Archive for 2009

Protests in Iran

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Over 6 months ago, we had a post about the protests going on in Iran, and how the moderate majority were clashing with the fundamentalist/extremists who run the government.  These protests are still going on, with another upsurge in protester activity happening this week.

The people who are protesting are regular people, people like you and me, who want to be part of a peaceful world community.  Right now, they are fighting against a repressive regime… a regime that is trying to silence the protesters with violence and censorship.  These people – the Iranian people struggling for their freedom – are our brothers and sisters, and they need our support.  We need them to know that they are not alone, and that the world supports them in their efforts to attain freedom and democracy.

Here are a few videos that the citizens have been able to sneak out despite the Iranian government’s crack-down.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Morgan Spurlock, creator of Super Size Me and the TV show 30 Days, embarked on a quest to find the so-called leader of Al Qaeda in his latest documentary: Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?

Where is OBL

His journeys brought him to Egypt, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Israel.  He talked to people on the street, relatives of suspected terrorists, and embedded with the US military for a day.  While he broached some serious issues, the overall tone was lighthearted and whimsical, thanks mostly to Spurlock’s affable personality.

One key point, recurring throughout, was how “extremism nourishes itself in the darkness” and “violence is birthed by economic dead ends.” Terrorist organizations find their recruits in kids with no jobs and no positive outlook… youth who are susceptible to their propaganda.

A big part of reducing terrorism can be achieved by addressing the underlying socio-economic conditions.  This point is reiterated by a US military officer (named Williams) who says with counter insurgency “killing doesn’t work.”  Instead, you need to focus on the people – give them clean water, medical clinics, schools… so that the Taliban cannot take hold.

Ultimately, what the filmmaker realized in his quest, is that the vast majority in the countries he visited (and the vast majority of people all around the world) are just like us.  Our world is full of regular people, trying to raise families and make ends meet, wishing nothing more than to live in a peaceful world.


UFC and the Marines

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

The mixed martial arts league UFC, which pits two competitors against each other in an octagonal cage for sports fighting, relies upon sponsorship as one source of revenue.

One of their sponsors is the US Marine Corps, who’ve had a working relationship with the UFC for several years.  At least one UFC event was held for the troops, with the crowd being all military personnel and the funds raised going to help the war veterans (the UFC stepping up to do something the US government didn’t do).

Last night, during a pay-per-view event, they ran a 2-minute ad by the Marines (see below), which drew parallels between the UFC fighters and the soldiers in the Marines. The tag line was something like  “Some warriors fight in the cage, others fight all over the world”, and they showed clips of MMA fighters training, spliced in with military exercises.

This was a preposterous ad to watch… as if there is no difference between the two…  fighting is fighting is fighting…  the same honor, the same noble fight… just two skilled opponents dueling it out to see who is superior.  This  is just ABSURD!!!

In the UFC, the two combatants are usually fairly evenly matched.  Each is a willing participant, and they fight under a set of rules, watched by a ref and judges.  They fight for glory and competition and entertainment.

The US Military, on the other hand, is a powerhouse of well trained, well funded soldiers, and they attack the weakest possible enemies out there.  Their opponents are not willing combatants…  they are predominantly innocent victims and casualties.  The goal of the US Military is to beat their opponents into lifelessness, and then keep on beating until someone finally makes them stop and they move on to the their next victim.

While the Marines themselves may indeed be brave, the cause they fight for (despite the lies we are told) is not about honor or liberty, it is about making huge amount of profits for private interests, while at the same time causing untold amounts of suffering.  Billions in precious resources are squandered every year.  There is a huge toll on human lives, and the infrastructure of the invaded country.

To draw parallels between the UFC and the Marines is a disgusting act, and it shows just how desperate they are getting to suck in new recruits.  We need to keep war out of sports… in fact, we need to keep war off our planet entirely.


Peace DOT u4Ya

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

A new subdomain has been setup – peace.u4ya.ca as part of Stanford’s Peace Initiative.

The Peace Initiative is designed to coordinate peace efforts by having companies and organizations add their contributions to the growing peace movement to a specific subdomain – peace DOT [company's URL].

This is a great initiative… coordinating individual peace efforts means we can be stronger, united.  Over the next two decades, we will undergo some remarkable changes to our world… humankind is coming together like never before, and soon we will be able to end institutionalized warfare and end extreme poverty forever.

Check out those who’ve already become involved in the Peace DOT Initiative by clicking here.  Facebook, SourceForge, and SafeWay are some of the big names who’ve signed on.

The Yes Men – Fix The World

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The Yes Men are a group of activists who pretend to be spokespeople for powerful organizations, and then say what they wish these organizations would say.  Their pranks border on criminal, yet they persist, and by exposing these powerful evildoers, they have the best intentions for humanity on their side.

The Yes Men

In 2003, the Yes men released a self-titled movie, which was truly enjoyable.  Some highlights were:

  • when they gave a speech in Finland, pretending to be from the WTO, espousing the profitability of keeping slaves in their homeland instead of importing them.
  • when they offered feces as a solution to world hunger -reBurger Mmmm
  • entering a televised interview/debate on CNBC where one of the Yes Men posed as Granwyth Hulatberi of GATT (The WTO predecessor), and said how privatized education will be good because it will indoctrinate the students to support privatization, how the rich are right because they have power and the poor are wrong because they don’t.

