Monthly Archives: September 2013

Greek Anti-Fascist Govt. Conduct Fascist Crackdown On Fascists

The eternal irony within democracies is the willingness that the supporters of democracy have in overturning their own sacred institutions for temporary gratifications — and, no doubt, fooling themselves along the way into the idea that what they do is for the benefit of the nation’s democracy:

Police have arrested the leader and other top officials of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party on charges of forming a criminal organization, in an escalation of a government crackdown after a fatal stabbing allegedly committed by a supporter.

It is the first time since 1974 that a party head and sitting members of Parliament have been arrested.

Police on Saturday announced the arrests of party head Nikos Michaloliakos, spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, as well as deputies Ilias Panagiotaros and Ioannis Lagos. Authorities also said they arrested the general secretary of Golden Dawn’s Nikea chapter Nikos Patelis, as well as nine other unnamed party members.

The arrests come 11 days after the killing of a left-wing activist rapper by an alleged Golden Dawn member. Though the party has vehemently denied any role in the killing, it has appeared to dent its appeal among Greeks and the government has worked to crack down on the party.

Ekathi Merini

The idea that one would arrest so many party members and charge them with such things as ‘running a criminal organization’ without immediately revealing any such evidence held against the party head is, of course, ridiculous. If the head of the GOP was revealed one would hope that some sort of evidence of criminal activity was immediately brought forward, but of course none is.

This is Europe, after all, where the politically incorrect can be arrested and held with zero evidence. It seems to remind me of how Varg Vikernes was arrested in France for essentially… gut instincts?

In Europe, it is enough to be far right wing to be picked up and thrown in jail and interrogated (with some little hope) that at some point you will spill the beans on a grand conspiracy of murder and mayhem…

This seems to be exactly what they are doing with Golden Dawn members: making the arrests and just hoping that something sticks. There is a great naivete from the government that they can be rid of the problem by simply doing what they allege Golden Dawn would do to them: acting like ebil fascists, arresting everyone who disagrees.

The hallmark of Democracy is that these things cannot happen over one’s political beliefs, and that one cannot joyously arrest the citizens and the base of power on a flight of fancy… Even if its popular. Nay, especially if it is popular; greater care must be observed in not incriminating oneself with gross violations of a minority group’s rights.

But, this is exactly why Democracy is utterly worthless in the hands of numb skulls: it quickly comes down to being as arbitrary and as fueled by prejudice as its less wholesome counterparts.

Kurds Targeted by Both Syrian Islamists, FSA

Naturally, it takes a Russian source to give full justice to the topic as the Westerners are obsessed with somehow rendering aid to the bloodthirsty Sunni extremists that are the plague of Syria:

Highlights:

– Over 450 Kurds killed, 350 abducted over a 3 week period. By abducted it should not take much use of your imagination to deduce what is likely happening to the Kurdish women who have been taken (as subsequent statements in this blog shall also illuminate).

– Both the Free Syrian Army & Jabhat al-Nusra are targeting Kurds. That is right: the good guys which Pres. Obama seeks to supply with weapons are partaking in the attacks on at least two of the villages in question according to Hevar Hassan (freelance journalist; 2:42 portion of the video).

– Sunnis attempted to plant a bomb in a Kurdish school

– Entire town destroyed

– Sunni cleric declared ‘those who kill Kurds will go to heaven.’ Another reported that the attackers said ‘Allah granted us all of your money, homes and women.’

Kurds are probably being targeted for being neutral currently — a surprising choice considering that it was fairly predictable that without Assad they would become targeted for violence along these lines.

The Russians have been the only ones to point out that the evil done is being utterly ignored by Western powers because of its inconvenience to the story being told by the Western liberal democracies. They appear to be too obsessed with attaining human rights for the non-Kurdish, non-Alewuite, non-Shi’ite people. Read: they really want Assad to die because their understanding of geopolitics is not like a fat kid staring at a donut’s understanding of healthy eating.

They just want to kick someone and Syria is apparently the target that has been chosen.

I would like to see Obama (or any American politician) address this issue.

