Category Archives: Knowledge

Judging U.S. War Crimes – a reblog

Judging U.S. War Crimes

Chelsea Manning, who bravely exposed atrocities committed by the U.S. military, is again imprisoned in a U.S. jail. On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, she was incarcerated in the Alexandria, VA federal detention center for refusing to testify in front of a secretive Grand Jury. Her imprisonment can extend through the term of the Grand Jury, possibly 18 months, and the U.S. courts could allow formation of future Grand Juries, potentially jailing her again.

Chelsea Manning has already paid an extraordinarily high price for educating the U.S. public about atrocities committed in the wars of choice the U.S. waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chelsea Manning was a U.S. Army soldier and former U.S. intelligence analyst. She already testified, in court, how she downloaded and disseminated government documents revealing classified information she believed represented possible war crimes. In 2013, she was convicted by court martial and sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking government documents to Wikileaks. On January 17, 2017, President Obama commuted her sentence. In May of 2017, she was released from military prison having served seven years.

“Where you stand determines what you see.” Chelsea Manning, by virtue of her past work as an analyst with the U.S. military, carefully studied footage of what could only be described as atrocities against human beings. She saw civilians killed, on her screen, and conscience didn’t allow her to ignore what she witnessed, to more or less change the channel. One scene of carnage occurred on July 12, 2007, in Iraq. Chelsea Manning made available to the world the black and white grainy footage and audio content which depicted a U.S. helicopter gunship indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians. Twelve people were killed, including two Reuters journalists.

What follows is part of the dialogue from the classified US military video footage from July 12th:

US SOLDIER 1: Alright, firing.

US SOLDIER 4: Let me know when you’ve got them.

US SOLDIER 2: Let’s shoot. Light ’em all up.

US SOLDIER 1: Come on, fire!

US SOLDIER 2: Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’.

US SOLDIER 2: Alright, we just engaged all eight individuals.

Amy Goodman described the next portion of the video:

AMY GOODMAN: Minutes later, the video shows US forces watching as a van pulls up to evacuate the wounded. They again open fire, killing several more people, wounding two children inside the van.

US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse. We have individuals going to the scene, looks like possibly picking up bodies and weapons.

US SOLDIER 1: Let me engage. Can I shoot?

US SOLDIER 2: Roger. Break. Crazy Horse one-eight, request permission to engage.

US SOLDIER 3: Picking up the wounded?

US SOLDIER 1: Yeah, we’re trying to get permission to engage. Come on, let us shoot!

US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse one-eight.

US SOLDIER 1: They’re taking him.

US SOLDIER 2: Bushmaster, Crazy Horse one-eight.

US SOLDIER 4: This is Bushmaster seven, go ahead.

US SOLDIER 2: Roger. We have a black SUV —- or Bongo truck picking up the bodies. Request permission to engage.

US SOLDIER 4: Bushmaster seven, roger. This is Bushmaster seven, roger. Engage.

US SOLDIER 2: One-eight, engage. Clear.

US SOLDIER 1: Come on!

US SOLDIER 2: Clear. Clear.

US SOLDIER 1: We’re engaging.

US SOLDIER 3: I got ’em.

US SOLDIER 2: Should have a van in the middle of the road with about twelve to fifteen bodies.

US SOLDIER 1: Oh yeah, look at that. Right through the windshield! Ha!

Democracy Now, in the same segment, asked former U.S. whistleblower Dan Ellsberg for comments about releasing the video. “What were the criteria,” Ellsberg asked, “that led to denying this to the public? And how do they stand up when we actually see the results? Is anybody going to be held accountable for wrongly withholding evidence of war crimes in this case…?”

Chelsea Manning’s disclosures also led to public awareness of the Granai massacrein Afghanistan. On May 4, 2009, Taliban forces attacked U.S. and Afghan forces in Afghanistan’s Farah province. The U.S. military called for U.S. airstrikes on buildings in the village of Granai. A U.S. Air Force B-1 bomber was used to drop 2,000 lb. and 500 lb. bombs, killing an estimated 86 to 147 women and children. The U.S. Air Force has videotape of the Granai massacre. Ellsberg called for President Obama to post the videotape rather than wait to see if Wikileaks would release it. To this day, the video hasn’t been released. Apparently, a disgruntled Wikileaks employee destroyed the footage.

Were it not for Chelsea Manning’s courageous disclosures, certain U.S. military atrocities might have been kept secret. Her revelations were also key to exposing U.S. approval of the 2009 coup against the elected government in Honduras and U.S. dealings with dictators and oligarchs across the Middle East, which helped spark the Arab Spring rebellions.

Prior to her arrest in 2010, Chelsea Manning wrote: “I want people to see the truth, regardless of who they are. Because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

Chelsea Manning’s principled and courageous actions provide guidance for us to control our fears. We must seek an end to war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas where the U.S. terrifies and kills civilians.

