Saturday, November 28, 2009

Economic growth

I see in the future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of the war."
- Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 21, 1864 (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

Only when the last tree has died,
the last river has been poisoned

and the last fish has been caught,
will we realize that we can't eat money.

-- Cree

Friday, November 27, 2009

Diversity kills at Fort Hood

This is an email article from the Peter Morrison report, a free news letter for Texas Conservatives. ( or anyone else )

Summary of this week's report:

The recent massacre at Fort Hood demonstrates the dangers of
immigration, affirmative action, multiculturalism and political
correctness. If it weren't for these policies, this and many other
preventable horrors could have been avoided. It's time to reverse
course and get back to sanity in America.

My prayers are for the victims and their families, and I see it as
a solemn duty for all Americans to carefully examine the true
causes of this tragedy to help ensure a similar terrorist act will
never happen again.

Full report:

On November 5, all of America was stunned when the news broke that
there had been a mass shooting at Fort Hood in Killeen, with many
casualties. Eventually we learned that thirteen people had been
murdered, and dozens others wounded in just a few minutes, all the
work of one man, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan is a
Muslim of Palestinian descent, and when his name was first
broadcast, tens of millions of Americans naturally wondered if his
race and religion didn't play a huge role in motivating him to go
on a mass killing spree. Our worst fears were confirmed when we
learned that Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar!," an Arabic phrase for
"Allah is the Greatest!" as he mowed down unarmed American
soldiers. How could this happen in the US military?

The liberal media went into crisis mode immediately to nip that
question in the bud. For them, the crisis wasn't that dozens of
people had been murdered or wounded on America's most populous
military base by a treasonous Arab Muslim. No, for the media, the
crisis was that "racists" and "bigots" out there in flyover country
might start putting two and two together and start asking some
questions of our leaders the media would rather they didn't ask. On
top of this, they wanted to keep America's anger in check, in order
to make sure that this brutal massacre didn't slow down America's
rapid decline into a nightmare of multiculturalism and political

The spin started right away, and it's been going on ever since.
One national news show said it was too bad the killer's name wasn't
Smith. We were told that Hasan was mentally ill, and his religion
had absolutely nothing to do with the massacre, and only a bigot
would think otherwise. Several media outlets suggested that Hasan
was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, even though he
had never seen combat. There were also countless articles and news
items fretting about a possible "backlash" and how it might affect
Muslims in America. Look at how Barack Obama himself reacted.
After an outrageous and shocking display of insensitivity where he
"gave a shout out" to someone before casually discussing the
massacre for a couple of minutes and then went back to business as
usual, he stressed that American's shouldn't "jump to conclusions."

As Ann Coulter and others have said, to liberals, Hasan and Muslims
are the real victims of the Fort Hood massacre. They go out of
their way to blame everyone and everything except Hasan and his
religion of Jihad. Compare the media's reaction to the Fort Hood
massacre with their response to the murders of abortionist George
Tiller and a guard at the Holocaust museum. In those cases, plenty
of media pundits had no qualms about blaming the entire pro-life
movement or "right wingers" for the actions of one person. The
Hasan massacre didn't fit Obama's and the media's narrative -
whites, heterosexuals, Americans, Republicans, Christians, US
military = bad, while non-whites, homosexuals, foreigners,
Democrats, Muslims = good.

The media reaction was bad enough, but what was even more shocking
was what came out a few days later. Several members of the Army
and the intelligence community have made statements which would
cause any normal person to wonder why Hasan wasn't locked up or
dishonorably discharged years ago. Colleagues say he was
constantly engaging in "anti-American rants." One says Hasan once
stated that "infidels" should be set on fire. We're told that
Hasan regularly made statements to the effect that Muslims
shouldn't fight for America against Muslim countries. Incredibly,
we've also learned that the FBI was aware that Hasan was trying to
contact al Qaeda, but did nothing about it. Equally amazing is the
report that Hasan once gave a speech to a military medical
conference in which he said that non-Muslims "should be beheaded
and have boiling oil poured down their throats." Again, absolutely
nothing was done, even though many military doctors were in
attendance at this speech.

How could such a thing happen in America? Actually, the question
should be why we're surprised that something like this has taken
place. The Fort Hood massacre was the predictable result of
decades of massive immigration from third world countries,
affirmative action, enforcement of political correctness and
"celebration" of diversity and multiculturalism. All of these
policies would be bad enough on their own, but when combined they
result in a prescription for disaster, on both a small and large

By most accounts, Hasan should've been a shining success story.
He's a second generation immigrant, whose parents came here
legally, and who is fully "assimilated." He speaks English well,
was smart enough in high school that the Army paid for his medical
school, and he became a licensed medical doctor. His relatives
assure us that he is a "moderate" Muslim. Until November 5th,
Nidal Malik Hasan was the kind of person politicians like to point
to as proof that the "American dream" is still alive, and that
third world immigration makes our country stronger.

However, somewhere along the way the "American dream" turned into a
nightmare. If Hasan is a moderate Muslim, I'd hate to meet a
radical one. He may have done well in high school, but several of
his classmates at medical school say he was unqualified to be
studying at that level, and lazy to boot. Yet, because of quotas
and affirmative action, he still was given a degree. One military
source says officers who heard him praise suicide bombers and call
for the beheading of infidels say that they didn't complain
"because they're afraid of getting an equal-opportunity complaint
that can end careers."

