Category Archives: Education

U.K. Town Moves Forward with Fluoridated Milk for Children

 

fluoridated_milk

On Monday January 18, the Blackpool Council approved a plan to introduce fluoridated milk to school children via the town’s free breakfast program. The Council is attempting to tackle a dental health problem that has caused nearly half of all 12-year olds in Blackpool to have at least one decayed, missing, or filled tooth.

The Blackpool Gazette reports:

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for Blackpool Council, said: “Unfortunately the state of Blackpool’s dental health is very poor.

However, where some parts of the country can benefit from fluoride naturally appearing in their daily drinking water, in Blackpool we cannot.

What we do have is a method through the free breakfast programme that allows us to reach all primary school children as they are growing up and make the fluoride milk available to them there.

The proposal will allow for children to opt out and requires the schools to provide non-fluoridated milk. First proposed in 2013 the plan was delayed while studies were conducted. The studies found that children in the town have “lower than normal” levels of fluoride.

The Blackpool Council’s website states,

a proposal to introduce fluoridated milk, which contains fluoride to help reduce the risk of tooth decay, was approved by the Council’s Executive on Monday 18 January. The milk, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation, is the latest in Blackpool Council’s plans to tackle poor dental hygiene amongst children in the town.

Around 400 children in Blackpool are also admitted to hospital every year to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic, at a cost to the NHS of thousands of pounds.

The Council also states that the fluoridated milk plan will come at no extra cost to the taxpayer thanks to the free breakfast program. They estimate that 8,400 students currently receive milk on a daily basis and many of them will now be drinking fluoridated milk. The plan would add .8 mg Fluoride per 189 ml of milk, or 4.2 parts per million. In April 2015 the U.S. government lowered the recommended levels of fluoride to 0.7 parts per million.

Interestingly, under a section titled “Ethical Considerations” the Blackpool council writes “none.” The reason I find that interesting is because a simple search of studies on fluoridation will show that there are many health issues associated with the practice and thus dosing children with the chemical through their milk does raise some ethical questions.

The Blackpool Council also writes that the benefits of fluoridated milk have been proven by the European Union and the World Health Organisation. “This is why fluoride is widely used in many ways for example water or toothpaste and mouth washes. A well mineralised tooth is what everyone is trying to achieve to prevent decay,” the Council writes.

However, critics have long argued that any benefits of fluoride are only effective when applied topically, directly to the teeth. This would make water and milk fluoridation largely a waste of resources. Moreover, exposing the internal organs to fluoride might actually be harmful to health. The possibility of harmful side effects from water fluoridation is still heavily debated.

In 2015 Truth In Media reported that the Cochrane Collaboration, a  global independent network of researchers, professionals, and patients, narrowed the review down to the most comprehensive, well-designed and reliable papers, before analyzing and publishing their conclusion.

According to Newsweek:

The review identified only three studies since 1975—of sufficient quality to be included—that addressed the effectiveness of fluoridation in the population at large. These papers determined that fluoridation does not reduce cavities to a statistically significant degree, says study co-author Anne-Marie Glenny, a health science researcher at Manchester University in the United Kingdom.

The scientists also found “insufficient evidence” that fluoridation reduces tooth decay in adults (children excluded). “From the review, we’re unable to determine whether water fluoridation has an impact on caries levels in adults,” Glenny says.

Trevor Sheldon, dean of the Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom, conducted a review of water fluoridation in 2000. Sheldon concluded that the process is not effective. “I had assumed because of everything I’d heard that water fluoridation reduces cavities but I was completely amazed by the lack of evidence,” he told Newsweek. “My prior view was completely reversed.”

Sheldon points out that some studies have actually shown that when water fluoridation was ceased, cavities went down a small percentage among schoolchildren.  This includes a 2001 study of two British Columbia communities that was included in the Cochrane review.

The Cochrane team also found that most studies confirming the effectiveness of fluoridation were completed prior to the widespread use of dental products such as mouth rinses and toothpastes. The study did find evidence that fluoridation was linked to a 26 percent decrease in cavities. However, this study was also done before the growth of modern dentistry. The researchers write, “We have limited confidence in the size of this effect due to the high risk of bias within the studies and the lack of contemporary evidence.”

In early June, the Health Research Board (HRB) completed an in-depth review of the effects of water fluoridation. The review was conducted at the behest of the U.S. Department of Health. After examining all internationally peer-reviewed papers on the topic of fluoride and health effects from 2006 to 2014, the HRB “found no definitive evidence that community water fluoridation is associated with positive or negative systemic health effects.”

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Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com, The Liberty Beat, Activist Post, and other independent media sources.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

By Derrick Broze

 

Source : Activist Post.

9 Ways to Stop Cooperating with the Ruling Elite’s Control System

 

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Done sneakily, or under the illusion of democracy, in recent times more oppressive laws have been made than ever before. Between us being subjected to more and more ordinances, rules, restrictions and outright laws then demonizing our dissension and opinion  should we object… It’s as if we can’t do anything right.

How long will it take for the masses to wake up to these grossly restricting laws and realize how un-free they are?  The masses’ unchallenging complacency with these laws has been made that much easier through social conditioning engineered over the years by the ruling elite.

In this charade, the power-mad egomaniac manipulating controlling parasitical ruling elite impose themselves on almost everything for their ulterior motives: ownership, power, profit and political gain – and that’s it. It’s that straightforward. It’s that pathetic.

These forever-increasing control mechanisms: regulations, rules, absurd mandates, threats of fines, intimidation, extreme petty police reprisals and imprisonment … are designed to sap the life-force from us while denying our true self-expression as we’re expected to bow down in acquiescence. It’s all designed to erode humanity into a subservient entity.

How do we break this manipulation?

The road to achieving this involves refusing to cooperate with the ruling elite’s control system.

By refusing to cooperate we go into a different agreement which will manifest a different reality to the otherwise planned doom and gloom. So here are 9 ways to stop cooperating with the ruling elite’s control system.

1. Question everything

Remember, accepting the narrative given to you by the authorities and the general consensus of the masses without your questioning means going into agreement with a fake reality, thus having a disempowering relationship with the unreal.

Question the motives behind the mainstream media, the lawmakers, the politicians or corporations pushing their encroaching agendas. Question the education system. Question military actions. Question yourself over the job you’re in and do you really want to do it … etc.