More articles by:

KATHY KELLY co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence and has worked closely with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. She is the author of Other Lands Have Dreams published by CounterPunch / AK Press. She can be reached at: Kathy@vcnv.org 

March 11, 2019
Kathy Kelly

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Gender, Class and Capitalism
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When I was Nineteen

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~ ]

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.
Everything seemed cut and dried.  Art and music were fine, but could they
explain anything?  Could they tell me why I was alive or what the world was
all about?  I didn’t think so.  And ever since, I’ve lived a compromise: I
wouldn’t try to kill myself, because there was always a chance something
would happen to explain everything.”  (Songs of Earth and Power – Greg Bear)

It is the end of another year, my seventy-second year, which isn’t bad considering I’d set my “best before” termination year at fifty. It seemed reasonable at the time, what could I possibly accomplish of anything worthwhile past fifty in a society that worships (fake) youth and gobbles its world as if it is a melting chocolate ice cream?

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.” So did I, definitely, but my reasoning was much more pathetic: my lover dumped me. It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wouldn’t be the last, but each one brought its own degree of particular inescapable hurt.  It would be many years later, having survived (dig the maudlin self pity!) the many losses, that I realized these experiences in an otherwise sated and bloated consumerist society was how I manipulated reality to grow a bigger heart.

I began to sense that my personal pain was but one of endless extensions of this world’s pain. I began to look at ways I could use that sorrowful “me” to become a part of the rest; to make sorrow my bed partner. I learned to cry in the night and though the tears were mine, gradually they were no longer for me.

Unlike Greg Bear’s heroine in “Songs of Earth and Power” however, I did not hang around for the chance that something would happen to explain everything. I used my awareness as a key to that explanation. Since I am my awareness, my own mind, I would be the key that would open the door and allow the “something that would explain everything” to come into my life and claim me as its lover. Once more, I fell in love, this time with a very dangerous character, an actual terrorist, someone for whom there would be no secrets, the ultimate WikiLeaks.

If I desired to know, all I needed was ask and he took me upon secret paths, through mined fields, under electrified fences of razor wire, into secure, severely guarded places where explanations were taking place.  He made me listen in and I discovered that official secrets were constantly being made up with all seriousness.

The first time I saw this, I wanted to laugh out loud. Only my dangerous lover’s hand over my mouth saved me. We would leave those places, return to city traffic, lights, pedestrians, noises, smells and facades of endless body accomodations, find our own and talk through nights that became ever shorter.

“There is nothing new under the sun” he’d quote from Eclesiastes.

“But I still don’t understand” I protested. “How can there be secrets, then? How do we not know everything?”

“I will not lie to you. The truth is, there are no secrets. You’re a victim of gross mis-direction, all of the time. That is the System, how it controls you, makes you fear; makes you hope. Then it dashes your hopes, deliberately, and starts the whole thing all over again. Each time you are left drained, like losing a lover, and while you are in this heart-mind weakened state you are taken by something else, on the rebound. You don’t want to let go of that last thread of hope and the next lie weaves itself into your dying hope and pulls more out of you. This goes on until you die. Nothing is ever explained because there is nothing to explain – that’s the realization that made you want to laugh when in the vault of secrets: there are no secrets, just manufactured lies.”

“So, if I choose knowledge, what should I do?”

“Use your key. Use you. You are your own source of all the knowledge that exists; all you need do is free your mind. Trust your imagination and go along for the ride.”

“How will I know where I am going?”

“You won’t; you can’t. If you did, that would be another false path, another lie. Where is the freedom in following an already existing path? Obviously it wouldn’t be yours and if you can see it, someone designed it as a trap for you, to seduce you once again upon a way that isn’t yours and will prove disempowering and end in loss, again.”

“Why do the great teachers ask us to follow them? Their teachings?”

“Because they are lovers, not great teachers and their teachings are powerless to change anything.  Because they want you for themselves and have no intention of ever giving you anything of themselves.  Because they are liars.”

“So, no great teachers, and I know everything?”

“Yes, potentially. You need to trust yourself; believe in yourself. You need to realize you were meant to walk this path alone. In fact, there is no path, just endless choices, the best ones seemingly impossible but remember this: nothing is impossible.”

“What happens now?”

“Now I will leave you because you no longer need me. You are equipped to live your life as a self-empowered being. You not only possess the key to all knowledge, you are that key. Much of that knowledge does not pertain to this, your reality, so you must learn to choose wisely, what you keep in your pockets, in your pack, and what you leave behind for the time being.”

“I am scared to be so alone!”

“Fear is the mind killer. I will not fear, I will face my fear… do you remember that? You learned it because you already knew you would need it. Now is the time. You walk alone, you never look back, you never doubt yourself.  Goodbye, lover.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scattered Bits and Broken Pieces…

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ ]

A quote from the movie, Trial and Error(1997) “The guy’s an asshole, Charlie.”
“I know.”
“Do you know why he’s an asshole? Because he’s never taken responsibility for anything he’s ever done; ’cause he’s got a story for everything and if the truth catches up to him then hey, he just tells one more lie to stay ahead of it. That sound familiar?”

If someone, anyone, after some discussion, ventures the remark, expresses the opinion that, “…you surely have had a hard life” it is wisest to reply, “yes, I suppose I did” and always add, just as you would add a spoonful of sugar to a cup of black coffee, “but never as hard as many others and no harder than some” thus making an end of the matter by not allowing pride to take root in false humility.

