Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center."

- Kurt Vonnegut

"Once you've gone over the edge, it doesn't matter where you stand."

- Thomas Stone

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Big Bang

If one ever stares at the stars at night and wonders how God could have created everything, eventually the imagination will devise an answer and that answer is normally that the universe came about after some sort of massive explosion. With all the stars and planets and galaxies spread around in the heavens, it seems a natural idea, doesn't it? I mean, how did everything get spread out like that? Most scientists agree. The universe, they say, most likely began from a great Big Bang.

I'm sure this is not the first time you've heard this thesis. Additionally, I do not denigrate nor naysay those devout believers that say the universe arouse spontaneously -- that is, from nothing. Even the creationists have a theory worth listening to -- wait, wait, before you click to another channel -- because if you're a regular reader of mine, you know two things: 1) I am open-minded when it comes to possibilities, and 2) quantum theory and the new physics DO NOT exclude the possibility of creationism. Now, #2 is a discussion for another day, but I will tease you by saying that if reality is constantly being renewed at the Planck level and if there is anything to the holographic theory of the universe, then a created scenario must be considered. Flame on in the comments section below this article, if you so desire.

Now, on with our Big Bang discussion.

Cosmologists assume that natural quantum fluctuations allowed the Big Bang to happen spontaneously. They even say they have mathematical proof. For a start, there is the evidence left over from the cosmic microwave background, which is a kind of echo of the Big Bang; then there is the ongoing expansion of the cosmos, which when imagined backwards, hints at a Big Bang-type origin; and the abundance of the primordial elements, such as helium-4, helium-3, deuterium and so on. All this evidence can all be calculated using the Big Bang origination theory.

But, what caused the Big Bang itself? Well, cosmologists say that the universe formed spontaneously, that the Big Bang was the result of quantum fluctuations in which the Universe came into existence from nothing.

Dongshan He and his associates at the Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics in China have the first rigorous mathematical proof that the Big Bang could have occurred spontaneously because of quantum fluctuations.

Their work is based on a special set of solutions to a mathematical entity known as the Wheeler-DeWitt equation. In the first half of the 20th century, cosmologists struggled to combine quantum mechanics and general relativity in a way that reasonably described the universe. As far as they could tell, these theories appeared to be entirely at odds with one another.

A breakthrough came in the 1960s when physicists John Wheeler and Bryce DeWitt combined these previously incompatible ideas in a mathematical framework now known as the Wheeler-DeWitt equation. The new work of Dongshan and company explores some new solutions to their equation.

The driving force of the equation is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle probabilistically allows a small empty space to come into existence due to fluctuations in what physicists call the metastable false vacuum.

When this happens, there are two possibilities. If this bubble of space does not expand rapidly, it disappears again almost instantly. But, if the bubble expands to a large enough size, then a universe is created in a way that is irreversible.

The question is: does the Wheeler-DeWitt equation allow this? Dongshan says, “We prove that once a small true vacuum bubble is created, it has the chance to expand exponentially.”

His approach is to consider a spherical bubble that is entirely described by its radius. They then derive an equation that describes the rate at which the radius can expand. Are you with me so far? They then consider three scenarios for the geometry of the bubble — whether it is closed, open or flat.

In each of these cases, a solution is found in which the bubble can expand exponentially and thereby reach a size in which a universe can form—a Big Bang.

It’s a result that cosmologists should be able to build on and it has an interesting corollary.

Click to enlarge.
One factor in today’s models of the universe is the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is a term that describes the energy density of the vacuum of space. It was originally introduced by Einstein in his 1917 general theory of relativity and later abandoned after Hubble’s discovery that the universe was expanding.

Until the 1990s, most cosmologists assumed that the cosmological constant was zero. But more recently, cosmologists have found evidence that something is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, which implies that the cosmological constant cannot be zero. So, any new theory of the universe must allow for a non-zero value of the cosmological constant. Makes sense, right?

Dongshan says a quantity known as the quantum potential plays the role of cosmological constant in his new solutions.

This potential comes from an idea called pilot-wave theory developed in the mid-20th century by physicist David Bohm. Bohm's theory reproduces all of the conventional predictions of quantum mechanics but at the price of accepting an additional term known as the quantum potential. It has the effect of making quantum mechanics entirely deterministic since the quantum potential can be used to work out things like the actual position of the particle.

Determinism: the view that every event has a cause; diametrically opposed to a belief in free will.

It should be noted that mainstream physicists have never taken to Bohm’s idea because its predictions are identical to the conventional version of the theory so there is no experimental way of telling them apart. However, it forces physicists to accept a probabilistic explanation for the nature of reality, something they are generally happy to accept.

Lastly, allow me to remind you, these notions are entirely theoretical. So, don't get too upset about whatever you think that I think is real and what is not! Ha! Take a breath and consider an entire universe of possibilities.

A group of scientists discussing... no, wait! Never mind.

Edit: As a young dude and much smarter than I am today, I considered these things and surmised that the Big Bang had to have come from a "Singularity," that is, a material that comprised a state of perfect balance in its composition, and that some unknown fluctuation caused it to fly apart in an enormous explosion that also gave us the strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity, and electromagnetism. I was happy to find others who supposed the same thing. I can say that I no longer believe what I once did. For one thing, where did this Singularity exist? There was no universe, no space as we understand it, there was nothing, no background for this "thing" to float upon. Or perhaps this Singularity was a spot on the edge of another universe, a "brane" as the notion is currently referred to. In any case, we don't know. No one knows. And just perhaps, no one ever will, at least on this side of the veil.

Oddly, I cannot find a reference to Dongshan He at the Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics anywhere on the internet except in articles discussing the mathematical proofs. I have also been unable to set my eyes on the aforementioned equations. Seems like something should be out there...

Yeah, Right

The eminent linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin of Oxford once gave a lecture in which he asserted that there are many languages in which a double negative makes a positive, but none in which a double positive makes a negative — to which the Columbia philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser, sitting in the audience, sarcastically replied, “Yeah right.”

Sunday, April 27, 2014

symposiarch: The person who proposes toasts and introduces speakers at a banquet.


Modern Propaganda

The following outlines the characteristics of modern propaganda established by Jaques Ellul, who noticed the all-pervading conformist messages that we (often unknowingly) receive.