Meditation As An Act Of Altering Perception & Our Western Meditative Traditions

One of the things that I have been thinking about over the last several years is, specifically, the idea of thinking deeply in such a fashion that concerns the altering of our perception. Perception not so much in a literal sense of the five senses but more in the abstract sense of liberating myself from the subjective viewpoint I naturally possess by way of being a singular consciousness. It is a stance that attempts to classify and limit one entirely to an exclusive viewpoint — and sometimes this can even be hostile towards change, veritably fighting to retain an identity that, in the larger picture, is hopelessly irrelevant.

Meditation ought to be an act which seeks to alter our selfish perceptions to gain some sense of a more liberated (& wise) view. I use ‘liberated’ as the opposite of ‘subjective’ here because I feel that ‘objective’ is a word that only serves to validate a false concept of there being an ultimately objective view that is accessible to humans. I must agree with Kant: there is some objective reality of total certainty that is accessible to God, but we cannot claim to be anywhere approaching whatever this objective stance is.

It is important that we do not take some cartoonish view of meditation being an act solely done in Eastern society. Ever since we are young there are agents at work which portray meditation as inextricably linked to Buddhism or to Eastern spirituality while totally discounting that the very etymology of meditation which places it as a Greek word. Meditation is something which factors into Western spirituality greatly — it is merely suspiciously absent from prayer lives endorsed by some of the more modern (and backwoods) Protestants. There seems to almost be an organized movement in Western society to suck up the spiritually beneficial concepts of Christianity & Islam and portray these religions solely as judgmental, vindictive, violent & anger-orientated manifestations of human frustration as opposed to profound practices.

A Taspih; used by many schools of Islamic thought in a meditative prayer not unlike a rosary.

Types of prayer from many Western religions are nothing less than meditation. Certainly, some short, Protestant act of beseeching God for a gift does not fall into the category but the praying of the rosary or the pater noster falls into the category of a meditative act. Doubtlessly, just like some Catholic & Orthodox forms of prayer, the way in which Muslims often pray on the taspih is identical to a lot of the Hindu & Buddhist concepts of the repetition of mantras and the direction of focus on to something else — or, in some cases, the concept of unfocus more than any specific focus

Regardless of whether or not a meditative act is prayer in the fashion of the Rosary or Taspih, or whether it is the recitation of the Maha-Mantra or simply an utterly silent and mantra-less profound concentration on the relaxation of the body and the stimulation of the mind towards the abstract, there should be a common and a uniting theme: the liberation from the current world and the eased entrance into an alternative thought process which illumines and grants greater clarity and wisdom.

In short, the very act is meant at an altering of our perception. Thus on some level it is a fundamentally humble action — the recognition of the inadequacy of the current mental state and the necessity of entering a different mental state to attain greater wisdom.

The goal is, of course, to walk away with it with some greater sense of inner tranquility and to glean morsels of truth & wisdom that one would not otherwise attain — in short, the goal of a meditative act is the altering of one’s perception.

Perception has two realms — self-perception (自覺) and the general perception (知覺) of that which is around us. Our self & general perception always seem to be infinitely separate and something which we cannot concentrate on both simultaneously (particularly when we are having an off day), and it always seems that in our general perception there is always an emphasis on the separation of entities.

Our perception, as it stands, seems to be a highly divided and, more than anything, a painfully subjective experience. I would even further contend that it is when we think in a hopelessly subjective sense we are thinking extraordinarily selfishly & unwisely. It is through a meditative act that we seek to liberate ourselves from the selfish and to gain a greater sense of wisdom.

In short, a meditative act is that which seeks to liberate oneself from a limited, baser sense of perception and bring one closer towards wisdom through altering one’s perception. This alteration is, on one hand, temporary but each time hopefully enough wisdom is brought back to keep us from falling back into ignorant & selfish ways. The overall goal being that, as we live, we spend enough time in a meditative realm so as to defeat the baser & meaner aspects of our person and achieve something great.