Why did this happen? It happened because political correctness and
the craze for "diversity" are rampant in the military, just as they
are in every aspect of government. The head of the Navy even
declared diversity to be "a strategic imperative." In a climate
like that, it's apparently not the Muslim calling for beheadings
and suicide bombings that's the problem; it's the person who raises
a red flag about him, because he might interfere with his
commanding officer meeting his diversity goals. Even after Fort
Hood, Army Chief of Staff George Casey's main concern seems to be
for Muslim soldiers, not America's future. He's hoping that
nothing is done to keep Muslims out of the military, because,
according to him, "a diverse army gives us strength." Perhaps he's
recently read the dystopian novel 1984, in which "Ignorance Is
Strength." In another few years, we'll learn that "Diversity Is

The result of this political correctness is destroying our country
from within. We're importing millions of third world peoples with
no connections to us or our culture, and expecting them all to
ignore their racial, religious and tribal loyalties and swear
allegiance to a multicultural USA. We tell ourselves the absurd
fairy tale that a nation made up of every ethnic and religious
group under the sun, speaking all kinds of languages, with many of
the groups hating us and/or each other, somehow will make us less
divisive and "stronger."

Americans that actually love their country are discriminated
against, while people like Hasan are given all kinds of quotas and
affirmative action. Anyone that dissents gets attacked for their
opinion. If anyone says that maybe a Muslim that talks about
beheading non-Muslims shouldn't be in our military, or that
security agents at airports shouldn't focus on old ladies while
ignoring young Arabic men dressed in Muslim garb that are acting
suspicious, they're denounced as "racists" and "bigots."

If we don't change our policies, we'd unfortunately better get used
to seeing more Fort Hood type events in the near future. If the
America we grew up in is going to survive, this madness has to
stop, and it has to stop right away. Stopping illegal immigration
and reducing and reforming legal immigration are top priorities.
That's the first step. Then we need to eliminate all quotas,
preferences, and other forms of affirmative action. Finally, we
have to stop risking the lives of our families and fellow Americans
by letting false accusations of "bigotry" and "racial
discrimination" stand in the way of common sense or law
enforcement, both locally and nationally. As conservatives, we
must start speaking out about these things and insisting that the
GOP act on our concerns. Contrary to what the media would have you
believe, this unspeakable tragedy could have been avoided due to
all the warning signs. For the sake of the future lives that are at
stake, we should do our best to prevent a similar situation from
happening again.


The Peter Morrison Report

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Get McDonald's out of the rain forest

By Alex Davies

So few people know this, but of equal importance as a cause of global warming is deforestation. But while most people associate the chainsaws with paper demand, the leading cause of the disappearance of the Amazon (mostly by slashing and burning) is beef. McDonald's and other Fast Food Restaurants lead the way in purchasing low-grade beef from the rain forest, one quarter pounder of which is equivalent to 25 square feet of the most precious land on Earth destroyed.

Read more at treehugger..

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Terrorism that's personal (5 images)

Text by Jim Verhulst, Times' Perspective editor | Photos by Emilio Morenatti, Associated Press

We typically think of terrorism as a political act.

But sometimes it’s very personal. It wasn’t a government or a guerrilla insurgency that threw acid on this woman’s face in Pakistan. It was a young man whom she had rejected for marriage. As the United States ponders what to do in Afghanistan — and for that matter, in Pakistan — it is wise to understand both the political and the personal, that the very ignorance and illiteracy and misogyny that create the climate for these acid attacks can and does bleed over into the political realm. Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times op-ed columnist who traveled to Pakistan last year to write about acid attacks, put it this way in an essay at the time: “I’ve been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don’t matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region. ...

“Bangladesh has imposed controls on acid sales to curb such attacks, but otherwise it is fairly easy in Asia to walk into a shop and buy sulfuric or hydrochloric acid suitable for destroying a human face. Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies: They are poor and female. The first step is simply for the world to take note, to give voice to these women.” Since 1994, a Pakistani activist who founded the Progressive Women’s Association ( to help such women “has documented 7,800 cases of women who were deliberately burned, scalded or subjected to acid attacks, just in the Islamabad area. In only 2 percent of those cases was anyone convicted.”

The geopolitical question is already hard enough: Should the United States commit more troops to Afghanistan and for what specific purpose? As American policymakers mull the options, here is a frame of reference that puts the tough choices in even starker relief: Are acid attacks a sign of just how little the United States can do to solve intractable problems there — therefore, we should pull out? Or having declared war on terrorism, must the United States stay out of moral duty, to try to protect women such as these — and the schoolgirls whom the Taliban in Afghanistan sprayed with acid simply for going to class — who have suffered a very personal terrorist attack? We offer a reading file of two smart essays that come to differing conclusions.

• In August, Perspective published a New York Times Magazine piece that followed up the story of Afghan sisters Shamsia and Atifa Husseini, who were attacked with acid simply for attending school. If you wish to refresh your memory, you may read the original article here.

• Two very smart, informed observers come to opposite conclusions on the proper U.S. course of action in Afghanistan. Here are excerpts from arguments that each of them has recently made:

Here are excerpts from Steve Coll’s “Think Tank” blog at, in which he argues why we can’t leave — “What If We Fail In Afghanistan?” (Read it in full here.)

