Funny how the words we use reflect the realities we do not face.

Remember when you were a kid, and you did something really naughty, your teachers used to always threaten you with:

“Now that’s going on your permanent record !”

Now here, I am dating myself a bit. I have no idea if teachers still say this, but the generation of schoolmarms, god bless their hearts, who first lay a paddle on my rear end, before my parents yanked me into a catholic school, used to run around saying that all of the time.

They were, of course, somewhat correct. Each of us more or less has a permanent dossier, or rather a distributed meta-dossier. From primary school to secondary school, high school’s records to university, university to employee, to employee, tax agencies, health agencies, insurance agencies, private and public.

A web of data flowing back and forth, like ethereal arteries. Their lifeblood being the stuff our identities are composed of, in modern society.

But did it ever dawn on any of us to ask a fundamental question..

Why in the deuce do we even have a “permanent record” to begin with?

Just something to ask yourself now and them, now let’s return to basking the joys of a managerial society.


Dreams, Memes, and the movie Inception. Erickson, slipping you a mickey, and dangerous dreams Part 2

I went to see the movie Inception with my buddy Khalid Bey, a veritable master of Memetics. The movie itself can be looked at from a memetic perspective, these are some idle unordered thoughts and musings on the matter.

Often, true felicity lies in knowing what is important, when, and where, and to what degree.

On that note, do not make the mistake of assuming this is all fru fru, “woo woo” (how often inarticulate syllables substitute for speech today) incoherent New Age flakage. Some things are better spoken if using metaphor, or similitudes. Other things are clearly not. Do not confuse levels of meaning.

Dreams are important, in that the inner dynamics of your mind are important. Focus too much on them and you fall into a subtle type of escapism and an evasion from the real circumstances of your life, but ignore them and you place yourself in a situation of ignorance.

Evasion. Escape. So often from ourselves.

How often do we slap ourselves on the forehead and say “I should have seen that coming”?

The words we use often illustrates our perception of things we may not consciously be aware of.

This is a sort of tacit knowledge. But if you can’t articulate it consciously, what good is it, in terms of usefulness?

In our dreams, the emotions we repress, the knowledge we hide, the reasons we evade, can haunt us, and our ignoring these things can cause us great suffering.

But a tangent, before we return to Inception:

Some people are fond of pointing out the low IQ of the gypsies, irrespective of the horrifying historical circumstances that often befall them. Many Europeans have tremendous bigotry towards the Roma, it’s often forgotten, and almost impossible to dig up without considerable research, the fact the Roma discovered, or somehow learned, certain metallurgical crafts kept secret, including a way of welding copper on a large scale basis.

This secret craft of theirs kept them busy in the 18h and 19th century with a monopoly on working on large scale industrial copper vats.  Roma “Travelers” in England basically helped enable the industrial revolution by a jealously guarded science, or rather craft and art. Later developments in western metallurgy rendered them and their techniques obsolete, and later generations of gypsies forgot this skill. It wasn’t marketable any more, they had no monopoly.

Speaking a spell around our perception:
There is an extremely difficult book to obtain, written in the early 20th century (and ironically enough, re-printed in the 1970s by Idries Shah’s own press, Octagon Books) that covers seemingly hypnotic techniques in old poetry. Whitman, it seems, is full of such techniques. Now, when you call something by a name, you condition how your listener perceives it. If you call poetry “enchanting” this is perceived differently than calling it “hypnotic”

The point of course is that in ordinary conversation, one who knows how can be remarkably suggestive, and it is entirely possible to trigger visionary states while awake, or while near sleep.

But knowing the mechanics of how something may be done, of course, does not guarantee that you know how something is done in every case. You can’t always take apart a fly and discover it’s secrets of flight. Reductionism is a technique, hence it is a tool. Techniques are multifold, and of course:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy..”

So, back to Inception.

The process the movie labels as “inception” and given some Hollywood flash is actually performed on a daily basis by PR firms, propaganda departments, and even our peers and co-workers. The idea of incubating the seed of an idea in someone and letting in sprout is something that is actually a finely refined science, and a bit of an art.