Chuang-tzu referred to the state of forfeiting one’s sense of self and one’s selfishness, one’s attachment to the world, and simply becoming one with the continuous changes of nature & environs, as achieving Daemong (大夢), or the Great Dream. This is not meant to say that one is in a perpetual state of disillusionment but, in a more romantic sense, it appeals to the idea of us achieving a more serene and true existence. Chuang-tzu’s philosophy challenged a lot of our perceptions of reality as it stands — and when we live in a hopelessly self-centered (and un-meditative) existence we are living entirely subjectively and grossly far away from the far more universal, liberated perspective.

When we meditate our goal should be to achieve a sense of wisdom that unlocks what Taoist philosopher Choi Shihyeong referred to as the Daegak (大覺), the Great Perception, which is the perception of oneself as interconnected with others and part of the greater cosmos. It is the idea of beingat one with nature as opposed to an entity fundamentally outside of it. It is a very modern, Western view that the spiritual and the material are fundamentally separate. The mind-body dualism of the Cartesian thinkers in Western tradition almost stands as a massive red herring in the face of Eastern spirituality, and spirituality in general, which does not presuppose the separation of the two so flagrantly.

As in Christianity, it is the viewing of oneself as united in the Body & Blood of Christ and brings up the early Christian philosophers that speculated as to whether or not God is in everything. These ideas are not exclusive to Eastern spirituality by any means but they are present in our very own Western religious traditions…

As such, we ought to treat our prayer lives as our meditation lives (and likewise every meditative act is as an act of prayer). They are all efforts to liberate oneself from the limited and selfish consciousness and project one towards a greater unity with the Whole.

In a very real sense it can be said that the Western & Eastern religious traditions share much in common when we boil things down to the real & true quest for greater love, harmony and proximity to the Positivity as a whole.

Phone Companies Were (Predictably) In Bed W/ Government

This is what you always want to hear — zero companies had the courage to stand up for the privacy of their users but rather all of them simply accepted the government order to hand over metadata. Some may be shocked by such a revelation though it is easy to understand that the rich & powerful who help coordinate the elections of their colleagues have little to no investment in the Constitutional Rights of a country. They are too rich to worry about such a thing as the law:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly declassified opinion from the government’s secret surveillance court says no company that has received an order to turn over bulk telephone records has challenged the directive.

The collection program, which the government says is authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was disclosed by former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over civil liberties.

“To date, no holder of records who has received an order to produce bulk telephony metadata has challenged the legality of such an order,” wrote Eagan, who also serves on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, to which she was appointed by President George W. Bush. “Indeed, no recipient of any Section 215 order has challenged the legality of such an order, despite the explicit statutory mechanism for doing so.”

She wrote that under Section 215 Congress provided for judicial review of FISA Court orders — first to the FISA Court of Review and, ultimately, to the U.S. Supreme Court. That provides for a “substantial and engaging adversarial process to test the legality of this court’s orders under Section 215.”

USA Today

Please note that in addition to USA Today doing legitimate journalism there is the fun piece of irony: the Judge who has essentially released and publicized this information was appointed by Pres. George W. Bush, the man who is responsible for the Patriot Act which was used in the first place to get these phone records. That is to say: we were promised superior transparency with Pres. Obama but in the end it is an appointee from Pres. Bush II that gives it to us.

Here is a nice quotation from Pres. Obama on the issue for us to digest:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. (Whitehouse.gov)

We would like to thank the Judge appointed by Pres. Bush for helping Pres. Obama fulfill his task of increased transparency.

Overall, there are two very important things to point out about this whole situation:

(1) Major Corporations Are Not Friends of Freedom

Free enterprise is championed as one of the greatest tenets of the United States and something that makes our Republic great. The right to private property and the spirit of the free market are often hailed as great creators & innovators for America and what verily caused us to become the great superpower that we are. Everything from our war fighting ability to the global preeminence of American culture is in a roundabout way attributed to Free Enterprise to such an extent that one would think that no society can prosper or truly entertain the notion of freedom without the presence of a nearly laissez-faire economy.

