:

A new GMO study may very well change the way that the world looks at GMOs once and for all. Complete with shocking and very disturbing photos of rats with tumors larger than a golf ball in size, a new French GMO study has concluded that rats fed a lifelong diet consisting of Roundup-containing genetically modified corn suffered serious consequences. While the onset of tumors was the most obvious and damaging effect, the researchers reveal that the rats also received heavy amounts of damage to multiple organs.

GMO (genetically modified) foods are now difficult to avoid – especially in North America where there are no labelling requirements at all. More and more people are becoming aware that the food their children are eating is likely harming them. I’d like to examine the question of culpability.

My question is this: Has a crime been committed? The New Zealand Government has openly promoted GMO foods, and funded it handsomely while giving no support whatsoever to organics (organic farmers have told me this). The NZ Royal Society has published statements in support of GMO foods. Bill Gates and others have promoted them as the solution to world hunger (at considerable personal gain). Science has been manipulated, and scientists persecuted.

For serious crimes, the English system requires proof of both actus reus (a guilty act) and mens rea (guilty mind). Since we can’t look into someone’s mind directly, we infer the state of mind from the person’s actions. The usual standard is recklessness as to the consequences of the act. In the case of rape, it would be recklessness as to whether consent was obtained. Recklessness is defined as the conscious taking of an unreasonable risk (by the standards of an independent observer).

It seems to me these concepts are applicable to the question of culpability for inflicting GMOs on the population. We need to start the process of finding out who knew what and when, so that we can ultimately hold these people to account – because – if we fail to do so, they will act again.

Why nonviolence is the only way

by Stephen Blackheath

Our leaders are actively harming us and our environment. Derrick Jensen and I agree on that.

Derrick Jensen is an environmentalist who argues that violence should be considered as a means of stopping the ruling destroyers of the Earth. And this is where Jensen and I part ways. I do not accept violence as a form of protest, and I’ll explain why.

This quote introduces Jensen’s argument:

The people in power will not disappear voluntarily; giving flowers to the cops just isn’t going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love and nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window.

William S. Burroughs

Jensen has this to say:

I’m calling for people to bring down civilization. This will not be bloodless. This will not be welcomed by most of the civilized. But I do not see any other realistic options. I cannot stand by while the world is destroyed. And I see no hope for reform. This is true whether we talk about the lack of realistic possibility of psychological or social reform, or whether we talk about the structural impossibilities of civilization (which requires the importation of resources) ever being sustainable. And really, think about it for a moment: this culture is changing the climate—changing the climate—and those in power are doing nothing to stop it. In fact they’re burning more oil each year than the year before. If changing the earth’s climate is not enough to make them change their ways, nothing will. Nothing. Not petitions, not letters, not votes, not the purchase of hemp hackysacks. Not visualizations. Not sending them love. Nothing. They will not change. They must be stopped. Through any means necessary. We are talking about the life of the planet. They must be stopped.

This scares me.

This argument of Jensen’s can be read in detail here:

http://www.endgamethebook.org/Excerpts/25%20-%20Pacifism%20I.html
http://www.endgamethebook.org/Excerpts/25%20-%20Pacifism%20I%20pt2.html
http://www.endgamethebook.org/Excerpts/25%20-%20Pacifism%20I%20pt3.html

Humanity has a certain inherent propensity towards violence, otherwise wars would be impossible. But we are also capable of peace, and we have the power to structure our society on that basis. “Nonviolence” is usually defined as “theory, doctrine or practice of peaceful resistance to a government by refusing to cooperate.” I think the concept can be generalized to “the philosophy and practice of peaceful conflict resolution.”

Pacifism is subtly different, as illustrated by this quote of Jensen’s:

Too often pacifists have said to me, “When you look at a CEO, you are looking at yourself. He’s a part of you, and you’re a part of him. If you ever hope to reach him, you must recognize the CEO in your own heart, and you must reach out with compassion to this CEO in your heart, and to the CEO in the boardroom.”

I am with Jensen on this one. The “CEO” figure is a psychopath. You don’t reason with a viper. I agree that the CEO has to be stopped, but I believe it can be done without bloodshed.

How? By reforming the law. My solution may be more ambitious than Jensen’s, but it is right and Jensen’s is wrong.

Jensen says:

I’m calling for people to bring down civilization. This will not be bloodless. This will not be welcomed by most of the civilized. I cannot stand by while the world is destroyed. And I see no hope for reform.