Albeit one highly morally dubious.

Much of what people think of as Spiritual development really isn’t, it often is simply development, hyper-development at times, of various aspects of the ego and psyche. Sometimes in our sincere attempts to arrive, we wander in confusion and end up in a deeper, though prettier, web than what we initially sought to escape.

Another aspect of the movie that was interesting was the “is life a dream” aspect.

Basically how do you know if you are sleeping, or awake.

The “theater” in which the movie unveils are a set of intense lucid dreams. This aspect – of multiple imaginal worlds within imaginal worlds – was interesting, but nowhere near as interesting as the memetic engineering aspect.

The character has an intense existential crisis, brought on by his wife’s perception that the world they shared was nothing but an illusion, a dream from which they needed to wake up.

And his intense guilt at having perpetuated this state. A guilt that led both of them to terrible destruction.

One of the themes of the movie was self-forgiveness and redemption, and the terrible toil that our own psyches can extract from us if we hold on to certain things.

Lucid dreams are interesting, our dreams can certainly say many things relevant to us, and expose things about ourselves that we would rather have buried, but in the act of burying them we may do damage to our own lives.

I have experienced very interesting waking visionary, and lucid dreaming states, off and on at various times in my life.

The most interesting ones occur during Ramadan, the first was a highly symbolic and somewhat disturbing dream of the Prophet Muhammad as a young man, I had as an undergrad. I shared it with Seyyed Hossein Nasr and he gave me an interesting interpretation of it. But on reflection years later, I could see his interpretation but also some additional things that I should have been aware of myself.

Sometimes a dream is like a letter and a large sum cheque  sitting unopened in a stack of mail. The recipient not deserving it, by his own inactivity..

I’ve experienced intense “dreams within dreams” – with each level intensely realistic and solid, but always with something unusual going on. At times I have panicked trying to wake up from one dream, only to find myself in another, and so on constantly. it is difficult to describe the utterly real, or at least solid, intensity of these types of dreams

Some intense dreams may come unsought, or in strange circumstances (sleeping in a friend’s strange house or apartment, or sleeping in close proximity to someone with an unusually high, and often chaotic, degree of activity and psychic disturbances.)

However some such states can occur due to deliberate incubation and sometimes, but not always, precipitated by certain practices or “spiritual exercises” –  for me, ones that I should not have been messing around with at the time.

One unfortunate condition today is that we are too prone to playing around with loaded guns, when all that we really need to do is cultivate some sincerity, hone our reason and logic, find the secret to prayer, and perform the fulfillment of ordinary duties life.

The psyche can be like a vast desert, or ocean, and it is possible to become trapped, and even to drown, in its depths.

It is unwise to cultivate certain sorts of intense lucid dream states and even classic “out of body” experiences. Because they lead to a preoccupation with the word of dreams, and pull us away from our waking reality here and now.

At best they cultivate an awareness of the somewhat dream like nature of the world in which we are in now, an awareness of its protean nature, but as the movie suggests – being lost in layers of perceived realities is in which I was jointly conscious of being physically asleep, the weight of the sheets around me, the position of my body, whilst also being conscious of being present at another location in the immediate vicinity of my sleeping body.

I had a “meeting” with someone quite unexpected, and somewhat unpleasant, that I am convinced was, in some way, “real” that is outside of juts my subjective experience, and reflecting something objective about the world.

That I truly encountered someone I knew, under unpleasant conditions, and that particular someone was, perhaps, more surprised than I was of meeting me..

The one thing I have taken home, from an awareness of dreams, is that as “real” as they seem, waking life has a coherence and order to it that even the most hyper-real dreams do not, because waking life deals with the physical hear and now, which is our normal order of being in life.

The dunya may, from a certain perspective, be an illusion, but from another perspective it is quite real. If you doubt me on this, touch a candle flame. You will quickly remember “what is real, and what isn’t”.