In other words question anyone and anything you hit upon contrary to your findings, or contrary to that which goes against your freedom.

When living life as an inquiry, challenging the official narrative, you can then act on your findings by spreading the word. Live your truth. Walk your walk and talk your talk.

2. Disengage from the imposing controlling matrix

Enough is enough. Break those imprisoning mental, physical and spiritual chains foisted on you by the ruling elite and their associates.  Don’t fall for their fear-mongering as you rebel. Fear is all part of the controlling matrix illusion. See it for what it really is.

The more you disengage the more confidence gained in your stand for non-cooperation.

Break your agreements: If you’re unwillingly serving the ruling elite’s disempowering, destructive control system, then walk away.

Healthcare workers, if you don’t like being involved in a system that seriously injures or kills numerous patients with medicines supported by a medical/pharmaceutical establishment that puts profits over genuine welfare concern then walk away.

Police, if you’re involved in policing unjust oppressive laws then walk away…

Soldiers, if you’ve worked out the war deception with all its illegal, immoral, indiscriminate activity then do what your heart tells you. Lay down your weapons and walk away…

How are the ruling elite and their associates going to deal with us if we demonstrate our non-cooperation in high numbers?

3. Disengage from distraction

In our socially engineered society we have been manipulated to get caught up in distraction. Mindless entertainment, overly competitive sports … Then there are those economic, political, intellectual, religious, cultural and societal differences, race issues, etc. serving as nothing more than distraction with more than their fair share of never-ending dialectic conflict. It’s all designed to stop us from seeing the big picture and rising up.

It becomes a lot easier to disengage from the distraction when seeing the big picture. That it’s nothing more than a carefully cultivated control system…

The next 2 ways are indeed major examples of distraction. See them for what they really are. Then ‘throw down the ball,’ refuse to play these pointless, going nowhere, energy-sapping games, and move on:

4. Don’t vote for any of the major political parties

By voting for one of these parties you’re only giving your power away to help the ruling criminals’ further advance their NWO agenda. Stop believing the Republican-Democrat paradigm; or, if you’re in the UK, the Lib-Lab-Con sock puppet campaign shows backed and financed by T.H.E.Y (The Hierarchy Enslaving You).

It doesn’t matter who gets voted in. They’re all funded and backed by the ruling elite. So whoever wins, the politicians who get in office will only be there to serve their lords and masters the ruling elite instead of the wishes of we-the-people.

Yes, there are a growing number of people who know this, but many still don’t fully understand. Any advantages of selecting one party over the other because of, say, a policy in your favor or to your advantage will only be a short-term payoff. In the end, if you vote for one of the major parties because of this then you’ll only have to suffer the far greater long-term cost for having chosen the party with their connections to the ruling elite’s agenda.

5. Stop giving your attention to corporate-sponsored mainstream media news

Switch off the TV (Tel-Lie-Vision). Turn to alternative/independent media sources instead for the truth. Learn to discern the differences between disinformation and the truth on the Internet.

6. Refuse to join the military

Don’t become a sucker for the ruling elite’s war machine, secretly manufactured to line the pockets and favor the directions of bankers, corporations and politicians, while serving as a planned de-population agenda…

cache_38434361.jpgNo matter which side or viewpoint you take no one ever wins; and, just like choosing a major political party, nothing ever changes. Understand the related big picture and then spread the word to others so that they too will see the deception and refuse to join.

7. Refuse vaccinations

With the current push for mandatory vaccinations refusal has never been so important. They cannot deal with us if we refuse in overwhelming numbers. Vaccines are NOT safe and have been known to be ineffective. You could end up seriously ill, brain-damaged or even dead from these fraudulent big pharma money spinners to which the revenue-raking government and their paid-off media is only too happy to support through disinformation and lies…

8. Stop buying junk food and say no to GMO

Don’t let any greed-driven corporation deceive you with their deceptive marketing. Avoid junk food with its high sugar, salt and cheap/nasty trans-fats … for disease protection. Chemical-laden, processed, irradiated or GMO foods should be avoided.

Don’t buy a microwave oven. Avoid cooking with microwave or non-stick coated or aluminum utensils which in effect turns the food into junk food that could lead to health problems through toxic contaminants.

Don’t cook food using high temperatures for too long. Extreme temperatures cause the nutrition value (vitamins and enzymes in particular) to denature and greatly reduce the food value.

Junk foods and GMOs are all part of the ruling elite’s destructive hidden agenda.

cache_38443308.jpg9. Stop consuming

As a consumer, ask yourself do you really need it? For instance, do you really need to become one of the ‘Planet of the Apps’ spending endless hours wasting time on health-threatening low-EMF WiFi, covert spying electronic applications?

Get into the habit of no longer consuming things you don’t really need.

As a consequence of 1-9

The system and its unconscious nature will break down.

Our non-cooperation will no longer give the ruling elite’s control system its power.  Non-cooperation will take us up and away from getting further dragged down towards the terminal precipice.

Non-cooperation is quite simply the key to our freedom.

By Paul A. Philips

Top Image Credit

 

 

Source : Activist Post.

Internal War Is Now On The Horizon For America

If internationalists were to get their way fully with the world and future historians write their analysis from a globalist perspective of the defunct American nation, they will probably say simply that our collapse was brought about by our own incompetence – that we were our own worst enemy. Yes, they would treat America as a cliché. They will of course leave out the destructive influences and engineered disasters of elitists, that would just complicate the narrative.

My hope is that we do not prove these future historians correct, and that they won’t have an opportunity to exist. My work has always been designed to help ensure that resistance thrives, but also that it is pursued in the most intelligent manner possible.

As I write this, China’s stock market has crashed 7% and was shut down by Chinese authorities who are once again initiating outright intervention to stem the tide. U.S. markets are quickly tracking lower. Oil is plummeting.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have turned ugly, with Iranian protesters overtaking the Saudi embassy and both sides vowing vengeance. Many Americans won’t care much about this because they think it has nothing to do with them. They don’t realize that Saudi Arabia has already publicly suggested a depeg from the U.S. dollar, effectively ending the decades-long relationship between the greenback and oil. The Iranian event and U.S. ties to both nations only make the fall of the dollar’s petro-status more likely in the near term.  With the U.S. in the middle, “taking a side” will be a demand.  I believe the U.S. government will NOT take a side, and this will elicit a furious response from Saudi Arabia (a currency depeg).

