Sunday, June 9, 2013

Body removed from collapsed bridge site

By Opalyn Mok
GEORGE TOWN, June 7 — A body trapped underneath the rubble of the collapsed ramp of the Second Penang Bridge in Batu Maung, Penang, was pulled out at 8.40pm this evening and sent to the Penang Hospital for post mortem.
Penang deputy police chief SAC Datuk Abd Rahim Jaafar said the family of the victim will have to identify him at the Penang Hospital.
A few minutes after the body was removed and whisked away in black body bag in a police truck, a man, believed to be the victim’s brother, fainted and was taken away in an ambulance.
The group of family members also followed the police truck with the body to the hospital.
Abd Rahim said it is possible that the man who fainted had identified the victim through the clothes he was wearing.
The police and Fire and Rescue Department personnel will continue to search the site for any other possible victims under the debris.
“There is only one body in the car that we removed from the rubble,” he said.
The deceased is believed to be former cop Tajudin Zainal Abidin, but Abd Rahim said the family members will only make a positive identification later tonight.
The Fire and Rescue Department will also bring in a canine unit from Kuala Lumpur to sniff out any other possible casualties in the incident.
Department Deputy director Mohamad Shoki Hamzah said there could be a possibility of other victims buried underneath the rubble.
“We had initially used hydraulic jacks, but the ground was too soft so we had to lift the beam, cut it and then pull the car out from the rubble,” he said.
The body was removed more than 24 hours after the incident when a section of the ramp collapsed onto the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway yesterday.
Three other people were injured and so far, only one victim was confirmed killed in the incident.
The collapsed ramp is part of the Batu Maung Interchange project, which is Paqckage 3A of the Second Penang Bridge project undertaken by local contractor Cergas Murni.
Bridge concessionere Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) and the Penang Island Municipal Council both ordered the contractor to stop work immediately.

Dr M and Anwar, in the words of Marina and Nurul Izzah

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 – Their fathers are sworn enemies but Marina Mahathir and Nurul Izzah Anwar, having both come into their own as adults and opinion leaders, are today quite comfortable sitting side by side for coffee and a chinwag. One a well-known civil rights leader and the other an influential politician in a party advocating justice for the people, there have been many times when both women found themselves sharing the same stage as they preached their respective causes.
Marina and Nurul Izzah also share another thing in common – their fathers, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, were once a tag team in the government, when Dr Mahathir was prime minister and Anwar his deputy, the country’s two most prominent positions.
Dr Mahathir was Malaysia’s fourth and longest-serving prime minister, a post he held for 22 years from 1981 to 2003.
His bitter rivalry with Anwar started in the late 1990s when Anwar started taking bolder steps to assert his presence as the prime minister-in-waiting – moves that many have said had caused his 1998 sacking and six-year jail term following charges of corruption and sodomy.
In the twists and turns of their fathers’ political careers spanning over three decades now, Marina and Nurul Izzah found themselves forced into the spotlight many times, and are sometimes expected to be apologetic for the actions of their fathers.
The women, in a joint interview published in Clive Magazine’s June edition, agree that being in the spotlight and always facing public judgment, is what they share in common.
But Marina appears to express disdain for this, saying it gets “tiring” to be constantly talked about in reference to her parents.
“I get really annoyed when people throw the ‘blood is thicker than water’ argument at me,” she says in the interview published verbatim.
“I don’t care what anyone says about my dad, they’re entitled to their own opinions but if it is truly unfair, I will say something.
“When I get the ‘blood is thicker than water’ routine, it’s like ‘I got no brains, is it?’” she adds.
Nurul Izzah notes her acceptance of always having to face the court of public opinion.
“After some time, you just stop thinking about what people think because there’s nothing I can do to change that,” she tells Clive Magazine.
Asked if she had ever had to distance herself from her father in order to carve her own name, Nurul Izzah, who is vice-president of PKR, a party in which her father is the de facto leader and her mother, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the president, says: “Sometimes you do things because it’s right.
“You should be comfortable and accept that this is my father. It’s important because it has shaped me into who I am today.”
According to the women, one of the best advice their fathers have given them as they were growing up appear to be the same: to remain true to themselves.
Marina says the advice from Dr Mahathir came when she was about to be sent off to the United States after Form Five to stay with an American family whom they had hosted when she was 16.
“... before I left he had to give me the talk,” Marina recalls.
“You’re going over there, it’s a different culture but we are who we are,” she says, quoting her father.
“Also ‘to remain true to yourself’. That’s always been something I kept close to me,” she adds.
Nurul Izzah recalls that Anwar had advised her to stay true to her roots and appreciate local culture when she refused to watch the staging of Raja Lawak, a local production.
“During that period I was very interested in English Literature and he said, ‘You must always stay true and appreciate your local culture as well as English lit’.
“He was really giving me a huge lecture, and, of course, I was dragged to Raja Lawak, but I enjoyed myself,” she said.
The women were also asked to relate the biggest misconceptions about their fathers.
Marina reveals that her father, the man often credited for putting Malaysia on the world map, apart from being the country’s longest-serving prime minister, is “extremely shy”.
“He doesn’t know how to socialise or make small talk. His idea of a nightmare is a cocktail party (which is also mine) because he doesn’t know how to be social.
“When it comes to work, talking about policies – all possible. Chit chat? No go,” she tells Clive Magazine.
Nurul Izzah, on the other hand, disproves criticisms against Anwar as being a man too hungry for ambition and success.
“If you know him, he means well. He does what his heart tells him to do and this is something not everyone sees. Of course, as a daughter I see it,” she says.
Anwar now leads the federal opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and has often been accused of being power-hungry.
The leader had his sights set on finally claiming his place in Putrajaya as the prime minister but his hopes were dashed when PR lost the polls on May 5 this year, despite winning the popular vote.
Dr Mahathir, despite having exited politics in 2003, turned active again in the months leading up to Election 2013, using his influence in the ruling Umno and as the nation’s former number one to help Barisan Nasional (BN) retain federal power.
The federal opposition and much of the civil society movement in Malaysia, where Marina is a known leader, have been criticising Dr Mahathir for his campaign tactics, some accusing the leader of using racism to win votes for BN.
But both Nurul Izzah and Marina, despite acknowledging their fathers’ public critics, say they would do their best to make sure their grandchildren know who their great grandfather was and what he was like.
“I would try telling them everything. I would say he was someone who tried hard to do what he could for his country and not everyone agreed with his methods but that’s what he had to do,” says Marina.
Says Nurul Izzah: “I would tell them that their great grandfather was a very principled, courageous man despite the worst fears we had. He just decides to do things because he believes in them.”

The Rothschild Family – Puppet Masters – World’s Only Trillionaires

Rothschild Family Conspiracy Documentary Puppet Masters, The Worlds only Trillionaires by G. Edward Griffin: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.” “We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or consent.” ~ Rothschild

German man locked up over HVB bank allegations may have been telling truth

Gustl Mollath was put in a psychiatric unit for claiming his wife was involved in money-laundering at the Bavarian bank. But seven years on evidence has emerged that could set him free
Horst Seehofer
Horst Seehofer, the prime minister of Bavaria, has called for Gustl Mollath's case to be reopened. Photograph: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters
A German man committed to a high-security psychiatric hospital after being accused of fabricating a story of money-laundering activities at a major bank is to have his case reviewed after evidence has emerged proving the validity of his claims.
In a plot worthy of a crime blockbuster, Gustl Mollath, 56, was submitted to the secure unit of a psychiatric hospital seven years ago after court experts diagnosed him with paranoid personality disorder following his claims that staff at the Hypo Vereinsbank (HVB) – including his wife, then an assets consultant at HVB – had been illegally smuggling large sums of money into Switzerland.
Mollath was tried in 2006 after his ex-wife accused him of causing her physical harm. He denied the charges, claiming she was trying to sully his name in the light of the evidence he allegedly had against her. He was admitted to the clinic, where he has remained against his will ever since.
But recent evidence brought to the attention of state prosecutors shows that money-laundering activities were indeed practiced over several years by members of staff at the Munich-based bank, the sixth-largest private financial institute in Germany, as detailed in an internal audit report carried out by the bank in 2003. The report, which has now been posted online, detailed illegal activities including money-laundering and aiding tax evasion. A number of employees, including Mollath's wife, were subsequently sacked following the bank's investigation.
The "Mollath affair", as it has been dubbed by the German media, has taken on such political dimensions that it now threatens to bring down the government of Bavaria. Under the weight of public and political pressure Horst Seehofer, the prime minister of the rich southern state and a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the sister party to Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats – has now called for the case to be reopened, amid charges that Mollath was possibly the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.
"The judiciary would be well-advised to reassess the case," Seehofer said this week. "I want them to concentrate on the question of whether everything has been done correctly."
His justice minister, Beate Merk, who has refused repeated calls to resign, said she had no doubt the case had been carried out "by the book and quite correctly".
Mollath has been inundated with public support in the form of thousands of letters and internet posts, many comparing his fight to that of David versus Goliath. He said he was delighted that what he called the "murky business of the bank" is now emerging, 10 years after he first made his claims.
"This is precisely what I wanted to achieve all along," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which brought the audit report to light earlier this month. In an interview in his sparsely furnished room in Bayreuth's hospital for psychiatry, he pointed out the irony that he had suffered the fate he had repeatedly warned his wife she would face, telling her: 'Please be careful. One day you will end up in handcuffs and then you'll be banged up for a few years'", he said.
Asked whether it felt any responsibility towards Mollath, a spokeswoman for HVB told the Guardian: "We don't recognise any connection between the results of our audit report and either the criminal trial or the commitment of Mr Mollath."
Asked why the bank kept the report to itself and did not approach the authorities, the spokeswoman added: "In 2003 HVB initiated extensive investigations via internal audits in response to information provided by Mr Mollath on transactions that had taken place a long time before … It was determined that employees had acted contrary to their instructions regarding Swiss banking transactions".
But while the findings, it said, had resulted in sackings, the audit "did not produce sufficient evidence indicating criminal conduct … that would have made a criminal charge seem appropriate".

