Thursday, May 28, 2015

In all Fairness

This "meme" came through my facebook newsfeed today:

Good point.
Posted by Digital Romance on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

So, I shared it with this commentary:

True enough. I don't expect the WORLD to be fair. The world may not be fair, but we humans supposedly have a choice. And, all too often, I hear people use this truism as an excuse not to bother treating others fairly...they like to tell you to just "suck it up"...

So yes, I do expect to be treated fairly by other people and when they don't treat me fairly, I know they are not to be trusted. I usually try to stay away from those types of people. And, I won't work for anyone who treats all or even some of their workers unfairly.

We are not the only species who have a sense of "fairness". There was a lab experiment with monkeys...they were to perform a task and receive a reward (either a grape or a piece of cucumber). They had two monkeys perform the same task, but one got a grape and the other got a piece of cucumber. The one receiving the cucumber threw it back at the researcher!  I guess I am in good company...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shock Doctrine

I read a LOT and watch a lot of documentaries, etc.  Since I began my "search for Truth" back in 2007, I have been researching and studying various subjects (like psychology, history, politics, and some of the sciences, etc) pretty intensively - both mainstream and alternative. I have been lucky enough to actually have the time to spend on such things. I know that most of us do not have that luxury, so I am grateful for the opportunity. This journey of research has been a wild ride!

One of the books I read in the course of this research, was Naomi Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine".  I also checked out her documentation notes (as I always do, that or the bibliography depending on which is used). She seems to be an honest researcher and documents her sources. This book was another real eye opener! I highly recommend it. There was also a documentary made based on her book.  (You can watch it below, at the bottom of this post.)

And, based on having followed her work for some years, I have seen her growing and changing her views as she continues her research.  For me, that is another good sign of an honest researcher as opposed to someone just looking for confirmation of a bias.

The description at Amazon says it better than I could, so I will insert quote here:
In this groundbreaking alternative history of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free-market economic revolution, Naomi Klein challenges the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory. From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, Klein shows how Friedman and his followers have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies. As John Gray wrote in The Guardian, "There are very few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books."
Here is Part 1 of the documentary which is a pretty good overview of the book.  It is a bit of a long watch in total, so get yourself a nice cup of tea and get comfortable.  I most definitely think it is worth it.  Here is the link to the playlist in case you want to watch it all.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A People's History of the United States

By Howard Zinn

I read this book several years ago, at the beginning of my "search for Truth".  It was an eye-opener!  It has now become a classic and you can read it for free.  (or find a copy on Amazon).  I could go on, but I think I will let the "History is a Weapon" website say it better than I could:

The Note: This great book should really be read by everyone. It is difficult to describe why it so great because it both teaches and inspires. You really just have to read it. We think it is so good that it demands to be as accessible as possible. Once you've finished it, we're sure you'll agree. In fact, years ago, we would offer people twenty dollars if they read the book and didn't think it was completely worth their time. Of all the people who took us up on it, no one collected.

The disclaimer: This version is made from OCR. That is a fancy way of saying that we scanned in and coded over six hundred fifty pages. There will be a few small occasional errors: spelling mistakes, odd punctuation, and the like. If you see any, please contact us. We have posted it in spite of these mistakes for two simple reasons. First, the book is worth a mistake or two because it really deserves the widest audience possible. Second, we are sure that once you new people begin reading it, you'll go out and get a physical copy. You should go and get it (and ones for your friends and family). At this point, A People's History Of The United States is available in regular form, read aloud on audio, on posters, in a teaching edition, and as just the twentieth century chapters (we have all but the posters). And now here. Please Enjoy!

 Indeed, I first read the book online for free...then I had to have my own copy!

After reading the book in 2008, I saw the documentary "You can't be Neutral on a Moving Train".  You can watch it below if you like.  Then, I remember hearing of Mr. Zinn's passing back in 2010.  Sure, he lived to a pretty ripe old age, but we lost a great man.  May he rest in peace.