The Obama Administration has just made introductory announcements on new gun control measures through executive order.  These announcements were rather light on details and heavy on crocodile tears.  Their vagueness is clearly deliberate.  Psychological evaluations, redefining who is a lawful firearms dealer, “expanding” background checks; all of these measures could be interpreted broadly to mean almost anything.  We will probably know more in the coming weeks.

And in Oregon over the weekend, Ammon Bundy and friends lured hundreds of protesters under false pretenses using the Hammond family tragedy as a vehicle to then initiate a takeover of federal buildings that have no strategic or symbolic value, boxing themselves into a static position and proclaiming themselves to be the “tip of the spear” in the fight against corrupt government. In the meantime, anyone who questions the validity of this idea or the logic behind the “plan” is immediately labeled a coward and “keyboard warrior” by their supporters.  Emotionally manipulative arguments abound because there are no tactically rational arguments to be made, which tells me that the plan was doomed before it was implemented.

As I wrote in my article “Oregon standoff a terrible plan that we might be stuck with,” some people (not many but some) in the liberty movement are desperately clamoring for a fight; and they don’t care if the circumstances are intelligently executed or idiotically executed. They only care if it kicks off.

I openly supported and aided the efforts at Bundy Ranch because the ranchers were defending their home from clear federal aggression. The Feds were direct invaders in that scenario. In Oregon, protesters are being perceived as the invaders, not the defenders — and all launched in the name of the Hammond family, who asked them NOT to artificially create a standoff. The two scenarios are polar opposites, and Oregon will end in a very different fashion.

I would just like to note that the Founding Fathers were smart enough to avoid deliberately trapping themselves in static positions on land that had no strategic or symbolic importance while inviting the British to “come and get them”.  Again, there are right ways and wrong ways to fight tyranny.  Simply being willing to fight is not enough.

Now, if Americans are going to create standoff situations that could result in civil war they should do it over draconian gun control measures such as the use of classified government watch lists as grounds for denial of 2nd Amendment rights, rather than using a family who did not want armed support to begin with as a means to an end.

Keep in mind that watch lists are entirely arbitrary. There is no due process involved whatsoever, meaning you or I could walk into a gun store one day only to have our 4473 form denied because some bureaucrat in an office in D.C. decided we said something he doesn’t like and belong on a naughty list.  The changing of gun dealer laws could be used to erase gun shows and private sales of firearms as well.

A standoff scenario based on these issues would be a much more practical concept than what is taking place in Oregon.

As our situation in this country becomes more precarious, there are going to be far more flashpoints than anyone will be able to keep track of. It is inevitable that a fight between corrupt elements of the U.S. government and regular people will erupt. I and other analysts have been warning people about this for years. I have been educating people on their preparedness options and tactical resources. I have been promoting community preparedness teams in my work with Oath Keepers and helping to organize such teams in my own part of the country. I even designed the first working thermal evasion suit available to civilians to give people half a chance against advanced weaponry.  I have no illusions that a peaceful solution exists.  I know that there is no such solution at this point in the game.  But when the fighting starts, I also know that those who navigate the storm intelligently rather than allowing their emotions to get the best of them are more likely to survive and succeed.

I cannot say how quickly a crisis will develop. But, I can outline some of the many pitfalls you are going to come across as this storm rises.

False Leadership And Irrational Leadership

You are going to stumble across numerous gung ho activists and even politicians who will claim they have the one and only solution, that they are the real “tip of the spear.” First, if you feel compelled to seek out leaders on the mere basis that they have offered to lead you, then you need to do some soul searching. Become your own leader first. And then, if you meet someone with an excellent plan and a principled motive, give him the time of day, but don’t jump blindly into any situation.

If his plan seems poorly thought out, don’t follow him. If his agenda revolves around his own ego and a desire for personal glory, don’t follow him. If he focuses completely on the Obama administration and ignores the complicity of Republican leadership, don’t follow him. If all he talks about are the evils of the federal government but he ignores the puppet strings that lead to international banks and globalist organizations, don’t follow him. If he refuses to allow his initiatives to be questioned or discussed in a reasonable way, do not follow him. If he acts as if his ideas are sacrosanct and questions your “patriotism” when you do not immediately jump on the bandwagon, do not follow him.  Remember, it is the job of this leadership to CONVINCE YOU of the legitimacy of their plan if they are seeking your support.  The burden of evidence is on them.  It is not your job to support them blindly just because you want to avoid being called a “sunshine patriot”.

To summarize, if you are going to follow someone, know him well first, and make sure his planning is solid.

Hotheads And Imbeciles

I’ve found that there are two very frustrating extremes within the liberty movement: the people who embrace pacifism and who refuse to even consider the possibility of a violent conflict and self-defense, and the people who have delusions of being the next George Washington and are ready to dive headlong into any violent confrontation without thinking because they want to cement their own legacy. Neither of these groups seems to be able to treat each event as unique: some events requiring a diplomatic approach and some of them requiring the violence of action.

The pacifists are annoying, but they mostly hurt themselves in their lack of preparedness and a warrior’s mindset. The hotheads are the real problem. If you are only looking for a fight, then one will certainly find you; but any moron can trigger a standoff with the Feds. The point is to be able to make a move that matters in the long run. Hotheads cannot think beyond themselves and their immediate needs. They are like mosquitoes mindlessly hunting for blood. Strategic planning is impossible for them and they will destroy allies in the process of their pursuits.

I hate to say it, but there is a distinct possibility that our current generation of freedom advocates and freedom fighters may not live to see the future we are working toward. That better world built on liberty, individualism and voluntary community is something our children will thrive in, not us. If you are not fighting with a long term strategy in mind, then you have missed the entire point.

Factions And Tribes

Humans in crisis events tend to become more tribal in their associations in order to survive, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. I would rather live in a tribal world than under centralized corrupt government or global government any day. That said, if a “tribe” or faction does not respect the rights of the individual or uses unprovoked violence to achieve its goals, then it is no better than any other tyranny. Never trade safety for tyranny, regardless of the difficulties ahead.

The upside is tyrants of small tribes are easier to deal with than tyrants of large nations. They are no more bulletproof than anyone else, and they don’t have the resources to prevent reprisal if they hurt the wrong people.

