DIGITAL APARTHEID: How The End of Net Neutrality Created Internet Classism (UPDATED)

dont-tread-on-net2

Over two decades have passed since Netscape went public in 1995, triggering the revolutionary ability to browse websites. It also spurred the multi-billion dollar investments by companies like Global Crossing in the creation of undersea and underground fiber-optic telecommunications cable networks, which in-turn drove down the cost of data transmission to nearly zero.

Browser wars led to Y2K led to the dot-com crash giving birth to hacktivism, social networking, the blogosphere, the deep web and everything else. The internet has enabled open-sourcing, collaboration and innovation that even the most idealistic dreamers could have never imagined. And because we’ve all grown up within the infinitude of this burgeoning digital universe, we’ve grown to take unspoken digital liberties for granted.

Each computer effectively functions as a neuron in the massive brain of what was previously referred to as the World Wide Web. As with a hive, it is not the neurons themselves, but the connections between individual neurons that create intelligence. In allowing connectivity between computers and thus individuals, the internet has allowed for explosive leaps in awareness worldwide.

The internet likely represents the last effective tool that remains with which to oppose forces of despotism in our rapidly globalizing landscape. Unlike Corporate controlled media where the wealthy have dominated our access to information, our ability to organize, and our means of earning a living, the internet represents a force for actual  democracy on a level playing field. We can attribute such liberty to Net Neutrality, which we are told officially ended this week.

What is Net Neutrality?

Near the beginning of the internet’s inception, the FCC put into place a regulation to guarantee an open and free internet. Part of that clause is called Net Neutrality, which regulated Internet Service Providers from differentiating between one site and another. Corporate ISPs want more money, and want to charge premium fees for the websites we visit. But they can’t do this as long as Net Neutrality rules remain in place. As the rules have stood for decades, ISPs cannot prioritize data on a pay-to-play system of browsing per the Title II classification of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as common carriers. But ISPs have lobbied hard, even placing their own people into the FCC, in their constant crusade to revoke Title II restrictions. If they are successful – if Net Neutrality dies – ISPs would be granted complete power over the internet, including the ability to outright ban certain websites on their network.

net-neutrality-1-620x400

Given the possible profits and power that await ISPs following the death of Title II, it is not particularly surprising that companies like Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon have pulled out every possible legal trick in the book to to overturn Title II, and now it looks like they might actually succeed.

As Jonathan Cook of Counterpunch notes:

As soon as next month, the net could become the exclusive plaything of the biggest such corporations, determined to squeeze as much profit as possible out of bandwith. Meanwhile, the tools to help us engage in critical thinking, dissent and social mobilisation will be taken away as “net neutrality” becomes a historical footnote, a teething phase, in the “maturing” of the internet.


 

THE REVOLVING DOOR OF CORPORATE POLITICS

The FCC, who are supposed to act as a regulator, actually protect telecom industries by proposing “reforms to Net Neutrality.” The current chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, was served for many years as a lawyer working for the telecom giant Verizon.

34374557870_ed4b8d438b_b

President Trump appointed Pai in 2017, but the proposed death of a free and open internet goes far beyond the Donald’s presence in Washington. The Obama Administration’s FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler – who attempted to gut Net Neutrality rules in 2014 – was also a former cable industry lobbyist sponsored by Comcast, Verizon and the US Telecommunications Association, and hired Comcast Attorneys Daniel Alvarez and Matthew Del Nero during his tenure.

tom-wheeler-fcc-chairmanDespite these obvious conflicts of interest, not everyone at the FCC seems thrilled with the corporate takeover on the online universe. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled “I’m on the FCC. Please stop us from killing net neutrality” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel observes the persistent questions surrounding the legitimacy of anti-net neutrality public comments submitted to FCC, as well as what appear to be tens of thousands of missing comments. She now calls for voters to make sure the proposal by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai does not go through, citing overwhelming public support for net neutrality. She also proclaimed Pai’s plan “a lousy idea” deserving of a “heated response from the millions of Americans who work and create online every day.”


Montana Fights Back

In January Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) responded to theFCC’s vote to end Net Neutrality by signing an executive order requiring internet service providers with government contracts in the state of Montana to abide by Net Neutrality rules.

As reported by Harper Neidig at The Hill:

The order makes his state the first to push back on the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal the open internet rules last month.

“There has been a lot of talk around the country about how to respond to the recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality rules, which keep the internet free and open. It’s time to actually do something about it,” Bullock said in a statement.

“This is a simple step states can take to preserve and protect net neutrality. We can’t wait for folks in Washington DC to come to their senses and reinstate these rules.”

The order says that in order to receive a contract with the state government, internet service providers must not engage in blocking or throttling web content or create internet fast lanes. Those practices were all banned under the Obama-era 2015 net neutrality order.

The fine folks at boing boing observe that the order sets up an interesting conundrum:

On the one hand, the FCC insists that it has the authority to ban states and cities from establishing public alternative networks. Since ISPs enjoy natural monopolies — there’s only so many poles and sewers to go around — most cities have one or two ISPs, and if both of them refuse to adhere to net neutrality principles, the state would seemingly have to go without internet service altogether. The question will be whether one of the duopolies in a city with government offices will betray its network discrimination conspiracy with its “competitor” in order to land state contracts — or whether the state will build out its own government network, something that the FCC seems prepared to permit.


MONETIZING SCARCITY

In a Washington D.C. Court of Appeals case – Verizon VS The Federal Communications Commission – rulings effectively put an end to Net Neutrality already, abolishing FCC regulations over telecommunications giants like Verizon and Comcast, Cox, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable. Now we’re facing the complete repeal of already compromised regulations, and we’re set to witness that repeal as soon as December of 2017.

Under the Appealed ruling, ISPs can already selectively censor the internet by throttling sites they don’t like into nonexistence, hindering cash-strapped internet start-ups from getting off of the ground, stifling innovation, killing off new competitors challenging massive corporations, and widening gap between the haves and have nots. Now income inequality threatens last bastion of free speech. Small businesses, nonprofit organizations, independent journalists and the like, will not be able to afford to pay for the “fast lane” of the internet.

vice

ISPs will be able to discriminate between data on the final mile before the data connects to your home. The new tolls would allow ISPs to actually tax internet companies for the “privilege” of connecting with customers who are already paying for network access. Small business owners and everyone else won’t be able to compete with massive corporations. Start-ups won’t be able to compete with the pay-to-play fast-lane.  An end to Net Neutrality would grant ISPs the ability to give some websites preferential treatment (faster traffic) in exchange for money. But who has all of the money in the first place?

The name of the game is Pay To Play. ISPs will be able to manipulate broadband speeds based on which organizations are willing to pony up the most dough. Our voices will become inaudible in the sea of money that has bought politicians and saturated our mental environment with the pollution of incessant advertisements for generations, literally drowning out our voices on the only frontier we have left.

Then again, wasn’t it really just a matter of time before this happened? The internet, after all, poses a significant threat to all corporate agendas. But for those of us who have come to take these services for granted, it is a sad reminder that we don’t truly know what we have until it is gone, as the old saying goes.

atttank

 


BetterOff

CORPORATIONS ARE LIKE THE MAFIA – THEY DO WHATEVER THEY WANT

The corporate giants have grown lazy in their attempts to smooth out PR. The fact remains they don’t have to issue apologies any longer. They’ve successfully implemented monopolies and laugh at every challenge to them. In a 2014 blog post, Tom Wheeler wouldn’t even defend his proposals, implicitly refusing to dispel the “interpretation” of proposed rules by not even mentioning them:

“Some recent commentary has had a misinformed interpretation of the Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) currently before the Commission. There are two things that are important to understand.  First, this is not a final decision by the Commission but rather a formal request for input on a proposal as well as a set of related questions.  Second, as the Notice makes clear, all options for protecting and promoting an Open Internet are on the table.

“In its Verizon v. FCC decision the D.C. Circuit laid out a blueprint for how the FCC could use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to create Open Internet rules that would stick. I have repeatedly stated that I viewed the court’s ruling as an invitation that I intended to accept.  We ask for comment on this approach in the NPRM.”

The courts have explicitly ruled they have the authority to change this classification, which is why they moved internet from Common Carrier classification to Information Provider, akin to any other public utility.

Wheeler went on to say:

“I do not believe we should leave the market unprotected for multiple more years while lawyers for the biggest corporate players tie the FCC’s protections up in court.  Notwithstanding this, all regulatory options remain on the table. If the proposal before us now turns out to be insufficient or if we observe anyone taking advantage of the rule, I won’t hesitate to use Title II. However, unlike with Title II, we can use the court’s roadmap to implement Open Internet regulation now rather than endure additional years of litigation and delay.”

