Clear-headed analyses of the disatrous debt economy and step we can take to get out of it.

I mentioned in a previous blog [June 4, 2010] that one of the most inspiring talks at the Understanding Deep Politics conference in Santa Cruz earlier this year was by Ellen Brown, a litigation attorney who has written an exciting book on The Web of Debt. (She’s previously authored about a dozen books on various aspects of natural healing). I urge folks to check out her website (www.webofdebt.com) and, besides her book, her ongoing series of blogs. Here is a selection of recent blogs:

  • Homeowners’ Rebellion: Could 62 Million Homes be Foreclosure-Proof?
  • What a Government can do with its own bank: The remarkable models of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and the State Bank of North Dakota.
  • How Brokers became Bookies: The Insidious Transformation of Markets to Casinos.
  • Who Will Pay, Wall Street Or Main Street – The Tobin Tax Or The Vat?
  • Deficit Terrorists Strike In The UK – US Next?
  • Banks Profit From Near-Zero Interest Rates: Another Reason For States To Own Their Own Banks
  • The Mysterious CAFRs: How Stagnant Pools Of Government Money Could Help Save The Economy
  • Stock Market Collapse: More Goldman Market Rigging?
  • Computerized Front Running: How A Computer Program Designed To Save The Free Market Turned Into A Monster
  • IMF-Style Austerity Measures Come To America: What “Fiscal Responsibility” Means To You

Surprise, surprise! Your brain also thrives on physical exercise!

In recent studies at Northwestern University, scientists have been manipulating the levels of bone-morphogenetic protein or BMP in the brains of laboratory mice. In the brain, BMP has been found to diminish the rate of stem cell divisions. ..But exercise countermands some of the numbing effects of BMP. In work at this lab, mice given access to running wheels had about 50 percent less BMP-related brain activity within a week…helping to ensure that neuronal stem cells stay lively and new brain cells are born. For more…

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/your-brain-on-exercise/

When crises mount, use satire to counteract despair.

In the August Museletter from Richard Heinberg (http://richardheinberg.com/), Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, and author of nine books on scary topics like “peak oil” and “peak everything,” gives us a satirical riff on cosumerism and profiteering –to antidote the stifling mud of denial emanating from the mainstream media and get us to actually confront the awfulness of the situation our civilization is in. I found it refreshing and we know that humor is good medicine!

Five Ways to Profit BIG from Global Collapse

What can you do to optimize your chances in the case of hyperinflation, a deflationary economic Depression, an oil crisis, a famine, or a series of horrendous environmental disasters? If you don’t already know, you’d better wise up fast—because some or all of these exciting opportunities are on their way to a neighborhood near you! … Pointy-headed intellectuals have been warning us about this stuff for years. Decades. Who cares? Who’s had the time for depressing, worrisome, gloomy, hard-to-understand statistics and graphs? There’s been work to do, money to be made, kids to put through college, new episodes of American Idol to watch.

Subsequent chapter headings from his imagined satirical book include:

Chapter 1, “How to Become a Billionaire Without Doing Anything!”, will prepare you to thrive in a period of hyperinflation.

Naturally, you will only be able to benefit from hyperinflation if you haven’t already lost everything to deflation—which brings us to

Chapter 2, “How to Buy the House of Your Dreams for $1000!”

In Chapter 3, “Pick Up Any Guy or Girl with Three Magic Words!”, you will learn that, in an inevitable future in which gasoline is unaffordable and oil shortages are commonplace, the words “I’ve got fuel” will make you instantly attractive.

Chapter 4, “How to Lose 40 Pounds Without Even Trying!”, offers advice on a sure-fire way to beat the obesity epidemic. It’s called global famine!

And that brings us to the concluding, inspirational Chapter 5, “Ten Ways YOU Can Change the World!”

Massive oil spills, climate change, species extinctions, resource depletion, deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, rapid population growth, widespread reproductive disruption among vertebrates due to environmental toxins, ocean acidification . . . the list could go on and on. And all we have to do to contribute to these great smacking big planetary changes is to continue doing exactly what we are doing right now! Fly and drive! Use plastic bags! Eat fast food! Turn up the air conditioner! Have lots of children! Buy stuff and throw it away! It’s so fun and easy to change the world.

Joking aside … Richard’s Museletter is terrific and truly inspirational in the best way. I urge everyone to subscribe to it. Also check out the Post-Carbon Institute website.

The Move Toward Green Technology

In an article by Christian Parenti, published in The Nation (July 16, 2010), he writes:

In the wake of the BP oil spill, some captains of industry have begun calling for government leadership to spur a clean-energy revolution. In June billionaire software mogul Bill Gates visited Washington and encouraged lawmakers to pony up public subsidies to triple clean-tech R&D funding from $5 billion to $16 billion annually.  On his website Gates wrote, “When it comes to developing new sources of energy, and ways to store that energy, I believe the federal government needs to play a more active role than it does today.”