Google Government Spying Apps: Spying On You As You Type

Sigh...Before It’s News – by Monica Davis
Just in case you think Google is your friend, take a look at this.  Google has reportedly developed government spying “apps” which allegedly exist only to  spy on Americans. The Big Data Government programs began under Bush II and Obama has gotten closer in bed with the companies who make billions from big government data mining.
Obama has received nearly $2 million in campaign contributions from Google and other high tech spy companies, So, if you think his administration is your friend, think again. Some of these apps are so invasive that they can watch as you type.  
So, if  you think all of these free services are you friends: it depends on the definition of “friend,”
On Thursday, Americans learned that since 2007 the National Security Agency (NSA) has operated a top-secret program called PRISM that vacuums up the actual contents–not just so-called metadata, as with the National Security Agency’s phone record collections–of emails, video and voice chat, photos, Skype calls, web chats, videos, file transfers, and social networking communications.
PRISM circumnavigates the need for court orders and allows the NSA to directly tap and mine data from America’s biggest technology companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and others.
“They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” one career intelligence officer told the Washington Post.
A senior Obama Administration official issued a statement stating that the “law does not allow the targeting of any U.S. citizen or of any person located within the United States.” MOREHERE

16th Bank Failure For 2013

14th Bank Failure For 2013

FDIC Failed Bank List:

May 31, 2013,  Banks of Wisconsin d/b/a Bank of Kenosha  City: Kenosha  State: WI
15th Bank Failure For 2013

FDIC Failed Bank List:

June 6, 2013,  1st Commerce Bank of Kenosha  City: North Las Vegas  State: NV
16th Bank Failure For 2013

FDIC Failed Bank List:

June 7, 2013,  Mountain National Bank  City: Sevierville  State: TN

England homelessness hits 5-year high

Official figures show homelessness in England has reached its highest level in five years.
The number of homeless households in England has reached its highest level in five years, official figures show.
According to the British government statistics released on Thursday, the number of people declared homeless across England has increased by 6 percent over the past year.
There were 53,540 homelessness acceptances in the financial year 2012-13, compared with 50,290 in 2011-12.
The figures also indicated a 14 percent rise in the number of people living in temporary bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation in the last year.
Some 4,500 households were in B&Bs on 31 March this year, compared to 3,960 in 2012.
The housing and homelessness charity Shelter warned that the rising cost of housing and cuts to the housing benefit are having a real impact on British families struggling to make ends meet.
œBehind these numbers are thousands of families up and down the country who have lost the battle to stay in their homes,” said Campbell Robb, Shelter chief executive.
This article originally appeared on: Press TV

Real Unemployment Rate: 11.3%? Nope. 29%!

Real Unemployment Rate: 11.3%
In short: this is merely a favorite BLS gimmick to push the unemployment rate lower for purely political reasons (to the benefit of the administration that makes the content of your emails the most transparent to NSA workers, ever).
The problem is that this transitory fudging gimmick would be sustainable if the US population was no longer rising, however since there is no indication of any taper on the horizon, sooner or later, the historical labor force participation rate will have to be regained. Logically, when that happens, the unemployment rate will have no choice but to soar as the Labor Force soars month after month because sadly even the great welfare state of America has only so much funds it can allocate to an inert population that does no work and merely sits around all day long.
So how does the narrow unemployment rate (U-3, not to be confused with the wider, Underemployment U-6 rate) look if one applies a longer-term average Labor Force Participation rate of 65.8%?
In a word: not pretty. As of May, assuming realistic LFP assumptions, the real U-3 unemployment rate should have been not 7.6% but 11.3%.
If neither the official (U-3) nor the real (U-6) unemployment rate can be trusted, then how can we ascertain a more reliable rate?
A huge step would be to acknowledge the invisible unemployed who are not part of the current BLS calculations. They include not merely the so-called “disabled,” but also those who have left the workforce for other reasons.
CNS News noted of the February 7.7% unemployment rate: “The number of Americans designated as ‘not in the labor force’ in February was 89,304,000, a record high… according to the Department of Labor.” The economic trend-monitoring site InvestmentWatch concluded that the actual American unemployment rate — one that includes all unemployed — is around 30%. The site reasoned that “89 million not in the labor force = 29%, give or take, assuming the US population is 310,000,000 + official unemployment 7.7%.”

Privacy of World Citizens Wiped Out by USA

As of yesterday you are a Citizen of the World with no Privacy—no matter in which country you are located.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony invite,  sent to a select group of Utah politicians and dignitaries for the massive Utah Data Centre in Bluffdale, Utah, was as mysterious as the facility itself. Canada Free Press (CFP) could find no pictures, no accounts of the event anywhere on the Internet today even though an earlier media release said reporters would be there.
The bigger-than-the-CIA National Security Agency (NSA) had previously stated that the facility would start operations in September, 2013.
Why should this event mean anything to you and yours?
“While the NSA has offered no specifics about the Utah Data Center’s operations, a 2012 Wired magazine article, citing former intelligence and NSA officials, said computers at the data center will collect electronic information—from emails to cellphone records to purchasing receipts—from all over the world—, store it and look for threatening patterns.” (emphasis CFP’s).
With the privacy of every man, woman and child on earth now ‘deleted’, as far as is known not one country has moved to litigate against NSA and the largest spy center known to mankind.
The $2-billion, 1.5-million-square-ft. facility on the outskirts of Salt Lake City in Bluffdale will store 1 trillion terabytes of information, a sort of computer that swallowed the world.
Building started back in 2009 when the Obama administration approached MIDA (Military Installation Development Authority) to help build utilities for the Utah Data Center.  MIDA created a project area and had the land annexed into Bluffdale.  The NSA paid MIDA for all utility construction. (Salt Lake Tribune).
“The data center is alleged to be able to capture “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Internet searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter”. (Wikipedia).
In other words, all things electronic gifted to mankind by the genius of Nicola Tesla.
“According to the FISA amendments Act of 2008, the federal government is legally prohibited from collecting, storing, analyzing, or disseminating the content of the communications of U.S. persons, whether inside or outside of the United States, unless authorized by an individual warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
But what came in with the tide in 2009 wiped out all forms of protecting citizens from government agencies that would abuse their privacy when all things Constitutional were set adrift on the outgoing tide.
The excuse of collecting information, storing it and looking for threatening patterns is a joke with the current administration operating under the bold-faced lie that al Qaeda is no longer a threat because President Barack Obama put them on the run, and that the Dept. of Homeland Security identifies returning vets, Tea Party members, and Christians as terrorists, rather than jihadists who now move freely from state to state and country to country.

