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The War on Nature

The War on Nature

Mexican wolf. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Ancient Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Chinese and Indians respected or worshipped several gods. Those gods were usually forces of nature, which opened the mind, eyes and hearts of human beings to the mysteries, beauty and truth of the natural world.

The vast human majorities of the ancient world were peasant farmers and shepherds who cultivated the land and raised food and tended animals.

The winds, rains and the snow, the trees, the different plants and grasses growing for their sheep and goats and cattle, were not abstractions but real manifestations of nature affecting them daily and giving them clues about life and their own fortunes. They noticed the different birds living near them and flying to the water of the creeks, lakes and rivers, according to the seasons. And soon they figured the appropriate time of the year, season, for growing wheat and caring for the olive trees for the life-saving olive oil and grape vines for their sweet wine.

Ancient people tried to make sense of the gigantic forces of the natural world. They looked at the sky and saw countless stars lighting the evening heavens. They were dazzled and sometimes frightened by these flickering bodies in the sky so far away from them. They usually associated these slowly moving stars with gods who influenced their lives.

People saw the gigantic Sun “rising” in the East and “setting” in the West. They noticed the Moon was close to the Earth and, in fact, moved around the Earth, linking it to their monthly calendar.

The priests of the gods were students of nature. They often gave meaning to phenomena difficult to comprehend like rain, snow, lightning and thunder. The priests explained and familiarized nature to those celebrating the gods. They made them confident that humans and other animals and the natural world were related and lived in the same world.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The religion of American Politics

image: Apostle St. Simon the Zelot

When are we willing to fight for our views?  Simon the Zelot was a disciple of Jesus.  He advocated aggression with the Romans.  He literally fought for his views.  I find it odd that Simon was one of the twelve disciples because Jesus seemed very much against violence (unless one considers the story of the  money changers in the temple!)  Politically I consider myself a moderate independent and normally I do not view political views something to fight over…disagree certainly, but this does not include violence!

My political views fall somewhere between a conservative Democrat and a liberal Republican, but since these political positions no longer exist I find my views falling more and more into a vacuum.  I stopped affiliating with the Democratic Party in my late 20’s, but I never switched to the Republican Party.  I have increasingly felt dismayed by the inability of politicians to compromise, to understand the value of the middle ground.  Today political partisanship has brought us to new levels of government dysfunction.  Frankly, it’s getting difficult to relate to my fellow Americans.

I was moved by the speeches made at Senator John McCain’s memorial service as well as those given for President George Bush.  We heard much about their civility and we owe a great deal to the leadership of these two men who served our country with distinction in and out of politics.  Strangely enough when George Bush was elected president I believed the opposite was true.  During Reagan’s term in office I felt our country’s political body was becoming ever more divided.  But after two years of Trump in office I look back with fondness at all Republican presidents before him.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The ‘Pivots’ to the Coming Era Can Already Be Discerned

The ‘Pivots’ to the Coming Era Can Already Be Discerned

The ‘Pivots’ to the Coming Era Can Already Be Discerned

In his autobiography, Carl Jung tells of “a moment of unusual clarity”, during which he had a strange dialogue with something inside him: In what myth does man live nowadays, his inner-self enquired? “In the Christian myth: Do you live in it?” (Jung asked of himself. And to be honest with himself, the answer that he gave was ‘no’): “For me, it is not what I live by.” Then do we no longer have any myth, asked his inner-self? “No”, Jung replied, “evidently not”. Then what is it, by which you live, his inner-self demanded? “At this point the dialogue with myself, became uncomfortable. I stopped thinking. I had reached a dead end”, Jung concluded.

Many today, feel similarly. They feel the void. The post-war era – perhaps it is the European Enlightenment phenomenon, itself – that has run its course, people believe. Some regret it; many more are disturbed by it – and wonder what is next.

We live in a moment of the waning of two major projects: the decline of revealed religion, and – simultaneously – of the discrediting of the experience of secular Utopia. We live in a world littered with the debris of utopian projects which – though they were framed in secular terms, that denied the truth of religion – were in fact, vehicles for religious myth.