Of course, while there is a morsel of truth to be found somewhere in here we can conclude, at least, that the major corporations so lauded by the fiscal conservatives aren’t exactly the heroes that they are portrayed to be at least in the realm of real, practical freedom. Fortunately they didn’t grandstand as such, unlike Google, who before their cooperation with Communist China enjoyed portraying themselves as the new face of business — an enlightened and endearing force for freedom and goodness, something which still makes us chuckle.

The bottom line is that these major corporations will not stand up for the traditional laws and rights that are the underpinning of the American republic. Rather, they will stand by and watch the Obama administration (and no doubt the next administration) do as they will these this rights.

(2) Snowden Really Is The Lone Ranger

I am not entirely sure whether or not I am willing to put Snowden on a pedestal as the Libertarians and others who are way into the alleged rights are inclined but it is clear that he was the only person to really bring this to our attention. In a sense, his deed was both heroic and necessary.

He did fight in defense of our right to privacy — a right that is increasingly disappearing and one that I am unsure has been fully in tact for Americans since the 19th century (and even then such would be debatable).

However, we will give him this: he did blow the whistle and at least alert us.

Whether or not the right to privacy can ever be regained or whether or not it is even worthy for Americans to fight for it (resistance is, after all, futile) is a whole different debate.

But, I will give Snowden the title of The Lone Ranger who patrols our towns attempting to reassert rights for us that are quickly becoming archaic.

The Constitution seems to be, more and more, a relic of a different age.

Aaron Alexis’s Insanity, like government incapability, was a public affair…

It seems that the theme for 2013 is quite clear: the government’s inability to keep track of or properly vet their personnel… not that this is either surprising or somehow less potentially true for other years…

Sometimes the case isn’t too damning towards the government. Take Snowden — having no mental ailments and giving away no sign of his intentions, but merely being able to ascertain documents and evidence condemning of the government, he was not so easily preventable. One could even say that in the current political climate of the slow (& steady) decline of the quality of Western governments and culture he was an inevitability.

But what is embarrassing is the inability of the bureaucracy to pick up things like this:Describing himself as a Navy contractor, Alexis told police he believed an individual he’d gotten into a verbal spat with had sent three “people to follow him and keep him awake by talking to him and sending vibrations into his body,” according to a police report. Alexis said he hadn’t seen any of these people, but insisted they’d followed him between three hotels in the area — the last being a Marriott, where police investigating a harassment complaint encountered him.

There, Alexis told authorities the unseen individuals continued speaking to him through walls and the floor, and that they used “some sort of microwave machine” to send vibrations into his body to keep him awake.

He added, according to the police report, that “he does not have a history of mental illness in his family and that he never had any sort of mental episode.” Nonetheless, a police sergeant alerted authorities at Naval Station Newport to Alexis “hearing voices.” Reached Tuesday, officials at the base referred CNN to the FBI, which declined to comment.

CNN

After Naval officials being alerted, no action was taken. Boy, wouldn’t you hate to be a part of that chain of command that was utterly incapable of protecting 12 innocent people from the actions of a madman?

What can this even point to, specifically? The failure here is so gross it is hard to even come to conclusions concerning just the magnitude of idiocy in the chain of command and the handling of proper authorities. However, this is not surprising but merely what we have come to expect from the government: strangely aware of the situation but hopelessly incapable of taking action.

Were they unsure that this was the same Aaron Alexis that was a contractor? If so, why wasn’t it immediately verified that it was?

Were they concerned with violating the privacy of Alexis? Then, why would it ever be a policy that people with secret clearances would have any expectation of privacy — especially after an arrest?

Or were the officials somehow otherwise preoccupied… And if so, with what?

Are channels of communication really that slow?

Regardless, someone at that Navy base needs to be not only fired but held criminally negligent in their dereliction of duty. And if some Standard Operating Procedure prevented them from doing their job, whatever jackass (or collection thereof) ought be brought up on the same charges.

Regardless, the /fail of the government as a collective agent (and, in this case, the military) is both epic and unsurprising — something that I hardly want to be true of the people responsible for the welfare of millions including the majority of my family and friends.