The candle flickered, throwing around a bit of unsteady light only it wasn’t a candle, it was the gas heater in the corner of the dark room, the flickering light coming through the glass front. It was the fire I was looking at while a line, a quote, kept going through my head: ‘Those who would give light must endure burning.’ I’ve watched many a combustible give light being eaten alive by fire, consumed, not by choice but by nature and position.

It’s discouraging to realize how many people are shocked by [political] honesty and how few by [political] deceit.

I am a truth teller; I always tell the truth and I am lying to you right now, everything I say is a lie.

“The world’s debt currently exceeds $86,000 per person on average, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The US, China, and Japan are the top three global borrowers, accounting for more than half of the global debt. Source: Global debt hits all-time high of $184,000,000,000,000” — RT Business News RT.com 15 Dec, 2018

“I am reading the book of human sin. When I’m done I’ll cast it into the fire and all their sins will be gone.” (The Island – Russian movie)

To ponder: Electricity is NOT an energy source.

Some statistics on the great pyramid: Weighs 6 million tons. Covers 13 acres. 750 feet per side, 481 feet high. Contains over two and a half million individual blocks of stone.

Theremin: the only musical instrument played without being touched. Invented by a Russian physicist in 1919.

Most people are other people; their thoughts are someone else’s opinions; their lives a mimicry; their passion a quotation.” (Oscar Wilde)

“What is the meaning of it, Watson? What is the object of this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must have a purpose or our universe has no meaning and that is unthinkable. But what is that purpose? That… is humanity’s great problem… to which reason, so far, has no answer.” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

It’s not ‘jurybuilt’ it’s ‘jerrybuilt’ for quick, cheap assembly or construction. It’s not ‘jerry rigged’ it’s ‘jury rigged’ – quick assembly for temporary use.

“We all fear death and question our place in the universe. The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.” (movie: Midnight in Paris) [yes that remains the artist’s job. The priesthood and science have both glaringly failed in finding that antidote.]

The third major cause of blindness is cataracts. The first two causes are politics and religion.

I understand that practicality and realism are alien concepts in American politics, to be approached with trepidation, but maybe, just once, we should think before sticking our private parts into a wood-chipper. Just once. I do not propose consistent rationality, forethought, or intelligent behavior. I profoundly respect my country’s traditions. (Fred Reed)

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. (George Carlin)

A woman’s mind is a strange pool to slip into at birth. It is set within parameters by the first few months of listening and seeing. Her infant mind is a vast blank template that absorbs all and stores it away. In those first few months come role acceptance, a beginning of attitude, and a hint of future achievement. Listening to adults and observing their actions builds a storehouse of preconceptions and warnings: Do not see those ghosts on bedroom walls—they aren’t there! None of the rest of us can see your imaginary companions, darling… It’s something you have to understand. And so from some dim beginning, not ex nihilo but out of totality, the woman begins to pare her infinite self down. She whittles away at this unwanted piece, that undesired trait. She forgets in time that she was once part of all and turns to the simple tune of life, rather than to the endless and symphonic before. She forgets those companions who danced on the ceiling above her bed and called to her from the dark. (Wind from a Burning Woman – Greg Bear)

“‘Til next time!…” ~burning woman~

Copied from https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/07/spare-me-the-american-tears-for-the-murder-of-jamal-khashoggi/

Oh, and here we go again… Yes, it seems I never get tired of contemplating and pondering the level of criminal shamelessness that accompanies American intervention throughout the world, and its bald-faced lies to shrug off any embarrassing questions.

All an open-minded observer is left with is abysmal contempt for “Amerikkka” and the sincere desire that that pile of putrefaction will collapse upon itself soon… very soon. The following is what I have been trying to express in my own posts recently but Fisk is a professional writer and journalist, hence does a much better job, written and researched, than I could ever do.

My intent in posting such articles isn’t to instill guilt in Americans, Lord knows they already have way more than anyone can bear of that, but to provide much needed information and backgrounders.  With such information one can no longer ignorantly play the official social media game called “Let’s Blame Russia.”

Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

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Can I be the only one – apart from his own sycophants – to find the sight of America’s finest Republicans and Democrats condemning the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for murdering Jamal Khashoggi a bit sickening? “Crazy”. “Dangerous”. A “wrecking ball”. A “smoking saw”. These guys are angry. CIA director Gina Haspel, who was happy to sign off on the torture of her Muslim captives in a secret American prison in Thailand, obviously knew what she was talking about when she testified about Mohammed bin Salman and the agony of Jamal Khashoggi.

US government leaks suggest that Haspel knew all about the shrieks of pain, the suffering of Arab men who believed they were drowning, the desperate pleading for life from America’s victims in these sanctuaries of torment in and after 2002. After all, the desperate screams of a man who believes he is drowning and the desperate screams of a man who believes he is suffocating can’t be very different. Except, of course, that the CIA’s victims lived to be tortured another day – indeed several more days – while Jamal Khashoggi’s asphyxiation was intended to end his life. Which it did.

A generation ago, the CIA’s “Operation Phoenix” torture and assassination programme in Vietnam went way beyond the imaginations of the Saudi intelligence service. In spook language, Khashoggi was merely “terminated with maximum prejudice”. If the CIA could sign off on mass murder in Vietnam, why shouldn’t an Arab dictator do the same on a far smaller scale? True, I can’t imagine the Americans went in for bone saws. Testimony suggests that mass rape followed by mass torture did for their enemies in Vietnam. Why play music through the earphones of the murderers?

