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Jan 24, 2014

Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and personal friend/attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty in the wrongful death of Martin Luther King. The 1999 trial, King Family versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The King Center fully documents the case, with full trial transcript.

The King family’s attempts for a criminal trial were denied, as suspect James Ray’s recant of a guilty plea were denied. Mr. Ray said that his government-appointed attorney told him to sign a guilty plea to prevent the death penalty for his part in delivering the murder weapon for Dr. King’s assassination, and to prevent arrests of his father and brother as probable co-conspirators. Mr. Ray produced a letter from his attorney stating the promise that Mr. Ray would receive a trial. When Mr. Ray discovered that he was solely blamed for Dr. King’s assassination and would never receive a trial, the King family’s and Mr. Ray’s subsequent requests for a trial were denied.

The US government also denied the King family’s requests for independent investigation of the assassination.

Therefore, and importantly, the US government has never presented any evidence subject to challenge that substantiates their claim that Mr. Ray assassinated Dr. King.

US corporate media did not cover the trial, interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information. Journalist and author, James Douglass:

“I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, “Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?” ”

For comparison, please consider the media coverage of O.J. Simpson’s trials:

“Media coverage of the Simpson trial, which began in January 1995, was unlike any other. Over two thousand reporters covered the trial, and 80 miles of cable was required to allow nineteen television stations to cover the trial live to 91 percent of the American viewing audience. When the verdict was finally read on October 3, 1995, some 142 million people listened or watched. It seemed the nation stood still, divided along racial lines as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence. During and after the trial, over eighty books were published about the event by most everyone involved in the Simpson case.”

The overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced and agreed as comprehensively valid by the jury includes:

  • US 111th Military Intelligence Group were at Dr. King’s location during the assassination.
  • 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day.
  • Usual Memphis Police special body guards were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
  • Regular and constant police protection for Dr. King was removed from protecting Dr. King an hour before the assassination.
  • Military Intelligence set-up photographers on a roof of a fire station with a clear view to Dr. King’s balcony.
  • Dr. King’s room was changed from a secure 1st-floor room to an exposed balcony room.
  • Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper.
  • Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.
  • The rifle Mr. Ray delivered was not matched to the bullet that killed Dr. King, and was not sighted to accurately shoot

The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in/Occupy at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure.

Please watch this six-minute video of the evidence from the trial, and this eight-minute video on the FBI’s disclosures of covert operations against Dr. King, including confirmation from his closest friends and advisors.

Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s wife, is certain of the evidence after 30 years of consideration from the 1968 assassination to the 1999 trial:

“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination.” — Coretta Scott King.

The US Department of Justice issued a report in 2000 that explains their investigation into their own possible guilt in the assassination found no evidence to warrant further investigation. Dr. King’s son issued the following statement rebuking a “self-study” rather than the independent investigation the King family assert the evidence demands:

“We learned only hours before the Justice Department press conference that they were releasing the report of their results of their “limited investigation,” which covered only two areas of new evidence concerning the assassination of Dr. King. We had requested that we be given a copy of the report a few days in advance so that we might have had the opportunity to review it in detail. Since that courtesy was not extended to us, we are only able at this time to state the following:

1. We initially requested that a comprehensive investigation be conducted by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, independent of the government, because we do not believe that, in such a politically-sensitive matter, the government is capable of investigating itself.

2. The type of independent investigation we sought was denied by the federal government. But in our view, it was carried out, in a Memphis courtroom, during a month-long trial by a jury of 12 American citizens who had no interest other than ascertaining the truth. (Kings v. Jowers)

3. After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only one (1) hour to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.

4. We stand by that verdict and have no doubt that the truth about this terrible event has finally been revealed.

5. We urge all interested Americans to read the transcript of the trial on the King Center website and consider the evidence, so they can form their own unbiased conclusions.

Although we cooperated fully with this limited investigation, we never really expected that the government report would be any more objective than that which has resulted from any previous official investigation.”