The main theme of inception is the tragic set of consequences that can result from forgetting what order of reality you happen to occupy. Life may be a dream from a perspective

“Man is asleep, and when he dies he awakens” – Ali bin Abi Talib

But this life, if it is a “dream” in some way, and if it is an “illusion” in some ways, is also utterly real..

And deadly in the terms of its rules.

It is the “dream” within which you are home, it is the “dream” that is real to you, and failure to realize the realness of what some see as a waking dream can have fatal consequences.

The coherence of waking life may seem to waver as we pay more attention to it and become more mindful, but this is a mistake. it is actually more coherent, we are simply just noticing the nuances that we previously filtered out.

Some “games” have incredible stakes, and this life is one such thing.
For once you leave, you never return. Our bodies do not blink out like a video game character, and we do not return to this level, no matter how much some may believe the case to be.

When we step off this mortal coil, you step off for good.
No second chance, no instant re-wind, like that interesting plot conceit in the Prince of Persia, the sands of time, the ability to return and undo the deaths of those you love..

We can choose to believe otherwise, just as we can choose to believe delusions..

Or we can cleanse our lens, and embrace perception of our situation here, and now.

Foresight and wisdom are our time machines, if you will. With foresight we can go forward, and trace things, those whose intellects and imaginations are able to virtually “travel forward in time” by putting together the pieces, connecting the dots, between traces of phenomena, in effect reading the negative space of life by perceiving the general context around the letters, the sensible.

This is using the seen as a support to induce a perception of the unseen, and seeing the consequences of actions through the their mind.

It is the ultimate use of reason and intellection.

Your intellect is the ultimate “time machine” – foresight is wisdom, the ability to see consequences from actions, to think a step or two ahead.

Lacking foresight is the fate of the vast majority of humanity, who see the words on the wall, so to speak. But are unable to “read” them.

This perhaps is a matter of dhawq, that is of taste. Experiential. It can be cultivated, and to some it is given naturally, but those of us who have to cultivate it have to struggle daily.

Dreams speak the language of emotion:
If we are divorced from our emotions we will not understand the language through which our dreams speak to us.

People are accustomed to making a division between emotion and reason, head and heart.

It is unwise to allow the way in which something is worded to influence you, and to sway you, without looking at the field broader.

It is wise to find a mastery of our emotions. Our emotions are important. And realize that your emotions are from your mind. So how can there be an opposition between our emotions and our mind?

Unless we are wording the situation the wrong way.

Those who are closed to their emotions are closed to a world of cognitive reactions. Emotions, like reason, are of our mind.

My buddy, Khalid Bey, once pointed out that Emotional thinking in itself is a form of reasoning.
A form of reason. Few people are capable to see that there is a reason within emotions. We are accustomed to thinking of emotions as irrational, I suggest a broader definition or “rational”.

Emotions occur in reaction to stimulus as perceived by our minds, and our mind is the seat of emotion.

We feel emotions in response to something we experience or learn or hear. This is a cognitive reaction.

Felicity lies in knowing what is important, when, and where, and to what degree.

Dreams, Memes, and the movie Inception. Foresight, and a story Part 1

..In itself, the word “propaganda” has certain technical meanings which, like most things in this world, are “neither good nor bad but custom makes them so.” Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group.

This practice of creating circumstances and of creating pictures in the minds of millions of persons is very common. Virtually no important undertaking is now carried on without it, whether that enterprise be building a cathedral, endowing a university, marketing a moving picture, floating a large bond issue, or electing a president. Sometimes the effect on the public is created by a professional propagandist, sometimes by an amateur deputed for the job. The important thing is that it is universal and continuous; and in its sum total it is regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers…” – E. L. Bernays, social scientist, professional propagandist, and seminal public relations expert. In his 1928 book Propaganda.

Some random thoughts, sketched out, inspired by watching the movie, Inception.

A long time ago I saw a movie that haunted me intensely, it was Until the End of the World.
I first saw it in the early 90’s and the themes in the movie gnawed at my mind for years. One of the themes in particular fascinated me.

Is it possible to grow addicted to dreams?