Enacting Title II of Telecommunications Act of 1996 would reclassify ISPs as utilities like phone companies and restrict them to more stringent FCC regulation. Despite his words, “hesitate” is exactly what Wheeler has done from the start. The FCC admits that actions are not commercially reasonable if they harm the consumer, like, for example, degrading other service to create a fast lane, if they harm competition, if they provide priority access to affiliate programs, or if they curb free speech or civic engagement. But as BGR’s Brad Reed points out:

“Just like with the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, Wheeler’s net neutrality rules propose giving a powerful corporate interest something it wants in exchange for agreeing to live under the vague threat of future regulations that depend entirely on the whims of the regulators who may or may not feel like enforcing them.”

verizonCapitolHill


 

 NET NEUTRALITY IS NOT A MEDDLESOME GOVERNMENT REGULATION – ITS COMMON SENSE

 As billions of people from different cultures are being brought into a brave, new, globalized economic landscape, the monopoly of the Anglo-American world Empire is being challenged on a daily basis by this online network of networks. But the internet doesn’t only challenge the Empire from the outside. While disinformation propaganda has filled our minds with lies for decades, the alternative media challenge the dogmatic information monopoly of corporate owned organizations like CNN, FOX and MSNBC. The internet has made it impossible for the established regime to sell propaganda to us; if the mainstream media attempts to convince us that the people of Iran are inherently evil to sell another illegal war to the American people, we can simply access the web to engage in conversations with Iranian citizens, and in doing so we ultimately arrive at the conclusion that those people in Iran are really no different from us, and desire the same things that we do. Thus the internet shows us not only that we are all connected, but that we are all one consciousness.

According to complexity theory, when simple things interact, they create unpredictability. It is expressly this unpredictability which threatens the hegemony of the Corporate state.The Corporatocracy has ten-thousand reasons to loathe a free and open internet, which is why they’re attacking it from all sides. While Microsoft and Macintosh’s computer systems have been intentionally designed with built-in back doors to NSA and GCHQ servers, open-source software like Linux challenges the dogmatic surveillance monopoly of corporate owned intelligence organizations like Booze-Allen-Hamilton. While Wal-Mart and Target drive out local businesses and bring mom-&-pop shops to their knees, eBay stores and the 3D printing revolution of thingiverse.com and the like challenge the dogmatic production monopoly of corporate owned retail outlets. While our banking systems choke out local economies and foreclose struggling families from their homes with the stranglehold that is compounded interest, Bit-Coin and other Crypto-Currencies challenge the dogmatic monopoly of the Central Banking System’s fiat currencies. The radio program you’re listening to at this very moment is yet another shining example of why the internet is so important. Without the web, this show does not exist, plain and simple. So its not hard to understand why the Corporate elite are doing everything they can to destroy internet sovereignty.

merger

The Corporate elite view internet as something akin to Pandora opening her box. In the early days of internet regulation bills, Senator Jay Rockefeller actually said to a crowded auditorium on the subject of cybersecurity, “Would it have been better if we had never invented the internet?” Our Corporate masters are desperate to stuff the genie back into the bottle, and shove the cat back into the bag. But a mind expanded by new experience can never return to its previous dimensions, and now that the standard has been set, a reversal of the information trend will not be tolerated by the online community. Every day the internet exists, it becomes stronger, striking fear into the black heart of the oligarchs.

netneutral

As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and we may be witnessing the death of the internet as you read these words. The rich are attempting to control the internet by buying it, creating a new form of classism, what might be termed Digital Apartheid.  If they succeed, the rest of us too poor to afford the perks of the free internet we’ve all come to take for granted, will become second-class digital citizens, unable to access information we were able to before. They don’t have to shut down websites to kill the internet. All they have to do is put an end to Net Neutrality, which is exactly what FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced was going to happen this week.  The websites we access on a daily basis constitute the accessible internet, and Internet Service Providers or ISPs must provide equal access to everything that is online to their clients. Net Neutrality means that your Internet provider cannot limit what you view online in any way. If it is online, you can access it.

But let’s put this into perspective. What would net neutrality look like if it were applicable to telephones? It would mean that I can call a business as easily as I could call an individual. An end to telephone neutrality would mean that I could easily get through to big businesses, but would have to wait long periods of time in order to contact acquaintances, ultimately culminating in negative effects, like being put on hold for a 911 call.  The bottom line here is that you cannot value communication technology on a sliding scale, although this is expressly what the end of Net Neutrality will create for us.

Why

They’ve written a number of dress-rehearsal internet control bills, all of which were shut down by popular activism. ACTA failed. SOPA failed. PIPA failed. CISPA failed. And now with the TPP floundering in the water, it is clear that outward control of the internet is not going to work. The NSA is apprehensive to activate Quantum Copper, which is essentially the Great Firewall of China for the entire global internet, for fear of the backlash. If they suddenly shut off the internet, what would happen? They’ve discovered that they can’t control the internet openly, so now they’ve decided that it might be a good idea to exclusify information by forcing people to pay for it. Since people are barely able to make ends meet in the first place, the internet has become their only saving grace to make the rent and pay for groceries. So the idea of making people pay more for basic access on a sliding scale will break the back of our world wide web even more effectively than outwardly controlling it.

When it comes to these rulings and legislative efforts, the last people who are involved are we the people. The lobbyists and congressmen who have no conception of what the internet actually is, are writing this legislation not only for the sake of increasing their profits, but to control the even distribution of information that challenges their establishment narratives.

the future


 

INTERNET CLASSISM

They’re turning this into a tiered system like cable television. These new data limits would likely be sold to us based on packages. For example, if you would like the social media package (which includes facebook and google+), you’ll have to pay an additional $9.99 in addition to the connection fees associated with your ISP.  If you’ would like the streaming video package (which includes youtube hulu, and vimeo), that will cost you another additional $19.99 since steaming services require lots of bandwidth. And if you want to see smaller sites (like outerlimitsradioshow.wordpress.com) which aren’t included in these packages, you’ll just have to eat away that data. And if you’re dissatisfied with the fact that your service is slow, pay more to get faster service. Can’t afford it? Tough luck. Hope you enjoyed an open and free internet while it lasted. For the average internet user, this means that our favorite sites would take forever to load (especially if the corporations deem them a threat to the established propaganda narrative) resulting in even higher fees, justified by higher traffic and high bandwidths.

depositcoints


 

IS IT WORTH THE FIGHT?

How much longer are we going to waste our energy stopping programs that should not exist? Putting a stop to insane bills and ludicrous laws? How much longer will we read about the abuses of corporations in our headlines and think to ourselves – “this has to be stopped?” Why do we tolerate this? Occupy this. March for that. Instead of building a future on the altar of our most glorious dreams, we spend our time protesting and demonstrating, signing petition after petition, wasting all of our time and energy to stop programs and initiatives that should never have been conceived of in the first place. We’re on a hamster wheel, running harder and harder and expecting different results; expecting to go somewhere. We told ourselves that if we could stop SOPA the government would get the message and leave the internet alone. We told ourselves that if we could put an end to CISPA the government would finally get the message and leave the internet alone. But they slither and squirm their way out of every new regulation and ruling. They spend all their time conceiving clever methods of implementing their agenda. How much longer can we keep this up? I’ll give it to these lobbyists, they are very clever, but they’re not very wise. How do they think this is going to end?

The FCC would do well to appeal and win this case, but they won’t because they’ve been infiltrated by industry lobbyists. We might want to establish Net Neutrality on the books for good, somehow, and set it in stone forever. Although if we do that, they’ll just find another clever way to get around the rules and control the internet – they’ll stop at nothing until we put a stop to them, and the internet has proven to be the only means of doing that by exposing their lies on a daily basis, slowly but methodically waking up the masses one post at a time. In the meantime, here are a couple of sites you can access to make your voice heard on this issue:

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Save The Internet

Go FCC Yourself

Free Press

We are many, and they are few. The power to stop them is in the mirror. The fight is not over, but the time for waiting around to do something is. Take action.

Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309

[1] The FCC is about to axe-murder net neutrality. Don’t get mad – get even
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/24/fcc-net-neutrality-tom-wheeler-stop-rules

[2] Obama Administration Launches Plan to Make an “Internet ID” a Reality
http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/05/02/obama-administration-launches-plan-to-make-an-internet-id-a-reality/

[3] The FCC Chairman’s Many Excuses: Tom Wheeler tries, and fails, to justify his execution of Net Neutrality
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/fcc_chairman_tom_wheeler_s_lame_excuses_for_his_net_neutrality_proposal.html

[4] FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler defends proposed Net Neutrality reform
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fcc-net-neutrality-wheeler-20140430,0,7001552.story#axzz30gasnE7T

[5] FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Pledges Open Internet In Face of Criticism
http://time.com/82409/wheeler-net-neutrality/

[6] If We Act Now, We Can Stop The FCC’s Horrific Proposal To End Net Neutrality
http://www.alternet.org/activism/if-we-act-now-we-can-stop-fccs-horrific-proposal-end-net-neutrality?paging=off&current_page=1

[7] Former Comcast And Verizon Attorneys Now Manage The FCC And Are About To Kill The Internet
http://www.vice.com/read/former-comcast-and-verizon-attorneys-now-manage-the-fcc-and-are-about-to-kill-the-internet

Net-Neutrality

Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.
Check out the more frequently updated tumblr page at outerlimitsradioshow.tumblr.com
Contact the research team at outerlimitsradioshow@fastmail.fm

What In The World Is “Buddhist Rock”?

550367_10151466363592009_2072460562_n

Buddhist rock band darshan Pulse (dP) was born in the musically rich community of Missoula, Montana, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. After publishing a concept album called Panopticon in the spring of 2010, dP worked continuously on a second concept album: Olive Moksha (OM). This ambitious project was crafted with the intention of guiding the listener on a wordless journey, which tells a timeless story of three monks as they navigate life, death, and rebirth. The story takes us from Dukkha (worldly suffering) to Anatta (the doctrine of non-self).

