Michael Rothenberg began this global call for creative empowerment in 2011 and we continue to help grow this movement by sharing our art, heart and time with cadences and intermittent rhyme. These reflections we offer in the hope that through the mirror of of pain we learn to regain the insight that enlightens the dark of time.
We raise our voices to reverberate new frequencies of Peace. We choose to see the brutality so we can feel through the devastation and reawaken our inspiration to uplift one another to new stages of healing.
As we open our perspective to our human family, collectively struggling with the Present Traumatic Stress of War, Violence in our homes and on the street, Mass extinction, Climate instability, environmental decimation; it is our responsibility to understand where we stand in this reality. We choose to reverberate with clarity and spin a new vision for humanity.
Daily life is tragic for too many of us. It’s time to see each other clearly and ask the question before assuming the answer. To quest into the experiential knowledge of our neighbors as well as the slaves tied to the products we use daily. We are made helpless to serve the machine that has sought ever more unnatural control over life on Earth. Time to sit with the emotions that we all feel: helpless, depressed, sorrow, angry, or fury. If I am unwilling to acknowledge the ways pain and struggle are imposed on conscious life it does not prevent me from being directly affected by it, but it will keep me from understanding how we are directly connected. We are traumatized individually, but none of us are alone or disconnected. Your trauma is my trauma and vice-versa. No realm can remain unexplored by a willingness to face our pain and ignorance to heal ourselves, each other and our future’s potential with strength and creativity without dictate, letting go to embrace the unknown.
Few of us reach adulthood without accumulating layers of traumatic stress. Our life and behavior are dictated by victimization focused both inward and outward, the entrapment of depression, apathy, disassociation or outbursts of mania and the dependence upon others to provide positive reinforcement. Traumatic stress can also shorten our lives, if we believe that it has this power over us. Robert Scaer has divulged a “Trauma Spectrum” spanning generations, cultures and chronic conditions arising from ignoring the shadow of our pain. As we awaken to the energetic and spiritual reality that we are all One, it becomes integral to reflect deeply as individuals upon the trauma amassed throughout the collective experience of all our lives. To regain empowerment and create cultures that sustains us, dignify us and infuse life with meaning, we must take responsibility to heal the self. Valuing our personal abilities to regain our collective potential will redirect the course of this story.
As momentum continues to snowball on the dawn of the next revolution, it’s time to ask ourselves what it will look like. With hundreds of competing ideologies, it is clear that everyone has a different idea of what the next world should represent, but we risk repeating history if we continue to impose individual beliefs of utopian ideals with force. No system will work for everyone, so coexistence will be key. This movement needs all archetypes. Our first step is acknowledging that we are in desperate need of dramatic reformation from America’s silent war that is the battle for our minds. Oppressed subcultures always see through the illusion of persuasion and coercion eventually, and upon realizing their enslavement, revolt. The world is waking up now. Information obscured for centuries has been freed up by the internet. Can we establish a common interest for what we’re working towards and determine a suitable plan of action? Everything we need to know to get started is right here!
Corporations have progressively monopolized our world into a fascist dictatorship, crushing anything that stands in their way of absolute hegemony. But now communities across the nation are passing ordinances that exercise and defend residents’ inherent right to self-government, stripping corporations of their so-called constitutional rights and legal status as “persons.” Communities in 9 states are adopting Community Bills of Rights elevating the rights of People and Nature above the rights of corporations and their minority of decision makers. Instead of relying on powerless bureaucrats, this method of direct action constitutes a seizure of governmental lawmaking authority from big corporations to force government to work on behalf of the people. Municipal civil disobedience is technically illegal, but so too were the underground railroad, freedom rides and medical marijuana. Change will never come from above but perhaps with the Community Rights Movement we can take our power back.
Whether it’s a natural disaster or a premeditated war, the natural human response is not to exploit human suffering but to help alleviate it. The opposite response, seeing disaster as a clean slate that opens the floodgates for business, has been coined by Naomi Klein as the mentality of Disaster Capitalism. While people are distracted by the tragedies within the midst of emergency events, legislators take the opportunity to implement anti-human policies, and privatize public utilities before the dead have even been buried. Because Corporate fascism requires shocks to secure its agenda, their slogan is “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” and profiteers need crises to fuel consent for the changes they want. But their Shock Doctrine profit model depends first and foremost that the people be unaware of its methodology. In this way, simply being aware of our history is a shock resistance against Disaster Capitalism. To keep the disasters coming, all we have to do is nothing.
The changes Earth has experienced in the past 50 years are stunning. But the transformation is only just begun, the vertical movement on the exponential curve is just now ramping up. Since it is our innate tendency to fear the unknown, we’ve resisted profound changes escalating all around. But the more we embrace fear by allowing ourselves to become caught up in the illusion of panic, the more fear manifests. Even if we run from it, change will crawl under the covers and try to tickle us. There is so much happening all over the world it’s difficult to know which way things are going to go. The truth of the matter is that none of us are meant to know which way the game is moving. We’re simply meant to go with the flow, and those who can embrace flow will have more fun in the coming years than those desperately clinging to the world as it was. To move in the direction we desire as metamorphosis continues to envelope us, forgiveness will be absolutely essential, starting with ourselves.
Thousands of Americans preparing for Thanksgiving and Black Friday may find the Wampanoag national day of mourning or WalMart workers’ fierce protests as nothing more than inconvenient annoyances, but coming to grips with the truth is a minor inconvenience compared with the suffering of the bereaved in Ferguson, the plight of the sweat shop workers in China, the struggle of the WalMart protesters worldwide, or the anguish of Natives who will observe their 44th National Day of Mourning this year. The truth of the untold history of Thanksgiving might seem annoying to think about, but giving thanks for what we have should also mean acknowledging what others don’t, and we can start with the accuracy of the historical record. The Truth will not be Colonized, and it doesn’t taste like turkey. It must be acknowledged that Thanksgiving is literally a celebration of crimes against humanity, thanking God for successful conquests by means of genocide, enslavement and the theft of North America.