Is it possible, that our dreams and fantasies may become almost like drugs to us. In fact, is not one reason to take certain drugs simply to dream, to find  a world of fantasy, to escape? What motivates many junkies, feeling good, feeling cool and chill, but what is it ultimately that smack, dope, pretty much anything offers?

Escape. And a forgetting. Is this not sad, that we need to consume something to escape or forget? Ah, we at least still have our dreams, we still have sleep. And what if I could offer to you your very dreams, vivid and boiling with color and sound, in a box, to you, whenever you wanted it? Or, at least, pleasant dreams of others?

Delusion is the misperception of reality, believing to exist what, in fact, does not exist.
This can be concrete, or it can be abstract.

You know, Reality is a pretty important. It’s a big deal. In fact, to Muslims, or at least educated ones, Reality is God. Allah is a pretty abstract concept, formless, essence, setting into motion and forming all things, and is not one of Allah’s chief names al-Haqq?

al-Haqq literally means the Real, it also means the Truth. Haqiqa is a reality.

Foresight. It is not as common as we may think.

In business the ability to see past the next couple of quarters is rare, most people react. A good chess player may be able to imagine a couple of moves in advance, but how many can imagine 3, or 4, or more? Foresight is a precious gift, those who underestimate it underestimate the source of much good.

Escape, people seek escape from suffering. What is mild suffering to one person may be debilitating to another, depending on how strong or weak we are in certain areas.

Some suffering is unavoidable and endemic to a specific place and time. Other suffering may be avoidable with foresight. Being grateful for not having to endure some suffering is a pretty good idea…

Some human situations appear to be dreams of unimaginable beauty, while others appear to be literal nightmares of suffering.

It’s popular to use the suffering of others as a guilt inducing flail. What people tend to call “a guilt trip”

I don’t. But I do like to cultivate an awareness of both the felicity, and the suffering, or others. Awareness is pretty important in the world, and to me some sense of compassion and understanding is critical.

Empathy is a high human ability, in fact I would say without empathy you lose much of what it means to be human.

Who is so inhuman that they cannot find in their hearts compassion for, say, an Iraqi woman, formerly educated and of a good family, suddenly poor beyond belief, her husband and son slaughtered, forced to pass through checkpoint after checkpoint, forced to begging or prostitution just eat.

Or a man who is arrested, kidnapped in effect, for speaking out against some government. Thrown into prison and isolated, his manhood electrocuted with jumper cables and a 12 volt battery, assaulted and raped by the guards with broken bottles, made to witness his family daughters and wife beaten in front of him, and raped in front of him, while he is helpless beaten and in chains. All for articulating dissent against injustice, and the while world stands by mute against his plight.

Or a child born sickly and diseased, her mother feeds her what little formula she can afford but mixed with water tainted by industrial waste, dumped in their village’s lake by entities who know full and well the effects, but simply do not care, born in a land of endemic starvation, her country’s elites consuming millions of dollars of aid sent to help little girls like herself, by idealistic well meaning people elsewhere in the world, her country literally looted by a regime of elites actually put in place and maintained by the governments of the very people who are kindly donating their money in the first place.

When you look at the world in a certain way, it really does look like a scam. A con job. A massive fraud.

This isn’t the only side to it. It is unhealthy to over focus on some things and not others. Either focusing exclusively on the positive, or the negative, is a diseased state. For it is delusion, an unwillingness to perceive reality as fully as we are capable.

Inception, the movie, was released last Friday. I decided to go see it after reading a couple of web based reviews.

It was very interesting and well done, I recommend it. There is something that flew over the head of just about everyone who reviewed it.

One basic premise of the movie is simply Memetic engineering. A couple of bloggers picked up on this, but no one seems to be looking at it in depth. Because it’s a complicated and dangerous topic I will not look at it in depth, but I did see fit to at least mention it to you.

Before I talk about it, let me tell you of a little story. I find it quite interesting. Before telling it I must warn you about the power of words, for they can reveal meanings, and conceal meanings, and especially with English words bear emotional connotations that can obscure their literal meaning and affect how we see things.