Expect that families, neighborhoods, towns, churches, gangs and activist groups will rally around each other as a way to provide security. If you do not already have friends and family on board with your way of thinking, you will be isolated, making survival far more difficult if a breakdown does occur.

Governments Will Not Disappear

I can think of very few scenarios in history in which a crisis or collapse immediately facilitated the fall of the government in power. Rather, the government usually morphs into something else, something more dangerous. In fact, crisis is often the prime excuse used by corrupt officials to rationalize greater controls on the population. This in turn acts as a catalyst for more rebellion, which in turn acts as a vindication of the government’s tyranny.

Does this mean people should not rebel against tyranny? No, it means that we have to fight smart and retain the moral high ground at all times. We must act in a way that exposes the true nature of corrupt government, rather than giving them more ammunition to shoot us down with in the public eye. Above all, if we fight we must fight TO WIN.  This means not deliberately searching for an Alamo.  Martyrs are ultimately useless in this kind of war because if we lose, no one will remember them anyway. Glory seekers and self-proclaimed prophets will only lead people to disaster.

Develop a tactical mindset because the future will require tactical minds. Maintain your principles no matter the threats ahead. Retain your humanity. But also, when the fight begins, fight with the intention of victory. Choose your ground wisely.

 

Source : Alt-Market

Dallas Area Activists Defy Law to Feed the Homeless

 

Dallas Area Activists Defy Law to Feed the Homeless

 

 

DALLAS TX – Just one week after DontComply.com started an international conversation on the danger of gun free zones by staging a mock mass shooting near the University of Texas, the group hosted their annual Feed the Need event in defiance of a city ordinance.

 

The Dallas City Council has decided that sharing food with more than 75 people requires permission from the city in the form of a permit and an associated fee.  Living up to their name, DontComply did not receive the necessary permission to host their event as a form of civil disobedience.  Code enforcers did make an appearance and served lead organizer, Murdoch Pizgatti with the city ordinance which governs feeding the homeless and encouraged him to file the necessary paperwork after the event concluded.  Pizgatti stated that he has no intentions on filing that paperwork.

 

The event took place on a public sidewalk outside the Austin Street Shelter just east of downtown Dallas.  Hundreds of homeless were able to enjoy a fantastic array of food, snacks, and beverages along with an assortment of warm winter clothes that were donated by DontComply members.

 

All of the homeless people that I talked to during the event were extremely grateful for the support and there was a sense of humanity that is indescribable.  Interacting with other human beings whom most consider to be living life at rock bottom will likely alter your perspective on the world around you.

 

With tough economic times ahead, we can only expect this homeless epidemic to worsen, so consider joining forces with DontComply, or any other group who helps the homeless and less fortunate.  The problem will not solve itself.

 

Watch the video below to see some highlights from Feed the Need.

Source : Brettsanders.me

CISA Is Now The Law: How Congress Quietly Passed The Second Patriot Act

Update: CISA is now the law: OBAMA SIGNS SPENDING, TAX BILL THAT REPEALS OIL EXPORT BAN

* * *

Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself.

In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was “surprisingly” revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in “Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying “Cyber-Security” Bill.” 

Even Snowden chimed in:

Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House mysteriously flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.

And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.

As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again “aghast” that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out “even more of its remaining privacy protections.”

“They took a bad bill, and they made it worse,” says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.

But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.

It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours.

This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:

In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.

It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers – working under the direction of corporations adnt the NSA – were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.

It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cybersecurity reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that backchannel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.

Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cybersecurity protections.

Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty,” he wrote. “This bill fails on both counts.”

Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any “nay” votes  – or an Obama – would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.

And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.

The bottom line as OTI’s Robyn Green said, “They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity.

The punchline: “They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act.”

And when Obama signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may enjoy, will be gone.

 

 

Source : Zero Hedge.

Doors opened for increase in tuition fees

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The government today has announced a policy that will allow top scoring universities in the UK to raise tuition fees (1). This means that top scoring universities will be able to charge more than the set £9,000 per year fees. Until the launch of this policy maximum a student would pay for a bachelor degree was £27,000 for an average three year degree, with longer courses such as medicine facing up to £45,000, which is in itself a staggering sum of money to burden someone with for simply wanting to train properly to perform their job well. These maximum fees have increased over the last few years thus (2) –

Year                     1998           2004         2010               2016

Tuition Fee        £1,000       £3,000       £9,000             £ ???

Government     Labour      Labour     Coalition     Conservative

The median earnings for a person living in London is £19,000 a year (3), and remember that this will be pushed up significantly by the higher earners, and that this will be higher than those not living in London. So, if a university course costs more than twice the annual income of a Londoner, how can a single parent afford to help their child attend university? They can’t. This means that a newly qualified doctor will leave higher education with £47,000 debt, including interest of 0.9% per year (4). This is before including accommodation, food, transport and books. Therefore, many students will be paying back their student loan for 30+ years, which would take them into their fifties (5).

University attendance is still the greatest opportunity for social mobility available (6). The chances of a student who received free meals at school accessing an Oxbridge university course are 2000 to 1, compared to a privately educated child of 20 to 1 (7).  Thus, if the rich are more likely to attend the top universities, they are more likely to obtain high paying jobs. Therefore, the wealthy stay wealthy, and the poor stay poor.

Firstly, I would like to live in a society where everyone is educated to a high standard. There are no losers when we live in a country where everyone has strong language and analytical skills. Secondly, education should be free for all. We live in one of the most economically advantaged societies in the world. In order for not only the wellbeing of the populace, but for a strong economic future we should all have an education that allows us to play our role in society. Thirdly, the decisions of politicians are preventing the poorest from advancing into high paid jobs.

The key points to take away from this are

  • University fees will be higher than they were
  • All of the major political parties have increased tuition fees
  • The poorest in society will not be able to help their children financially
  • Students will be paying off a massive amount of debt until they are a just over a decade away from retirement

1 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34733096

2 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuition_fees_in_the_United_Kingdom

3 – http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/02/housing-market-gulf-salaries-house-prices

4 – http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk/portal/page?_pageid=93,6678642&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

5 – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2601146/Three-four-graduates-paying-student-loans-50s-Most-face-having-debt-written-30-year-limit.html

6- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/80188/Higher-Education.pdf

7 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30939926

Source : Progressive comment.