For nearly two decades now, an organization of creative pranksters have pulled a variety of ingeniously high-profile plots to expose the cold and ruthless mentality of the capitalist regime—those who view the world as the game of Risk. Like spy-activists, they draw up fake credentials and impersonate officials from major corporations and government regulatory agencies in attempts to get through to the globalists and shed light on social justice issues. From making fraudulent versions of popular newspapers with headlines and articles most of us would be relieved and encouraged to see, to creating and promoting corporate products in order to shock business representatives into seeing the sickening lack of ethical guidance that dictates their anti-human profit paradigms, the Yes Men’s clever and humorous activism is reshaping our understanding of what constitutes an effective resistance. Above all else, the Yes Men prove time and time again that lies can be used to expose the truth.
Today we kick off our 2014 month of December with the inspirational activism of the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, led by the intensely righteous Sermons of Reverend Billy Talen! Reverend Billy’s spirited message originated from a passionate rejection of consumerism and has since blossomed into gutsy climate change demonstrations at the financial institutions funding fossil fueled fascism. Inspiring scores of fellow activists, he’s the only reverend whose bombastic approach has gotten him arrested more than 75 times in the past 15 years and barred from entering any Starbucks in the state of California. Thus begins our quest to reclaim the original spirit of Christmas from the Big Box stores, the commercialized frenzy, and the ‘buy ’til you’re broke’ pressure that leaves us dreading the Holiday season instead of anticipating it. We’re joined live by his partner in the Church of Stop Shopping, Savitri D, for an update and look into their latest actions and forthcoming theatrics.
The gift that keeps giving can’t be bought or sold. The world of commercial advertising tempts us to plug the growing emptiness with products, which promise to ease our daily discomforts and maximize our satisfaction. They have convinced us our social status is determined by the brand status and dollar value of slave-made products gingerly giftwrapped beneath 15 year-old conifer trees that sit in our living room for 30 days before getting wasted along with the rest of the trash. But no matter how many gifts we unwrap this Christmas, peace cannot be found in a box, love doesn’t come from a store, and happiness is not a product. Deck the halls with homemade trinkets. Draw, sew, cook, sing and build your Christmas this year. Don’t make yourself poor spending cash in a store – grab your family & friends and go out to explore. Get out of the box and open the door! The gift of the world’s not a gift to ignore. Buy something made local and give so much more than cheap labor!
Strap yourselves into Santa’s Sleigh as we fire up the Yuletide afterburners into quantum overdrive once again. Supercharge your holiday and laugh harder than jolly old Saint Nick with our comprehensive compilation of Holiday magnificence with more cheer than you can shake a candy cane at! We’ll ascertain the reasons for the season as interesting as they are complex, written in the stars and expressed by the sacred fungus as chronicled by John Allegro’s work in translating the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls – the only non-clergy to do so. We’ll discover the significance of Santa’s red & white suit, chimney entrances, and relationship with reindeer as rooted in Siberian Shamanism. We’ll learn of the origin of the Christmas Tree from Pagan traditions. We’ll come to understand the mystery behind the significance of December 25th and the secrets of the elusive & notorious Holy Grail. By far our favorite annual broadcast, we promise Christmas will make a lot more sense by the end of this episode.
It is a serious endeavor for us to reconnect with the wild elements of our self that are most natural to us, though perhaps awkward for others; to boldly embrace the strange individuality of our true selves shunned by a status quo that violently rejects anyone who deviates from the established norms. It is time for us to rattle the cages of standardization! We are all born of pain and trauma. We are all members of the Scar Clan; the tribe of the Sacred Heart. We have been tamed with fear to repress and forget the creativity we brought to this world for the purpose of healing. It is the awkward risks, the unbound emotions, the confrontation of real wrongdoing, and in finding unapologetic ways to break boundaries that characterize cultural taboos guiding us to the trouble of transforming cultural -isms that corrupt rather than enlighten us. So many possibilities still lie shrouded by the illusory veil of fear that could so easily be lifted if we only trust that we can see beyond it.
Reality is not something happening to you – it is responding to you. You are not alone in the creation of the universe, each person’s consciousness helps to create their own reality accumulating into the larger picture we all collectively experience. Actions stem from thoughts and thoughts stem from desires. True happiness comes from employing one’s perception and thoughts in order to responsibly shift one’s present reality into one that is more fulfilling. Joy Page said, “You manifest based on who you are already, so you must own the identity of the dream in order to manifest it…Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.” This is a gift that we all have and an important tool for us to wield as we endeavor to change the world from its present crises. Thoughts become actions, which become habits, which in turn create our character that writes our destiny. It is up to all of us to create the world we want to live in and it starts with our thoughts.
Today we follow the quick draw decision of the 114th Congress to say “Yay” to completing the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, built to funnel the dirtiest oil – bitumen tar – from Alberta Canada to the Koch Brothers’ refineries in Texas. Koch-funded Senators vicariously spout “Jobs jobs JOBS” in a move to win hearts and minds. But these eXtra-Large pipeLIES on the cancerous job market have been inflated by the “creative counting” of the TransCanada Company building the pipeline, putting the number of Jobs anywhere between 35 and millions! Big Oil is greasing up Americans with the promise of jobs and energy independence with the most toxic oil on the planet, piped in from Canada by a Canadian Company, to be refined by Multinational Billionaires, and sold on the Global Market to the highest bidder. With the expansion of Tar Sands comes the inevitable risk of spilling crude oil into one of the largest aquifers in the world, this kind of employment will only devastate future generations.
Tavis Smiley proposes in his newly released book, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year, that Dr. King is misunderstood, and that this misunderstanding is robbing us of the essence of his character and crusade; that his martyrdom has undermined his message. One of America’s greatest democratic, public intellectuals, who fearlessly challenged the status quo, opposed the Vietnam war, and declared Poverty the greatest of all of society’s evils, has been sanitized and oversimplified. His memory has been reduced to that of an idealistic dreamer, only to be remembered for a speech given in 1963. Last Thursday would have been MLK’s 86th birthday, and this coming Monday marks his Nationally commemorated holiday. Renewing the memory of this remarkable revolutionary through a revitalized spirit, we remember the true character of the man whose legacy continues to warn us that those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.