Let’s summarize: Under US Civil Law, covert US government agencies were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest speakers for what it means to be human. The family’s conclusion as to motive was to prevent Dr. King from ending the Vietnam War because the government wanted to continue its ongoing covert and overt military operations to control foreign governments and their resources.

It is therefore a factual statement that under US Civil Law, the US government assassinated Dr. King.

People of sufficient intellectual integrity and moral courage to apply critical thinking skills will embrace the trial evidence and testimony, jury conclusion, and King family analysis as appropriate and helpful information in seeking the facts.

People who at least temporarily reject challenging information out of fear might say something like, “The government killed Dr. King? That’s a crazy conspiracy theory!”

Let’s consider that statement.

When someone says that a body of evidence is “crazy,” or a “conspiracy theory” (meaning an irrational claim easily refuted by the evidence) that’s a claim. With a claim comes a burden of proof. In this case, the person would have to demonstrate command of the facts to explain and prove why the evidence from the civil trial is somehow “crazy” and refute the evidence.

If the person can do this, it would be tremendously helpful in understanding the facts. However, we know from our experience that such statements almost always have zero factual support, and that the person making such a claim literally doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

We also know from our experience, a person making such a statement is really voicing an emotional reaction something closer to the spirit of, “The government killed Dr. King? Ok, I read and understood the paragraphs about the trial and evidence. I read Mrs. King’s and her son’s statement. I haven’t invested the time to verify how valid that information is. I’m not stupid, but because the implications of what that means is so disturbing, I’m going to deny anything about it could possibly be true as my first response. If I’m going to continue being in denial and refuse to discuss the evidence, I’ll attack the messenger.”

We also need to consider the lack of coverage by US corporate media of this compelling evidence, trial verdict, and King family testimony from over 30 years’ analysis of the facts. Recall the evidence of US corporate media reporting being infiltrated by CIA agents to propagandize Americans’ access to information. This included the Director of the CIA’s admission to Congress that they have over 400 agents working in corporate media to make the US public believe what the CIA wants them to believe.

In 2006, George Washington University used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the US military’s “Information Operations Roadmap.” This formerly secret and approved document details present US government strategies to generate propaganda, and then attack Internet alternative media that provides dangerous facts and discussion. The military promoted the term, “Fight the net.”

Although I won’t enter the burden of proof here, you may know that there are similar and related bodies of evidence that the US government assassinated other American leaders. The 1975 Senate Church Committee disclosed that the US government initiated and helped assassination attempts on multiple foreign heads of state.

If we were discussing how the population of some other nation could employ critical thinking skills to understand current events from anytime in history, we would certainly understand the importance to anticipate disinformation from government, danger of controlled media, and assassination as a political weapon.

Failure to do so would appropriately elicit the label attributed to the first dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. Such people who believe what their government tells them when the history and present have overwhelming objective evidence to explain, document, and prove that the government is typical of so many other historical self-serving oligarchies are:

“Useful idiots.”

To the extent the United States today is any different from all other nations and all other times is up to your exercise of critical thinking skills.

And that said, think and choose carefully: choices have consequences, especially our most important ones.

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Posted: Jan 24, 2014 10:49am
Jan 18, 2014

An epidemic of sky-rocketing medical costs has afflicted our country and grown to obscene proportions. Medical bills are bloated with waste, redundancy, profiteering, fraud and outrageous over-billing. Much is wrong with the process of pricing and providing health care.

The latest in this medical cost saga comes from new data released last week by National Nurses United (NNU), the nation's largest nurse's organization. In a news release, NNU revealed that fourteen hospitals in the United States are charging more than ten times their costs for treatment. Specifically, for every $100 one of these hospitals spends, the charge on the corresponding bill is nearly $1,200.

Obamacare, which has already confused and infuriated many Americans — and even some experts — with its complexity made up of thousands of pages of legislation and regulations is clearly not the answer to the problem. Long before the internet, President Lyndon Johnson enrolled 20 million elderly Americans into Medicare in six months using index cards. Canada's single-payer system was enacted with only a thirteen page bill — and it covers everyone for less than half of the cost per capita compared to the U.S.'s system.

