December 13, 2007

Shocked To Our Senses?

A great deal has been said on the sad topic of the tragic deaths of persons struck by the latest in police technology, the 'taser.' Yet, there are still a few nuances that I haven't seen or heard in the media coverage.
When tasers were first introduced by police forces across North America, they were 'sold' to the public on the assurance that they were going to be used only in those situations where, previously, fire-arms would have been used. Hence, the police promoted these weapons as safe and humane alternatives to guns, whose use very often result in death. On this pretext, the public accepted the deployment of tasers, and police forces eagerly bought them from the equally eager corporation that manufactures them.

Just a few years after their introduction, what are we finding? It's quite obvious from a deluge of reports, that the police regardless of what their training manuals state are now using tasers as their preferred, primary tactic in dealing with anyone who doesn't immediately submit to their approach. This assertion is amply illustrated by a list of those who've been tasered, which includes senior citizens, both men and women, pregnant women, teens, and those with physical and mental handicaps. Now, think about it: does that sound like individuals who would be involved in such dangerous criminal acts as to require the use of fire-arms? Obviously no! The police have discovered that they have a new toy that can be used anytime, anywhere to subdue any person they merely suspect of being uncooperative. Using the taser removes any need to use their brains, removes any risk to the officers, and until recently, they haven't had to answer to anyone outside the 'blue-line' to justify their actions.

Sure, the cops have a difficult job; so do psychiatric nurses and doctors, for example. But they manage to do their jobs without resorting to tasers as the first tactic. What the public is outraged about is the clear threat that we are now all living under you are no longer innocent until charged with something; the police may decide to taser you for any little action or 'lip' that they don't like. No member of society is safe from this weapon by reason of age, sex, or status. That is very troubling in a country that likes to promote itself as 'free' and law-abiding. There can be no respect for law once the law-keepers consider themselves above it!

A lot of blame, I contend, must go towards the manufacturer of these infernal weapons of torture. The company insists that the device is not lethal despite clear statistics of numerous deaths following its use. It's just like the sad saga of tobacco, all over again! "There is no scientific link between the use of 'blahblah' and injuries/conditions resulting in mortality." Yeah, sure! Neither is there a link between the results of the research and the fact that much of the research is funded by the manufacturer of tasers! The way corporate America uses 'research' to bamboozle the public is a blatant insult to our intelligence. How many more needless deaths will have to be whitewashed before our legislators wake up and stop this idiocy? Quite frankly, I think there is a place for the use of tasers by police but put them in the same category as fire-arms, deadly weapons. Every use of tasers should require a full report by the officer involved, with proper justification for its use based on real risk of serious injury or death.

From all that Canadians have learned in the past few years the Air India enquiry, the Arar enquiry, the RCMP pension fund scandal, the freezing deaths of native detainees, the YVR killing, etc. it is abundantly clear that our police forces are out of control. It is past time that police officers everywhere be made accountable to civilian authority. Yes, the idea is repugnant to them; they think no-one can understand the pressures they work under. The police have to remember that above all they are civil servants that means they are paid by, and answerable to, civil society. If they continue to act as independent vigilantes, they will soon find their job becoming a lot harder than it is now, as public trust in them is eroded and replaced by fear.

We, ordinary citizens, must continue to press our politicians for better, and impartial oversight of those charged with our protection, before we wake up in an Orwellian police state. When the law-keepers are accountable, we will all benefit police officers as well as the public at large. If we can find the courage to take the necessary steps, Mr. Dziekanski's particularly senseless death at the Vancouver airport will not have been in vain.

Intelligent 'Intelligence Reversal?'

Six years after a disastrous invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has been unabashedly employing the same sorry strategy in a bid to extend American hegemony with an attack on Iran. By now, every intelligent person knows the strategy. It involves continued, escalating accusations of developing nuclear weapons, and relentless tarring of Iran and its government as the latest embodiment of evil in the Middle East. In this classic exercise in propaganda, Bush has been aided, until recently, by the giant media machine the major 'tri-literal' TV networks, and their print affiliates. However, sometime in late 2006, we started seeing something strange: the networks started taking a more even-handed approach in handling stories related to the White House and its policies. Later, they even got brave enough to openly question, even lampoon, some of the obvious inconsistencies and liberties taken by Bush and his administration. Just lately, the US 'intelligence' agencies released a NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) on Iran in which they pronounce that the 'rogue state' ceased its development of nuclear arms capability in 2003, and poses no danger to the USA.

That last sentence could have terminated with an exclamation mark, so radically does it depart from the anguished rhetoric emerging from the White House over the years. The report amounts to a slap in the face for Bush and his harping, and essentially pulls the veil away from his desperate posturing to fabricate a pretext for war with Iran. Most objective onlookers understood that the old game that failed in Iraq was being played out once again with Iran as the goal; but now there is proof coming right from official US sources. It looks like a miracle for the forces of peace, the drowned-out voices of sanity in the USA. But behind the miracle, what is going on? After all, it was 'official sources' that provided Bush with his flimsy 'WMD' excuse for invading Iraq. And surely, the participating agencies have known this 'news' about Iran for a few years. So why did they release it now?

You will find various reasonable explanations for this remarkable about-face. One thing is clear, though there is serious opposition to the Bush machinations within the ranks of the federal agencies that are supposed to support the administration in power in carrying out its policies. During his first term, Bush ran roughshod over the advice from these professionals, and bullied them into doctoring reports to lend weight (often quite dubious) to his preconceived plans. In those first four years in office, the Bushmen showed their true colors, made a lot of enemies, and especially, frightened a lot of thinking Americans with their utter disregard for the constitution and all that it symbolizes about their country. In today's media-conditioned climate, it can be next to impossible to remove even a patent madman from the Oval Office as long as the media giants are behind him. What, then, can genuine patriots do to resist and thwart the insane decisions of a president bent on propelling the nation towards sure disaster? Well, we are seeing before us if we care to discern just how the game can be played by the insiders. This NIE report that contradicts the Bush agenda is just the latest, and most recognizable instance of 'civil sabotage' by patriotic officials who realize that the survival of their nation and its freedoms depends on their internal resistance to the self-destructive directives issuing from the Mad House on the Potomac. I contend that the public has been blissfully innocent of other, dramatic, behind-the-scenes, often heroic actions taken by individuals of conscience with the aim of blunting Bush's desperate gambles.

For blatant example the public seemed to react with a bored yawn at the crazy story that emerged around August of a B-52 bomber flying across America with nuclear-armed missiles, bound for the port city of New Orleans. The US Air Force had, we were told, 'temporarily lost track' of the missiles. The whole story was so bizarre that only a few insiders really knew the truth that a lower-ranking officer had blown the whistle on an attempt to conceal the delivery of nuclear weapons to some unknown off-shore destination. The 'mistake' had to have originated at the highest ranks of military authority just like the 'stand-down' order issued to USAF/NORAD forces on 9-11-2001. (Yes, the buck stops with Cheney, if you had any lingering doubts). Then there was an alleged discovery of a 'dirty bomb' in the Big Apple; the Mad House expected to leverage this incident into an excuse for martial law but those in the line of command simply played down the hysteria until it was demonstrated to be trivial. Another time, Bush attempted to employ the emergency radio communication protocol (designed for national emergencies) to broadcast a pretext for martial law and suspension of civil liberties. Again, the personnel in charge of broadcasting took steps to quash the emission without interrupting regular radio transmissions.

The pattern is now apparent; individual officers within the ranks of public agencies are conducting a campaign of civil sabotage on any edicts from the president or his cabinet that undermine the precepts of the constitution or work against the best interests of the nation. They have only to hold on and continue this counter-strategy for another 12 months, until the next president is elected. However, who knows what could happen in those 12 months? Desperate men do desperate deeds; and this Bush cabal is furious at seeing its dreams of global dominion crumbling away. They will continue to try any measure that holds any prospect of furthering their nefarious goals. The counter-insurgency will have to be steadfast and resolute in refusing to prop up their plans. Meanwhile, in the remaining months, opponents of the Bush-putsch will continue collecting evidence in support of the case for impeaching Bush, Cheney, and others.

One more observation: some pundits claim that there are 'grey eminences' hidden forces behind the scenes that are really manipulating the levers of power (media psy-ops, political influence buying, corporate power mongering, etc.) to decapitate the current regime in DC. They were the same 'powers that be' who were instrumental in getting Bush into the White House in 2001 despite his clear loss of the popular vote. Now their patsy has become a monster, refusing to respond to the puppet strings as required. Hence, TPTB have become irate with their Boy George, and now they are pulling out the stops to throw a monkey wrench into the haughty ambitions of Curious George. There is substantive evidence in favor of this view, not the least being the sudden turn-around in the treatment Bush receives in the popular press (as noted above). Whether this explanation is the real deal I leave with the reader but as you can see, there's plenty of circumstantial evidence to lend credence to it.

November 22, 2007

Sea Change on Climate Change

As a collective, we don't seem to have much of a memory for events... unless they're tragic or catastrophic, of course. Politicians generally depend on this poor group memory to allow their careers to survive embarrassments of all kinds. However, some of us do remember, and that recollection is often unsettling. Take the current atmosphere on global warming, as a prime example. It wasn't long ago, maybe six years, when the mass media were very skeptical about climate change. Newspaper and TV journalists always ran stories claiming global warming together with pieces that cast doubt on the 'theory,' as it was always characterized. Ten years ago they were questioning the very notion of 'warming,' offering various kinds of alternative theories that ranged all the way to 'a new Ice Age.' Then they seemed to grudgingly accept the evidence for warming, but now they challenged the mechanism. Was it 'natural cyclical processes,' that needed further research... or was it due to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by human industrial activity? That 'debate' went on for a few years until sometime around 2006. Then something interesting happened-- a 'sea change' in group-think: the mainstream media achieved a breakthrough of sorts regarding 'climate change.' No longer do we see skepticism over the fact of global warming-- nor over the mechanism that purports to explain it; now it is taken as obvious, almost self-evident, that global warming is caused by human activity.

Most citizens, even those who consider themselves well-informed, tend to regard this change in media outlook-- if they even notice it-- as 'just one of those things;' a phenomenon rooted in the tangle of human consciousness, and multiple choices. But, suppose it's not just inexplicable; suppose it's a deliberate strategem, by hidden proponents, for presently unknown purposes. In other words, could it be that the media have been directed to go from honest skeptics and agnostics on the subject of climate change, to implicit believers and supporters of the 'greenhouse gas emissions' school of teaching? There's little doubt that the media have made an about-face; the question then remains, what is behind this abrupt turnaround? I'll put that question aside for the moment.

Concerning global warming, there's only two possibilities: either it is caused by human-generated 'greenhouse gases,' or... there's some other mechanism at work whose nature we don't yet understand. In my essay on 'Climate Change Heresy,' I present a brief overview of why I'm convinced that the carbon gas emission theory is impossible-- a bogus theory that is, today, almost entirely carried by the power of the mainstream media. That means that there is some other theory, another mechanism, by which the Earth's average temperature is rising. (If you, dear reader, are not convinced of the weakness of the greenhouse gas theory, I invite you to stay unbiased long enough to study both sides of the issue, as presented by their own proponents.) Now, since the greenhouse gas theory fails, why would the hidden manipulaters of the mainstream media direct their minions to promote it to their mass audiences? Indeed; who stands to gain from this bogus explanation?

That was the question a friend of mine posed when he had read my above-cited essay. In other words, what would the media achieve by backing a false theory? I suggested a few plausible reasons that were advanced by other analysts (e.g. the 'alternative energy' industries will gain; the environmental lobby gets a boost; etc.). Of the putative reasons, the most plausible is the most abstract: by fostering the notion that global warming is the direct result of human activity, the hidden 'powers that be' create a desired general climate of fear among the populace-- fear that facilitates the slide towards full authoritarian rule over the most powerful entities in the political world. On reflection, I still think that this is one of the strongest motives behind the sea change that brought the mass media behind the idea of potential doom caused by air pollution.

However, after recently viewing a provacative video documentary related to climate change, it suddenly hit me what quintessential motivation lies behind the great editorial shift. Look again at the choice: it's between a theory that lies somewhere in the realm of natural processes that are likely beyond our control, and the theory that places the blame squarely on human activity. So, if global warming is caused by human activity that generates greenhouse gases, then the solution lies in altering human behavior in a way that reduces the production of those gases and the resulting warming of the atmosphere. There is hope that, by exercise of human ingenuity and our beloved technology, humanity can avoid the catastrophe predicted by both scientists and prognosticators. In fact, there will be fortunues to be reaped as global societies make the colossal and painful shift from fossil-fuel based economies to some kind of 'small footprint' economies. But.... if, on the other hand, the underlying cause of planetary warming is not human-caused, rather is due to some as yet unknown, natural phenomenon, then it's a very different ball-game.

Under the natural cause scenario, there are two prime possibilities. The more innocuous one is that it's related to solar activity, and has occurred in past cycles. In that scenario, we know species will die out, probably an unknown portion of humanity will perish-- but we will survive as a race, and after a difficult period, history will resume. In the second scenario-- the one envisioned by numerous traditional, religious sources-- the world is heading for a catastrophic date with destiny, called by some 'the End of the World,' and by others 'the End of the Age.' There is a distinction in the phrases. Whereas the end of the age implies there will be a succeeding age along cyclical mythologies, the end of the world conveys the idea of the conclusion of this order of existence for humanity. (Any subsequent order of existence depends on one's particular eschatology or end-time theology.)

In either scenario, those who control the world's levers of power and wealth anticipate negative, mass behavior of the populations. If it became widely believed among the populace that global warming is merely a symptom of a doom expected to break within one's lifetime, then chaos might ensue. Perhaps not the destructive chaos of rioting and looting, but more likely the abandonment of the present mad chase for fame and fortune, defaulting on financial obligations, and general loss of interest in struggling in the economic world. After all, if the prospect of untimely death looms on the horizon, why work hard, why not party it up? Or, there will be others, the survivalists, who will also abandon the all-embracing structures of modern life and ensconce themselves in rural, and heavily fortified retreats, intending to ride out the coming disasters and pass on a brave, new world to their successors. In these cases, it is clear that those who control the world economic machinery in its current precarious state would stand to lose a great deal-- vast fortunes that depend on the continuance of the system, the compliance of the drones who place money in their banks, and buy their consumer products. If those common people give up the system, it will collapse, and doing so will bring down many uber-rich folks who think they own the world.

In the second scenario-- the End of the World-- people would have little incentive to continue the daily grind. Worse, some would lose their minds and become social liabilities, either quite disfunctional, or outright dangerous. Others would feel no restraint and behave as hedonists or criminals. A certain proportion would deny the new reality and just continue to live and work as they always have, pretending that all is normal. But their pathetic efforts would be futile in the face of widespread, cynical disengagement from the prescribed routines that would appear pointless to the dispairing majority. Again, the masters of the world would lose vast fortunes and influence.

So, what do the illuminated, gray eminences do? They decide to optimize their position in a bad situation and take a gamble that what's coming is the end of this age. They figure that using all their wealth and power, they will survive the coming catastrophe; and in the short time remaining, they will amass still further heaps of wealth to be stored away for barter and power in the expected 'after-time'. But, they have to keep the economic engine running, and for that, they have to convince the population that things are not out of control, the Earth's fate is amenable to human action, there is hope for the future, so keep on working, playing, and spending and saving. To provide the necessary rationale in the face of obvious, disastrous effects of global warming, the hidden manipulators invented, or at least promoted, the convenient theory of greenhouse gas emissions which are generated by human activity. If humans cause it, then by gosh, humans can prevent it... if they just keep beavering away and do as the scientist-priests tell them must be done. Meanwhile, as life goes on (for now), the rich get richer, and... you know the rest.

There you have it-- the underlying reason behind the media turn-around on the global warming debate. If you followed my logic to this conclusion, you will probably feel a tinge of, 'um, shall we say, unease. In fact, it has to strike any thinking onlooker as more than passing strange that in the face of ever-strident warnings from scientists, the response of most government officials is a bored yawn followed by the recitation of a stream of verbiage devoid of any solid indication of meaningful action. I refer to national governments everywhere; but the lacklustre response of the most prolific producers of hydro-carbon gas emissions-- the USA and China-- must trigger some kind of blinking light in our brains. Do you think they know something we aren't supposed to know? Regardless, the tenuous tenor of these times urges diligent monitoring of breaking news... and some serious spiritual reflection.

November 20, 2007

Reflections on India

Intro: Having returned recently from a major journey thru the country of India, I feel motivated to record my impressions before they simply fade into the blur of our headlong rush into tomorrow.

My son-in-law calls India a 'land of contradictions,' and indeed, we saw numerous examples of what he meant. Perhaps his phrase is best illustrated and epitomized by the image in my mind of two men walking along a road, dressed in traditional 'luhngies' ... and talking into mobile phones. Everywhere we went, we saw this evidence of 'old meets new.' The roads in south India (Kerala, Karnataka) were generally terrible, looking like old wagon trails that had (once) been paved. And over them, drive the latest vehicles from Japan, Korea, and India, unable to attain more than perhaps 25 Kph as an average speed between two points. Ancient, monumental buildings exist in the core of old cities, while suburban slums are cleared to make way for modern, new office towers.

More than mere contradictions, tho, were other paradoxes. For example, despite the impressions of us in the 'West,' India is a society of excellent intentions. In Delhi and other big cities, official signs abound, with slogans like 'A Clean Delhi - A Green Delhi.' Yet almost everywhere, the ground is what most 'westerners' would describe as a mess. Garbage seems to be simply left on the ground to find a natural fate. A pedestrian must be vigilant to avoid trash, excrement (presumably of animals) and other hazards while walking anywhere. There is pollution of all kinds, everywhere in the cities. More than just the chemical kind (ie. in the air or water); one's every sense is assaulted by pollution-- a cacophany of sounds can literally hurt the ears of a new visitor; the chaos of electrical wires and advertising billboards and dilapidated structures assaults the eyes; a mix of odors coming from exotic foods, pervasive incense, and open sewers often combine into a truly nasty nasal encounter.

A visitor may wonder if there are any rules in this 'world's biggest democracy.' In fact, there are plenty of rules and regulations, as in any modern society. But their efficacy is best illustrated by the road traffic system. You will find that there are lane markings painted on the major routes, especially in cities. You will also find traffic running in literally every possible space of road width. Lane markings mean nothing when the roads are coping with an incredible onslaught of vehicles of every kind-- from bicycles and the omnipresent auto-rickshaws, to cars and buses-- all pressing forward in a frenzied crush to get somewhere. It looks like sheer chaos, yet amazingly, there are relatively few accidents (but innumerable 'close calls') and the system works because all users know the unwritten code that really governs road travel. (I never fully cracked the 'code,' but I know it has something to do with 'blow the horn at every possible occasion,' and 'the biggest vehicle gets right of way.') So, in every aspect of Indian life, well-meaning rules exist... but in practice, sheer pragmatism rules the day!

Perhaps the dominant impression I had of India, especially in the North, was one of disintegration; I began to think of India as a country in entropy-- collapsing into a natural state of disorder. Everywhere I looked, there were buildings in neglect, in need of, at minimum, cosmetic repairs, and as often, in need of major reconstruction or simply completion. At first, I kept wondering 'Why doesn't someone fix this situation?' But a bit of thought made me realize that the answer lies in the next question: 'Who would pay for it?' That's the nub of the problem-- once things are built, they are rarely maintained... presumably because no-one is prepared to put up the money to do it. Later, I found that there are brand new buildings being constructed, mostly in the suburbs of the megalopolis cities, and they are as impressive in size and architecture as anything in the West. Yet I can't help but wonder what these same structures will look like in, say, ten years from now. Will they too start to have that look of impeding dilapidation that is so characteristic of older buildings almost everywhere in India?

Of course, when one considers the billion-plus population of India, it becomes easier to comprehend why the society operates as it does. Yet, one could find other instances of equally dense societies that manage to function in a more orderly, and cleaner manner. There's more to India's shortcomings than population. One friend has proposed that religion plays a big role in forging India's disorderly mien. And make no mistake, there is plenty of religion in India. Or, one should say, religions, plural. While Hinduism is the biggest faith in terms of numbers of adherents, there are also Muslims (2nd), Christians (mainly Catholic, plus Protestants of various stripes), Sikhs (4th), Buddhists (5th), then Zoroastrians, Jains, and so on. While the government has managed to maintain a secular face, this is a nation of believers of all kinds. Yet the disinterested observer has to wonder whether all this faith has served the nation well.

In particular, the 'caste system' espoused by the Hindus despite official discouragement from the government, appears to engender certain negative outcomes. One of our guides explained that caste is different from economic class. He stated that one might attain a high economic standing, but would still be judged in the social sphere on the basis of his caste. Thus one's marriage partner, friendships, and even career choices depend on his caste, and are quite rigorously enforced by society at large. What this tends to produce is a system wherein those at the top end simply don't (or can't) imagine that they could, for example, pick up offending trash. Those at the low end, who are the ones that are supposed to do the menial jobs, typically don't have the education/knowledge to do the right things. Hence, you end up with the entropy that I noted earlier. Added to that internal problem, you have the inevitable disharmony that erupts among groups of people with differing religious outlooks or social standing. While on the whole the various communities co-exist in apparent harmony, there can be disastrous breaks in that peace, with consequent unwillingness of any group to take responsibility for maintaining shared territory or assets.

In terms of everyday living, the effect of religion seems to fall into the category of 'another contradiction.' People will begin every day with early and earnest prayer to the deity of their choice... and then spend the rest of the day preying on every poor soul who comes within the purview of their occupation. Street hawkers will devote special harassment on foreigners who might happen to pass within hailing distance. A western tourist proceeds, if walking, with a moving chorus of 'Hello, hello; buy this 'x' from me!' If you supply any sign of acknowledging their presence, you will be subject to intense sales pressure tactics that will require a resolve of steel to resist. Should you take refuge in a proper shop (as opposed to an outdoor stall) you will be subject to more sophisticated and covert pressure. Should you decide to actually buy something, and attempt to bargain with an Indian merchant, you will inevitably get the short end of the deal, no matter how hard you bargain. The struggle for survival seems to subsume religious notions of concern for others, and this attitude is so ingrained that individuals just don't see any contradictions in their behavior.

Another curious dichotomy is related to geography-- there is such a difference between North and South India. While the north is largely hot, dry, and desert-like, and the south is hot, humid, and semi-tropical, the differences extend to the citizens and their attitudes. In contrast to the incessant hustling that assails the visitor in the North, people in the South are much more easy-going. If you're not ready to buy something, that's okay with them-- they'll let you browse in relative peace. You can walk down a street or into a shop, without being harassed by hawkers and salesmen until you buy out of sheer exasperation. You can even take a photo of someone-- discretely, of course-- without the subject holding out a hand for the expected payment. After the constant vigilance required in the north, it was a real relief to find this relaxed atmosphere in Kerala and other places south of the line of latitude that runs, approximately, somewhere through Mumbai. One native of Mangalore whom we met on the train explained that the northerners were descended from the Aryan race, while those in the south descended from the Dravidian race... and that, he claimed, makes for the big disparity in attitude. Whatever the reason, it was one more contrast in a journey that exposed us to a daily stream of contrasts.

Let there be no mistake: visiting India is an unforgettable experience. Despite the constant contrasts, the people are, at heart, very helpful and kind, and take delight in extending hospitality towards tourists. In the end, I had to simply accept that this is India-- land of contradictions, land of good intentions, land of incipient disintegration. Namaste!

October 7, 2007

The Heart of the Issue

Over the last several months, a question cooking for years has come to the forefront of my consciousness regarding the position of the Christ-based faith amongst the panoply of religions. Because it is becoming clear to me that where this question is heading is towards an inevitable confrontation between Christianity and all other contenders in the broad field. That may sound like an overblown assessment, but I believe it will, probably soon, prove to be true.

This confrontation will not emerge willy-nilly as an accidental artifact of religious progress; it is being deliberately fomented by ‘powers and principalities’ operating behind the scenes. You can see the situation crystallizing if you observe the current trends. In parts of the world, it has become ‘politically incorrect’ to say things considered negative against certain religious groups—primarily, Jews and, sometimes, Moslems. Usually, other religions (eg. Hinduism, Buddhism) get swept along in this current, becoming incidental beneficiaries of the implied protection. However, it appears that the protection offered the ostensibly maligned groups has, behind it, the tacit motive of shielding the race, rather than the religion, per se. Thus, it’s not really Judaism that is being sheltered, but all Jews; and not Islam, so much as Moslems, which usually means Arabs. The tacit reasons tho, are quite different. If ‘political correctness’ is bestowed to Islam (thus, Arabs) it appears to be designed to create the impression that the authorities involved (be it government, universities, or whatever) are not prejudiced against Arabs, but only against ‘religious extremists’ of that stripe. The hope seems to be that, appearances to the contrary, we in the Western ‘democracies’ are not innately hostile towards Arabs, but only towards the ‘terrorists’ among them. In the case of Judaism, on the other hand, the result of ‘anti-hate’ legislation has been to supply a convenient instrument to silence any criticism of the state of Israel or its proponents.

One group that has received rather little benefit from political correctness and its adjunct legalities is Christianity. The kind of remark that would immediately elicit the label of ‘hate’ if directed towards Judaism (or possibly, but not always, Islam) can slide by the public awareness with nary a concern if it is directed instead at the Christian faith. Of course, there are historical reasons for this ambivalent response. One being the long-standing effect of the Schism. Since that event, it was ‘normal’ for Protestants to denigrate Catholics, and vice-versa, in the battle of faith that was waged both militarily and metaphorically over the past centuries. Another reason might be the feud between science and religion (essentially Christianity) in the USA, wherein the faith became more and more an open target for abuse as the society at large becomes increasingly secular.

The media have played a role in the gradual erosion of the position of respect once held by the Christian credo. Movies and TV ‘exposés’ have taken stories of the failures and dereliction of prominent Church leaders and turned them into ‘compelling dramas’ that, while based on truth, have cast aspersions on the whole concept of religion and Christianity. So far, the other major religions seem to get a ‘free pass’ on this accountability of leadership, except for the vilified Islamic extremists of course. Surely there are corrupt leaders in every faith; but the fact is that the USA—epicenter of the entertainment industry—was recognized, until recently, as a Christian nation. Time will tell if the microscope of Hollywood will be turned on other religions for ‘realistic depictions’ of their fallible leaders.

The point of these observations is that the religious scene is being segregated in the public, or secular mind into the two major camps of Christianity (such as the caricature exists) versus the collection of other beliefs. In the realm of religion or, to employ a broader term, spirituality, there are interesting movements afoot. Many of the New Age branches have unabashedly borrowed concepts and personages from Christianity, often claiming to enhance that structure with their ‘new insights,’ yet not hesitating to criticize the main tenets of the treasury they have just robbed. These revamped and upgraded versions of ancient mystic religions (Babylonian, Hindu, etc.) will mix reincarnation with Jesus and other notions to create hybrids that are abominations to the Christian faith. The worst phenomenon is that the primitive Christian creed itself has been so fragmented into smaller, more diluted, less authentic, more heretical sects that it has been sapped of almost all of it original vitality. It is essentially impossible to find a pure Christ-based creed in any institutional church. If it exists, it does so in the bosom of small study groups and in individual believers scattered thru-out the family of man.

One of the more insidious religious belief systems to emerge among the galaxy that sprang out of the 19th century explosion of religious energy is Baha’i. There is much to commend in the beliefs of Baha’i—that, in fact, is what makes it so subversive to Christianity. For any pilgrim ready to flee the wretched futility of materialism for the sanctuary of religion, the fundamental tenets of Baha’i are compelling indeed. Their system offers the ‘three unities:’ Unity of God, unity of religions, unity of mankind… You can’t quarrel with that, can you? In addition, to those ‘window shoppers’ from other faiths, Baha’i assures that ‘you don’t give up your faith, you upgrade it.’ (They can state this because of their doctrine of ‘progressive revelation’… see my essay on Baha’i). To the Christian skeptic, they say that their founder, Baha’u’llah, fulfilled the NT scriptures that foretell the Second Coming of Christ, and anticipating the obvious objections, that it was all accomplished in a spiritual rather than physical sense. That interpretation using the scriptures of Christianity is very hard to refute. If you disagree with it, they say you are not looking thru spiritual eyes but are focused on the material world. If you persist, they can accuse you of being stuck in the same blinders that prevented the Pharisees from recognizing the First Incarnation of Christ! It becomes very difficult for a Christian to dispute the claims of Baha’i, and may even dislodge some believers with shallow roots into being transplanted to their backyard.

Yet there is a fundamental tenet of faith that distinguishes the Christ-based belief from all other systems devised by man or god. That is why the final showdown will transpire between Christianity and all other belief systems (and that includes even ‘science’ which is more accurately labeled scientism). The distinction is embodied in the Man-God, Jesus himself, and is the quintessence of the faith that is called by His name. You see, every religion devised by the mind of man is based on the idea that each person must earn his/her way to ‘salvation.’ Now, salvation may be understood as ‘heaven’ or as ‘Samadhi’ or the final liberation from physical incarnation, or whatever; but it’s the destination after death in this world. The word ‘earn’ also needs explanation. In some faiths, it’s clear—you must obey the ‘Law’ (as they define it by, for e.g., Torah, or the Koran). In the Eastern traditions embracing reincarnation, it’s more complex—you must live a ‘spotless’ life (after innumerable attempts) until you finally earn liberation from the cycle of karma. While Baha’is don’t talk much about laws, they are assiduous laborers for the cause they hold dear, following the directions of their founding fathers to bring about the desired end of world peace. Their focus seems to be on what they can do to move humanity towards this goal.

The subtle pivot point about the systems based on works is that we are not all equally capable of performing them. Some people just have more self-discipline than others. Some people are better able, at least, to present a righteous appearance to the outside, despite the rot within their soul. This inevitably creates a class system where there are the priests, gurus, holy men, etc.—who are perceived as ‘masters’ who have lifted themselves to holy heights—and there are those below them, who have attained some lower degree of righteousness by their efforts. Of course, there are the absolute ‘losers,’ who can’t manage to get anywhere, spiritually, for reasons of moral turpitude. The inevitable result of a caste system is that those near the top end will naturally judge themselves spiritually superior to those seen as ‘below’ their level. We are familiar with the typical outcome of this attitude when assumed by ‘Christian preachers’ (you know the names of those guys from TV). The same happens in any faith. One extreme result is illustrated by Hinduism, where the Brahmin caste hardly thinks about the suffering of the lowest Harijans because, after all, they earned this fate by their failures in past lives. Any works-based religion brings division and discord from pride and prejudice, automatically.

Those creeds that teach that ‘God is within you, or within everything,’ lead to the notion that we are God, therefore everything we do is perfect, is part of our ascension to final merger with the ‘cosmic consciousness’… who is just the collective mind of…us. This human-centric belief can lead to some egregious abuses, as self-serving, eloquent leaders can convince gullible followers that even heinous acts are legitimate since they are committed by ‘gods.’ Once again, it is a works-based platform, but perilously, the works are not evaluated on the premise of an external, divine judge, but decided by the doers themselves.

In complete counter-distinction to the path of ‘works’ to attain nirvana/heaven, the pure Christ-based faith (as expressed in the Bible, but rarely proclaimed by any institutional church) puts all humanity on an equal footing. It tells us ‘All have sinned, and are far from God;’ and ‘There is none righteous, no not even one!’ Because of the stain of sin, embedded in our very DNA, we are born with the nature to follow the compulsions of our mind, to act selfishly, in other words, to sin. It’s a vicious cycle, and there is absolutely no way we can exit from it on our own efforts. Then, you wonder morosely, ‘Are we doomed; is there no hope?’ Yes; that’s our predicament! Well, praise God; not really. That is precisely why God sent the Christ, as Jesus, our one Savior. Jesus alone, of all humans, lived a perfect life, as our representative; and God offers us all the opportunity to partake of that achievement, vicariously in Christ. That is the very crux of the faith! By ‘faith,’ anyone can accept the gracious gift of ‘imputed righteousness’ extended by Jesus. The good news (gospel) was enunciated clearly, succinctly, unequivocally by Jesus, and recorded by John (John 3:16): ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him will not die, but will have eternal life.’

One could deliver a sermon on that one verse of scripture, but I’ll just tantalize with a paragraph. The ‘world’ in this context is translated from a Greek word that implies all humanity—it doesn’t matter what race, language, nation, or church you come from, God loves all, equally. God doesn’t have other ‘begotten’ offspring; Jesus was the only one, ever, and thus is uniquely qualified to offer the perfect antidote to the vexing sin problem. ‘Whoever’ came down as ‘whosoever’ in the King James translation, but either way, it obviously includes every human being, regardless of birth-right, position, wealth, intelligence, piety, or ethnic descent. We are all eligible to partake of the benefits. But, we have to signal our acceptance of the free offer. There’s no skill-testing question involved, but we have to acknowledge that, yes, God’s plan makes total sense—I believe His promise simply because it comes from the Creator, and I’m ready for the package. The benefit, of unparalleled value, is the promise of eternal life, sentient existence in some plane of reality that is beyond our present understanding. And this life to come is the alternative to what is, otherwise, the natural consequence of unregenerate, physical life outside of God’s provision—death. Note that there are just two choices, diametrically opposite one another—‘death’ versus ‘eternal life.’ Notice, it’s not ‘eternal death’ versus ‘eternal life,’ nor even ‘hell’ versus ‘heaven.’ (I’ll let you think about that without trying to elaborate what I am convinced it means. But to add a clue, ‘death’ is apparently final, while life is described as ‘eternal,’ by the only person ever to resurrect from the grave.)

Quite clearly, in the Christ-based system, there are no class distinctions, no swollen-egos, no losers, for we are all in the same, sorry state. We are lost, except that, through no striving of our own, God extends a golden favor, a divine boon, the attainment of liberty from karma, forgiveness of sin, through His emissary, His Avatar, Jesus. Instead of the futile attempt at the impossible task of self-improvement, we have only to accept the achievements of Jesus on our behalf. It sounds too good to be true—and therefore, many who hear the gospel just can’t accept it. They are to be pitied. Many of them decide to ‘accept’ it but they have to adduce their own formula to it, like a spiritual hedging of bets. (E.g. I ‘believe’ in Jesus, but I ‘keep’ the Ten Commandments too, just in case.) This just brings them back to a works-based faith, and we end up with the notorious abuses of the spiritually privileged over the ignorant.

In conclusion, there are only two religious systems: the pure Christ-based faith on one side, and the works-based creeds in the opposite corner. You who call yourselves spiritual have a clear choice before you—will it be God’s sublime plan… or some concoction devised by the devious mind of man? To say you choose ‘science’ and rationalism over ‘mere religion’ is to opt for another, disguised religion, for these are simply ingenious means of worshipping ourselves as gods, making idols of abstractions and conjecture. At the closing days of this Age, this World, there is no third option, sorry.

October 2, 2007

The Road to Hell

You know the saying—the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We live at a time when this aphorism applies in a particularly acute way to the entire world populace.
There are a number of powerful movements pushing us towards ends that appear, on the surface, as highly desirable, but that have the potential to make life for most of humanity into hell on earth.
Yet, so pressing are the problems that these movements claim to address, and so compelling are the arguments in their favor, that many persons of good faith are backing these factions and their promoters. Consider a notable example.

Few of us could deny in good conscience the fact that the environment is under great stress, world-wide. Some species have either disappeared or are at high risk of extinction. Water pollution is compounding the problem of shrinking fresh water resources. Air pollution is making some cities unlivable for their citizens. And ‘climate change’ (as it has come to be called) is becoming increasingly the subject of intense interest locally and of political discussion at the national and international levels. In response, numerous organizations have sprung up with the general aim of mobilizing the masses into taking action against various aspects of the environmental threat. For several decades, these different groups have been devoted to particular facets of environmental problems, be it air quality, forest preservation, species protection, and so on. In the early 1970s, a group called The Club of Rome released a study called The Limits to Growth, that used computer modeling to reach the conclusion that the world had about 3 or 4 decades left before our very patterns of consumption and resultant waste would attain disastrous crisis points.

So far, no-one with common sense could disagree or find much to fault in this example. But let’s see where it goes from here. Some agencies have noticed a good opportunity offered in the environmental realm for promoting a bigger agenda. The looming threat of global warming has supplied a handy pretext to bring together some of the disparate environmental associations and figureheads under one noble cause. ‘Still looks positive, you think. One of the subsidiary goals of this subtly orchestrated cause is to get all nations to agree to sign on to an international accord that will stipulate CO2 levels and other provisions that will require overall coordination and monitoring. To accomplish this structure will require every nation to yield a portion of its sovereignty to the pan-national agency. It amounts to one more argument in favor of a one-world government of some sort. Not in itself of course; but combined with a number of other, equally pressing such arguments, it makes the concept seem like an inevitability in the minds of many concerned citizens of this planet. Opposition to the Kyoto or other international accords by key countries (like the USA, Australia, Canada) may be genuine but temporary; or, may be part of the choreography of the masters behind the scenes. By now, we should be familiar with the ‘global three-step’—thesis, antithesis, resolution as proposed by the hidden puppet-masters.

Another benign movement that has as one of its main goals the establishment of a one-world religion is the belief known as Baha’i. In tandem with the unifying religion, they envision a one-world government as a blessing that would cement the institution of world peace and brotherhood, their holy grail. Certainly, any sensible person wants to see world peace. What is sorely missing in the Baha’i vision is an acknowledgement that such an absolute government would, inevitably, corrupt absolutely. Their vision plays right into the hands of those shadowy powers behind the scenes that have been maneuvering humanity towards global despotism for centuries. It matters little to the secret cabal what pretext is used to foist this abomination on the world. Indeed, they are always promoting several schemes concurrently, with the momentum always directed towards one-world government that is squarely in their hands. Baha’is innocently believe that those who join their ranks are all spiritual idealists charmed by the lofty standards of their founders, and devoid of worldly lust for power and possessions. That may be more or less true at the present time, when their worldwide total membership numbers in the range of perhaps ten million. But, if fortune were to swell their ranks to the levels of the worlds ‘great religions’ (e.g. Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism) then I have no doubt that the opportunists would rise to the top, hijack the traditions, and ride the system like a beast to achieve their personal ambitions.

Another scheme presented as a benefit to mankind by its obviously self-interested promoters, is global free trade, as touted by the WTO (World Trade Organization). Free trade means the movement of goods across national borders without the impediment of tariffs and other barriers. It’s supposed to bring prosperity to every country as goods flow freely to consumers, and corporations set up manufacturing plants in far-flung but low-wage regions. For curious reasons, the high-level hucksters behind WTO always find it expedient to hold their deliberations on this potential, great boon to mankind behind closed, and increasingly, heavily fortified doors. Another curious thing is that those closed meetings always include lots of executives from big corporations—the true beneficiaries of free trade—but very few, if any, representatives of the ordinary people, trades unions, social agencies, and so on. (Then they act surprised at the oftimes violent reaction their enclaves have provoked wherever they meet.) Of the various global movements that exist, the free trade bandwagon is the most transparently in lock-step with the notion of one-world government, especially since the swing, begun in the 1980s, of ‘democracies’ over to embracing the wonders of capitalism as the cure-all for every economic malady. It was fascinating as the free market gospel spread from Thatcher’s Britain to Reagan’s America, then on to most Anglophone nations as well as a few emulators. The free trade movement started with GATT (the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and later morphed into WTO… with the blessings of those democratic governments now fully in thrall to the siren song of market capitalism. Yet it doesn’t take much imagination to project how a world without trade barriers (of some kinds) can provide an easy and slippery step to a world without borders.

So, there are a number of movements having no apparent connection among them that are focused towards promoting the notion of globalism, be it global unity, the brotherhood of man, or global government itself. They all paint a glowing picture of this goal as a paradise on Earth, the only utopia possible. Yet, anyone with basic knowledge of history and some experience in life knows innately that a world government will mean global headaches… and much worse. The record of history has demonstrated conclusively that we should be extremely wary of any move to expand the purview of government. Governments like to grow; and they grow by whatever means are available. Whatever their original purview—be it a municipality, a district, a state, or a nation, the politicians look for ways to extend their control over a wider area; wider in scope and power, and/or wider in geographical boundaries. In this task, the elected or appointed political masters are aided and abetted by their bureaucracies, for they are operating under ‘Parkinson’s Law’ of relentless growth. Thus, the juggernaut rolls on.

Today, with numerous issues of ‘global concern,’ such as cited above, there are correspondingly numerous, new avenues for the growth of government. We have had the United Nations since 1945, as a kind of supra-national government (certainly a bureaucracy) that has spawned a plethora of subsidiary organizations, and parallel agencies, such as the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. The only way for a national government to expand its jurisdiction, geographically, is to acquire other territory. That was done by ‘exploration of unclaimed lands’ in the past, a polite way of saying ‘the conquest of indigenous, non-European peoples.’ That option has long been exhausted, so ‘acquisition of territory’ must, since the late 19th century, proceed by means of military aggression—warfare. To forestall the war option was the prime motivation for the UN, and that organization seems to be our last, best hope for a peaceful world. Yet, obviously, it is not working very well. Despite the UN, the decades since the last ‘world war’ have seen an endless succession of regional wars, some of extreme intensity, such as the Vietnam War, the Balkan Wars, and the two Gulf Wars (Iraq).

It doesn’t take psychic prescience to project where this scenario is heading. Given a world that continues to be embroiled in ‘regional disputes,’ and with the constantly-fanned fears of ‘global terrorism,’ the solution to be offered will be one-world government… in some form or other. Think of the creeping progression of the European Union to get a good idea of how the process works. They started with just a few major countries, and just a ‘nominal Parliament.’ Then they added new members, and the European Parliament acquired additional authority. And so it went until today, when many member constituents fear that their own elected governments are subservient to the dictates of the less representative Parliament in Brussels. The juggernaut is crunching forward towards one apparent goal—a one-Europe government, in charge of some 350 million individuals. Working feverishly behind the curtain of public scrutiny towards a bigger goal, there are well-known, exclusive ‘clubs’ such as the Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Their memberships are often overlapping, and their agenda is always secret. (But their intentions can be discerned from the tenor of the times, and the ‘leaks’ that commonly occur.) Under the relentless drive of those powerful lobby groups, with a successful model already in place, and given the exigencies of climate instability and the threat of terrorism, all the ingredients are in place for the big move—the implementation of the Government of the World. Heaven help us.

September 14, 2007

Toward a Credible Prophetic View…

In an earlier, introductory essay on the question of whether we live in the ‘End Times’, I pointed out the confluence of numerous prophecies, ancient and modern, that converge on some kind of vision of the end of the present age… whatever that means. I stated that there was a thread of commonality running among these disparate models, that lends a collective gravity to them. After all, one may dismiss an isolated oracle; but dozens pointing in the same general direction cannot be ignored or conveniently explained away.

Having made that point, I now have to deal with the more difficult problem. In their details, themes, and basic values, the various prophetic models differ considerably, sometimes radically. So the truth-seeker is faced with the always thorny problem facing all humans: which one(s) is/are presenting a true picture, and which are not? As I implied in that previous piece, there’s no secret guide book, no decoder ring you can order online; everyone is on his/her own in this cosmic dilemma. Well, perhaps not quite alone… but that will emerge later. In that intro, I laid out the kind of approach that works for me—briefly: examine all pieces of information that come along, placing them in a great metaphorical puzzle board, rearranging them as reason and inspiration direct, into as coherent a collage as possible at the moment. You just keep doing this, like a philosophical algorithm, until the truth starts to emerge, by virtue of consistency and inner conviction. As the saying wisely goes—the truth will prevail. And as it solidifies, you know where to direct your successive efforts.

As a tangible example of how this can work, I cite for your consideration, the Bible… asking the skeptics to please concede that the process requires an open mind… we’re not talking about ‘religion,’ mark; this is about information. The Bible, summarizing, is a compendium of literature, compiled over some two millennia, written by numerous authors of widely differing backgrounds and dealing with a variety of subject areas (e.g. history, poetry, prophecy, proverbs, spiritual insight, etc.). It starts with five books attributed to Moses (the ‘Pentateuch’) followed by stories of kings and prophets, ‘wisdom books,’ and more history and prophecy, all packaged as the Old Testament. That’s the Bible for Jewish believers. For Christians, there’s a whole, added section called the New Testament, dealing with the life and teachings of the one called Jesus, the Christ (Greek for ‘Messiah,’ which means ‘anointed one.’).

Okay; my point here is that this dense book contains a great deal of information. In fact, one can argue that it contains too much! Certainly, there’s more in that book than one needs to find the ‘gospel’ of Christ and consequent ‘salvation.’ An objective onlooker could logically enquire why do Christians even keep the Old Testament? Of what use is it to their faith? Indeed, then, why is the Bible so voluminous? The answer may surprise many. It has to do with redundancy that ensures reliability… to apply a key concept from information theory. What the heck? Well, you have to know a bit of secular history. You have to know that, down thru the ages, dark forces conspired to destroy Jesus’ message of hope, the gospel. They did this by attempting to destroy the receptacle of God’s truth, the holy scriptures. Councils were convened in the centuries after Christ by men with various views, orthodox or heterodox, to define the canonical Biblical texts. Authorities of the self-appointed Church kept the scriptures hidden from the eyes of all but the adepts. Primordial text was translated from one language to another, allowing the potential for selective editing. And yet—thru all this manipulation, the essential message of Jesus remains available to any who seek. Why? Because under divine guidance it is woven so skillfully into the words that no human could extirpate the truth without gutting the entire book! Nowhere in the book does a gospel or epistle writer indent a paragraph or underline a sentence, and insert a heading ‘This is the gospel.’ No; a reader must assemble it from interrelated scriptures under the unction of God’s Holy Spirit. The Bible’s message, to use a modern analogy, is fractal—it is nowhere yet it is everywhere, like a divine hologram. Or put another way, the Bible is merely the physical vehicle; the message is infused within it, and only discerned by means of a sincere search. You see, this is precisely why Jesus could state unequivocally that he has hidden the message from the wise and revealed it unto little children.

Alright, I hope you are still with me. I believe this is the same way we can discern truth in our present age of rampant deception. Allegorically, we are creating a hologram, using pieces of information, some of which fit the pattern, and some that don’t. Having laid that groundwork, the next thing we can do is examine some of the main lines of prophecy that confront our minds today.

For centuries, the primary prophetic optic for the Western mind was the Bible, but in the 19th century a veritable eruption of potential new sources appeared… almost by magic. There were individuals like Joseph Smith (Mormonism), Charles T. Russell (Jehovah Witnesses), Ellen G. White (Seventh-Day Adventism), who started new churches derived from the Christian tradition. Outside that circle, there were movements like the Theosophical Society (Mme Blavatsky), Spiritualism (the Fox sisters), Baha’i (Baha’ullah), and the new popularizing of various enlightened gurus from India (Aurobindo, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, etc.). From this original vanguard grew the tangle of spiritual avenues that now branch out on the roadmap to truth. I will try to choose the most popular routes that have become recognized for their signposts to the future. And the best way to do that is to divide the choices into groups, because it turns out that there are really just two main schools of thought in this subject area (tho there are, as expected, many variations on the themes).

In fact, the bifurcation in end-times prophecy comes down, basically, to the Biblical eschatology versus the rest. (Eschatology refers to end-time theology). Virtually all the non-Biblical schools profess a cyclical model of cosmic history, in which civilization rises and progresses thru an age or ‘aion,’ until a pre-ordained point in time and space is attained, at which point the world is physically destroyed and mankind must start the cycle anew from the few survivors. There are variations on this model, for example, one variant teaches that there is a change in consciousness associated with each such passage from one aion to the next. For Hindus, the present age is called the Kali Yuga, which implies an age of self-gratification. Another, principally New Age, view is that we are on the verge of a jump in consciousness, going from what they term ‘third density,’ to (you guessed) forth density. This school is further divided into those who envision that only ‘evolved souls’ will make the jump to forth density, while the laggards remain in 3D and presumably perish. Then there are the aboriginal people of the Americas who have had, apparently, an amazingly accurate body of oral prophecy. In their lore, the outcome of the coming calamities will be a new civilization wherein all races will live in harmony and cooperation, acknowledging the wisdom of native peoples everywhere whose traditions emphasized careful custodianship of nature.

A growing community believes in some form of ‘alien intervention,’ either just prior to, or during or following the calamities that denote the paradigm shift in human awareness. I place this group with the others because most often the ETs are viewed as ‘spiritual guides’ who will help mankind make the leap to forth density. In some schools, the aliens are evil impersonators of ‘beings of light,’ including their leader, Satan, who attempts the ultimate counterfeit—the Second Coming of Christ. This school of thought includes believers who are professed Christians, and others who are not.

Some may wonder ‘What about Nostradamus?’ ‘What about him?’, is my retort. After years of considering the enigmatic quatrains of this so-called seer, I have come to the conclusion that you might as well just read them for entertainment; you’re not (ever) going to get anything useful out of those obscure verses. Certain of his proponents claim to read various prophecies into them—after the fact; often long after. But those tenuous successes are of no help in deciphering other quatrains of ostensibly still future events. Sure, some will argue his case; but at the end of the day, my advice is don’t waste time on Nostradamus… it isn’t worth the effort.

Can you see what the main characteristic of all these non-Biblical sources is? They essentially foresee this next end of the age as typical; i.e. that the survivors will, after the time of turmoil subsides, resume business as usual among humanity on planet Earth. These prophets envisage a new aion wherein we’ll have another go on the great cosmic merry-go-round… with or without a new consciousness to help us do it better this time. In these oracles, humans are mostly on their own, or dependent on ‘extraterrestrial entities’ for continued survival and development. Hence, many believers in these camps are ‘American survivalists,’ stockpiling food, goods and guns for their supposed continued existence in the ‘after time.’

In stark, perhaps isolated contrast to all those ‘humanist’ styled prophecies stands the ‘book of our age,’ the Christian Bible. (I deliberately attach the modifier lest anyone doubt that the majority of end-times scriptures are found in the New Testament.) Astronomically, we are living near the end of the era of Pisces, as reckoned from the precession of the polar axis, a slow cyclical ‘wobble’ in the axis (as seen in a gyroscope, for instance) that takes almost 26,000 years. The north pole points within one ‘sign’ for about 2,160 years, and is presently passing from ‘the Fish’ (still used as a symbol of Christianity, tho few know why) into the age (or sign) of Aquarius. This has been the period of the flourishing of the Christian religion (such as it has existed), and of reverence for the Bible as the premier source of transcendent wisdom over that age. Now that period is reaching a transition stage, and momentous events are under way.

Biblical prophecy is not cyclical, nor humanist; it is presented as linear, and theistic. The prophecy embodied in the great vision of Nebuchadnezzar, interpreted for him by Daniel in the second chapter of his ‘book,’ (see Old Testament) displays human history as a giant statue, the head being the King himself and his then great Babylonian Empire, and the feet and toes representing the final nations on Earth at the time of the ‘end.’ Thus, quite linear, from head to toes. Now, the end scene in this vignette is depicted as a huge boulder, ‘cut without human hands,’ that smashes into the feet with sudden, explosive force, and destroys the entire statue. It is ground into dust, and the Rock (of Ages) grows to fill the entire world. Without laboriously decoding this ‘verbal-video,’ even a neophyte can discern the allegory of the earthly order being utterly terminated and replaced with the order of Christ. Now let’s move on to the New Testament.

The premier prophecy in the Christian Bible must be (no—not Revelation!) the sermon of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 24 (and parallel passages in Mark 13 and Luke 21). Yet, here again, there is confusion… which I argue is deliberate and effectual. The ingenuous apostles tacitly assume that the destruction of Jerusalem and their fabulous Temple must, naturally, highlight the end of the age. So, they enquire of Jesus, ‘Tell us, when will be the destruction of the temple and the end of the age?’ (paraphrased). Jesus, in replying to the hybrid question, seems to provide a hybrid answer. He warns his followers about the attack of the Roman army and the destruction of Jerusalem, and gives them a warning sign to watch for. Within 40 years of his death, his words were fulfilled, and those who remembered and heeded his warning were able to escape the carnage that ensued in 70 AD.

However, Jesus embedded that warning within a larger description of various, further events, apparently yet to be fulfilled. (One might argue that it was the evangelists who got things confused as they recorded these words, much later, from memory thru the filter of their cultural blinkers. But I submit this is unlikely, since the parallel accounts did not edit the convoluted sequence.) In fact, so skillfully intertwined are the dual narratives that today there is a sub-set of Christians (‘Preterists’) who are convinced that Jesus’ entire sermon describes His ‘Second Coming’ as occurring in 70 AD, everything having a ‘spiritual’ rather than literal, physical fulfillment. I leave it to the reader to investigate Preterism in the strict glare of scripture, and see its folly. The important thing to note is that by giving his ambiguous response, Jesus thwarted later attempts to edit the text into some form that would suit the self-serving agenda of church authorities. Another important point is that several parts of Jesus’ sermon are corroborated in the writings of Paul, Peter, and John, the other NT writers; and similarly, nothing Jesus stated is contradicted in any other text.

I don’t intend in this essay to do an exegesis of NT, end-times, prophetic texts. (Maybe another time!) What I hope to demonstrate is that the Christian prophecies depict the End of this world as we know it. There will be no following aion, populated by the ragged survivors of the cataclysms, ready to start the whole sorry cycle over again, ‘by the bootstraps,’ i.e. on human effort alone. There will be no New Age populated by gurus enlightened by alien intelligences. No; the Bible is clear in enunciating ‘a New Heavens and a New Earth wherein righteousness dwells.’ This revolution is impossible for humans or for ‘ETs’ to accomplish; it is solely a work of the Creator. What the final days of Earth reveal undeniably is the inherent corruption of mankind, and our utter inability to institute righteousness globally. We will finally see, beyond any shadow of doubt, our abject sinfulness and absolute need of a divine savior. And that is what scripture promises—God with us, a savior who becomes our beneficent ruler in a worldwide Kingdom of God. Further, we are told that we will not live in these corruptible, fleshly bodies, but in new, glorious bodies similar to Christ’s resurrection body. (Okay, you could think of that as ‘forth density,’ but obviously in a radically different setting.)

None of this sounds much like the extra-Biblical descriptions of the end of the age. So those are the two main streams of thought on the approaching cosmic crisis. Without going into minute detail (you can do that yourself), I have set out the two big paradigms that await the investigation of the seeker of truth. These are archetypal models at opposite poles of the prophetic spectrum. They present a clear choice: a choice between a path that purports to be delivered from God, and a labyrinth of paths that branch wildly from a multiplicity of mostly human sources. Of course, if you’re an inveterate rationalist with no regard for mysticism or anything that smells of it, you may not care for either description. In that case, you can always continue to listen to the explanations of the official experts, the scientists in the employ of governments and corporations. You will see how consistent and reliable is their version of reality… if you haven’t already noticed the endless lies and cover-ups. If you’re an atheistic skeptic of both governments and religions, then I invite you to maintain a ‘healthy skepticism,’ but to try my process of weighing all the facts while suspending a prejudged conclusion. And ‘weighing ALL the facts’ means taking the trouble to investigate claims that you think you already know about (that is mostly arrogance, and inexcusable to the true seeker). It also means keeping an open mind about things you would ‘prefer’ to dismiss in some convenient category of your personal design.

As for me, I make no excuses for adhering to the Christian Biblical prophetic vision. I do not do so out of some blind, fundamentalist, dogmatic faith that is really the last refuge of the moral malingerer. No, I accept this paradigm because it has demonstrated its robustness, from the aspect of spirit, of logic, and of experience. My final advisory note is that the seeker must go directly to the scriptures themselves; never put your trust in any human middlemen (and their odious denominations). Yes, it’s not easy, I understand… but who said finding truth was going to be easy? This essay has tried to provide the reader with a roadmap; now it is up to you to follow it and see if it, indeed, leads you to a trustworthy destination.

August 31, 2007

Party Time on the Titanic

An apt metaphor for the state of the Earth in these early days of the Third Millennium is the ocean-liner Titanic. That ship, you recall, was the epitome of human technological achievement in its age—a floating marvel, the fastest ship on the seven seas. Besides its giant size, it had steam-turbine engines, sealable bulkheads, opulent accommodations, and the latest communications invention—wireless radio.

Today, humanity is swollen with pride in its technology—gadgetry that starts off promising to free us, or enable us… and ends up enslaving us. We, the great middle class in the ‘Western world’ are the second-class passengers, enjoying unprecedented celebration in the ballroom. The lookout has already spotted the ice-field; has already notified the officers on deck of the danger. In response, the officers have ordered no change in course, and full speed ahead. Down below, the music blares on; the liquor flows copiously; the good fare-paying folks are having a great time, oblivious of the fate that awaits just the right moment.

That’s our world, spaceship Earth, at this moment. Yet, just try to inform anyone that this is our condition, that disaster looms. You know the reaction. It’s either pitying looks and patronizing comments that imply, or assert, that you must be certifiable; or it’s vehement argument that you’ve got it upside down. It’s classic ‘denial.’ Let’s take a look at why otherwise rational people are so set in denial.

For many in the affluent West, the best reason for denying impending doom is that everything’s coming up roses! At least on the surface, it appears that this is the best of times. In Canada, the economy is cooking like it hasn’t perhaps ever done before. Unemployment is at record lows; inflation (we are told) is low; consumption of goods is keeping the engine at high revs. What’s not to like? While we hear about geologic and weather calamities in far-off places, things are pretty peaceful, pretty normal, here in Lotus land. Politically, we don’t particularly care much for our electoral choices—the parties all seem to be populated by unabashed opportunists, whatever their campaign rhetoric; but we can still exercise our vote, and protest government policies. When you look at the big picture like that, does it not appear to be as close as reality allows to utopia?

It is, indeed, a fine veneer… but a thin, very fragile one. Look below the surface (those who dare). In the economic sphere, forget for a moment about ‘corrections,’ recessions, and the impersonal ‘business cycle.’ We now have China and India, each with a population exceeding one billion souls, each in a headlong dash down the yellow brick road of capitalist progress. Neither seems ready to moderate the pace of growth in deference to considerations of health, safety, and environmental integrity. Consider the effect of adding two billion more voracious ‘consumers’ to the global economy; consumers bent on emulating the nations that presently consume more resources per capita and absolutely than any other. It simply is not sustainable! Sure, the optimists are confident that our magical technologies will come to our rescue and pull a fresh rabbit out of the battered hat. Remember the Titanic? That technological marvel was sent to the bottom of the watery abyss by nothing more than frozen water! It’s time for the ordinary passenger to understand—there will be no magical solution. In fact, the world’s systems are already overextended and operating on razor thin margins of safety. In his book, ‘The Ingenuity Gap,’ author Thomas Homer-Dixon argues that we’ve stretched our faith in technology so thin that it’s only a matter of time before the result is major collapse (be it economically, or ecological, or whatever).

The freedom from natural disasters is more of a relative phenomenon and, for Canadians, a bit of colossal good luck—so far. While the narrow band of populated Canada that stretches horizontally just north of the US border has enjoyed basic ‘normalcy,’ things are far from normal in the far north. The sub-Arctic has been experiencing unusually warm seasons, resulting in premature melting of ice-roads; thawing of permafrost, with consequent problems with houses and infrastructure; displacement of flora and fauna; and general disruption of ancient patterns. To the south, in the USA, there are numerous natural disasters that cause loss of life and serious economic losses. Besides spectacular incidents like hurricane Katrina, there are swaths of destruction in the wake of tornadoes, severe floods in low-lands and river margins, sweeping bush fires in the Southwest, and always, rumors of smoking volcanoes in the Northwest and of earthquakes on the Pacific coast. Because these events are ‘regional’ in extent, those in unaffected areas simply watch the clips on the news, and carry on blissfully or resolutely.

Many in North America have family ties to Europe, so what’s happening in Europe? In Britain, there seems to be no end to the threat of ‘mad-cow disease.’ More than that, though, we saw massive flooding take place in the midlands in the summer of 2007… while continental Europe baked in a heat wave that took its toll of mostly elderly residents. Again, the regional nature of disasters allows those unaffected to carry on with their lives, and pretend that ‘it won’t happen here.’ The unsettling observation of anyone who can deny denial is that things are afoot on planet Earth, and it’s only a matter of time before ‘my region’ gets hit with a disaster of some kind… or the disasters become more than regional.

