Thursday, April 16, 2015

“Today the path of total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by the Congress, the President, or the people. Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government – a bureaucratic elite.”

Senator William Jenner, 1954

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Universe Eventual: Chimera

Greetings, sci-fi fans! Occasionally I receive an email asking if I would care to do a review for a new science fiction book. I've agreed to read cold manuscripts aplenty and even committed to writing reviews for strangers on many occasions. Most of the time, it has turned out to be a chore because the writing or the story was so awful as to be painful. Well, I am happy to report that is not always the case.

Writer Nathan Beauchamp recently contacted me and asked if I would read and review his latest project, the starter book in a new series entitled, Universe Eventual: Chimera, scheduled for release on April 25th (2015). At first, I thought I'd pass but then I saw that the book was a team effort and, as one always interested in alternative ways to get the words down on paper, I decided to give it a go.

The Chimera team consists of three members: Nathan Beauchamp, Joshua Russell, and editor Rachael Tanger. Because of the tag-team writing aspect, I had honestly expected to see noticeable changes in voicing and tone and style. There was a time or two during the course of reading when I thought I may have detected some of that, but generally the prose flowed evenly and easily. The author name is a blend of the team member's name: N (for Nathan), J (for Joshua), and Tanger (Rachel's last name). Clever, huh?

Since Chimera is the first in a series, it's a little unfair to comment on the total story -- I mean, after all, I've only read the intro. However, that intro is pretty good. Chimera is advertised as a Young Adult (YA) offering and I think that moniker is fair enough as well.

The story centers on a group of teens who are selected to man and navigate a spaceship (the Chimera) from their stranded colony back to Earth. We don't really know why Earth transports stopped arriving at Stephen's Point colony but it has been seventeen years since one has arrived.

The Chimera is guided by an artificial intelligence that has a few problems in itself. For one, it can only communicate with certain individuals. Spoiler alert here: one of those individuals turns out to be a main character, a young, foul-mouthed girl with a penchant for steering spaceships.

The world of Stephen's Point is described as a benevolent theocracy with a religion devoted to the original navigator of the Chimera, a guy named Stephen -- thus, we have the world named after him. Stephen, we are told, became something of a prophet and left prophetic hints scratched into rock faces in hidden places. We are also told that later on poor Stephen went insane. While not everyone in Stephen's Point is a true believer, apparently the authoritative nature of the religion has resulted in the basis for a secular revolution. Now, I can't say for sure because, as I explained before, I've only read these first 229 pages of the series.

The characters are drawn with clarity and each has something with which they struggle. There is a hint of romance and a dash of intrigue. Of course, there is mystery with the promise of discovery and revelation. Isn't that why we like to read science fiction?

I look forward to finding out what happens to those chosen to guide the Chimera back to Earth and wonder when the next installment will be released. Chimera is defintely a series. All the questions that are raised in the intro book are not answered! While this may be a point of frustration for many of us, it is still a fair marketing technique and one that has proven to work for series-loving sci-fi fans.

Universe Eventual: Chimera, by N.J. Tanger, will be available at More info about the book and the authors can be had at

Thomas C. Stone
Author of The Harry Irons Trilogy

The Lemmings Have United!

The Blind Authority Fallacy is also known as: blind obedience, the "team player" appeal, the Nuremberg defense, divine authority [form of], and appeal to/argument from blind authority. Cops use it, politicians use it, bureaucrats really like to use it, and generally just about anybody in charge uses it as an argument to remain in charge.

The Blind Authority Fallacy asserts that a proposition is true solely on the authority making the claim while extreme cases also ignore any counter evidence no matter how strong. The authority could be parents, a coach, a boss, a military leader, a divine authority, or, more frequently, the government.

Logically speaking,
Person 1 says Y is true.
Person 1 is seen as the ultimate authority.
Therefore, Y is true.

During the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg after World War II, Nazi war criminals were charged with genocide, mass murder, torture and other atrocities. Their defense was "I was only following orders."

Most of us begin our lives seeing our parents as the ultimate authority, and we experience their wrath when we question that authority. Unfortunately, this bad habit is carried over into adulthood where we replace our parents with a coach, a boss, a teacher, a commander, or the state. Rather than question, we blindly follow. This fallacy has probably resulted in more deaths, pain, suffering, and misery than all others combined.

Your obedience to authority is monitored in order to determine if you are of a criminal nature or not.

Millions of people were killed in Nazi Germany in concentration camps but Hitler couldn't have killed them all, nor could a handful of people. What made all those people follow the orders they were given? Were they afraid, or was there something in their personality that made them like that? In order to obey authority, the obeying person has to accept that it is legitimate (i.e. rightful, legal) for the command to be made of them.

Obedience is a form of social influence where an individual acts in response to a direct order from another individual, who is usually an authority figure. It is assumed that without such an order the person would not have acted in this way.