January 15, 2014

The Skyrocketing Impact
Medical Price Gouging


An epidemic of sky-rocketing medical costs has afflicted our country and grown to obscene proportions. Medical bills are bloated with waste, redundancy, profiteering, fraud and outrageous over-billing. Much is wrong with the process of pricing and providing health care.

The latest in this medical cost saga comes from new data released last week by National Nurses United (NNU), the nation's largest nurse's organization. In a news release, NNU revealed that fourteen hospitals in the United States are charging more than ten times their costs for treatment. Specifically, for every $100 one of these hospitals spends, the charge on the corresponding bill is nearly $1,200.

NNU's key findings note that the top 100 most expensive U.S. hospitals have "a charge to cost ratio of 765 percent and higher — more than double the national average of 331 percent." They found that despite the enactment of "Obamacare" — the Affordable Care Act — overall hospital charges experienced their largest increase in 16 years. For-profit hospitals continue to be the worst offenders with average charges of 503 percent of their costs compared to publically-run hospitals ("... including federal, state, county, city, or district operated hospitals, with public budgets and boards that meet in public... ") which show more restraint in pricing. The average charge ratios for these hospitals are 235 percent of their costs.

According to NNU's data, the top 10 Most Expensive Hospitals in the U.S. listed according to the huge percentage of their charges relative to their costs are:

1. Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, Secaucus, NJ - 1192%
2. Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, Painsville, KY - 1186%
3. Orange Park Medical Center, Orange Park, FL - 1139%
4. North Okaloosa Medical Center, Crestview, FL - 1137%
5. Gadsden Regional Medical Center, Gadsden, AL - 1128%
6. Bayonne Medical Center, Bayonne, NJ - 1084%
7. Brooksville Regional Hospital, Brooksville, FL - 1083%
8. Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, Davenport, FL - 1058%
9. Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, PA - 1058%
10. Oak Hill Hospital, Spring Hill, FL - 1052%

The needless complications of the vast medical marketplace have provided far too many opportunities for profiteering. Numerous examples of hospital visit bills feature enormous overcharges on simple supplies such as over-the-counter painkillers, gauze, bandages and even the markers used to prep patients for surgery. That's not to mention the cost of more advanced procedures and the use of advanced medical equipment which are billed at several times their actual cost. These charges have resulted in many hundreds of millions of dollars in overcharges.

When pressed for answers, many hospital representatives are quick to defer to factors out of their control. It's the cost of providing care they might say, or perhaps infer that other vague aspects of running the business of medical treatment add up and are factored into these massive charges. Cost allocations mix treatment costs with research budgets, cash reserves, and just plain accounting gimmicks. These excuses shouldn't fly in the United States.

Few in the medical industry will acknowledge the troubling trend. One thing is undeniably certain however — the medical marketplace is not suffering for profits. Health-care in the United States is a nearly 3 trillion dollar a year industry replete with excessive profits for many hospitals, medical supply companies, pharmaceutical companies, labs and health insurance vendors.

Americans spend more on health care than anywhere else in the world. One would hope and wish, at the least, that this enormous expenditure would provide a quality of healthcare above and beyond that found in the rest of the western world. The reality is that the results on average are no better than in France, Germany, Canada and elsewhere, which manage to provide their quality treatment without all the overcharges.

Much like our similarly wasteful, bloated military budget, the U.S. spends more on health care than the next ten countries combined — most of which cover almost all of their citizens.The United States spends $8,233 per person, per year according to a 2012 figure from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The average expenditure of the thirty three other developed nations OECD tracked is just $3,268 per person.

It gets worse. Harvard's Malcolm Sparrow, the leading expert on health care billing fraud and abuse, conservatively estimates that 10 percent of all health care expenditure in the United States is lost to computerized billing fraud. That's $270 billion dollars a year!

And unlike other commercial markets, where the advance of technology routinely makes costs lower, the reverse trend is in effect when providing medical care — the prices just keep soaring higher and higher. The flawed, messy Obamacare system will do little to help this worsening profit-grab crisis, which is often downright criminal in the way it exploits tragedy-stricken people and saddles them with mountains of debt.