Crypto Cracking

In addition to collecting the world’s information every day by satellites, by tapping into undersea cables, by picking up microwave links and tapping of cell phones and data links on your computer, email links, and so forth (James Bamford, Wired magazine), the sole purpose of the Utah Data Center is for code breaking. 
For the digital hip, it’s called ‘crypto-cracking’.
And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle includes financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications. (Wired magazine, March 15, 2012).
Think of the function of the Center how Bamford describes it as acting, “in essence, like a cloud, a digital cloud, so that agency employees, analysts from around the country at NSA headquarters and their listening posts in different parts of the U.S.—in Georgia, Texas, Hawaii and Colorado—can all access that information held in Bluffdale in that data center.  And that’s pretty much a summary of what that data center is all about.”
“The NSA is much different from the CIA. First of all, it’s about three times the size. It costs far more.  It’s tremendously more secret than the CIA. And what it does is very different. It’s focused on eavesdropping, on tapping into major communications links, on listening to what people around the world and, to some degree, in the United States say on telephones, email, communications . . . And NSA is really the most powerful intelligence agency, not only in the U.S., but in the world today.”
Bill Binney, a senior official interviewed by Bamford, had been with NSA for 40 years almost, and he left, saying that what they’re doing is unconstitutional.”
Think of it as your worst nightmare come to daylight.
Meanwhile, in addition to the USA coaxing along wars in powder-keg nations under the guise of Arab Spring, the USA has just become the biggest spy country in the entire world.

Copyright © Canada Free Press

The Enslavement of Humanity

McCain and Feinstein pledge to close Guantánamo but sidestep hunger strike

By Matt Williams, The Guardian
Saturday, June 8, 2013 11:45 EDT
Dianne Feinstein (Screenshot)

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Returning from trip to US prison camp, senators says inmates’ care is ‘safe and respectful’ as dozens protest treatment
A cross-party delegation consisting of two leading US senators and President Barack Obama’s most senior aide have reaffirmed a determination to close Guantánamo Bay following a visit to the camp.
In a joint statement late Friday, Republican senator John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said it remained in the “national interest” to shutter the centre and move inmates to other locations.
It comes amid a growing hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay now entering its fifth month. As of Saturday, 104 of the 166 people still being held at the centre were refusing food. Of those 41 were being force-fed, with four in hospital.
The action was sparked by allegedly heavy-handed searches of cells by prison guards. Inmates and their lawyers have since complained that those taking part in the action are being victimised and forced to endure lengthy sessions of being tube-fed against their will.
In an attempt to break the resolve of hunger-strikers, authorities have moved inmates out of communal areas and into single cells, where they can be more closely monitored.
There have also been allegations of humiliating body-cavity searches being used as a tool to intimidate detainees wishing to speak to their lawyers.Authorities at the camp have denied the claim.
But in an indication of worsening conditions at the camp, recent months have seen an increase in personnel being drafted in to cope with the hunger strike. In April, a 40-strong backup medical team arrived at the camp. And earlier this week, it was announced that guard numbers were being boosted by 125 soldiers from a military police company based in Puerto Rico.
In a joint-statement following the Washington delegation’s visit to the naval base in Cuba, Feinstein, McCain and McDonough said the inmates were being kept in a “safe and respectful” way.
But they reiterated the view that the camp should be closed, with its inmate population – 86 of whom have been cleared for transfer or release – moved to other facilities or repatriated.
The statement read: “We continue to believe that it is in our national interest to end detention at Guantánamo, with a safe and orderly transition of the detainees to other locations.
“We intend to work, with a plan by Congress and the administration together, to take the steps necessary to make that happen.”
Whether they can find the will in Washington to push through the site’s closure is, however, less than certain.
President Obama had vowed to close Guantánamo Bay shortly after taking office in 2009. But his efforts were thwarted by Congress, with lawmakers claiming that the White House had failed to address concerns over what will happen to terror suspects after the camp’s closure. © Guardian News and Media 2013

Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

The crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response should be a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe

The IMF's limited admission of guilt over the Greek bailout is a start, but they still can't see the global financial system's fundamental flaws, writes Deborah Orr. Photograph: Boris Roessler/DPA FILE
The International Monetary Fund has admitted that some of the decisions it made in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis were wrong, and that the €130bn first bailout of Greece was "bungled". Well, yes. If it hadn't been a mistake, then it would have been the only bailout and everyone in Greece would have lived happily ever after.
Actually, the IMF hasn't quite admitted that it messed things up. It has said instead that it went along with its partners in "the Troika" – the European Commission and the European Central Bank – when it shouldn't have. The EC and the ECB, says the IMF, put the interests of the eurozone before the interests of Greece. The EC and the ECB, in turn, clutch their pearls and splutter with horror that they could be accused of something so petty as self-preservation.
The IMF also admits that it "underestimated" the effect austerity would have on Greece. Obviously, the rest of the Troika takes no issue with that. Even those who substitute "kick up the arse to all the lazy scroungers" whenever they encounter the word "austerity", have cottoned on to the fact that the word can only be intoned with facial features locked into a suitably tragic mask.
Yet, mealy-mouthed and hotly contested as this minor mea culpa is, it's still a sign that financial institutions may slowly be coming round to the idea that they are the problem. They know the crash was a debt-bubble that burst. What they don't seem to acknowledge is that the merry days of reckless lending are never going to return; even if they do, the same thing will happen again, but more quickly and more savagely. The thing is this: the crash was a write-off, not a repair job. The response from the start should have been a wholesale reevaluation of the way in which wealth is created and distributed around the globe, a "structural adjustment", as the philosopher John Gray has said all along.

Truth and Lies in a Material Culture.

Dog Poet Transmitting.......

May your noses always be cold and wet.

We so often tiptoe through minefields around here that we sometimes forget they are even there, until we step on one, of course. One of the things I have noticed in the alternative media, is how many writers play it safe to the advantage of their careers, however they perceive that to be. Some people can separate themselves from what they do. I cannot. My career is my life in a certain way and maybe I should call it a 'careening' instead of a career (grin).

Anyway, it comes down (in my mind) to whether you tell the truth or not. Following that, we have to define the truth and that, apparently is not the easiest thing in the world. Like Pilate asked, “What is truth”? Ironically he was addressing the truth at the time. I wonder how many people have captured the significance of that? I'm always getting unusual messages from the various scriptures. I don't read them anymore but they are indelibly imprinted on my mind. I say that they are unusual messages, because the usual translations I get from, 'the great out there' often doesn't resolve itself into what I'm picking up on from 'the wide in here'.

The truth is an elusive thing, almost serpentine at times. Then, at another time, it has corners and angles, reminiscent of some of Escher's work. On occasion, it seems to me like a shining light that is so bright one cannot see the form that encases it and this puts it past description and definition, except for something, like 'shining light'. In a world of lies, people inexplicably die for the truth and on many occasions it is not the truth at all.

One thing for certain, the truth, whatever it may be, is a hard commitment and the wise truthseeker has to learn to employ silence on occasion. Seeking the truth and furthermore, presuming to speak it, can put you at odds with almost anyone and even everyone at times but... the importance of risking this and following wherever it leads, is something to be determined by whomever is engaged in it. As we have seen, in this world, people's ideals and youthful aspirations are often sacrificed on the altar of pressing (real or imagined) material necessity. This comes about through the inevitability of challenges, as well as pressures, which seem designed to test and too frequently separate one from one's principles and beliefs.

One can assume that not everyone who becomes a doctor or a lawyer, is initially driven by self interest exclusively. However, it is one of the things that can come with the territory. As far as bankers and stockbrokers go, one can assume that self interest was always the main (de)generative drive to begin with. An argument could be made that occasionally someone gets into politics with the idea of helping people but... politics is the art of the deal and soon enough, integrity is gone in the process of further continuance. I'm not sure we've ever had such a collection of vicious sociopaths and bumbling clowns, operating in the political area, as we have today. It's hard to process the collective venality and herd instinct of the present American Congress, or their facsimiles in various other countries, joined together in mutual antipathy, against the Muslim people, for no other reason than that the single most dangerous creatures on the planet are driving them to do it. There is most assuredly a conspiracy to evil on this planet and anyone who doubts this is either complicit or a fool. We’ve no shortage of either.

It seems to me, in these days of maximum exposure, people are being given the opportunity to present themselves any way they want to. The results are, or will be, devastating at some point, or... the object of a guaranteed payoff, in some manner of speaking. It can take weird twists on occasion, like costing you your life and that not making a whole lot of sense in terrestrial terms but... we're only looking at half of the equation, aren't we? Many people don't believe in the other half of the equation and many that say they do don't either. Often the version of it they believe in does not exist. How that works out gets determined by the other half of the equation (grin).

In these times, when the force of material culture is so great, a goodly majority of the population, either believes in nothing but material culture and... that's really noticeable in The East because of the tragic-comic way it can look at times. We don't see the tragi-comic aspect here in The West because... because we are looking at ourselves. Then there is that significant portion of the public that does believe in some version of the other half of the equation and it is personalized to their tastes, with whatever real strictures might actually exist, being bent to the needs and desires of the one so engaged.