“The Disorder Is In The System, Not The Children” Teacher Quits With Epic Rant | True Activist

 

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Teacher Wendy Bradshaw pointed out that how the structure of modern schooling is abusive to children, and that children who are labeled as “bad” are many times just having trouble fitting into the rigid structure that is being forced on them.

Her resignation letter can be read  below:

“To: The School Board of Polk County, Florida

I love teaching. I love seeing my students’ eyes light up when they grasp a new concept and their bodies straighten with pride and satisfaction when they persevere and accomplish a personal goal. I love watching them practice being good citizens by working with their peers to puzzle out problems, negotiate roles, and share their experiences and understandings of the world. I wanted nothing more than to serve the students of this county, my home, by teaching students and preparing new teachers to teach students well… I not only love teaching, I am excellent at it, even by the flawed metrics used up until this point. Every evaluation I received rated me as highly effective.

Like many other teachers across the nation, I have become more and more disturbed by the misguided reforms taking place which are robbing my students of a developmentally appropriate education. Developmentally appropriate practice is the bedrock upon which early childhood education best practices are based, and has decades of empirical support behind it.

However, the new reforms not only disregard this research, they are actively forcing teachers to engage in practices which are not only ineffective but actively harmful to child development and the learning process. I am absolutely willing to back up these statements with literature from the research base, but I doubt it will be asked for.

However, I must be honest… I just cannot justify making students cry anymore. They cry with frustration as they are asked to attempt tasks well out of their zone of proximal development. They cry as their hands shake trying to use an antiquated computer mouse on a ten year old desktop computer which they have little experience with, as the computer lab is always closed for testing. Their shoulders slump with defeat as they are put in front of poorly written tests that they cannot read, but must attempt. Their eyes fill with tears as they hunt for letters they have only recently learned so that they can type in responses with little hands which are too small to span the keyboard.

The children don’t only cry. Some misbehave so that they will be the ‘bad kid’ not the ‘stupid kid’, or because their little bodies just can’t sit quietly anymore, or because they don’t know the social rules of school and there is no time to teach them. My master’s degree work focused on behavior disorders, so I can say with confidence that it is not the children who are disordered.

The disorder is in the system which requires them to attempt curriculum and demonstrate behaviors far beyond what is appropriate for their age. The disorder is in the system which bars teachers from differentiating instruction meaningfully, which threatens disciplinary action if they decide their students need a five minute break from a difficult concept, or to extend a lesson which is exceptionally engaging.

The disorder is in a system which has decided that students and teachers must be regimented to the minute and punished if they deviate. The disorder is in the system which values the scores on wildly inappropriate assessments more than teaching students in a meaningful and research based manner.

On June 8, 2015, my life changed when I gave birth to my daughter. I remember cradling her in the hospital bed on our first night together and thinking, “In five years you will be in kindergarten and will go to school with me.” That thought should have brought me joy, but instead it brought dread. I will not subject my child to this disordered system, and I can no longer in good conscience be a part of it myself. Please accept my resignation from Polk County Public Schools.

Best,

Wendy Bradshaw, Ph.D.”

This letter is reminiscent of one wrote world famous educator John Taylor Gatto. But even he found the top-down structure of the school system and the curriculum provided is very damaging to the minds of children.

He left public schools by writing his resignation letter in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, starting the letter off by saying that he “refuses to continue hurting children.” He then went on to start an incredible career in writing, researching and speaking out about the dangers of compulsory schooling.

This element is important because the public school system combined with other forms of child abuse has worked to create the kind of violent and angry culture that we see today. When you treat people like prisoners and second class citizens for the most vital developmental years of their lives, you are going to create confused, bitter and deranged people. There is still value in group learning settings, and there is still value in teachers, but what we have today is indoctrination, not education.


John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.

This article (“The Disorder Is In The System, Not The Children” Teacher Quits With Epic Rant) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.

 

Source :True Activist.

Business, Investing, Economy, Politics, World News, Energy, Environment, Science, Technology Washington’s Blog

By Ellen Brown.

British MP Jeremy Corbyn has proposed a “People’s QE” that has critics crying hyperinflation and supporters saying it’s about time.

Dark horse candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently leading in the polls for UK Labour Party leadership, has included in his platform “quantitative easing for people.” He said in a July 22nd presentation:

The ‘rebalancing’ I have talked about here today means rebalancing away from finance towards the high-growth, sustainable sectors of the future. How do we do this? One option would be for the Bank of England to be given a new mandate to upgrade our economy to invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects: Quantitative easing for people instead of banks.

As his economic advisor Richard Murphy further explains it:

People’s quantitative easing is . . . a highly directed process where the debt that is . . . repurchased has been deliberately created and issued either by a green investment bank or by local authorities, health trusts and other such agencies for the specific purpose of funding new investment in the economy at the time when big business and financial markets are completely failing to deliver the scale of investment that is needed to get the UK working again and to restore our financial prosperity.

According to the Positive Money group:

Ideas in a similar vein have been advocated or at least suggested by notable economists including J M Keynes (1), Milton Friedman (2), Ben Bernanke (3), William Buiter (4) and Martin Wolf (5).  Most recently, Lord Adair Turner (6) has proposed similar ideas, highlighting that ‘there are no technical reasons to reject this option’.

Perhaps, but critics have found plenty to criticize. Peter Spence writes in the UK Telegraph:

A victory for Jeremy Corbyn in the next general election would put Britain on a collision course with Brussels and condemn the UK to “Zimbabwe-style ruin”, experts have warned.

. . . Tony Yates, a former Bank economist and now a professor at the University of Birmingham, said: “Down that road leads monetary policy ruin. . . . That’s what Zimbabwe was doing, where they ended up paying all their bills by printing new money.”

Spence also quoted Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who said, “The reason why one doesn’t even start on this conversation is the removal of any discipline on fiscal policy that comes from that.”

The Bogus Hyperinflation Threat

Dire warnings of Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation have been leveled against quantitative easing (QE) ever since the Federal Reserve embarked on it in 2008. When the European Central Bank announced in January 2015 that it, too, would be engaging in QE – along with the US, the UK and Japan – alarmed commentators warned of currency wars, competitive beggar-thy-neighbor devaluations and hyperinflation. But QE has been going on since the late 1990s, and it hasn’t happened yet. As Bernard Hickey observed in the New Zealand Herald on August 30th:

The US Federal Reserve cut its Official Cash Rate to almost 0 per cent in 2008 and has left it there. It launched three rounds of so-called quantitative easing and has only just stopped printing money to buy Government bonds.

