The Smartest Man on the Planet

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Nick Hanauer is possibly the smartest man on the planet. Not because he was one of the first investors in Amazon, not because he has billions of dollars and his own plane, not because he has given TED talks and been in documentaries, but because he wrote THIS:

Republicans and Democrats in Congress can’t shrink government with wishful thinking. The only way to slash government for real is to go back to basic economic principles: You have to reduce the demand for government.

I’ve read Nick’s article at topinfopost three times now.  And I’m going to read it again.  Because I’ve been listening for years now as my fellow humans devour one another over partisan politics, obfuscate core issues with symptomatic issues, and generally miss the forest for the trees. You don’t have to be a billionaire to see the wisdom and beauty of Nick’s treatise (and of course he didn’t intend you to have to be); while his letter is addressed to the “filthy rich” like him, it’s truly a letter for all of us. Because there are solutions to the sprawling, systemic problems we face in America. And they start with logic.

Many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies. But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter.

Yes, Nick. Yes, yes, and yes.

Sadly, though, there is still part of me that doubts this message will be as clear to certain others. Namely, people that abuse capitalism so that it serves their baser selves; greed and the hunger for power; the restless pursuit of immortality in the face of indomitable mortality. People that hide behind a perverted idea that capitalism needs an unrestrained, unregulated, laissez-faire monetary system in order to work. People too blind or too in denial to see that the very practice of this unbridled capitalism has fomented the bloated government invading and micromanaging our everyday lives. The kind of capitalism that makes corporations people, that insulates the wealthy from empathy and compassion, that puts *stuff* above human lives.

But, it’s worth a shot, dammit. So preach it, Nick. And Happy Fourth.

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Michael Ruppert Dies at 63

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I first learned who Michael C. Ruppert was, probably like most people, through the 2009 documentary film, Collapse.

In that film, Ruppert covers a range of topics, from fiat currency and fractional reserve banking to climate change and alternative energy. The cohesion of Ruppert’s knowledge is impressive; the discovery of oil led to the population boom – the unfettered, exponential explosion we have experienced in the last century – and is an unsustainable phenomenon at the root of our myriad issues on Earth. Ruppert asserts that in the natural world, such population explosions are followed by a devastating collapse.

mike_ruppertSome people could, and probably do hoot Ruppert down as a nut job. He began as a narcotics cop in Los Angeles, whose discovery and challenge of the CIA bringing drugs into the country put him on the world stage as a whistleblower in the 1990s. He later wrote books and traveled and gave speeches. Most recently, he left his home in Northern California and joined a group in the San Luis Valley who share Lakota traditions and pray for humankind and the well-being of the Earth.

It’s a logical trajectory, when you think about it. The very unfortunate part is that it ends with Ruppert taking his life.

Perhaps he had reached the point where he felt he had said all that he could.  Or, that his last days were spent in Calistoga, away from the San Luis community, could suggest some painful parting of ways.  Regardless of any interpretation, the self-described “faithful scout” says in the 2013 documentary Apocalypse, Man (bottom of page) that the scout’s blade is sharp on both edges.  And that the scout walks alone.  For me, his work and efforts can be summed up in his passionate belief that the world is in such great need of an evolution of consciousness, and that he saw this consciousness rising, catalyzed by movements like Occupy.

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In his San Luis days, the Scout was most concerned with climate collapse and Fukushima as the two paramount issues sure to foment global human extinction.  But there’s no point in my condensing or distilling any more of Ruppert’s contributions. I view Michael Ruppert as something of a doorkeeper, and I walked through in 2009 and have never looked back.  I would invite any others, who have not yet, to do the same.

While I feel I have tempered my life to the extent that it is possible to live with the knowledge I have and still retain joy and hope, some, like Ruppert, may struggle with finding balance.  Or, it’s possible his ending was something he entered into with the belief that he had accomplished what he had set out to do and now wanted to join the “spirit world.”  But now I’m just conjecturing again.

Perhaps the best way to honor Ruppert and his contributions is to see him as the empathic man that he was.  To stay focused and articulate in our own journeys.  To keep sane in an insane world.

There are many so-called “revolutionary” groups on the planet today, challenging the money-market system, the plutocracy, and hoping to turn around the destruction of the natural world. I think we can brace ourselves for the coming years without resorting to too much extremism; e.g. I don’t believe the Illuminati is responsible for anything.

We can embrace historical knowledge, such as what we find in the wisdom of the Kali Yuga, and we can see the forecasts of this time in the New Testament of the Bible. We’re smart, collectively; we have a divinity that transcends time and space and so we contain the knowledge innately – and we had great and unimpeded access to this wisdom before times so rife with industry and technology. But we should be wary to spout conspiracy theories, to call out the monopoly media as creating false flag events or talk about “mind control” with vehement language.  That kind of stuff just turns people off who might otherwise listen.