The Jacobin revolutionaries launched the Terror as a violent retribution for élite repression — inspired by Rousseau’s Enlightenment humanism; the Trotskyite Bolsheviks murdered millions in the name of reforming humanity through Scientific Empiricism; the Nazis did similar, in the name of pursuing ‘Scientific (Darwinian) Racism’.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We’re Going To Have To Do Something”: Erdogan Warns Austrian Mosque Closures Could Lead To Religious War

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted Austria’s decision to close mosques and expel Turkish-backed Imams as anti-Islamic and promised a response, saying the measures announced by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz could lead to a “war between the cross and the crescent.” Erdogan’s comments came a day after the Austrian government said it would expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on “political Islam”, leading to widespread fury in Ankara.

“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul, suggesting that a return of the Ottoman Empire is among the many ambitious “to do” items in Erdogan’s calendar: after all that was the last time the “crescent” decided to take on the “cross”, and coincidentally, the Turkish ambitions reached as far as Vienna before the Hapsburgs crushed the Ottoman ascent.

Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), the junior partner in Austria’s coalition government, said the move concerned imams with alleged links to the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Association – or ATIB – a branch of Turkey’s religious affairs agency, Diyanet. Kickl said he suspects the organization of violating a ban on the foreign funding of religious organizations. A spokesman for Turkey’s president said on Friday that the decision was “a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.” At the time, Kurz claimed the decision was meant to fight radicalization and “parallel societies”.

Erdogan

Meanwhile, other conservative European leaders praised the move, including France’s Marine Le Pen and Italy’s Matteo Salvini. However, even Austria’s opposition parties supported the decision, with the center-left Social Democrats calling it “the first sensible thing this government has done.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Be kind, it’s all connected

Be kind, it’s all connected

In a conversation over the holiday I posited to a friend that the modern worldview which guides human action practically worldwide has all the hallmarks of a religion. I contended that this “religion” is at the root of our ecological predicament and that changing the current perilous trajectory of humankind would entail the adoption of an ecologically sound religion to replace it.

When I say religion, I mean “worldview,” and I believe the two are synonymous. Even if one has a supposedly secular worldview that relies on economics, psychology, biology or any other field for an explanation of how the world works, it will inevitably look like a religion since such worldviews have unquestioned (and often unquestionable!) premises and may make claims to explain all the social and/or physical phenomena we experience. These secular worldviews tend to be reductionist, describing the interactions of humans with one another and the physical world as nothing but a product of economic laws, human psychology or biological imperatives.

One cannot invent a religion. Religions either grow out of an accretion of spiritual and philosophical traditions over time or they start with a charismatic figure who brings a new set of ideas and standards into a society and is later labelled a divine prophet or the originator of a new philosophy or discipline.

I’ve tried to imagine what the shape of an ecologically sound religion/worldview might be. My friend wisely offered the following humble beginning: “Be kind. It’s all connected.”

The first two words are familiar to anyone affiliated with a religion. It is the equivalent of “Love thy neighbor.” But the second phrase creates an altogether more expansive meaning for the first, implying that we should not only be kind to our fellow humans, but to all nonhuman entities, animate and inanimate.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

DiEM25: Europe Without Nations or Religion


Fred Lyon Barbary Coast 1950
A friend sent me a post from the DiEM25 website last week, entitled Critique of DiEM25 policy on immigrants and refugees. DiEM25 is a pan-European political movement of which former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is a co-founder.

I started writing some lines as a response to my friend. Then it became a bit more. Wouldn’t you know… And then it was a whole article. So here’s my comments to it first, and then the original by someone calling themselves ‘dross22′. Now, in case I haven’t made this sufficiently abundantly clear yet, in my view Yanis’ knowledge and intellect is probably far superior to mine, and I’m a fan. But…

I don’t mean to imply that the views in the comment posted at DiEM25 are those of Yanis, but I do think it’s good to point out that these views exist within the movement. Moreover, as I wrote a few days ago, Yanis himself also thinks the EU should become ‘a federal state’. And I don’t agree with that. In fact, I think that’s a sure-fire way to absolute mayhem. Catalonia is only the latest example of why that is. Greece is an obvious other.