The Bank of Japan has been printing for years and only recently ramped that up to try to lift its economy out of decades of perma-recession. The European Central Bank has cut its deposit rate to minus 0.2 per cent to try to force savers to invest. That means savers have to pay the bank to mind their money. . . .

China has blown $310 billion propping up a stock market that has fallen at least 43 per cent from its peak. It pushed the Chinese yuan lower and spent another US$200b to stop further falls.

This week the People’s Bank of China cut its main lending rate to 4.6 per cent and loosened lending rules for banks.

Yet there is no sign of the threatened hyperinflation:

All this rate-cutting and money printing has made it attractive to buy stocks, property and bonds that produce a regular income greater than the near-zero interest rates. . . .

But, curiously, all this money printing and 0 per cent interest rates have yet to unleash the inflation dragon, at least for goods and services. Asset prices are pumped up and juicy, but goods manufactured in factories and in cloud services are firmly in deflationary mode.

Why? According to conventional economic theory, increasing the money in circulation has only one effect: when the quantity of money goes up, more money will be chasing fewer goods, driving prices up. Why hasn’t that happened with the massive rounds of QE now gone global?

A Flawed Theory

Conventional monetarist theory was endorsed until the Great Depression, when John Maynard Keynes and other economists noticed that massive bank failures had led to a substantial reduction in the money supply. Contradicting the classical theory, the shortage of money was affecting more than just prices. It appeared to be directly linked to a massive wave of unemployment, while resources sat idle. Produce was rotting on the ground while people were starving, because there was no money to pay workers to pick it or for consumers to buy it with.

Conventional theory then gave way to Keynesian theory. In a March 2015 article in The International New York Times called “Keynes Versus the IMF,” economist Dr. Asad Zaman writes of this transition:

Keynesian theory is based on a very simple idea that conduct of the ordinary business of an economy requires a certain amount of money. If the amount of money is less than this amount, then businesses cannot function — they cannot buy inputs, pay labourers or rent shops. This was the fundamental cause of the Great Depression. The solution was simple: increase the supply of money. Keynes suggested that we could print money and bury it in coal mines to have unemployed workers dig it up. If money was available in sufficient quantities, businesses would revive and the unemployed labourers would find work. By now, there is nearly universal consensus on this idea. Even Milton Friedman, the leader of the Monetarist School of Economics and an arch-enemy of Keynesian ideas, agreed that the reduction in money supply was the cause of the Great Depression. Instead of burying it in mines, he suggested that money could be dropped from helicopters to solve the problem of unemployment.

And that is where we are now: despite repeated rounds of QE, there is still too little money chasing too many goods. The current form of QE is merely an asset swap: dollars for existing financial assets (federal securities or mortgage-backed securities). The rich are getting richer from bank bailouts and very low interest rates, but the money is not going into the real economy, which remains starved of the funds necessary to create the demand that would create jobs. To be effective for that purpose, a helicopter drop of money would need to fall directly into the wallets of consumers. Far from being “undisciplined fiscal policy,” getting some new money into the real economy is imperative for getting it moving again.

According to Social Credit theory, even creating more jobs won’t solve the problem of too little money in workers’ pockets to clear the shelves of the products they produce. Sellers set their prices to cover their costs, which include more than just workers’ salaries. Chief among these non-wage costs is the interest on money borrowed to pay for labor and materials before there is a product to sell. The vast majority of the money supply comes into circulation in the form of bank loans, as the Bank of England recently acknowledged. Banks create the principal but not the interest necessary to repay their loans, leaving a “debt overhang” that requires the creation of ever more debt in an attempt to close the gap. The gap can only be closed in a sustainable way with some sort of debt-free, interest-free money dropped directly into consumers’s wallets, ideally in the form of a national dividend paid by the Treasury.

As Keynes pointed out, price inflation will occur only when the economy reaches full productive capacity. Before that, increased demand prompts an increase in supply. More workers are hired to produce more goods and services, so that demand and supply rise together. And in today’s global markets, inflationary pressures have an outlet in the excess capacity of China and the increased use of robots, computers and machines. Global economies have a long way to go before reaching full productive capacity.

Running Afoul of the EU

A more challenging roadblock to Corbyn’s proposal may simply be that there are rules against it. Peter Spence writes:

Key parts of the Labour leadership frontrunner’s plans would fall foul of EU laws intended to avoid runaway inflation, and consign the UK to a three-year legal battle with the European Court of Justice (ECJ). . . .

Mr Corbyn’s proposals would clash with Article 123 of the Lisbon Treaty, which forbids central banks from printing money to finance government spending.

Perhaps; but the ECB has already embarked on a QE program involving the purchase of government securities. What are government securities but government debt used to finance government spending? The rule has already been bent. Why not bend it in a way that actually benefits the economy, the people, and the nation’s infrastructure? Corbyn’s proposal is needed, it will work, and it is an idea whose time has come.

_______________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com. Listen to “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.

 

Washington’s Blog

Back to School Vaccine Hysteria Culminates in Hunt for Unvaccinated Kids

 

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By Heather Callaghan

Due to increased mandatory vaccination legislation, parents are being politely threatened by the corporate-sponsored press, the CDC and the school systems that they had better get jabs for their children. In many cases, such as in California, it’s the law. In cases where it’s not completely mandatory, veiled threats and social pressure to submit have reached an ominous fever-pitch.

While the media can offer ostensible friendliness in passive aggressive threats to “get with the vaccine program” as it can rest on the buttress of law, it has not yet dispensed with extraordinary hysteria, authoritarian peer pressure and even targeting children in public shaming rituals.

This is because it’s “Back to School” rush hour, one of the biggest spending seasons. In the rush to spend one’s literal last pennies on supplies, clothes and lunches, the government doesn’t want you to forget to sacrifice and scrape that last bit for required injections.

One headline goes like this: Parents told to check vaccine status ahead of school. It was a “friendly reminder” to Oregon parents that their non-medical exemptions are null, that booster shots are required for older students and that preschool caretakers are to get jabs or close down.