When did crime and punishment become crime and profit? If we have 4% of the world’s population, why do we have 25% of the world’s prisoners? Contrary to popular belief, contemporary America now strongly resembles Stalinist Russia’s Gulag Archipelago, taking the lead for per capita incarceration. Somewhere during our entertainment intoxication and obsessive materialistic addictions, this monster has grown right under our noses, invisible to us because its body is dependent on a permanent population of incarcerated persons utterly stripped of their rights. Most of us think that taxpayers pay for prisons, unaware that the Privatization of prisons means that taxpayers actually pay for empty cells. Profitability in this industry demands as many prisoners as possible be housed in as many prisons as possible, while eliminating as many expenses as possible. Countless corporations now turn to forced prison labor to manufacture their products as an alternative to third-world sweatshop labor.
Contrary to popular belief, Education and Schooling are mutually exclusive subjects. This was easy to recognize with the advent of Standardized Testing like the ITBS, more obvious with the creation of No Child Left Behind, and is now difficult to ignore under the auspices of Common Core. The school system in America hasn’t failed – it was designed this way intentionally. The truth is schools don’t teach you anything but how to obey orders. Schools are crippling our population’s potential by artificially extending childhood, first and foremost with the imposed myth that 12-year-olds are children. But history is riddled with evidence to the contrary, from Thomas Edison starting a printing business at the age of twelve, to Thomas Jefferson running a 250-employee operation at the age of twelve, nothing could be further from the truth. Childhood now extends all the way to the age of eighteen, at which point our youth have been conditioned to believe that they may never have to grow up.
Clint Eastwood’s newest film “American Sniper” has reignited an age-old national debate, pitting “patriots” against “hippies.” Apart from analyzing the tendency of war films to glorify violence, justify racism, and fetishize murder, there are a number of factual errors and historical inconsistencies. The film’s portrayal of Christian dominionism confuses the message of Jesus; the juxtaposition of 9_11 with Iraq invites viewers to make connections that don’t exist; the jingoism encourages movie-goers to assume xenophobic hatred. The book which the film is based on is even worse, fostering anti-Muslim racism while spinning elaborate lies – making claims about former SEAL Jesse Ventura and mass murder in New Orleans that frankly, never happened. Savvy analysts see the divide-and-conquer mentality at play here. Featuring testimony from veterans sickened by “American Sniper” and its effects that you won’t hear anywhere else, this episode is likely to leave you speechless and inspired.
St. Valentine was a Roman Priest who defied the Caesar’s order forbidding soldiers from marrying, manifesting today’s Valentine’s day celebration of the love that brings us into lifelong union. There are a great many factors that coalesce into the realization of long-loving and healthy relationships. Although we’re sold flagrant motivators through the mainstream media to purchase the chocolates, greeting cards, and heart-shaped antacids with ‘hug me’ written on them, the advertising industry’s vein attempts to commercialize love will never lessen sex, desire, or attraction. Inevitably our own progressive skills will teach the necessary patience, consideration, trust and creative exploration that lead to life-long happiness. Without diminishing the importance of sex, we emphasize that our cultural sicknesses stem from cultural shaming of our natural desires, and suppression of our true nature, which encourages the proliferation of perversion and violence.
Cuba, China, Iraq and Afghanistan have more women in government than the US. Why is that? With women’s suffrage decades behind us, the popular misconception that gender equality is behind us, persists. But objectification of women in the media has never been more offensive or violent as it is today. Pornographic media sells, but also turns women into objects, undermines humanity, perpetuates stereotypes, and arrests the maturity of both men and women. Very few films feature a female protagonist and films that do often reduce her to the role of finding a man, or playing the “Fighting F@#k Toy.” Meanwhile we tell our boys to “man up,” and “stop with the tears.” As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. This institutionalization of infantilism results in devastating effects in the form of rape, abuse and murders. Then men are demonized and the cycle of pain perpetuates. Mature feminism is not the attempt of matriarchs to gain dominance over patriarchs-the goal is equality once and for all!
We conclude a 3-part peek into Love, Relationship, Sex, and Gender; Perceptions we impose upon these things and the reality of Our Perceptions from within the prejudice. Today we will touch upon all of these but especially with consideration of the Masculine and Feminine elements that are within us all, seeking balance and creating transformation. Everyone, whether male or female, has Masculine and Feminine Energies. Indeed even sexless entities such as organizations, groups, societies or corporations can display Masculine and Feminine Energy characteristics. Most people develop one type of Energy more than the other. In most societies, in varying degrees, children are encouraged to show only those behaviors associated with the Energy that matches their sex or gender. Women are expected to be more nurturing and less aggressive; men are expected to be strong and to ignore their emotional side. However if only one Energy is honored and developed, we end up lopsided and not whole.
Yeshua was not a Christian. Siddhartha Gautama was not a Buddhist. Krishna was not a Hindu. Muhammad was not a Muslim. These men all shared an extraordinary experience of cosmic consciousness and sought to spread a divine message of peace and enlightenment to other fellow Earthlings. But as the centuries progressed these figures were pedestalized. Human kind mistook the messenger for the message resulting in dogmatic intolerance and hideous violence. So some say God was cruel to create so many religions to fight each other. But God didn’t create these wars. Human kind is responsible for much of our own suffering. Gandhi said, “The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.” So if all disciplines teach peace, why can’t we achieve peace? If the prophets all sat at a table together, would they have any disagreements? Would they approve of all the violence that humans have carried out in their name? Are we living in the now or deluding ourselves with scripture?
Monday, 16 March 2015 we solemnly observe the12th anniversary of peace activist Rachel Corrie’s death in Gaza. Crushed to beneath IDF bulldozers, Corrie recognized the situation in Palestine as the greatest human rights crisis on Earth. All of the worst aspects of totalitarianism culminate together in modern Palestine in a shocking combination of the Berlin Wall, Gulag Archipelago, Apartheid, Jim Crow segregation, concentration camps and the fire-bombing of Cologne City. But merely criticizing Israel’s domination of the region frequently results in accusations of antisemitism. Why is it considered anti-Semitic to question the persecution and genocide of our fellow human beings? Why are the Palestinians treated by the Israelis as though they were somehow directly responsible for Hitler’s Holocaust? And why are Jewish peoples who condemn the slaughter of Palestinians colloquially referred to as “Self-Hating Jews?” We wage peace until the day there is harmony in the Holy Lands.