Propaganda is most prevalent in industrial societies where there is significant division of labor and expertise. In such complex environments, people not only may come up with dangerous ideas, they may also seek to persuade others to join their cause. Industrial societies also have greater connection between more people and thus enable ideas to spread more quickly.

In more feudal environments, where there are absolute rulers and simple class systems, the complexities of propaganda are not needed. When the peasants revolt, you simply put them back in their place. Generally, however, they know their place and quietly stay there.

Propaganda is seldom just a simple method, such as making speeches or using posters. It is often a complex web of communications that seeks to reach people through all media and all situations. Disconfirming evidence or opinion can be very destructive for propagandists, so these must be removed, drowned out or discredited (which adds further to the complexity of the propaganda effort).

Propaganda happens in societies where people are depersonalized and forced into masses, where their sense of identity comes more from the group than from their own sense of mission or being. Thus people belong to religious, political, work and social groups, from which they take their beliefs and values.

If the propagandist can influence the leaders and fundamentals of those groups, then they will be able to convince and convert whole slews of people in a single go.

The purpose of most modern propaganda as used by controlling organizations is not to agitate people and make them feel unhappy. Its main goal is to integrate individuals into society through the use of such devices as peer pressure and social norms. These rules are set by leaders, who themselves may be influenced by the propagandists.

Integrationism can hence be seen as a numbing, dumbing process, where people become immured to disturbing thoughts and perturbations and are happy to live simple lives under a system control that they do not even know exists.

Global propaganda tends to fall into a limited and small number of 'blocs' that often are aligned with particular ideologies. Politically capitalist and communist blocs have long used internal propaganda to demonize the other. The same thing happens through religion, and Christian and Islamic groups have fought in various ways and used propaganda against one another for hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

Propaganda messages appear from all directions and virtually everything contains some element of messages that promote conformity of appearance, thought and action. In many modern totalitarian countries, people are the willing participants in their own containment, perhaps complaining at control, yet perceiving alternatives as worse.

An effect that propagandists seek is to make things seem far simpler than they really are. Good and bad are clear and polarized (enemies and friends are always clear). Social issues are simplified into limited issues (e.g. around abortion and gun-control). Public opinion is stereotyped and presented back by a media that prides itself on clarifying the issues (and who are themselves subject to propagandist messages).

Finally, propaganda is everywhere, from TV shows to the nightly news to shopping malls to the things you keep in your bedroom. All aspects of everyone's life is invaded in some way, from the fashions (and limitations therein) that people choose and wear to the food (types, packaging, etc.) that is eaten, let alone the communications via the ever-present media.

Turn off the television. Quit getting your news from the mainstream media. Analyze what you hear. Don't be stupid. Would you trust a car salesman? Why would you trust the government? At any level? Think for yourself. Verify. This message has been brought to you by the Department of Homeland Depravity.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them."

- Jodi Picoult

Quantum Foam

Quantum foam is a term in physics also referred to as space-time foam. Because it can't be proven, it is a concept in quantum mechanics devised by John Wheeler in 1955. In brief, quantum foam is conceptualized as the foundation of the fabric of the universe.

Quantum foam is used as a description of subatomic space-time turbulence at extremely small distances (on the order of the Planck length). At such tiny scales of time and space, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle allows energy to decay into particles and antiparticles and then annihilate without violating physical conservation laws. As the scale of time and space shrinks, the energy of the virtual particles increases. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, energy curves space-time. This suggests that at sufficiently small scales the energy of these fluctuations would be large enough to cause significant departures from the smooth space-time seen at larger scales, giving space-time a "foamy" character.

The Planck length is the scale at which classical ideas about gravity and space-time cease to be valid, and quantum effects dominate. This is the ‘quantum of length’, the smallest measurement of length with any meaning.

And roughly equal to 1.6 x 10-35 m or about 10-20 times the size of a proton.

The Planck time is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to across a distance equal to the Planck length. This is the ‘quantum of time’, the smallest measurement of time that has any meaning, and is equal to 10-43 seconds. No smaller division of time has any meaning. With in the framework of the laws of physics as we understand them today, we can say only that the universe came into existence when it already had an age of 10-43 seconds. 

With an incomplete theory of quantum gravity, it is impossible to be certain what space-time would look like at these small scales, because existing theories of gravity do not give accurate predictions in that regime. Therefore, any of the developing theories of quantum gravity may improve our understanding of quantum foam as they are tested. However, observations of radiation from nearby quasars by Floyd Stecker of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have placed strong experimental limits on the possible violations of Einstein's special theory of relativity implied by the existence of quantum foam. Thus experimental evidence so far has given a range of values in which scientists can test for quantum foam.

A blazer.
The MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov) telescopes have detected that among gamma-ray photons arriving from the blazar Markarian 501, some photons at different energy levels arrived at different times, suggesting that some of the photons had moved more slowly and thus contradicting the theory of general relativity's notion of the speed of light being constant, a discrepancy which could be explained by the irregularity of quantum foam. More recent experiments were however unable to confirm the supposed variation on the speed of light due to graininess of space. Considering that space is not a perfect vacuum, and that distant stars are many light years away, it makes sense that light would be "filtered" over time. Other experiments involving the polarization of light from distant gamma ray bursts have also produced contradictory results. More Earth-based experiments are ongoing.

As stated above, quantum foam is theorized to be the 'fabric' of the Universe, but cannot be observed because it is too small. The virtual particles comprising quantum foam arise only briefly and account for the "vacuum fluctuations" of the vacuum of space, giving it a nonzero energy known as vacuum energy, itself a type of zero-point energy.

The Casimir effect can also be understood in terms of the behavior of virtual particles in the empty space between two parallel plates. Ordinarily, quantum field theory does not deal with virtual particles of sufficient energy to curve spacetime significantly, so quantum foam is a speculative extension of these concepts which imagines the consequences of such high-energy virtual particles at very short distances and times.

A recent study of gamma-ray bursts by Professor Robert Nemiroff and his colleagues at Michigan Technological University provides the first strong evidence concerning the small-scale smoothness of spacetime. Ironically, this examination of the very small is accomplished by measuring a handful of gamma-rays after they traveled over ten billion light years.