Truth places nearly unendurable requirements on us sometimes. Do we take the opportunities that life seems to give us and play along with the conditions on their terms, so as not to disturb the possibilities inherent or... do we test the conditions to see if they contain the necessary merit for us to continue in those conditions? Once again, that's a subjective and personal thing. We sort out the details of this in our conscience and it gets filed under, “What we can live with”.

If you're serious about the truth, it stands to reason that the truth will eventually get serious with you. I see this kind of thing in terms of inevitability because it's all there for the computation, in the proper application, of simple math. The same holds true for the other side of the equation, which, simplistically can be stated by the phrase, “as above, so below”. It really comes down to what one wants to be convinced of. When it comes to the other side of the equation, established religion can really screw up one's perspective on the truth because most established religion is absurd and no rational person can take it seriously, after a certain point. Religion is for people who still need to color inside the lines. It provides systems of behavior for people to operate within. It also holds out that hope of something after; beyond all the struggles of this plane that affect the majority of us. The priest class is aware of all of these things and quite often it constructs a variety of ways to milk the parishioner dry.

It is a rare bird indeed, who ventures forth and beyond the boundaries of organized thought, into the place where inspiration and revelation reside. It's like walking out of a city, through the suburbs and outlying areas and then into the vastness of a desert, in search of a rumored oasis; keeping in mind the near certain appearances of Fata Morgana and the usual deprivations of the course. You can look at the desert as a metaphor if you like. You can look at this entire posting as a projection because it certainly is. It's how I've come to view the thing itself.

“What is truth, indeed”? One thing I do know is that everyone is stuck with what they've come up with in terms of identifying themselves and everything around them. They come to these definitions based on their level of self interest. Whatever we believe has to accommodate what we want. Thankfully, within the vastness of existent creeds, scriptures, interpretations and whatever, one can find something suitable for however they need it all to look. If you're filthy rich, you can find all kinds of justifications and support for your fortunate situation. If you are poor, you can find all sorts of explanations for that and even an impressive hope for the future as well.

I want to go back to that bit about these times being times of incredible media pervasiveness, along with all of the communications devices, not to mention social networking. We truly are being given the opportunity to define ourselves, in ways and to a degree never seen before. At the same time, the infrastructure of all of our enduring institutions and systems are crumbling away. We're up against it, so to speak, or, like some, we are cruising through the wreckage, indifferent to the landscape or even our effect upon it; survival of the fittest, after all. It's what many of them believe. They're made to feel this way, or, let us say, the way they have been predominately disposed to feel, has been enhanced by the cosmos to see they arrive at their destined end. In reverse, the same is true for sincere seekers after the truth. You may be sure you will be tested to see if your commitment is real and not just another hot-tubbing, firewalking, Reiki seminar, with engraved certificates of attainment, suitable for framing. 90% of the aspirants are pretty assured of leveling off at one plateau or another and then claiming it to be the top of the mountain.

I see all sorts of things going on among my peers but it's not my place to analyze their motivations. That was for earlier times when I was less certain of my own. Truth isn't for everyone and when it comes to lies, we've got something well past Baskin and Robbins as far as selection goes. These days we're walking through a virtual automat; 'lies to the left of me, lies to the right of me, into the valley of lies, marched the clueless millions', to paraphrase a poet.

We're given a length of time to experience and to decide what life means to us. We're all going to find out something, or find out nothing, depending on who you believe and, as I have said ad infinitum, that all depends on what's in it for you, according to what you are after; what you value, what you hold dear, upon that rests your fate as well.

End Transmission.......

Another Phony Jobs Report From A Government That Lies About Everything

image source
Paul Craig Roberts
Activist Post

June 7, 2013. The payroll jobs report for May released today continues the fantasy.

Goods producing jobs declined, with manufacturing losing another 4,000 jobs, but the New Economy produced 179,000 service jobs.

Are these jobs the high-powered, high-wage “innovation jobs” that economists promised would be our reward from Globalism. I’m afraid not.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs created are the usual lowly paid
non-exportable domestic service jobs–the jobs of a third world country.

Retail trade accounts for 27,700 of the jobs.

Wholesale trade accounts for 7,900 jobs.

Ambulatory health care services accounts for 15,300 of the jobs.

Waitresses and bartenders account for 38,100 of the jobs.

Local government accounts for 13,000 of the jobs.

Amusements, gambling, and recreation account for 12,500 of the jobs.

Temporary help services provided 25,600 jobs.

Business support services provided 4,300 jobs.

Services to buildings and dwellings provided 6,400 jobs.

Accounting and bookkeeping services provided 3,100 jobs.

Architectural and engineering services provided 4,900 jobs.

Computer systems design and related provided 6,000 jobs (most likely filled by H-1B work visas).

Management and technical consulting services provided 3,200 jobs.

For a decade this has been the jobs profile of “the world’s most powerful economy.” It is the profile of third world India 40 years ago. The jobs that made the US the dominant economy have been moved off shore by corporations threatened by Wall Street with takeovers if they did not increase their profits.

The easiest way for corporations to increase profits is to take advantage of cheap labor in countries with massive quantities of unemployed labor.

So, if we believe the BLS report, and the reported new jobs are not simply a product of faulty season adjustments and a faulty birth-death model, why is the financial press happy that the US economy can only create third world jobs? Why was the stock market up on the news that the US economy has created 179,000 third world jobs? Would rational markets be up on such discouraging news?

But are the jobs really there?

With retail sales going nowhere, why 35,600 new jobs in wholesale and retail trade?

With real median incomes declining, why 38,100 more waitresses and bartenders? For every month as long as I can remember the BLS reports numerous new jobs in waitresses and bartenders, despite the long-term decline in real median income.

In the May jobs report, where are the jobs for the vast number of new college graduates?

The US now has more hotel maids, bartenders, and waitresses than it has manufacturing workers. The US has twice as many people employed in government than in manufacturing.

The services of maids, bartenders, waitresses, and government cannot be exported.
Therefore, the US trade deficit remains large and without exports to reduce it, a crisis in itself.

What the BLS jobs reports have been telling us for many years is that the US economy is in crisis, in a death-spiral. Yet, not a handful of economists’ voices have been raised.

Today president obama’s economist said that the notch upward in the unemployment rate was because the economic outlook was so good that more people were encouraged to enter the labor market than there were new jobs available.

The conclusion is inescapable: The same government that lies about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein’s al-Qaeda connections, Iranian nukes, and so on, also lies about jobs, the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, rigs every financial and commodity market, pretends that terrorism is such a threat that the US Constitution must be set aside and that Americans are safer without the protection of habeas corpus and due process.

It is amazing how rare terrorism is, especially with Washington in the second decade of trying to stir up terrorism by invading countries on totally false pretenses, murdering citizens of countries, such as Pakistan and Yemen with drones, and supporting Israel’s never-ending murder and dispossession of the Palestinians.

After such massive provocations from Washington, one would think that the world would be ablaze with terrorism. But it isn’t.

As there is so little terrorism, Washington and its presstitute media call those who resist Washington’s invasion of their countries “terrorists.” Everyone who resists Washington’s military aggression is a terrorist. Just ask the New York Times, Fox News, or any neoconservative. Or, for that matter, the Bilderbergs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and Homeland Security, the Gestapo organization that now defines all American dissenters to be “domestic extremists.”

Washington’s claim that Americans have “freedom and democracy” is the sickest joke in human history.

In 21st century America, defendants have no more rights than the accused in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. The FBI now shoots suspects brought in for questioning in the back of the head even before the suspect is arrested. (Source)

Long before Bradley Manning’s trial the presstitutes have convicted the accused based on lies leaked by the prosecutors. Consider Bradley Manning. After three years of detention, including one year of torture, he is brought to a rigged trial as a national security danger. All that Bradley Manning did was to comply with the Military Code and report war crimes. As his corrupt superiors did not want to know, he complied with his duty, apparently, by going public.

Now he is being made an example. The message is clear: Support Washington’s war crimes or be destroyed.

The Amerika that exists today has more in common with Nazi Germany than with the America in which I grew up. The young don’t know any different. But those my age realize that we have lost our country. America no longer exists.

This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts' new website Institute For Political Economy.  Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.