What is so tragic: this isn’t even ideologically motivated terrorism conducted in a cold, calculated fashion that is hard to prevent… this is literally the government incapable of preventing a lunatic who showed signs and was employed by the government from committing this crime.

Good Overview Of Various Syrian Rebels

An excellent video concerning the various rebel factions currently in Syria and some of their standings. Notice how towards the end they sort of ehh, avoid the fact that the most disciplined rebel group that controls the access to Damascus has essentially pulled out of the FSA and that, by and large, Jabhat al-Nusra appears to be the dominant group.

No doubt this poses major problems to the way that those who would have us become entangled in Syria wish the situation be portrayed! 

UN Sec. Ban’s Silly Analysis on Syria

I know that I have invested a lot in South Korea and that, theoretically, I should be part of the ‘we love Sec. Ban Ki-moon! He is a national hero!” group but, if you know me well, I have always felt that the UN is more (or less) a joke and a mockery of itself.  From its pointless declarations that are rarely (if ever) enforced to the fact they have turned the UN Conference on Racism into some anti-Israel platform, it is all quite silly.

The last thing we needed was that brown nosing good-for-nothing Ban Ki-moon providing us with some please-the-masses weak, frail analysis on the topic:

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that a report on last month’s deadly attack in Syria would be “overwhelming” in showing that chemical weapons were used.

Wait… You are kidding me! It is… Overwhelming?!  You are going to go out and use some powerful words — not to describe anything that is relevant but to describe something that the totality of the news reading planet has known for the last month? Excellent…

Glad to know that you think a conclusion already reached by everyone else weeks ago is… “overwhelming.”

 In unusual candor, the secretary-general said that Syrian President Bashar Assad “has committed many crimes against humanity.”

The U.N. chief’s deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, said that Ban was not referring to the chemical weapons attack but to reports from the Human Rights Council and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.  

Of course, Mr. Haq, because it has not been definitively proven whether the Syrian government or the rebels have done it… But it is clear what UN Sec. Ban wants here: more public, international condemnation of Assad and some wishy-washy  coming together of people to raise their mighty pens (and keyboards) to lump on more indignant rage towards Assad without a full appreciation of the reality.

I also enjoy the part where Secretary Ban is said to have unusual candor… As if there is anything ‘usual’ or ‘unusual’ in playing lackey for the powers that be.

 The secretary-general’s candor shifts the balance because the U.N. has not accused Assad of war crimes during Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-long civil war and the recent U.N. inspectors’ mandate was to only establish if chemical weapons were used in last month’s attack outside Damascus.

Let it be known: we all fear the results of the UN Sec. Gen. coming down on one side in an argument. You know, this is what always shifts the balance of power… 

Ban said that Assad will be brought to justice and “there will be, surely, the process of accountability when everything is over.”

Quite hopeful, aren’t we? 

The secretary-general said it was a “failure” that the U.N. couldn’t resolve the ongoing conflict, a statement that sent some shock waves around the corridors of U.N. headquarters.  (CBS)

Thank you for pointing out the inevitable result of any UN venture: failure. That is, unless the UN puts itself into a perfect alliance with the Obama who will use (in most scenarios) any diplomatic and military clout possible to achieve even the slightest tittle of a perceived victory while continuing to expend whatever last morsels of credence remain to their name.

Lovely.

Kerry Fumbles Syria Speeches

Currently the global community is able to deal with the joy that is the fumbled handling of the Syria situation and the potential involvement of the US in Syria — we have even been told that the rebels in Syria have begun losing hope on receiving help from the US (Wall Street Journal).

However, there are great questions about the scope of help that will be offered to the Syrians:

 Making the case on Sept. 3 for military action before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Kerry acknowledged a worst case that would entail American “boots on the ground” in Syria. Six days later, at a news conference in London, he promised that any military strike against Syria ordered by President Obama would be “unbelievably small.”

Critics on the left and right seized on Mr. Kerry’s comments as proof of two contradictory theories about the president’s threatened strike: that it would be a slippery slope to another American war in the Middle East; or that it was a token gesture that would do nothing to alter the deadly stalemate between the Syrian government and the rebels.