Old Friends

I cherish all my friends, but old friends are the best.  We have decades of shared memories and enjoy reviewing them together...or reminiscing (yes, that's the word)...

Recently on Facebook, an old Army Buddy posted this humorous photo w/ caption:

In the ensuing conversation, we agreed that we have always taken turns being the "bad influence" in how we used to designate one of us to be the  "drunk" when we went out partying (the other one got to be the driver).  This reminded me of one of those nights when I got caught "driving sober".

It was her turn to be the "drunk" that Saturday night, so I got to be the driver.  Also with us that night was a Special Forces guy my friend was seeing and another friend of ours from the barracks.  All went well, I drank cokes and the others drank the alcoholic beverages of their choice.  On the way home, the Polizei (we were stationed in Germany at the time) had a road block, checking for drunk drivers.  My friend was giggling in the back seat with her guy and kept saying, "Be cool, maintain".  I said, "No problem, remember, I am sober".  The other woman of our group was passed out in the front passenger seat.  When the officer arrived at my window, he immediately saw I was sober with 3 drunks in the car.  He smiled a big smile and waved me on...he did not even ask for my license!  I always thought I should have gotten a smiley face sticker for my license for getting caught "driving sober"!   Still, it is a fun story that my friend and I occasionally like to reminisce about. 

I know this is probably just a stupid post, but I do believe humor to be very I am posting it anyway!

Strange Noises in the Sky

In my previous post "Climate Change Deniers", towards the end, I mentioned:

Not only is our climate changing, our magnetosphere is thinning/weakening and the (magnetic) poles are moving faster every year. Our planetary rotation has also slowed slightly (in the past couple of years). We are getting an increase of volcanoes, earthquakes, sinkholes, and fireballs.

I forgot to mention that since around 2009, there have been numerous reports of "strange noises" being heard around the world.  They are reported to have a"groaning" or "trumpet" sort of sound.  A variety of theories as to the cause have been put forth, but nothing definitive.  If the Electric Universe theory is correct, this phenomenon may be related (as another symptom of a common cause).

This SOTT Report "Strange Noises in the Sky...Trumpets of the Apocalypse?" gives a very good summary of the phenomenon and some of those theories.  It it not a long video (about 11:18 minutes) and well worth it if you are at all interested in this topic.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Climate Change Deniers

Recently, one of my facebook friends made a comment about "climate change deniers".  She made the comment in a way that suggested I "knew what she meant" if she had winked at me as a fellow believer.

The problem for me is that I was not sure what she meant by "climate change denier".  The term gets bandied about in various contexts.  So I answered as follows (edited and expanded):

Boy, that is a can of worms!

Some people don't believe the climate is changing at all. They think it is just natural variations in weather. I think they are the true "climate-change deniers".

However, most everyone else believes the climate IS changing - out of these some still believe it is warming, some believe it has gone from warming to cooling. Those in the cooling camp get called "deniers" by the ones in the warming camp.

Of those who believe it is changing (both warming and cooling camps), some believe it is all due to CO2 and other greenhouse gases; in other words, man-made climate change. Some believe the sun is responsible (either for all or most of the changes).  Some in the solar camp are also in The Electric Universe camp.  While the others in the solar camp talk about solar radiation only, the Electric Universe people talk about an electrical relationship between the sun and earth and cosmic rays.  The ones in the "solar" camp get called "deniers" by ones in the "man-made" camp.  The ones in the electric camp get called crazy by everyone else.

So, I think the term "climate change deniers" is a rather generalized term and people get called this if they disagree with ANY aspect of the "official" story.  By saying "the science is settled" and calling everyone who disagrees a "denier", it is beginning to sound less like science and more like religion.  Trouble is, the science is NOT settled, there are scientists in each of the camps I delineated above (except possibly the ones who don't believe the climate is changing at all...then again, there might be some even there - I just haven't read of them). 