But still it goes on. Here’s Democrat senator Bob Menendez this week. The US, he told us, must “send a clear and unequivocal message that such actions are not acceptable on the world’s stage”. The “action”, of course, is the murder of Khashoggi. And this from a man who constantly defended Israel after its slaughter of the innocents in Gaza.

So what on earth is going on here? Perhaps the “world’s stage” of which Menendez spoke was the White House – an appropriate phrase, when you come to think about it – where the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has been no stranger. Yet when at least one recent US presidential incumbent of that high office can be considered guilty of war crimes – in Iraq – and the deaths of tens of thousands of Arabs, how come American senators are huffing and puffing about just one man, Mohammed bin Salman, who (for a moment, let us set aside the Yemen war) is only being accused of ordering the murder and dismemberment of one single Arab?

After all, world leaders – and US presidents themselves – have always had rather a soft spot for mass murderers and those who should face war crimes indictments. Trump has infamously met Kim Jong-un and invited him to the White House. We are all waiting for Rodrigo Duterte to take up his own invitation.

Obama lavished hospitality at the White House on a host of bloody autocrats – from Gambia, Burkina Faso and Cameroon – before we even recall Suharto, whose death squads killed up to half a million people; and Hosni Mubarak, whose secret police sometimes raped their prisoners and who sanctioned the hanging of hundreds of Islamists without proper trials, and his ultimate successor, Field Marshal-President al-Sisi, who has around 60,000 political prisoners locked up in Egypt and whose cops appear to have tortured a young Italian student to death. But Giulio Regeni wasn’t murdered in an Egyptian consulate. This list does not even include Ariel Sharon, who as Israeli defence minister was accused by an Israeli inquiry of personal responsibility for the massacre of 1,700 Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Chatila camps in Beirut in 1982.

So what is this “clear and unequivocal message” that senator Menendez is rambling on about? The message has been clear and unequivocal for decades. The US “national interest” always trumps (in both senses) morality or international crime. Why else did the United States support Saddam Hussein in his attempt to destroy Iran and his use of chemical warfare against Iran? Why else did Donald Rumsfeld plead with Saddam in December 1993 to allow the reopening of the US embassy in Baghdad when the Iraqi dictator (a “strongman” at the time, of course) had already used mustard gas against his opponents? By the time Rumsfeld arrived for his meeting, more than 3,000 victims had fallen amid Iraqi gas clouds. The figure would reach at least 50,000 dead. Which is, in mathematical terms, Jamal Khashoggi times 50,000.

Yet we are supposed to recoil with shock and horror when Haspel – who might herself have a few admissions to make to senators on other matters – suggests that America’s latest favourite Middle Eastern tyrant knew about the forthcoming murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Does Menendez think that Saddam hadn’t signed the death sentences of thousands of Iraqi men and women – which, as we know from his later “trial”, he did – before meeting Rumsfeld? Or that Duterte, who has compared himself to Hitler, doesn’t sign off on the killing of his murdered drug “suspects”? Or that Suharto had absolutely nothing to do with half a million murders in Indonesia?

It’s instructive, indeed, that the thousands of innocents killed in the Yemen war, an offensive undertaken by Mohammed bin Salman himself with logistical support from the US and UK – and it doesn’t need Haspel to tell us this – hasn’t exactly left US senators shocked. Just another bunch of Arabs killing each other, I suppose. Starvation didn’t get mentioned by the senators emerging from Haspel’s closed hearing. Yet the senators know all about the mosque bombings, wedding party bombings, hospital bombings and school bombings in Yemen. Why no tears for these innocents? Or is that a bit difficult when the US military – on every occasion by accident, of course – has bombed mosques, wedding parties, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria?

No, the shock and horror and the need for full disclosure about the Saudis is primarily about Trump, and the need to tie him in to the cruel murder of a Washington Post journalist and US resident whose gruesome demise has been blamed by the American president upon a “vicious world”.

But there is something more than this, the appalling fact – albeit only a folk memory, perhaps, for many with scarcely any institutional memory at all – that 15 of those 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, that Osama bin Laden was a Saudi, that George W Bush secretly flew bin Laden family members out of the US after 9/11, that the Saudis themselves are heir to a blighted, rural, cruel version of Sunni Islam – based on the pernicious teachings of the 18th century Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab​ – which has inspired the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Isis and all the other killer cults whom we have proclaimed to be the West’s Enemy No 1.

Nailing Mohammed Bin Salman to a crucifix – a method of execution favoured by the Wahhabis – is an easy kill for US senators, of course. You hit the president and smash those unhappy historical details all in one fell swoop.

But don’t bank on it. Oil and arms are a potent mix. Old Abd al-Wahhab’s home is protected in a new tourist haunt in the suburbs of Riyadh. Come to think of it, the national mosque of Qatar – hostile to rapacious Saudi Arabia but another recipient of US weapons and a supporter of Islamist forces in Syria and Iraq – has a capacity for 30,000 souls, was built only seven years ago and is named after Abd al-Wahhab himself.