New York Times

There seems to not even be any sort of agreement as to the size or scale of the potential Syrian strike — rather, we have the Syrian rebel groups waiting & hoping for what might even be (in Kerry’s words) an unbelievably small strike.

There is the old saying: how do you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.

There seems to be zero consensus on how we would even handle an intervention in Syria yet the politicians continue to campaign for something that they do not even know the potential scope of — one begins to think that there is no concrete plan at all that the Obama administration has in regards to intervention in a foreign nation’s civil war — merely a campaign for intervention.

However: there is a vague hope that the stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria will be handed over to the Americans — something that even the Russians are negotiating for. Needless to say, the ultimate irony in this (as I have stated in previous articles) is that this may even be chemical weapons previously held by Hussein. The potential moral of the story: when we fail to do one thing well (and fail to do it with speed and proper execution), we may just be forced to get involved a second time to complete the task… 

But there is no moral here other than… go to war with a man because you have a hunch that he is behind a chemical attack. Likewise, we could convict George Zimmerman because of a collective, national hunch (without the foundation of proof) that he is responsible for the attack on Trayvon Martin. We can pretend we have the proof and go with our gut instinct.

Now, as the machine of lies kicks into full effect we are unsure of what to even expect… We do not even know whether it will be a small attack or a large one. All we know: there is a proposed attack of unknown size  

Yongbyon Turning On

I enjoyed how the media was hopeful about change and the Dennis Rodman trips to North Korea were viewed as some potential method of winning over the good graces of a naive, child dictator.

It goes without saying: some people have forgotten that a spoiled child is quite capable of being a tyrant. He will soon be going back to his greatest trick: turning on the Yongbyon plant to enrich uranium (or imply as much):

“The white coloration and volume are consistent with steam being vented because the electrical generating system is about to come online, indicating that the reactor is in or nearing operation,” the researchers wrote.

USA Today

What this basically means is that we can be sure tere will be another series of negotiations in which he demands that we do X to get him to stop. Concessions will be made that will improve his economy (temporarily, of course) and he will pretend to be playing ball only to, in a year or two, restart the program.

You can set your watch by this.

However, the problem which Obama has decided to settle upon is the Syrian won and he seemingly will not rest until he successfully messes with Assad on the issue instead of dealing with the greatest potential crisis in a nuclear north Korea — or, hell, the crisis of global warming.

Get ready for round two (or three, or four, or five, or six, whatever it is) of the Six Party talks coming together to banter on about the North and achieve essentially nothing. 

Americans Remain Unattacked Due To Swagger…

I have always enjoyed the polls of public opinion that include juicy quotes of nothingness.

Of course, none of the people being interviewed are experts on national security but merely are going off of the observation that we have not been attacked recently, and thus:

Thirty percent of those surveyed in a poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research are a “great deal” or “somewhat” concerned that they or their loved ones could be harmed by terrorists. That’s the lowest level in polling on the subject dating back to 2004.

 “We turn the tables on them,” said Snow, his head wrapped in an orange bandanna. “We scare the terrorists, that’s how we New Yorkers operate. … We’ve got swagger.”

My favorite sentiment ever: we’ve “got swagger.”  When I want to be reassured that we are able to resist something foul and I wonder what it is that keeps us on the straight and narrow I always want to be reassured that it is due to my swagger.

Nick Chiarchiaro, whose wife, Dorothy, was killed in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack, said he believes the numbers will go up if the United States strikes Syria. The Vernon, N.J. resident said: “Terrorists have lots of patience. I’m 71, but I do think about my children and grandchildren. … We should learn to mind our own business.”

ABC News

The only good statemnt we get out of here is the last one which makes the observation that we have been over asserting ourselves abroad and thus meriting the attention of a whole lo of people. Some of them are nothing more than protesters with an anti-globalist agenda, people who want to be left alone. And, of course, some of these are the terrorists that Mr. Chiarchiaro references. 

The thing we have to remember: if you pick up a bag of snakes and hold it long enough… You will get bit regardless of how much “swagger” you “got.”