Spacetime is that four-dimensional arena (three of length (x,y,z) and one of time(t)) in which we play out our lives. Relativity tells us that spacetime is curved, and that curvature causes the force of gravity. A very thin rubber sheet is a pretty good two-dimensional analog to spacetime – if the sheet is flat, a ping-pong ball on the sheet will stay in place, while if the sheet is curved, the same ball will move.

On the Earth's surface, spacetime is quite flat, with only a small curvature associated with the Earth's gravity. Billion light-year stretches of the Universe also appear to be rather flat, with only small curvature appearing near galaxy clusters. However, something strange happens when you try to find out what spacetime looks like for very small lengths. That something strange is called quantum foam.

In relativity, mass (including virtual mass) curves spacetime. Accordingly, when a virtual particle appears, the curvature of spacetime changes.

More massive virtual particles are restricted to smaller volumes of spacetime, as they appear for a time that becomes smaller as the particles become more massive, and even virtual particles can't travel faster than light. Eventually, as the mass of a virtual particle increases, it is located in a region small enough that it forms a tiny black hole. This occurs for a mass of about ten micrograms (A unit of mass equal to one thousandth (10-3) of a milligram or one millionth (10-6) of a gram.)

At this point, spacetime is filled with fluctuating regions of curvature that come and go very rapidly. On our scale, all this activity averages out to appear like a slightly curved sheet of paper. On the quantum scale (lengths of about one divided by a thousand quadrillion quadrillion centimeters (the Planck length), spacetime takes on a constantly changing geometry that has been compared to a foam. This is the quantum foam.

At present, our instruments can at best examine structures a hundred thousand trillion times larger than the quantum scale – a difference so vast that detecting the quantum foam has been thought to be impossible, or at least impossibly difficult. But what if the quantum foam has side effects that can be detected?

The speed of light is held to be a single, constant value regardless of the color of the light. (This isn't true in some quantum gravity theories, but that would take us too far afield.) But can distance between two points change depending on the color of light used to measure that distance? Here's an analogy. Let's say that you want to measure the radius of an old vinyl record. One approach is to take the phonograph needle and pull it across the surface of the record, keeping track of the distance the needle tip travels. The accompanying scratchy sound occurs because the needle tip is traveling up and down over the grooves of the record as well as radially toward the center of the record. The radius you measure will be the distance of going up and down the grooves, in addition to the horizontal radial distance. Got the picture?

Now perform the same measurement, but replace the needle with a ping-pong ball. This time the ping-pong ball is barely affected by the grooves because it is too blunt to get down into them. As a result, the distance measured is almost equal to the horizontal radius of the record – the "needle" radius of the record is quite a bit longer than the "ping-pong ball" radius.

The same idea should hold for measuring distance in spacetime. With a constant speed of light, the distance between two points can be found by measuring the time it takes light to pass between the points. A photon with a very short wavelength may notice the ripples in spacetime due to the quantum foam, while a photon with a long wavelength may see a shorter distance.

This is where the gamma-ray bursts come in. The photons on which this study is based were detected by the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope and selected for having arrived in a cluster of photons having a wide range of energies, all of which were emitted in a single gamma-ray burst.

One set of photons in particular, originating in a galaxy almost seven billion light-years distant, differed in their time of arrival by a mere 1.55 milliseconds. This limits the difference in distance between the photons (which ranged in energy from 1.58 to 24.7 GeV) to less than 500 kilometers, or about one part in a billion trillion. A similar limit was found in an earlier study of photons with energies between 30 and 200 keV.

As small as the difference in distance is, it can be compared with very preliminary quantum gravity calculations to determine on what size scale the fabric of space may be pixelated. According to the Michigan Tech group, spacetime is free of major irregularities on size scales below about 525 Planck lengths in size. Spacetime appears unexpectedly smooth on the smallest meaningful distances, taking after foam rubber rather than beer foam.

Now, at this point, you may be scratching your head and wondering just what in heck I'm talking about. If so, don't worry. This stuff is difficult to get a grasp. In an effort to sum it up, think of spacetime foam (quantum foam) as the way the universe recreates itself moment by moment, similar to the way the human body sheds cells and constantly regenerates. It is the way the universes sustains itself -- by creating and renewing everything in reality even as these words are being read. It is constant creation. Far out, eh?

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Have Made Fire!

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719. The first edition credited the work's fictional hero Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person. the original title was considerably longer -- The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. Who needs to read the book, right? The story is a fictional autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer) who is a shipwrecked castaway who spends years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.

The story is thought to have been influenced by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scotsman who lived for four years on the Pacific island called "Más a Tierra" (in 1966 its name was changed to Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile. However, other possible sources have been offered as its source. It is possible, for example, that Defoe was inspired by the Latin or English translations of Ibn Tufail's Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, an earlier novel also set on a desert island. Another source for Defoe's novel may have been Robert Knox's account of his abduction by the King of Ceylon in 1659 in "An Historical Account of the Island Ceylon," Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons (Publishers to the University), 1911. In his 2003 Book "In Search of Robinson Crusoe", Tim Severin contends that the account of Henry Pitman in a short book chronicling his escape from a Caribbean penal colony and subsequent shipwrecking and desert island misadventures, is the inspiration for the story.

Despite its simple narrative style, Robinson Crusoe was well received in the literary world and is often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre. Before the end of 1719, the book had already run through four editions, and it has gone on to become one of the most widely published books in history, spawning numerous sequels and adaptations for stage, film, and television.

Crusoe can be seen as not a hero but an everyman. He begins as a wanderer, aimless on a sea he does not understand and ends as a pilgrim, crossing a final mountain to enter the promised land. The book tells the story of how Crusoe becomes closer to God, not through listening to sermons in a church but through spending time alone amongst nature with only a Bible to read.

Robinson Crusoe is filled with religious aspects. Defoe was a Puritan moralist and normally worked in the guide tradition, writing books on how to be a good Puritan Christian, such as The New Family Instructor (1727) and Religious Courtship (1722). While Robinson Crusoe is far more than a guide, it shares many of the themes and theological and moral points of view. "Crusoe" may have been taken from Timothy Cruso, a classmate of Defoe's who had written guide books, including God the Guide of Youth (1695), before dying at an early age – just eight years before Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe. It has even been speculated that God the Guide of Youth inspired Robinson Crusoe because of a number of passages in that work that are closely tied to the novel.

Jonah and the whale.
The Biblical story of Jonah is also alluded to in the first part of the novel. Like Jonah, Crusoe neglects his 'duty' and is punished at sea.