From that post on the DiEM25 site (see full text below):

[..] .. local European nationalism must be eradicated by creating a common European state. But a progressive European state would inevitably require a sense of identity that, in true progressive spirit, is radically opposed to religion. It would be hypocrisy to exclude Islam. Pluralism of values is a weapon of the establishment and we have to do away with it. In a Europe that is green nobody can afford pluralism in regards to lifestyle choices.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why political correctness fails – Why what we know ‘for sure’ is wrong

Why political correctness fails – Why what we know ‘for sure’ is wrong

Most of us are familiar with the Politically Correct (PC) World View. William Deresiewicz describes the view, which he calls the “religion of success,” as follows:

There is a right way to think and a right way to talk, and also a right set of things to think and talk about. Secularism is taken for granted. Environmentalism is a sacred cause. Issues of identity—principally the holy trinity of race, gender, and sexuality—occupy the center of concern.

There are other beliefs that go with this religion of success:

  • Wind and solar will save us.
  • Electric cars will make transportation possible indefinitely.
  • Our world leaders are all powerful.
  • Science has all of the answers.

To me, this story is pretty much equivalent to the article, “Earth Is Flat and Infinite, According to Paid Experts,” by Chris Hume in Funny Times. While the story is popular, it is just plain silly.

In this post, I explain why many popular understandings are just plain wrong. I cover many controversial topics, including environmentalism, peer-reviewed literature, climate change models, and religion. I expect that the analysis will surprise almost everyone.

Myth 1: If there is a problem with the lack of any resource, including oil, it will manifest itself with high prices.

As we reach limits of oil or any finite resource, the problem we encounter is an allocation problem. 

What happens if economy stops growing

Figure 1. Two views of future economic growth. Created by author.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Mainstream Science is a Religion

Why Mainstream Science is a Religion

science-is-a-religion

Mainstream science — despite all its claims of objectivity, and despite the fact it attempts to lay claim to the truth — is itself a religion. 

Science places itself on a pedestal and assures everyone it has dispassionately arrived at its conclusions. Meanwhile, however, it is full of assumptions, denials and limitations, and makes the serious mistake of presenting its theories as facts.

Materialism, the driving force behind mainstream science, has been shown again and again to lack the capacity to explain the world around us, especially in relation to idealism or other theories that account for the energetic nature of reality. However, the errors and assumptions of mainstream science are gladly seized upon by technocrats, who are eager to use science and technology to further their own ambitions of control. The planned New World Order has a massive technocratic aspect, and includes forcing the vaccineGMO, surveillance, geoengineeringcarbon-driven global warmingSMART and microchipping agendas onto an unsuspecting public.

Yet, despite this, we remain collectively bedazzled by materialism, a religion that has induced a certain faith in us. And up until recently, it has still been difficult for society at large to accept the fact that the unseen energetic realms of our reality are actually more powerful and more primal than the material realms we can see and touch … but that is starting to change.

Back to Ancient Athens – Materialism vs. Idealism

This is certainly not the first time we have struggled with the debate of whether the world can best be described by the philosophy of materialism; the ancient Greek philosophers and scientists thought long and hard about the issue.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The population problem: should the Pope tell people to stop breeding like rabbits?

The population problem: should the Pope tell people to stop breeding like rabbits?

In this post, I argue that overpopulation is a complex problem that has to do with human choices at the level of single families. It is not impossible that such choices will eventually lead to a stabilization of the population at a sustainable level as it has happened in some historical cases, such as in Japan during the Edo period.

The population question arises strong feelings everytime it is mentioned and some people seem to think that, unless something drastic is done to curb population growth, people will reproduce like rabbits, destroying everything else. This position goes often in parallel with criticism to religious leaders and to religions in general, accused of encouraging people to reproduce like rabbits. Or, at least, to hide the fact that people reproduce like rabbits if not prevented to do so in a way or another.

But is it true that people tend to reproduce like rabbits? And would they stop if someone, let’s say the pope, were to tell them to stop? Maybe, but things cannot be so simple. Let me show you an example: Japan during the Edo period.

The population of Japan during the Edo Period (uncorrected data as reported by the bBafuku government). It shows how it is perfectly possible to attain a stable population in an agricultural society, even without “top-down” rules and laws. (data source, see also this link)

Note how the population has remained relatively constant for at least 150 years. It is a fascinating story, discussed in detail in the book “Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660–1950” by Fabian Drixler. Here is an illustration from the book:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Obedience to Authority the Explanation?

StanleyMilgram

QUESTION: Marty, your point is well taken that we instinctively seek a guru be it in forecasting or politics. We have to understand we are doing that in order to escape responsibility and are really followers. Do you have any idea why we do that so instinctively?

