The ‘Clock Boy’ and Competing Narratives

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This is not America. That is not us. This is not like us.
Mohammed Al Hassen, father of Ahmed Mohamed

What are we indignant about today? It seems being indignant is the preferred response to a world of abuse, violence and destruction. Perhaps the dissonance between living in “the land of the free” and the reality of the U.S. war economy is so great that being in the state of outrage is the only power we believe we have left.

As a country it seems we’ve backed ourselves so far into disassociation from common sense that when a thirteen year old boy is handcuffed, suspended and treated like a terrorist, we don’t immediately ask: How come his teachers didn’t know this student better?

News outlets are the equivalent of the film Roshamon  each touting conflicting agendas. Are we aware of the motives behind the various narratives? Do we question whether or not we are being nudged within using what we think we already believe to then accept and believe something else? How well do we read symbols and question the telling?

We neglect to be  to be indignant about the completely undemocratic activities occurring right in front of us, like the secret trade agreement negotiations – treaties that when they are no longer secret, will dramatically alter our lives and our world. Why haven’t these startling proposals received the media attention they deserve?

Why don’t we use our ‘indignant’ energy to ground ourselves in common sense for the common good?


Nudging News Producers and Consumers Toward More Thoughtful, Less Polarized Discourse

The New Media and Social Change


Leisure and Magic


Woman playing flute by reflecting pool:  San Francisco Chinatown post-1910

Leisure activity in consumer culture is usually ready-made and pre-designed – and within it’s predicable banality it’s no wonder that the ‘magical’ has grown in popularity and most importantly, profitability.

Where’s the fun?

The ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ magical options are astounding in their variety – the Crowley-ites, Queens of the Nights, fey Renaissance fairs, the law of attraction, tricked out tantrikas, the burning people – all kinds of allure from ordinary reality – a little love and light, or a little light bondage will bridge the gap between boredom and consumption.

Consumer culture loves the mainstreaming of the occult. It sustains and maintains what it needs most to thrive – our energy, self-absorption and our self-interest. The mainstreaming of magic offers a ‘more’ real world of the esoteric – a clever choice for sophisticated audiences who poo-poo what is ordinary.

Each era seems to have its own variety of cognitive dissonance; like the dissonance required for monks in the Middle Ages to burn people alive, take their money for positions in heaven and then say mass. This is not unlike the Law of Attraction with it’s training to “block the negative”, and only see what is possible for ourselves, a kind of feeding frenzy of self-interest.

At the root of it all is money. To pursue leisure and magic – to have exotic experiences and attract more money –you first need money.

Money allows us live in alternative realities. It also allows us to create real alternatives so that all the children of the world – the millions now living in poverty and abuse – are given the chance to experience what it means to have some fun within “leisure time.” We have the means and we have the opportunity to transform our relationship to money and leisure from being takers of experience to caretakers of existence.

‘For Profit’ War

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the mystery that is Franz Ferdinand

The biggest change I’ve seen in my life 50+ years is how most people now (generally) believe that wars are started and created for profit. It’s like “duh” — way to make buckets of money.

This ‘for profit’ angle of the origin of war is not new, it’s taught in every political science class  with Hegel on the reading list… but can we stop for a moment?  If we can pause, breathe, and step outside the dialectic and the explanations/ideologies which lay claim to telling history, we stand back  like a painter facing a blank canvas. The origin of war requires investigation  — that most wars were started for one group/person to profit over another within the understanding that there is never any excuse for this – this is the news whose time has come.  All the dialectics in the world can’t create a decent school, running water, or a clean bathroom. The first casualty of war is not just the truth, it’s also the infrastructure … but none of this is really news. Old Cicero asked, “Cui bono?”

…the profit professional can often be found in professorial positions…

I would twiddle my thumbs when I was taught about Franz Ferdinand and how this single event (his murder) was credited with the start of WWI. Did it add up to you? Theology is hardly confined to religion. The motivation and the cause for the delusion is important but what really matters is the solution.