Now, they are back again, with The Yes Men – Fix The World.  This movie was just HILARIOUS!!! Absolutely brilliant.  It is truly inspiring to see what this team can do, when they take a chance, muster up the courage, and show these large organizations as to what they could be doing.

The Yes Men - Fix the World

Some highlights this time around are:

  • Causing Dow stock value to drop by 2 Billion in a few hours by pretending to be a Dow spokesperson, and admitting blame in the Bhopal disaster.
  • Helping with a phony NY Times paper that showed an idealized version of what could happen in the future, inspiring hope and optimism
  • Pretending to be from HUD (a group supposed to rebuild housing) and saying how housing complexes slated for demolition were now going to be reopened.

In this film, they took into account the reactions of those who they inspired false hope to, like the survivors in Bhopal, or the victims in New Orleans, and were able to find at least a few people who supported their work, stating how the Yes Men expose these large group by showing what they could and should be doing.

All in all, the Yes Men do excellent work, and their films are pure gold.  Check them  out, if you haven’t already.

Meditation – Bless All of Existence

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

As we meditate, along with blessing ourselves and filling ourselves with positive energy and positive intention, we can also willfully spread our love, peace, and power to all of existence around us.

The connection to existence is not found outwards, in the universe, but inwards, from our center.  It is through our center, our core, our soul, which we connect directly through the rest of existence.

As we meditate and attain the sense of peace and reconnect with our cores, we can then radiate positive energy to all of existence.  We can transmit our gratitude, our love, joy, and everything that is great – to the world, to all life, and to everything that is.

Finding our core then expressing our love and gratitude allows these feelings to radiate through our lives, and outwards to the universe around us.  As we do this, the universe will become more loving… we will see more love in the world and in those around us in our day to day lives.

Meditation – Fill yourself with positive energy

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Meditation is an extremely powerful tool, for self-improvement, self-introspection, for shedding stress, and for attaining a sense of peace and oneness with the universe.  There are lots of different techniques and methods, and many various things to focus on.

One thing to try focusing on is to consciously bless your own body.  Consciously send positive intentions into yourself.  Make every single cell in your body – the trillions of cells which make up your physical self – happy, healthy, peaceful and powerful.  Make every single atom in your body happy, healthy, peaceful and powerful. Consciously will positive things into every ounce of your being, right now in the present, in the past, and in the future.

Along with the trillions of our own cells that make up our body, we are also host to trillions of organisms, which are part of a symbiotic relationship, our survivals are interdependent. As we meditate, we can conciously transmit positive energy to these foreign cells that are part of us.

This power, this energy you can will unto yourself will be there for you when you need it, for the times when life is challenging.  The positive intentions can be saved up, if you will, in your body, your cells and your atoms, to be released at a later time.

In the last blog entry, we discussed the importance dreaming big.  When we take the time to meditate and fill ourselves with positive energy, it is possible to channel that force into action as we move to attain our goals.

Dare to Dream

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  Ask yourself this question, because you are the star of your own life.  You have the power to do anything you want.

Dare to dream.  Dream big.  Dream the biggest dreams you can, because dreams can and do come true.  Nothing is impossible.  Believe in yourself and your dreams.

You know how, when we watch a movie or a TV show and there is a tense scene where the hero is in a dangerous situation.  In the back of our minds, we know that the hero will somehow manage to get through it, because after all, they are the hero and the show would be over if they died.  Yet we can still feel nervous and enthralled by the moment.

Well, the same is true for our own life.  While in the day to day, in the moment, it is possible to feel stress or fear, but, just like with the movies or TV, we need to keep it in the back of our minds that we will persevere in the end.

Exercising defenseless and non-attachment gives us a means to rise above our mortal, everyday situation to gain a new perspective on life.  These techniques can free up all kinds of energy that we previously squandered on fear and doubt.  This new found energy can be channel into making our dreams into reality.

Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you may hit a star. – W. Clement Stone

Clean Water and the Carter Center

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Lack of clean water and proper sanitation is a leading cause of easily preventable disease around the globe.  Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

New technology will help to alleviate this problem.  Low cost solutions, like the SODIS method which purifies water by leaving plastic bottles in the sun, is one such method.  As well, there is the “UV Waterworks” system that provides a very cheap source of clean water for entire communities.

It is estimated that half the population in the poorest countries are sick with some type of dirty-water related health issue.  If they were no longer sick, they would be far more productive.  Providing clean water for the billions who currently go without with be a huge boon to developing nations general well-being and economy, helping them to help themselves.

Many NGO and governmental organizations are working to alleviate the clean-water crisis.  Once such organization is the Carter Center.  The Carter Center, founded by former US Prez Jimmy Carter, is an organization committed to “advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering”.  They promote excellent ideals: waging peace, fighting disease, building hope.

Here are two videos highlighting their work  to prevent guinea worms and river blindness by bringing about clean water solutions.  The reported cases of both of these diseases are on the decline, which is excellent.


Fall of the Republic

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Alex Jones, radical ideologue and maker of some truly provocative films, has done it again with a new film Fall of the Republic.  This documentary is about the formation of a new world order, a new world government, in which the corporations are the state, profit is the sole value, and people are just commodities to serve the system.

While you may not agree with the premise, it is still worthwhile to at least consider the ramifications of what this film presents, and to be aware of the growing threat of concentration of power into to few hands.

The entire film is available online on YouTube or through Infowars.com.  You can watch the first 60 minutes right here: