Never Forget

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Today is the 17th anniversary of one of the darkest days in our country’s history and many people say “Never Forget”, meaning that we should never forget this terrible day in history. Most of them concentrate on the twin towers and the people who died that day, which is a noble cause and a poignant thought.

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We also need to remember that there are so many more points and issues that need to be examined, so that we never get in this situation again….

NEVER FORGET:

  • That 3 buildings fell that day, though only 2 of them received national news coverage.
  • WTC 7 was not hit by an airplane and suffered only typical “office fires”, making it the first steel frame building to ever be demolished only by fire.
  • WTC 7 is not mentioned in the “official” report.
  • BBC news announced that WTC 7 had collapsed 5 minutes before it actually happened.
  • No damaged plane debris was recovered from the Pentagon.  Neither were any bodies.41458866_2410450625639282_511342214803095552_n
  • The damage to the Pentagon does not match the shape & size of the airplane that supposedly hit it.
  • All of the sensors and cameras at the Pentagon were turned off that day, except one camera next to a parking lot. One frame shows an explosion, but no airplane.
  • The day before (September 10th), Donald Rumsfeld went on on TV and announced that there was $2.3 Trillion dollars missing from the Pentagon.
  • The evidence for this corruption was conveniently lost when the accounting office at the Pentagon was destroyed.
  • No response from the FAA and no military planes were sent to intercept the 4 hijacked planes. 14212212_858096854289743_3642114624714258980_n
  • More than one “war game” was being run that same day, thus there was confusion as to whether the attack was real or part of the war game.  rubicon
  • President Bush continued to visit an elementary school even after the attacks started. He seemed to act like he was following a planned script.
  • The 4th plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania was not recovered at the crash site. Neither were any bodies.
  • Some passengers on board the hijacked airplanes made cell phone calls to their families, even though cell phones do not work at high altitudes and at least one of the hijacked planes was not equipped with on board cell phones.
  • 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, 2 were from the United Arab Emirates, 1 from Egypt, and 1 from Lebanon; though the attacks were used to justify the USA starting a war against Iraq.
  • The first 8 chapters of the “official” report read like an advertisement for “Why they hate our freedom”.
  • WTC 2 started to tilt as it began to collapse, yet the top portion did not topple over as one would expect an irregular object to fall.
  • Architects and Engineers for 9/11 have done extensive scientific research into the collapse of WTC 1, 2 and 7 and they don’t agree with the “official” report.

And the list goes on……

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The great debate continues

Women base their arguments on tone and inflection. “It’s not what you said, it’s HOW you said it“.

Men base their arguments on facts and logic. “I didn’t say that. Why are you even thinking that??

It’s impossible to match these up. Neither of these equate each other and they never will. Yet even today, arguments are based on unequal points of view. It’s like one person saying “The sky is blue” and the other replying “It’s NOT orange!!“.

It’s one thing for children to argue this way, but it’s a completely different thing for grown adults to argue this way.

Facts can be tested, by anyone, and shown to be valid or untrue. Everything else is open to interpretation and can be affected by a person’s feelings, attitude, and environment.

How are we (as a humanity) supposed to solve problems and advance ourselves as a species if we can’t sort out the simple differences in the way we converse?

It’s frustrating, it’s maddening, and it’s the #1 reason why people communicate less and less every day…….

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Book report – “Future Shock”

I think I’ve mentioned it before; I’m not an avid reader. In fact, reading usually makes me quite sleepy, something that I attribute to my parents, who only read to me when it was bed time. I have, however, found a way to get a few pages read while I’m otherwise occupied – I read while I’m on the toilet. I used to use that time for Sudoku puzzles or word-finds, but I figured I’m my own captive audience, so I might as well utilize this time for something that is actually productive.

The book I just finished is “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler and it was originally published in 1970. The opening page touts it as “The most important study of change and adaptation in our time“.

The book attempts to define what many of the changes in the near future will be and how they will affect humanity. Reading this book now, I can see many ideas that have come true as well as some that have not. The book also talks about controlling the amount of “shock” that future changes can bring, because controlling this can keep society from spiraling further out of control (further than we already are).

Of course it’s highly improbable to accurately predict which way society will go 10, 20, 30, or 50 years down the road, unless you plan for and work towards a given outcome.  This book highly recommends future planning because it assumes our society will become one of “Super-Industrialism”, a state where our current industrial society is accelerated exponentially which in turn requires society to adapt at an accelerated pace, something that mankind is not good at doing (in general).

With all of the predictions included in this book, it misses foreseeing one major shift that has already changed the present for so many – the shift to an small elite group of capitalists taking over the government, the media, and the military-industrial complex that president Eisenhower tried to warn us of.

Overall, this was a very good book, both on content and for giving us a peek into the past’s look at the present. I highly recommend that you read it, if you actually want to improve the future.

In the end, the book does define one of the greatest points for humanity, one that has not been addressed in the near-half-a-century since it was first published. The need for the future to be defined, planned and worked towards; instead of just allowing it to happen hap-haphazardly. I’ll copy portions of last chapter here, because it defines the problem and the solution quite succinctly:

“For technocrats suffer from more than eco-think and myopia; they suffer, too, from the virus of elitism. To capture control of change, we shall, therefore, require a final, even more radical breakaway from technocratic tradition: we shall need a revolution in the very way we formulate our social goals.”

“Rising novelty renders irrelevant the traditional goals of our chief institutions – state, church, corporation, army and university. Acceleration produces a faster turnover of goals, a greater transience of purpose. Diversity or fragmentation leads to a relentless multiplication of goals. Caught in this churning, goal cluttered environment, we stagger, future shocked, from crisis to crisis, pursuing a welter of conflicting and self-cancelling purposes.”

“Nowhere is this more starkly evident than in our pathetic attempts to govern our cities.” …… “as in a thousand city halls all over the high-technology nations, technocrats dash, fire bucket in fist, from one conflagration to another without the least semblance of a coherent plan or policy for the urban future.”

“This is not to say that no one is planning. On the contrary; in this seething social brew, technocrat plans, sub-plans and counter-plans pour forth.” …….. “But the plans cancel, contradict, and reinforce one another by accident. Few are logically related to one another, and none to any overall image of the preferred city of the future. No vision – utopian or otherwise – energizes our efforts. No rationally integrated goals bring order to the chaos. And at the national and international levels, the absence of coherent policy is equally marked and doubly dangerous.”

“It is  not simply that we do not know which goals to pursue, as a city or as a nation. The trouble lies deeper. For accelerating change has made obsolete the methods by which we arrive at social goals. The technocrats do not yet understand this, and, reacting to the goals crisis in knee-jerk fashion, they reach for the tried and true methods of the past.” …. “The juggernaut of change continued to roll through America untouched, as it were, by managerial intelligence.”

“The introduction of a systems approach is a major governmental achievement.” …. “But it leaves entirely untouched the profoundly political question of how the overall goals of a government or society are to be chosen in the first place.”

“How are preferable futures to be defined? And by whom? Who is to set the goals for the future?”

“We can not hope to harness the runaway forces of change by assembling a kaffeeklatch of elders to set goals for us or by turning the task over to a “highly technical staff”. A revolutionary new approach of goal-setting is needed.”

“By calling attention to the growing ineptitude of the technocrats and by explicitly challenging not merely the means, but the very goals of industrial society, today’s young radicals do us all a great service. But they no more know how to cope with the goals crisis than the technocrats they scorn.”

“Yet systems of goal formulation based on elitist premises are simply no longer “efficient”. “

“In complex, differentiated societies, vast amounts of information must flow at even faster speeds between the formal organizations and the sub-cultures that make up the whole, and between the layers and sub-structures within these.”

“To assume control over accelerant change, we shall need still more advanced – and more democratic – feedback mechanisms. “

“This suggests that the best way to deal with angry or recalcitrant minorities is to open the system further, bringing them into it as full partners, permitting them to participate in goal-setting, rather than attempting to ostracize or isolate them. ” ….. “In short, in politics, in industry, in education, goals set without the participation of those affected will lead to greater and greater social instability, less and less control over the forces of change; an ever greater danger of cataclysmic, man destroying, upheaval.”

“To master change, we shall therefore need both a clarification of important long-range social goals and a democratization of the way in which we arrive at them. And this means nothing less than the next political revolution in the techno-societies – a breath-taking affirmation of popular democracy.”