We agree that war is a business and that it is easy to overlook the effects of war. The generational side effects that include longitudinal despairare scantily reported in the historical record – the grandfather who drank himself to death, the woman who lost her young adulthood and boy who never had a dad. War has a fictional telling that abstracts it’s brutality, a brutality none of us should ever know.

The media and especially the internet are studied and used to illustrate the mechanism – the buy and sell button – of the human and because war must be sold, the marketing of war is of primary concern — but it’s also it’s primary disadvantage… hehe, war can be unsold, the ‘internets’ can assist. War and it’s profit-motive can be reversed and profit can be used to create real things for real people.

So that’s the good news. John Lennon sang “War is Over” and it could be if we stop the general backchat, secret plans, patterns and consequence allowing the rogue elements of our mind to create the belief that there is no alternative to war,   when there is. Each one of us is a creator of an alternative if we choose, to do the leading by example and using what’s already here.

See what’s new in equality!

“War is a Racket” Major Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC

My Selfie


The Selfie has finally become boring. In a world of planned obsolescence the exhaustive desire for affirmation – for the  pose and the pout – has finally become passé. What’s next?

The human has been studied, focus-grouped and dissected down to the last pubic hair within the  promotion of the passive consumer. The Selfie is another commodity in fear of it’s expiration date.  Self-fulfillment is about Self, never about the welfare of the whole. The ruse is that the real individual has been replaced by the collective devotion to the image. It’s a neat trick; a simulacrum of individuality cocooned within the collectivism of consumerism.

We show off the uniqueness of our taste, our travel destinations, the experiences we buy – but we lack relationship: the Selfie is just that: the illusion of the collective with no relation to community, to each other.

What actions can challenge the isolation of the modern consumer?

A suffering world waits for Self as Image to become Self as Creator – that would be real self-validation.

Who else is there to create communities that consider the welfare of everyone, equally?

see: “Nice Guys Will Finish First”

Consumer or Creator?

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A great many cons have been played on the unsuspecting majority of the world throughout our history. Great cons have had the means and the opportunity to exist because an exchange takes place. Conspicuous consumption is one such con: in exchange for not stopping the con, the conned get a semblance of stability, identity, or predictability – but only for a while.

Conspicuous consumption is the premier myth driving the engine of our economy. An amalgam of emotionalism, excess and impulsiveness, conspicuous consumption rests upon mountains of research and decades of well-funded social psychology that have created the collective acceptance that we are primarily consumers of life, not creators of life.

We have been studied and dissected like no other species. Conspicuous consumption adapts, it is a changing art of artifice, from badges of status to experiential luxuries and ‘alternative’ lifestyles and did you know that today’s consumers are “different” from consumers of  ten or fifteen years ago? “Consumers today place a greater premium on connoisseurship, quality, and authenticity than on status.” (Luxe Redus, Boston Consulting Group)

Perhaps it is our malleability and uncertainty as a collective that causes our vulnerability to marketing. On the flip side, why can’t our malleability and vulnerability be the starting point for a different choice – a choice that, if we would only decide, would never allow a world where 2.5 billion people lack basic sanitation and where one in six people do not have access to clean water?

How did we fall for the con that freedom is the freedom to choose products? Such freedom  becomes compulsion, where a $1200 handbag and bags like are now coveted by women in the big cities because it shows others that “someone loves me this much.” (This from a Deloitte’s analysis that also found that the world’s 75 largest luxury goods companies generated nearly $172 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal year. A 13% gain over the previous year.)

This great con of modernism is looking shabby these days and as this era winds down the next con is in waiting in the wings – the ‘post consumer’ society, with it’s transhuman bright lights and big cities. So, what is growing and gaining strength – is it conformity to consumerism or is it the challenge to consumerism?