The story has validity – and the points in it can be worded in many different ways.
The power to name things – choosing the words I use to describe something can cause you to perceive it differently. I can describe something in one way, and you would perceive it scientifically, or another way and you would perceive it mythically, or rather mytho-poetically, another way and you would perceive it emotionally.

Put on your poker face, observe the minute details, and see the movement of the hands as the little walnut shells are moved in circles in front of you. What are you focusing on..

And what are you not focusing on, but should be?

There is a story – it’s an allegory don’t take it literally people – that Idries Shah retells, about a mighty King, a great Padishah whose dominion is spread over many lands.
Behold – the story:

This King is very skeptical man, but it is a surface only, ordinary, and somewhat conditioned knee jerk type of skepticism.

The King doubts that certain possibilities in life are even possible, a dervish arriving at his court weaves a sort of spell on the man, he finds himself in another country, having been bewitched (or so he thought) out of his court. He wanders around and discovers to his great horror..

That he has become a woman. Albeit a rather beautiful one. Disconcerted and confused he experiences many strange adventures, though from the vantage point of a woman (something of course that the King never would have been able to experience or consider) and eventually finds himself accustomed to his new fate, marries a poor man, becomes pregnant, bears a generation of children.

40 some years pass for him in this state, until he could no longer remember his former life as a King, That life became unto him as a dream, distant and hazy, something he recalled in flashes of memory but being too improbable, too unrealistic, to entertain. For after all, she was a simple mother and housewife, how could she have possibly been a king, in the prime of his maturity, master of a mighty kingdom.

And then, the situation changes once again. Something pulls him back into the palace where he finds himself, a King once more, in his court, surrounded by courtiers and the Dervish, whereupon he flies into a rage.

Wroth, he towers over the dervish, accusing him of sorcery, and moreover of injustice. Of destroying his life, and sending him into exile for a lifetime. And, of course, making him into a woman.

The Sufi then points out to the King that he must be deluded, after all, it has only been a few moments since they started to talk. He then suggests that there are things in the world far more profound, or strange, than the King would think, and that perhaps what the King thinks of as his life, is somewhat limited. Whereupon the dervish employs the science of “folding space” (ilmu tair al-makan) and literally steps off the tale, leaving we readers mystified.
Metaphor is important, whether the mystical science of “folding space” really exists is irrelevant. It makes a nifty literary conceit in Persian stories.

What goes without saying, though not mentioned in the account, is that there is more than one way to skin a cat..

Or a dervish. Or, for that matter, a king.

My favorite line from the movie  – The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus:
“There’s no black magic, only cheap tricks”.

Of course,  what the clever Dervish induced in the King done can easily be performed with a few words, a few suggestions, and more easily with a few pharmaceuticals easily administered in a handshake, or a drink, or by other means.

“..There are more things in heaven and earth..”

But who is to say how what happened, in the logic of the tale, really happened? The how is open, the meaning is what is important.

Many of us, among the population in general, are highly suggestible. We often routinely slip in and out of mild trance states even whilst awake. What do you think is happening to you, after all, when you daydream? For a humanity lacking TV and movies, and the externalization of the imagination that occurs thereby, it is possible that profound dreams and fantasies can be verbally induced, especially with a drug or two slipped to the recipient.

Not everyone is that suggestible. In fact a certain ratio of the population are almost impossible to put under trance, and are only suggestible under the most extreme of conditions.

This is a statistical constant among people, a certain percentage are easily suggestible under the most trivial circumstances, a certain percentage need certain stimulus and conditions, but still may be put under a trance, and their perceptions managed, molded, hypnotized, and suggested with some ease, and a certain minority will always be very difficult to perform hypnosis on.

It has little to do with their native intelligence, of course. for some of the most brilliant people may be the most suggestible people, and some of the most dumb as rocks ones may have a very strong common sense insusceptibility to suggestion, AND vice versa.

