Sunday, July 29, 2007

Waking Up the Frogs

Did you feel the water just got a little warmer again?

Blue Ibis

Baltimore Sun
Sat, 28 Jul 2007 06:40 EDT

The House overwhelmingly passed anti-terrorism legislation yesterday, sending to President Bush a measure intended to tighten security on air and sea cargo and allocate federal money where the threat of attack is deemed greatest.

The 371-40 vote in the House came a day after the Senate approved the legislation 85-8. Bush will sign the bill now that his reservations about it have been addressed, said a White House spokesman, Scott Stanzel.

The House approval enabled members of both parties to claim victory, in the name of national security and common sense.

Comment: Unfortunately, common sense wasn't present when an "overwhelming" number of cowards passed a dictatorship bill.

Democrats had been eager to gain approval before the August recess to avoid being tagged as a do-nothing Congress.

"The American people will be safer," Maryland's Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader, said before the vote.

New distribution

A crucial provision in the bill will change the way anti-terrorism grants from the Department of Homeland Security are distributed to the states.

It will cut in half the guaranteed minimum grant to each state, which was $3.8 million this year, and allow department officials to distribute money in discretionary grants where the threat and consequences of a terrorist attack are judged to be highest.

In past years, officials from populous states considered likely to be terrorist targets, such as New York, complained that less populous states received grants that were too big.

Now, Hoyer said, the government will ask, "Where are we most vulnerable?"

Intended to meet the recommendations of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, the bill also requires that within three years all cargo carried by passenger jets be screened.

(The word screened is used instead of inspected because shippers who are specially certified will be allowed do their own pre-airport inspecting and sealing.)

The bill also sets a five-year goal of screening all cargo ships leaving foreign ports for the United States, to safeguard against smuggled nuclear or radiological weapons.

But it allows the Department of Homeland Security to postpone the requirement in two-year increments for various reasons.

To gain Republican support, Democrats dropped some provisions that had drawn Bush's veto threat, including one that would have required that airport security scanners be given collective-bargaining rights like most other federal workers.

Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, said Republicans were especially pleased that they had won inclusion of language to protect Americans who report suspected terrorist activity from "frivolous lawsuits."

That section was inspired by an episode last year in Minneapolis, where six Muslim men were removed from a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight after their praying and chanting in Arabic alarmed passengers.

Comment: Don't say we didn't warn you that this day was coming.

From The Hope:

"Let's think about that in light of the recent Prosecutors Purge scandal where it is becoming more evident every day that Bush and the Ziocons made a decision to get rid of any attorney's that were not supportive of the Bush program. Back in Hitler's day it was called 'Working towards the Führer'. Different words, same meaning.

Firing a bunch of Prosecutors that do not "toe the party line" is a sure way to put a chilling effect on the whole system. And certainly, exhibits of torture photos are a sure way to make the public afraid and willing to be "see things the right way" and turn in people for no reason other than not being like them."

The Muslims, imams about to fly home after a conference of religious clerics in Minneapolis, later sued the airline and the passengers who complained.

Boehner said the bill would preclude similar lawsuits. "In this era of radical jihadist terror," he said, "the bravery and vigilance of individual Americans is critical to our security."

Comment: From The Hope:

"The idea that the Gestapo itself was constantly spying on the population is demonstrably a myth.

So how was it possible that so few people exercised such control?

The simple answer is because the Gestapo received enormous help from ordinary Germans. Like all modern policing systems, the Gestapo was only as good or bad as the cooperation it received - and the files reveal that it received a high level of cooperation, making it a very good secret police force indeed.

Only around 10 per cent of political crimes committed between 1933 and 1945 were actually discovered by the Gestapo; another 10 per cent of cases were passed on to the Gestapo by the regular police or the Nazi Party. This means that around 80 per cent of all political crime was discovered by ordinary citizens who turned the information over to the police or the Gestapo. The files also show that most of this unpaid cooperation came from people who were not members of the Nazi Party - they were 'ordinary' citizens."

'Stronger, safer'

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who steered the legislation through the Senate with Sen. Susan M. Collins, a Maine Republican, said it would "make our nation stronger, our cities and towns more secure and our families safer."

Republicans generally backed the bill while stressing their own administration's success in preventing another major terrorist attack.

The bill, said Rep. Peter T. King of New York, top Republican on the Homeland Security panel, "is another step in the right direction building on the steps of the previous 5 1/2 years."

"These efforts build upon the considerable progress we've made over the past six years," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

Completion of the bill, six months after the House passed its original version on the first day of the current Congress, was a major victory for Democrats.

They have seen some of their other priorities - immigration and energy reform and stem cell research funding - thwarted by GOP and presidential resistance and House-Senate differences.

Comment: Niemöller's quote:

First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing.

Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing.

Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist.

And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little.

Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.'

Friday, July 20, 2007

Heads UP!!

Just had to add this in. Things are heating up folks . . . . . . . Again, the Signs of the Times brings you the most important news and analysis weeks and months ahead of the MSM

Blue Ibis

RIA Novosti
Fri, 20 Jul 2007 17:54 EDT

A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.

Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."

"The American people don't really understand the danger that they face," Roberts said, adding that the so-called neoconservatives intended to use a renewal of the fight against terrorism to rally the American people around the fading Republican Party.

Old-line Republicans like Roberts have become increasingly disenchanted with the neoconservative politics of the Bush administration, which they see as a betrayal of fundamental conservative values.

According to a July 9-11 survey by Ipsos, an international public opinion research company, President Bush and the Republicans can claim a mere 31 percent approval rating for their handling of the Iraq war and 38 percent for their foreign policy in general, including terrorism.

"The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," he said. "You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda is not going to do it, it is going to be orchestrated."

Roberts suggested that in the absence of a massive popular outcry, only the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military could put constraints on Bush's current drive for a fully-fledged dictatorship.

"They may have had enough. They may not go along with it," he said.

The radio interview was a follow-up to Robert's latest column, in which he warned that "unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the U.S. could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran."

Roberts, who has been dubbed the "Father of Reaganomics" and has recently gained popularity for his strong opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq War, regularly contributes articles to Creators Syndicate, an independent distributor of comic strips and syndicated columns for daily newspapers.

Words From the Heart

I. G.
Signs of the Times
Fri, 20 Jul 2007 19:04 EDT

©Signs of the Times

Today I read the article Overcoming the conspiracy against Palestine, and I began thinking about the "Cyprus problem" and the "Palestinian problem", the sad stories behind them and the conditions that currently prevail in each country.

You see, when an army invades a country, confiscates the land and kills and imprisons the people, suddenly the whole sum of these people that have been killed, imprisoned and kicked out of their homeland become a "problem". The psychopathic leaders that caused the suffering have the gall to claim that the oppressed and beleaguered people of an invaded nation are the "problem". These psychopaths fume at the idea that their victims would dare to demand their rights, dare to talk of freedom and raise up their voices and arms towards their oppressors. Apparently those that survived the onslaught of the psychopaths in power should be grateful that their lives were spared.

Ah, this anger I feel today! You see today at 5:30 am, the sirens woke me up in Cyprus where I live. 33 years ago to this day, at this time, the Turkish army was illegally invading the island of Cyprus. They started by bombing via sea and air, the area of Kyrenia (Northern Cyprus, close to Turkey), and I swear, after all those years, I haven't got used to that sound. The average Cypriot old enough to remember might even get up and run to the window to check the skies with their heart beating like crazy, only if briefly, until they realize the date, until they realize that that was years ago.

But not in Palestine.

There, the sirens mean the prospect of death for all who hear them. In Palestine, the first thing that a child recognizes is this sound. The sirens are a daily occurrence for them, weekly at best. But it doesn't stop there: they know that another sound is sure to follow: the sound of bombing. And the little Palestinian children put their little hands over their small ears and curl up in the corner. Will they be the target this time? Will this latest missile destroy their house, kill their mother, father, sisters, brothers, friends? What is known is that every time - because the IDF and the Israeli government are committing genocide against all Palestinians - someone does die, houses are destroyed, and often, whole families are murdered. Can any of us even imagine living in such a hell every day? I can't imagine even that anyone could ever get used to the sound of the sirens and the sound of the bombs falling heartlessly to destroy their lives.

Try to picture your entire life to date in your mind, everything that comprises the life that you know... and then... Boom! It's gone.

Palestine is so close to Cyprus, but sometimes so far away...

For 33 years now, every 20th of July, Cypriots wake up to the sound of the sirens, but we never truly wake up on this island. Why is there no resistance in Cyprus like there is in Palestine? The answer is so simple: it is by design that there IS resistance in Palestine, and there IS NOT in Cyprus. In Palestine, Israel's plan is to kill all Palestinians. So they need the Palestinians to resist, to give the IDF the excuse and the "right" to kill them, in a massively one-sided war or rather "turkey shoot". Soon after the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus, the Cypriot government received international aid and lots of money. The message was clear: "here's some money, now keep quiet! Ok?"

A year later, the refugees from the Northern cities of Cyprus had houses built for them. The Palestinians, 60 years later, still live in tents. Not long afterwards, Cyprus began to prosper economically. On this one, the Cypriots will say with pride: "It's because we are not afraid to work hard!" and I won't take it from them because it is true. But ... it is much easier to work and prosper when your primary needs of adequate food and shelter are already met by way of millions in International aid is it not? When you have no money, no roof over your head, no food, no medical aid, no water, no jobs - nothing! - how do you work? How do you prosper?

Yet the devil is lurking in there again. This financial "prosperity" in Cyprus, has brought about a strong materialism, blindness and self-centrism: the large majority of people in Cyprus now only care about what they own, how they look and how much of a "good time" they can afford. The recent history of Cyprus - the "Turko-Cypriot question" - is just another worn out story on the evening news for most. Not even the locals care about the history of their own small island sanctuary. And despite their ignorance of the FACTS of history, especially recent history, Cypriots have the audacity to lay claim to having "educated opinions" and "nationalistic sentiments", even while they exhibit their racist dumbed down beliefs, these "cosmopolitan" people with their Prada, their PhDs and their new Mercedes.

And there's still Palestine, where children die malnourished... geographically so close to us here, but yet so far away from our reality...

And in our ignorance, how can we recognize the enemy from our friend? We can't of course! Just as Abba's Fatah party has collaborated with the Zionist enemy against their own people, so too did EOKA B in Cyprus, with inspiration and support from the Athens junta and International forces, in a coup to overthrow Makarios, the democratically elected first president of the Cyprus republic, which was the event that gave Turkey the "excuse" to invade.

On the 15th of July some of us woke up by sirens again to commemorate that sad day of betrayal of the Cypriot people by a minority of deviants and the deluded. But who remembers anymore? Just as in Palestine where the collaborators now hold power, sotoo in Cyprus, the descendants of the traitors are in positions of power, enjoying the privileges of high office when they should be in jail. Those who truly care for Cyprus and the Cypriot people are defamed locally and Internationally, like Hamas is in Palestine. Palestinians know it though; Cypriots don't, they are sound asleep, and in their sleep they can't recognise friend from foe.

On August 15th, the sirens might disrupt some of our sleep again. We might even get irritated: "not again, let us sleep!" we will say, as we forget again that it was on August 15th in 1974 that Famagusta was taken, and the Cypriot troops who tried hard to fight the Turkish troops (a sad uneven battle lost from the start, considering the size of Turkish army, that of Cyprus, and the fact that the invasion was financed and applauded by the US and the British) were forced to withdraw.

My grandmother locked the door and took the key, upon leaving her house in Famagusta. "We'll return", she assured her 8 children, and kept assuring them during the months that they lived in the tents. A few years later my grandma died. My family have never returned. Cypriots have yet to acknowledge the wounds from that summer of 1974, wounds that still scar their hearts, wounds that they unwittingly pass on to their children .

And the distance becomes so small sometimes: here is Palestine, here is Cyprus, just a little piece of the blue Mediterranean between us. The same "act" being re-played, as it has been for centuries: psychopathic individuals, to meet their goals, find those among a nation with matching personality or characteristics, and together they to destroy a nation. And then the task is to silence the majority of people of the nation, by putting them to sleep with "gifts" or by exterminating them, little by little, so that they lose the will or energy to resist. And so it goes.

Seferis - a greek poet and diplomat who loved Cyprus - in his poem 'Eleni' - one from a collection dedicated to that island - using characters of the Trojan war to illustrate the act that replays again and again through the centuries, wrote:

[...] some other Teucrus* years later, or an Ajax*, or a Priam*, or a Hecuba*,
Or someone else unknown, anonymous,
Who however has seen a Scamander* full of dead corpses,
Has it in his fate to hear heralds who come to say
That so much pain
So many lives
Were lost in abyss
For an empty shirt, for one Eleni.

This is what the pathocrats sell, and the masses eagerly buy the lie that all suffering happens for a "grand cause", for "an ideal", for the beauty of Eleni, when in truth, it is because some "empty shirts" (psychopaths) got together and made a plan long ago on how to bring the whole world under their control. And the Cypriots still don't resist because they are infatuated with their slavery; and the Palestinians do resist, but they won't achieve anything until many more of us join them and all of us together decide, once and for all, to resist the rule of the psychopath.

Meanwhile, the sirens will keep sounding, and the bombs will keep falling, bodies and hearts will continue to be blown to pieces, lives will continue to be shattered, nations exterminated, the earth destroyed... and all FOR NOTHING!

*Teucrus: Ajax brother who did not return home to Salamis in Greece after Ajax was killed in Troy, and created Salamis in Cyprus
*Priam: King of Troy, father of Paris and Hector
*Hecuba: Wife of Priam
*Scamander: river of troy where the biggest battles took play

Comment: Why is she so rare? The book Political Ponerology explains exactly the process by which we becom spellbound by the material comforts. This leads us to selectively edit out perceptions that make us uncomfortable in our softness.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

You're So Vain . . . . . . .

Creating panic in the populace is the oldest trick in the book. It worked in 2001 for Bush, who's number were tanking due to the slowing economy. What's really pathetic is that he thinks 9-11 was all for him, when in fact he is just the talking head for powers he barely perceives. As the song about the psychopath goes "You're so vain . . . . .

Blue Ibis

Paul Craig Roberts
Information Clearing House
Thu, 19 Jul 2007 19:59 EDT

This is a wake-up call that we are about to have another 9/11-WMD experience.

The wake-up call is unlikely to be effective, because the American attitude toward government changed fundamentally seventy-odd years ago. Prior to the 1930s, Americans were suspicious of government, but with the arrival of the Great Depression, Tojo, and Hitler, President Franklin D. Roosevelt convinced Americans that government existed to protect them from rapacious private interests and foreign threats. Today, Americans are more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to government than they are to family members, friends, and those who would warn them about the government's protection.

Intelligent observers are puzzled that President Bush is persisting in a futile and unpopular war at the obvious expense of his party's electoral chances in 2008.

In the July 18 Los Angeles Times ("Bush the Albatross"), Ronald Brownstein reminds us that Bush's behavior is disastrous for his political party. Unpopular presidents "have consistently undercut their party in the next election." Brownstein reports that "88% of voters who disapproved of the retiring president's job performance voted against his party's nominee in past elections. . . . On average, 80% of voters who disapproved of a president's performance have voted against his party's candidates even in House races since 1986."

Brownstein notes that with Bush's dismal approval rating, this implies a total wipeout of the Republicans in 2008.

A number of pundits have concluded that the reason the Democrats have not brought a halt to Bush's follies is that they expect Bush's unpopular policies to provide them with a landslide victory next year.

There is a problem with this reasoning. It assumes that Cheney, Rove,and the Republicans are ignorant of these facts or are content for the Republican Party to be destroyed after Bush has his warmonger-police state fling. "After me, the deluge."

Isn't it more likely that Cheney and Rove have in mind events that will, once again, rally the people behind President Bush and the Republican Party that is fighting the "war on terror" that the Democrats "want to lose"?

Such events could take a number of forms. As even diehard Republican Patrick J. Buchanan observed on July 17, with three US aircraft carrier battle groups in congested waters off Iran, another Tonkin Gulf incident could easily be engineered to set us at war with Iran. If Bush's intentions were merely to bomb a nuclear reactor, he would not need three carrier strike forces.

Lately, the administration has switched to blaming Iran for the war in Iraq. The US Senate has already lined up behind the latest lie with a 97-0 vote to condemn Iran.

Alternatively, false flag "terrorist" strikes could be orchestrated in the US. The Bush administration has already infiltrated some dissident groups and encouraged them to participate in terrorist talk, for which they were arrested. It is possible that the administration could provoke some groups to actual acts of violence.

Many Americans dismiss suspicion of their government as treasonous, and most believe conspiracy to be impossible "because someone would talk."

There is no basis in any known fact for this opinion.

According to polls, 36% of the American people disbelieve the 9/11 Commission Report. Despite this lack of confidence, and despite the numerous omissions and errors in the report, it has proven impossible to have an independent investigation of 9/11 or to examine the official explanation in public debate. Even experts and people with a lifetime of distinguished public service are dismissed as "conspiracy theorists," "kooks," and "traitors" if they question the official explanation of 9/11. This despite the fact that war in the Middle East, a long-planned goal of Bush's neoconservative administration, could not have been initiated without a "new Pearl Harbor."

That powerfully constructed steel buildings could suddenly turn to dust because they were struck by two flimsy aluminum airliners and experienced small fires on a few floors that burned for a short time appears unexceptionable to a majority of Americans.

Moreover, people have talked. Hundreds of them. Firefighters, police, janitors, and others report hearing and experiencing a series of explosions in upper floors and massive explosions in the underground basements. This eyewitness testimony was kept under wraps for three or more years until the official explanation had taken root. The oral histories were finally forced loose by freedom of information act suits. The eyewitness reports of explosion after explosion had no effect.

Larry Silverstein, who received billions of dollars in insurance payments for the destroyed buildings, talked. He said on public television that the order was given "to pull" building 7. His stunning admission had no effect.

The Bush administration is preparing us for more terrorist attacks. The latest intelligence report says that Al Qaeda has regrouped, rebuilt, and has the ability to come after us again. "Al Qaeda will intensify its efforts to put operatives here," says the report.

Security operatives, such as Michael Chertoff, and various instruments of administration propaganda have warned that we will be attacked before next year's election. Chertoff is not a person who wants to be known as Chicken Little for telling us that the sky is falling.

Bush has the Republican Party in such a mess that it cannot survive without another 9/11. Whether authentic or orchestrated, an attack will activate Bush's new executive orders, which create a dictatorial police state in event of "national emergency." [See HERE ]

The UK government is hand-in-glove with the Bush administration and will provide cover or verification for whatever claim the Bush administration advances. So will the right-wing governments in Canada and Australia. That takes care of the English-speaking world from which contrary explanations might reach the American people.

It is possible that Bush is now too weak, that suspicion is too great, and that there is too much internal resistance in the federal bureaucracy and military for any such scenario. If so, then my prediction prior to the invasion that the US invasion of Iraq will destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement will be proven true. The Democrats' strategy of doing nothing except making sure Bush gets his way will produce the landslide that they expect.

However, this assumes that Cheney, Rove, and their neoconservative allies have lost their cunning and their manipulative skills. It is difficult to imagine a more dangerous assumption for Democrats and the American people to make.

Once the US experiences new attacks, Bush will be vindicated. His voice will be confident as he speaks to the nation: "My administration knew that there would be more attacks from these terrorists who hate us and our way of life and are determined to destroy every one of us. If only more of you had believed me and supported my war on terror these new attacks would not have happened. Our security efforts were impaired by the Democrats' determined attempts to surrender to the terrorists by forcing our withdrawal from Iraq and by civil libertarian assaults on our necessary security measures. If only more Americans had trusted their government, this would not have happened." And so on. Anyone should be able to write the script.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's All in the Wrist Folks!

We welcome Mr. Allen Branson as the latest editorial contributor to Signs of the Times. Ever wonder how the mainstream media, politicians and psychopaths in general put one over on you? Branson shows you the ins and outs of mental trickery using very clear simple illustrations.

Vaccinate your mind! It's the best thing you will ever do for your health and the health of the world.

Blue Ibis


Allen Branson
Psychopaths, psyops and COINTELPRO
Tue, 10 Jul 2007 09:44 EDT

The man sitting across the table from you is known for trickery. He is a stage magician. You know he employs trickery, so he tells you he is going to do a card trick in which he can't possibly manipulate the cards. In this trick, you will do all of the card handling. He won't touch the cards at all.

He instructs you to cut the deck into four piles. You do so. He then tells you that you are going to randomize the order of the cards by shuffling them around and moving cards from one pile to another. Pointing to a pile of cards, he instructs you to take the top three cards and place them at the bottom of that pile. Then, take the next three cards and place them, one each, on top of the three piles remaining on the table. You repeat the procedure with all four piles of cards. The cards should now be very well mixed.

The man then begins his patter in earnest. He asks you to confirm the fact that he has not touched the cards. You agree. In no way could he have manipulated how you would cut the cards or handle them. Again, you agree. With a smile, he asks you to turn over the top card from each pile. You are amazed. The four aces sit at the top of each of the four piles of cards. For a moment, your mind might actually entertain the possibility that real magic has been performed, though you "know" you've been duped.