On the political front, the appearance of normalcy that prevails as of this writing (Aug/07) belies the turmoil that churns beneath the surface. Few citizens (in Canada, at least) seem to notice the curious abandonment of the good ship Bush even as it sails towards the expected end of its mandate. Numerous White House staff have taken their leave (the latest luminary, Alberto Gonzalez, hard on the heels of Karl Rove) before being rewarded with golden parachutes or awarded new posts in a renewed Republican administration. What do they know? What do they hope to escape? The less naïve reader knows that the Bush cabal is the most criminal gang ever to inhabit the White House. Their list of indictable offences grows with every passing day. Yet, incredibly, even the cynics and the knowledgeable persist in the odious and monstrous pretense that everything is, more or less, normal in the good, ole US of A. Why? It’s not an easy answer, but it has to do with preserving a grand illusion beyond all reason because so many depend on, and profit handsomely from it. To do the logical, reasonable, legal thing would be to risk unleashing the demons of civil chaos. No one can predict how the masses of Americans would react to revelations that their emperor has no ethics, the economy is rotten and crumbling, and everything they thought they believed about the righteousness of America and its governance is a pile of lies. No; it’s far easier and expedient for those privy to the truth to hold their nose, and more effectively, block or ignore the Decider-in-chief until his horrible term is finally over and he is retired to the revered ranks of former presidents.

The captain is drunk on the bridge—drunk with the heady fumes of delusions of grandeur and impervious to any news that would contradict. The band plays furiously, trying to drown out the cries of third-class passengers dying of hunger and disease, collateral damage to conflicts inflamed from the seat of Babylon. Out in the cold, clear, starry night, great forces are unfolding and giant hunks of natural matter make their impersonal way through the vast seas of fate. Quick—there may be time for one more boogie.

May 29, 2007

Back to the Dark Ages?

Dark forces have been unleashed in fury in an attempt to turn the clock back to the moral and intellectual bleakness of the Dark Ages of Europe.
We, the world population of this modern age, stand at a crisis point in human history. Many people of good will have recognized what is going on, although hardly with one, clear view. Instead, the aweful phenomenon has been interpreted in a myriad of optics, creating confusion and lack of power among the resistance. Yet the essential evil of the bold menace has been described, even while its causes and promoters remain obscure.

The modern reactionaries have all kinds of tricks at their disposal for the formidable task of regressing the planet back to the days of feudal lords and penniless peasants. Perhaps the most effective tool is called 'the media,' meaning the conglomerate of television, radio, and newspapers, but which can reasonably include movies, as well. These means of mass communication all arose out of 'free societies' wherein men could exercise creative talent and develop new ideas. Now, the puppet masters want to use the products of freedom to prepare the way for neo-feudalism. By gaining control of the media, the regressors are using them to subtly brain-wash the masses with the values and views that suit the goals of class domination. This they can do in full daylight, knowing that the common person is so over-stimulated in all aspects of life as to prefer to carry on in the trusting belief that all is well with the world... at least until it becomes obvious that it isn't.

What signals the reversion to a dark past are leading indicators from the country that prides itself as the vanguard of progress, the acolyte of knowledge, the home of the free, etc. The government of the USA has embraced the doctrine of the 'pre-emptive strike,' which is the Newspeak phrase for what was always known as unprovoked aggression. It has declared that in the event of war, all levels of civilization attained in the last 5,000 years are open to suspension... Then they went ahead and declared 'war' on 'terrorism' just to make sure that the pretext was in place. One thing this government has tried hard to do is turn aside the flagship document of liberty, the Constitution of the USA. In this, thankfully, they have been opposed, and have achieved only partial success. Yet, among their dubious successes has been the re-institution of torture as an instrument of unofficial policy. This fact is truly appalling after the horrifying lessons of history; but in a system of homogenizing education (a.k.a. indoctrination), history is what the masters want it to be. One should rightly demand, How could the 'epitome of humanity' sanction the use of torture? Of course, at the official, PR level, the US government maintains that it does not endorse or use torture on 'suspects'-- while winking and nodding that interrogation may include 'pressure tactics.'

The practice of 'torture lite' seemed to slip in rather painlessly, one might say. Sure, in the wake of 9-11, the media reported first, the possibility, adding various examples of hypothetical cases where 'even civilized people' would be justified in applying harsh treatment on prisoners in order to extract information vital to the safety of their own citizens. The argument is really futile and fatuous... but it apparently satisfied the average readers and viewers of America who hardly registered a complaint against such macho nonsense. The next thing Americans knew, their government had efficiently rounded up hundreds of 'terrorists' and sequestered them in a secluded enclave in, of all places, Cuba.

In a marvelous display of political sophistry, the White House declared that the US was not bound by the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war because (remember?) these prisoners were not 'soldiers'... altho they were captured in a 'war' on terror. Neither were they subject to normal American legal process because (you got it!) they were not in America. With this absurd logic, American forces were free to treat (or mistreat, as it turns out) these unfortunates any way they wanted. After five years or more, some of them are still being held with no charges. Those that get charged are then faced with the prospect of kangaroo trials where they never see evidence and basically have no rights. Git-mo (as it was nicknamed) still holds a detainee who was barely 15 when he was captured, and who the UN conventions clearly consider a child soldier.

Maybe some of you readers still cling to a nagging belief that, well, sometimes as unpleasant as it is, 'our people' could be justified in using torture. To that I say plainly, bullshit! In the first case, anyone who resorts to violence puts himself on the same level as the one whom he claims to abhor. You cannot decry the abuse of human rights in another country while condoning it-- even in your carefully contrived special circumstances-- in your own. Once you've demonstrated such duplicity, you lose all moral authority

If you are one of those who don't care about ethics, just 'whatever works,' then even in that case, torture is pointless. 'Intelligence' officers themselves admit that any information obtained under torture is very unreliable, at best. Not only that, but it is most likely outdated, and of little use, even if it should be correct. And, if you claim to live in such a civilized and advanced society, have you not heard of lie-detectors? If our 'intelligence' agents really wanted useful information, why wouldn't they just bring in the polygraph and its operator, and ask the suspect the desired questions? Answer-- because it's not really about information! It's about terrorizing the big, bad enemy one participant at a time.

And there's another 'practical' reason that should also appeal to the pragmatists who aren't concerned over ethics. Once it is known by 'them' that 'our people' are using torture, then 'they' now consider themselves fully justified in using torture against 'the good guys' when they are captured, as will inevitably happen. That's why the revelation of widespread, systemic prisoner abuse in the Abu-Graib facility was a multiple fiasco for the Americans. It not only revealed their moral hypocrisy to a skeptical world; it left the door open for 'justified' mistreatment of US individuals who might fall into the insurgents' hands.

See, the neo-cons (emphasis on 'cons') pretending to run the USA have strived mightily to turn the clock back to the Dark Ages of the Inquisitions. All the elements are in place; only the labels have been updated. During the Inquisitions, essentially any person could accuse someone else of being either a 'heretic' or a witch, and that hearsay charge was sufficient for the accused to be hauled before a panel of self-appointed judges for questioning. If the answers weren't quite suitable, harsher interrogation methods were fully sanctioned by the supreme authority, the Church. Here's the crazy part: torture was administered until the accused confessed to the charge. Once the confession was obtained, the accused-- now clearly 'guilty' could be legally executed by the state... often using (you guessed it) torture. Of course, if the accused had the nerves to resist confessing, well then the 'interrogation' continued until the person expired. This patent madness went on, not for some brief moment of history, but for centuries!

Today, the accused persons are charged with terrorism, often on the basis of 'confessions' obtained from other suspects, or on evidence virtually planted on them by infiltrators who are trained to draw them into conspiracies. If the suspect happens to reside in a civilized country, he can be abducted and 'rendered' to another country that has plenty of practice at torture. While much of what goes on is not constitutional, once a person is in the hands of US government agencies, legal considerations go out the window. What we have is a modern witch-hunt, complete with phony charges, state-sanctioned torture, and utter disregard for either law or morals. The neo-cons have erased centuries of blood-bought achievements in the realm of human rights, and returned humanity to the depravity of the Dark Ages. And like the original Dark Ages, the mainstream churches are complicit in the abuse of human rights-- either by their woeful silence, or worse, by their patriotic cheerleeding for the war on Islam (which is how many fundamentalists seem to view it).

By flaunting international law, and placing their interests above all others, the US administration has done a first-class job of putting America in the worst possible light. It's tragic that many Americans of good faith who abhor the record of their government are, nonetheless, painted by the same black brush. The once proud soaring eagle has been revealed a blood-splattered turkey vulture. The princes of darkness carry on in apparent ignorance of the basic spiritual law of the universe-- as you sow, you shall likewise reap. America will experience increasing calamities of all kinds, and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth among millions who have never bothered to understand the flagrant transgressions of their leaders who bamboozled them with double-talk and lies for so long. As they start to awaken from their slumber, the deceived masses will not be happy. It will be very ugly.

May 4, 2007

Climate Change Heresy!

The subtitle could be 'Confessions of a former believer,' or something like that. You see, like most ordinary people, I love nature, the outdoors, and therefore, I was passionate about the need to reduce greenhouse gases (ie. 'carbon dioxide' per the current wisdom) and promote the Kyoto Accord. I was outraged that the USA refused to sign on to the Accord, and that Canada has been dragging its feet in meeting even minimal target reductions. Taking note of every scientific news story, I was ready to point out the melting of the polar ice-caps, the thawing of the permafrost, the spawning of stronger tropical storms, the increase in wildfires, floods, insect plagues, etc. etc. However... it bothered me that some legitimate scientists were, apparently, still not with the program, still saying this whole hysteria is a fraud. What was wrong with these people-- don't they appreciate this planet? Don't they realize that the future of our species may be at risk?