A leitmotif of the novel is the Christian notion of Providence, penitence and redemption. Crusoe comes to repent of the follies of his youth. He learns to pray to God, first by randomly opening his Bible. He reads the words of Psalm 50 where he reads, "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” Crusoe often feels guided by a divinely ordained fate, thus explaining his robust optimism in the face of apparent hopelessness. His various fortunate intuitions are taken as evidence of a benign spirit world. Defoe also foregrounds this theme by arranging highly significant events in the novel to occur on Crusoe's birthday. The denouement culminates not only in Crusoe's deliverance from the island, but his spiritual deliverance, his acceptance of Christian doctrine, and in his intuition of his own salvation.

When confronted with the cannibals, Crusoe wrestles with the problem of cultural relativism. Despite his disgust, he feels unjustified in holding the natives morally responsible for a practice so deeply ingrained in their culture. Nevertheless he retains his belief in an absolute standard of morality; he regards cannibalism as a 'national crime' and forbids Friday from practicing it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Asymmetriphobia is the fear of asymmetrical things. That's right. It's a real condition and you might be surprised by how many people suffer from it. As you can imagine, Asymmetriphobia can lead to both anxiety disorders as well as obsessive-compulsive behavior.

George Soros

Seems like most people are overly impressed by those who are incredibly wealthy. Personally, I'm not. What follows is just one reason why.

George Soros (born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz György) is a Hungarian-born American business magnate, investor, and a force behind the global economy. Soros is famous for manipulating governments and political groups. He is the chairman of Soros Fund Management and is known as "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England" because of his short sale of US$10 billion worth of pounds, giving him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis.

Soros is a well-known supporter of progressive-liberal political causes. Between 1979 and 2011, Soros gave over $8 billion to causes related to globalism, UN policies, liberal propaganda, and liberal policies. He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89) and provided one of Europe's largest higher education endowments to Central European University in Budapest. Soros is also the chairman of the Open Society Foundations.

Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, to a nonobservant Jewish family. His mother Elizabeth (also known as Erzsebet) came from a family that owned a thriving silk shop. His father Tivadar (also known as Teodoro) was a lawyer and was a prisoner of war during and after World War I until escaping from Russia to rejoin his family in Budapest. Tivadar was an Esperantist writer and taught Soros to speak Esperanto in his childhood. Soros later said that he grew up in a Jewish home and that his parents were cautious with their religious roots. Soros was thirteen years old in March 1944 when Nazi Germany occupied Hungary. Soros took a job with the Jewish Council, which had been established during the Nazi occupation of Hungary. Soros later described this time to writer Michael Lewis:

"The Jewish Council asked the little kids to hand out the deportation notices. I was told to go to the Jewish Council. And there I was given these small slips of paper ... It said report to the rabbi seminary at 9 am ... And I was given this list of names. I took this piece of paper to my father. He instantly recognized it. This was a list of Hungarian Jewish lawyers. He said, "You deliver the slips of paper and tell the people that if they report they will be deported."

Later that year, at age 14, Soros lived with and posed as the godson of an employee of the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture. The official was at one point ordered to inventory the remaining contents of the estate of a wealthy Jewish family that had fled the country; rather than leave the young Soros alone in the city, the official brought him along. The next year, 1945, Soros survived the Battle of Budapest, in which Soviet and German forces fought house-to-house through the city.

London School of Economics
Soros emigrated to England in 1947 and became a student at the London School of Economics. While a student of the philosopher Karl Popper, Soros worked as a railway porter and as a waiter. A university tutor requested aid for Soros, and he received £40 from a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) charity. In a discussion at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council in 2006, Alvin Shuster, former foreign editor of the Los Angeles Times, asked Soros, "How does one go from an immigrant to a financier? ... When did you realize that you knew how to make money?" Soros replied, "Well, I had a variety of jobs and I ended up selling fancy goods on the sea side, souvenir shops, and I thought, that's really not what I was cut out to do. So, I wrote to every managing director in every merchant bank in London, got just one or two replies, and eventually that's how I got a job in a merchant bank." That job was an entry-level position in Singer & Friedlander.

Soros earned a BSc in philosophy in 1951 and a PhD in philosophy in 1954, both from the London School of Economics.

In 1956, Soros moved to New York City where he worked as an arbitrage trader for F. M. Mayer (1956–59) and as an analyst for Wertheim & Co. (1959–63). During this period, Soros developed the theory of reflexivity based on the ideas of Karl Popper. Reflexivity posited that the valuation of any market produces a procyclical "virtuous or vicious" circle that further affects the market.

Soros' experience from 1963 to 1973 as a vice-president at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder resulted in little enthusiasm for the job and a desire to assert himself as an investor to make reflexivity profitable. In 1967, First Eagle Funds created an opportunity for Soros to run an offshore investment fund as well as the Double Eagle hedge fund in 1969. In 1973, due to regulatory restrictions limiting his ability to run the funds, Soros resigned from his First Eagle funds. He then established the Quantum Fund in partnership with Jim Rogers, hoping to earn $500,000 after five years to support his ambitions as a writer and philosopher.

In 1970, Soros founded Soros Fund Management and became its chairman. Among those who held senior positions there at various times were Jim Rogers, Stanley Druckenmiller, Mark Schwartz, Keith Anderson, and Soros' two sons.

In August 2010, Soros bought a 4 percent stake in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) for about $35 million. In July 2011, Soros announced that he had returned funds from outside investors' money (valued at $1 billion) and instead invested funds from his $24.5 billion family fortune due to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure rules.

The Quantum fund has generated $40 billion since its inception in 1973, including $5.5 billion in 2013, making it again the most successful hedge fund in history. Soros' book, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets (May 2008), described a "superbubble" that had built up over the past 25 years and was ready to collapse. This was the third in a series of books he has written that have predicted disaster. As he states:

"I have a record of crying wolf ... I did it first in The Alchemy of Finance (in 1987), then in The Crisis of Global Capitalism (in 1998) and now in this book. So it's three books predicting disaster. (After) the boy cried wolf three times ... the wolf really came."

He ascribes his own success to being able to recognize when his predictions are wrong.

"I'm only rich because I know when I'm wrong ... I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes. I very often used to get backaches due to the fact that I was wrong. Whenever you are wrong you have to fight or [take] flight. When [I] make the decision, the backache goes away."

