Archive for December, 2011

Ramping Up the Revolution for 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Many a fool have predicted the end of the world in 2012. But you know something? In a way they may be right. The world as we know it – a planet plagued by injustice, inequality, exploitation and corruption – is set to go away forever.

A storm has been brewing for centuries, and now in 2011 we’ve seen the forces finally boiling over. The Arab Spring. The Occupy movement. These unprecedented global solidarity movements show how humankind is starting to fight back against the inherent flaws of the system.

And this is just the beginning.

Consider the ongoing SOPA battle, where millions of people have come together in consolidated protest against Internet censorship. Domain registrar GoDaddy felt the real financial repercussions for going against what the public wants, so much so that other prominent corporations, like Nintendo, EA, and Sony, have all quietly dropped their own support for SOPA.

Or how about Verizon’s slick attempt to sneak in an additional $2 transaction fee. The public outcry from consumers was enough for Verizon to drop their ‘convenience’ tax, showing once again how corporations will actually listen to people when enough money is on the line.

Humankind is stepping up to the battle. Now, at least, we are beginning to stop the corporatist oligarchy from further stripping us of wealth and power. Soon enough, as the pendulum continues to swing in the favor of the people, we’ll go on to reclaim what has been systematically stolen from us for generations to usher in an increasingly just global civilization.

Here’s to even more glorious revolution in 2012!

No War With Iran!

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The drumbeats of war with Iran have already begun. The American social consciousness, along with much of the world, is being massaged into believing Iran poses an immediate threat to the security of the planet.

It’s the same trick they pulled in the lead up to Afghanistan, Iraq, and to a lesser degree, Libya, which is as follows:

  1. Bombard all available propaganda channels with the idea of an escalating, foreign danger.
  2. Once the level of fear is high enough to garner sufficient public support, release the troops.

The strategy is simple, yet highly effective, as evident from the last 10+ years of unrelenting, bloody & futile conflict.

This time, however, instead of waiting until after our armies get embedded in foreign nations without an exit strategy, let’s ramp up the opposition to war with Iran right now.

Ignore the propaganda and rise above the misinformation. Stand united against the war machine’s attempt to manufacture another prolonged armed conflict. Don’t be fooled again!

Cyber-Activists Demonstrate Power of Transparency

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Sometimes called the “Shadow CIA”, security agency Stratfor is responsible for providing daily intelligence briefings extracted from a global network of informants.

Not long ago, Stratfor’s own security was called into question when Anonymous’ cyber-protesters compromised the security firm, releasing client’s names and credit card details on to the Internet. Another stick in the eye came in the form of $500,000 being donated to a range of charities using the pilfered banking credentials.

Members of the online freedom fighting group claim this private data was so easy to find because Stratfor did not bother encrypting it – an easy-to-avoid blunder which, if true, would be a major embarrassment for any security-related company.

Now, much like a belated X-mas gift, Anonymous is set to share the real gem scored while fiddling about inside Stratfor’s private areas – a cache of 5.5 million sensitive emails sent by confidential sources over the last fifteen years. Analysts predict the treasure trove of leaked data will likely provide a smoking gun for a number of crimes of extraordinary importance.

Who knows… maybe some white collar criminals might even see some repercussions for their unbounded greed. How sweet would that be? If nothing else, this latest round of hacktivism has, once again, struck terror into the hearts of corrupt individuals everywhere.

Institutionalized warfare, a disgustingly skewed distribution of wealth and power, overwhelming corporatist control of government – these monsters can only survive in the dark. Now that we are arming ourselves with ways to shine light upon the secret inner working of the world’s most powerful entities, so many injustices in our world are set to disappear.

Thank you, Anonymous, for helping us create a more just global civilization!

Oneness as a Path to Peace

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

By Guest Contributor Lexi Soulios

It used to be much easier for humans to see ourselves as independent, isolated, and separate. Now with modern technology like the Internet and recent scientific discoveries in the field of quantum physics, for example, it’s near impossible to live in the delusion that we are alone, unaffected by the plights and actions of others, or that our own behavior has no impact on the world around us.

For those of us who truly long for peace on earth, we need to begin actively living the realization of Oneness – of interconnection with everyone and everything – in our lives. This is the only way we can transcend the greed, violence and fear that arise naturally from the belief in separation and that have pervaded our planet.

We can start living the realization of Oneness by making it an absolute priority to cultivate peace in our own hearts and minds, to think and act in ways that increase the sense of love and harmony in our homes, families, communities and workplaces. This is so important because not only does it give us a stable base from which to interact with others, but when our own lives are peace-filled, we positively influence the vibrations of the larger world beyond us.

Additionally, if we truly want to create a peaceful existence on this planet, we must aim for peace beyond just our generation. We need to make a legacy of peace our goal, so that our political and economic systems are set up in such a way that peace will continue for our children, our grandchildren and beyond.

In order to do this, no one can be left behind. We are all connected. If the children of one country are starving, dying of preventable diseases and lacking basic education, there will be unrest in the minds and hearts of us all.