Time and time again we find evidence that music is capable of producing dramatic alterations in consciousness. To what extent might music be capable of changing the world?

The Story

Dukkha, the state of suffering and want, begins our tale. Upon this background the curtains rise on three monks, performing their daily duties at a nameless monastery. They cut wood, carry water, tell stories (Vihara Devoir).

On the monastery grounds there is an olive orchard, where the monks work and meditate. One night, while the monks are meditating under an ancient olive tree, Avalokiteshvara, an enlightened being, appears to them in a vision. He tells them to leave the orchard and become bodhisattvas to wander the earth spreading good works. They immediately depart, giving their lives over to public service, each having a grand adventure and struggle greater than the next (Wandering Bhikkhu). By and by, they live out their lives, gradually winding down, passing peaceably into the spirit world without malice or despair. Their bodies are sent back to the monastery for burial (Request to Laura).

Upon death, each of them sees for the first time the transient nature of all things — a movement of lightness and air enters them. They pass through the bardos between death and rebirth, first re-experiencing their lightest thoughts and moments of fleeting grace (Pala Moksha), followed swiftly by a re-telling of their darkest, most selfish thoughts, and moments of weakness (Sidpa Bardo). Unable to remain coalesced into a separate Will, facing an unknowable choice between rebirth and nirvana, each monk’s selfhood is torn apart in the transition (Tulku Bhava).

Years pass, and three children are born, each somewhere in the first world (Ici Avant). They come of age in an ailing society, overfull with violence and thoughtlessness, and struggle with the desire to take the right action instead of the easiest action. Desperate for an answer to the deepest questions that plague them, they each search for their own Truth, wherever it may lead (Quarry Unhewn). By and by, through hill and vale, the children find themselves at the doors of an ancient monastery. The scent of fruit oil and brine fills the air with peace and sweetness.

The abbot of the monastery meets with each child. It is clear from their meeting that this is not the first time they have met. The children know too much at too young an age. The children and the abbot talk long into the night, contrasting stories of a bygone time of a natural rise and fall with those of woes of present unmet wants. Exhausted from the revelation, the children stay the night at the orchard, sleeping under an old half-dead tree (Padme in the Orchard).

During the night, the children are visited by Avalokiteshvara in a shared dream. They see that their seemingly separate personalities are actually three emanations of a singular presence as their consciousnesses merge with that of the transcendent being. They awaken at once to the brightness of the full moon, she having suddenly slipped off her blanket of cloud. Having momentarily stepped into a larger world, they are struck still by the realization of Anatta, or no-self; that there is no difference between themselves, the old monks, and the Bodhisattva nature of all sentient beings. They rise with the Knowledge, the Sight, and the Truth. Whether they live long and well, it is not for us to say. But having experienced Moksha, they are free.


100_0576

The Theory

The basic idea/assumption that generated the music theory and musical forms that underlie Olive Moksha is this: that the scale a melody is played in has a reliable emotional affect. Usually this is limited, in most music, to major (a happy, uplifting, simple-sounding scale) and minor (an introspective, darker, complex-sounding scale). Our composer realized that major and minor are simply permutations of the same underlying circular sequence, only starting in different locations.

For those that know the Do-Re-Mi song from The Sound of Music: Major starts its scale on the Do, but minor starts its scale on the La. (If you imagine singing La Ti Do Re Mi Fa So La, for example, that’s a minor scale). Thus it’s a clear logical extension to consider the other scales as well – the unnamed ones that end on Re, Mi, Fa, So, and Ti.

Turns out, surprising no one, these scales have been around since the time of the Greeks, and got the names we know them by in the 1200s – they are called Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Aeolian and Locrian – and they have the ability to paint melodies in more subtle shades of emotion than just Happy and Sad. But it goes much deeper.

Those that have some experience with concert band or private musical lessons will also be familiar with the scales of Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor – these scales mostly came about because composers wanted to have the satisfying linear harmonic motion they get so easily in a V-I major cadence, but transposed into minor. Crucially, these scales don’t overlap with the major/minor sequence – they are wholly new seven-note sequences, each with their own unique Do, Re, Mi, etc., on which new scales of a more exotic nature are revealed.

By way of example, one scale we employ, which we gave the moniker of “Romantic”, has a sweetly sour nostalgic warmth to it. It’s also the fifth mode of the Melodic Minor scale, starting on the relevant So. In C, meaning all the white keys, it would be C major with a B flat instead of a B and an Ab flat instead of an A; in A, the same scale would be A minor with a C sharp. This means, in terms of Romantic’s emotional qualities, it lies two steps away from Major, and one step away from Minor. The fact that this scale has the emotional quality that it does  — lying closer to minor than major on the emotional axis — is not coincidence.

Of course, every theory has its limits. Even though we find a total of 28 potential scales, derived from 4 unique seven-note sequences, a sizable minority of them are unsuitable for practical reasons. (The main problem is that 3 of these scales have an unstable augmented chord as their Do, or root note, and 7 have a diminished chord. No good — they are just too far from major and minor, harmonically, to make sense to our Western ears, music appreciation being a subjective and fickle cultural beast.) Thus we are left with 18 scales on which to base our emotional narrative: four scales each from Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, and Harmonic Major; and six scales from the Major sequence, the original Sound-of-Music Do-Re-Mi.


bandw-calendary

The Universal Calendar

Clocks are circular, and depict time, which certainly varies regularly, in predictable cycles. In the modern world, we track days with a sweeping hand, tracing out the same daily patterns and routines. However, our post-industrial monitoring of weeks and months is linear, tracing a straight line towards the unknown. We imagine ourselves standing on an infinite sidewalk down a main thoroughfare, with the unknowable future blocks ahead and the forgotten past blocks behind.

Other cultures don’t necessarily share this linear fascination; the Zodiac contains one cycle of time, the Hindu Yugas a second, the Mayans a third. Even the sky itself spins slowly in its own lazy circle. Each foretells rises and falls. Thus our artist and illustrator was inspired to design a Universal Calendar for the album’s cover, depicting several cycles simultaneously. On the outermost rim, the I Ching awaits us, followed by the Hindu Yugas, the Mayan Ha’ab and Tzolkin calendars, and the Western Zodiac, all held together by the nine-triangled Sri Yantra. The combined wisdom of these otherwise disparate calendar systems allows for the realization that while we might each focus on different bits of the pattern, we are all watching the same fireworks show.

If you’re dP af, ever more meticulous explanations and unnecessary details can be found here.

 

When You Wish Upon A Death Star

Disney has given itself to the dark side.

I don’t say that as another outraged fan boy irritated by nerdy expectations, but as an historian who understands the profound inspirational power of art. I’m also astounded by the lengths that America’s imperial bread and circus brigades have proven willing to go to direct our ever fleeting attention spans toward their illusions.

Truth may be the first casualty in war, but the mechanics of that casualty involve significant co-opting of stories that bind our cultures together. The Vatican successfully assimilated the Celtic peoples of Northern Ireland by incorporating Judea-Christian names into ancient Gaelic stories, altering the cultural stories away from the traditions associated with the history of the people. These edits and omissions happened incrementally enough that after a while, many never noticed as their entire culture was rewritten.

Myths and Legends matter. They represent the art of informing subsequent generations of long established truths. And the medium of film presents perhaps the most powerful conveyance system ever conceived for expressing who we are and where our priorities lie. Cultural stories give us a shared sense of meaning and solidarity. The art of Cinema is the literal production of Motion Pictures, that is, pictures on the wall that evolve and morph and tell a story and pull you in and reconcile your emotional experience of the world.

Film was explicitly designed for dissent. It was designed to discuss alternative ideas. It was designed to push our collective narratives toward a perspective of advancing how our society examines itself – indeed, how we examine ourselves as individuals within it.

But an art form as influential as this couldn’t last as a pure medium forever. Greedy industrialists, seeing the obvious profit and propaganda potentials of film, smothered the reels with their greasy hands and began to turn it to the dark side. Now the engines of industrial art seem absolutely determined to sully one of the most important legends of the 20th century.

In essence, Star Wars: A New Hope was the story of an orphaned farm boy who became radicalized after a military strike killed what was left of his family, thus becoming indoctrinated in an ancient religion, in-turn deciding to accompany a band of insurgents on a terrorist attack that would kill hundreds of thousands of men and women. Given that appraisal, what unpatriotic pariah could possibly see any glory in such tripe? Given that appraisal, couldn’t we consider the rewriting of this myth as a good thing?

But Star Wars: A New Hope also represented the familiar story of discovering that we are more than just our flesh; that our being extends out into the universe around us; that we are all one consciousness; that the most yielding will always overcome the most rigid; that there is good inside the most evil among us. It told a story of profound forgiveness. A young man believed so strongly that his father could be saved from the dark side’s influence that he sacrificed himself to do so. After himself being tempted by the dark side, he tosses away his weapon and taunts the emperor by refusing to kill his father. The emperor responds by killing Luke slowly with painful force lightning, in-turn awakening a sense of empathy within Vader, who tosses the emperor into down the Death Star’s reactor shaft, killing him. Luke could not have known for certain that his gamble would produce fruit, but verified the belief that light will always overcome darkness in the end.