With global water resources dwindling and the threat of worldwide drought, multinational corporations are buying up water utilities left and right. Monopolized privatization of this vital resource consistently results in hiked rates and the bottling of water for export and sale on the open market. Meanwhile advertising campaigns have convinced the masses bottled water is better despite costing consumers 2,000 times the price of tap, for lower quality. California’s desertification isn’t the only small glimpse into the world water crisis – it is now illegal to collect rainwater in several US States. This all comes to a head as the Carlyle group attempts to sell the water utility of Missoula, Montana; home to the Outer Limits. Shockingly, the man responsible for Bolivia’s water crisis with Bechtel is the man closing the deal in Missoula: Robert Dove. In this episode, we explore how Missoula’s situation is a fitting microcosm for the corporate takeover of water resources everywhere.
How many times have you heard or read the phrase “Water Pollution?” The effects of unfettered industrialization have created such devastation that we’ve grown numb to that same old story. Though Baby-Boomers passed the Clean Water Act, hydro-fracking and countless oil spills are just the beginning of industry’s disregard for the most vital resource to all life on this fragile planet. Fertilizers, pesticides and prescription drugs end up in our water, and if that’s not enough, cities deliberately add toxins like chlorine and hexafluorosilicic Acid into the mix. As cancers and countless other previously unknown diseases proliferate to fever pitch proportions, this crisis is becoming impossible to ignore. Switching to bottled water or Reverse Osmosis filtering won’t save us because we absorb most contaminants in the shower. We’ll connect these concerns to the complexities around the Flathead Water Compact as well as the latest news from the front lines of Missoula’s Mountain Water suit.
Water isn’t just Blue Gold because resource profiteers stand to become obscenely wealthy by exploiting it. H2O is quite literally one of the most amazing elements in the known universe that we take for granted on account of its apparent abundance. For the same reason many of water’s properties have been completely overlooked on account of its assumed simplicity. New scientific innovation continues to make revelations that challenge our established norms of orthodox scientific dogmas. We shall see how water’s ineffable magic isn’t just polluted by industrial chemicals and radiation, but is diminished by closed pipe systems and negative thoughts. Furthermore, this episode also explores the drought crisis in California, as Governor Jerry Brown has just ushered in unprecedented water restrictions on account of a complete lack of snow pack. We’ll illustrate how this situation was brought about intentionally through GeoEngineering programs and how it may directly effect western Montana.
As April 15th approaches, millions of Americans scramble to file with the IRS. But what if the Supreme Court ruled that a tax on your labor was unconstitutional? What if the 16th Amendment was never legally ratified? What if there is no law requiring the average citizen to file income taxes? If those who file without question condemn so-called “tax dodgers” not “paying their fair share,” where is the outrage directed toward major corporations who pay zero income tax? How did we fund government before this levy was created in 1913? And what if income taxes don’t actually fund the government? Regan’s Grace Commission concluded that, “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.” We’re joined by three IRS whistle blowers, Sherry Peel Jackson, Joe Banister, and John Turner, and a host of tax experts to answer these difficult questions.
Voter referendums legalizing cannabis continue to be undermined by legislators seeking to subvert the popular democratic process. Alaska and Oregon have followed the lead of Colorado and Washington, and now the issue heats up in DC culminating in the DC 4/20 protests starting on 4/15. Nixon’s drug war rages on as myths, scare tactics, propaganda and lies continue to proliferate in efforts to maintain corporate hegemony; police unions, private prisons, alcohol and tobacco companies and the pharmaceutical industry are all threatened by the prospect of marijuana legalization, since it will effectively decimate their profits and outright replace the society’s need for them. As waves of Americans awaken many public figures are beginning to realize that if they don’t change their tune, no one will take them seriously ever again. Cannabis isn’t just the most prolific medicine on Earth – it’s your human birth right, and what others do with their minds and bodies is none of society’s business.
The burgeoning popularity of Buddhism verifies the 8th Century Tibetan prophecy that “When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels … the dharma will come to the land of the red-faced people” may be unfolding before our eyes. It may seem even more poignant considering the 16th Karmapa’s historic meeting with Hopi leaders in the 1970’s and America’s recent obsession with psychedelia leading naturally toward a study of the dharma. But Buddhism is a tremendously complex subject, with eight primary branches encompassing disciplines such as the Mahayana, Hinayana, Vajrayana, Zen, Dzogchen and Tantra traditions.
Embrace the rebellious roots of May Day in solidarity with European austerity protests, Americans rallies, the Pope’s denouement of gender-based income gaps, and a remembrance of popular uprisings throughout American history that secured such basic rights as collective bargaining, unemployment, and safe working conditions. As we explore this topic, we’re compelled to ask why anyone would willingly take a job. How can we say we live in a free country if our most basic liberties don’t exist in our workplaces? Wobblies revealed to us a century ago that the goal of labor movements is the elimination of exploitative elements from our lives, ensuring that our efforts are not only amply rewarded, but that our day-to-day experience is one of enjoyment rather than meaningless servitude. As history amply proves, we cannot leave such decisions to the ownership class. In this episode, journalist Chris Hedge’s and Economics professor Richard Wolff provide a map for our journey out of austerity.
You don’t need to be a college graduate to appreciate these words of wisdom. These addresses constitute some of the best advice you’ll ever hear, regardless of your present trajectory in life, as espoused by well-known personalities who have come to redefine traditional success in life. Success isn’t the big house with the pool, the fancy car with the sun-roof, or the corner office with the aquarium, since materialism is riddled with the ever widening stress of maintaining material success, which is ultimately empty of meaning or purpose. Herein you’ll hear various commencement addresses from the some of the most inspirational personalities our human family has to offer, to re-calibrate what is really important in life.