A recent CNN headline “As kids go back to school, states look to encourage vaccinations,” chides parents who might be naughty:

When kids start school this fall, it’s a sure bet that some won’t have had their recommended vaccines because their parents have claimed exemptions from school requirements for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Following the much publicized outbreak of measles that started in Disneyland in California in December, these exemptions have drawn increased scrutiny.  [emphasis added]

That’s right, all of these convenient moves to corral people into compulsory toxic injections hinge on the original hysteria produced by “Disneyland measles.” What the media never reports is that California had a 97.46% student vaccination rate during that time. Pharma manufacturers cry that they need 95% rate to achieve so-called “herd immunity.” And did you know that Idaho has the highest proportion of kindergartners with exemptions, at only 6.5 percent?

The hysteria also serves as a convenient deflection from other inconvenient truths such as the fact that so many more people have died from the MMR vaccine (and the previous single-vial measles vaccine) than the measles disease in over a decade. Have the pharmaceutical manufacturers ever been held accountable – no, we account for it in tax dollars under a $3 billion dollar bail-out, so far.

Back to Disneyland measles which followed Ebola-gate. I see that it has further victimized children. While these laws pass due to cries of “the children! the children!” – the Senators spearheading the crusade obviously do not show concern for children when they receive funds from Big Pharma. Big Pharma sits on bail-outs, industry-paid “scientists,” control of media (including social media) and mandatory legislation. Emotional trolling has led some parents to succumb to disgraceful social interactions like asking a parent if her kid has “had her shots” before they are allowed to come over and play.

One report provides “tools” for parents to help them “remember” to get all the pharma recommended shots:

Secretary Galvin has a new tool on his website that shows parents the recommended vaccines for their children by age – from birth to eighteen years old.

At first the report conveyed friendly help to new parents, but then…:

As students prepare to head back into the classroom, some parents believe they shouldn’t be required by law to vaccinate their kids. [emphasis added]

Additionally, the pressure is high to “hunt” unvaccinated children in public shaming statistics that compel parents to do the dirty work of peer-pressure. For instance, if states post local vaccination rates at the recent behest of the CDC, and if parents act accordingly by the statistics, it will increase pressure to vaccinate on area doctors and school systems desperate for attendance funds.

Associated Press reports [emphasis added]:

How many kids are vaccinated at your child’s school? Federal health officials think you should be able to easily find out.

CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat made the push more public during a press conference Thursday.

“It’s important to recognize when vulnerabilities exist in communities,” said Schuchat, who oversees the agency’s vaccination work.

Parents could use the information to weigh their child’s risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses at specific schools or school districts, Schuchat said. And it could help health officials identify pockets of unvaccinated children, she said.

Can these numbers be trusted? What happens when the rate of vaccination reaches 100% and the only thing left to show for it is more disease and sickness? Who or what will be blamed then? Again, there is no recourse.

One would think stigmas, discrimination, scarlet letters and other forms of public shaming would be counter-intuitive in preventing disease and helping children grow into healthy, confident adults. To see the results of previous experiments, just glance back at history. It’s never been about “the children.” They say that truth is the first casualty of all types of wars – are children the second? If deception is the first weapon of forceful agendas, are shame and hysteria the second? They are the most negative, yet effective forms of marketing ever concocted.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan

 

Source : Activist Post

Standing at the Gates: Our Generation Has to Convert Ideas of Change Into Action

(Photo: Youth and Technology via Shutterstock)(Photo: Youth and Technology via Shutterstock)

I don’t know if I am becoming more argumentative and cantankerous as I get older, but I find myself in more and more arguments with strangers. The latest episode has stayed with me, partly because on paper our backgrounds and ambitions should have aligned.

I was sitting on a patio of a Mexican restaurant in Cape Town, next to a friend of a friend, a young Italian woman who lives in Silicon Valley. Conscious that this montage of globalization would not have been possible twenty years ago, I asked what brought her to the city. She told me how she is a recent graduate of Singularity University, an ‘innovation lab’ based in NASA’s Ames campus in northern California founded by Ray Kurzweil (father of the Singularity, the idea that a super intelligence will result as man merges with machine in the year 2045) and Peter Diamandis (founder of the X Prize and eager planet miner and solar system colonizer). She explained that she had previously worked at a ‘tech incubator’ in the ‘Valley’ and how she was focused on ‘disruptive thinking’ and ‘exponential technologies’ that could save the world.

As she glowed in reverence for the curriculum at Singularity University, she explained how she and her classmates have created a mobile application that will help accelerate education for up to one billion people, largely in developing countries, by ‘gameifying’ education.’ Hence her trip to South Africa. Somewhere between ‘productization’ and ‘monetization,’ I interjected by stating that the only proven model for exponential growth has been the computer microchip processor. Moore’s Law is not a universal law.

In fact, over the past two decades we have had increase in poverty and inequality, increasing food famines, and experts predict mass resource wars as we move to ‘peak everything.’ The Earth has lost 50% of its wildlife in the last 40 years, and according to the International Panel on Climate (IPCC) we will lose half of the planet’s biodiversity – that’s half the living plant and animal life in the world – as we mitigate for a four degree Celsius rise in temperature by 2050.

As these statements challenged the core of my new friend’s Panglossian world-view, I saw myself fall quickly out of favour. The politeness of new acquaintances gave way to a hostile barrage of illogical suppositions. “Would you have us go back to a primitive way of living? How are you living your supposed values as you drink bottled water? And who wouldn’t choose hope over despair?”

It was of course not my intention to elicit this type of reaction. I was hoping to encourage the next generation of idealist to expand her scope to include a more structural analysis of our current situation. But as always, ideology is a constant background condition. It strikes me that the real divide here has two axis lines.

The first is the whether or not one believes the world is getting better or worse. The second is whether one believes that history matters. Quite simply, if you believe the world is getting better and history is inconsequential, the technoutopian world-view has a natural gravitational pull. It doesn’t matter that we are creating unprecedented rates of species extinction, or that our current system amplifies the historical injustices of colonialism, imperialism, genocide, slavery, misogyny and racism, or even that perpetual growth has planetary bounds, as our ingenuity and technological prowess will inevitably overcome all of these inconvenient truths.

And of course, the question of who is the world getting better for is never questioned. The Western hope in technology as saviour is conveniently self-enforced by material comfort and privilege, and shelters us from recognising that eight out of ten of our brothers and sisters are living under $5 a day, the threshold which the UN body UNCTAD says is the minimum to achieve “a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing”: the inalienable right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If one believes that things are getting worse and history is important, the corollary is that things can of course get better. True optimism is not whitewashing away anything but ‘good news’ but seeing deep trends of progress and potential in an accurate, whole picture. It is also knowing that where we came from can help us build a better roadmap to where we are going.