It seems rather obvious that the American Empire might want to co-opt and redirect our attention away from such a narrative. And it seems that the best way to kill something great, is to make as many copies of copies as possible and sell them to us.

So one of the corporations representing our friendly neighborhood Ministry of Truth bought the trademark to the story and now fills our consciousness with its mediocre rewrites, and not only because it knows it can make a buck doing so. Let’s remember why the demand for Disney to turn a buck on Star Wars exists in the first place: because the essence of Star Wars represented a unifying perspective that deeply touched and inspired millions, thus forming an entire culture around it – a culture now under attack by postmodern nihilism. Case and point, examine the line in the newest film:

Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. It’s the only way to become what you’re meant to be.”

Although this seems on the surface to mirror the sentiment of Forrest Gump’s assertion that “youve got to put the past behind you before you can move on,” it also constitutes an expression of postmodern nihilism. Within the context of producing yet another Star Wars film, the quote illustrates a mentality of complacency. It seeks to encourage cultural amnesia and historic myopia.

Disney’s new Star Wars films are proving themselves as tools for the subtle interjection of corporate messages and imperialist propaganda. They’re loaded with plot holes, logical fallacies, and embarrassing errors. They’re easy to understand, and instantly forgettable. They also happen to be worth a truckload of money.

In the same way, the cartoonish fairy tale we were all told about WMDs in Iraq was a corporate piece of imperial propaganda loaded with plot holes, logical fallacies, and embarrassing errors. But the story was easy to understand, and instantly forgettable. It also happened to be worth a truckload of money.

And these new Disney films have more in common with WMD’s than simply fulfilling their role as keys to distracting society’s attention. They’re stories that are received much differently by the people than they are the experts at public relations. They’re also stories with the power to shape culture by their immediate influence. The WMD story succeeded in mobilizing the massive forever-war that no one was allowed to challenge without undergoing accusations of betraying patriotic loyalty. As Reverend Billy Talen says, sentimental patriotism is the same thing as extreme consumerism, and Disney’s new Star Wars films seem to impose both.

The imposition of mindless entertainment seems to prevent such realization from ever occurring. We Americans can’t ever really know that much about foreign policy when the very engines of our culture – in this case, the entertainment mediums that dominate our collective consciousness with ever-increasing leverage – implicitly encourage us to passively accept blind obedience to authority. After all, you don’t want to spoil the circus for your neighbor by doing too much thinking, now do you? You shouldn’t remind people, for instance, that the most advanced humanoids that have ever walked this rock are right now dropping explosive shells on children around the world, while attending pastiche entertainments that explicitly glorify such behavior.

And why is this? Why does our culture seem to have such a pathological aversion to bad news – to criticism – to thinking? Could it have anything to do with the fact that many of the films we watch reinforcecompliance and apathy? Aren’t we just there to fill our minds withexplosions and cool space battles?

After all, it’s not as if films riddled with deus ex machinas might promote a culture of intellectual laziness, right?

Why be bothered by unnecessary indulgences such as plot and character development? We’ll forget all about this movie in a couple of months anyway – unlike the original films. But with each new addition we all care about the original story less and less. With every subsequent release of a new Star Wars film, a once great unifying cultural force that extended beyond the bounds of race, religion or class, becomes less significant.

At the same time, Disney has positioned itself to be one of the most influential departments in the ministry of truth, for as they co-opt the cultural icon of Star Wars, they have also aligned themselves with the annual repetition of Christmas. The aim seems obvious enough; release new Star Wars films around the holidays and you can maximize toy sales. It does indeed provide Disney corporation with an excuse to sell us the same Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon themed products every Christmas, thereby reinforcing the principal edict of American Culture: unfettered consumerism.

But something even more insidious appears to be happening as well.

Disney is gradually inserting itself as one of the principal arbiters of culture for modern American life. The stories and traditions of the Winter Solstice that extend back into the eons now must compete against a new corporate tradition that seeks to capture our collective attention. In one fell swoop, Disney assert themselves as the high authority of both Christmas and Star Wars, and in-turn, the attention of those to whom the lore matters.

Seen in this way, the new Star Wars releases aren’t “just movies.” They represent what may be among the greatest disappointments in cinematic history – a mockery of a once great cultural perspective. And we’re guaranteed to be reminded of it ad infinitum.

Perhaps surprise may be an inappropriate reaction regarding the behavior of Disney – a corporation that lobbied congress to extend copyright terms by decades in order to severely limit the public domain. And beings that influence breeds an addiction to power which can only beget a craving for yet more power, the consolidation of corporate influence seems to inevitably point to the eventual assimilation of all things relevant into a singular entity, like the Umbrella Corporation of Resident Evil.

I see two possible outcomes here. Both involve Disney’s continuous barrage of Star Wars movies, but they differ on why Disney stops producing them. In the first scenario, people begin to hate all things Star Wars and forget the original narrative completely. We’re forced to endure the mind-assault of a continuous barrage of increasingly awful things emblazoned with the Star Wars brand to the point that we might eventually forget all about the inspiring acts and deeds of courageous rebels taking on an intimidating Galactic Empire. It makes sense that this might be desirable for the American Empire.

The parallels between the original films and the American Empire seem too embarrassing for orthodox imperial culture to endure. To wipe away this inconvenient stain, the empire employs their skilled propagandists at the Ministry of Truth, and who better within the cabal of Hollywood, than Disney, to do this? It was Disney, after all, that wrote, directed and shot scores of propaganda films during the Second World War. So who better to erase an annoying tale of imperial hypocrisy?

Today’s Hollywood regularly celebrates mindless entertainment purely for the sake of mindless entertainment, as a lovely distraction away from the desert of the real. Corporate media institutions prey on the naive minds of audiences who lack their own life experience to make their own judgments. But surely, Disney oozes benevolence. What kind of heretic could possibly have suspicious eyes for the magnanimous magic of Disney?

If the big, bad wolf disguises himself within the folds of innocuous costumes to keep from prematurely alarming his prey, then what better vessel for the darkest forces of all to inhabit than the unassuming innocence of Disney? Then again, Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox for $52 Billion may threaten to war thin the perceived innocence of their brand.

In our first scenario, Disney masquerades through the world in the remains of an empty shell of inspiration, which seems like an unfortunate imperial triumph. So in the second scenario, I imagine a growing disgust for the use of electronic hallucinations to hypnotize us into set modes of thinking. It gradually takes more than one-dimensional characters and loads of special effects to maintain the attention of movie goers. Over time, a mind evolves among people who now grow tired of easily identifiable cliches, and cannot tolerate obvious fallacies or massive plot holes. A growing backlash begins to develop against the corporate consumer culture that seeks to dominate every aspect of our daily lives, especially around the holidays. Because Star Wars culture breeds Star Wars geeks. And if geeks are good at anything, it’s identifying inconsistencies. The culture of technically minded individuals who identified Han Solo’s mischaracterization of parsecs in the Mos Eisley Spaceport are the same folks annoyed by obvious plot holes. Geeks have led the way on many fronts, and they’re already losing interest in the Star Wars franchise.

Over time we begin to realize we’ve been sold another turd dipped in glitter; that the soft reboot that became Episode 7 constituted little more than a scene-for-scent remake of A New Hope, wherein we meet our protagonist on a desert planet – again – by means of a droid carrying top secret plans to a giant Super Weapon – again – who almost gets crushed in a trash compactor – again – before triumphantly flying through the exhaust trench of aforementioned Super Weapon – again – to blow up another ominous space station. It could be said to be a point by point copy of A New Hope, but without pesky distractions like good acting, thorough character development, well-defined dialogue, an original thought, a firm grasp of tension and release, or a reason to care about what happens to any of the characters.

For me, the primary metric for gauging any piece of art is the question, “What did it make me feel?” By this standard, the worst films I’ve ever seen didn’t make me feel anything. The only characters I cared about at all in Rogue One, for example, were the droid and the blind Jedi. When they died, I did feel something. But I can’t remember either of their names, so I obviously didn’t care very much. And why should I? The suicidal nature of their mission meant that all of the characters were made to be disposable from the very beginning. And I’ve already seen this movie – it was called Saving Private Ryan directed by Stephen Spielberg. The only difference between Spielberg’s Private Ryan and this new one is that the new one has storm troopers instead of Germans.

In many ways the newest of the Star Wars films can be described as yet another remake, but this time of The Empire Strikes Back; A wannabe Jedi travels from an isolated planet to train, ignores their teacher’s advice, then learns who her parents are. Next we swap out Billy Dee Williams as the betrayal character for Benicio Del Toro. Finally, our remake becomes complete with scenes of a ground assault led by 4-legged imperial walkers that look just a little bit different, attacking a rebel base on white-desert planet, but unlike Hoth, this planet is covered in salt instead of snow.

There are many reasons that the newest Star Wars films are among the least-liked Star Wars movies by audience reviews. They could be described as a Midichlorian dumpster fire that now threatens to consume timeless cultural icons.The fine minds at Red Letter Media have even dubbed the Last Jedi, “the cinematic equivalent of Homer Simpson’s makeup shotgun.” But the professional critics seem to like it. I wonder why that could be.