The fact is, this trick can be taught in a couple of minutes to any child capable of understanding the instructions. It requires no fine motor skills for clever card handling since the performer does not even handle the deck. The only thing required is setting up the deck before the trick is performed and being able to do a little sales patter in which you get the audience to agree to a statement that is blatantly false.

Take a moment and see if you can identify the lie that makes the trick believable. Everything the magician says is true with one exception. The trick is based completely on a facet of human psychology that most people--stage magicians, salesmen and politicians aside--don't understand. When a person is given a number of facts that are demonstrably true, they will tend to group all statements in that group together, agreeing to everything said, including an embedded lie.

1. The magician asked you to agree that he did not touch the cards during the trick: True
2. He asks you to agree that he did not influence you in any way in how the cards were cut: True
3. He asks you to agree that in no way did he manipulate you in the handling of the cards: FALSE

In fact, the only thing he did was manipulate you while creating the illusion in your mind that you were making free choices. If you don't see the manipulation yet, read through the description of the trick again. The magician did not allow you to choose how the cards would be shuffled once they were cut into four piles. Instead, he guided you through a pre-programmed series of moves--three cards to the bottom then three cards on top of the remaining piles--designed to move the four aces to the top of the four piles from their pre-placed position at the top of the deck! If you want to understand the mechanics of the trick, grab a deck of cards and try it. Just put the four aces at the top of the deck then simply follow the trick as outlined above.

Once you understand how the trick is done, you'll realize it is a very cheap bit of manipulation. If you found your mind reeling at the description of the trick, you'll probably feel a bit of a fool at how easily you could be duped. The trick really is a child's game and a very old one, at that. Yet, people are still fooled by it.

It works with more than just cards. The phrase, "stacking the deck" means using a variation of this kind of trick to predetermine the outcome of any situation by placing what is to be chosen in a particular position then guiding the chooser through a predefined set of movements that forces that particular choice while giving the illusion of free choice. There are a number of other methods used to force a selection in stage magic. Many card tricks rely on forced selection, but the magician can't use the same force twice in his act. As he changes methods, he informs you that each new method is an assurance that he is not engaging in any sort of trickery. Maybe he fooled you on the last one, so this time he won't even touch the cards. Next time, perhaps he'll use the force called Magician's Choice. He'll give you three choices and ask you to pick one at random. You, of course, have no choice but to pick exactly what you are forced to pick.

How can that be? It's easy. Given three choices, A, B and C, suppose I want you to pick B. I ask you to pick one at random. If you happen to pick B, the force is done. If you pick A, I set A aside and ask you to pick from B and C. If you pick C, I declare that you've left your choice, B, on the table. Again, a cheap trick that most people will fall for if done with the requisite theatricality. Forced choice and sleight-of-hand are not only the prevue of stage magicians, though. Take a look at how it is done in real life.

The most enduring form of the forced choice in the U.S. and western Europe is the electoral process. This is such an obvious forced choice that it can, rather paradoxically, remain undetected even after it is pointed out. The key is the emotional involvement of the electors, which just happens to be the key to stage magic, too. Once you've convinced someone they are making a free choice, they will provide the evidence of the freedom of their choice for you. If human beings didn't possess this peculiar bit of psychology, stage magic wouldn't work. It wouldn't matter what the magician said. The forced choice would be seen for precisely what it is: forced. Instead, a little salesmanship on the part of the performer convinces the audience of what is to come before the trick is performed. The audience then dutifully sees exactly what they were told to see and the magician is free to manipulate events to his favor.

Here is another example of the techniques of stage magic at work. On the morning of September 11, 2001, you awoke to reports that the unthinkable had happened--a massive terrorist attack had occurred on U.S. soil. As the day unfolds, you learn the following facts. Four planes had been hijacked to be used as veritable flying bombs against high profile targets. Two of those planes, in front of thousands of witnesses and several video cameras, fly into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Later that morning, those towers collapse, leaving not even a bit of the structures left standing. In the Pennsylvania countryside, another of the hijacked planes crashes following an apparent heroic effort by the passengers to regain control of the aircraft from its hijackers. Also, something crashes into the Pentagon, causing massive damage, a huge fire ball and loss of life.