BH

ANSWER: No. Perhaps it stems from the same concept that, as they say, if God did not exist, man would create him. Being a guru implies that you know everything about everything. It seems that the general expectation of a guru, appears to be defined as having some special access to some inner source of all-seeing, all-knowing, wisdom that, if mere mortals could only get close to, then all would be well. This does seems to have infected both analysts and politicians. Even in politics, society applies the same guru stupidity. Once a politician says one thing, they cannot possibly change positions. They will search someone’s statements 30 years ago to argue that was he real view. The press imposes this standard or never reversing a thought. It is curious.

Yet, it is strangely evident that we all change our opinions with time, for as time passes we gain experience and that is the foundation of knowledge. Perhaps we just do not want to think. Religion is an overpowering factor that often stops people from critical thinking and applying logic. If all religions assert that killing is a sin, then why is it OK if you are working for government as a policeman or a soldier as long as some higher-up orders you to do kill someone? The Germans put on trial after World War II said they were just following orders. Perhaps this is really just the “Obedience to Authority” as discovered by Stanley Milgram, whoi was inspired by those Germans saying they were just following orders.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Age of Finance Capital—and the Irrelevance of Mainstream Economics

The Age of Finance Capital—and the Irrelevance of Mainstream Economics

Despite the fact that the manufacturers of ideas have elevated economics to the (contradictory) levels of both a science and a religion, a market theodicy, mainstream economics does not explain much when it comes to an understanding of real world developments. Indeed, as a neatly stylized discipline, economics has evolved into a corrupt, obfuscating and useless—nay, harmful—field of study. Harmful, because instead of explaining and clarifying it tends to mystify and justify.

One of the many flaws of the discipline is its static or ahistorical character, that is, a grave absence of a historical perspective. Despite significant changes over time in the market structure, the discipline continues to cling to the abstract, idealized model of competitive industrial capitalism of times long past.

Not surprisingly, much of the current economic literature and most economic “experts” still try to explain the recent cycles of financial bubbles and bursts by the outdated traditional theories of economic/business cycles. Accordingly, policy makers at the head of central banks and treasury departments continue to issue monetary prescriptions that, instead of mitigating the frequency and severity of the cycles, tend to make them even more frequent and more gyrating.

This crucially important void of a dynamic, long-term or historic perspective explains why, for example, most mainstream economists fail to see that the financial meltdown of 2008 in the United States, its spread to many other countries around the world, and the consequent global economic stagnation represent more than just another recessionary cycle. More importantly, they represent a structural change, a new phase in the development of capitalism, the age of finance capital.

A number of salient features distinguish the age of finance capital from earlier stages of capitalism, that is, stages when finance capital grew and/or circulated in tandem with industrial capital.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Was Charlie Hebdo a “Convenient” Incident for Policymakers?

Was Charlie Hebdo a “Convenient” Incident for Policymakers?

Many Questions

On the 7th of January two gunmen attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo, a French weekly magazine. The shooters were two brothers who belonged to the Yemeni branch of the Islamist terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. The attack resulted in 11 casualties and many injured, while the shooters were shot a few days later in an exchange of fire with the police. Charlie Hebdo is a satire magazine, and its jokes and cartoons and its secular approach are widely considered anti-religious. Social media went into a frenzy with the hashtag “Je suis Charlie”. Four days later two million people including tens of world leaders participated in a rally for national unity in Paris, and over three million participated across France. A lot of questions were raised by this tragic event and its aftermath that we will look at in this article.

charlie-hebdo-shootout-videoSixteenByNine540The gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo and their get-away car
Photo via Reuters TV

How Free Should Free Speech be When it Comes to Religion?

Let’s start with the obvious: What was the motive of the shooters? According to witness reports of the attack, one of the shooters said “You are going to pay for insulting the Prophet”. Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons and jokes are regarded as quite controversial, as they mock all religions, whether Islam, Christianity or Judaism. When respect to Islam, they repeatedly published cartoons of Mohammed, which infuriated Muslim communities worldwide as images of the Prophet are not allowed to be depicted according to Islamic teachings. Not only was the magazine sued for this, its editor-in-chief, who was killed in the attack, had been on the hit list of the Al-Qaeda branch in Yemen for some time.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Egyptian student gets 3 years in jail for coming out as atheist on FB

Egyptian student gets 3 years in jail for coming out as atheist on FB

An Egyptian court has sentenced a 21-year-old student to three years in jail for insulting Islam after police discovered he declared his atheism on Facebook. The young man had been harassed for his atheist views and had his own father testify against him.