This is the dangerous world in which America and its allies now tread, disdainful of the thousands of Muslims who perish under our bombs and missiles and mortars – proxy-delivered by those we should distrust – ignorant of the religious currents which rumble on beneath our feet and beneath the House of Saud. Even the virtually useless information Haspel learned in the CIA’s “black centres” could have told senators this. If they had bothered to ask.

More articles by:

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared. 

Looking for, Searching, Seeking, Questing

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ ]

When we go looking for something, either it’s something we want, need, or it could be something we misplaced, or lost. Either we find it, or we find a replacement and life goes on. Soon enough we forget we ever even went looking.

When we engage a search, whatever it is we may be searching for, there is the certainty that we will find something. Sometimes, that something will so surprise us it will eclipse whatever caused us to begin our search in the first place. Such a serendipitous happening we will tend to remember as some kind of magical intervention in our life.

Seeking is a deeper engagement, with the staunch and upholding hope, and faith, that whatever we are seeking for, we will find if we are diligent and do not get sidetracked to the point where we lose interest in the dream, for seeking must involve dreaming.

Questing is entirely different. Unlike looking for, searching, or seeking, questing does not entail fulfilment. A quest, by its very nature, can never be attained for it is a path; a way of life, not a goal to be reached. If it is completed; if the object of the quest is found, or reached, it wasn’t a quest but a seeking.

Deep down inside me, no matter where I’ve stood in my long years of turmoil trying to put “closed” to determining whether life is terminal or eternal, I worked out a philosophy that allowed me to know the answer to that vexing problem. It was quite simple, actually. All I had to do was find a life purpose that required eternity in order to make sense of it. To engage this purpose I had to completely switch my thinking regarding life. I needed to find that elusive “something” that even death could not put an end to. I didn’t want to cheat death, or conquer it, or end it, as in the John Donne’s cry, “Death, thou shalt die!”

I stopped asking “What is life?” and began asking, “What is my purpose within that which I call life?” I knew the first question could not be answered honestly though any number of guesses would fit the bill yet remain non-answers. But the second question brought it home to me. I made myself “life” and from that awareness I could but ask, “What is my purpose here?” I didn’t have to ask “Who am I” anymore because from here on I would be a different person moment after moment. What I believed today I might very well laugh at tomorrow. It no longer mattered “who” I was; it mattered what I was and what I would become as I travelled the omniverse and the cosmos.

I had passed the religious stage where some saviour divinity would determine my worth, or check my credentials at death’s door and give me a fail or pass. Childish and definitely superstitious. I had also passed the stage I describe as “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” – a common enough belief in today’s post-Christian world that would never keep my questing mind satisfied.

If I could find and define a purpose for myself that required an eternity to make sense of then I would have found the key to eternal life through self empowerment. That, however, had to remain securely beyond any fit accusation of hubris. Thus I had to reject the New Agey belief that “I am God” or that we are all gods. This is so obviously false, it’s laughable. Can I produce a miracle on demand? By miracle, I mean something that clearly defies all the laws and rules of nature as we understand them. Could I give an amputee a new arm, or leg? Could I bring someone who’d been in a coma for years back into the land of the normal living? Could I raise the dead? Make a blind person see? No. But neither can those who believe in Christ, for example, even though they have a scriptural promise that they would be able to do such things. I had to know that it was not a matter of being divine, or having faith in some divinity. It would have to be more!

This quest, or purpose as I call it, had to be totally reasonable, totally doable by absolutely anyone. It would have to be seen as relatively normal in an everyday kind of world. It would be a way of life that could be observed, even experienced by those “others” it touched yet would never call for hero worship, desire to be followed (as a guru or teacher for example) or freak anybody out by outlandish words or performance. It would remain non-threatening; it’s effectiveness hidden in simple self-effacing outworking. It wouldn’t ask, wouldn’t preach, wouldn’t proselytize and if some impressionable person became attracted to the one living this purpose, they would be told to seek their own way.

This purpose would not be the making of a path for others to follow upon. If, for some it had a way-shower quality, they would be reminded that it was based on self empowerment, never on believing or following. ‘If it seems good to you, emulate certainly, but do it of your own desires; of your own power; for your own reasons.’

No one could ever follow, buy or believe their way here. There is no path given to anyone that requires abdicating one’s own selfhood. Anything that makes such a claim is a deadly error, hence, in conclusion, all organized religions and their imitators, are deadly impositions upon this mind-darkened world.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!
(John Donne)

How I got from There to Here

[  ~burning woman~   explains herself]

In which I explain myself because I sense the necessity of doing so.

To begin: Lo those many years ago, in a different age, (well, about 4 decades ago actually!) I became the recipient of information from a world quite other than this one. I got visitors from far out, outer space; indeed from outside the confines of this universe. These people, there were eventually three, took on the task of helping me change my mind about many things, including how things work here on earth. Most of what they taught me I already knew, but not in ways that were empowering, or could be of much use to anyone else. I only knew how to propagate ideas through channels acceptable to the powers that be. The death trap of all change agents.