Racism is as alive today as it ever was. We like to pretend it isn’t. After all America has a black president now. But if racism is really behind us, would we be reading in our newspapers about the murder of unarmed black men like Tony Robinson, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner or Walter Scott? And for every Tony, Freddie, Michael, Eric, and Walter, there are hundreds if not thousands of cases that we never hear about. We only hear about any particular case when the circumstances make it impossible to ignore.
Since Tuesday, the 19th of May, would be Malcolm X’s 90th birthday, we couldn’t help but wonder, “What might Brother Malcolm say about the present condition of America if he were alive today? -about the Baltimore riots? -about the murder of Freddie Gray or Michael Brown?” Present day America reconfirms that Malcolm’s words are as relevant today as they were in the early 1960’s if not more so, because as Baltimore and Ferguson demonstrate, absolutely nothing has changed.
The present controversy surrounding Monsanto’s GMO products is simple to understand: If GMOs are safe for human consumption, why aren’t we labeling them? Even if they’re not safe, why aren’t we labeling them? Our cigarettes come tagged with labels warning us of their carcinogenic consequences, and people still smoke them and buy them. Perhaps the difference here is that Monsanto has not yet figured out how to make their GM products addictive. Obama pledged in 2007 that as president he would “let folks know when their food is genetically modified,” then made the decision as president to place former Monsanto VP Michael Taylor as head of the FDA. As David Suzuki put it, “Any politician or scientist who tells you these [GMO] products are safe is either very stupid or lying.” Because Monsanto has forced 291,000 Indian farmers into suicide through patent restrictions and poisoned the earth with DDT and PCBs, the 2015 March Against Monsanto is slated to be the biggest yet.
The Patriot Act may expire at midnight on Sunday the 31st of May, which has reignited the debate to determine whether “security” can ever be reconciled with “privacy.” Even though the original author of the Patriot Act never intended for Section 215 to codify indiscriminate surveillance of everyone, bureaucrats continue to insist we need dragnet surveillance to “keep us safe.” When they were really pressed for a definitive answer, NSA officials were forced to turn over evidence that proved their surveillance programs have never actually prevented a terrorist attack. But that hasn’t stopped them from recording every phone conversation and Email, or from lying about the fact that they do. Instead, they insist they only collect “metadata” – another lie proven by the size of their huge underground facilities and retroactive evidence collection. William Binney, who worked at NSA for nearly 30 years, lends his voice to help shed some much needed light on the truth about surveillance.
Thanks to the expiration of the USA PATRIOT Act and passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, we can all celebrate that NSA Spying is over now, right? No, not in the least. The Patriot Act’s expiration means absolutely nothing. Don’t believe the hype. The Freedom Act is nothing more than a new Patriot Act 2.0. The USA Freedom Act is a mass surveillance bill dressed up as a reform bill, and its passage will authorize and codify unconstitutional surveillance practices. Key parts of the Patriot Act are retained in the Freedom Act, and many of our rights will still be violated. Worst of all, under the Freedom Act our records will no longer go to the NSA but will instead remain with the phone companies and private corporations. The only freedom the so-called Freedom Act will provide is the freedom for Corporations and Intelligence Agencies to justify unconstitutional surveillance on everyone with similar legal loopholes. Our quest to bring the surveillance apparatus under control has only just begun.
As fallout from the recent passage of the USA FREEDOM ACT rains down alongside China’s officiation of the Thought Police for the patrol of internet behavior and news that you can now be sent to prison for deleting your Internet browsing history, one is left to wonder if there is anything anyone can do to protect themselves online. The popular narrative of fear is designed to trigger the emotion of helplessness; we’re meant to feel that powerless because as long as we remain imprisoned in our minds, we can never endeavor to take our birthrights back. We’re joined by Trevor Paglen and Jacob Applebaum for some much needed understanding into the complexities of the online world to see what cannot be seen, demystify the veil of secrecy permeating the internet that is all around us all of the time, and empower ourselves with the knowledge to take some steps to protect our privacy while frustrating criminal elements that continuously seek to compromise our security and steal our data.
The surveillance panopticon might seem to have us all, but before you despair be sure to keep in mind that the point of the panopticon is to put the emotion of despair within you. Surveillance isn’t just insidious because our every word is recorded, our every action is monitored, and our every key stroke is logged; the human resources required to analyze the trillions of terabytes of data collected on every citizen simply do not exist, and the intelligence community’s failure to stop acts of terrorism is irrefutable proof of that. No, surveillance is insidious because it alters your behavior – it makes you pause before saying something – it prevents you from searching for information on the internet due to an underlying fear that big brother might not approve – it stifles inquiry – it hinders innovation – it obstructs human potential. They might be recording you, but its unlikely that they’re actively watching you. Shift the Overton Window; courage is contagious &the truth is a virus!
The most suspicious element of the TPP negotiations is the extreme secrecy with which they have been conducted. Officials able to review the TPP do so in a locked room, accompanied by no aids, they cannot take notes, they cannot read the entire document, and they cannot talk about what they’ve seen. This paranoid atmosphere is the standard mentality for the ownership class, for if they were open about their global domination plans the mass of human civilization would never allow them. Journalists such as Jim Tucker and Daniel Estulin have for decades worked to expose the secret elite meetings from which proposals like TPP originate, but their research has largely fallen upon deaf ears. TPP, T-TIP and TISA illustrate the architecture by which the corporate agenda for global domination is coming about. Thus the world is becoming aware of the Bilderberg Group – a shadow entity composed of the biggest major players on Earth who assemble annually to plot totalitarian schemes such as TPP.
This independence Day as the mass of America drinks itself into a patriotic stupor admiring colorful explosions so reminiscent of the countless wars America has waged from the War on Drugs to the War on Terror and military operations on every major continent over the past two centuries, we ask, just what exactly are Americans independent from? We’re a nation intimidated by surveillance, exhausted by austerity, crushed by debt, and taxed to death. So how can a few beers and explosions in the sky give us that good-old, apple-pie, proud-to-be-an-American, red-white-and-blue patriotic feeling? Let our seeds of dissent take root in the toxic soil of the American Empire. Let’s rethink this holiday in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence for which it is celebrated, by redefining patriotism as an outright refusal to cooperate with the military-industrial-intelligence-prison complex, the corporations that own it, and the oligarchs who require our consent to perpetuate this status quo.