Remember, the Vatican assimilated the Celts by incorporating Judea-Christian names into the myths, altering the cultural stories away from traditions associated with the history of the people. While these edits and omissions happened incrementally, some assimilation happens much more quickly. When a particular ideology landed on these eastern shores, so did the onset of cultural amnesia here in the Americas. Within just a few generations, the roaring fire of long established traditions extending back through the centuries of Amerindian antiquity, shrank to a meek candle flame, struggling against the wind to stay alive. The same mentality that sought to co-opt and dominate all philosophical doctrines before, now have their sights set on the subversive stories that emerged from within that very heart of their own Empire.

The good news is that this reign of psychological terror can end as soon as we grow tired of their electronic hallucinations. People power defeats propaganda. Education, after all, is subversive by its very nature, for it forces questions to the forefront that our masters don’t want us asking.

I for one feel optimistic. Just as Luke knew there to be good within Darth Vader, I believe the concept of ethics can one day awaken within the ownership class.

 

2012-11-05

Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.

Death Becomes the Fakestream Media

CNN continues reeling from its propagandistic Russia coverage as the network plummets into international disgrace, losing three prominent journalists. Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau, and Lex Haris all resigned after the network was forced to retract and apologize for yet another baseless accusation of illegal Trump/Russia collusion. This comes as The New York Times simultaneously retracts their own ‘Russiagate’ canard, alleging “17 intelligence agencies” made US election hacking reports when only 3 did – and those conclusions were drawn not by the actual agencies in full, but by a mere two dozen loyalists within said agencies (NSA, CIA, FBI), hand-selected by Russophobic eugenicist Clapper himself. As investigative journalist Robert Parry observes, if you ‘hand-pick’ the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion.

Embarrassments of this sort might be too numerous to count when it comes to viral media stories hyping dubious Russia threats over the last year, but most American’s are no more shocked by this than we were by the fact that pro wrestling represents little more than staged fiction. Incidentally, pro wrestling and CNN both share identical broadcasting territory since they both just happen to be in the entertainment business.

But CNN still revels in it’s reckless claims, as exemplified by a series of new reports compiled by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas called American Pravda. O’Keefe has presented footage of CNN producer John Bonifield making shocking admissions about “ratings” acting as the primary driver behind a Russiagate story that he admits is “mostly BS.” Bonifield even suggests that Trump could be correct in his characterization of the story as a “witch hunt.”

O’Keefe’s revelations also include footage of CNN commentator Van Jones admitting the whole Russia story is “just a big nothing burger.”

Bonifield is right about the ratings though. Blatantly inane anti-Trump Russia conspiracies command a large audience because there is a voracious appetite among anti-Trump news viewers for stories, no matter how false, that they want to believe are true. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be as lucrative. By Wikileaks’ count, there have been 3,490 fake news stories reciting the “17 agencies” lie. Ratings indeed.

In spite of this latest fiasco, the corporate media seems to be digging their heels in even further. Take, for example, CNN’s CEO Jeff Zucker, who insists that his network is “trusted now more than ever.” Unfortunately for Zucker, the battle for “most viewed” does not necessarily translate into “most trusted,” as recent poll numbers regarding viewer’s trust in the network’s integrity stand in stark contrast to his remarks. And the Times’ belated correction affirms the growing perception that corporate media has engaged in a political vendetta against Trump, casting aside professional standards to the point of repeating false claims simply to denigrate him.

The good news is that the corporate-Deep State’s ploy to scare us into compliance with this narrative has failed. Accusing anyone who dared express any skepticism about the Russiagate story of being a Kremlin sympathizer, one of Putin’s “useful idiots,” or even an outright agent for the Russian government, only emboldened researchers committed to authentic journalism. The false Russiagate narrative continues to persist solely due to the US Deep State’s regime change ambitions in Moscow and Damascus.

But at the end of the day, the American people really don’t seem to care about Russian hacking. They care about their ongoing struggle to make ends meet. They care about how they’re going to feed their children. They care about their vanishing job security, pensions, benefits and living wages. And it appears perfectly obvious that Russiagate served as yet another attempted distraction to draw attention away from crimes committed right in front of all of us, every single day, by the American ownership class.

So perhaps now we ask ourselves whether America’s masses will tolerate yet another involvement in yet another illegal war with yet another sovereign nation.

11105364ff70bca05

Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.

The Power To Tax Is The Power To Destroy

April 15th has come and gone, and you know what that means. Either you’re recovering from a hangover caused by celebrating Seth Rogan’s birthday, or you were likely stressing to meet the IRS deadline to file your income taxes – unless you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who choose not to.

This is a subject that immediately raises contentions, especially among those who feel resentment towards so-called “tax dodgers”. It’s not surprising that those who choose to pay the income tax would naturally feel an acute irritation toward those deemed by the corporate media as “tax cheats” who refuse to “pay their fair share,” creating a void that must be filled in by everyone else.

Indeed, a hailstorm of media hatred followed the announcement that Oscar winner Emma Thompson and her husband Greg publicly declared their refusal to pay another penny in income tax until justice is served to the thousands of HSBC tax dodgers who have laundered billions of dollars in Mexican drug cartel money.

But Thompson’s ultimatum is just another chapter in a long fight, and exemplifies an ever-growing movement that continues to challenge the preconceived norms about what income taxes are actually designed to do. Such ranks are filled with the likes of IRS whistleblowers, accountants, and lawyers, alongside peace activists who have ceased filing income taxes on the grounds that they refuse to fund America’s illegal wars around the world.

However, if my father pays more income taxes than Exxon-Mobile, it seems obvious that something is drastically wrong with this system. I’d bet my bottom dollar that if you’re reading this text, you’ve likely paid more income tax over the course of your life than Boeing, General Electric, and Verizon combined; because Boeing, GE and Verizon consistently pay zero income taxes.

But I suppose the irritation toward so-called tax dodgers is easy enough to understand. After all, why do they think they can avoid their social responsibility to pay their fair share – right? Doesn’t that just mean the rest of us have to work harder? Isn’t it hypocritical for anyone to rely on the same government services we all pay for, if they evade their responsibility to contribute to them? 

This might seem logical, but Income Taxes do not contribute to government services. Not one little bit.

We know this is the case from one of the most striking testimonies on this subject, which, believe-it-or-not, was voiced by the government itself, within the findings of a White House panel known as the Grace Commission. Joseph Peter Grace was appointed by President Ronald Regan in 1982 to identify waste and inefficiency in the US Federal government. Grace requested that members of his commission “be bold” and “work like tireless bloodhounds, leaving no stone unturned in their search to root out inefficiency. Unfortunately, their conclusions were so shocking that the report has been buried, and most have never even heard of it.

The Grace Commission’s final report submitted on January 15th of 1984 concluded:

“… all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government… 100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Debt “

“Interest on the federal debt” might be the most important phrase we can take from this.

Exactly zero percent of our Income Taxes fund our government…We’ve only had the Income Tax since the 16th Amendment’s fraudulent passage in 1913, which just happens to have been the same year that the Federal Reserve came into existence. Prior to that, Americans kept 100% of their earnings, going all the way back to 1776. There was no IRS. There was no filing deadline on April 15th. In short, there was no tax on labor.

And while it might be tempting to assume that because America’s government was smaller back in the day, it cost less and therefore didn’t have any need for an income tax until the 20th century when the whole thing became more complex.

But contrary to this notion, America’s national budget was actually rather hefty prior to 1913. America financed schools, colleges, roads, railroads, subways, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, and many other services and institutions, just like we do today. And these costs were, relative to inflation, as significant in many respects as they are today.

So how did America fund all of those programs prior to the income tax? -prior to 1913? Well it clearly wasn’t through Income Taxes because they didn’t exist. The truth is that Income Taxes only fulfill the interest payments on the debt our government owes to the Bank it’s indebted to. America’s money is loaned at interest by a private Bank called the Federal Reserve Bank – a bank that is provably private as it lists unnamed shareholders on it’s website – shareholders who earn dividends based on the interest payments. The money that’s loaned to our government is loaned with interest attached to it, which means America has to pay that money back, plus interest, to the Federal Reserve Bank.

It’s like when someone obtains a car loan for 10 grand and has to pay back 12. Except the government borrows way more money and has to pay back way more interest. In fact, the Federal Reserve collects, on average, $36 million an hour in interest from the American people. And that’s where Income Taxes come into play. They’re not really taxes per se. They’re interest payments, and like all other interest payments, they disappear into the polyester pockets of our beloved bankers.

Of course, any diligent economics professor might interject at this point and say, “Well now wait a minute here – interest is how banks make their money; that’s how they stay in business.” Of course this is true. No argument there. When I pay the bank back 12 grand for a 10 grand loan, that extra two grand that I pay them is how the bank pays the salaries of their employees, keeps the building running, and – oh yeah – fills the stock portfolios of those who own the bank. Oops. That’s where this becomes a bit problematic, and if one is willing to follow the money, it’s easy enough to see how it’s corrupt as hell.

America is supposed to have a National Treasury. But our treasury has operated under “Emergency Powers” since the great depression (which, consequently, was caused by the very banking institutions that benefited from the crash).

What a coincidence.

Which brings me to the issue of collateral. When someone walks into a bank for that aforementioned ten-thousand-dollar car loan, the bank ask them to put something up as insurance to ensure they’ll pay the loan back – that’s known as collateral. But then, if the US government is loaned every penny it spends, then what has our government put up as collateral?