In an essay entitled “The War We Can’t Win” in Commonweal (also reprinted this month by Harper’s), Andrew J. Bacevich makes the case that we are overstating the importance of Afghanistan to U.S. interests. Bacevich is a professor of international relations at Boston University and the author, most recently, of The Limits of Power. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, he served from 1969 to 1992, in Vietnam and the first Persian Gulf War. He was a conservative critic of the Iraq war. Several of his essays have run before in Perspective. To read this one in full, go here.

• See the Sunday November 22, 2009 Perspective section in the St. Petersburg Times But be forewarned: Those photos are even harder to look at than this one.

To read the original story by Nicholas Kristof, please go Here.

(The original article has 12 images which is available here...)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dr. Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy (transcript)

Edited by Denis Morel

Thank you very much, Hugh.

It's a great pleasure to be here, and to have a chance just to share with you some very simple ideas about the problems we're facing. Some of these problems are local, some are national, some are global.

They're all tied together. They're tied together by arithmetic, and the arithmetic isn't very difficult. What I hope to do is, I hope to be able to convince you that the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.

Well, you say, what's the exponential function?

This is a mathematical function that you'd write down if you're going to describe the size of anything that was growing steadily. If you had something growing 5% per year, you'd write the exponential function to show how large that growing quantity was, year after year. And so we're talking about a situation where the time that's required for the growing quantity to increase by a fixed fraction is a constant: 5% per year, the 5% is a fixed fraction, the “per year” is a fixed length of time. So that's what we want to talk about: its just ordinary steady growth.

Well, if it takes a fixed length of time to grow 5%, it follows it takes a longer fixed length of time to grow 100%. That longer time's called the doubling time and we need to know how you calculate the doubling time. It's easy.

You just take the number 70, divide it by the percent growth per unit time and that gives you the doubling time. So our example of 5% per year, you divide the 5 into 70, you find that growing quantity will double in size every 14 years.

Well, you might ask, where did the 70 come from? The answer is that it's approximately 100 multiplied by the natural logarithm of two. If you wanted the time to triple, you'd use the natural logarithm of three. So it's all very logical. But you don't have to remember where it came from, just remember 70.

I wish we could get every person to make this mental calculation every time we see a percent growth rate of anything in a news story. For example, if you saw a story that said things had been growing 7% per year for several recent years, you wouldn't bat an eyelash. But when you see a headline that says crime has doubled in a decade, you say “My heavens, what's happening?”

OK, what is happening? 7% growth per year: divide the seven into 70, the doubling time is ten years. But notice, if you want to write a headline to get people's attention, you'd never write “Crime Growing 7% Per Year,” nobody would know what it means. Now, do you know what 7% means?

Let's take an example, another example from Colorado. The cost of an all-day lift ticket to ski at Vail has been growing about 7% per year ever since Vail first opened in 1963. At that time you paid $5 for an all-day lift ticket. What's the doubling time for 7% growth? Ten years. So what was the cost ten years later in 1973? (showing slides of rapidly increasing prices) Ten years later in 1983? Ten years later in 1993? What was it last year in 2003, and what do we have to look forward to? (shows "2003: $80; 2013: $160; 2023: $320; audience laughter)

This is what 7% means. Most people don't have a clue. And how is Vail doing? They're pretty much on schedule.

So let's look at a generic graph of something that’s growing steadily. After one doubling time, the growing quantity is up to twice its initial size. Two doubling times, it's up to four times its initial size. Then it goes to 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, in ten doubling times it's a thousand times larger than when it started. You can see if you try to make a graph of that on ordinary graph paper, the graph’s gonna go right through the ceiling.

Article continues here..

Nothing To Lose But Our Illusions: An Interview With David Edwards

by Derrick Jensen

Originally published in the U.S. in The Sun magazine, June 2000
(Derrick Jensen's most recent book is A Language Older Than Words)

After climbing the business career ladder for most of his twenties, David Edwards left his management-level marketing job to become a writer. He had no idea how he was going to make a living, but the standard version of success had increasingly felt to him like a terrible, deadening failure. "Three things had become obvious to me," the English author says: "the misery of conventional 'success'; the vast and perhaps terminal havoc this 'success' was wreaking on the world; and the fact that no one was talking about either."

Leaving his apartment, his town, his girlfriend, and most of his friends, Edwards wrote until he ran out of money. Then he moved to a small seaside town and supported himself by teaching English as a second language. "Nine months earlier," he says, "I had been head of a marketing department, and now I was teaching the names of fruits to fourteen- and fifteen-year-old Thai kids: I was the happiest man alive!"

The problem in modern Western society, according to Edwards, remains the age-old one of struggling for freedom - but freedom from a very different set of chains. "In the past," he writes in his first book, Burning All Illusions (South End Press), "we have been prisoners of tyrants and dictators, and consequently have needed to win our freedom in very concrete, physical terms. We now need to free ourselves not from a slave ship, a prison, or a concentration camp, but from many of the illusions fostered in our democratic society."

Activist and historian Howard Zinn calls Burning All Illusions "a wise and acute analysis of the way our minds are controlled, not in a totalitarian state, but in a 'democratic' one." Edwards grew up in a little English village called Bearsted in the county of Kent, where he was known as "Eggy Edwards" and was infamous for playing practical jokes. His mother was from Sweden, and he spent summers in the country there, an experience he credits with having introduced him to a natural, uncomplicated alternative to modern living.