In February 2009, Soros said the world financial system had effectively disintegrated, adding that there was no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis. "We witnessed the collapse of the financial system ... It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."

How did Soros go from being a poor student working part time to one of the world's richest men? It appears he takes short cuts -- in other words, he cheats. In 1988, Soros was interested in purchasing shares in French companies. The Socialist party had lost its majority of seats in the Assembly, and the new government under Jacques Chirac had instituted an aggressive privatization program. Many people considered shares in the newly privatized companies undervalued. During this period, a French financier named Georges Pébereau contacted one of Soros' advisors in an effort to assemble a group of investors to purchase a large amount of shares in Société Générale, a leading French bank that was part of the program.

The advisor reported to Soros that Pébereau's plan was ambiguous and included an implausible takeover plan, which later failed. On that advice, Soros decided against participating. He did, however, move forward with his strategy of accumulating shares in four French companies: Société Générale, as well as Suez, Paribas and the Compagnie Générale d'Électricité.

In 1989, the Commission des Opérations de Bourse (the French stock exchange regulatory authority) conducted an investigation of whether Soros' transaction in Société Générale should be considered insider trading. Soros knew that a group of investors was planning a takeover attempt and based his business moves on that information. In a questionable decision, the COB concluded that the statutes, regulations and case law relating to insider trading did not clearly establish that a crime had occurred, and that no charges should be brought against Soros.

Several years later, a Paris-based prosecutor reopened the case against Soros and two other French businessmen, disregarding the COB's findings and Soros was finally convicted in 2005 for insider trading by the Court of Appeals. The French Supreme Court confirmed the conviction on June 14, 2006, but reduced the penalty to the minimum sentence.

Punitive damages were not sought because of the delay in bringing the case to trial. Naturally, Soros denied any wrongdoing.

Soros' philosophical outlook is influenced by Karl Popper, under whom he studied at the London School of Economics (LSE). His Open Society Foundations is named after Popper's two volume work, The Open Society and Its Enemies, and Soros' ongoing philosophical commitment to the principle of fallibilism (that anything he believes may in fact be wrong, and is therefore to be questioned and improved) stems from Popper's philosophy.

Despite working as an investor and currency trader, Soros argues that the current system of financial speculation undermines healthy economic development in many underdeveloped countries. He blames many of the world's problems on the failures inherent in what he characterizes as market fundamentalism. It is ironic that Soros criticizes an economic system in which he has made so much money.

Victor Niederhoffer said of Soros: "Most of all, George believed even then in a mixed economy, one with a strong central international government to correct for the excesses of self-interest."

Soros claims to draw a distinction between being a participant in the market and working to change the rules that market participants must follow. According to Mahathir bin Mohamed, Prime Minister of Malaysia from July 1981 to October 2003, Soros—as the hedge fund chief of Quantum—may have been partially responsible for the economic crash in 1997 of East Asian markets when the Thai currency relinquished its peg to the US dollar. According to Mahathir, in the three years leading to the crash, Soros invested in short-term speculative investment in East Asian stock markets and real estate, then divested with "indecent haste" at the first signs of currency devaluation.

In an interview regarding the late-2000s recession, Soros referred to it as the most serious crisis since the 1930s. According to Soros, market fundamentalism with its assumption that markets will correct themselves with no need for government intervention in financial affairs has been "some kind of an ideological excess". In Soros' view, the markets' moods—a "mood" of the markets being a prevailing bias or optimism/pessimism with which the markets look at reality—"actually can reinforce themselves so that there are these initially self-reinforcing but eventually unsustainable and self-defeating boom/bust sequences or bubbles".

In reaction to the late-2000s recession, he founded the Institute for New Economic Thinking in October 2009. This is a think tank composed of international economic, business and financial experts, mandated to investigate radical new approaches to organizing the international economic and financial system. As of March 12, 2012 Forbes listed Soros, at 81, as the 22nd richest person in the world, the world's richest hedge-fund manager, and number 7 on its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, with a net worth estimated at $20 billion. Soros has given away $8 billion to multiple liberal groups and causes since 1979.

Soros' family changed their name from Schwartz to Soros in 1936, in response to growing anti-semitism with the rise of fascism. Tivadar liked the new name because it is a palindrome and because of its meaning. Although the specific meaning is left unstated in Kaufman's biography, in Hungarian, soros means "next in line", or "designated successor"; and, in Esperanto, it means "will soar".

Soros has been married three times and divorced twice.

George Soros has been called “the single most destructive leftist demagogue in the country.” Here are ten reasons why Soros is dangerous:

1. Gives billions to left-wing causes: Soros started the Open Society Institute in 1993 as a way to spread his wealth to progressive causes. Using Open Society as a conduit, Soros has given more than $7 billion to a who’s who of left-wing groups. This partial list of recipients of Soros’ money says it all: ACORN, Apollo Alliance, National Council of La Raza, Tides Foundation, Huffington Post, Southern Poverty Law Center, Soujourners, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women.

2. Influence on U.S. elections: Soros once said that removing President George W. Bush from office in 2004 was the “central focus of my life.” He put his money where his mouth is, giving $23.58 million to various 527 groups dedicated to defeating Bush. His early financial support helped jump-start Barack Obama’s political career. Soros hosted a 2004 fund-raiser for Obama when he was running for the Illinois Senate and gave the maximum-allowed contribution within hours of Obama’s announcement that he was running for President.

3. Wants to curtail American sovereignty: Soros would like nothing better than for America to become subservient to international bodies. He wants more power for groups such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, even while saying the U.S. role in the IMF should be “downsized.” In 1998, he wrote: “Insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.”

4. Media Matters: Soros is a financial backer of Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog group that hyperventilates over any conservative view that makes it into the mainstream media. Now its founder, David Brock, has openly declared war on Fox News, telling Politico that the group was mounting “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” against the cable news channel, and would try to disrupt the commercial interests of owner Rupert Murdoch—an odd mission for a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational foundation that is barred from participating in partisan political activity.

5. Soros has been a major funder of, a progressive advocacy group and political action committee that raises millions for liberal candidates. This is the group that had on its website an ad comparing President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler and ran the infamous “General Betray Us” ad in the New York Times, disparaging the integrity of Gen. David Petraeus.