Such methods, as we all know them so well, consist of getting together a group of like-minded individuals and registering such group with the proper authorities, usually under the societies’ act. That done you would then proceed to the most important task of fund raising through your ways and means committee. Bottom line, if you wanted to do anything of any significance within the system, you had to be an adjunct of said system or you were anarchists and if you ruffled the wrong feathers, you were considered enemies of the state. To guarantee you stayed within the acceptable bounds, you were held to account by your need for money and recognition, either from notoriety or celebrity.

One thing you could be sure of, there were no “independents” operating within the hegemony of the system because even “independents” so-called received money from entities who had their own agendas, and who operated as part of the greater system. They wanted to be sure their donations were to a registered party to claim their tax credit. That’s how the system stays in power.

That by way of introduction to the following, which may, or may not, be of interest to many but which explains the “method” I have been using to communicate a single idea. That’s right: one single idea.

The first thing I had to learn was, nothing is ever truly accomplished through collectives and organizations. By “nature” all groupings, from the husband/wife/nuclear family to an empire, belong to an umbrella power organization called variously, the Matrix, the Establishment, the Illuminati, the Military Industrial Complex, the Status Quo and more commonly, the System. Therefore whatever these groupings or organizations seek to accomplish, if it goes contrary to the goal of the umbrella organization (UO) it will never, ever, attain its goal. If the group is powerful enough, driven enough; it will be allowed to proceed with its revolution until enough corruption has been inserted in it that it can be turned 180 degrees to serve the UO once more.

The Teaching was straight-forward. If I would be a change agent, or agent of change, I would have to divest myself of all connections or attachments to any organization, from marriage and family, to religious, political or other organizations. Divest completely. Stand alone. Become an individual and if it comes to fighting, fight alone. That means self empowerment. That means thinking my own thoughts. That means bootstrapping myself from the ground up. That means reshaping everything I had been taught; everything I knew or thought I knew and bringing it to bear upon one single purpose for my life. Complete detachment, no compromise.

No compromise. I wasn’t sure at first what that entailed but three times in divorce court certainly made the concept perfectly clear: a self empowered individual is not a comfortable person to hang around with, let alone sleep with. I did learn. I discovered that what I had grabbed by the tail was real enough whereas what I had been living before was one of millions of soap operas people live comfortably (or not) with because they cannot conceive of a different life, or way of life. I had been asleep.

The point of the exercise was simple enough: become an agent of change; a catalyst for change, without the corruptible format of any collective aggregation. Simply put, only the “go it alone” method has any chance at all of creating real change within the all-encompassing UO. Only a self empowered, completely detached single individual can penetrate the workings of the machine undetected, unobserved, and bring about totally unexpected change.

The UO doesn’t usually acknowledge an individual working alone. It only gets alarmed when such individual takes the fateful step of creating an organization of her or his own shaping; makes the decision to “form a power group” that would oppose the working of the machine, the status quo.

The Teachers (YLea, El Issa and Phaelon as principal three) had no difficulty convincing me of this. I knew enough religion, politics and other aspects of history of earth to realize the fallacy that power units or collectives can force ever-positive change within any greater system. It had never happened. When something has a one hundred percent negative result for accomplishing what it was supposed to accomplish, it’s not difficult to say, “Well, that didn’t work, did it.”

For example, one of the greatest fallacies of all time: World War I: the war to end all wars. Imagine the amount of collective force and organization that went to fight that war. Imagine the level of propaganda used to convince millions of the absolute necessity of fighting that war. So pervasive was the propaganda that “Armistice” is still celebrated to this day. That so many died isn’t a joke but to celebrate such useless carnage and such a blatant lie… really!

I knew the “why” then. What I did not know was the “how” and that, the Teachers pointedly avoided giving me. It was something I would have to work out for myself, based on some seriously “deep” thought and successful completion of a few difficult assignments. I have written about those before so won’t repeat the history here, just the highlights.

There were three major assignments: Forgiving enemies without equivocation; offering my life in exchange for that of another, a total stranger I would never meet; having my “soul implant” legally removed.

Upon completion of these tasks I then had to choose a single life purpose to which I would give myself unreservedly, irrevocably. There were many tempting choices. I went through the mental market of interesting goodies a change agent could use and having learned some of what works, what doesn’t, I rejected all of them.

The catalyst I needed had to be incorruptible and one that had never been seriously tried. There was only one: compassion. I didn’t find it in the market place of catalysts; I found it in my own mind quietly waiting to be awakened. I began exploring the concept and saw that it had never been considered as a force, or power that could change a world and over which the Matrix or UO had no power at all.

It was the Force that sustained and changed a self empowered individual. That would suit me and I gave myself to this Force, much as a Jedi gives itself to the Force in Star Wars. The difference between compassion and the Force of Star Wars, as I have alluded to before, is that compassion does not have a dark side. It does not emanate from the duality principle that rules this universe. Therefore it is correct for the compassionate to speak of “no compromise” because all of duality operates through compromise.

Perhaps that is a perfect ending. No compromise. No dalliances with any aspect of the Powers or the UO. The goal is to become.  Having lived long (enough) without compromise, what use then is one’s dualistic human nature? I will become compassion, of that there is no doubt. I will not know myself in any other form. That is both, the price to pay, and the gift to receive.

And that pretty much explains me and my choices.

Thank you for reading this.