Every aspect of our collective and individual psyche is enduring multiple metamorphoses as we transition out of the fearful prison of a five-sense world dominated by fear and scarcity and victimization. Total Revolution requires a radical rejection of the demoralizing learned helplessness used by oligarchs to maintain dominance over the masses. Human potential lies beyond the dogmatic rubbish of both materialistic and religious fundamentalism that keep people imprisoned in boxes of “I’m not good enough;” “I can’t;” “that’s impossible.” The true roots of total Revolution lie in the kingdom that is within. By overcoming our deepest inner fears we instantaneously change the external world around us. By alleviating internal insecurities we put an end to external destruction. By healing internal stigmas we become agents of positive change. By facing our fears we go beyond error. There is no aspect of our world or of ourselves that will be unchanged by this remarkable period of our history.
As global corporate fascism continues imposing its will over the majority, fracking and drilling and burning and spilling, the call for revolution grows ever stronger. As we look to history for examples of successful revolutions, it becomes increasingly clear that nonviolence is the only way. As Russell Brand puts it, “The ingenuity of nonviolence is not immediately obvious to us, the inheritors of a world built upon martial means…Authorities are trained to deal with a particular kind of conflict, violent conflict, so by using violent means you are entering the territory that they are best qualified to control. Also, by becoming violent you are tuning in to the frequency that you are trying to overcome, the frequency of violation, violence FM.” We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. For total revolution to be successful, it will require counter-intuitive means, and will therefore be won with meditation and hugs, not bullets or bombs.
July 26th marks the new year in the Mayan Haab calendar, making the 25th the annual “Day Out Of Time” – the interim between next year and last. The scientific materialism of the west continues to perpetuate myths and misconceptions about the significance, origin, and accuracy of the Mayan prophecies, despite the efforts of the Mayan Council of Elders. In 2007 the Maya broke their extended silence and revealed the truth of their systems to the west through the intermediary translations of Drunvalo Melchizadek, who lived with the Maya for 15 years. Every documentary, article and book published prior to 2007 contained the speculation of anthropologists and archaeologists, and was not approved by the Maya. Three years beyond the end of the Fifth Age and nearly 8 years after the “end of time” window opened, their wisdom is more important than ever. If the west can put its ego at bay and listen to what they have to say, we might yet be able to pull out of this potential extinction event.
If the deadliest form of violence is poverty, it is not an exaggeration to declare the present system a slow-motion genocide. It criminalizes poverty, provokes suicide, and institutionalizes slavery. But it is time to stop complaining and begin actively confronting our common enemies who leverage our efforts to enslave us. We don’t have to hate the people at the top of the pyramid. We simply have to stop cooperating with them. We don’t have to evoke a perfect utopian society, we simply have to reject this Orwellian despotism. A global, unified resistance is already underway expressing itself through concepts such as Liquid Democracy, Gift Economy, Negative Interest, Internalization of Costs, Social Dividends, Peer-To-Peer Finance, and Worker Cooperatives. Humanity’s ultimate revolution is not merely a possibility – it is an inevitability. We must now demand a radically altered society and refuse to take “No” for an answer. All else has failed. It’s time for a revolution.
America is the only nation on Earth to have ever used nuclear weapons of mass destruction, and against a civilian population at that, permanently burning victims’ shadows onto buildings and streets. For America the story ends here; for Japanese, 1945 is the beginning of a horrifying story. The myth that the US needed to drop Nuclear weapons to end the war and “save lives” remains one of the biggest institutional falsehoods in American society. Counter to what people have been instructed to believe, the unnecessary destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was carried out as a scientific experiment, politically aimed to intimidate Stalinist Russia. The already defeated Japanese were in the process of negotiating their surrender following the crippling firebombing of Tokyo. The use of nuclear materials in crimes against humanity continues with the US’s additional 1,054 nuclear tests and the use of Depleted Uranium, permanently poisoning Iraqis and American soldiers alike.
There is a need for revolution on every level, and for the first time in history we have the means to implement a truly representative system, the means to globally communicate it and the conditions that require it. It is defined and achieved by a sustained, mass-supported attack on the hegemony of corporations and the regulations that allow them to dominate us. This is a pivotal time in the history of our species. We are transitioning from an ideology that places power and responsibility in the hands of the few to one where we all collectively have power. It is important that we clarify, in a manner accessible to all, which institutions and systems are beneficial and which ones have to go. It is important that we propose ideas and systems that will be advantageous and ensure that they are presented properly. At this climactic time, we have no choice but change. Now, what are you going to do about it?
If we desire peace, we need women to be healthy, strong, confident and creative. Perpetual war is not possible in a society that values the viewpoints of the women. Mothers force us to cooperate; to apologize; to compromise. No mother wants to see her sons go off to war. Therefore if women are corrupt, disempowered, or undermined, an essential aspect of the society is dismembered. It’s been said, “Behind every successful man is a strong woman,” illustrating how important and simultaneously invisible women in our traditionally patriarchal societies are viewed. So perhaps it’s time to see women as beside men. Women are not only a significant part of the population but the maternal gatekeepers of civilization. For our communities to prosper, individual families must thrive, and that cannot happen unless we honor and respect the value of our mothers, daughters, sisters and lovers. Likewise, an individual family cannot flourish without a supportive, interconnected community.
In 2007 former CIA operative John Kiriakou confirmed a truth that many Americans suspected; that the US Government was engaged in brutal torture programs. Having become the face of dissent, the regime decided they would not allow this act of sedition to be tolerated and John was promptly sentenced to federal prison. He became the only member of the CIA to be prosecuted for the CIA’s torture program even though he never tortured anyone. Kiriakou exposed the open would of America’s hypocritical deprivation, thus providing desperately needed legitimacy to journalists seeking to out the truth on torture. In addition to the Senate Committee’s Report on the CIA’s Use of Torture, we now know that the American Psychological Association has officially aided in the torture of detainees, and were instrumental in persuading CIA to adopt stress positions, dietary and sleep deprivation, and waterboarding in interrogations. If our freedom is contingent on total compliance than none of us are free.