“The time has come for a dramatic reassessment of the directions of change, a reassessment made not by the politicians or the sociologists or the clergy or the elitist revolutionaries, not by the technicians or college presidents, but by the people themselves. We need, quite literally, to “go to the people” with a question that is almost never asked of the: What kind of a world do you want in ten, twenty, or thirty years from now?” We need to initiate, in short, a continuing plebiscite on the future.”

“There are no sure-fire techniques for guaranteeing equal representation for all, or for eliciting the wishes of the poor, the inarticulate or the isolated. Yet once we recognize the need to include them, we shall find ways. ” ….. “Imagine the effect if at one level or another a place were provided where all those who will live in the future might voice their wishes about it. Imagine, in short, a global exercise in participatory democracy.”

“To some, this appeal for a form of neo-populism will not doubt seem naive. Yet nothing is more naive than the notion that we can continue politically to run the society the way we do at present. To some, it would appear impractical. Yet nothing is more impractical than the attempt to impose a humane form from above. What was naive under industrialism may be realistic under super-industrialism, what was practical may be absurd.”

“The encouraging fact is that we now have the potential for achieving tremendous breakthroughs in democratic decision-making if we make imaginative use of the new technologies, both “hard” and “soft” that bear on the problem. “

“Such techniques, still primitive today, will become fantastically more sophisticated in the years immediately ahead, providing us with a systematic way to collect and reconcile conflicting images of the preferable future, even from people unskilled in academic debate or parliamentary procedure.”

“Nevertheless, such future-oriented, future-forming events could have enormous political impact. Indeed, they could turn out to be the salvation of the entire system or representative politics -a system now in dire crisis.”

“Still more damaging to democracy is the time-bias of politics. The politician’s time horizon usually extends no further than the next election. “

“We are, for these and other reasons, rushing towards a fateful breakdown of the entire system of political representation. If legislatures are to survive at all, the will need new links with their constituencies, new ties with tomorrow.”

“Today unconscious adaptation is no longer adequate. Faced with the power to alter the gene, to create new species, to populate the planets or to depopulate the Earth, man must now assume conscious control of evolution itself. Avoiding future shock as he rides the waves of change, he must master evolution, shaping tomorrow to human need. Instead of rising in revolt against it, he must, from this historic moment on, anticipate and design the future. ” ….. “A challenge of such proportions demands of us a dramatically new, a more deeply rational response toward change. “

“Change is life itself. But change rampant, change unguided, and change unrestrained, accelerated change overwhelming not only man’s physical defenses but his decisional processes – such change is the enemy of life.”

“Our first and most pressing need, therefore, before we can begin to gently guide our evolutionary destiny, before we can build a humane future, is to halt the runaway acceleration that is subjecting multitudes to the threat of future shock while, at the very same moment, intensifying all problems they must deal with – war, ecological incursions, racism, the obscene contrast between the rich and the poor, the revolt of the young, and the rise of potentially deadly mass irrational-ism.”

 

 

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The Independence Day Massacre

Dateline – United States, July 4

While millions of Americans were at home celebrating their freedom from an oppressive regime hundreds of years before, a sinister plot was in place that no one had predicted. Terrorists, with intent to bring the country to its knees, had infiltrated one government agency with their devious intentions – they were hired as mail carriers to the United States Postal Service. While on the surface, this doesn’t seem like a weak point in the country or the chain of command, this position did give them something they always wanted – full access to every building in every city & town.

Armed with only a uniform and ID, mail carriers are allowed into buildings across the country, delivering letters and packages. They blend in, almost invisibly with the background and most security guards (if you building has one) will buzz them through without a second thought. Equipped with modern “suitcase nukes”, these mighty explosive devices fit in a typical medium sized box, thousands of which were quietly distributed throughout the targeted buildings, placed in storage rooms and offices where they blend in with the surroundings. Packing a mighty punch, only 1 such package is needed to take down even the mightiest of skyscrapers.

Included in the package was a small radio receiver, tucked inside a cell phone or other innocuous item. These were activated when local radio stations played the “1812 Overture” by Tchaikovsky, a favorite piece of music to choreograph fireworks displays to. So as the people waved their flags and watched “the bombs bursting in air”, the sounds of colorful explosions blended in with the sounds of destruction. Buildings were toppled, infrastructure was destroyed, and the terrorists had achieved what they had set out to do all along – to bring a mighty country down to their level.