Lasting peace requires us all to stand together. It requires us to take responsibility for our own well being and our own capacity to feel compassion for others. Lasting peace requires us to expand our viewpoint from that of a separated, isolated individual to that of a beingness which is inextricably woven into the large, mysterious, glorious whole.

***

Lexi Soulios is outreach coordinator for the Universal Flag Peace Movement. The Universal Flag Peace Movement is based on the principle that an erroneous belief in separation is at the root of all violence and greed. When we remember that we are all connected, peace will naturally result.

The symbol of our movement is the Universal Flag. The organization strives to raise consciousness through media, social networking, education and various programs in order to help people remember Oneness for themselves. Learn more at: http://www.universalflag.com

Israeli Leaders Say No to Peace

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

No peace for 10 years! This is a belief held by key members of Israel’s government.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in a conference on Sunday, revealed that he does not believe a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians will be agreed upon within the next decade.

Wow, what a terrible attitude. Way to not inspire your people with optimism and hope.

Do most of the people of Israel really expect another decade of war, or is the Foreign Minister’s opinion more a reflection of Israel’s dominant military industrial complex? As someone who believes peace is just around the corner, I’d like to attribute Israel’s institutionalized pessimism as a symptom of the war machine run amok.

As a tiny country surrounded by threats, you’d think Israel would want to avoid escalating conflict at all costs, but this isn’t the case.

For Israel, peace would actually interfere with their clandestine agenda of border expansion. Over the past 60 years, Israel has systematically usurped neighboring territories, so much so that a map of Palestine today looks like a lung overtaken by cancer.

To continue settling foreign land, Israel needs to hide their atrocities under the fog of war. If there were to be a ceasefire, there wouldn’t be enough carnage and chaos to mask their crimes from the rest of the world.

Fortunately for the Palestinian people, and despite the juggernaut Israeli PR machine, the International community is waking up to see what is really going on in the middle east.

Israel will likely find peace within the next 10 years, even if it has to be forced upon them by a world’s people united against the injustice.

Occupy is Here to Stay

Monday, December 26th, 2011

(‘Hey Wall Street… speculate this!’)

Way to go, freedom-loving guys and gals! The Occupy movement has now surpassed 100 days of active protest!

When demonstrators seized Wall Street back in October and the movement began to spread, I was preparing for the uprising to abate temporarily over the winter, only to be picked up again with even greater intensity later on. But that never happened.

Instead, Occupy has consistently expanded, without pause. More and more engaged individuals hop on board every day. Protest communities are more organized than ever before. Activists have learned how to effectively demonstrate with military precision. And, most importantly, the message is as clear as ever – the people are unwilling to tolerate a broken system anymore!

This is just awesome! Words barely express how deeply moved I am. For years I’ve seen people being stripped of their power by a system bent towards enriching the already rich, all with barely a peep from the public. But not anymore!

One by one, minds are flipping the script, switching from passive observers to empowered citizens, hellbent on reclaiming their lost voice. And in the end, enough of us will have embraced our roles as co-creators of a more just global civilization for it to actually become a reality.

Poverty in the World’s Richest Country

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

The Grinch is alive and well in America. Only instead of stealing presents from under the tree, modern day Scrooges have been pilfering the pockets of entire populations.

In his latest article, Les Leopold unveils 6 sneaky ways corporate elites function as reverse Robin Hoods, stealing from the poor to give to the rich:

1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income. 1 in 5 American children live in poverty. What’s going on here? You would think we were a poor country.  But we’re not. We’re filthy rich, but the money is hidden away by the 1 percent while poverty rises all around.

Just how are the richest of the rich getting away with the greatest robbery of all time? Leopold breaks it down for us:

1. Productivity continues to rise but the 99 percent doesn’t share in the benefits. The productivity lines and wage lines have pulled apart so that trillions of dollars that once went to the average American are now going almost entirely to the super-rich.

2. Large corporations pay next to nothing in state and local taxes. A recent joint report reveals that 265 large corporations avoided $42.7 billion in taxes from 2008 to 2010.

3. Money that should go toward the common good pours into the pockets of the 1 percent. The overall tax rate for the super-rich has plummeted from 70% to less than what the average secretary pays.

4. The biggest corporations are sitting on a mountain of cash, yet they refuse to invest more than $1 trillion in cash because of the lack of consumer demand.

5. Hedge funds have over $1.917 trillion in misused investment capital. Most of this speculative capital serves no broader economic or social purpose, jumping in and out of the markets in nanoseconds using high-speed automatic trading techniques that extract hidden taxes from the rest of us.

6. Many of the 1 percent cheat on their taxes. The tax revenues lost in the U.S. are estimated to be $337 billion a year according to a November report by the Tax Justice Network.

So there you have it. While the rest of us are sipping our egg nog and enjoying the company of our friends and family, behemoth businesses are tirelessly enriching the wealthy few while systematically crushing the middle and lower classes.

Santa might be tempted to give these corporate fatcats a well-deserved lump of coal in their stockings, but they’d probably just use it as a tax write off.