A few years after leaving his corporate job, Edwards encountered the Buddhist idea that all personal, social, and even environmental well-being is rooted in the desire to help other living creatures. He was surprised to find that it fit perfectly with his own belief in the murderous effects of the self-serving profit motive. "To see my own vague ideas clarified and confirmed by Buddhist sages writing two thousand years ago changed everything," he says. His second book, The Compassionate Revolution (as yet unpublished in the U.S.), is a plea for readers to confront the underlying horrors of modern Western society with the unconditional compassion of Buddhism.

The boredom and sense of futility and emptiness we feel when working solely for our own benefit, Edwards says, is the first piece in the great puzzle of how best to live our lives. The second piece is the realization that, to escape this sense of futility and find happiness, we have to work to relieve the suffering and increase the happiness of others-not just the poor, or women, or animals, but all living beings. Most people are good, reasonable human beings, Edwards says, but they are prevented from doing good by the delusion that it involves a miserable sacrifice. In fact, he contends, the best way of looking after ourselves is to work for the benefit of everyone else.

Edwards lives in a one-room apartment on a quiet road with lots of trees, birds, and squirrels, just a twenty-minute walk from the English seaside. He works part time for the International Society for Ecology and Culture, writing and doing research on the impact of globalization and the need for localization. He also writes on environmental, political, and human-rights issues for the Big Issue (a British magazine sold by homeless people), the Ecologist, and Z magazine.

Jensen: You've said that there are five things everyone ought to know. What are they?

Edwards: The first is that the planet is dying. One way to chart the damage is to look at insurance figures. Between 1980 and 1989, the insurance industry paid out, on average, less than $2 billion a year for weather-related property damage. From 1990 to 1995, however, hurricanes, cyclones, and floods in Europe, Asia, and North America cost the industry an average of more than $30 billion a year. The Red Cross is warning that climate change is about to precipitate a century of natural disasters. We have already seen a number of "superdisasters" in Honduras, India, Venezuela, and Mozambique, all "clearly tainted by human actions," according to climatologists.

Global warming affects more than the weather. Last year, marine biologists estimated that between 70 and 90 percent of the coral reefs in the Indian Ocean have died due to global warming. Coral-reef ecosystems are home to one-fourth of all fish species. And they're just the first major victims of global warming. Others will soon follow. Scientists now predict that the polar bear will be extinct in the wild within twenty years.

Now, many environmentally conscious people would argue that the scale of the environmental crises threatening us is being communicated. After all, most newspapers these days have environmental correspondents. But the level of coverage in no way matches the severity of the threat. Think for a moment about the media response to the supposed threat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War: Hollywood churned out pro-America films; novelists wrote thrillers pitting the "free world" against the "godless communists"; headlines decried the dangers of communism; and so on. By comparison, there's next to nothing being said or written about the threat of global warming.

Jensen: I know what you mean. I like baseball, but it breaks my heart to see ten pages in the newspaper every day on sports and maybe three column inches a month devoted to the biodiversity crisis.

Edwards: This leads to the second thing that everyone should know, which is that huge numbers of intelligent, motivated people are working all-out to prevent action that could save the planet. No matter how clear the evidence or how stern the scientific warnings, time and again, effective action is obstructed. The Global Climate Coalition, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers are all vigorously opposing even the trivial cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions proposed by the Kyoto Climate Treaty. The irresponsibility is breathtaking.

The so-called debate on global warming is a war between the biggest enterprise in human history-the worldwide coal-and-oil industry-and the planet's ability to sustain life. And our hearts and minds are battlefields in that war. The corporate press and corporate-financed politicians keep talking about global warming as if there's significant doubt about it, yet the "debate" pits perhaps half a dozen high-profile skeptics bankrolled by this trillion-dollar industry against the consensus of twenty-five hundred of the world's most qualified climatologists working as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. How is it that the opinions of these six-whose arguments are often shot full of illogical and absurd statements-carry the same weight as all that scientific evidence?

This brings us to the third thing I believe everyone should know, which is that the death of the planet is symptomatic of a deeper, institutionalized subordination of all life-including human life-to profit. Algeria is a typical example. It's been ruled by a military dictatorship since 1962. Elections were held in 1991, but the government scrapped them when it became clear a militant Islamic party would win, and since that time some eighty thousand people have died. In some cases, armed attackers have descended on defenseless villages at night to cut the throats of women and children. The violence has been characterized by psychotic frenzy, including the dismemberment of infants. It's not exactly clear who is doing all of it, although the government is heavily implicated. But one thing is for sure: the world has done nothing about it.

This article continues here..

Beyond Hope by Derrick Jensen

Published in the May/June 2006 issue of Orion magazine

Photograph by Stephen Wilkes

THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.

Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”

But no matter what environmentalists do, our best efforts are insufficient. We’re losing badly, on every front. Those in power are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and most people don’t care.

Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth.

To start, there is the false hope that suddenly somehow the system may inexplicably change. Or technology will save us. Or the Great Mother. Or beings from Alpha Centauri. Or Jesus Christ. Or Santa Claus. All of these false hopes lead to inaction, or at least to ineffectiveness. One reason my mother stayed with my abusive father was that there were no battered women’s shelters in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but another was her false hope that he would change. False hopes bind us to unlivable situations, and blind us to real possibilities.

Does anyone really believe that Weyerhaeuser is going to stop deforesting because we ask nicely? Does anyone really believe that Monsanto will stop Monsantoing because we ask nicely? If only we get a Democrat in the White House, things will be okay. If only we pass this or that piece of legislation, things will be okay. If only we defeat this or that piece of legislation, things will be okay. Nonsense. Things will not be okay. They are already not okay, and they’re getting worse. Rapidly.