Obedience occurs when you are told to do something, whereas conformity happens through social pressure (the norms of the majority). Obedience involves a hierarchy of power/status. Therefore, the person giving the order has a higher status than the person receiving the order.

Blind trust in government is not a virtue. It’s what has gotten us into the mess we’re in. People blindly follow the dictates of authority without bothering to apply common sense or critical thinking to the orders. This may be the proper course for one serving in the military (up to a point), but aside from that, most people have an implicit trust for people in power and in uniform. They have an implicit trust in bankers, lawyers, scientists and doctors, because, as has been drummed into us, these are prestiged professions. Now, there are many honorable people in these professions, but there are also many power hungry control freaks, sociopaths, liars and psychopaths too, because that kind of personality gravitates towards power – and that is precisely what makes a worldwide scheme of tyranny a possibility. If you are not streetwise, your unquestioning obedience can easily be exploited to serve the global conspiracy.

If, at this point you are saying to yourself, "What worldwide conspiracy?" you may stop reading at this point and return to your regularly scheduled programming. The rest of you may please continue reading.

The Milgram Experiment was repeated all over the world with people from different walks of life. It was replicated over and over, and the results were always the same. The experimenters consistently found that around 50-65% of people blindly followed and obeyed instructions from a figure in a uniform, a figure of perceived authority, even if that figure was asking them to inflict harm on others.

That means people went against their own moral code and sense of ethics to willfully and willingly injure another person, all in the name of following orders!

What percentage of people would obey if they were ordered to commit murder? The answer might surprise you. When we see uniforms and badges, hear an authoritative, confident voice, or perceive that someone is part of a larger institution (e.g. the Government, a big corporation, or is a banker, lawyer, scientist, doctor, etc.), we tend to not engage in critical thinking. We tend not to challenge. We tend to become more submissive and pliable, and for some reason, we tend to give them our unquestioning obedience.

At the Nuremberg trials, humanity decided that “just following orders” was no excuse, and that a soldier who decided to kill someone shared part of the guilt and responsibility for his actions just as much as the commander above him.

This is why governments love their uniforms, medals, cloaks, frocks, gowns, badges, hats and other adornments. It’s all about image. It’s all about controlling perceptions. When you are addicted to power, it’s all about gaining the upper hand and getting the other person to submit to your will. Flashy adornments can cause a person to go from beta brainwaves (everyday consciousness, business mode) to alpha brainwaves (relaxed, more submissive mode).

You see, it’s a form of mind control. Yet, when you come to the table without any preconceptions, and you look at things squarely without any misplaced reverence, you see that none of these professions deserve your undying allegiance, and certainly not your unquestioning obedience. The thing is, respect and trust must be earned. They are not to be given up automatically – unless you want to be controlled or deceived.

Why would we give the Government our unquestioning obedience, when upon closer inspection, it lies, cheats, steals and is the leading cause of death in the 20th century (democide)?

Why would we give bankers our unquestioning obedience, when upon closer inspection, they have a monopoly on money creation, lend out money that didn’t exist before (and still collect interest on it), produce nothing yet slowly suck all of the capital out of society and into their coffers, as well as fund both sides of world wars to get richer off death and destruction?

Why would we give lawyers our unquestioning obedience, when upon closer inspection, they readily admit that the appearance of reality is more important than reality itself?

Why would we give scientists our unquestioning obedience, when upon closer inspection, many are paid by the corporatocracy to deliver preconceived findings such as that vaccines, fluoride, GMOs, smart meters and cell phones are safe, despite independent evidence to the contrary? When they push corporate-funded junk science onto the public to advance their careers?

Why would we give doctors our unquestioning obedience, when upon closer inspection, many promote chemotherapy, vaccines, radiation, fluoride and Big Pharma drugs, all of which are poisonous and will eventually kill you in large enough doses? Remember the ad series when doctors promoted Camel cigarettes? If doctors could be convinced (or bought off) to promote carcinogens like tobacco back then, how can we rest assured anything has changed?

There is a time and place for following directions and orders – but secular humanity has swung out of balance with nature and is allowing the worst, most selfish and most manipulative people to tell the rest of us what to do, what to think and what to believe.

The mainstream media is owned by the authorities and gives people daily doses of lies and the public swallow it whole, without asking for any evidence! Yet whenever someone in the alternative media speaks the truth, immediately they are bombarded with “where’s your proof”? Fair enough, but why aren’t the same standards applied to the liars in Government and the mainstream media?

We’ve got a full surveillance state (NSA spying on everyone), we’ve got endless war (the US and allies starting wars where ever they want on trumped up evidence), we’ve got legally sanctioned indefinite detention and torture (Guantanamo among many examples); yet, still, some people deny the existence of any conspiracy!

You can show some people concrete evidence that the Government is lying, and they will still find a way to deny or rationalize away the facts, even if the proof is in front of them.