Eventually, it is announced that the damage at the Pentagon was caused by the fourth hijacked plane. This makes perfect sense to you. Four planes are hijacked, three are clearly accounted for, and something crashed into the Pentagon. The only logical choice is that the fourth plane crashed into the Pentagon. What doesn't occur to you is that you have been duped once again by another variation of the forced choice. Just like with the card trick, you don't think of the obvious, that the deck has been stacked and movements manipulated to force this particular choice.

Subsequent revelations about the inconsistencies in the official story of the event only further the illusion. A magician might turn your mind away from thoughts of the cheap manipulation he has performed by giving you a false choice of explanations for what you have witnessed. He only needs to give you one of the possible explanations, letting you provide the other in the privacy of your own mind. He tells you it must have been "magic." While you know it isn't true, his suggestion has clouded your thinking by introducing noise into your thought process. After all, if you were sufficiently impressed by the trick, that very thought likely went through your head. The same thing is done in the official story of the events of the day of 911. A false choice is set up by suggesting that the alternative to the official story is something preposterous, like holograms of planes flying into the twin towers, or rogue elements of the U.S. government committing this atrocity.

And here we see that a subtle variation of the trick, also used in stage magic, has been employed to divert your attention. You have been given two possible scenarios that contradict the official story. One of them is blatantly silly, one is not. Yet, as any stage magician, salesman or professional politician knows, your mind will group the statements together and dismiss the second with the first. In other words, the truth about the trick has been told openly, but in such a way that you will reject the truth, sending you down any number of dead-end blind alleys searching for the secret of how it was done.

Take a moment again to review what you were told and what you actually saw with your own eyes. If you want to see how the trick is done, do not accept anything the magician tells you at face value. He is a liar. His job is to give you as much truth and openness as possible, for the purpose of proving to you that he is not manipulating events in any way, so that the critical lie that makes the trick work will go undetected by the average observer. In the case of 911, you were flooded with demonstrable facts that were horrifying, engaging your emotions to a high degree. Remember, the key to all trickery is the emotional involvement of the audience in supporting the lie. Each fact presented made the ensuing lies all the more believable.

Two planes really did crash into the twin towers. A plane really did crash into the Pennsylvania countryside. Something really did crash into the Pentagon. All of this is a matter of record, so everything that comes after, your mind will tell you, is a matter of record, too.

But it isn't.

In fact, the evidence strongly suggests that a commercial aircraft could not have crashed into the Pentagon. There was, for example, no wreckage found at the scene that could have come from such a craft. For the craft to have hit the building as low as it did, its engines would have had to scrape the ground, yet the lawn in front of the Pentagon was left unmarked. The hole left in the Pentagon was barely as wide as the fuselage of such a craft. Assuming that the fuselage managed to fully penetrate the building and disintegrate, creating a hole that size, one is still left to account for the wings and engines. The official story would have the folding back and penetrating the building along with the fuselage. But there is simply no room for them to have made it through the hole.

In the case of the twin towers, the claim has been made that they collapsed--as did the building 7, later--due to a loss of structural integrity caused by massive fire and a weakening of supports from the shock caused by the impact of the planes. This was accepted as a reasonable explanation, despite the fact that the buildings were designed to withstand such a shock and no steel reinforced building has ever collapsed due to fire, before or since. Also, as any publicly available video of the collapse of the towers will show you, the tops of the towers leaned to one side as they began to fall, yet still managed to right themselves and fall into the footprint of the building. This would be impossible without a controlled demolition of the buildings.

You have also been asked to believe that each and every safeguard against such an event put in place by the U.S. military failed simultaneously on that fateful day, despite the fact that those safeguards had been called to action over 60 times in the preceding 12 months and worked perfectly each and every time. In the words of our stage magician, "it was magic!"

Of course, in the case of stage magic, the lies are told for our amusement. No harm done, maybe even a lesson learned. In the case of a deception like 911, the stakes are a bit higher. The art of deception is as old as mankind. Strike that. It is far older. It is as old as the universe itself. Deception is a key survival strategy for nearly everything that has ever been alive. How curious, then, that we - the one species we believe capable of rational thought on the planet - remain almost completely ignorant of the various means of deception. What's even more curious is the fact that many remain steadfast in their belief that such deception is rare when the evidence contradicting that belief can be seen in even the most cursory investigation of nature.

Chameleons change color to blend into their surroundings. Some species of moths and butterflies have markings that are so close to the bark of the trees on which they perch that you can look right at them and not notice they are there. Carnivorous plants will mimic the smell of rotting flesh in order to attract the flies they like to eat. The list goes on and on, from one link in the food chain to the next. Why do we insist that this behavior ends with mankind?