But it isn’t only false hopes that keep those who go along enchained. It is hope itself. Hope, we are told, is our beacon in the dark. It is our light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. It is the beam of light that makes its way into our prison cells. It is our reason for persevering, our protection against despair (which must be avoided at all costs). How can we continue if we do not have hope?

We’ve all been taught that hope in some future condition—like hope in some future heaven—is and must be our refuge in current sorrow. I’m sure you remember the story of Pandora. She was given a tightly sealed box and was told never to open it. But, being curious, she did, and out flew plagues, sorrow, and mischief, probably not in that order. Too late she clamped down the lid. Only one thing remained in the box: hope. Hope, the story goes, was the only good the casket held among many evils, and it remains to this day mankind’s sole comfort in misfortune. No mention here of action being a comfort in misfortune, or of actually doing something to alleviate or eliminate one’s misfortune.

The more I understand hope, the more I realize that all along it deserved to be in the box with the plagues, sorrow, and mischief; that it serves the needs of those in power as surely as belief in a distant heaven; that hope is really nothing more than a secular way of keeping us in line.

Hope is, in fact, a curse, a bane. I say this not only because of the lovely Buddhist saying “Hope and fear chase each other’s tails,” not only because hope leads us away from the present, away from who and where we are right now and toward some imaginary future state. I say this because of what hope is.

More or less all of us yammer on more or less endlessly about hope. You wouldn’t believe—or maybe you would—how many magazine editors have asked me to write about the apocalypse, then enjoined me to leave readers with a sense of hope. But what, precisely, is hope? At a talk I gave last spring, someone asked me to define it. I turned the question back on the audience, and here’s the definition we all came up with: hope is a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency; it means you are essentially powerless.

I’m not, for example, going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I just will. I don’t hope I take another breath right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them. On the other hand, I do hope that the next time I get on a plane, it doesn’t crash. To hope for some result means you have given up any agency concerning it. Many people say they hope the dominant culture stops destroying the world. By saying that, they’ve assumed that the destruction will continue, at least in the short term, and they’ve stepped away from their own ability to participate in stopping it.

I do not hope coho salmon survive. I will do whatever it takes to make sure the dominant culture doesn’t drive them extinct. If coho want to leave us because they don’t like how they’re being treated—and who could blame them?—I will say goodbye, and I will miss them, but if they do not want to leave, I will not allow civilization to kill them off.

When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to “hope” at all. We simply do the work. We make sure salmon survive. We make sure prairie dogs survive. We make sure grizzlies survive. We do whatever it takes.

When we stop hoping for external assistance, when we stop hoping that the awful situation we’re in will somehow resolve itself, when we stop hoping the situation will somehow not get worse, then we are finally free—truly free—to honestly start working to resolve it. I would say that when hope dies, action begins.

PEOPLE SOMETIMES ASK ME, “If things are so bad, why don’t you just kill yourself?” The answer is that life is really, really good. I am a complex enough being that I can hold in my heart the understanding that we are really, really fucked, and at the same time that life is really, really good. I am full of rage, sorrow, joy, love, hate, despair, happiness, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and a thousand other feelings. We are really fucked. Life is still really good.

Many people are afraid to feel despair. They fear that if they allow themselves to perceive how desperate our situation really is, they must then be perpetually miserable. They forget that it is possible to feel many things at once. They also forget that despair is an entirely appropriate response to a desperate situation. Many people probably also fear that if they allow themselves to perceive how desperate things are, they may be forced to do something about it.

Another question people sometimes ask me is, “If things are so bad, why don’t you just party?” Well, the first answer is that I don’t really like to party. The second is that I’m already having a great deal of fun. I love my life. I love life. This is true for most activists I know. We are doing what we love, fighting for what (and whom) we love.

I have no patience for those who use our desperate situation as an excuse for inaction. I’ve learned that if you deprive most of these people of that particular excuse they just find another, then another, then another. The use of this excuse to justify inaction—the use of any excuse to justify inaction—reveals nothing more nor less than an incapacity to love.

At one of my recent talks someone stood up during the Q and A and announced that the only reason people ever become activists is to feel better about themselves. Effectiveness really doesn’t matter, he said, and it’s egotistical to think it does.

I told him I disagreed.

Doesn’t activism make you feel good? he asked.

Of course, I said, but that’s not why I do it. If I only want to feel good, I can just masturbate. But I want to accomplish something in the real world.


Because I’m in love. With salmon, with trees outside my window, with baby lampreys living in sandy streambottoms, with slender salamanders crawling through the duff. And if you love, you act to defend your beloved. Of course results matter to you, but they don’t determine whether or not you make the effort. You don’t simply hope your beloved survives and thrives. You do what it takes. If my love doesn’t cause me to protect those I love, it’s not love.

A WONDERFUL THING happens when you give up on hope, which is that you realize you never needed it in the first place. You realize that giving up on hope didn’t kill you. It didn’t even make you less effective. In fact it made you more effective, because you ceased relying on someone or something else to solve your problems—you ceased hoping your problems would somehow get solved through the magical assistance of God, the Great Mother, the Sierra Club, valiant tree-sitters, brave salmon, or even the Earth itself—and you just began doing whatever it takes to solve those problems yourself.

