Sunday, December 5, 2010

First They Came . . . for Julian Assange

"The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops."

            The world is drowning in vast amounts of misinformation.  The very people who we rely on to give us the facts are skewing them.  What *is* going on?  Who can we trust?  What information is available?  We cannot trust the government any longer (not that anyone could…); we cannot trust big business.  We cannot trust CNN, Fox, Wall Street Journal, New York Post . . .  We cannot even trust publishing companies and distributors-who have attempted to silence the truth, information for the sake of good pr-- appearances merely.

            Then there is WikiLeaks.  WikiLeaks is a revolution in journalism; a class separate from what most news mediums are busy doing.  It goes to the heart of journalism, showing the truth of what is going on.  It is a radical method of accountability:  bringing to light suppressed and censored injustices.  No matter who the truth may damage along the way.  Yes, sometimes the truth is painful.  Rise up.  Truth or bust. 

            Look at the things WikiLeaks has shared with the world.  These things would have in all likelihood remained unnoticed, never to be exposed.  Yet, they should be seen.  We should know, and there should be accountability.


This if from Ciaran’s blog-Ruthless Truth on the Blog List:
Wikileaks is basically a kind of anonymous drop box.  If you see something corrupt happening, you can post documents here anonymously.

WikiLeaks has been involved in the publication of material documenting extrajudicial killings in Kenya.

A report of toxic waste dumping on the African coast by the British company Transfigura that killed hundreds of people (a report they had successfully blocked publication of in the British media). 

Church of Scientology manuals detailing their 'advanced techniques' of 'personal growth'. 

Guantanamo Bay procedures detailing savage and inhumane treatment.

And the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike video, where American helicopter pilots laughed and crowed as they murdered a group of innocent people - including two Reuters journalists - because they had decided that the cameras the journalists carried were rocket launchers.

WikiLeaks is an incredible force for transparency and good. 

Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, has been accused of rape. 

These accusations surfaced one week after a previous release of 90 000 documents on Wikileaks which demonstrated multiple instances of the military cover-ups of murders and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has no criminal history of violence of which anyone is aware, or indeed any criminal history at all, apart from some childhood charges for computer hacking in his homeland of Australia, of which the Australian prosecutors themselves said "there is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to—what's the expression—surf through these various computers"


One of two women involved [involved as in she's one of Assange's alleged rape victims] told Aftonbladet in an interview published today that she had never intended Assange to be charged with rape. She was quoted as saying: "It is quite wrong that we were afraid of him. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him."

Now get this.

Last week Wikileaks released 250,000 diplomatic cables from the US State Department's diplomatic office.

A quarter of a million.

Among the delightful pieces of information was proof that Britain has conspired to hide illegal weapons, banned by international law, on its own soil for America.

I'll say that again. 

Britain's politicians agreed to hide weapons banned by international law on British soil.

In the wake of the release of these documents, Interpol - the international police agency, released a Red Notice for Assange's arrest.

This is the highest possible level of alert that Interpol can put out on a person.

Let's just read that quote from one of his 'victims' again: 

One of two women involved [involved as in she's one of Assange's alleged rape victims] told Aftonbladet in an interview published today that she had never intended Assange to be charged with rape. She was quoted as saying: "It is quite wrong that we were afraid of him. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him."

This is the crime for which INTERPOL has released a RED NOTICE on this man.

An Interpol Red Notice, just after he releases 250 000 documents exposing illegal activity in the US and UK governments.

Hmm.

This is an absolute disgrace.

But it gets worse.  All of a sudden, major companies that all of us use start joining in the hunt for Assange.  


Who the fuck are Paypal?  Who do they think they are?  So if someone goes up against the government, they can just pull the funding plug?

Is this democracy?

Then Amazon removes Wikileaks as a paying customer from its servers, saying that it doesn't work with people "engaged in illegal activities."

And yet it still lists Hillary Clinton's autobiography after the state department approved the hiding of illegal cluster munitions on British soil?  With British complicity?  No.