6. Center for American Progress: Headed by John Podesta, White House chief of staff under President Clinton, the Center for American Progress has been instrumental in providing progressive talking points and policy positions for the Obama administration. There has also been a revolving door between the White House and the Soros-funded think tank, with Obama staffing his administration with many CAP officials.

7. Environmental extremism: Former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones and his leftist environmental ideas have been funded by Soros’ money at these groups: the Ella Baker Center, Green For All, the Center for American Progress, and the Apollo Alliance, which was instrumental in getting $110 billion in green initiatives included in Obama’s stimulus package. Soros also funds the Climate Policy Initiative to address global warming and gave Friends of the Earth money to “integrate a climate equity perspective in the presidential transition.”

8. America Coming Together: Soros gave nearly $20 million to this 527 group with the express purpose of defeating President Bush. A massive get-out-the-vote effort, ACT’s door-to-door canvassing teams included numerous felons, its voter registration drives were riddled with fraud, and it handed out incendiary fliers and made misleading taped phone calls to voters. ACT was fined $775,000 by the Federal Election Commission for violations of various federal campaign finance laws.

9. Currency manipulation: A large part of Soros’ multibillion-dollar fortune has come from manipulating currencies. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad accused him of bringing down the nation’s currency through his trading activities, and in Thailand he was called an “economic war criminal.” Known as “The Man who Broke the Bank of England,” Soros initiated a British financial crisis by dumping 10 billion sterling, forcing the devaluation of the currency and gaining a billion-dollar profit.

10. Delusions: Soros has repeatedly said that he sees himself as a messianic figure. Who but a megalomaniac would make these comments? “I admit that I have always harbored an exaggerated view of my self-importance—to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god” or “I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise I might end up in the loony bin.” If only the loony bin were an option. As it is, one of the wealthiest men in the world is using his billions to impose a radical agenda on America.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Duane Allman

Statesboro Blues

Howard Duane Allman was born in Nashville, Tennessee on November 20, 1946. Duane, as he was known, and his brother, Gregg, were raised by their mother Geraldine Allman after their father, Willis, was murdered when Duane was just 3-years-old. Geraldine, "Mama A" moved with her boys to Daytona Beach, Florida in 1957. Once Gregg heard a neighbor playing guitar, he decided that he needed to learn the instrument. Duane soon followed suit, and became an even better player than his brother. The boys were influenced by the bluesy music of artists such as B.B King, whom they saw in concert while teenagers. Duane dropped out of high school to stay home and practice guitar and when Gregg graduated from Sea Breeze High School in 1965, the young men formed their first official band, the Allman Joys. When the Allman Joys became The Hour Glass in 1967, the group moved to Los Angeles. During this time, Duane perfected his electric slide guitar technique, using an empty Coricidin glass bottle over his ring finger as a slide.

Duane simply loved to play the guitar, and was a much in-demand session musician for acts such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs, and Herbie Mann. When he grew frustrated by the limits of being a session musician, Allman headed back to Florida with a few musicians. In March 1969, the Allman Brothers Band was formed, featuring Jaimoe Johanson, Dickie Betts, Berry Oakley, Reese Wynans, and Duane and Gregg Allman. Their debut self-titled album dropped in 1969 and the band began to tour.

By the time of their second album, Idlewild South, a ground swell of concert-going support was gaining for the band. Duane was paid the ultimate compliment when Eric Clapton invited him to play lead and slide guitar for the Layla album. The two became fast friends, and Duane even played a few dates with Derek and the Dominoes, but he never strayed far from the Allman Brothers Band. As the spirit and leader, he also had a new plan for breaking the band wide open. The third album would be the purest of Allman Brothers albums – recorded live at the Fillmore East, Bill Graham’s legendary New York rock venue.

Gregg Allman, Dicky Betts, and Duane Allman front, left to right.
Live at Fillmore East was released as a double album in 1971, and within two weeks it was tearing up the American charts. The group encountered huge crowds at every stop, and more and more young Southern guitarists would seek out Duane backstage and tell him how he had inspired them to break up their lounge acts and play some real music. Duane would smile, sometimes he gave them a guitar. On this incredible high, after solid years on the road, it seemed time to take a short vacation and enjoy some of the success.

It was during that vacation that Duane Allman was killed. On 29 October 1971 Duane had ridden his motorcycle over to bassist Berry Oakley’s house in Macon to wish Oakley’s wife Linda a happy birthday. Shortly after leaving the house, at about 5:45 pm, he swerved to avoid a truck travelling in the same direction. Duane’s cycle skidded and flipped over, dragging him nearly 50 feet. He died of massive injuries after three hours of emergency surgery, at the age of 24.

Duane’s death came as a shocking blow to a public which had just taken the Allman Brothers Band to its heart as the premier American band. After Duane’s funeral, a moving event attended by most of the artists he had played and worked with, the Allman Brothers played their first set without him.

The original plan was to take six months off, finish the fourth album, and consider the future. But after only four weeks the band reformed and returned to the road. United in grief, they performed some of their best shows ever even if the band’s famed two-pronged guitar attack was now only one.

"I used to have nightmares all the time," said Dickey Betts recently. "Usually it was the same one. In it, the Allman Brothers Band is on the road, and we end up on a show with Delaney and Bonnie, Duane’s old touring buddies. We see Duane at the show, and everything’s all right. Duane says, 'Hey man, how’ve you been?' And we say, “Great”. And then we all get together and play, and everything’s alright again. That dream probably kept me sane. Until I could realize what happened. That was about three years later."

The next album, Eat A Peach (a Duane-ism for any interviewer’s question about what the band was doing to end the Vietnam War), was a huge success. But death, like popularity, would continue to find the band. Bassist Oakley was just shaking off a year-long depression over Duane, when he was killed in a motorcycle collision just a few blocks from the scene of Duane's death. He was buried near Duane at Macon’s Rose Hill Cemetery.

One Way Out

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light.

Luke 8:17

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Among The Stars

AMONG THE STARS is the sequel to the Harry Irons Trilogy. If you're a fan and want more, AMONG THE STARS will deliver. Written for a general audience and sure to satisfy both younger and older fans of science fiction.

While seeking origins for the starship Minerva, tragedy strikes Edward Fagen and crew. Light years away, Harry Irons is stirred to carry out an impossible rescue mission and just maybe, save the universe in the process.