Never make the mistake of thinking that by knowing how something might be done, you necessarily know how it was done, in a particular case. It does give you more room to speculate of course..

Once you think you know how a trick is done, you may be able to follow the trick, but since there are more than one way of skinning a trick, you can miss the point entirely.

Sometimes the medium is the message, or at least part of the message.

Lets speculate a little bit more.

Few consider that Erickson’s insights into conversational hypnosis aren’t new, they are simply re-discoveries (if even, Erickson was a profoundly well read man) of old knowledge of the human psyche. Many things modern thinkers think are knew, may actually just be re-discovery of things once taken for granted, that somehow slipped off the historical record.

..and what follows….

Authoritarianism, Democracy, and Current Situations

First things first – Authority and power compels submission.

When submission is given willingly without coercion, or even if by coercion but under contractual terms of mutual advantage, in a transaction – let’s say my submission to your authority in exchange for this and that –  by recognition of the authority submitted to, you could argue it is just.

Anti-authoritarians would argue that all authority is unjust. The point is we can at least debate about it.

But when the submission is coerced without consent then we enter into a different zone. Though coerced submission can occur in the furtherance of justice, if the ones coerced were previously in the commission of injustice and their surrender was necessary to check their injustice.

Often, the compelling of submission will be seen as unjust and unfair by most people. There are exceptions. history is full of them. The submission of the chaotic slavic tribes on the Volga to the reign of Rus overlords, by their own invitation, is one example. Anyway, I have no desire to argue with ideologues on he particular details, we can all find common ground from which to proceed further.

By definition, authoritarianism is social control, compelling a strict obedience to a governing authority.

Such authority could be a State and its governing apparat, non state institutions, or persons, also operating as authority.

Authoritarianism is not totalitarianism, the two concepts are different, though related as a fruit, leaves, and branches from a tree are related things.

Totalitarianism is authoritarian governance intensified, often Statist (though in theory it’s possible to conceive of supra-state totalitarianism, in the case of supra-state governance regimes) . In totalitarianism a state, or a governer, concentrates control over virtually all aspects of a society. This includes means and modes of production, child bearing, family composition, health care, social mores and values, the media, public gathering, war making, and so on. Total social control by the state, or at lest near total.

From cradle to the grave, virtually total social control and observation of the controlled.

The excuses given for the necessity of such control are irrelevant, the control itself is relevant.

For example: Kemal Attaturk and Franco were authoritarian, Stalin was totalitarian.

Now – between leaping to paranoid delusion, and sticking heads in the sand before obvious political realities, is a middle ground.

I say obvious, because they are obvious political realities, which often are commented on by an increasing number of professors, political activists, and journalists, and even made into Ph.D thesis material by budding scholars.the realities can be spun by the right or the left, but they remain what they are.

There is a middle position – simply recognizing the truth to a set of affairs and adjusting our lives as best as we can to living in an increasingly “interesting” world.

And maybe, for those with some balls or guts, something increasingly rare in our age, speaking up about things. And deeds to help those in need around us, and for those with faith prayer before, and on top of, these deeds.

Here is a controversial opinion, to be sure. Some say that in our lifetime we are witnessing “the Stalinisation” of American society, while most lack the courage to acknowledge it or do anything about it in what little time remaining.

This is debatable and contentious, and may strike one as paranoid. But there IS something to the idea that our society is growing increasingly authoritarian, in ways undreamed of by our grandparents generation. None can deny this, they can say that such authoritarianism may be needed, for our security, but none who are honest and informed can flat out deny it.

A man (once called by Bob Dillan “the most interesting man alive”) who is somewhat controversial is the Dervish Shaykh and thinker, Ian Dallas, Abdul Qadir al-Sufi.

He has a quirk of putting realities, both political and spiritual, into words that can cut through to the chase, and “get to the straight dope.” sometimes this becomes tedious slogans, but often he comes up with remarkably lucid and cutting observations.