None But Ourselves Can Free Our Minds

David DeGraw
Activist Post

Seventeen years ago, I read a book called The Evolving Self. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, it profoundly affected the direction of my life. Here’s the section of the book that became a splinter in my mind and resonated the most with me:
In order to gain control of consciousness, we must learn how to moderate the biases built into the machinery of the brain. We allow a whole series of illusions to stand between ourselves and reality…. These distortions are comforting, yet they need to be seen through for the self to be truly liberated… to come ever closer to getting a glimpse of the universal order, and of our part in it.
Since reading that, I have dedicated my life to coming “ever closer to getting a glimpse of the universal order, and of our part in it.” After years of research and analysis, I’ve come to hard-fought, battle-tested conclusions that I’ve been sharing with people to great effect, and will share with you now. This will not be for the faint of heart. It will hit hard and we don’t have much time, so let’s get right down to it.

At this point, if you spend much time researching power politics or the distribution of wealth, resources and basic necessities, it seems evident and undeniable, dare I say, “common sense,” that we, in fact, live in a neo-feudal society built on debt and mental slavery.

That may sound like over-the-top rhetoric, and it obviously sounds extreme to propagandized and conditioned minds, and yes, it is extreme. However, it is the unfortunate reality of the present situation. The facts are there for the rational and unbiased mind to absorb and comprehend.

If you take a few minutes of your time and read this through, it will easily be proven. We will look at how the system works, and then, hopefully, we will begin the process of evolving society together, as grandiose as that may sound.

Let’s start by giving some context and perspective on present circumstances by breaking down some economic data. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

I: Unprecedented Wealth

For the past 35 years, with technological advancements, there has been an explosion in production and profits, in wealth creation. That unprecedented increase in wealth, as many of you know, has gone to the top economic 1%. Most of it, the lion’s share of it, went to not even the top economic 1%, but to the top one-hundredth of one percent, to the modern day aristocracy.

After analyzing the most recent data, here’s the headline: US millionaire households now have $50 trillion in wealth. They have $39 trillion in legally accounted for wealth, and an estimate of $11 trillion hidden in offshore accounts.

Let that sink in for a moment… 50 TRILLION DOLLAR$.

Most people cannot even comprehend how much $1 trillion is, let alone $50 trillion. One trillion is equal to 1000 billion, or $1,000,000,000,000.00.

Only one-tenth of one percent of the population makes one million dollars a year, and, again, most of that wealth is in the top one-hundredth of one percent.

To show how consolidated the wealth is, even in the upper most portion of the top one percentile, the richest 400 people have as much wealth as 185 million Americans combined; that’s only 400 people with as much wealth as 60% of the entire US population.

Before continuing, let me defuse the reactionary propagandized mind’s instinctive response. This is not about demonizing people just because they have money. There are many people who are using their wealth and resources to improve the human condition. It’s important to understand that the focus here is not on the people who have a mere $10 million or so in wealth. When discussing the modern day aristocracy, the main focus is on the pathological, shortsighted and greed-addicted forces that are doing much more to limit human potential than enhance it.

Broadly speaking, the aristocracy is composed of governments, political parties, policy groups, think tanks, intel factions, private military companies, large global corporations, banks and media empires. Included in that are mega-wealthy billionaires and CEOs who have unprecedented control of wealth and resources. For example, the Business Roundtable, the people who run the 147 inter-connected corporations who control half of the world economy.

However, the ultimate point here is to show people that there is presently more than enough wealth and capabilities to solve societal problems. We can truly evolve society in unprecedented fashion. At this point, there is an overwhelming majority of the population, even a majority of the mega-wealthy, who realize that our present systems are obsolete, unsustainable and unstable. We don’t need to spend our finite time and energy fighting with each other. We already have a critical mass of aware citizens, we just need to inspire and organize them to build the cultural and political will. Once we do that, we will be an unstoppable force.

Let’s get back to that 50 trillion number, because we have had an entire generation of mind-blowing wealth creation that has been systematically withheld from the population.


Can you comprehend how much money $50 trillion is? Just to give a little context, we can end world hunger and provide clean drinking water to everyone on the planet for an estimated $40 billion. Again, one trillion is one thousand billion, and we are talking about $50 trillion.

Imagine what could be done with that amount of wealth. Imagine the implications, the possibilities. Imagine how we could evolve society, to the benefit of everyone, with modern technology and just a fraction of that staggering amount of wealth.

The average American cannot comprehend how much wealth there is because there is no frame of reference, no comparison of scale or historical precedent. If Americans had an understanding of how much wealth is being kept from them and the possibilities of what we could do with that wealth, we would have a full-blown societal evolution right now.
II: Debt Slavery
It is the denial of wealth that keeps you in check; it keeps you in debt.
Just at the point when technological advancement, production, distribution and wealth increases should have made everyone’s life much easier, just when basic necessities should have become much more affordable and easier to obtain, they became more expensive.

The cost of production dropped dramatically and efficiency of distribution skyrocketed. Housing, food, health and education costs should have plummeted dramatically. However, most basic necessities now come at a much higher price, and people are forced to take on increasing levels of debt to keep up. As most people are aware, student debt, consumer debt, medical debt and household debt have reached all-time record highs.

As an old wise person once said, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”

We live in a neo-feudal system of debt slavery. The indentured servant is now the indebted consumer.

When you understand the wealth at hand, you begin to grasp the crime against humanity that is afoot. We live in the richest, most technologically advanced society humanity has ever known. Yet, here we are, in the 21st century, with an all-time record number of Americans living in poverty.

Crime Against Humanity
After careful consideration, it must be said that this is not only the greatest theft of wealth in history; it is also the greatest crime against humanity in history.
People can’t afford to pay their medical billions. Millions upon millions of American families have lost their homes, and millions more are on the verge of losing their homes. An all-time record number of children are going hungry. Meanwhile, record-breaking profits and record-breaking bonuses for the bailed out banana republic aristocracy.

How healthy is a society when 400 people have as much wealth as 185 million of their neighbors combined? What kind of a system produces a result like that? As famed social psychologist John Dewey said, “There is no such thing as the liberty or effective power of an individual, group, or class, except in relation to the liberties, the effective powers, of other individuals, groups or classes.”

Now that you are beginning to grasp the wealth at hand, and the possibilities of how that wealth can be used to evolve society, let’s take a look at how we got into this situation and how exactly it is that they got away with hoarding so much wealth.

To paraphrase a man who fought against the aristocracy, ‘The depravity and amount of suffering required for the accumulation of such a staggering magnitude of wealth, in the hands of a few, is kept out of the picture, out of the mass media, and it is not easy to make people see or understand this.’ Especially when you have an all-encompassing mainstream media propaganda system.

III: Mental Slavery – Conditioned Consciousness
To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War, 246 BC
The mainstream media is the most effective weapon of mass oppression humanity has ever known.

Since the early 1900s and World War I, a massive propaganda system has been in place. This is not a conspiracy theory; it is all well documented. Research Edward Bernays, Walter Lippman, Ivy Lee, George Creel and the Committee on Public Information for starters. In fact, you don’t even need a conspiracy theory; you just need a basic understanding of propaganda, social psychology and behaviorism – more on that later.

The bottom line, as Dewey once said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion humanity has ever experienced.”

Speaking from personal experience, having been born and raised inside this propaganda system, and still obviously living inside it, I have come to realize that even the most independent minded among us vastly underestimates how mentally conditioned we all are. Most people are no more consciously aware of this mental domination then they are aware of gravity. It’s like the air we breathe.

For two obvious examples, let’s start with television consumption and advertising. The average American watches more than five hours of TV a day, every single day of their life. American children view more than 40,000 ads per year, every single year of their life. Think about that. That’s intensive mental domination administered on a daily basis, from the cradle to the grave.

Ultimately, as Phil Merikle summed it up, “It’s what advertisers have known all along: if we just keep the exposure rate up, people will be influenced.” Repetition, it’s all about repetition.

Repetitive messages fill our mental atmosphere. To paraphrase Philip Lesley in Managing the Human Climate, ‘When a message appears all around you, you tend to accept it and take it for granted. You find yourself surrounded by it and your subconscious mind absorbs and becomes immersed in the climate of repetitive ideas.’ They form the origins of your thoughts. It’s where your desires, opinions and perspectives are born.

To spin a McLuhan riff, the mainstream mass media is the software on which our minds run; it’s our operating system. It’s an extension of our nervous system. Repetitive mainstream propaganda creates a belief system, popular reference points, symbols, archetypes, mental patterns, a mindset and groupthink, all based on repetition – and groupthink is a highly contagious infectious disease.

It’s hard to escape groupthink. As with freedom and democracy, you must be ever vigilant to avoid the tyranny of groupthink and cultural conditioning. As Walter Lippmann said, “In the great blooming, buzzing confusion of the outer world, we pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.”

To remix a quote from Dostoevsky, "Leave people alone without mass media and they will be lost and confused. They will not know what to support, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise."