Democracy in Action! – GoDaddy Drops SOPA Support

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

With American lawmakers in the final stages of passing the Internet-destroying SOPA bill, the call to action has never been louder.

Just two days ago, unable to sit idly by, a clever Redditor named selfprodigy posted a message calling for a boycott of hosting/registration service GoDaddy for supporting SOPA. The post quickly rose to the top spot of the popular media sharing site, meaning the game was on.

Thousands of people promptly picked up the down-with-GoDaddy banner. Within 24 hours, GoDaddy was bombarded with emails and angry forum posts from clients and activists alike. Undeterred, a patronizing GoDaddy reiterated their support for SOPA, essentially begging the Internet community to come and kick their ass – which the Internet soon obliged.

The anti-GoDaddy fervor reached a boiling point in a matter of hours. Many major clients, including information behemoth Wikipedia, pledged to abandon GoDaddy if their stance were not reversed.

Facing such an overwhelming response, GoDaddy finally capitulated to the public, announcing they will be dropping their support for SOPA. A victory for the masses!

Given such a resounding success, activists have set their sights on other pro-SOPA businesses. A crowdsourced list is being hashed out right now, containing names and contact info of hundreds of other companies still supporting the draconian SOPA bill.

What a remarkable phenomenon we are witnessing – real democracy in action. Regular people, united behind the same cause, are mobilizing and taking immediate action to hit big business where it hurts the most – in the pocketbooks.

This Internet-enabled activism is something we will be seeing more of, and is one reason why I am such an optimist. Amazing things are going to happen to our world in a very short period of time as the world’s people come together to snuff out injustices wherever they lie.

Crushing Rate of Soldier Suicides

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

As deadly as a foe can be when they are fighting to protect home and family, American soldiers have found themselves facing an even greater threat: the mental damaged incurred during military service. For the second year in a row, more US soldiers took their own lives than died in combat.

Just look at the tremendous toll being paid by America’s soldiers. These poor young men and women are getting scarred for life, their noble values exploited by an industry seeking only to profit from prolonged armed conflict. It’s such a tragedy!

Look how poorly the American government cares for it’s soldiers. Once churned through the machine, service people get spit out and forgotten by the country they fought and killed for. Where is the honor in that?

These suicides should be a wake up call – the costs of military endeavors far exceed any rewards. It is time for this war bullshit to stop!

Apart from the rarest of occasions, violence will not solve any problems. Most of the time, the use of deadly force will only extend or exacerbate conflict, neither of which is beneficial for people or planet.

The right to use violence should be considered amongst the most sacred of privileges, not the primary go-to solution for every single problem. Since they’ve clearly been abusing the power we’ve entrusted them with, our governments need to be reined in and their licenses to kill put back on the shelf until they learn some respect.

Remote Assassins Exhausted With Demand

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Throughout my frequent rants against the use of unmanned aircraft as tools of war, I’ve consistently neglected to consider the humanity of the drone operators themselves. In my head, I dismissed them as heartless, glorified-video-game playing, soldier wannabes. But that is not the truth. It turns out they have feelings too.

A recent study by the Armed Forces has found half of all Air Force drone operators experience high levels of job-related stress.

Yet, remarkably, this stress isn’t coming from guilt or remorse over the lives taken by the pseudo-soldiers. Rather, the reported ‘high operational stress’ comes from being overwhelmed with long hours and frequent shift changes due to staff shortages.

That’s right, it’s not that these drone operators are finding it too hard to kill people, it’s that they’ve become too good at their job. These radio-wave assassins can exterminate any threat with such immediate efficacy that demand for their services has skyrocketed!

It makes sense, if you think about it. To start, every Air Force employee will, like any good soldier, be indoctrinated to believe they are fighting for a just cause – be it freedom or protecting civilians or whatever other lie they’ve been sold by the war machine.

Then, on top of this, any atrocities they happen to commit will always occur on the other side of a computer screen. No hearing screaming mothers. No seeing blood and wrecked flesh. No insight into the direct suffering tolled by the population. It’s just – acquire a target, lock on, deploy death – then on to the next one – a system streamlining the whole mess of war with the push of a button.

With murder being dished out via mechanisms monkeys could operate, it’s no wonder military brass aren’t asking ‘Should we do more?’ just ‘How can we do more?’ As evident with the 350 new unmanned aircraft controllers undergoing training right now – more than the number of real fighter and bomber pilots combined – it is clear the use of drones is set to experience massive growth.

But contrary to what those who make their living fighting wars will tell us, the increased use of autonomous death machines is not a good thing for our long-term security. Without a significant public resistance, these drones will be used against us soon enough.

First, they’ll start with drones just for surveillance (like many Americans already face). Then, once the machines are up there, you may as well arm them. But only to use against the worst of the worst, like terrorist or drug dealers. Then, once the population is complacent enough, you can keep escalating your reach until speaking out against the use of drone strikes becomes an offense punishable by drone strike.

And that’s not something I ever want to see, which is why I’m already making noise right now.