When you give up on hope, something even better happens than it not killing you, which is that in some sense it does kill you. You die. And there’s a wonderful thing about being dead, which is that they—those in power—cannot really touch you anymore. Not through promises, not through threats, not through violence itself. Once you’re dead in this way, you can still sing, you can still dance, you can still make love, you can still fight like hell—you can still live because you are still alive, more alive in fact than ever before. You come to realize that when hope died, the you who died with the hope was not you, but was the you who depended on those who exploit you, the you who believed that those who exploit you will somehow stop on their own, the you who believed in the mythologies propagated by those who exploit you in order to facilitate that exploitation. The socially constructed you died. The civilized you died. The manufactured, fabricated, stamped, molded you died. The victim died.

And who is left when that you dies? You are left. Animal you. Naked you. Vulnerable (and invulnerable) you. Mortal you. Survivor you. The you who thinks not what the culture taught you to think but what you think. The you who feels not what the culture taught you to feel but what you feel. The you who is not who the culture taught you to be but who you are. The you who can say yes, the you who can say no. The you who is a part of the land where you live. The you who will fight (or not) to defend your family. The you who will fight (or not) to defend those you love. The you who will fight (or not) to defend the land upon which your life and the lives of those you love depends. The you whose morality is not based on what you have been taught by the culture that is killing the planet, killing you, but on your own animal feelings of love and connection to your family, your friends, your landbase—not to your family as self-identified civilized beings but as animals who require a landbase, animals who are being killed by chemicals, animals who have been formed and deformed to fit the needs of the culture.

When you give up on hope—when you are dead in this way, and by so being are really alive—you make yourself no longer vulnerable to the cooption of rationality and fear that Nazis inflicted on Jews and others, that abusers like my father inflict on their victims, that the dominant culture inflicts on all of us. Or is it rather the case that these exploiters frame physical, social, and emotional circumstances such that victims perceive themselves as having no choice but to inflict this cooption on themselves?

But when you give up on hope, this exploiter/victim relationship is broken. You become like the Jews who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

When you give up on hope, you turn away from fear.

And when you quit relying on hope, and instead begin to protect the people, things, and places you love, you become very dangerous indeed to those in power.

In case you’re wondering, that’s a very good thing.

Artcle is available here..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Charles Krauthammer asks, Have we totally lost our moral bearings?

(An article from the National Review)

Medicalizing Mass Murder
Have we totally lost our moral bearings?

By Charles Krauthammer

What a surprise — that someone who shouts “Allahu Akbar” (the “God is great” jihadist battle cry) as he is shooting up a room of American soldiers might have Islamist motives. It certainly was a surprise to the mainstream media, which spent the weekend after the Fort Hood massacre downplaying Nidal Hasan’s religious beliefs.

“I cringe that he’s a Muslim. . . . I think he’s probably just a nut case,” said Newsweek’s Evan Thomas. Some were more adamant. Time’s Joe Klein decried “odious attempts by Jewish extremists . . . to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs.” While none could match Klein’s peculiar cherchez-le-juif motif, the popular storyline was of an Army psychiatrist driven over the edge by terrible stories he had heard from soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

They suffered. He listened. He snapped.

Really? What about the doctors and nurses, the counselors and physical therapists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who every day hear and live with the pain and the suffering of returning soldiers? How many of them then picked up a gun and shot 51 innocents?

And what about civilian psychiatrists — not the Upper West Side therapist treating Woody Allen neurotics, but the thousands of doctors working with hospitalized psychotics — who every day hear not just tales but cries of the most excruciating anguish, of the most unimaginable torment? How many of those doctors commit mass murder?

It’s been decades since I practiced psychiatry. Perhaps I missed the epidemic.

But, of course, if the shooter is named Nidal Hasan, whom National Public Radio reported had been trying to proselytize doctors and patients, then something must be found. Presto! Secondary post-traumatic stress disorder, a handy invention to allow one to ignore the obvious.

And the perfect moral finesse. Medicalizing mass murder not only exonerates. It turns the murderer into a victim, indeed a sympathetic one. After all, secondary PTSD, for those who believe in it (you won’t find it in DSM-IV-TR, psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), is known as “compassion fatigue.” The poor man — pushed over the edge by an excess of sensitivity.

Have we totally lost our moral bearings? Nidal Hasan (allegedly) cold-bloodedly killed 13 innocent people. In such cases, political correctness is not just an abomination. It’s a danger, clear and present.

Consider the Army’s treatment of Hasan’s previous behavior. NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling interviewed a Hasan colleague at Walter Reed about a hair-raising Grand Rounds that Hasan had apparently given. Grand Rounds are the most serious academic event at a teaching hospital — attending physicians, residents, and students gather for a lecture on an instructive case history or therapeutic finding.

I’ve been to dozens of these. In fact, I gave one myself on post-traumatic retrograde amnesia — as you can see, these lectures are fairly technical. Not Hasan’s. His was an hour-long disquisition on what he called the Koranic view of military service, jihad, and war. It included an allegedly authoritative elaboration of the punishments visited upon nonbelievers — consignment to hell, decapitation, having hot oil poured down your throat. This “really freaked a lot of doctors out,” reported NPR.

Nor was this the only incident. “The psychiatrist,” reported Zwerdling, “said that he was the kind of guy who the staff actually stood around in the hallway saying: Do you think he’s a terrorist, or is he just weird?”

Was anything done about this potential danger? Of course not. Who wants to be accused of Islamophobia and prejudice against a colleague’s religion?

