In North Dakota the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is being built in order to bring oil from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois. When completed it will carry between 450,000 to 570,000 (depending on source) barrels of hydrofracked oil per day. The Army Corps of Engineers did a partial survey of the project and declared it to have limited impact on the environment. The pipeline not only goes across the Missouri River but also passes through the Sioux territory of Standing Rock. 

In his book “We”, Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin describes a dictatorship so intrusive, that it even controls the routine of people throughout the day. Everybody wears a watch indicating the time and the activity which the citizen is supposed to do at the respective hour. Any divergences are met with severe consequences. All people must work, sleep, feed, exercise, study and even make love within the same allocated timeframes. There are only two hours left for personal time, which the state hopes to fill in with regulated activities soon.

The internet is having a seizure about Hilary Clinton's deleted emails, released by cyber whistle-blowing agency Wikileaks. Once hailed as a hero, Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to some is now a villain as he is portrayed as interfering in the US presidential election.

 

Are we really free?

Liberation is "The act or process of freeing someone from another's control, the removal of traditional and sexual rules, the act of gaining equal rights or full social or economic opportunities for a particular group." There has been some significant improvement for women in this regard around the world, but not nearly enough.

This past week, I spent my commutes moving back and forth between three books. The God Equation, Visual Complex Analysis and a Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers. My attempts to dig into the nitty gritty of the materials covered revealed some glaring deficiencies in my understanding, but some hope was also attained.

Democracy is a fraud. Yes, I know we all know that, but I must ask you all something, has there ever been a time in history that it has been more obviously a fraud? The currently occurring American presidential election campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, is understood worldwide to be a choice between two hated candidates. Even the most hopeful of propaganda often plays the 'lesser of two evils' card in order to favour the vote on the side of Democrat Hillary Clinton. For the purposes of this thought for the week, we will cover Hillary rather than Trump, it is pretty damn obvious why Trump is a bad idea, but Hillary is much more conscious of her public image and often goes to great lengths to keep things strictly PC. But prepare yourself to explore the dodgy dealings of Mrs Clinton. 

According to the New York Daily News in their article ‘10,000 California veterans ordered to pay back enlistment bonuses: ‘I feel totally betrayed,’’ the Pentagon has recently decided, after their investigation into the matter, that the California National Guard gave enlistment bonuses “too liberally” to new soldiers who had signed up at the height of the United States’ invasion of the Middle-East in the mid-2000’s. The Pentagon claims that these soldiers didn’t qualify for the bonuses in the first place, and that these veterans must repay what was given to them, even after many of the aforementioned servicemen and women (9,700 in total) have already served overseas. If any of the soldiers refuse to repay the government, then they will “...face interest charges, tax liens and wage deductions." Government officials admit that there is nothing that can be done about the situation.“We’d be more than happy to absolve these people of their debts. We just can’t do it. We’d be breaking the law,” said General Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard.

Everybody by now has heard of the TTIP, the trade deal between the USA and the European Union, designed to compete with similar arrangements in Asia, centred on China. But few know of TTIP's little brother CETA, which is the deal between the EU and Canada, until Belgium gets in the way.

If you are a politician and you want to be mugged by an endless wave of abuse, play the political correctness card. The PC principle is the idea that language, policy and behavior should be controlled in order not to offend anyone or to wrongfully disadvantage one group against another. On the surface this sounds pretty sensible, however PC measures are very often considered to be excessive. The first mention of the term PC emerged in the early 90s, and the criticisms of it appeared just as quickly. For example, Dinesh D'Souza claimed that it merely encouraged self victimization, multiculturalism via language, affirmative action and changes to education. These are common accusations laid upon the lap of the liberal left by the mainstream conservative right. The liberal left often hits back by claiming that the right hates political correctness because it exposes their own elitist, discrimination social policies.