There is no arrogance greater than “saving people from themselves.” An approach that is not perceived as legitimate by the majority can never result in lasting change. These are the facts of human nature. Derrick Jensen emphasizes the urgency of our environmental issues so he seeks a short-cut, but this is an expressway to ruin. A “solution” that can never work is no solution at all.

Let’s define tyranny as “dominance through arbitrary exercise of power,” and state some related propositions:

  1. The self-defence proposition: Violence is justified by an urgent threat to the person – VALID.
  2. The eco-warrior proposition: Violence is justified by a urgent threat to the collective.
  3. The totalitarian proposition: Tyranny is justified by an urgent threat to the collective – INVALID.

Is the eco-warrior proposition valid? I assume Jensen would say that the collective is an extension of the person, therefore 1 and 2 are the same. I don’t like this collectivist view: A personal threat is obvious, but a threat to the collective can be manufactured by propaganda.

I argue that no matter what group perpetrates it, violence and tyranny are the same thing: force without legitimacy. So, 2 and 3 are the same and the eco-warrior proposition is INVALID. The Nazis started life as political activists. Whether it’s “defence of the environment” or “defence of the fatherland” the principle is the same.

Here’s why violence does not work as a form of protest:

  • Violence hurts people, and that is fundamentally wrong.
  • Violence is hard to justify. Only when it’s perceived as justified and not excessive will people accept the use of force.
  • The system is adept in the use of force. Violence attacks the system where it is strong.
  • The system lacks moral legitimacy. Nonviolence attacks the system where it is weak.
  • Violent protest strengthens the moral position of the system: If there is a perceived threat to the collective, then the state steps in to protect the people. This is the whole reason and function of the “terrorist” idea. And this is why states have, from Rome to today, perpetrated “false flag” terrorism against their own people.

Jensen argues that the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King were promoted by the establishment precisely because their nonviolence was not a threat to the establishment. However, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, John Lennon and Princess Diana all have something in common: They threatened the system peacefully, and they were all assassinated. Which of them were assassinated by the establishment, I will leave as an exercise for the reader.

I turn the argument around, and say that the reason Derrick Jensen has not been arrested for the crime of inciting violence is because the promotion of violence is not a threat to the establishment.

Vegan joke

It started as a joke in the office: we had a full day workshop and catered food… the boss wanted to have some fun, so as a joke he ordered one vegan meal. The rest of it was the usual stuff…:  sausage rolls, some pies, chocolate fudges, small sandwiches with cheddar cheese and pork.

The guys had real fun and laughed like mad when the boss announced that the “winner of the quiz will get the vegan meal”. We had enough food, the workshop went well, and nobody was interested (obviously) in the vegan meal.

Well… I don’t eat pork and I like experimenting new things. I decided to open the pack of the vegan meal and see what was inside:

Three wholemeal bread sandwiches with Humus, spinach, some sprouts and beetroot (I love beetroot and Humus is always my top choice). A box with salad – lettuce, sprouts, lentils, small cabbages, carrot, kumara, and nuts – all mixed with olive oil and some lemon juice. Several fresh sushi rolls with avocado. I gave it a bite – Gosh! Those vegans eat so well!

In general, I don’t like industrial food and when I bump into this vegan industrial sh*t – like sausages rolls from soy or chicken breast from unidentified gray materials. But I do like salads, and I do like to bread my own bread, and I do like to have good, tasty food. I thought that “tasty food” and “vegan” don’t go along together. I was wrong!

And then I started to gather some interesting information… first – physically I feel better to eat healthy food. Actually it makes sense… there is nothing more sensible than that – you eat well, you feel well. This is obvious. But the problem is – how to identify “well”??

Unfortunately there is a lot of dis-information published all around by an industry that is making billion and billion of dollars from our money: easy to calculate, that if we have 1.5 billion people in the western world, and if each one of us is consuming food for say $1,000/month = $12,000 year multiplied by 1.5 billion gives me 20 trillion dollar a year. Quite a bit!

No wonder that the food companies try convince us how “healthy it is” to consume chemicals, preservatives, food colors, artificial flavours, industrial protein, industrial vitamins, processed food… – instead of just eating fresh and healthy! And even if you buy fresh and healthy food, still you are exposed to all the chemicals that are introduced to the fruits and veggies through sprays and treated water.

So what to do? How to deal with it? I will give some ideas here, from time to time, in this blog. As a start, be aware of what you eat – research and investigate – in an intellectual way and open mind.

(more to come soon)