Available at Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Smashwords, Apple, Sony, and most ebook retailers offering premium science fiction.


Easter (Old English Ēostre; Latin: Pascha; Greek Πάσχα Paskha, the latter two derived from Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎ Pesaḥ) is a festival and holiday, now celebrated both by Christians and non-Christians, that was instituted to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing,[8][9] as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (although the astronomical equinox occurs on 20 March in most years), and the "Full Moon" is not necessarily on the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar, whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, and in which therefore the celebration of Easter varies between 4 April and 8 May.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are identical or very similar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

The modern English term Easter derives from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre.

The word Easter is held by some to have originally referred to the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre. Easter is held by others to have originally referred to the name of a Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Others surmise that Eostre and Ishtar, pronounced identically, are two forms of the same word, referring to two forms of the same goddess, although the spelling differentiated through time and distance.

In Greek and Latin, the Christian celebration was and is called Πάσχα, Pascha, words derived, through Aramaic, from the Hebrew term Pesach (פֶּסַח), known in English as Passover, which originally denoted the Jewish festival commemorating the story of the Exodus. Already in the 50s of the 1st century, Paul, writing from Ephesus to the Christians in Corinth, applied the term to Christ, and it is unlikely that the Ephesian and Corinthian Christians were the first to hear Exodus 12 interpreted as speaking about the death of Jesus, not just about the Jewish Passover ritual. In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast is known by names derived from Greek and Latin Pascha.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.

Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.

One interpretation of the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of Nisan 14. The scriptural instructions specify that the lamb is to be slain "between the two evenings", that is, at twilight. By the Roman period, however, the sacrifices were performed in the mid-afternoon. Josephus, Jewish War 6.10.1/423 ("They sacrifice from the ninth to the eleventh hour"). Philo, Special Laws 2.27/145 ("Many myriads of victims from noon till eventide are offered by the whole people").

This interpretation, however, is inconsistent with the chronology in the Synoptic Gospels. It assumes that text literally translated "the preparation of the passover" in John 19:14 refers to Nisan 14 (Preparation Day for the Passover) and not necessarily to Yom Shishi (Friday, Preparation Day for the Passover week Sabbath) and that the priests' desire to be ritually pure in order to "eat the passover" refers to eating the Passover lamb, not to the public offerings made during the days of Unleavened Bread.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Appearance And Reality

This is a great topic for this week because April 19 marks the anniversary of the slaughter of innocents at Mount Carmel outside Waco, Texas, twenty-one years ago and the subsequent cover-up. It's hard to believe so much time has passed since government agents burned out a group of peaceful Christians in a show of force to the nation. Bill and Hillary Clinton were new to the White House and the operation was a pet project, planned well ahead of Clinton's inauguration.

Of course, by the time old Bill was in office, he had the power of the press in his back pocket. That certainly made things easier. The tale could be told in a fashion that was much easier on American sensibilities. David Koresh could be turned into a drooling child molester and made to appear as a manipulating monster.

Along those lines, when I decided to write a piece for the anniversary of the big ATF/FBI barbecue, I wanted to remind myself of some of the more salient facts surrounding the nightmare and so I set out to do some web searches. That's when I noticed the proliferation of negative stories about Koresh and the Branch-Davidians. The negative articles are all ranked up there in all the internet search engines, so many, in fact, that you'd have to go through pages of listings to sort through the lies and propaganda. Ah, but it's how the government forms the narrative. Lies and propaganda shoved down our throats for years and years until the truth fades away and we're left questioning our own memories of the events, even as vivid as the military tanks and roaring flames were. It's how history is written. However, if you're brave enough to look back without a jaundiced eye, the truth of the matter is as plain today as it was then.

When I reflect on those events in 1993 and consider the actions of the US government and compare it to what has happened since, it all becomes relatively clear.

Let's turn to the related topic for a moment -- the notion of appearance versus reality. It's how the magicians in the government use their powers to make things seem real. Yet, seekers of the truth must remember that our goal is to define what is ultimately real as opposed to what is merely apparent. Incidentally, this is the definition of metaphysics.

In everyday life, people distinguish between the real size of the Sun and its apparent size, or between the real color of an object (when seen in standard conditions) and its apparent color (nonstandard conditions). A cloud appears to consist of some white, fleecy substance, although in reality it is a concentration of drops of water. In general, men are often (though not invariably) inclined to allow that the scientist knows the real constitution of things as opposed to the surface aspects with which ordinary men are familiar. It will not suffice to define metaphysics as knowledge of reality as opposed to appearance; scientists, too, claim to know reality as opposed to appearance, and there is a general tendency to concede their claim.

It seems that there are at least two components in the metaphysical conception of reality. One characteristic, which has already been illustrated by Plato, is that reality is genuine as opposed to deceptive. The ultimate realities that the metaphysician seeks to know are precisely things as they are--simple and not variegated, exempt from change and therefore stable objects of knowledge. Plato's own assumption of this position perhaps reflects certain confusions about the knowability of things that change; one should not, however, on that ground exclude this aspect of the concept of reality from metaphysical thought in general. Ultimate reality, whatever else it is, is genuine as opposed to sham.

Second, and perhaps most important, reality for the truth seeker is intelligible as opposed to opaque. Appearances are not only deceptive and derivative, they also make no sense when taken at their own level. To arrive at what is ultimately real is to produce an account of the facts that does them full justice. The assumption is, of course, that one cannot explain things satisfactorily if one remains within the world of common sense, or even if one advances from that world to embrace the concepts of science. One or the other of these levels of explanation may suffice to produce a sort of local sense that is enough for practical purposes or that forms an adequate basis on which to make predictions. Practical reliability of this kind, however, is very different from theoretical satisfaction; the task of the metaphysician is to challenge all assumptions and finally arrive at an account of the nature of things that is fully coherent and fully thought-out.

That's why when the government disseminates prepackaged, even fake news, eventually someone notices. The government counts on convincing a sizeable enough portion of the population so as to not fret so much over the naysayers. The truth is, all our masters want is just enough of the vote to keep them in office.

Don't believe me? Well, why should you? Here's one reason: In March 2005, the New York Times revealed that there has been a large amount of fake and prepackaged news created by US government departments, such as the Pentagon, the State Department and others, and disseminated through the mainstream media. Shocking? Only if you've been living on the dark side of the moon. The New York Times noted a number of methods pertaining to media manipulation.