Ruppert had facts. He had data. He was passionate and could be emotional, but he was rational and reasonable, too. Well-spoken, blessed with a great vocabulary, an ability to contain so much information, decipher it and relay it topically and articulately. He was gifted, and he will be missed.

 

(The following documentary, in 10 parts on YouTube from VICE, is really Ruppert’s crown jewel. Raw, terrifying, and filled with Ruppert’s encyclopedic knowledge, no-nonsense attitude, emotion, expletives, and astonishing insights every person on the planet should hear.)

 

Why Arguing and Fighting is Exactly What They Want

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Perhaps the signature characteristic of our time is our political polarization. Right and Left have always argued, but the radical views and vehemence of late may indicate something else, something deeper at work. Something that can actually unify us, if we stop letting it fracture us.

It’s seems that these days, everybody’s yelling about something. In the echo chamber of social media, we hear grievances again and again. In the din, it’s possible to lose the sense of what it means to be conservative, or what it means to be liberal. And, maybe we should. Especially when it comes to our freedoms.

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There is an objective, non-partisan reality that we are living under the weight of an increasingly bloated government. And that massive, complex governments characterize the end of empires, historically. But the more we squabble, the more the government grows complex, as filigrees of judicia sprout over alternative solutions, like dendrites in the brain, requiring more laws and more enforcement and more courtroom battles.

We need to keep sight of the big picture.

In Florida right now, for instance, it is illegal to live off the grid. Living off the grid means self-sufficiency, supplying oneself the power or water or both to survive without being connected to systems under the “International Property Maintenance Code.”

And last year, in Texas, members of a sustainable community were handcuffed at gunpoint by SWAT teams threatening to shut them down.

You read that right. Handcuffed at gunpoint for living sustainably through alternative resources.

Controlling someone to not live self-sufficiently is fascist, Orwellian, and downright terrifying. It’s everything counter-intuitive to living in a free country. Running people out of an off-grid neighborhood with SWAT teams, that’s an idea people usually roll their eyes at and chalk up to conspiracy theory, or attribute to some “backwards foreign country.” But it’s happening, it’s happening now, and it’s happening here.

So, who are the folks actually building these homes and communities on their own steam? Are these people unstaunched liberal renegades, out there doing the alternative lifestyle-thing with green, renewable energy, or are they the hardened, doomsday-prepping conservatives who say, “Look pal, you can’t tell me how I should or shouldn’t live my life…”?

Hmmm.

We’ll hear all sorts of justifications for these unreasonable laws and brutal enforcements. We’ll hear about how it’s for our safety. Or, at the very least, it’s for accurate census-taking. But far worse than the rhetoric, we’ll hear the conservatives in the media spouting about how this latest instance of invasive government is just more from the bleeding hearts and their liberal agenda, or we’ll hear the liberals complaining that it’s the ignorant conservatives who don’t believe in climate change or resource depletion or the benefits of alternative energy sources.

But the reason why Florida and Texas are working to make it impossible to live off the grid has nothing to do with political ideology.

It’s about money.

That’s it.

It’s control exerted by the monied interests. And those interests, as they permeate government, skewer and make stick-puppets of both sides of the aisle.

It’s about greed, and the means to power. It’s not a nefarious scheme, it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s not the Illuminati, it’s human nature. Without reasonable, enforceable restrictions on the corporate lobbying industry, or on the size and shape corporations are allowed to take, we inherit a plutocracy, an oligarchic government that is the farthest thing from a popular democracy. It is not for the people or by the people. It’s for the ruthless and unsympathetic, the “Imma get mine” addicts out there competing to be the richest man or woman in the grave.  People who often justify their position through a perversion of the capitalist theory that pure self-interest will be the best for everyone.

Our government has grown complex, and we have become an over-regulated society, precisely because of the deregulation and championed, selfish individualism which preceded this period. While it’s easy to conflate the development of a large government with a liberal agenda, it’s just as easy to make the case that unfettered capitalism and neoclassical economics are what dragged us here. The allowance of plundering, the absence of maximum salaries or a reasonable ceiling for wealth and capital, the co-opting and tailoring of maxims from our predecessors – from Darwin to Jefferson to Adam Smith. Greed and nearsightedness characterize the legacy of post-war America.

So, if you’re not in favor of big government inhibiting our basic freedoms, but can realize that it’s our current version of capitalism (since, at least, the formation of the Fed, and then spanked into hyper-drive in the 70s and 80s) which got us here — then one what side of the aisle does that plant you?

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No, labels shouldn’t matter much. And they don’t. It’s the de facto dismissal – or even outright hatred – based on party presumptions, which plagues our society. So it’s not so much the labeling that needs to be addressed, but the root of our division, the culprits fanning the flames to overblow our differences of opinion and personality into something much more than they need to be.

Everywhere I look lately, I see problems that are affecting all of us (none the least of which is mandatory, on-the-grid, police-enforced living), but we’re so at odds about how these problems came into being, or what to do about them.

The thing is, this sort of confusion, squabbling, and derision are what an impinging plutocracy of monied interests want from us. We serve them best when we’re quibbling over political trivia. Arguing party dogma, picking fights over symptomatic issues. Distracted, consuming, and misinformed, this is today’s ideal citizen. One who doesn’t question from where their food, energy, or currency comes. One who focuses on party ideology and makes an enemy out of their brother or sister.

What we need to do is stop fighting and to stop giving them what they want.  We need to come together.

There are people out there who care. You’re one of them. And there are legislators who are trying to do the right thing. There is good in the world, tucked away in places. But right now, the big, pasty, bald-headed, red-faced, puff-adder white bastards are winning. And they each have more resources than ten thousand of us, and their greatest resource is their ability to manipulate popular opinion – to essentially manufacture that opinion in a culture industry with which the hydra-like tentacles are roping around the megabytes in your computer as we speak.

In fact, just yesterday, The Supreme Court overturned four decades years of national policy and judicial precedent when the Court decided to allow federal officeholders to solicit and individual donors to pour as much as $3.6 million directly into federal campaigns every election cycle – “buying unparalleled personal influence in Washington and drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens.” (Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor)

This is not good.

We need to begin remaking the world by quitting the quibbling. We work to make the adjustments we can in our own lives – and, at every step of the way, we question, we learn, and we have real conversations with one another. Not snarky banter about left versus right, but a dialog that looks deep into the mystic. Not fighting one another, but fighting the monied interests that have influenced our food supply, our children’s schooling, our air, our water, our land – every aspect of our lives. We do this by finding our center, by learning to balance ourselves in preparation for the long haul and the uphill battle – to take joy in what we can, in our families, in our friends, in life’s small pleasures. We derive strength and love from these things, and then we stand together to put an end to the cycle of empires.

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New Report on Climate is Considered Sharp and Clear

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Nobel Prize-winning scientist Mario J. Molina has led a committee on climate change releasing a report widely considered the clearest and most accessible to date.

“The evidence is overwhelming: Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising,” says the report. “Temperatures are going up. Springs are arriving earlier. Ice sheets are melting. Sea level is rising. The patterns of rainfall and drought are changing. Heat waves are getting worse, as is extreme precipitation. The oceans are acidifying.”

READ “SCIENTISTS SOUND ALARM ON CLIMATE” in the NYTIMES>>

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Asparagus Schmaragus? Case Studies of Asparagus Curing Cancer

We learn as we grow older to be skeptical of anything presented as a panacea, or cure-all.  We become leery of get-rich-quick schemes, and magic bullets for success.  But we also have to remain skeptical of the laissez-faire capitalism which often puts profit above human needs.  We may lose certain truths, and even become jaded to their possibility, as we are conditioned to believe that there are no answers found in nature, only what man can create, and sell to us.

This was a mass email I was forwarded.  I don’t know who the original author was.  I have gone over it lightly with a blue pencil for some minor grammatical things I noticed (and added some images), but have not altered the core content.

I am not endorsing that I think this is true, only rich with the possibility.

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Asparagus — Who knew?

Several years ago I met a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a copy of an article, entitled “Asparagus For Cancer” printed in the Cancer News Journal, December 1979.

I will share it here, just as it was shared with me: “I am a biochemist, and have specialized in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. that asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked with him on his project. We have accumulated a number of favorable case histories. Here are a few examples:

“Case No. 1, A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise

Illustration_Asparagus_officinalis0b“Case No. 2, A successful businessman, 68 years old, suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years.  After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he began taking asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.

“Case No. 3, On March 5th 1971, a man who had lung cancer was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable.  The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th, he heard about the Asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is now back at his regular business routine.

“Case No. 4, A woman had been troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by the acting specialist as advanced. Within 3 months after beginning asparagus therapy, the skin specialist said her skin looked fine with no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease, which had started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus treatment.

“I was not surprised at this result as `The Elements of Materia Medica’, edited in 1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania , stated that asparagus was used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones. Note the dates!

asparagus-stalks-lo1“We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy.

“For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using. Fresh or canned asparagus can be used. I have corresponded with the two leading canners of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives.  Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree. Store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening.  Patients usually show some improvement in 2-4 weeks.  It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink.  This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases.

“As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that `what cures can prevent.’ Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups. The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink. As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer, and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer.

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“Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth. For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalizer. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic. In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body’s most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.

Just a side note… In case you are wondering why this has not been made public, there is no profit in curing cancer!”

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My Mom had been taking the full-stalk canned style asparagus, pureed it and took 4 tablespoons in the morning and 4 tablespoons later in the day. She did this for over a month. She is on chemo pills for Stage 3 lung cancer in the pleural area and her cancer cell count went from 386 down to 125 as of this past week.  

Her oncologist said she will not need to see him for 3 months.

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