Malcolm X said it best, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

The mainstream media keeps everyone isolated inside a false reality, a pseudo mental environment. People are trapped in a bubble of status quo supporting reality, in a bubble of what’s good for shortsighted, short-term corporate interests.

People’s consciousness and awareness gets conditioned and contracted, they become isolated and detached from wider reality.

People are born and raised inside mass media created illusions. As Eduardo Galeano put it, “The majority must resign itself to the consumption of fantasy. Illusions of wealth are sold to the poor, illusions of freedom to the oppressed, dreams of victory to the defeated and of power to the weak.”

As Harold Lasswell said in 1927, “The new antidote to willfulness is propaganda. If the mass will be free of chains of iron, it must accept its chains of silver. If it will not love, honor, and obey, it must not expect to escape seduction.”

Now, let’s sharpen our focus a bit and look from a more practical perspective.

IV: The Spectrum of Thinkable Thought

The censorship that is most prevalent today is the most dangerous form. Not censorship of explicit words, sex or violence, but censorship of any thoughts outside of shortsighted corporate ideology. Any thoughts that lead to critical thought on the established power structure or veer outside of the spectrum of status quo supporting opinion are left out of the debate, out of mainstream public consciousness.

The mainstream press does not cover the most vital social, economic and political issues. The more important something is, the less they report on it. If mentioned at all, it’s mentioned in passing, with little, if any, in-depth reporting, discussion and debate on it.

It’s censorship by omission and bullshit on repetition.

As Noam Chomsky observed, this is how propaganda and social control posing as freedom and democracy works: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum…. That gives people the sense that there’s freethinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

To paraphrase Alex Carey, they create ‘the spectrum of thinkable thought. They set the terms of debate, to determine the kinds of questions that will dominate public consciousness, people’s thoughts. They set the political agenda in ways that are favorable to shortsighted corporate interests. The debate is never about the curtailment of the manipulative power of entrenched global corporations.’

Imagine wall-to-wall 24/7 news coverage of the trillions of dollars in fraudulent activity that got us into this mess. Imagine in-depth coverage of the corruption of our political process through a system of bribery that makes the mafia look like amateurs.

What about the staggering consolidation of wealth? Imagine if the media kept discussing how a small percentage of the population has 50 trillion dollars, then they started debating how we could use just a fraction of that money to solve problems, create solutions and evolve society.

What if they reported on all the wealth and resources that a small number of corporations control, then debated how that wealth and those resources could be redeployed to get us onto a sustainable and thriving path?

When you understand what is possible, you see how truly corrupt, shortsighted, ignorant and obsolete our system of rule is. You then realize that our mainstream media system is pure propaganda.

When you see the reality that they don’t tell you about, it becomes all too clear. If you were to just look at what they don’t tell you, you would see. Mainstream media is the most effective weapon of mass oppression humanity has ever known. It’s hard to break free, when you are always told you are free.

As Huxley put it in Brave New World Revisited, “The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that they are a victim. To them, the walls of their prison are invisible, and they believe they are free.”

You can’t break free until you see the walls. The whips and chains have evolved into TVs and radios. As William Blum said, “Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorships.” If television was around in the 1770s, we would still be living under British rule.

In the land of propaganda, tyranny is democracy. It’s “enlightened despotism.” When it comes to oppression, it’s all cyclical yet evolutionary. Most people live in a mental cage now, they toil on mentally conditioned plantations.
V: Behaviorism & Assembly Line Intelligentsia

People reading this may try to dismiss it as a conspiracy theory. We must always be conscious of the reactionary propagandized mind and the army of paid off propagandists who uphold this system of mental domination. “Conspiracy theory” is the ultimate label to trigger dismissal without causing people to think about the content and substance of the message.

When it comes to the reactionary propagandized mind, their impulsive, instinctive dismissal further demonstrates how well they have been indoctrinated and conditioned. Once again, you don’t need a conspiracy theory to understand the system of mental conditioning; you just need to have a basic understanding of propaganda, social psychology and behaviorism. Modern indoctrinated intelligentsia have been produced like products off an assembly line. In The Genesis of the Technocratic Elite, Zoran Vidakovic breaks down how the assembly line of indoctrination works:
Selection, education, and specific indoctrination of technical and administrative cadres are carried out first in metropolitan educational and research factories and their branches in dependent societies, under the wing of the superficially independent foundations which sustain the international projects of ‘technical aid,’ and then within the personnel policy of the transnational corporations that raise people from the local environments to responsible managerial and technical functions in their internationally located branches, or that in other ways subordinate and direct the ‘modernized’ industrial entrepreneurs, agrarian ‘reformers,’ functionaries, and leading intellectuals from the ministries and banks, universities, and public information, cultural, and scientific institutions. 
The essential effect of this great factory for the almost assembly line production of dependent and emasculated ‘technocratic elites’ is that the material position, status, and professional success of the members of these groups imperatively depends on their conformity to the ideology of dependence and the interiorization of the intellectual, political, and ideological characteristics of this social type programmed in metropolitan laboratories for the technological, social, and cultural transformation of ‘developing countries.’… 
The ideology of total repression unites with the ideology of technological and cultural dependency and assimilation; in this union repression gains strength as the condition of the entire dependent economic growth, technological progress, and ‘modernization of society,’ as a circle of insurmountable dependency on the import of prefabricated knowledge and technical and consumerist models is closed up by the ambitions of the protagonists of authoritarian rule.
We live in a Skinner box. It’s classic “behavioral modification” (b-mod) within a “token economy.” We have an outdated system of incentives; you incentivize and reward certain behavior, and you punish or withdraw basic necessities for other behavior. It’s behaviorism 101.

Give people a paycheck to have certain opinions, to do certain things. You can see it everywhere, in almost all professions, not just the media. If you think a certain way, if you do certain things, you will be awarded with a paycheck. If you don’t, you lose your paycheck. Or, as Thomas Paine said in Rights of Man, “Those who do not participate in this enacting do not get fed.”

People get paid a lot of money to spew bullshit talking point propaganda on a daily basis. The truth of the matter: if you propagate the message of tyrants, and if you are good at it, you can become rich and famous. That’s what primitive self-obsessed ego-driven careerists do. They are the ultimate pawns of empire. They enrich themselves by riding the coattails of conquerors.

As W.E.H. Lecky once said, ‘The simple fact of applying certain penalties to the profession of particular opinions, and rewards to the profession of opposite opinions, while it will make many hypocrites, it will also make many converts.’

Our Skinner box society, our token economy is run by the modern day aristocracy through a system of enlightened despotism. You either bow down and play by their rules or you lose access to basic necessities. It’s the root of modern monetary enslavement – debt and wage slavery.

The fact of the matter, the truth of the matter: we are not supposed to be freethinking participatory citizens involved in the decision-making processes that guide our lives and determine our fate. We are mentally conditioned to be spectators, mindless reactionary consumers and wage slaves.

VI: Totalitarian Minds Inside the All-Consuming Cult

If you want to get wicked about it, we could quote extensively from the work of Edward Bernays, Gustave LeBon or Walter Lippman on the “bewildered herd,” but that’s too easy. Let’s drop some Jacques Ellul, from his 1965 analysis of the social mind, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes:
Propaganda is today a greater danger to mankind than any of the other more grandly advertised threats hanging over the human race…. Propaganda ruins not only democratic ideas but also democratic behavior – the foundation of democracy, the very quality without which it cannot exist…. Propaganda destroys its very foundations. It creates a man who is suited to a totalitarian society…. 
A man who lives in a democratic society and who is subjected to propaganda is being drained of the democratic content itself – of the style of democratic life, understanding of others… he is a ‘totalitarian man with democratic convictions,’ but those convictions do not change his behavior in the least. Such contradiction is in no way felt by the individual for whom democracy has become a myth and a set of democratic imperatives, merely stimuli that activate conditioned reflexives. 
The word democracy, having become a simple incitation, no longer has anything to do with democratic behavior. And the citizen can repeat indefinitely ‘the sacred formulas of democracy’ while acting like a storm trooper.
That is as accurate a depiction of the average modern American as I have ever come across. In the same book, Ellul went on to explain the inherent danger of our two-party system and the general apathy Americans have toward politics:
The conflicting propaganda of opposing parties is essentially what leads to political abstention. But this is not the abstention of the free spirit which asserts itself; it is the result of resignation, the external symptom of a series of inhibitions. Such a man has not decided to abstain; under diverse pressures, subjected to shocks and distortions, he can no longer (even if he wanted to) perform a political act. What is even more serious is that this inhibition not only is political, but also progressively takes over the whole of his being and leads to a general attitude of surrender…. 
At the same time, this crystallization closes his mind to all new ideas. The individual now has a set of prejudices and beliefs…. His entire personality now revolves around those elements. Every new idea will therefore be troublesome to his entire being.
In Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, Guy DeBord summed up the primary function of the mainstream media, “For what is communicated are orders; and with perfect harmony, those who give them are also those who tell us what they think of them.”