John Kiriakou and Susan Lindauer share remarkably similar stories. Both worked for the CIA and both were imprisoned for telling the American people the truth. As we commence the second half of Paul Jay’s interview of Kiriakou, we see a cognitive dissonance emerge that is so common within an American population in perpetual denial of the forces that brought about the post 9/11 world. While Kiriakou was unaware of an intentional plot within the administration to allow the attacks of 2001, Lindauer attests that the CIA were aware of the plot as early as April, that the administration blocked her attempts to warn America of the impending danger, and that they locked her up for talking about it. As with the Soviet Union’s treatment of whistleblowers, the intelligence community diagnosed Lindauer with “oppositional defiance disorder” and treated as a mental case to discredit her when it became obvious that she was not going to take the hush money as her superiors did.
As we solemnly observe the 14th anniversary of the most heinous crime ever committed on US soil, we honor the fallen with a sincere investigation into the events that transpired on that fateful day. Despite the “We Shall Never Forget” mantra, it seems as though many would rather leave the event in the past than learn truths that are becoming difficult to ignore. Unfortunately for the sick and dying first responders, victims’ families, and veterans, the reality that we were all deceived on a mass scale has become an unrelenting nightmare. The evidence against the Commission’s official account of the event is overwhelming, but many Americans aren’t even aware that a third tower, WTC 7, came down neatly into its own footprint 8 hours after the twin towers collapsed, despite having sustained no damage from an airliner. As we venture down the rabbit hole we find that the truth about 9/11 is we don’t know the truth about 9/11, but it is clear by now that the official story cannot be true.
9/11 is the singular justification for NSA spying, CIA torture, endless wars, the end of habeas corpus, the end of posse comitatus, the murder of unarmed civilians in the streets of our cities, the creation of euphemistic dystopian legislation such as the Patriot act, Freedom act and NDAA, the illegal occupation of foreign countries and endless wars. So if the official story of 9/11 is proven to be a lie, then the authenticity of every aspect of the American Empire should be in question. When coincidence and incompetence no longer suffice, conspiracy becomes a solid probability. We need the truth in order to heal, but truth is the first casualty of war. The difficulty and controversy of this topic emphasizes its importance. Questioning our default worldview is often painful. Deleting programs installed into our minds by this society is seldom easy. And taking action can be the hardest thing of all. Most of us fear ridicule. Most of us avoid controversy. But we all deserve the truth.
100 Thousand Poets for Change is a Global Movement that began in 2011 by Michael Rothenburg. It continues to grow every year as more people organize events in their communities that gather poets, musicians and artists of all kinds together to share inspiring and empowering expressions of every kind and possibility. The Outer Limits is happy to present the 2nd edition of Poetry on the Radio with local Poets from Missoula Montana as well as some awesome poets from around the nation and the world to flesh out the problems we are warily aware of and our personal expressions of consolation, empathy, compassion, and potential solutions.
Nothing invigorates and empowers an authoritarian regime more than a spectacular act of violence that allows the autocrat to stand on the smoking rubble and identify himself as the hero. It is at moments like this that the shocked citizenry can be led into the most ruthless despotism bearing the mantle of “security.” Ruling regimes habitually stage events to play the victim and coax formerly unwilling masses to go to war and give up their rights. An analysis of history reveals how the USS Maine, Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin, Murrah Building, 9/11, Boston Bombing, and even Sandy Hook were all staged events executed by mercenaries in coordination with intelligence agencies to continuously scare tax dollars out of Americans, provide carte blanche for global military dominance, serve as a convenient excuse to remove all civil liberties, and cloak fascism in a red-white-and-blue facade. But the technique can only work as long as the people are unaware of its application.
Why does America associate the second Monday of every October with the Niña, Pinta and Santa Mari, instead of the Inca, Cherokee, and Lakota? As we become aware of our true history many Americans are trading in Columbus Day for Indigenous People’s Day, challenging the idea that Christopher Columbus “discovered” a land with 60 million people already living on it. What remains of this once great civilization has suffered the hammer blows of genocide, enslavement, subjugation, internment and poverty. For natives, nothing could be more offensive than annually honoring the heritage of the very bloodline responsible for these atrocities. By today’s standards we would consider Cortez, Pizarro and all of their Conquistador marauders to be fundamentalist terrorist extremists, but that’s not how they’re remembered. Doing so might contradict the mythology of America’s romanticized version of history that seeks to conceal countless abominations beneath a mountain of lies.
As Americans slowly move away from celebrating Columbus during the moth of October towards a solemn observance of the true history of American Indians, we turn our attention this week toward modern indigenous resistance. While Hydro Fracking and Bitumen Tarsands threaten the very existence of all life forms on this planet, Native Americans are proving to be the last and most fierce line of defense against absolute ecocide. As organizations like “Idle No More” and the “American Indian Movement” shed light on this struggle, they also call attention to the fact that Native peoples are still, even today, the most subjugated population in the US. Even though Navajo code talkers saved America, Natives have a lower life expectancy than Afghanis, suffer under dual citizenship, are denied basic rights, and are regarded as primitive and dirty. They remind us that the road to our own destruction is paved by pollution of nature and continuing genocide of Native American peoples.
For the past 38 years, American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier has been wrongly imprisoned for events that transpired on June 26, 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. AIM members Bob Robideau, Darrell Butler, and Leonard Peltier were brought to trial for the incident. Robideau and Butler were acquitted on grounds of self-defense. Leonard Peltier was not so lucky. The FBI altered statements, withheld evidence and coerced fabricated testimonies, in-turn sentencing Leonard to two consecutive life terms which he continues to serve to this day. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, Amnesty International and countless other individuals and organizations have demanded his immediate release. Throughout his imprisonment he has done nothing but prove his dedication to the struggle against the oppression of American Indian peoples. Now his supporters are petitioning Obama for a presidential pardon.