Today most luxury buyers, “detest the old values conveyed by the word luxury—the idea of ostentation or the evidence of conspicuous consumption, for instance—yet they do want to treat themselves, to enjoy fine products and experiences for their own sake, and to share those products and experiences with family and good friends.”  55% of global consumers surveyed by Neilson claim they are willing to pay extra for products or services from companies that contribute to social or environmental causes. Can this positive trend be redirected toward intentional spending to rescue real people who are really dying, right now?

The Living Income Guaranteed would provide the basic foundation so that everyone can, at minimum, live a decent life. Finally, a new definition of luxury.

Learning from the 1%


GW at a Yale graduation (

The elite of the world don’t wait for the future to happen. They make it happen. Why don’t we do that?

They don’t hope that the future will better. They don’t rely on others to create the future. They understand how to structure resources, how to make and keep commitments, how to work together and help each other. Why don’t we do that?

The elite take present trends and create what is to come. Most of react to these plans and because they have access to money, the elite have been able to make and maintain interconnections worldwide. The internet is able to connect us worldwide. So what are we waiting for?

Instead of investigating history in order to find out what really happened, most accept the version of history given; not seeing that the elite definition of words like ‘progress’, ‘efficiency’ and ‘democracy’ may not be the same as what we think they are… The elite definition of progress, for example, does not take into consideration the rights and needs of all people, equally. And yet, can we honestly say we are any different? Have we stood up to the reality of ‘progress’ and challenged advanced technological society – in which people themselves have become the raw material for industrialization?

We can learn from the elite managers of public opinion and persuasion – Bernays, Plato, Freud, Kinsey, Rand, Brezenzki and Wells  – these people understood how to steer public opinion to predetermined conclusions (from justifications for war, constant testing in our schools,  surveillance, pornography, the militarization of the police, etc) Why don’t we do the same to steer humanity to conclusions that honor life?

Let’s transform the ‘base metals’ of the elite: their need for standardization and control, their use of ‘experts’ and placebo phrases like ‘democracy’ – and use these same words and tools to redefine a plan of action; a standard of decency for all – a control of the natural world; a world where everyone is an expert on what it means to be human:  to give as we would like to receive.

We have a blueprint. It’s the starting point: Living Income Guaranteed.


Three Ways to Know History

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The de-industrialization of the U.S. took place about a generation after the de-industrialization of the United Kingdom. Industrialization has since (magically!) moved on to China and places to the east and south. Treaties and agreements like GATT and NAFTA took US manufacturing and industrial jobs without so much as one Zuccotti “occupy Pittsburgh” or Detroit. Why did this happen?

Scholar and writer Anthony Sutton said there are there not three ways of reading and understanding history: the establishment version of history, which is what most believe is true; the revisionist level which is more in-depth but based on documents/facts which come only from the establishment and the third way which is to actually investigate on our own to find out what occurred.

For example, I was taught, at the university level,  that the French Revolution was a predominantly a grass roots movement of angry, organized peasantry against the excess of monarchy. But it was actually an internal division among the French elite. The Duc D’Orleans kick-started the whole thing by paying aristocrats to dress as peasants and carry torches to Versailles. Or how about in the 1920s and 1930s – it was American industrialists who created the economic infrastructure of the Soviet Union; building factories and an industrial base that far exceeded, in scale, what was being built in the United States. Why was I not taught this?  Who benefited?

How do I start to know history –  real history? And what good will it do, if I do? I believe that if I know history – what really happened – I can explain the validity and reasonableness of a Living Income Guaranteed. I believe that the degree of cognitive dissonance – the difference between what we see and know to be true and what we are told is true– is so great that most opt for a consumer high, an autistic retreat into a gadgets and games – or back off from practical solutions in favor of the religious and spiritual – consumerism with a halo, if you will.

The majority of the world is waiting, most without running water or decent food. They are waiting for people like you and me – those who can and willing to create a world of decency for all.

I want to investigate what really happened; what we have really created.

Are you with me?


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