~ burning woman ~ 

 

Part 2 – Message from Tara

(Time being of the essence today, without preamble, here’s part 2 of the message from the future.)

To continue, then. Those who fail to contribute the necessary data they are capable of are measured on their performance and can have their corporeality revoked since it is not functioning according to the contract made with the City. These then become free minds seeking and sharing information based on their mental abilities. They  function fully as individuals but can no longer perform physical tasks, nor experience the material world except vicariously. Since they are not taking up material resources, no one bothers them as long as they do not go rogue and commit serious infractions, for example by telling lies or using corporeal entities to commit crimes.

They cannot seek to return to corporeality unless they apply for residence on newly terra-formed worlds, or re-activated worlds where their basic skills may be of value and where no current corporeal entity wishes to exercise such function or is available. They are then given a vacated body, or one is cloned to their specifications (function needs apply). I cannot tell you how this works here, partly because it’s not my area of expertise and partly because that information is privileged to our time.

Back to my day: When the agency calls, it gives me all the information I need to carry out my function – what to wear, where to go and how much time I am to function at the place.  For example, I query “wear” and am told to wear, say #5 – a simple short translucent dress that wears as comfortably as a second skin, very appealing, both for the wearer and those who are inclined to look. I query “weather” and am told it’s light drizzle and to wear # 12 – a light, transparent cape with a large, comfortable hood where my naturally grown very thick and long wavy auburn hair can be tucked in without messing it up.  Query “transportation” and I’m advised that walking is good exercise today. Most people choose to walk barefoot now.  Body enhancements have made wearing shoes an affectation that is discouraged as it adds to waste and body odour. Synthetic deodorants, though still available on the open market, are frowned upon. As are most items of make-up.

Except for the morphs (temp or permanent) it is considered socially unacceptable and akin to lying, to hide one’s body. Part of our social evolution has made us proud of our bodies and we take good, natural care of them. There are no “ugly” or “turn off” bodies any longer. The more we accept one another, the more beautiful we become to each other. Beautiful minds are naturally reflected in beautiful bodies.

I don’t carry a bag or purse or other personal luggage of basic essentials. The agency arranges all details of client personal preferences in hygiene needs and those are sent directly to the client and await me in a sealed container. For I.D., implants, through my torc, communicate my status, function and purpose to the checker at the entrance to the client’s residence. If the checker is a male he will usually escort me to the client’s apartment. Knowing I am a provider and if he is interested, he can be as personal with my body as he wishes while we travel together. If he interests me I can reciprocate the pleasure. If he is more interested in information sharing which is usually the case, he will seek out new information from my mind and likewise I will query him. Any information not yet available on the infonet, usually gathered from my clientele, is highly prized and when I provide such I’m guaranteed future first class service wherever he (or friends of his) may be functioning. Word gets around.

Believe me when I say this: being “informed” (even if only theoretically) is rated the highest goal. Information and understanding can eventually get you off the planet and unto other worlds. That’s our dream, our passion: to create and experience the future. Imagine yourself being able to do that; how you could fulfill your greatest dreams instead of living in the dread of coming disaster, totally at the mercy of madmen and psychopaths as is the case for you in your time. (More on that)

Any new information can be traded or “sold” for future consideration. This is not stealing – it is encouraged. The more known and demanded you are, the better your chances are of not only retaining your right to your corporeality, but of moving ever higher into the strata of society. Not that you want this to lord it over others – it’s the opposite. The “higher” strata are those who possess greater awareness and openness thus able to receive more information. They also carry the greatest responsibility.

The highest echelons one can reach are engineering in planetary development, space travel, communication, bionics and bio-genetics as well as mind-enhancement. To your day, such things sound scary – Brave New World sort of thing. To us, it means greater acceptance by other humans and means of advancement beyond earth. As I said before, we now readily and consciously sacrifice what we have if there’s a chance we may gain what we desire. We have become “upwardly mobile spacers” in our thinking. We are no longer “arriving” – we are forever “leaving”.

Our great plan is to develop a fleet of transports that can take the entire remaining human population of earth out into space, beyond this galaxy, perhaps (and likely) never to return. We envision an earth devoid of human life – except for a few observers, anthropologists and non-biological self-maintaining androids and monitors – its life left to re-develop as the planet sees fit, without any pressure from any other mind but its own.

We are in the process of re-programming surface inter-species behaviour on the planet to a totally non-predator/prey relationship. When this is complete, probably in a hundred years or so, it will be interesting to see how planetary life finds its own balance again.  Many predict the “wildness” will eventually choke on itself and the planet become barren of life. I totally disagree with that assessment.

I think that a great intelligence which we still refer to as “Gaia” lies within earth. That is what we have not yet learned to communicate with properly (on the basis of equality). I personally believe, and have said so in many meetings, that when we leave for the stars this world will surprise everyone – or just itself if no one is here to see it. So often we judge “others” (including non-human entities) on the basis of our own follies, foibles and limits.