It would be years before any sort of “recovery” took place. Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the events, people were left stranded without the systems of infrastructure that their lives depended on. Only those who could fend for themselves, who could plant and grow food, who could survive off what little land was left untouched by the blasts, made it through to the future; a future that was forever changed.

 

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K.I.S.S.

No, I’m not talking about the band by that name, nor am I talking about a passionate embrace, I’m talking about the ideal that so many people seem to overlook…. Keep It Simple Stupid .

How is it that so many people seem to go out of their way to over-complicate so many things that just don’t need to be so complicated? Is it a need to find complexity, while blindly overlooking the obvious?

The comedian Ron White has one bit where he talks about a local paper factory that was stinking up the entire town that he grew up in: “Trees don’t stink, paper doesn’t stink, you’re doing something in the middle to make it stink. STOP THAT.

Here is a perfect example that happened just yesterday:

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So when I got home, I got on my wife’s computer, filled out the form on the government’s web site, saved it (yes, as a PDF), printed it, and I was done. All in about 15 minutes. No fuss, no muss, no problems. And no downloading software and/or purchases.

Another good example happened later that night. One of my friends and his wife are looking to move back to the town we live in and they’ve had a tough time finding a suitable house. They have been acting as parents to their grand children and wanted to find a home near us and in our school district. My buddy called to say they made an offer on a place in a nice neighborhood, but on the other side of the freeway. As I’m talking with him on the phone, my wife is whispering in my other ear “They can use our address so the kids can go to school over here“. I had to bite my tongue until I hung up with my buddy, then I let out an emphatic “NO! They have an elementary school 4 blocks away and a middle school 2 blocks away. They can damn well go to school there.”

While it might sound like I’m just nagging about my wife; trust me, I’m not. This type of thing happens all over the world and by so many people. Here’s another example:

Co-worker: “Hey, can you look this up for me?

Me: “You have the same cell phone that I have, so you have just as much computing power at your fingertips.

Co-worker: “Why do you have to be that way??”  (storms away)

Maybe it’s laziness? Maybe they are overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Or maybe they really don’t ‘think’ as much as others do.

Personally, I’m damn tired of being the only one who actively thinks.

 

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I’m not a big reader, but….

I recently finished the longest book I have ever read. It was 592 pages (not including the appendix or footnotes), and it was written by someone I have previously written about, Michael C. Ruppert.

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The book, “Crossing the Rubicon”, starts off examining the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks on the United States and rounds out examining the real reasons behind these attacks. Say what you may about “conspiracy theories”, one thing is true – ignoring the root causes of any problem will NOT make them quietly disappear. And the root cause of this problem is probably not what you think it is.

I highly recommend that everyone read this book, because it discusses a point in history that changed our country, permanently. I think this book is as important (even moreso) than any history book I read in school. And that’s probably the same reasons why it will never be compulsory reading in any school class. Improving this country (and for that matter, humanity) will not happen unless the people take action.

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When the boss employs “new math”….

This is yet another post I started a few years ago, fueled by a job I no longer work at…..

 

Captain Sunshine knew he had to survive just another 2 years so that he could get his full retirement, but surviving those last 2 years might be the death of him. Over the years, his tyrannical reign over the department made him very few friends, so he had no one to turn to and no favors left to call in.

New tools had been promised for over a decade so dragging this out for another 2 years would blend in like so many blades of grass in a tall field. This would give him just enough “cover” so that no one would keep a critical eye directly on him. His specialty was stirring the corporate pot and then assigning his employees the task of cleaning up the mess. His micro-management techniques earned him a reputation on par with the pointed headed boss in the Dilbert comic strip.

And after his retirement, it would make no difference whether the business succeeded or failed. His stocks were in the parent company, one that had many times more leverage than the subsidiary that was his employer.

He used everyone below him to fulfill his own needs and when the parent company redefined how they measured “success”, he made sure to redefine the units of measure so that once again, his numbers worked. How else could he get “Exceeds expectations” on his annual review yet everyone in his department got “Does not meet expectations”?

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