One must not speak of such things. Not even now. Not even after we know that Hasan was in communication with a notorious Yemen-based jihad propagandist. As late as Tuesday, the New York Times was running a story on how returning soldiers at Fort Hood had a high level of violence.

What does such violence have to do with Hasan? He was not a returning soldier. And the soldiers who returned home and shot their wives or fellow soldiers didn’t cry “Allahu Akbar!” as they squeezed the trigger.

The delicacy about the religion in question — condescending, politically correct, and deadly — is nothing new. A week after the first (1993) World Trade Center attack, the same New York Times ran the following front-page headline about the arrest of one Mohammed Salameh: “Jersey City Man Is Charged in Bombing of Trade Center.”

Ah yes, those Jersey men — so resentful of New York, so prone to violence.
Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2009, The Washington Post Writers Group

This article by Charles Krauthammer can be found here..

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brigitte Gabriel Blasts Political Correctness

A big overpopulated Australia

(An article from the ABC blog found at this link)

A big, dry, Australia

Just under 20 years ago I came across a small, sad statistic while doing some research in the National Library of Australia. For 126 years, from white settlement in 1788 until 1914, Australia’s population had been lopsided, with more men than women. The gender ratio had been gradually improving, but in 1914 there were 103 men for every 100 women in a population that stood a touch under five million.

By 1918 the ratio was 98 men to every 100 women, in a population that had only just crawled above five million. In December 1917 the population was actually lower than it had been three years earlier. World War I had levelled us in many ways and buried in those numbers were tens of thousands of individual tragedies.

There is no count of the population prior to 1788, but there is plenty of tragedy to be found in the estimates of what the Indigenous population was and what became of it.

But, since settlement, Australia’s history has been entwined with immigration, and save for the Great War, its population has been growing.

At times that growth has been dramatic. It took 60 years for the population to approach half a million but the discovery of gold drove a rush that has never been matched – from 1850 to 1890 the population exploded from a touch over 400,000 to more than three million.

In my 49 years the population has more than doubled from 10.3 million to an estimated 22 million today.

Where to from here? Well in September the Treasurer Wayne Swan released the latest Treasury take and it projects a population of 35 million by 2050. That’s a 63 per cent increase on today and seven million more than Treasury estimated just two years ago.

Questioned about it by Kerry O’Brien, the Prime Minister declared that he’s a believer in “a big Australia”.

"I make no apology for that. I actually think it's good news that our population is growing", the Prime Minister said.

Those words echoed as I watched environment minister Peter Garrett announce that he would block the building of the Traveston Crossing Dam near Gympie in south-east Queensland.

A couple of other questions bounced around as well. Like, where will we get the water for the big Australia? And, where will we get the power for the big Australia?

this article continues at the ABC blog..

CNN - Spreading Islam in Britain

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jihadi Denial Syndrome reaches epidemic proportions

After the 7/7 London transport bombings woke at least some people up to the phenomenon of British ‘sleeper’ Islamic terrorism – and, equally important, to the way this was continuing to be denied by the British establishment – the reaction across the pond was, to say the least, complacent. What on earth had happened to the British lion? Americans asked, scratching their heads in amazement at how a country which had once stood united in determination to fight the enemies of democracy on the beaches was now apparently indifferent to the spread of jihadi fanaticism and support for religiously inspired violence amongst its own citizens. Americans were particularly astounded that Islamists were even being recruited to serve in the British police and other parts of the establishment.

The fact was, however, as I have written and said on a number of occasions, America was going in a similar direction, albeit more slowly and with a quite different demographic. While the vast majority of its Muslim citizens appeared to be people who really had come to the US to get a slice of the good life and had signed up to American values, there was a growing element amongst US Muslims which was becoming steadily radicalised. Worse still, the FBI and other counter-terrorism agencies had been influenced by their appeasement-minded British cousins in the security world peddling their wholly false analysis of Islamic terrorism as having nothing to do with religion, encouraging US officials similarly to downplay or passively allow the rise of US radicalisation. (See for example this story about the silence over a Hizb ut Tahrir conference in Chicago.)

Read more..

Multiculturalism kills

More evidence of America’s Jihad Denial Derangement Syndrome. It turns out that fellow students of the army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan who murdered 13 and wounded dozens more in a jihadi attack on Fort Hood had complained to the faculty about his anti-American propaganda – but were too afraid to file a formal complaint for fear of being accused of prejudice:

However, classmate Finnell said that Hasan made a presentation during their studies ‘that justified suicide bombing’ and spewed ‘anti-American propaganda’ as he argued the war on terror was ‘a war against Islam.’ Finnell said he and at least one other student complained about Hasan, surprised that someone with ‘this type of vile ideology’ would be allowed to wear an officer’s uniform. But Finnell said no one filed a formal, written complaint about Hasan's comments out of fear of appearing discriminatory (my emphasis).

It seems that multiculturalism kills.

Meanwhile, although President George W Bush and his wife paid a condolence visit to Fort Hood, it appears that no such visit has been forthcoming from the current incumbent at the White House, who chose to go to Camp David instead for a break.

Bet he makes that visit now.


Column - Hiding the why of the Fort Hood jihad

THE first thing a journalist - I mean a real journalist - would do is tell you what actually happened.

Like this: an American officer shot dead 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas on Friday.

Then the second thing a journalist - a real one - would do is to try to explain why. You know, to help you make sense of this, and to help stop such a terrible thing from happening again.

So this real journalist would be keen to pass on to you these following clues.