Steven Brill's TIME magazine cover story from February 2013 titled "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us" gives an in-depth and highly-researched rundown of the severity of the medical cost problem and provides some of the worst, most astonishing examples of profiteering off of the plight of the sick or injured.

Here's a fact that puts the full scope of this troubling trend into perspective — Brill writes: "The health-care industrial complex spends more than three times what the military industrial complex spends in Washington". Specifically, the medical industry has spent $5.36 billion on lobbying in Washington D.C. since 1998. Compare that expenditure to the $1.53 billion spent lobbying by the also-bloated defense and aerospace sector.

One line summarizes the breadth of Brill's enormous piece: "If you are confused by the notion that those least able to pay are the ones singled out to pay the highest rates, welcome to the American medical marketplace."

Americans who can't pay and therefore delay diagnosis and treatment are casualties. About 45,000 Americans die every year because they cannot afford health insurance according to a peer-reviewed report by Harvard Medical School researchers. No one dies in Canada, Germany, France or Britain because they do not have health insurance. They are all insured from the time they are born.

Obamacare, which has already confused and infuriated many Americans — and even some experts — with its complexity made up of thousands of pages of legislation and regulations is clearly not the answer to the problem. Long before the internet, President Lyndon Johnson enrolled 20 million elderly Americans into Medicare in six months using index cards. Canada's single-payer system was enacted with only a thirteen page bill — and it covers everyone for less than half of the cost per capita compared to the U.S.'s system. (Check out 21 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better Than Obamacare  link to )

Enacting a single payer, full Medicare-for-all system is the only chance the United States has of unwinding itself from the spider web of waste, harm, and bloat that currently comprise its highly flawed health insurance and health care systems. It's time to cut out the corporate profiteers and purveyors of waste and fraud and introduce a system that works for everybody.

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Posted: Jan 18, 2014 10:53am
Oct 20, 2013

More and more money capital concentrates in the hands of the rich which they let `work for itself.' Every day $1.5 trillion circulates around the globe and changes hands. Only two to three percent of that is needed to handle the business with goods and services. The rest is speculative excess. Robert Reich's new film "Inequality for All" is a protest against our plutocracy.



["The Third World War is fully underway for the people in the third world." So wrote Jean Ziegler, special ambassador of the UN Human Rights commission for the right to food in his spirited book "The New Rulers of the World and Their Global Adversaries." He supports this statement with numbers.

In the six years of the Second World War, 16 to 18 million soldiers were killed - and 50 to 55 million civilians. In 2001 "the number of deaths in the 122 countries of the third world caused by economic under-development and extreme poverty amounted to over 58 million."

"Hunger, epidemic, thirst and local conflicts over poverty destroy almost as many men, women and children every year as the Second World War destroyed in six years." Therefore Ziegler's thesis speaks of the "world war against the poor."


In his book Ziegler shows the present structures of the world economy are jointly responsible for the mass misery in the world.

- In Nigeria the International Monetary Fund required that the national food programs be privatized. Otherwise there would be no additional credits for the poverty-stricken country. A privatization of state institutions can be sensible under certain circumstances. However the beginning of this measure already had disastrous effects in this case. In the past the state trucks drove to the last corner of the land to store the harvest surpluses and distribute them in times of need. The drivers of the new private businesses refused to journey to remote villages since that was not profitable. They refused to drive on bad, hollowed out6 roads. With a breakdown or damage to a truck, the driver feared being dismissed without notice and then suffering hunger with his whole family...

- In Mauritania the traditional systems of commonly owned property and common land cultivation (that obviously had its shortcomings) were removed with a stroke of the pen at the instigation of the IMF. As a result, many of the newly divided parcels quickly landed in the hands of a few foreign landowners. Most of the simple farmers were neither mentally nor financially prepared for an independent cultivation of these fields. The slums of the cities grew at a breakneck speed. The country had to import less rice but hardly anyone could afford the rice grown in the country because of the high price.