For instance, the aggressive use of public relations to prepackaged news. Many government-made news segments are made to look like local news. Sometimes reports have fake reporters such as when a ‘reporter’ covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. Other times, there is no mention that a video segment is produced by the government. Where there is some attribution, news stations simply rebroadcast them without citing the source.
These segments reach millions of us. And we accept them as the truth, even though we assure one another that politicians habitually lie in order to get the vote.

Ironically, Americans pay to be subjected to government propaganda. All this nonsense is financed through our taxes.

The media is manipulated in multiple ways through professional public relations as well as covert and overt government propaganda which disseminates propaganda as news. What are often deemed as credible news sources can often knowingly or unknowingly be pushing political agendas and propaganda. The truth is, it happens every day of the week. Manipulation of internet search engines is just another technique available to the great powers on high.

Our leaders are the true monsters running loose in our society. The debacle at Mount Carmel occurred twenty-one years ago and the subsequent cover-up was committed by both political parties as well as a pliant media. The old tricks are still being used on an unsuspecting public and it appears that things have generally grown worse for both freedom lovers and purveyors of the truth. And so, when you hear about that fateful day in April 1993 on the plains of Texas when 76 men, women, and children were burned alive and/or shot down by government agents, caution yourself to remain quiet, lest you gather attention from those who would have you believe otherwise.

More info can be gleaned from these articles on the North Texas Drifter:

The Seige Begins

Gun Control By Left Is Not New

What Happened To Carlos?

Rest In Peace:

Chanel Andrade, 1, American
Jennifer Andrade, 19, American
Katherine Andrade, 24, American
George Bennett, 35, British
Susan Benta, 31, British
Mary Jean Borst, 49, American
Pablo Cohen, 38, Israeli
Abedowalo Davies, 30, British
Shari Doyle, 18, American
Beverly Elliot, 30, British
Doris Fagan, 51, British
Yvette Fagan, 32, British
Lisa Marie Farris, 24, American
Raymond Friesen, 76, Canadian
Sandra Hardial, 27, British
Diana Henry, 28, British
Paulina Henry, 24, British
Phillip Henry, 22, British
Stephen Henry, 26, British
Vanessa Henry, 19, British
Zilla Henry, 55, British
Novellette Hipsman, 36, Canadian
Floyd Houtman, 61, American
Sherri Jewell, 43, American
David M. Jones, 38, American
Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2, American
Cyrus Koresh, 8, American
David Koresh, 33, American
Rachel Koresh, 24, American
Star Koresh, 6, American
Jeffery Little, 32, American
Nicole Gent Little, 24, Australian, pregnant
Dayland Lord Gent, 3, Australian
Paiges Gent,[72] 1, American
Livingston Malcolm, 26, British
Anita Martin, 18, American
Diane Martin, 41, British
Lisa Martin, 13, American
Sheila Martin, Jr., 15, American
Wayne Martin, Jr., 20, American
Wayne Martin, Sr., 42, American
Abigail Martinez, 11, American
Audrey Martinez, 13, American
Crystal Martinez, 3, American
Isaiah Martinez, 4, American
Joseph Martinez, 8, American
Julliete Martinez, 30, American
John-Mark McBean, 27, British
Bernadette Monbelly, 31, British
Melissa Morrison, 6, British
Rosemary Morrison, 29, British
Sonia Murray, 29, American
Theresa Nobrega, 48, British
James Riddle, 32, American
Rebecca Saipaia, 24, Filipino
Judy Schneider, 41, American
Steve Schneider, 43, American
Mayanah Schneider, 2, American
Clifford Sellors, 33, British
Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35, American
Floracita Sonobe, 34, Filipino
Aisha Gyrfas Summers, 17, Australian, pregnant
Gregory Summers, 28, American
Startle Summers, 1, American
Hollywood Sylvia, 1, American
Lorraine Sylvia, 40, American
Rachel Sylvia, 12, American
Chica Jones, 2, American
Michelle Jones Thibodeau, 18, American
Serenity Jones, 4, American
Little One Jones, 2, American
Margarida Vaega, 47, New Zealander
Neal Vaega, 38, New Zealander
Mark H. Wendell, 40, American

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The First Rule Of Fight Club


Dada was an artistic and literary movement that began in Europe during World War I. Because of the war, many artists, intellectuals and writers, especially those from France and Germany, moved to Switzerland, which was a neutral country. Instead of being relieved that they had escaped, the artists, intellectuals and writers were furious with the modern society. So, they decided to show their protest through artistic medium. They decided to create non-art since art in the society anyway had no meaning.

The so-called non-artists turned to creating art that had soft obscenities, scattered humor, visible puns and everyday objects. The most outrageous painting was created by Marcel Duchamp, when he painted a mustache on a copy of Mona Lisa and scribbled obscenities under it. He also created his sculpture called Fountain, which was actually a urinal without the plumbing and it had a fake signature.

The public were repulsed by the Dada movement. However, the Dadaists found this attitude encouraging. And, slowly the movement spread from Zurich to other parts of Europe and New York City. Just as many mainstream artists were thinking about this movement seriously, the Dada movement dissolved around the early 1920s.

This art movement was a protest, but at the same time it managed to be enjoyable and amusing. It was sarcastic, colorful, quirky and silly. If a person at that time had not been aware of the logic behind the movement, he or she would have been wondering what the artist was up to creating pieces like the ones that were created. However, the artist who created the Dada art was very serious about his work. The movement did not favor one medium over another. It used everything from glass to plaster to geometric tapestries to wooden reliefs. In addition, the movement was also responsible for influencing many trends in the field of visual art, the most well-known being Surrealism.

In these times of absurd government regulations, overbearing political correctness, and the acceptance of wrong as right, Dadaism seems to be the perfect art form for reflecting the views of western culture.

Max Ernst - At the Rendez-vous of Friends 1922
Seated from left to right: René Crevel, Max Ernst, Dostoievsky, Théodore Fraenkel, Jean Paulhan, Benjamin Péret, Johannes Baargeld, Robert Desnos. Standing: Philippe Soupault, Jean Arp, Max Morise, Raphaël, Paul Éluard, Louis Aragon, André Breton, Giorgio de Chirico, Gala Éluard