It’s cognitive dissonance. Once people have decided the Government is the good guy and out to protect us, they will defend it tooth and nail, and give it their unquestioning obedience – the very thing that is working to enslave them!

For those who choose to live in denial, your days are numbered. There will come a time where denial will no longer be a luxury you can afford. Ignorance is a choice – especially in this day and age. For some people, it’s going to be a very rude awakening.

Questioning reality in the face of propaganda and mass media programming shows great courage, curiosity and open-mindedness. It is also the beginning of a trip down the rabbit hole, a glimpse behind the curtain at those who are convinced they know better than you.

In an ever delusional world where lying newsmen tell fake news, where mendacious politicians spin every event, where mass murder is conducted under the guise of a fake war on terror, where mass-produced food poisons and where medicine kills, questioning prepackaged reality is a sign of individual strength and character. It takes courage to ask the tough questions that mainstream journalists fear to touch. Here are six ways to question (their) reality:

1. If the point of all the draconian laws passed since 9/11, including the Patriot Act and other means of mass surveillance, is to keep you safe from terrorism, why are almost all of the FBI’s “successes” in capturing “terrorists” the result of sting operations the FBI engineered itself?

2. If so many of your rights and freedom are being taken away under the guise of saving you from terrorism, why are you 58 times more likely in the US to die from a policeman shooting you than a terrorist?

3. If the mass surveillance grid being set up is really to keep you secure, then why has the NSA failed to foil a single terrorist plot, despite having access to every electronic transaction (call, text, email, etc.) made by every American?

4. If false flag events like 9/11, 7/7, Sandy Hook and the Boston marathon bombing were really carried out by bogeymen like “Islamic terrorists” and “lone nutter” shooters, why do they all share the common thread of occurring alongside a government-executed drill – at the exact same time, at the exact same place, for the exact same purpose?

5. If the world really were undergoing manmade global warming, why did so many scientists fudge, conceal and distort the data as exposed in the ClimateGate emails?

6. If you are crazy to question your reality and not believe everything the Government tells you, then why did scientific studies like this one reveal that those who actively question their reality (dubbed conspiracy theorists) are less hostile and more fact-based than conventional believers?

Question the reality that is presented to you over public broadcasting and cable and radio as well as revisionist history and false views of science and technology. Speak truth to power. Defy authority. Deny tyranny. Do not cooperate with injustice.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

So Long, Adzo

Adzo the telepathic cat has died. I found him on the street in front of my palatial country estate, a mass of flattened fur and guts, the obvious victim of a hit and run. The condition of the carcass was so bad, the only way I could definitively identify him was through dental records, which I don't have because I never took him to the dentist during his lifetime. So, there is a slim chance the flat cat I discovered is not Adzo. It is a very slim chance, I know, and even allowing myself to think those thoughts tells me I am in denial.

Adzo had been disturbed of late because of the addition of Duane Allman, a new orange kitten I thought might make a good companion. Boy, was I wrong. Adzo pretty much hated Duane. He hated the little guy for months and rather than be cooped up inside with his new little friend, Adzo would brave the cold, the wind, and the rain and wander the vicinity in search of a comfortable, dry lair. In fact, Adzo had been so disturbed by little Duane's presence, I wonder if perhaps Adzo's last act was to fling himself beneath the wheels of whatever vehicle knocked the life out of him. Maybe he was so disappointed with his life that he took that fateful course and willfully committed death by car.

In any case, Adzo had a pretty good time while he was here. He ate frequently from the seafood buffet and always had a bowl of water waiting in the kitchen. Sometimes, he would drag up to the front door the corpse of a bird or a mouse, or once two months ago, a half-eaten pocket gopher that had been destroying my front yard. I know that eating a whole animal cannot be conducive to good digestion as I have seen poor Adzo squatting for up to ten minutes without anything happening. As I said, Adzo had a good life, but he did have an uncontrollable appetite and in these last few months, had grown to be rather large.

Many of you are probably thinking that if Adzo was telepathic, like I always say he was, then why didn't he tell me how dissatisfied he was? Well, he did. I just did not know the extent of his dissatisfaction. Although Adzo operated on the stoic side, he felt his domain had been invaded by Duane and could not understand why another animal was living under our roof.

So, you see, it was Adzo's own selfishness, or perhaps his own recklessness, that finally did him in. To console myself, I think of useful social aphorisms such as, "Why can't we all get along?" and "Love thy neighbor" and "Beware all gophers entering this yard," but none of these is making me feel any better about the death of my feline roommate.

They say that the souls of animals don't go to heaven, that animals do not really have souls. I'm not sure I believe that. There are a lot of people I don't care to meet up with in heaven, but I wouldn't mind if Adzo showed up again. RIP, little buddy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy ranges throughout the world from a high of 84.36 years in Macau to just 31.88 years in the African nation of Swaziland. Experts attribute the low life expectancy in many African countries to high rates of HIV/AIDS infection.