- In Zambia the farmers on foreign advice did not plant the climatically adjusted millet but profitable corn susceptible to drought. Corn can be exported. For the advisors, serving the interests of foreign creditors had priority over everything else, including hunger and bad harvests. The IMF then advised the Zambian government to sell part of the state corn provision to gain revenue - for debt service. The corrupt government sold everything and transferred the money into ministers' pockets. A large part of the rural population starves today.

These were several examples from Africa - the continent with the most poverty and misery. However many similar cases from Asia or Latin America could be cited. So for example the IMF urges raising the prices of already privatized electricity- and water suppliers 50 percent - in a country where 27 children die daily of malnutrition. In many countries, school lunches were cancelled or the local - obviously unprofitable - medical provision privatized.


Besides the IMF the - officially private - World Trade Organization (WTO) also helps open the doors to worldwide corporations everywhere. International trade negotiations would not be bad if they were fair. But reality looks different when only "unanimous" resolutions are decreed officially in the WTO.

Poorer countries cannot afford regular representation at the headquarters in Geneva. They are usually informed about resolutions afterwards. If they would have been present in the discussions and looked through the complicated material, they would know exactly what would happen if they were refractory...

Poor countries are forced to dismantle their trade barriers and not impose any restrictions on international corporations - lowest possible taxes and no social or ecological conditions. The rich countries in Europe and elsewhere hold fast to their subsidies for their own agriculture, for example, and screen off their markets.

These double standards and hypocrisy run through nearly all areas of the much praised "globalization" like a central thread. Don't its defenders promise everything to us? Everyone will be prosperous because the arising profit supposedly "trickles down" over time. This "trickle down effect" is an idea of the economist Adam Smith from the 18th century that has still not been fulfilled today. Whoever has money left does not usually give to the poor but lets it "work for itself." Other people work for it. Globalization should cross borders and bring people closer to one another - but on the contrary leads to new limits. In many poor countries, there are fenced off "special economic zones" with tax freedom where modern slaves can slave away almost around the clock for foreign corporations. In many countries, the rich wall themselves in their residential areas. Watchmen and sniffer dogs patrol the barbed wire to keep the desperate poor outside. Wealth only flourishes in a few enclaves while the wilderness of misery expands. Finally, globalization should lead to more democracy. However corporations prefer to collaborate with sturdy dictatorships, as in Tunisia and China - since their privileges are best protected there.


Thus "globalization" has become a meaningless word behind which the greed of the rich can be easily hidden. Globalization could be a marvelous thing. What one understands under globalization is crucial. "Many things that I'd like to globalize spontaneously occur to me," the Indian author Arundhati Roy says: "human rights, nuclear- and chemical weapon ban treaties, climate protection agreements... " However neoliberal economic policy that unfortunately sails under his flag leads to reduced social benefits, uncontrolled destruction of the environment, cutting down the rainforests, impoverishment, hunger- and ultimately to the dissolution of whole states. "In Africa, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and many other countries in dissolution are hardly more than inscriptions on a map," Ziegler says (p.31). "These countries have ceased to exist as organized national societies." At the end, predator capitalism becomes the sovereign ru9ling all things. Often sheer chaos returns after all the "deregulations" where social structures like the tribe or clan previously existed - in no way like paradise. "All organized social life disappears where the new rulers of the world and their mercenaries rage" (p.280).

One may call such statements exaggerated. Still they reveal a fatal tendency that is in no way restricted to the "third world." A comparatively rich country like Germany can also be forced to "deregulations," literally to the reduction of social benefits, to dismantling protection against unlawful termination and collective bargaining, tax cuts for the rich and cancellation of supplementary benefits for the poorer... Is this really an unalterable fate to which every country has to submit?


For the cultural critic Carl Amery, the dogma hurled on every occasion that "there is no alternative" (abbreviated TINA) is a characteristic of a new global religion, an "empire religion" of the total market with a claim of absoluteness. However this "religion" of capitalism remains anonymous. It clothes itself in a pseudo-scientific garment. Jean Ziegler describes a conversation with a documentary film maker who was angry about the effects of IMF measures in Niger and asked: "Will there be a Nurnberg trial one day for these people?" That will not happen because the new tyranny that has the planet in its grasp more everyday and tries to force the last profit from it has no face, no tyrants at the top. Ziegler portrays the "good middle class" life of the international officials of the IMF who attend the same clubs in the Washington neighborhood as the officials of the US Treasury department and never see a slum with their own eyes when they journey abroad. They live in an ivory-tower. They are not interested in the social effects of their measures. "No doubt spoils their conscience."