For myself, I most definitely agree the climate is changing! I see evidence that there was warming for a time, but it seems to now be cooling (overall - we may even be heading for a mini ice-age), and in general, the weather seems to just be going crazy everywhere.

Although we are definitely poisoning our environment (air, water, ground) and this may indeed have some effect on the climate, I think there is a lot of evidence that the sun has a larger effect. I am even leaning heavily towards the Electric Universe theories.  I have been studying all of this for several years and the more I read and watch the news, the more evidence I see for the Electric Universe Theory. Not only is our climate changing, our magnetosphere is thinning/weakening and the (magnetic) poles are moving faster every year. Our planetary rotation has also slowed slightly (in the past couple of years). We are getting an increase of volcanoes, earthquakes, sinkholes, and fireballs. All these things fit with the Electric Universe Theory.

But, of course, I am no expert and time will tell. In the meantime, I am very much in favor of stopping the poisoning of our environment (regardless of climate). I am in favor of sustainable energy and agriculture, etc.

I plan on covering the Electric Universe Theory in greater detail in the future.  In the meantime, here is one of my favorite videos discussing "The Variable Sun and Its Effects on Earth":

Edit:  17 May 15 - I forgot to mention all the reports of "strange noises in the sky" as one of the possibly related ongoing phenomena happening around our planet in recent years.  For more, see my blog post "Strange Noises in the Sky".

Friday, May 15, 2015

Out of the Void

Many years ago, my efforts (handicapped by Complex PTSD) at dealing with life's challenges came to naught.  I tried everything I could think of - Various books (self-help, philosophy, spirituality, etc), 12-Step programs, a few churches, and psychotherapy (group and individual).  I did learn much and made some progress, but ultimately hit a brick wall.  I just couldn't make further progress.  I began to think either the information I was finding was false or I was a spiritual idiot because I just couldn't "get it".  I wanted to believe the information was false, but though I would not admit it to myself, I suspected I was a spiritual idiot.  I have since become convinced that I was that second know, a spiritual idiot.

The resulting frustration and pain impelled me to "trash all my beliefs" (even mundane ones).  I had lost my faith.  I immediately fell into what I called "the Void".  I called it the Void because I didn't have another word for it. 

In the Void, nothing means anything.  At all.  It is a bleak, barren, empty place.

For some months, I tried to "figure it out".  I asked people everywhere if they knew anything about this "Void".  They all said they did not.  Looking back, it was probably because I was not describing it in terms other people could understand or they were being polite by not saying out loud that I was a spiritual idiot.  Maybe a bit of both.

As my momentum to "figure it out" failed to produce results, I became angry.  Actually, I have been angry for most of my life.  I once told my father "I don't know how NOT to fight".  That anger was held (somewhat) in abeyance during the years I was reading books, attending 12-Step meetings, etc (as mentioned above).  But, when I hit that "brick wall", the anger resurfaced.  In retrospect, I think I just threw a temper tantrum (at God) that lasted for years.

I decided that if I could not find happiness, I would settle for pleasure.  I plunged into hedonism...

Yet, at the same time, part of me was thinking that this letting go of all my beliefs was a good thing.  That now, I had a blank slate.  I could begin to rebuild.  It took some years for this seed to take root...but eventually it did.  In 2007, I began a Search for Truth...and a blog called "Out of the Void".  Silly me, thinking I was ready to write about coming out of the Void! 

After finding a lot of "way-out there" stuff, I stumbled upon some sites that showed real promise.  What I learned there made me step back and really re-evaluate where I was headed.  So, I closed down the blog and went on a real journey of discovery.

I think I may ready to try the blog thing again.  Eventually, if things go as planned with this blog, I will fill in the blanks of my story with more details and what I have learned.  Since the more I learn about the world, the more I understand myself and the more I learn about myself, the more I understand the world; I plan to also write about a wide variety of topics.  I will probably even re-post some of the things I wrote on that first blog as their relevance shows up. 

Finally, I have hope of coming Out of the Void...and a new journey begins.