Karim Ashraf Mohammed Al-Banna was tried in Idku city in northern Egypt. The student was arrested last November when he came to police to file a harassment complaint. It was revealed that Al-Banna was harassed in public for announcing he was an atheist online.

The student was kept in custody till the trial, which determined he made Facebook posts “insulting” to Islam.

“He was handed down a three-year prison sentence, and if he pays a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($140) the sentence can be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court,”
 the student’s lawyer, Ahmed Abdel Nabi, said, adding that they plan to file an appeal in the beginning of March.

According to the lawyer, Al-Banna’s own father testified against him saying he “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam,” the Daily Mail reports.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The New World Order: Does It All Just Boil Down To A Battle For Your Soul?

The New World Order: Does It All Just Boil Down To A Battle For Your Soul?.

From its very inception, the Leninist/Marxist ideology of the Soviet Union made it a central priority to dispel and subjugate religious and spiritual expression. The state was “god.” No other god could be allowed to flourish, for if the people were given license and freedom of belief in something beyond themselves and beyond the establishment, they would retain a sense of rebellion. The collectivist philosophy requires the utter destruction of all competitors; otherwise, it can never truly prevail.

Atheism became the cult of choice among the communists, for in an atheist world there is nothing beyond the veil. There is no greater goal and no inherent self. There is no true individualism, only self interest (not the same thing), the trappings of environmental circumstances, and the constant substantiation of the greater good. By extension, there is no inborn moral compass or conscience, only the social fashions and mores of the moment. In such a world, tyrants reign supreme because atheism allows relativism to flourish; and any crime, no matter how heinous, can be rationalized.  Beyond this, if you know and study the real history of the rise of communism, you know through great researchers like Antony Sutton that the very fabric of the system would never have existed without the monetary and military aid of international financiers (i.e. the NWO).

The atheist position uses the same arguments I have just made as a reason to remove religion and spirituality from our cultural influences. And in some respects, atheists are right. Religion is a tool that can be exploited to manipulate the masses. Any system of belief that is faith-based can be misinterpreted and abused in order to lure unwitting dupes and mindless followers into the fray of an engineered disaster. Atheists commonly argue that it is the encumbering nature of faith that causes mankind to destroy itself in the name of zealotry and self-righteous ignorance.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The New World Order: Does It All Just Boil Down To A Battle For Your Soul?

The New World Order: Does It All Just Boil Down To A Battle For Your Soul?.

From its very inception, the Leninist/Marxist ideology of the Soviet Union made it a central priority to dispel and subjugate religious and spiritual expression. The state was “god.” No other god could be allowed to flourish, for if the people were given license and freedom of belief in something beyond themselves and beyond the establishment, they would retain a sense of rebellion. The collectivist philosophy requires the utter destruction of all competitors; otherwise, it can never truly prevail.

Atheism became the cult of choice among the communists, for in an atheist world there is nothing beyond the veil. There is no greater goal and no inherent self. There is no true individualism, only self interest (not the same thing), the trappings of environmental circumstances, and the constant substantiation of the greater good. By extension, there is no inborn moral compass or conscience, only the social fashions and mores of the moment. In such a world, tyrants reign supreme because atheism allows relativism to flourish; and any crime, no matter how heinous, can be rationalized.  Beyond this, if you know and study the real history of the rise of communism, you know through great researchers like Antony Sutton that the very fabric of the system would never have existed without the monetary and military aid of international financiers (i.e. the NWO).

The atheist position uses the same arguments I have just made as a reason to remove religion and spirituality from our cultural influences. And in some respects, atheists are right. Religion is a tool that can be exploited to manipulate the masses. Any system of belief that is faith-based can be misinterpreted and abused in order to lure unwitting dupes and mindless followers into the fray of an engineered disaster. Atheists commonly argue that it is the encumbering nature of faith that causes mankind to destroy itself in the name of zealotry and self-righteous ignorance.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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