Explanation of the torc: I must back off a bit. There is one item, apart from implants and function-wear that everyone wears practically all the time, often even in sleep. It is a multi-purpose torc (look up torque for your day) that can be disguised in many ways, collar, necklace, scarf – my choice is the choker. My choker has a small diamond shaped attachment equipped with several micro-chips in constant communication with my implants. The purpose of this torc is to be able, for example, to communicate thought-forms in symbols or images – a personal short-hand we call picting – so that large numbers of people can “speak” simultaneously without interfering with the conversations of others, breaking the silence or interfering with music or verbal communications, as during a dramatic performance.

The torc also serves as a flood light if I find myself in some darkened building or need to temporarily blind a potential attacker (sadly, that can still happen). It also detects warm-up of any inimical laser activity and can diffuse the most powerful beams of personal laser weapons. I have yet to see this – and I hope never – but it does happen that non-corporeal rogues “escape” and by manipulating a bodied entity, attempt to steal bodies by attacking corporeal entities, or (extremely rare) throwback deviants and aberrants attack and a woman to rape her.

Not a perfect world, but: So, as I said, not a perfect world. But remember this: no one is exploited, oppressed or kept in prison (except as noted above regarding discorporate deviants). No one is tortured, no one lacks basic necessities. No one is without help from the community. You will appreciate this: no one knowingly dies of preventable causes – and that should make you feel validated.  We have no poor, no homeless, no addicts, no habitual criminals. Any such entities, if they refuse treatment or fail to realize the necessity of change, are sent to memory storage and their corporeal parts re-cycled or passed on to someone who can exercise proper responsibility for physical expression and can perform a needed function.

If I seem to make much of corporeality, it’s simply because we have only so much space and so many resources that can accommodate corporeal entities. We have reached our current limits to physical growth and we must recycle even ourselves as physical beings.

We are currently attempting many new ways to increase body availability for those in mind space. Tiny bodies is one way; several minds inside one body is another. Human minds in androids, another.

Another idea being experimented with that stems from your times though without any proof of having ever been done successfully is called “breatharianism” or the ability of a body to exist normally and healthily strictly by breathing. It’s always made sense to me that we can do this but so far, no success. This would not help in the matter of space but would go a long way in alleviating food availability.

The ‘no private property’, ‘no hoarding’ and ‘instant sharing’ has helped to alleviate resource restrictions but no more normal size living bodies can be added to our population. I would say that perhaps fifty percent of our supracity population exists in mind-space. That, to me, is neither a good nor acceptable situation. However much vaunted our parity and equality, mind beings retain an aura of second class citizenry – another point I have brought up often. The point is now recognized: we just need to find a solution to this glaring problem. So far, that solution means space: we need to find, or create, more space!

From your viewpoint I suppose there is callousness about this approach. But think of the alternative. Look at your world and project yourself 200 to 300 years into your future. “See” the Great Death swallow up an entire planet, destroying most life and not just human life.  Sense the horror of from five to seven billion pseudo-humans and countless billions of other life-forms as they die, some in excruciating pain, some of horror, some from despair, most from lack of sustaining necessities of food, shelter and protection against elements, including a complete break-down of medical intervention. See in your mind simple diseases decimating entire cities and nothing to stop them.

That is what the vaunted “freedoms” of your time managed to accomplish. Only by turning away from those lies did we manage, if barely, to survive and re-build – with help from our galactic friends.

Back to my day: When I’m ready, I palm my way out of my apartment and into a grav-well (what you would call an elevator) that drops me down the 35 floors in seconds without giving my body any discomfort. The non-cabin adjusts automatically for g-pull, maintaining a constant 1-g. I step out on a street that is bright (even in rain) and silent.  Traffic slips by unobtrusively. It too moves at high speeds and like the grav-wells, compensates for change in g-force.

Grav-wells or gravity wells are force fields contained by traction beams that you can step into and stand – in what appears to be emptiness, yet holds you more securely than any physical object ever could. It is, of course, frictionless. A gift from the stars – very handy.

As I walk I put my face into the light misty rain. We have weather control and clouds are engineered for maximum efficiency. Storms are controlled and electrical discharges are funnelled automatically into our energy grids. Today the clouds are almost translucent. You can see the solar disc through them. The rain is warm and soft. I like the feel of the pavement on my bare feet and the rain running off my cape onto my thighs and down my legs feels alive. You can feel the cleanness of the water and the air. Try to imagine this: I am breathing pure, clean, natural air – no man-made pollutants in it!

I pass many places of business with clear unbreakable plazed windows that absorb reflections while providing light and heat for the building, revealing all that is contained in the interior of the shops.  Throngs fill the streets yet we never feel crowded. Our implants are ever scanning any presence and automatically compensate our movements to the available space. No one is accidentally bumped or shoved. This may put you in mind of your current obsession with self-driving cars, a silly, pointless invention, one of so many useless and wasteful technological foolishness of your times that was used to blind us to what was happening behind the scenes.

Of those who walk past me, some, male or female(!) eye me appreciatively (remember I’m wearing translucent skin covering, or what you call clothes) and smile, picting hellos or more suggestive greetings. All know my function by my dress and torc signature. I smile back and activate my torc in response. A man picts a symbol for “encounter” and I reply with the symbol for the agency. He thanks me, giving me an image of an oversized cartoon smile as he slips gracefully into a grav-transport.

I chose my purpose and function so well, I believe. It fulfills the physical me.

End of Part 2