For an even deeper understanding on how propaganda works, let’s return to Ellul:
Governmental propaganda suggests that public opinion demand this or that decision; it provokes the will of a people, who spontaneously say nothing. But, once evoked, formed, and crystallized on a point, that will becomes the people’s will
The government really acts on its own, it just gives the impression of obeying public opinion, after having first built that public opinion. The point is to make the masses demand of the government what the government has already decided to do.”
They “amputate the argument” and replace it with “engineered consensus.” As Robert Lynd wrote in Democracy In Reverse, “They operate actually to confirm the citizen’s false sense of security in totaling up ‘what the majority think’… The false sense of the public’s being ‘boss’ that they encourage operates to narcotize public awareness of the seriousness of problems and of the drastic social changes many contemporary situations require.”

In 1935, Malcolm Willey explained, “An individual may be moved to action through repetition, as, for example, in advertising; but his action is made more certain if he is made to realize that thousands, even millions, of others are thinking and feeling as he himself does. Herein lies the importance of the contemporary communication network; it not only carries its symbols to the individual, it also impresses upon him a sense of numbers.”

James Madison also realized this when he wrote Public Opinion, “The larger a country, the less easy for its real opinion to be ascertained, and the less difficult to be counterfeited.” That was written in 1791, when the US population was only about five million people.

In 1901, Gabriel Tarde wrote, “Newspapers have transformed… unified in space and diversified in time the conversations of individuals, even those who do not read papers but who, talking to those who do, are forced to follow the groove of their borrowed thoughts. One pen suffices to set off a million tongues.”

Bertrand Russell also hit at the root in Free Thought and Official Propaganda, when he said, “it is much easier than it used to be to spread misinformation, and, owing to democracy, the spread of misinformation is more important than in former times to the holders of power.”

In Taking the Risk Out of Democracy, Alex Carey summed it all up in this one sentence: “That this simple regime of thought-control should prove to have been so triumphant, with so little public resistance, must be put down to its persistent, repetitive orchestration.”

For all the discussion and focus on political and economic policy, what we really need to do on the individual level, first and foremost, is transcend conditioned consciousness. Once we do that, positive political and economic policy will be the natural byproduct and inevitable result.

VII: Free Your Mind ~*~
You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it… Sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. I’m trying to free your mind… But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it. – The Matrix
In revisiting the reactionary propagandized mind, when you confront a member of the consumer cult and expose their mental conditioning processes, the false reality and illusions that people are trapped in, they will instinctively dismiss or attack you. People will bite your hand when you try to remove the mental leash from their neck.

In The Evolving Self, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains further, “To prevent its annihilation, the ego forces us to be constantly on the watch for anything that might threaten the symbols on which it relies for identity. Our view of the world becomes polarized into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – things that support the image, and those that threaten it.” This is also how the third Mayan veil works. In this case, your media created cultural programming; it distorts reality to make it congruent with conditioned views.

Anything that deviates from the conditioned norm is ridiculed and instantly, instinctively dismissed before critical thinking skills are activated. The repetitious conditioning process leads to an amputation of critical thinking faculties. That which people are not familiar with becomes odd, evil and damaging to their mental construct, to their thought patterns, to their fabricated self-image.

For instance, we tend to look for anything that confirms our pre-existing beliefs while ignoring anything that goes against them. This is how confirmation bias works, to paraphrase Bertrand Russell: ‘If people are offered a fact which goes against their instincts or their cultural programming, they will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, they are offered something which falls in accordance to their cultural programming, in accordance to their conditioning, they will accept it, even on the slightest evidence.’

Having been bred within this all-pervasive propaganda system, I understand the disbelief people feel. When our conditioned belief system is called into question and comes crashing down, it is a hard pill to swallow. No one wants to believe that they have been manipulated or taken advantage of. This will stir up an instinctive dismissal, a powerful emotional response. We are creatures of habit, and it is much easier, over the short-term, to just stay on a path of denial and ignorance. Hear no evil. See no evil.

The task upon us is to consciously counter conditioned consciousness. The most difficult and important prerequisite to freedom is the ability to see past all of your culturally programmed biases. It takes great personal inner-strength and determination to achieve this; you will inevitably have to face many facts that will go against your programmed, conditioned beliefs. If one can endure this, one will eventually come to experience true freedom.

However, even if one is strong enough to have an awareness of their conditioning, it is another level to confront and transcend it. As Nietzsche said, “Even the most courageous among us only rarely has the courage for that which they really know.”
Are you brave enough to see? 
Do you want to change it?
–Trent Reznor

Noam Chomsky makes the ease in which you can free your mind clear, and stresses the importance of doing so:
To take apart the system of illusions and deception which functions to prevent understanding of contemporary reality [is] not a task that requires extraordinary skill or understanding. It requires the kind of normal skepticism and willingness to apply one’s analytical skills that almost all people have and that they can exercise…. 
As long as some specialized class is in position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves, but the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. 
The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must – namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive…. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.
Most Americans are aware of the fact that we are on a disastrous path. However, many of us feel powerless to change things. These feelings are only a result of our conditioning and induced delusion. We have become so propagandized that many of us do not realize the significant position that we are in. We are not poor people trapped in a third world existence. We are a mass of people who have the power to evolve society and change the course of history.

It is stunning to hear all these people, so many people saying that they can’t do anything about it. Far too many people think that we can’t create change; that is why we don’t.

Why do you think that we can’t change the world? How did you come to that conclusion? Who taught you to believe that?

The overwhelming majority feels powerless to create political change. If they would just realize that they are the overwhelming majority, they would no longer feel this way. As Ellul said, “Only when he realizes his delusion will he experience the beginning of genuine freedom – in the act of realization itself – be it only from the effort to stand back and look squarely at the phenomenon and reduce it to raw fact.”

VIII: Cyberspace Underground Railroad

Time comes and times go…

Thanks to the Internet, to the cyberspace underground railroad, people are now freeing their minds from conditioning and entrenched power censors. The Internet is to our generation what pamphlets were to our forefathers’ generation during the first American Revolution. People are going to the Internet to find out all the information that the corporate mainstream media is not letting people know about. As a result, we now have a critical mass of informed and outraged citizens who are also using the Internet to organize. They are now transcending conditioned consciousness and expanding their awareness on a scale unprecedented in human history.

A new empowering collective consciousness, built on self-sufficient and aware individuals, is quickly evolving. As William Adams Brown said, “We are developing a social conscience, and situations which would have been accepted a generation ago as a matter of course are felt as an intolerable scandal.” John Dewey continues, “Liberty in the concrete signifies release from the impact of particular oppressive forces; emancipation from something once taken as a normal part of human life but now experienced as bondage…. Today, it signifies liberation from material insecurity and from the coercions and repressions that prevent multitudes from participation in the vast cultural resources that are at hand.”

The inevitable demise of our current neo-feudal system was summed up by George Orwell when he said, “For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”

If you are still wondering if we can truly create change, consider this simple truth from Strobe Talbott, “All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.”

Our government was created in the time of the horse and wagon. It took days or weeks to deliver one handwritten message across state lines. Today, we have instantaneous worldwide communication and an unprecedented amount of wealth in the most technologically advanced society. The masses are now connected and aware. It’s time to evolve our obsolete system. You know it, and so does everyone else who pays attention. We will soon have new ways of living that will make our modern age like look the Stone Age.

People are throwing off their mental shackles and realizing their potential. A new renaissance and age of enlightenment has begun. Another world is happening. Humanity is rising.

Enough writing from the Underground. It’s time to contrive to be born, to transform our world. We are building a decentralized global network of self-sustaining community incubators designed to maximize the transformative energy around us and facilitate the evolution of society. If you want to join us in this effort, enlist here.

This article first appeared at David DeGraw's website. A video archive featuring some of David’s interviews can be found here.