There are not only "wicked" persons. There are also obviously structures that continuously bring about "evil" because they are not recognized and questioned - whether out of indifference, ignorance, careerism, egoism or all of them. For example, the economic mechanism that increases the gap between poor and rich - between the social classes within a country and not only the gap between the rich and poor countries of the earth. That is a statistical fact. At most wars and catastrophes are able to cancel this process since (nearly) everything has to start from scratch. On our planet, 225 private persons possess as much as the whole annual income of the poorest 2.5 billion persons or 40% of the world population. The wealth of the fifteen wealthiest persons of the world surpasses the gross domestic product of all countries of sub-Saharan Africa except for South Africa.

Thus the problem of the earth is not poverty as such but the unjust distribution that becomes increasingly unjust despite all the drudgery of the poor. Willy Brandt called the state indebtedness of the countries of the third world and the resulting payment obligations a "blood transfusion from the sick to the healthy." For a long while the richer countries have not been "healthy" since they are mostly indebted and an insidious redistribution from bottom to top occurs in them. The main reason for this may lie in the mechanism of compound interest and in the advantage of the money owner over the owner of goods. Goods can spoil or rust, not money. As long as the state does not force the circulation of money which is really a social "instrument," it enables an extortionate excessive interest for owners of massive amounts of money. However all initiatives for an "interest-free money" as Carl Amery proposes were shattered in the past. "Mammon cannot be mocked."

The pressure to material growth is another mechanism that has become independent and speeds up the ruin of our planet. Under the constraint of interest burdens through borrowing, nearly every entrepreneur is forced to expand and realize a profit that is higher than the interest rate. On the other hand, more and more money capital concentrates in the hands of the rich which they let "work for itself." Through banks and investment funds, this money seeks ever new profit possibilities - as in mega-projects devouring the environment or armaments. Every day $1.5 trillion circulates around the globe and changes hands. Only two to three percent of that is needed to handle the business with goods and services. The rest is speculative excess. Constant growth beyond immediate private needs leads inevitably to environmental and social problems - and ultimately to displacement- and distribution wars. There is only constant unchecked growth in one place in nature: in the cancer cell!


What can be done against this? All over the world there are "heretics" who refuse to submit to the "imperial religion" of the misused capitalist market. There are landless in Brazil who occupy fallow property because this is allowed them according to a law. However they are often chased away by corrupt authorities or killed by killers in the pay of big landowners. There are impoverished citizens in Argentina who establish shopping cooperatives and exchange rings that revive the idle factories to survive in a "globally" destroyed economy. There are women in the poor villages of Bangladesh who found "banks" for their equals to pull their families through with micro-credits. In Europe there are people who resist in common, for example against privatization of the water supply. Central European communal institutions in the so-called "Cross Border Leasing" are sold off to inscrutable American tax depreciation firms for promised short-term financial advantages. To many consumers, the social and ecological conditions under which goods are manufactured are important.

The ability of people to organize socially and struggle for preserving the public interest so it does not fall prey to private greed cannot be "privatized away." Selective success may not be repressed even if the causes of malformations have not yet been identified and remedied. The ideas and feelings that produce and make possible such structures always underlie economic pressures: greed, exclusion of neighbors, envy, parcel-thinking and mercilessness toward fellow persons, nature and animals... Whoever hoards goods or money beyond his private need although other persons suffer want contributes to the injustice of the world. Jesus of Nazareth calls us not to use our material goods in a calculating way for our enrichment. "If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you?... But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return" (Lk 6,34f). By the way, the creation from which one cannot hope for any material compensation is also included: help for nature and animals.