Gates’s acknowledgment of the need for government intervention is welcome, but he and many others are stuck on “innovation.” The fixation on new “game-changing” technology is omnipresent. Think of the metaphors we use: a green Manhattan Project or a clean-tech Apollo Program. It recalls Tocqueville’s observation that “the American lives in a land of wonders, in which everything around him is in constant movement, and every movement seems an advance. Consequently, in his mind the idea of newness is closely linked with that of improvement.”

Yet according to clean-tech experts, innovation is now less important than rapid large-scale implementation. In other words, developing a clean-energy economy is not about new gadgets but rather about new policies.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/16-8

In one area — automobiles — implementation finally seems to be taking off, as more and more automakers are positioning themselves to produce hybrid or all-electric cars. For a detailed review of the 2010 offerings, see “Charged Up and Ready to Roll: The Definitive Guide to Plug-in Electric Vehicles” published by the non-profit organization Plug-in America: www.pluginamerica.org.

Amy Goodman Interviews Michael Moore

A fascinating interview with between the muck-raking journalist and the prize-winning filmmaker, in which he reveals why he had to hire 9 bodyguards after winning an Oscar.

For the full interview click here.

YouTube Interviews about Alien Presence

These interviews are testimony by Army Sergeant Clifford Stone and Command Sergeant-Major Robert O. Dean. Link here. Both Stone and Dean are retired high-ranking military officers who were privy to secret government projects involving UFOs and contacts with ETs. Here they reveal what they learned and were sworn never to disclose.

A Fascinating/Horrifying Collection of Never-Before Seen Pictures of Hitler’s Third Reich

These pictures were taken by a Life photographer between 1939 and 1940 in Berlin and were lost for over 50 years because the American photographer disappeared at the beginning of the war, along with his Roliflex camera.
 They were found by a nurse in a Berlin hospital, who kept them put away during all these years. After her death her daughter returned them to the current editors, who retain the copyrights to LIFE magazine, which has not been published since the early ’70s.

Click here to see Quicktime movie of these pictures.

These were sent to me by a friend, and I know nothing else about their origin, such as the name of the photographer, whether or when they were published in LIFE or how they appeared on the internet other than what’s stated above. I do think they represent a treasure trove of documentation – for historians and for students of fascism. I was particularly struck by a number of things:

One – the uniformity – of uniforms, of positions in ordered arrays, and  of hand positions. Fascism and militarism go together. As I wrote in Roots of War and Domination, you want the phalanx to all obey marching orders, the massing of numbers to assert power. This uniformity paradigm is the driver behind capitalism too – if as many as possible are induced to buy coca cola, or blue jeans, it increases profits and simplifies production. Which is why (most) corporations are organized with militarist hierarchies and use military metaphors – sales campaigns, hostile take-over, command/control, captains of industry,  etc. Noam Chomsky is always emphasizing this point: – corporations, as presently organized in most places,  are inherently authoritarian and fascistic. I only recently found out that Mussolini used to assert that the fascist system could just as well be called “corporatist.”  Of course, they opted for the symbolic value of the fasces, the bound bundles of sticks that used to be carried through the streets by the Magistrates in ancient Rome, as symbols of their authority. (Of course, the power symbol of the bound sticks is also found on the American one dollar bill: the American Eagle is holding the bundled arrows in the left talon, and the olive branch of peace in the other. – the basic message of imperialists everywhere and everywhen – “we bring you peace, just do what we say (or we’ll kill you).”

Two – I was also struck by picture #14, with the muscled naked backs of the fine young men, and the maidens in dresses further back in the scene. There was a German cultural historian named Klaus Theweleit, who published a two volume documentation called Male Fantasies about the erotic imagery in fascist literature and propaganda materials.
The pictures also reminded me of Wilhelm Reich, who psycho-analyzed the imagery of the Nazis (in his book The Mass Psychology of Fascism) as being indicative of  phallic narcissism – which meant of course that he had to leave the country immediately after his book came out. The constant erected arm salute also supports this theory.

Three – picture 41 in this series, with old Adolf relaxing and enjoying a laugh with his secretary, sitting on the sofa – reminded me of the 2002 documentary  film, Blind Spot. Hitler’s Secretary, based on the diaries of Hitler’s secretary – who was naively adoring of her boss during the regime, and many years later, as an older woman revealed in a series of interviews the upheaval and conversion experience she went through when the hidden truths of the Nazi regime came out.