The key, once again, is emotional involvement in a lie we have been told. Since the time we were children, it has been drummed into our heads. Everyone is the same inside. It's a lovely democratic sentiment, but it is a sentiment that is contradicted by evidence. Just like in stage magic, we are directed away from seeing the truth through clever means of misdirection. The belief of what we are to see is planted in our heads before we ever see it. If we begin to suspect the truth, noise is injected into our thought process and true statements are mixed with false to use our psychology against us.

The simple fact is, all who look human are not human in the way we normally understand humanity. A small but very destructive minority of those who look human lack some of the most basic of human characteristics - empathy and conscience. These creatures use deception and misdirection to prey on human beings. If humans begin to suspect that all is not right with them, they will put a preprogrammed set of movements into play that are designed to steer you away from the truth. And, just like in the trick, everything they do is mechanical. Yet, as long as people remain unaware of their methods, their actions continue to befuddle and even amaze.

Another real world example of how this kind of trickery is performed. As you read this, the chances are pretty good that a soldier for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is either using a Palestinian mother as a human shield while he terrorizes innocent people in their homes, ostensibly to search for terrorists, or is shooting a small Palestinian child in the back for the egregious crime of throwing rocks at an Israeli checkpoint in anger.

If this were any other country, you would be outraged. But this is not any country. This country was set up with immunity from criticism before it even existed. Do you see the correlation to stage magic again? The audience is told what they will see BEFORE they see it, preparing them to look for clues that validate what they were told and ignore what doesn't fit. In the case of Israel, the audience was told that they are God's chosen people who have suffered endlessly and now deserve to have this little plot of land to call home and live in peace.

What the audience misses is the fact that a large portion of the Jews who have made Israel their home are the descendents of converts to Judaism rather than descendents of the founders of that religion, and that they appear to be lead by some of the aforementioned almost-human predators, a.k.a., psychopaths. Even the slightest hint of criticism of Israel is met with cries of anti-Semitism, another bit of manipulation in which the only choice given is to wholeheartedly support everything Israel does or side with the Nazis. It's another bit of forced choice that is as cheap as any described here...and it is remarkably effective.

The fact is, most Jews are caring, compassionate people who really do want to live their lives in peace. Because nearly everyone has had at least a Jewish friend or two and has observed this for themselves, charges of anti-Semitism can carry weight in their minds. Jews are not monsters, so how could these people claim they are doing anything but defending themselves against a relentless Palestinian terrorist mob that threatens their very existence? Let's look at the statements in the same way we looked at the card trick.

1. Most Jews are caring and compassionate: True
2. Jews deserve a home in which they can live in peace like everyone else: True
3. Therefore, Israel is only defending itself when it imposes curfews, limits travel and even shoots small Palestinian children: FALSE

No one deserves a home at the expense of others. The Palestinians were living peacefully in the region for thousands of years before the U.N. created the state of Israel. Even after that event, Palestinians were gracious to their new neighbors. It was not until the leaders of Israel saw fit to demolish Palestinian homes and drive a people from a land that had been theirs for thousands of years that things turned ugly. Put yourself in their position for a moment and tell me you wouldn't be just a little pissed off.

You may think I've given three examples of trickery in the real world - voting, 911 and the assumed irreproachability of Israel. In fact, I've only given one. The best tricks have multiple levels. One deception follows another until the audience is completely lost in the trickery with no hope of unraveling the secrets. The same is true, here. There are more levels to this particular trick, far more than we could talk about now. The rabbit hole is deep with a lot of branching tunnels that lead nowhere.

It is possible to unravel this trick, however. The key, as always, is to avoid taking any of what the magician says at face value. To see how the trick is done requires a little study and a willingness to accept that you have been tricked at all. Maintain your emotional attachment to supporting the lie and you will only fall further under the spell of the magician. Learn to open your eyes and you will suddenly see what has been going on right under you nose, undetected. One day, the trick will seem cheap and obvious and you will wonder how you didn't see it all along.

If that day comes for you, the day your study has paid off and you can see the trickery of the magician, you will have a future.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Ponerology of Apathy and War

Are you being lulled to sleep by the Siren song of the Pathocrats? Here's a wake-up

Blue Ibis