In a time when nature and animals are increasingly in dire straits along with billions of people and the threat intensifies, the spirit of God's Christ speaks, this time through Gabriela, God's ambassador and prophetess. In her great message from the universe "This is my Word"*** Christ grapples with the problem of the gulf between poor and rich. Christ gives us a vision of what the earth would look like as soon as we humans "globalize" his message and strive for inner growth instead of outer proliferation:

"... The poor in spirit... are a model for those rich who are bound to their riches with impenitent unyielding hearts and whose thinking only concentrates on increasing this wealth for themselves. A person who is rich in earthly goods and recognizes his wealth is a gift received from God that he brings into the great whole for the well-being of everyone and manages it rightfully for everyone - realizes the laws of equality, freedom, unity and brotherliness. As a selfless giver, he helps so the poor do not live in want and the rich in luxury...

God gives everyone what he/she needs and more. As long as all persons do not hold to this command, there will be so-called rich on this earth. Their challenge is to distribute their accumulated wealth and live like the selfless who fulfill the command "pray and work." When they think in this way of the well-being of everyone and not of their own well-being, their inner wealth gradually turns outward and no person will hunger or die of starvation." (Matthias Holzbauer)

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Posted: Oct 20, 2013 2:23pm
Oct 4, 2013

In this collection of essays, the first book published by Black Powder Press, Seaweed invites us to consider some of the possibilities for land-based struggles against capitalist civilization. Seaweed puts forth a vision of a de-industrialized world free from the fetters of authoritarian institutions in which humans choose to live in small-scale communities embedded in habitats. Loosely described as organically self-organized subsistence or insurrectionary subsistence movements, Seaweed urges a planetary revolt based around access to land so that we can ultimately renew our relationships to each other and to nature.

From the introduction:

"Complete transformation, of our relationships with each other and with our natural environments is both possible and urgent.The more widespread the participation the quicker and more likely it will happen. Ultimately it means overturning and dismantling the global grid of authoritarian and capitalist institutions that dominate our lives. If having a reciprocal relationship with the natural environment is inherently healthy because it creates habitats, which in turn sustain their living inhabitants, then a focus on acquiring a land base would seem always positive. Local or regional undertakings in acquiring these bases seem most sensible. Actions around re-appropriating land, because they undermine the state and the market's control over our shared environments, help destroy the global institutions which prevent us from having access to land in the first place."

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Posted: Oct 4, 2013 11:09am
Jun 27, 2013

The model of civilization provided by the Roman-Empire is the same model of civilization used today. Namely, one acquires new property and new riches by violence, then, supposedly, one uses knowledge possessed by the culture, and related to practical creativity, to build structures, eg water-supplies and sewers and public buildings etc, which, it is claimed, improves the condition of life for those just conquered peoples, so that the conquered population becomes "used to" the built-structures, which are associated with these structures being used within society, in a practical (but very narrow) manner, by the people, where this public use would occur during the time-period of an oppressive occupation, an occupation which is based on violence, so that a way-of-life becomes familiar to the people, (a way-of-life associated to the social-physical structures of a technically identified social context), and the violent-imposition of oppression is administered by social institutions, within the new social-technical context [Does this sound familiar?], so as to define a social hierarchy.
Subdue a people (and their culture) by violence (steal what these peoples have, which has "value"), occupy based on both oppression and, so called, technical civic improvements, [ie provide free-lunches (or public works)], so that within such social context an institutional hierarchy is implemented, then take away the free-lunch (by instituting taxes) after a hierarchical social-oppression is institutionalized. Then within this narrowly defined but easily managed social context, swell the population so as to define a growth, based on narrowness, which is organized to be managed by only a few in the ruling class.
That is, the commons have been (come to be) redefined as the public-works, which have become a part of hierarchical institutions. The society has been privatized, based on a controlling social hierarchy. The commons can be ran-sacked at any time based on property rights and minority rule. This expansion was based on violence, and "the commons" were where there was no apparent value, and, thus, it was the place upon which the low-levels of society depended for their survival.
The issue is about law being based on equality, or based on property rights and minority rule.
In fact, one sees that water-supplies and sewers are unnecessary, when one considers the lives of the native people's of the Americas, their needs for food, water and shelter were easily met, simply by living in harmony with the world's environments, whereas, sewers get emptied into the water-ways and then the wastes polluted the village down-river.
If the water from the streams is not drinkable then it is being polluted by some improperly considered technology.
However, people should easily adapt to changes by moving elsewhere, rather than staying fixed, so as to admire their public-buildings.
That is, the great-value [related to the, so called, practical creativity (or to civic engineering)] of a created context results more from "a circularity and repetitiveness of a communication system," which exists within a hierarchical social system. That is, a clean water-supply is highly valued by the population only after the river has been polluted by a sewer-system (which is located somewhere).