This has NOTHING to do with illegal activity.  This is businesses doing favors for politicians.

Why?

WHY?

Because they are corrupt.  Corruption Wikileaks has the courage to expose.

Is this democracy?

IS THIS DEMOCRACY?

No.

No it's not.

It gets better.

Senior politicians, such as America's Sarah Palin and Canada's Tom Flanagan have openly called for his murder.

They have been met by howls of support from their adoring admirers in the general public, and the right wing media who feed millions of people lies they greedily swallow down.

Saturday Night Live, America's flagship comedy show, has decided to make a big joke about how 'sleazy' Assange is.

Everyone's jumping on board.

I've started a Facebook group - I started it yesterday, we've already got over 700 members.  Please help us publicize it.

It is called the Julian Assange Couchsurf 2010.


It's anyone who'll lend a couch to a man on the run, being hounded by the authorities over spurious accusations, hounded for an act of incredible courage and principle.  

This is a stunning and sickening assault by the political establishment on a man of incredible courage.  It is imperative that people stand together and demonstrate that not all of us are so easily used by a system that cares only about the degree to which we consume.

I was wondering how to end this piece; I wanted to make it good.  But I can't think of anything better to say than to share with you the words of Julian Assange.  When asked why he does what he does, this is how he responded:


"The whole universe or the structure that perceives it is a worthy opponent, but try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. 

Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. 

But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them."

JOIN THE GROUP.  SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

ACT.”


Julian Assange cannot be sacrificed on the piers of corporate greed and government corruption.  Do not be wishy-washy; do not bend with the wind.  This man falls, WikiLeaks crumbles, who remains standing unscathed?  Who will report corrupion and injustice?  


Do not be complicit--and yes if you sit back and watch this with calm removed interest, do nothing-you are being complicit.  Wake up, pay attention.  Have convictions and follow them.

 First They Came . . .  Martin Niemöller

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
 



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Friday, November 26, 2010

Puzzlingly

Happy (day late) Thanksgiving! 

Thinking of last year . . .
 I was still smashing mismatched pieces together and hoping they would form a lovely picture of me.




And the directions sucked . . .




Now, while there is still shit in the background that needs to be cleared away, it is much clearer.  The truth.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Confused....

Here's an FAQ:

I am sure you have some questions. Let's get busy.

1. What is the message? What is this truth you talk about?
There is no you. You do not exist. The thought you think yourself to be is a thought, like any other. Some thoughts refer to something real. This one doesn't.

2. But I'm hungry and want a sandwich. CLEARLY I exist! I'm hungry!
No, you do not exist. You don't own the hunger. This is just distraction. Look deeper. You don't exist, regardless of your thoughts on the matter.

3. I already have my truth, thanks. I'll see you later!
Truth is NOT subjective! Something is true or it is not. It is true in every instance, or it is false. There cannot be any in-between in this. Truth does not depend on you or I to believe in it to merit it as "truth." It doesn't need other truths to support it. Truth stands alone and is, pardon me, self-evident.

Understand this first: Truth is true no matter if it is known or believed.

4. That's nice. But I believe in _________ (Jesus, the soul, chi, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.). I'm not going to leave that belief for you.

Those are nice beliefs, but they don't matter at all. To seek truth, beliefs must be set aside--they can serve to obscure truth, so they must be removed from the picture. This sounds very scary, especially to someone like a Christian who stakes so much upon faith.

Now, here's the question to ask: Are you sure that your beliefs are real? Are they truth? Most Christians will say without hesitation that yes-it is truth, and there are no doubts.

If you're sure that your beliefs are truth, then another truth cannot hurt them. If your faith is truth, then nothing can touch it! If you know your beliefs are truth, there is no reason to be afraid of looking at more truth.

Q: If I don't exist then who is reading this message? Who knows that I do not exist?

A: No one. There is simply the process of hearing the message, simply the process of knowing you don't exist. There does not need to be a you for any of this to happen.