At this point in any polemical debate, one can do either of two basic things. One, you can tell yourself that 'it's obvious-- the other side is wrong, and must be defeated with louder shouts.' Or, two, you can take a step to the side, and have a look at their arguments to see if there could be any merit in them. Now, how many people take option two, generally speaking? Very few people dare to risk bursting their carefully constructed illusions, or confronting their cherished emotional investments. They retreat into further denial, and may become quite aggressive in attacking any affront to those strongholds of 'reason.' Clearly, though, if in fact, Truth is your main concern, regardless of whether it conforms to your world-view to this point, then you know you must honestly consider the opposite side of your position. If, after a sincere examination, you still believe in the correctness of your current views, then you have actually strengthened them by comparing them against counter-arguments that fall short of convincing. And if you should realize that the opposing arguments have merit and must be addressed, then you have gained new knowledge that is both useful and constructive in the over-riding quest for truth. In other words, there ought to be nothing to fear in considering both sides of every dilemma, and this should be taught throughout our schooling-- but rarely is.

With all that philosophy in mind, I decided it was high time to check out the claims of the global warming nay-sayers. Having just done so, I now have to reverse my position in the face of real science, as opposed to the propaganda that poses as science in the mainstream media (or 'MSM' for short). Strangely, the MSM have taken a long time to get on board the global warming bandwagon; but now co-opted, they are predominantly reporting the desired line that claims 'carbon emissions' are the vile culprit in causing global warming and they must be reduced at all costs. With Al Gore, Mr. Green, going around with his very powerful multimedia dog and pony show, 'An Inconvenient Truth,' millions of new believers are being added to the 'environmental faith' movement. Maybe Mr. Gore really believes his rhetoric; maybe he's fronting for some hidden cause. These days, absolutely nothing can be taken at face value, any more.

Well, what made this 'true believer' become a new heretic (yes-- here we go again!)? As I hinted above, the science speaks for itself-- if we'll just listen. In this essay, I don't want to attempt to regurgitate the great breadth of science that contradicts all the arguments of the 'carbon emissions' theory. That wouldn't be productive, and there are some excellent web sources that do a fine job of presenting the facts in accessible language. (For example, check out; and view the Google video 'The Great Global Warming Swindle.') What I would like to do here, is just raise a few points based on logic and experience, that put the carbon emissions theory into clear doubt. And to encourage every reader to put aside your preconceptions, and investigate it for yourself. Lastly, I want to speculate a bit on what is behind this headline, critical debate raging in our day.

Just visualize the layer of air surrounding this planet-- the atmosphere. It is a very thin layer relative to the size of the earth. (If the earth were the size of a basketball, the atmosphere would be something like a 1-centimeter layer around it, to aid your visualization.) In terms of heat capacity, air has roughly 1000 times less capacity than water to hold heat. We've all boiled water in a kettle or a pot on the stove. Imagine trying to raise the temperature of a pot of water... by heating the air above it. How much heating of the air do you think it would take? Exactly-- a hell of a lot! Yet that is essentially what the 'experts' are trying to tell us-- that the carbon dioxide in the air is causing the atmosphere to retain heat... and that heat is sufficient to cause the melting of polar ice, etc. Most of the ice that is melting is over water; and we know that most of that ice is actually under the water, with only a fraction above, in the air. So-- how can air that is slightly warmer than the historical mean be causing vast areas of ice to melt? And it's melting at a rate that surprises the scientists! The heat must be coming from the water, not the air! As we learn in school, the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases. Carbon dioxide is one of those trace gases, accounting for about 0.04% of the total. This minute proportion of gas is supposed to be causing enough retention of infrared solar radiation as to raise the mean temperature of the atmosphere by about one degree in the last hundred years. That one degree, we are told, is heating the oceans, the polar caps, and the earth's crust.

Part of Al Gore's presentation shows a very looong graph with two squiggly lines-- one indicating the concentration of CO2 in the air, the other tracking the mean temperature of the earth over 'thousands of years.' Gore is sarcastic in underscoring the obvious correlation between the two lines. Now, it is correct that the two lines move in correspondence; but-- what's the connection? He says it proves that CO2 causes global warming. Science says that global warming causes an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. If you look at the time scale, you'll see that the CO2 trace lags the air temp graph by several hundred years! In fact, the most important 'greenhouse gas' is water vapor; and vapor is released as the oceans are heated. Since water has 1000 times the heat capacity of air, it is not the air that is heating the water, but vice-versa. Without belaboring this point, I just want to note that the oceans are apparently being warmed from below... as indeed, so is the earth's crust, as in Siberia and the Canadian north. In conclusion, the earth is indeed, experiencing global warming; but, it is NOT being caused by human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.

What, then, is causing the earth to warm up internally? That is a very good question. So far, the scientists who disbelieve the carbon emission theory, are not fully agreed on an alternative theory, but the consistent factor in the historical periodicity of global warming is the sun, the source of light and heat for our solar system. Records indicate that the sun has been increasingly active over the past century, and is emitting greater energy in the form of coronal mass ejections and in magnetic field fluctuations. It turns out that these phenomena affect the amount of cosmic radiation striking the earth's surface, which in turn, influences the global temperature. So there appears to be a mechanism that could account for changes in the planet's average temperature. More study is necessary, and will be done. Sadly, it's getting very difficult for the 'carbon theory refusniks' to get funding for their research, since the powers that be have decided that the public must 'know' that global warming is due to their profligate emission of carbon dioxide into the air.

The question that then rears its persistent head demanding an answer is 'Why are we being fed with the powerful propaganda that 'we' are causing the problem that threatens the survival of the human race?' And the immediate subsidiary question: 'Who is behind this obvious fraud?' Those are provocative questions, and not easy ones. The usual place to begin is to ask 'who benefits from this fraud?' It's not very obvious. Certain industries (many) will suffer if serious efforts are made to limit carbon emissions... while others (a few) will benefit. The nuclear power industry, languishing after decades of suspicion in the wake of some high-profile disasters, is being promoted as the only sensible alternative to 'dirty energy.' Already the price of uranium is rising on the markets in anticipation of a boom to come.

But one of the main effects of the 'war against carbon' is less obvious to the common Western observer-- it is the impoverishment of the 'Third World,' particularly Africa. If poor countries are discouraged from exploiting their coal, petroleum, and forest resources as sources of energy, where does that leave them? Alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power, are much more expensive than hydrocarbons. The war on global warming relegates the poorest regions of the world to continued, abject poverty and servitude to the wealthy nations. Even within the developed nations, it is well known that a quick reduction in carbon emissions would entail widespread and deep economic misery... but for whom? Of course, it would hit the poorest segment of the population hardest. Petroleum will become more expensive, meaning virtually all consumer products will have to increase in cost as transportation costs rise. Jobs will be lost as production from 'dirty industries' will have to decrease (at least in the adjustment period) and as companies cut corners to cover the cost of new technologies. Vehicles will become more expensive, as will all travel. The 'CO2 agenda' will certainly accelerate the widening of the gap between rich and poor... and that seems to be one of the objectives of this fraud.

I expect that time will reveal who is backing the war on carbon, and why. Meanwhile, it is truly frightening to see how a fraudulent idea, even in the realm of science-- which is supposed to be based on 'objective observation'-- can be promoted from a minority opinion into a public relations steamroller. This is a chilling demonstration of... what?-- the power of the media? Well, partly; but moreso the power of the shadowy individuals who control the media, and use it to make the masses think whatever these overlords want them to think. That is scary!

Yet there may be other, sinister motives behind this big carbon-dioxide scare. The powers behind the scenes are experts at reaping profits from any kind of instability, and this is another 'golden' opportunity for them. Also, keeping the public preoccupied with a 'natural' menace that creates a background level of constant tension supports efforts to control them. People are more amenable to the 'snake oil salesman' when they are already physically and mentally stressed. Another fuzzy, external, omnipresent threat to augment the 'terrorism threat' is ideal for those who are setting us up for the quick fix-- martial law, or some variation. There's another possibility: if the good folks can be convinced that the problem is 'local' (Earth-based) they will not be inclined to look towards the sun, either literally or figuratively, and the sun may be concealing the source of the problem. Did I mention that Mars and other planets in our cosmic neighborhood are also exhibiting signs of 'global warming' of their own? It's that observation that makes the whole picture very curious indeed. For if all the planets are experiencing some kind of energy disturbance, it would implicate, first of all, the sun. As to what is causing the sun's outbursts, it might be a periodic process (as geological records seem to support), or it may be related to the moving of the entire solar system into a different region of the galaxy, as some suggest. In any case, these planetary effects essentially rule out 'cosmic ray deflection' as an adequate explanation for climate change.

I spent a couple days pondering the question, 'Why do 'they' (TPTB) want us to blame atmospheric CO2 for the undeniable climate change taking place?' Then I caught a few minutes of a CBC TV news story on the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) meeting of May, 2007, and something jumped out at me. The story ended by showing computer animations of some proposals that were aired at the conference. The video showed a bunch of discs thrown up above the Earth, grouped tightly in orbit to reflect sunlight back into space. Then another image appeared of what looked like an aerosol spray, intended to do the same, while the voice over talked about some 'far-out ideas'. As soon as I saw the secondary effect of these far-out schemes, I was immediately struck by what the game really is, here. You see, if reflective devices were to be placed in orbit ostensibly to reduce the incident sunlight on the Earth's surface, they would also have the effect of screening our view of the sun. Why would 'they' want to obscure our view of the sun, you wonder? Well, I still remain somewhat skeptical regarding the 'Planet X' theory... BUT, the proponents claim that 'X' will soon be visible in the environs of the sun! Could it be that the conspirators do not want the vast majority of ordinary folk to see this phenomenon, and start connecting the dots? The dots in this case will sketch a picture of colossal deception aimed at keeping people blissfully ignorant of an impending global catastrophe, while the elite make elaborate preparations for their personal (and exclusive) survival.

Yes, it's an outrageous scenario, I agree. Yet, once again (as per '911' and the Iraq war) the media have been co-opted to paint black as white, a panel of 'international experts' has been assembled to do the artful persuasion, a high-profile shill is going around the world beating the drum to the grass-roots folks, and anyone who bucks the new, official voice of reason, is ridiculed, marginalized, and forced to use the alternative media. It has the paw-prints of the Illuminati all over it; and we have a plausible motive. I expect that things will continue to unfold rapidly. Climate change is the harbinger of momentous events just ahead of us. Earth has a date with destiny, and we are all invited, like it or not. Regardless of what our authorities do about carbon emissions, the heating of the planet will continue... and quickly.

We are truly living in interesting times... interesting as per the Chinese curse. Stay alert; but there's no point feeling guilty about the family SUV anymore.