Indigenous cultures around the world have evolved rituals and practices to understand and assimilate the concept of death, but in western culture it is taboo to have a discussion about such a “depressing subject” unless we’re at a funeral. The fear of death in our culture feeds Consumerism; we’re meant to think that when we die, people will remember only our material impact. There are many attempts to immortalize ourselves in statues, literature, music recordings, architecture and so on, but everything in this dimension is transformed through time. What we really fear most is impermanence – the notion that nothing stays the same ever, and everything in existence will die, rot and become something new. Death is simply a birth. So congratulations to all you mortal listeners, brought to you by the Institute for Creative Dying, follow Oscar the Cat to the champagne room and join us on a glorious expedition through the seas of change to dissolve away those pesky delusions of impermanence.
Veterans day is America’s annual tribute to the brave men and women who have served in America’s armed services, but for thousands of veterans struggling to be acknowledged by the Department of Veterans Affairs, it’s nothing more than at best, another day off from work, at worst, an empty symbolic gesture. As 22 veterans commit suicide every day, and the homeless veteran population grows beyond 60,000, the VA has become notorious for denying benefits, delaying claims, and losing paperwork. But the story has become difficult to ignore now that whistleblowers within the VA are stepping forward to provide evidence that the government deliberately pushes vets toward suicide, and uses a variety of sleazy tactics to deny veterans benefits any way it can. We chronicle the story of one Vietnam-era veteran who continues to pursue his benefits after nearly half a century of fighting, and analyze the social reasons why America’s imperial culture perpetually disregards the veteran population.
As the media attempts to distract the world’s eye toward Confederate flags and events in Paris, a Totalitarian Trojan Horse threatens to unleash a fascist dictatorship the scope and magnitude of which have never been witnessed on planet Earth before. The Nov. 5th publication of the Trans Pacific Partnership’s 30-chapter charter confirms the situation is far worse than even its most apocalyptic critics projected, following last year’s exposure of the secret deal through Wikileaks. It will change our laws in favor of a global legal system that caters to corporations, censor and control the internet, abolish free speech through the alteration of conceived copyright rules, allow corporations the right to sue governments for impeding on their profits, make all forms of protest illegal, and much more. Of all the issues we face right now, the TPP constitutes the most egregious corporate power grab nightmare ever conceived in written history. In short, TPP is the face of the New World Order.
Every year at thanksgiving the American President participates in a strange tradition that makes a routine charade of his power to pardon prisoners. As his tenure in Washington sunsets and calls for the pardon of American Indian Activist Leonard Peltier grow to fever pitch, thanksgiving 2015 is culminating into a perfect storm of irony. While Obama grants clemency to a bird, 46 million other turkeys will be slaughtered to celebrate the ongoing genocide of 100 million Native Americans, including Leonard Peltier who was wrongfully imprisoned 39 years ago. Meanwhile, the political class roundly reject the proposed immigration of Syrian refugees on the basis that they might be violent, religious fanatics like the Pilgrims turned out to be. The biggest genocide in human history didn’t occur in Nazi Germany but on American soil. Instead of pardoning another turkey and watching football during the Native’s 46th Annual day of Mourning, the president should pardon Leonard Peltier.
Black Friday 2015 was predictably accompanied by the usual symptoms of a hopeless consumer culture – brawls in Kentucky, riots in a Texas Wal-Mart, and even a shooting outside of a mall in Louisiana. But the consumerist nightmare of doorbuster sales is beginning to wear off. After Nordstrom and Costco announced plans to close for Thanksgiving last year, REI has decided to boycott Black Friday altogether this year, closing all of their 143 stores as well as their corporate headquarters, their website, and encouraging both employees and shoppers alike to get outside of the big box and do something besides participate in the feeding frenzy of slave-made obsolescence. The dwindling popularity of Black Friday is further reflected by a billion-dollar dip in corporate sales revenue this year and the proliferation of Small Business Saturday. With nearly everything in sight already consumed, the only logical option on the horizon for big corporations may be cannibal capitalism.
A recent dip in temperatures sent news anchors running for the hills this week. Bemoaning cold winter weather conditions as some kind of biblical disaster, winter wussies illustrate how disconnected humans are from the Earth, shielding ourselves from the elements in our cars and buildings and complaining about the fleeting moments we spend in between. All this as the 21st congress of climate talks transpires in Paris which many see as nothing but empty words of bureaucrats attending long meetings while reciting jargon and acronyms. In this episode Dr. Vandana Shiva weaves together our multifaceted world into the big picture, explaining why economic growth creates the political disease of dictatorship, why the climate conference will not produce genuine results, how organic farming can solve many of the world’s problems, why drinking coca cola is tantamount to drinking the blood of the people of India, and how the west’s addiction to oil relates to the death of a 3-year old named Aylan.
We revisit the inspirational activism of the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir led by the comical antics of Reverend Billy Talen whose spirited message and fiery sermons began with a passionate rejection of consumerism and have since blossomed into gutsy demonstrations against the banks and corporations that fund fossil fueled fascism. With droves of shoppers participating in the holiday commercialized frenzy of ‘buy ’til you’re broke’ pressure that leaves us dreading the Holiday season instead of anticipating, we urge a reminder that physical objects will never fulfill us. In the end our experiences and each other are all any of us have. So this year why not get your family together and do something wildly different. Buy absolutely nothing for Christmas this year and experience the most joyous holiday season you’ve ever had. We’re joined again by the Church of Stop Shopping’s manager, Savitri D, for an update and take a peek into their latest actions and forthcoming theatrics.
Get ready for a treat more surprising than anything you’ve ever found under the tree on Christmas morning. We’ll ascertain the reasons for the season as interesting as they are complex. We’ll discover how a Siberian shaman became a spiritual ambassador to Yeshua Ben Hur; we’ll establish the origins of the Christmas tree; we’ll come to understand the mysterious astrological significance of December 25th, and most critically, we’ll answer the burning question, what could any of this possibly have to do with Fly Agaric Amanita Muscaria mushrooms? We’ll also take a look into the immensely diverse cultural expressions of winter solstice celebrations around the world throughout history. But first, warm up your afterburners with a festive smorgasbord of yuletide absurdity and holiday magnificence. So strap yourselves in to Santa’s Sleigh – we promise that the glittering landscape, sleigh-bells, gingerbread, and fir trees will all make a lot more sense by the time we’re finished here today.