Q: But what is the human mind?

A: It is the pattern recognition faculty of the human brain.

Q: So I am just awareness?

A: No! Awareness exists. You do not. You are not awareness. You do not shift into something else and continue to exist. There is no you, at all.

Q: But I have a body!

A: This isn't a question... Yes, there is a body. You do not own it. It is not your body.

Q: How is this truth going to help me?

A: Realizing "no you" doesn't make problems go away. It's a shift in perspective, a recognition of a lie that permeates through everything you do. Find out about this because this is truth, and it is real--not because you want it to fix all your problems. This is not the key or solution to all your problems! This is truth. Truth is important in and of itself. Pursue it because it is truth. You do not exist.

Q: But how will this truth help anyone?

A: The death of ego = death of suffering. Enlightenment on a mass scale. Without the belief in self, there is nowhere for the desire to harm others to come from.

Q: Cogito ergo sum. "I think therefore I am." Doesn't this prove you wrong?

A: "I think __" presupposes a thinker. If the conclusion of the cogito is that there is a thinker, then using the "I think__" proposition is question begging and thusly fallacious. Next.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pain

Pain is unavoidable.  You live, you breath.  You will experience pain.

Enlightenment is not an escape from pain.  It is not a nice calm inner peace that removes all suffering.  Suffering is life.  Enlightenment does not end life, so how could it stop pain?

But yet, I said that the pain I carried with me was no longer my pain.  True.  It's not.  And I don't feel the immensity of the pain, as I did before.

(It's obvious your body will continue to feel pain.  This isn't the pain I want to focus on, although the pain in your body and the pain in your mind are very intimately connected and affect the other easily.  The pain I am talking about is emotional, mental.  Enlightenment does not mean the cessation of pain.)

Pain certainly grasped me firmly before enlightenment.  I would try to leave it behind.  But it always just slipped below the surface, refusing to leave.  It never remained dormant for long; new pain would come, and the old would burst forth again.  Pain waited to overwhelm me; it had never gone.

It's hard to escape these cycles.  We desire for better, yearn for peace.  But if I had been given peace, when my soul was roiling and I was devoid of hope, I wouldn't have known what to do with it.  It probably would have made me nervous, and I would have ran away from it for the comfort of pain.

Pain can be a comfort.  It was, at least, familiar to me.  I knew what to do with pain.  There was a special place for it to gather, and I could always turn to it and think about the tragedies that had befallen me.  Pain was not ambiguous, like happiness was.

Pain doesn't have to be carried around.  There is no you; there is no vessel to collect this putrid filth and try to make sense of you out of it.  Most people experience something and turn around to put that experience into their sense of self.

When bad things happen especially, we want to make sense out of them and give them a reason for happening-or at the least explain what the implication is that it even happened to us.  We analyze the experience.  This happened to you, and it changed the definition you carry of you. 

Enlightenment was the realization that the pain didn't need to be moved about to create the portrait of me.  I did not need to carry pain with me.  There was no me; it was all just illusion.  It was just thought, and it was utter fabrication.  The pain had existed; the past had indeed happened.

But the past was the past.  The pain could remain there. 

It was only after enlightenment that I could bring myself to look fully upon the devastation that had been my life. 

All that pain and torment, all that suffering that had gathered and festered and grown exponentially by languishing in them--it dissolved. 

It didn't sink below the surface to await my next weakening; it was gone.  No more pain to carry with me, an anchor to keep me tied down.

But.  I know there will be pain again.

My heart will break.  I will cry, and I will suffer.  But I will not be lost in it.  I will experience it, it will wash through me, and I'll continue on.  The pain won't be dragged with me through time; I'll leave it where it was.

Perhaps this doesn't seem like a big difference.

Before and after enlightenment, there is still pain.

Yet, afterward, the pain is only new.  The old pain is sloughed off, like the dead thing that it was.  Pain is much easier, much less... painful ...  when it is only a new wound you are dealing with and not old battle injuries.

The difference is mammoth.

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