We the people; you and I and everyone we know are the collateral to keep this financial farce floating forward.

Again, it’s important to understand that this happened during the great depression. In 1933 the country was broke. In turn it was forced to take out huge loans from the same Federal Reserve bank that caused the depression in the first place. And we were all put up as collateral, through, what was at the time, a brand new invention; birth certificates.

Despite what most of us might think about them, Birth Certificates today exist as an integral component of our financial system. That’s why your birth certificate looks like a bank note – because it is a bank note. It will even say it somewhere on the edges, which you may observe are designed with the same webbing you see on the back of your one dollar bill. If you don’t believe me, feel free to take a look at your own birth certificate. Mine says, “Midwest Bank Note Company.”

Do you know what’s printed on yours?

Prior to 1933 there were no such things as Birth Certificates. They didn’t exist. I don’t mean to suggest that we didn’t keep records of birth prior to 1933. Certainly, the Live Record of Birth was (and still is) a standard slip filled out upon a newborn’s arrival into the light of day. But it was not a “certificate,” which is a critical distinction because certificates are defined by our laws as “warehouse receipts.” But why would you keep warehouse receipts on people…unless you considered them to be “human resources?” And in this case, they’re also certified bank notes. And because they’re bank notes, they’re worth big bucks; approximately $750,000 per certificate.

Three quarters of a million dollars? Now you might be thinking, “Three-quarters-of-a-million dollars? Sweet! I’m rich! All we have to do is cash these babies in and I’m driving a new Tesla!”

But unfortunately for all of us, we can’t just cash in our birth certificates because they don’t really belong to us. They’re about us but they don’t belong to us. We’re required to have them because we can’t get work without them, because we’re required to compete with each other for sustenance and accommodations; the physical slavery of the plantations of yesteryear required the slaves be housed and fed; the economic slavery of today requires us to feed and house ourselves. Slavery never ended. The plantation owners realized it was expensive to feed, house, clothe and provide medical attention to their workers, and decided it would be a better idea to simply give everyone a dollar-fifty an hour and make them provide for themselves.

Nevertheless, this all might beg the question: if these birth certificates don’t actually belong to us – if we cannot benefit from their actual monetary worth – then who do they belong to? Well it’s a bit byzantine, but the primary beneficiaries are the shareholders of the the private, Federal Reserve bank. That figure of three-quarters of a million dollars is how much the average American is estimated will pay in Income Taxes over the course of their lifetime. That means that our financial system considers most of us to be little more than chattel.

In this way, birth certificates differ little from the deeds that plantation owners used to keep on their slaves.

Through this elaborate system, which does a brilliant job of keeping us ignorant of the fact that we’re anything but free, our central banking system has cleaned up in their task of extracting wealth from the country through the parasitism of interest; usury.

I find it decidedly appropriate that according to the Gnostic scriptures, compounded interest just happens to be the highest sin, worse than murder, worse than rape, worse than coveting your neighbor’s oxen. According to the Gnostic, Usury can earn you a place at the lowest and most terrible of the hell realms.

ENLIST

We can see how the World Bank and International Monetary Fund extract wealth from third world countries through similar schemes. John Perkins wrote extensively about this in his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, describing this very process with regards to how the World Bank and IMF put entire countries in debt. And those banks are ultimately owned and run by the very same beneficiaries who own the Federal Reserve.

But Perkins isn’t the only one speaking out about this. He’s a drop in an ocean of voices. Over the past two decades, several former IRS agents have taken whistle blower status to shed light onto this, exposing such things as, for example, the fact that there is no way to file an income tax without violating your Fifth Amendment right that’s supposed to protect you from testifying against yourself, and that an unapportioned tax on labor is, in fact, completely unconstitutional – a fact corroborated by our very own Supreme Court.

And this isn’t just speculation. In 1894 the US Supreme Court actually ruled that an unapportioned tax on labor is unconstitutional. Despite the fact that it was declared unconstitutional, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was passed later on down the line to legitimize the scam of fleecing the American people. To this day, ardent supporters of the status quo, fawning economics professors and government authorities continue to insist that the 16th Amendment grants the power to unconstitutionally levy an income tax on the private labor of American citizens.

There’s only one problem with that: The 16th Amendment never legally passed the ratification process. The number of states needed to ratify the Amendment was never met; a fact repeatedly corroborated by modern case law.

As it turns out, the fraudulent passage of the 16th Amendment was so problematic that another series of lawsuits prompted yet another Supreme Court ruling, determining that the average American is not required to pay the tax, because the 16th Amendment’s powers only extend to corporate gains earned from corporate activity. After its passage, the Supreme Court ruled that the 16th granted no new powers of taxation. So if you didn’t have to pay the income tax prior to the fraudulent passage of the 16th Amendment, you didn’t have to pay it afterward, and that applies to the vast majority of us.

This is the dirty little secret and the reason why refusing to file with the IRS is completely within your legal rights. It’s also the reason why they rely on intimidation and scare tactics to enforce it.

There is no law that requires the average American to pay income taxes. No statute exists in the code that requires you to file with the IRS.

And if you’re wondering why people sometimes go to jail for refusing to file with the IRS, you may begin to see (if you haven’t already) how our government seems illegitimate, does not operate in the interest of the people, and has functioned to perpetuate the interests of a series of increasingly fascist organizations composing the so-called “deep-state” which relies on intimidation and coercion to secure their bottom line.

It just might be the most organized crime syndicate in American history. And it has become so outrageously powerful precisely because it flies the flag of the stars and stripes. They dress themselves up in the very symbol of the so-called free world that’s supposed to fill our hearts and minds with the prestige of the shining city on a hill. That facade of legitimacy is paramount because otherwise we might start associating them with mafia thugs who threaten to burn you for not paying your protection money. And they can get away with anything because they enjoy a monopoly on force. They have more guns and they enjoy using them. They have what it takes to take what you have.

They also know that if too many people begin to see through their legal fiction, we all might stop filing income taxes and the scam would end. So they have a vested interest in perpetuating the lie. In the words of John Turner:

The IRS fears the public gaining a knowledge of how their scam works.”

You know what’s interesting about John Turner? He’s not a tax cheat. He’s not a deviant. He’s not a conspiracy kook. He’s a former IRS Criminal Investigator.

Many activists and journalists have tried to talk with the IRS directly about these problems, including many prominent employees of the IRS itself, such as John Turner. But the IRS stonewall just about every inquiry that comes their way. In the words of another former IRS agent, Sherry Peel Jackson:

[the authorities] can’t answer because if they did, the American people will know the whole thing is a fraud.

And in the words of IRS Special Agent Joseph Banister:

Rather than pulling up a chair they pull out a club.”

In summation, the IRS are the lackeys for the Federal Reserve Bank, to collect interest payments on the federal debt owed by our government, who’s put all of us up as collateral after they went bankrupt in 1933. But that still doesn’t explain how we actually fund the government. We still have libraries and schools, roads and highways, special interest groups and entitlement programs, welfare and social security, Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention the most inflated military budget of all time. So if Income Taxes aren’t paying for any of this, then what is?

There exist countless other forms of taxation that Americans pay every single day: Automobile Registration, Building Permits, Court Fines, Parking Meters, Gasoline Taxes, Toll Booths, Traffic Fines, Marriage Licenses, Medicare and Social Security, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Property Taxes, Inventory Taxes, Real Estate Taxes, Road Usage taxes, Septic, Estate, and Capital Gains Taxes, CDL License Taxes, Accounts Receivable Taxes, Utility Taxes, Workers Compensation Taxes, Tobacco and Liquor Taxes (aka “sin taxes”) and in most states there is also a Sales Tax.

I could go on but I think you get the point. The cost of everything goes up while wages stay the same. This is the story of our enslavement, and it’s killing us one dollar a time.

By this measure, when we include the Federal Income Tax into this grotesque mix, it appears that, according to the calculations of several accountants I’ve spoken to (who would rather remain nameless for the purposes of this piece) today’s average American pays 64% of their total earnings into various tax collection schemes. But that’s more than four-times the relative tax rate that contributed to the American Revolution, sitting about about 15% of total earnings.

Taxation without representation?

Today we’re paying more than four times the ratio of our earnings relative to what colonists considered so outrageous that the country declared outright war against their masters.

So what prevents Americans today from the kind of outrage that inspired a Revolution two centuries ago? Well for starters the world is a very different place; we’ve experienced the Industrial Revolution, the Civil Rights movement, women’s suffrage, two World Wars and the internet age since the late 18th Century. We should also consider the fact that there is no longer a physical frontier. It was perhaps much easier to stage a Revolution when the Atlantic Ocean physically separated one side from the other. And because the lines were clearly defined, when the British imposed taxes, Americans recognized the exploitation for what it was. Today many Americans honestly believe in the unquestionable authenticity of our tax system here at home.

But if major corporations pay nothing with regards to income tax, what are they doing that the rest of us aren’t doing? Why would a major corporation be exempt from paying any tax whatsoever? What is it about HSBC that allows their clients to become exempt from filing like the rest of us?