The Fort Hood killer, army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, was a Muslim. He shouted “God is great” in Arabic as he opened fire.

What’s more, fellow doctors and students had complained about his fiery preaching of Islam and “anti-American propaganda”. He’d praised the killing in June of another US soldier by a Muslim American.

Colonel Terry Lee also recalled Hasan telling him: “Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor.” And these were all facts known to journalists within hours.

Soon came collaborative details: Hasan had attended a radical mosque, and at the same time as did two September 11 terrorists. He’d given away copies of the Koran on the morning of the shootings.

He’d also described himself as “Palestinian” on a mosque’s register, despite having been born in Virginia. He’d said Muslims should mount suicide attacks in Times Square, and two years ago told fellow student Dr Val Finnell that the “war on terror” was actually a “war against Islam”. He’d been disciplined for preaching Islam at his patients.

Now it’s even reported that investigators suspected months ago that Hasan tried to contact al-Qaida.

Are you getting a picture here? Or do you need me to scream “Allahu Akbar” in your ear, too?

But whether or not you find these details conclusive in establishing a motive - in answering that why? - here’s the astonishing thing: most of our Left-leaning media outlets resisted even reporting them.

Read more..

Despite the spin, the U.S. is under siege from Muslim jihadists

The day after the deadliest example of Muslim terrorism to be carried out inside the U.S. since 9/11, President Obama told us not to “jump to conclusions” about the motives of the alleged shooter, in spite of the fact that several eyewitnesses reported that the alleged shooter, Maj. Malik Hasan shouted “Allah Akbar” as he gunned down his fellow soldiers.

On Sunday, in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey Jr. also warned the public of drawing any conclusions about Maj. Hasan, and lamented that “It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was — it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.”

Most of us have come to expect such politically correct rhetoric from the mainstream press, but when a top military commander is more concerned with sugar coating the threat posed to this nation by radical Muslims than he is with protecting the public or even his own soldiers…It is a sad day indeed.

Despite the cover-ups and the spinning by government officials and the press, we do have radical Muslim terrorists plotting and attacking inside the United States. If we are to survive, we must open our eyes to the facts and stop worrying about who may or may not be offended.

With 86 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Christians, radical Muslims realize that they will never convert us, and as directed by the Quran, many have now decided to kill us. However, you will never hear that painful truth from the mouths of network anchors, nor from our rather spineless politicians.

What follows is a list of uncovered plots and terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslim radicals on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001:

Read more..

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A couple of useful weblinks.

The campaign against Political correctness.


The weblink for the Doncaster free press

The beginning of the end for Political Correctness: the counter-revolution has begun in Doncaster

You do not have to go all the way in supporting the English Democrats party, whose silly proposal for an English parliament would add another superfluous layer to already excessive government, to raise a glass to Peter Davies, the party’s elected Mayor of Doncaster. Davies, the father of Tory MP Philip Davies, is one of just 11 directly elected mayors and he is enjoying increasing media exposure because of his outrageous agenda which, against all the tenets of consensual British politics, consists of doing what the public wants.

In his first week in office he cut his own salary from £73,000 to £30,000, which is putting one’s money where one’s mouth is. He also scrapped the mayoral limousine. He is ending Doncaster’s twinning with five towns around the world, an arrangement which he describes as “just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense”. He intends now to reduce (that’s right, reduce) council tax by 3 per cent this year.

The “diversity” portfolio has been abolished from the council’s cabinet. From next year no more funding will be given to the town’s “Gay Pride” event, on the grounds that people do not need to parade their sexuality, whatever it may be, at taxpayers’ expense. Black History Month, International Women’s Day and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month are similarly destined to become history.

Council funding of translation services for immigrants has been scrapped because he believes incomers should take the trouble to learn English. Officials have been ordered to abandon bureaucratic gobbledegook language. Davies is saving the taxpayers £80,000 by disaffiliating from the pointless Local Government Association and the Local Government Information Unit. He aims to abolish all non-jobs on the council, as epitomised by “community cohesion officers”. He is taking advice from the Taxpayers’ Alliance and the Campaign Against Political Correctness.

Davies’s views are calculated to put Harriet Harridan into intensive care for six months. He disregards all “green claptrap”, is creating more parking spaces to encourage traffic in the town for the benefit of business (”I’m not green and I’m not conned by global warming”). He has asked the Electoral Commission to reduce the number of Doncaster’s councillors from 63 to 21 (”If Pittsburgh can manage with nine councillors, why do we need 63?”).

You may be feeling disorientated, overcome by a surreal sensation, on hearing such extraordinary, unprecedented views. They are the almost forgotten, forcibly extinguished voice of sanity which most people had thought forever excised from British politics. These policies are common sense, which is something we have not experienced in any council chamber, still less the House of Commons, in decades. The establishment is moving heaven and earth to discredit and obstruct Davies. He is that ultimate embarrassment: the boy who reveals that the Emperor has no clothes.

If it is good enough for Doncaster, it is good enough for Britain. Our effete, corrupt, politically correct politicians must be compelled to follow suit. Once upon a time, such policies would have been axiomatic in the Tory Party. In the Cameron-occupied Conservative Party of today they are regarded as anathema. There has to be an inflexible public will to enforce the country’s wishes on the political class under pain of ejection from public life. That is the sole agenda for the next general election. The mainstream parties, as currently constituted, are no longer electable.


WARNING! Goodbye U.S Sovereignty... Hello One World Government !