A few years ago, when demonstrations were being had in the U.S. “Fight for 15,” a number of arguments came out against the idea of doubling the minimum wage. At present, the minimum wage in the United States (though it can go higher in some states) is set at $7.25/hr and there were calls to more than double it to $15/hr. Needless to say, many voices were critical of this proposal. Leaving alone the questions of minimum wage, whether it should exist, how much it should be and the merits of the multiple arguments on all side, I would like to highlight a specific argument against the “Fight for 15”.

 

The thing that had troubled me for decades was as imple nagging doubt.  The theory of emanationism in Western Occultism posits that out of the Void emerges a plurality of worlds or planes of existence, all separated from each other by impentetrable veils or gaps.  The thing nagging me was why should it all be so complicated and confusing?  Something was decidedly wrong.  

A well-known philosophical debate that often consumes the precious time of philosophers, academics, students, and keyboard warriors across the world is that of altruism versus selfishness. This debate seems trivial once you are a hyper-rationalist. However, we cannot understate it's importance to the global community, especially since it has the capacity to change our respective outlooks and behavior towards one another drastically. Once the hyper-rationalist perspective of this issue is internalised fully by the world over, evil will truly cease to exist, and I say that with mathematical certainty.

There is a type of worker who is frequently encountered in the modern office environment. This employee has taken his job to heart. He can always be seen working long after 6 pm. Without being asked to do so by his manager. He rarely if ever takes holiday. When he does the company laptop is always near him. When sick he comes to work telling his coworkers that he won’t use this “minor cold” as an excuse to take some days off. These people often show signs of the Martyr’s syndrome. 

Interview with Dr. Michael Clarage

 
In this thought provoking 11 minute interview, Dr. Michael Clarage brings up many valid points about the lack of logic in scientific materialism. The current scientific paradigm claims that all causation is material, and yet "science has drastically changed the definition of matter over the past 300 years." He says we are in need of some new ideas about materiality because our current understanding is insufficient to explain brain functions such as thought, memory, feeling and perception. Dr. Clarage questions the validity of the current materialistic view of the brain and consciousness research, siting double blind studies concerning the non-locality of consciousness.
 
 

 

 

 

 

In reference to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" -By Roald Dahl.

"In the first version published, [the Oompa-Loompas were] a tribe of 3,000 amiable black pygmies who have been imported by Mr willy Wonka from 'the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no man has ever been before.' Mr Wonka keeps them in the factory, where they have replaced the sacked white workers. Wonka slaves are delighted with their new circumstances, and particularly with their diet of chocolate. Before they lived on green caterpillars, beetles, eucalyptus leaves, 'and the bark of the bong-bong tree." [from Jeremy Trelown's Roald Dahl: A Biography]

An interview with Dr. Gary Schwartz regarding the ultimate unresolved mystery of human life, how did conventional neuroscientists come to the overwhelming consensus that the brain alone creates awareness and consciousness? In this video, Dr. Gary Schwartz reveals the methodology used by neuroscientists to justify their materialist view "that the brain creates consciousness and mind".

There is something we take so very much for granted that many people have never actively thought about it. Language, our ability to communicate with one another. Linguistics has been studied since the dawn of thought with greats like Kant and Rousseau arguing over whether or not language represents reality. Rousseau thought it was a construction based on emotion, and Kant thought it was based on reason. Some like Wittgenstein went as far as claiming that philosophy was nothing more than the study of language itself. 

In a few previous essays, I mentioned how American Catholic families organize ithemselves into their own communities. Here I would like to elaborate on that. Understanding that many other people around here have had Catholic upbringings, I find it important to add that this is only based on my own personal experience. This may illuminate certain common possibilities created by a shared ideology.

There is one universe with over 200 million galaxies. Our Galaxy alone supports over 17 Billion earth like planets such as ours. This indicates that there could be other inhabitable planets or inhabited planets such as ours out there. Except that there are phenomenal distances between us. In-fact it's beyond mind-boggling just how vast the universe really is, and how much bigger it is becoming. There is no sufficient reason to suggest that there should not be life beyond our planet. Keeping this in mind, how relatively advanced or behind would these alien civilisations be compared to our own?