Meet Your New Boss: Buying Large Employers Will Enable China To Dominate 1000s Of U.S. Communities

Are you ready for a future where China will employ millions of American workers and dominate thousands of small communities all over the United States?  Such a future would be unimaginable to many Americans, but the truth is that it is already starting to happen.  Chinese acquisition of U.S. businesses set a new all-time record last year, and it is on pace to absolutely shatter that record this year.  Meanwhile, China is voraciously gobbling up real estate and is establishing economic beachheads all over America.  If China continues to build economic power inside the United States, it will eventually become the dominant economic force in thousands of small communities all over the nation.  Just think about what the Smithfield Foods acquisition alone will mean.  Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world.  It has facilities in 26 U.S. states and it employs tens of thousands of Americans.  It directly owns 460 farms and has contracts with approximately 2,100 others.  But now a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, and that means that the Chinese will now be the most important employer in dozens of rural communities all over America.  If you don’t think that this is important, you haven’t been paying much attention to what has been going on in the world.  Thanks in part to our massively bloated trade deficit with China, the Chinese have trillions of dollars to spend.  They are only just starting to exercise their economic muscles.
And it is important to keep in mind that there is often not much of a difference between “the Chinese government” and “Chinese corporations”.  In 2011, 43 percent of all profits in China were produced by companies that the Chinese government had a controlling interest in.  Americans are accustomed to thinking of “government” and “business” as being separate things, but in China they are often one and the same.  Even when there is a separation in ownership, the reality is that no major Chinese corporation is going to go against the authority and guidance of the Chinese government.  The relationship between government and business in China is much different than it is in the United States.
Over the past several years, Chinese companies have become increasingly aggressive.  Last year a Chinese company spent $2.6 billion to purchase AMC entertainment – one of the largest movie theater chains in the United States.  Now that Chinese company controls more movie ticket sales than anyone else in the world.  At the time, that was the largest acquisition of a U.S. firm by a Chinese company, but now the Smithfield Foods deal has greatly surpassed that.
But China is not just relying on acquisitions to expand its economic power.  The truth is that “economic beachheads” are being established all over America.  For example, Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc. recently broke ground on a $100 million plant in Thomasville, Alabama.  I am sure that many of the residents of Thomasville, Alabama will be glad to have jobs, but it will also become yet another community that will now be heavily dependent on communist China.
And guess where else Chinese companies are putting down roots?
Yes, the poster child for the deindustrialization of America is being invaded by the Chinese.  The following comes from a recent CNBC article
Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.
Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.
If you recently purchased an “American-made vehicle”, there is a really good chance that it has Chinese parts in it.
In fact, it is becoming harder and harder to get auto parts that are actually made in America by American companies.  A lot of those companies are dying off.  One example of this is a battery maker that had received $132 million from the federal government that was recently gobbled up by a huge Chinese corporation…
Industry analysts are hard-pressed to put a number on the Chinese suppliers operating in the United States. “We simply don’t know how many there are,” said David Andrea, an official with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, a trade organization for auto parts makers.
In one of the more prominent deals, the Wanxiang Group bought most of the assets of the battery maker A123 Systems, which filed for bankruptcy last year despite receiving $132 million of $249 million in federal grants to build two factories in Michigan.
Congressional Republicans criticized the deal, saying A123′s technology could support military applications in China. Still, the buyout was approved this year by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal government panel.
China seems particularly interested in acquiring energy resources in the United States.  For example, did you know that China is actually mining for coal in the mountains of Tennessee?
Guizhou Gouchuang Energy Holdings Group spent 616 million dollars to acquire Triple H Coal Co. in Jacksboro, Tennessee.  At the time, that acquisition really didn’t make much news, but now a group of conservatives in Tennessee is trying to stop the Chinese from blowing up their mountains and taking their coal.  The following is from a Wall Street Journal article back in March…
The Tennessee Conservative Union began airing an ad Tuesday that says lawmakers have failed to protect the state’s scenic mountains and are allowing the “Chinese to destroy our mountains and take our coal…the same folks who hold our debt.”
But when it comes to our energy resources, China has been most interested in our oil and natural gas.  It is a complete and total mystery why the federal government would allow China to buy up our precious domestic sources of energy, but it is happening.  The following is a list of some of the oil and natural gas deals that China has been involved in during the last few years that was compiled by the Wall Street Journal
Colorado: Cnooc gained a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming in a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy Corp.
Louisiana: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 265,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale after a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.
Michigan: Sinopec gained a one-third interest in 350,000 acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.
Ohio: Sinopec acquired a one-third stake in Devon Energy’s 235,000 Utica Shale acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal.
Oklahoma: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 215,000 acres in a broader $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.
Texas: Cnooc acquired a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy’s 600,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $2.16-billion deal.
Wyoming: Cnooc has a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming after a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy. Sinopec gained a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 320,000 acres as part of a larger $2.5 billion deal.
Gulf of Mexico: Cnooc Ltd. separately acquired minority stakes in some of Statoil ASA’s leases as well as six of Nexen Inc.’s deep-water wells.
How could we be so stupid?
Sadly, as our politicians endlessly bicker China just continues to aggressively push ahead.
And pretty soon China may want to build entire cities in the United States just like they have been doing in other countries.  According toBloomberg, right now China is actually building a city larger than Manhattan just outside of the capital of Belarus…
China is building an entire city in the forests near the Belarusian capital Minsk to create a manufacturing springboard between the European Union andRussia.
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenkoallotted an area 40 percent larger than Manhattanaround Minsk’s international airport for the $5 billion development, which will include enough housing to accommodate 155,000 people, according to Chinese and Belarusian officials.
And this is actually already happening on a much smaller scale in this country.  For example, as I have written about previously, a Chinese company known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has purchased 200 acres of land near the little town of Milan, Michigan.  Their stated goal is to construct a “China City” that has artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.
In other cases, large chunks of real estate in the middle of major U.S. cities are being gobbled up by Chinese “investors”.  Just check out what a Fortune article from a while back says has been happening in Toledo, Ohio…
In March 2011, Chinese investors paid $2.15 million cash for a restaurant complex on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. Soon they put down another $3.8 million on 69 acres of newly decontaminated land in the city’s Marina District, promising to invest $200 million in a new residential-commercial development. That September, another Chinese firm spent $3 million for an aging hotel across a nearby bridge with a view of the minor league ballpark.
Are you starting to get the picture?
China is on the rise and America is in decline.  If you doubt this, just read the following list of facts which comes from one of my previous articles entitled “40 Ways That China Is Beating America“…
#1 As I mentioned above, when you total up all imports and exports of goods, China is now the number one trading nation on the entire planet.
#2 During 2012, we sold about 110 billion dollars worth of stuff to the Chinese, but they sold about 425 billion dollars worth of stuff to us.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
#3 Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade that comes to more than 2.3 trillion dollars.
#4 China now has the largest new car market in the entire world.
#5 China has more foreign currency reserves than anyone else on the planet.
#6 China is the number one gold producer in the world.
#7 China is also the number one gold importer in the world.
#8 The uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team were made in China.
#9 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
#10 The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.
#11 The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
#12 One of the reasons it is so hard to export stuff to China is because of their tariffs.  According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.
#13 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.
#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#15 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
#16 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000manufacturing facilities since 2001.
#17 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
#18 China now produces more than twice as many automobiles as the United States does.
#19 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.
#20 After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government.  The price for entering into many of these “joint ventures” was a transfer of “state of the art technology” from General Motors to the communist Chinese.
#21 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.
#22 The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.
#23 China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment, but the number one U.S. export to China is “scrap and trash”.
#24 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now more than 30 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#25 China now consumes more energy than the United States does.
#26 China is now the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world.
#27 China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.
#28 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.
#29 There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.
#30 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.
#31 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.
#33 China now produces 11 times as much steel as the United States does.
#34 China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.
#35 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.
#36 A recent investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services found more than one million counterfeit Chinese parts in the Department of Defense supply chain.
#37 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles.  But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.
#38 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.
#39 The average household debt load in the United States is 136% of average household income.  In China, the average household debt loadis 17% of average household income.
#40 The Chinese have begun to buy up huge amounts of U.S. real estate.  In fact, Chinese citizens purchased one out of every ten homes that were sold in the state of California in 2011.
And what we have seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg as far as Chinese “investment” in U.S. real estate is concerned.  The following is a brief excerpt from a Bloomberg article that was posted just last week
China is studying the possibility of investing a portion of its $3.4 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves in U.S. real estate, said two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The State Administration of Foreign Exchange began the study after seeing signs of a recovery in the U.S. property market, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. China may acquire properties, invest in real estate funds or buy stakes in property companies, they said. The safety of the investments will be the top priority, said the people, who didn’t elaborate on a timetable or other details.
So what can we do about all of this?
Unfortunately, not a whole lot.  Both major political parties seem to be fully convinced that merging our economy with the economy of communist China is a great idea.  I would not expect major changes in our policies regarding China any time soon.
For now, I will just leave you with one piece of advice…
Learn to speak Chinese.  You might need it someday.