As we usher in this better world, we heed the lessons of the past so as to not replicate the violence, oppression, extraction and exploitation of our current economic and political system. We are encouraged to believe the former. Our education system is molded on the ‘victors of history,’ the elite perspective and selective memory. Those considered talented are usually those who show a deep and unquestioning acceptance of this perspective, who do well on standardized tests and faithfully validate and extend the establishment logic in their careers.

They are lauded with scholarships, awards and promotions that reinforce the virtue of their belief, their ‘giftedness.’ As John Ralston Saul reminds us, it is in the nature of all complex social and political systems to reward those who best perpetuate their logic. Where that logic is psychotic, based on self-interest, greed and shorttermism, that is the psychology and behavior that will be most rewarded. In such a system, the rest of us – the majority – who do not demonstrate that behavior come to serve its needs through their service of perpetual, and ever-greater debt – if not through school, then through healthcare or access to food or housing. Once indebted, we find ourselves having to work for money that is manufactured in privatized mints and administered by governments, the apparatchiks of the global corporate system.

As elite wealth and its associated power congeals – 85 billionaires now have the same wealth as 3.5 billion people- their power shows itself up as the only truly exponential factor, outside of microchip processors. In turn, thanks to the influence of money in politics around the world, we inexorably entrench the conditions of what we call this . In this way, the world system is organized according to neo-liberal logic of ‘trickle-up’economics that serve an undemocratic, unaccountable elite at the expense of the majority.

The result of believing that the arrow of progress is righteous and unbending, especially in the face of stark evidence to the contrary, is that we become not only complacent but complicit in the inherent destructiveness of this brand of late stage capitalism.

Take, as yet another example, the fact that for every dollar of wealth created, 93 cents goes to the top 1%. Unless this can be shown to be a gross and temporary aberration, it can only be concluded that this manner of wealth creation directly, inextricably and exponentially also creates vast wealth inequality. Add to that the fact that every dollar of wealth created heats up our planet thanks to the fossil-fuel based energy requirements; that the world’s poor and middle class pay grossly more than their fair share of the world’s tax as rich elites and multinational corporations opt out of their social contract through the use of tax havens and accounting black magic; and that, through global trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the underlying operating principles are, right now, being super-charged and replicated for a whole new generation, and the true and extreme rapaciousness of this system are painfully apparent.

The promise of the Internet was to remove the gatekeepers of this dominant system, to usher in a world of democratic access to information, innovation and decision-making, beyond the old constraints of geographical borders. Instead, the culture of Silicon Valley has created a new ideology.

A fuzzy mix between technological determinism and free market evangelism. In their world, corporations like Google and Facebook are benevolent dictators, busily not being evil, even though they have monetized and made a marketable-commodity of what not long ago we considered our most private data, and are now as much the gatekeepers of this system as any steel or tobacco corporation, or government agency.

They appeal to the logical and necessary instinct for anarchism in our youth (and other free thinkers): the desire to creatively self-organize, and they twist that into an elitist form of Libertarianism, where there is little or no room for governments or regulation.

All the while they are training them to believe that the problems created by the market-fundamentalist system – climate change, mass poverty, rabid inequality – can be solved by the very same market mechanisms. As Peter Diamandis states, “In a world where the biggest problems on the planet are the biggest market opportunities, why wouldn’t you be focusing on them?”

We are told that chasing profit through technological incrementalism is somehow commensurate with solving the world’s problems. Distracted by ‘disruptive innovation,’ ‘conscious capitalism,’ ‘social enterprise,’ ‘impact investing’ and other deeply unpoliticized blind alleys, we are told we can go on exactly as we are. We have become prisoners of our own construction, forgetting that the crisis we face as a civilization is as much a crisis of the economic system as it is an ecological, spiritual and moral crisis.

Those who were supposed to become the gatecrashers – the radicals, the misfits, the real innovators, like the brilliant Italian woman I met that day in Cape Town – have become the gatekeepers through a combination of alluring ideology, debilitating privilege and myopic amnesia. As Milan Kundera reminds us in the Book of Laughter and Forgetting, “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

If we connect the dots between the capitalist system and the crises that face us, if we think constellationally, a new set of solutions will emerge. They may include a re-localization of politics and the economy; the rediscovery of the Original Wisdom of Indigenous cultures around the world; putting limits on the power of corporations and taxes on the source of carbon use; a revival of barter and gift economies; the closing down of tax havens; an embrace of steady state economics; the provision of a citizen’s income to cover the basic necessities required for human dignity; and even the abolition of military spending.

Digital technology will inevitably play a powerful facilitating role, but technology is only a tool. In the absence of new principles – a new and wiser ideology – guiding the hands that use it, it can only change the pace, and not the direction, of travel.

Put simply, the task of our generation is one of reconstruction. If we want to truly be gate crashers, we must move beyond the frustration of the ineptitude and psychopathy of the elites, corrupt politicians and robber barons that are lionized in our media and educational institutions. We must start by taking responsibility.

The most powerful realization we must engender in ourselves and communities is that there is no separation between humans and all other life; this planet is, ultimately, a single bio-organism. From there, it is a short step to realizing that human power is such that the current state of this world – all the wealth and wonder and all the destruction and misery alike – are a product of our collective manifestation. We have a social, political and economic system that reflects our level of consciousness.

So we must simultaneously go deep within ourselves to reconnect with our source, and spread ourselves wide, throughout our communities. We must do whatever re-progamming is necessary for this new consciousness to emerge – unlearning, re-learning, remembering, examining our imprints, getting to a non-ordinary state through meditation or the use of psychedelics or whatever avenues allow us to be free thinkers again. And we will of course use the existing system to build the new system.

The aim will be to create structures that allow the conscious evolution and ascension of our species, in symbiosis with Nature. As the great Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo was fond of saying, we have to go from theoreticians of evolution to practioners of evolution. We must all be gatecrashers now.

By Alnoor Ladha

Alnoor Ladha is a co-founder of /The Rules, a global collective of activists and organizers focused on addressing the root causes of inequality and poverty. He is also a board member of Greenpeace International, USA.

 

Source : truth-out.org

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