Below, he makes a very interesting point about how recent developments here, in the USA, seem to mirror some aspects of Stalin’s regime. it would be stupid to overstate this past it’s point of legitimacy, he’s not saying that we live in a collectivist regime of terror. Only those incapable of reading nuances would leap to that conclusion. But what he is saying is that you really cannot deny the degree of authoritarianism entering democratic societies – he looks at Pakistan firstly, but he hints that the analogy also fits for Anglo-American societies.  To quote:

…What we are now witnessing is the Stalinisation of the formerly democratic state.

According to an NKVD (former KGB) directive: “To have had relations with an arrested person constitutes a sufficient reason for that person to be arrested in his turn.” For example: the arrest of the chief political administrator Andrei Khromov was directly motivated by this brief note sent by Malenkov to Stalin: “Here is someone who is without doubt close to Iakovlev (the Commissar of Agriculture who had just been arrested ten days before), for Iakovlev has recently recommended him for a post of responsibility.” Twenty four hours later Khromov was arrested.

Another Stalinist doctrine was ‘passportisation’ as a means of netting unwanted elements and having them removed. The compulsory issue of identity cards was considered a threshold move to total police control of the urban population.

Another doctrine was the plan to ‘disgorge detention centres’ – as prisons became overcrowded there had to be an emptying out of prisons with transfers to ship-prisons and secret remote centres. Suicides were useful, also.

According to the Russian secret police a vast conspiracy of terrorist organisations threatened the State. The Report stated that “these terrorist elements supported from outside the country were recruiting young men, unemployed and socially dissatisfied to participate in terrorist acts, industrial sabotage, and the use of chemical weapons as well as bacteriological ones.

In 1935, 8,300 families plus 41,000 people were forcibly deported from the region of Kiev to allow the police to eliminate undesirable elements said to be hiding among them.

That is Stalin’s Kiev in 1935 not Zardari’s Swat Valley in 2009. “

Again, this isn’t muddled conspiracy thinking, he’s making a fairly lucid historical comparison, and a point about modern politics, and one that should only be disregarded by those who truly trust our governments and leaders.

And do you trust them?

I don’t.

If you do trust them, then may I ask, why?

Links that made me think – Saturday 17 July 2010

Readings I found interesting this week:

A word on Culture Vultures

Brilliant – there is a method and logic to this, even if you are not paying attention. Some, who do not pay attention to the real game, can feel free to playing racial and ethnic nationalist games, in arenas built to occupy you with non essentials. More on this at a later date
Rich countries to pay energy giants to build new coal-fired power plants (it’s not “rich countries” it’s the UN giving your billions, while you’re in a financial depression, to build plants in China and India

Who was the fluffer?
London hospital ‘hired out ward for porn film shoot’

eek ! hmm.. also interesting.
More women lured to pornography addiction

And on that note, this link provoked thought in me
A new light on the harms of porn

On Stoic Virtue

Who Would Maintain Roads Worse Than the State?

The horrors of Eurarabia? Oh no !?! Not more hordes of m0slems
Do Muslims Have More Children Than Other Women in Western Europe?

Well. Fear tactics do have their rhetorical and propagandist uses…. Perhaps this, here, is something Europeans and Westerners should be actually worrying about, or at least those few with a mind with which to perceive.
China Posts A MONSTER Trade Surplus, As Exports Surge 44%

Does anyone recall Jim rogers’ rants a couple of years ago?

There is a logic to this, we have to look at things from multiple perspectives, put aside our biases and knee jerk conditioned responses, and examine certain issues from many directions…

To see clearly you must clean your lens and put all emotion aside, and look at every issue from as many angles as possible.

24 multinationals move HQ to Shanghai

Video – on multinationals move to Shanghai

Oh.. how the “mighty” fall (bow bow, tchicika..)
“Ferris Bueller” Actor Fails to Register as Sex Offender,0,5654866.story

This next article, I see his point and while not offering a critique, would say that success is highly context dependent – what is success to one may not be success to another. Maintaining a lineage is important, going extinct is without a doubt a failure, and yet there are other factors . Interesting reading though, short and sweet.
Failed Kings and Queens