Major corporations and the government lackeys they employ like to think of themselves as exempt – because they are. They proved as much in the opening hours of Obama’s first term, when they bestowed upon themselves the charming expression “too big to fail.” This really translates to “too big to jail,” which should tell us something about who owns – and therefore runs – the levers of power. Washington D.C. remains as impotent as ever when it comes the wielding of real authority. As Mayer Amschel Rothschild once famously proclaimed:

“Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!”

This is why the IRS will never send SWAT teams into the headquarters of HSBC or Exxon-Mobil, or General Electric. Those corporations own the politicians who direct policy for the IRS. It’s the literal definition of fascism; the merging of corporate power with state power.

And all the while, these same corporate pirates deny the people the wages we deserve, and then sell our wages back to us with bank loans that we have to pay interest on, while they avoid paying interest on the huge loans they force the government to borrow in their need to perpetuate endless growth, ecocidal insanity and perpetual war.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can ask questions. We can demand answers. We are permitted to express ourselves. We are allowed to challenge the conditions of this arrangement. The only question that might stand in the way of this movement gaining real traction is, do we have the courage to do so?

TAX_DAY_1063523

Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

WhiteHouse-3

It’s hard to say how much of the spectacle is real and how much of it is merely theater. Having said that, the mainstream media assure us that Hillary won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College.  The whole scenario seems inverse from just about everyone’s projections, regardless of their leanings, with very few exceptions. The outcome doesn’t make any sense at first glance. Clinton was guaranteed all of the support from all of the major players; all of the industrial and corporate heads, all of the big banks – even the fucking Bush family were on her side! The wikileaks revelations confirmed that Trump wouldn’t be allowed to win. It was game, set and match.

Then again, this is the country that placed actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger into ceremonial positions of artificial power. Actors on a stage. Masks in a play. Let’s try to remember that Trump is still just a figurehead, and so too would Hillary have been.

So who will fill the positions of the upcoming administration? It’s hard to say. Once again, there is a lot misinformation and disinformation polluting the airwaves. One headline claimed that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan/Chase (one of the key players of the financial meltdown in 2009) was propositioned to serve as Trump’s secretary of Treasury, but turned it down. But upon closer examination that scenario doesn’t make any sense, since Trump isn’t the kind of guy to go around asking people if they want to be on his team. Trump’s entire TV show hinged on people coming to him for a job and turning most of them away. “You’re fired!”

Then there were headlines that Ben Carson, a creationist and retired neurosurgeon, was tapped as a potential secretary of education; that Myron Ebell—a longtime skeptic of climate change—is a likely choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The New York Times reported:

Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.

Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.

Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.

There were reports that other potential appointees included oil-tycoon Forrest Lucas, venture capitalist Robert Grady, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and oil company CEO Harold Hamm.Then rumors circulated that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was being considered as a potential attorney general. But none of these appointments were announced by Trump’s transition team, and there seems to be reason to believe that these rumors were created Giuliani and others as a sly means of applying for cabinet positions.

But even if Donald is considering these aforementioned names to fill his cabinet positions, that too is of little surprise. Despite Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” the alligators are the only ones who know where the drain plug is.

After several decades of super-concentrated Wall Street cabinets I would be earnestly surprised if Mr. Trump – who is himself in league with the Wall Street gangsters – decides to counter the will of the banks and fill his cabinet positions with anything other than finance oligarchs, just as every other administration since Carter has done.

We know from the wikileaks cables that Citibank’s “recommendations” for Obama’s cabinet 8 years ago were almost entirely on the money – long before Obama was confirmed as president. The reality is that said list was not full of recommendations. That cable was a direct order from the real power structures. And I am sure that in time, the same will be revealed about this moment as well.

But pay no attention to these men’s administrations. Get mad at the figurehead, minions! That is, after all, what they’re there for. And keeping our focus trained on the figurehead is a sure fire way to maintain our societal ignorance about what is actually going on in political life.

So what changed this week? How did we suddenly end up here? And what difference – if any – does it really make?

Here are some of the more distinct possibilities:

  • The FBI may be seeking indictments due to the wikileaks cables that confirm the crimes of the Clintons – which include but are not limited to solid confirmation of their involvement in pedophilia organizations and human trafficking vis-à-vis Pizzagate – but it would appear that the FBI are holding off on said indictments until after Obama steps down so that Barack cannot pardon the Clintons when charges are pressed – a legal situation that the major players may have seen as a bad investment for the future, especially if impeachment proceedings were to follow.
  • There is the possibility that Team Clinton’s incessant and unnecessary antagonism of Russia, in addition to their repeated threatening of a no-fly-zone over Syria (which, by the way, constitutes a declaration of war) made the military a bit nervous, especially since the American Empire bloated beyond a stable carrying capacity long ago.
  • Perhaps the investment class have doubts about the longevity of Hillary’s ability to command a presidential administration in the most stressful chapters of the American Empire, because, as once again confirmed by much of what wikileaks has revealed in the weeks and months leading up to this moment, Hillary isn’t exactly in the best health of her life.
  • Or perhaps team Trump out-maneuvered the vote-rigging software in key states – a possibility now corroborated by investigative reporter Greg Palast.

It could be a mix of several of these reasons. Maybe there’s something even bigger going on that none of us can see. But at the end of the day, all I can say with absolute certainty is that Trump’s victory made absolutely no sense given what we knew – or what we thought we knew – leading up to election day.

But what is perhaps even more interesting than the result of Celebrity Deathmatch 2016, is liberal America’s reaction to it. Why are so many people so unbelievably depressed? Why do so many allow inconsequential politicians to govern over their emotional state? Why give so much personal power away like that? Why allow what goes on outside of you to govern over our peace of mind? This was just a reality TV show, after all. So what if the season finale didn’t turn out the way you wanted or expected? Does that really warrant temper tantrums and sobbing fits?

No one shed a tear when the city of Damascus was reduced to rubble, along with tens-of-thousands of innocent lives. But a sporting event like the presidential reality show tosses in a surprise ending and everyone loses their fragile minds? It’s just sports. It’s like the Cowboys won and now everyone is walking around with a frown on their face and a slump in their posture. Why?

Let’s remember that what happens in Washington is only a symptom of the real power structures. I find it amusing that people who allow hatred of ceremonial figureheads like Trump and Clinton into their hearts have no idea who Zbigniew Brzezinski is; they usually have no idea of the depth and breadth of the crimes against humanity committed by Henry Kissinger (who enthusiastically endorsed Hillary); they have no idea who Jamie Diamond is; who Lloyd Blankfein is; who David Rockefeller is.

I think what so many people’s rage and sorrow is really about is the fact that our collective denial of what America has become is now finally ending. A lot of people started waking up after Bush’s illegal wars and the formation of the Patriot Act. But the a savior came onto the stage. When Barack Obama was placed into the White House liberal America went back to bed. Barack’s slick, charismatic, articulate salesmanship did not stop the crimes of the American Empire, but those crimes became easier to ignore because this salesman made us feel better about those crimes, and convinced the dim and naive that those crimes weren’t even happening (or that they were happening, but they weren’t crimes).

Never mind that Guantanamo Bay remains open to this very day. Never mind that torture, extraordinary rendition and the unconstitutional assassination of American citizens continues to this very hour. Never mind that not only was the Patriot Act continued under the Obama administration, but the even more draconian Freedom Act that places all of the burdens of proof for illegal surveillance in the private hands of Internet Service Providers, was approved and signed into law by the same, so-called “progressive” administration.  Never mind that the drone murders of hundreds of children and thousands of adult civilians continues. Never mind that the illegal bombings and troop deployments in Syria, Libya and Africa happened under the Obama Administration. Never mind the AFRICOM program. Never mind the frack attack that continues permanently poisoning watersheds from sea to polluted sea – a situation championed more fervently by Hillary Clinton than any other DC politician I am aware of. Never mind the Dakota Access Pipeline situation, which continues to grow scarier by the day. And of course, never mind the Banker Bailouts that delivered the final death blow to the US manufacturing sector while the investment class laughed all the way to the bank and created the very situation that made Trump’s popularity inevitable.

Does anyone actually think that fascism isn’t already here?

We have more people locked up in America’s prison system today than Stalin had locked up in the infamous Gulag Archipelago at the height of his reign of terror. More black men today are imprisoned today than were enslaved in the 1850’s. Police murders of unarmed civilians continue with unceasing repetition. All of this was allowed to take place under the auspices of America’s first – and perhaps last – African American president.

Obama’s calm, rational, likeable demeanor – his expert salesmanship – allowed Americans the luxury of ignoring reality behind a veil of innocuous jargon. That luxury is gone now. Americans finally have to start facing the music. The problem is, Americans have been ignoring it for so long, it seems rather overwhelming now. 8 years of Obama was the equivalent 8 years of a Prozac prescription. We didn’t deal with the reasons for our depression. We simply took a drug so that we might feel a lot better about those reasons. This slaughterhouse of a world sure was getting us down before our doctors at Citibank and Goldman Sachs recommended 8 years of Obama. But now that our prescription is ending, we’re finally left with a stark reality we’ve consciously chosen to ignore. It’s like our lollypop has been stripped from our grasp, so we’re left with no alternative but to sob angry tears of deluded disappointment.

Fascism isn’t on the horizon and Trump is not going to bring it about. He might make it worse, but it’s already here. It’s just beyond your front door. And with Trump as commander in chief, complacent Americans can no longer dismiss the obvious realities swarming around them.

Had Hillary won, would any of us really have any cause for celebration? What bizarre turn of events led us to wish for the ascension of someone who once described Black children as “super-predators,” who voted for the Iraq War, who sings the praises of fracking and “free” trade agreements – how did it come to this? We know now, from the Podesta emails, that Hillary was well aware that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main funders of ISIS and were at the time she was meeting with their heads of state and accepting huge sums of money from their governments on behalf of her foundation. What do you call someone who meets with people known to be financing terrorists?

While the mainstream pundits were shocked by the rejection of the candidate they had convinced themselves was the only rational choice, those of us who live a little closer to her so-called “deplorables” – who have been left behind by the Democratic strategy of Wall Street and Identity Politics – we were less surprised by this outcome. The disenfranchised, having endured a relentless economic beat-down over the past two generations, coupled with incessant slander against them by supposedly enlightened liberals, when offered a choice between the old boss and something different, not surprisingly, opted for something different.

And it’s not as black-and-white as anyone might think. What happened this election is very difficult to quantify because our limited human perceptions are ill-equipped to make sense of the staggering complexities of the increasingly confounding world around us. For example, I spoke to a maintenance worker this week who admitted to having voted for Trump, but told me that he felt ashamed to have done so. He said he was worried about what Trump might try to do as president, but he was more worried about what Clinton would do given her clear track record. But the media’s hate-filled narrative paints such people as rabid, mouth-breathing, homophobic racists. That kind of image branding doesn’t leave a lot of room for a conflicted working class desperate to break the cycles of globalization and poverty.

The media has doubled down, attributing [Trump’s] win to the notion that there are just more “racist white people” in the country than they originally thought. Which is fine so long as you can ignore the fact that Trump actually performed 8-points better with Hispanics than Mitt Romney did in 2012. But that fact doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative that now eggs on the behavior that many lefties claimed to be appalled by but are now succumbing to – that behavior being protests that unfortunately turned violent on Thursday night, characterized by bricks through windows, smashed cars, and fires lit in the street.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, most Americans would agree that violence and property destruction are counterproductive and should be condemned. That said, we’ve noticed that all the “Better Together” campaign rhetoric of the left that was so prevalent just a few days ago, has now completely vanished. Perhaps “Better Together – But Only If Democrats Win” would have been a more accurate slogan, no?

But a closer examination of the violent protests reveals a darker truth. Thousands of these protesters were recruited and are being paid by Billionaire globalist financier George Soros’ MoveOn.org. While the dimwitted may be joining in, the foundation of these riots are not organic crowds of concerned Americans, but paid protesters responding to Craigslist ads. Whether this is an attempt by the Banking elite to intimidate Trump into following their age-old status quo agenda, or to provoke a color revolution in America by stoking the flames of ethnic tribalism remains to be seen.

But nuance rarely finds a home in the mainstream media and I fear that many well-meaning, highly-educated, fellow human beings, have been infected by the fear-mongering of polarity consciousness.

Meanwhile, as anti-Trump protesters in Portland apparently “smashed shop and car windows, threw firecrackers and set rubbish alight…chanting “We reject the president-elect!”, the president-elect has announced his intentions to pursue progressive financial policies that sound as if they could have come from Bernie Sanders, including a “21st century” version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law that required the separation of commercial and investment banks. Then again, what politician hasn’t told us exactly what we wanted to hear? Rhetoric aside, we’ll see what actually happens.

But the reason that large numbers of people – especially poor white people – voted for Trump is not because they are fascists, it’s not because they’re racists, it’s not even because they’re homophobic. It’s simply because their lives have disappeared, due in large part to neoLiberal Democratic policies (such as NAFTA). The way they see it, any change is worth a shot as long as it’s actually real.  The liberal elitists have had nothing to offer poor people, apart from pious and asinine suggestions that they “get a degree” or “move to where the jobs are.” When the backbone of America is labeled as unnecessary racists because they cared more about their lost jobs, plundered communities, and diminished prospects, do not be surprised when they act in the interests of survival. Civilization and anarchy are only seven meals apart, and desperate people can not be blamed for their behavior, especially if the conditions that brought about their desperation could have been avoided but were not avoided because it was more convenient to ignore them.

As Pulizter Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges wrote yesterday:

In presidential election after presidential election, especially after Nader’s success in 2000, so-called progressives succumbed to the idiotic mantra of the least worst. Those who should have been the natural allies of third parties and dissident movements abjectly surrendered to the Democratic Party that, like the Republican Party, serves the beast of imperialism… The cowardice of the liberal class meant it lost all credibility, much as Bernie Sanders did when he sold his soul to the Clinton campaign. The liberal class proved it would stand and fight for nothing. It mouthed words and ideas it did not truly believe. It bears significant responsibility for the phenomena that created Trump. It should have had the foresight to abandon the Democratic Party after President Bill Clinton passed the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, to build parties and institutions that defended the interests of the working class. If it had stood up for working men and women, it might have prevented [this outcome].

Many liberals are choosing to blame this outcome on simple racism. They say that Trump won because America is simply more racist than we thought. But you can’t claim that race is a social construct and then go around blaming everything on white people; you can’t have it both ways.

This hypocrisy is obvious to people who do not fit any of the demographic categories that modern neoliberalism has canonized as being worthy of having their pain acknowledged. And while the result of this was a win for Trump on the presidential ballot, please take notice that 7 of 9 Marijuana initiatives passed, as well as 4 of 5 minimum wage initiatives and 3 of 4 firearm initiatives. The people who voted for Trump are probably not who you and I have been led to believe they are. You have more in common with Trump’s supporters than you may suspect.

One upshot of all this is that it’s now conservatives’ turn to go through the same process of disenchantment that many lefties did during the Obama administration when liberal America began to realize who Obama’s funders were in 2008 and who filled the ranks of his entire administration. However, the desire for real change will remain a driving force for those who voted for Trump as well as those who voted for anyone else, and that is where our opportunities lie. If we can find it within ourselves to focus on all that we have in common, and not on what separates us, we just might be able to join forces with Hillary’s so-called “deplorables” for the benefit of everyone. Divide and Conquer is the name of THEIR game, and while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, if you’re one of the people who is playing into that Divide-and-Conquer game by focusing on what makes you different from your neighbors instead of what makes you the same as them, you’re part of the problem. Do we value a diversity of ideas or not? Do we value the freedom of speech or don’t we?

Learning is not about agreement. If we all had to agree about everything all the time none of us would ever learn anything. And now that I think about it, if we all had to agree about everything all of the time, that’s the central ruling edict for just about every dystopian novel and film I’ve ever seen or read. If we can actually be okay with people having different ideas than we do, we might just be able to work with them, and working together is the only thing that will build real solidarity and create real solutions. We’ve all heard it before but I’ll say it again – united we stand, divided we fall. Hard truths like this take a minute to learn but a lifetime to master.

It’s easy to sit in our posh coffee bars with our chic laptops and trendy ideas and philosophize about the world out there. It’s easy for us to talk about how open minded and forgiving we are. But unless and until we’re willing to talk with people who hold very different perspectives than us – perspectives, I remind you, that were garnered through a very different experience of reality than our own – and substantively demonstrate our tolerance, patience and compassion, then what good is any of our political theory? What good are ideas if they’re never implemented?

I ask you to look inside of your heart and consider what kind of world you really want to live in. Do you want to build a just world for everybody, or just for your friends? Do you truly care about what happens to other human beings on this planet, or just about what happens to people who hold the same ideas as you do? How big is your heart? How open is your mind? Is there room in there for the toothless redneck? For the heroin junkie? How about the homeless vagrant? If we really do claim to care about everyone, then shouldn’t we be expressing that by reaching out instead of recoiling in horror from imaginary demons of our own creation? You can’t call somebody bad and expect them to be good, after all. We talk a good game about inclusiveness and compassion, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if we can’t put those tools to use when it isn’t easy, or comfortable, or convenient to do so. How you act in conditions of adversity is what defines you as a person.

Perhaps people will once again, out of disgust or apathy or laziness, unplug from political life until the next election when the whole, sad spectacle is doomed repeat all over again. But perhaps not. Trump’s inauguration might be just what it takes to finally shake Americans out of their ignorance, out of their complacence, and out of their slumber.

Then again, does any of it really matter? In the ultimate scheme of things, we’re on a rock, floating in space. There are 400 million known galaxies in our universe. The dimension of Samsara does not represent the highest dimension of existence . This is not heaven. This is not the only vibrational reality in the universe. This life does not represent the panacea. Let’s get real about where we are and what we’re meant to do while we’re here; this fleetingly short period of time that represents the lives we take for granted and waste on the most trivial and vacuous of obsessions. Ask yourself: What’s really important? What really matters?

When our brief, bright lives begin to flicker out, are we going to lament the most common regrets that people repent on their deathbeds? I wish I had been more loving to the people who matter the most to me; I wish I had been a better spouse; I wish I hadn’t spent so much time working; I wish I had taken more risks; I wish I had lived my own dream; I wish I had taken better care of myself; I wish I had done more for others. It’s only fear that keeps us from doing these things. So let’s try to remember how to forget that fear.

This analysis was written by Joshua Davis and Brandt Miller, Edited by Gabrielle Lafayette
Contact the research team at outerlimitsradioshow@fastmail.fm