Today developing water-filters to combat water-pollution is important, as is combating-disease, and building sanitary conditions, eg using the new pit-toilets, and developing energy through the re-new-able energy sources (including thermal-solar) are all great uses of practical knowledge.
But tinkering with genetic chemistry, wherein the relation of "DNA to the enzyme systems of life-forms" is not understood, and thus such tinkering is total insanity, since the relation of the chemical properties of DNA to the life-form and to the web-of-life is simply not understood.
Such chemical-tinkering is based on ignorance, an insufficient knowledge, and this use of ignorance is allowed, based on decisions within a (corrupt) justice system, since big corporations are using this incomplete-knowledge as a way to use a hierarchical system of knowledge to control a market (and the population), so the justice system is upholding this insanity and this great ignorance.

The earth supports the life which exists on earth, while practical knowledge is used to "improve one's living conditions," or make one's living conditions more conducive to developing practically knowledge related to creative (and selfless) works.
The basic question is about existence, and the realm (context and range) within which the "practical creativity" of humans is defined. Is it only the material world, or is there a natural context of existence and "practical doing" which is not confined to a material existence? This is where both science-math and religion have failed, and they have become managed by corrupt and/or ignorant people who are locked-in to a very narrow narrative, based on materialism and selfish gain, and who are afraid to seek to realize what they are within existence, frightened to either consider or experience how they reflect all of existence.
That is, "it is the violent destruction for selfish purposes of acquiring riches and property" which, of course, implies the idea of property-rights, which results in such a social construct being associated to a failed, but narrow and
fixed, way of doing-things.
It is the relative (or controlled) implementation of already developed practical knowledge (of the society which has been over-run by violence), and which determines if a "violent take-over of property" can be used to (or justified by) institute public works, which "improve the living conditions of the newly conquered society (people)," so as to then be able to institutionalize a social hierarchy based on an external knowledge, in turn based-on the selfishly motivated view of a material existence which is held by the conquering forces which seek to institute a social hierarchy, primarily built for the selfish-gain of a few.

In the US it is a question as to whether it is the social model of
the "violent Puritans" of New England (who represented the Roman model of violent take-over of the native people's land, but the so called better-life was only better for the colonizing Europeans)
(this leads one to ask, Was the Roman-Empire also based on the same type of self-referential culture based on colonization?)
The friendly Quakers, whose social model was to lived in harmony with the existing native populations and to interact with the other native cultures, whereas the native people's did not have the acquisitive life style of Europeans, and it is the native people who lived happier, more self-confident lives and who possessed a very deep knowledge
of the material environment of the native peoples (their lives were not all that difficult [they easily had food water and shelter], and they traveled and traded over great ranges)
Knowledge about what existed between the material and the spiritual worlds, or the verbally-spiritual world, where the verbal-spiritual was the propagandistic model of religion which the Europeans knew about religion,
(that is, the native peoples used the knowledge which they possessed and that knowledge existed between both the material and the living nature of existence).

The Quakers were the more energetic and more thriving community while the Puritans seemed to relish torturing and subjugating the people in their community, who deviated from a norm, where this norm was identified by a few people who comprised the ruling class [This should also sound familiar, ie What "norm" do today's surveillance-mangers serve?].
For example, B Franklin ran-away from Puritan Boston so as to thrive in the Quaker communities, but Franklin was arrogant and did not sufficiently praise and support the equality of the Quakers of which he needed so much in order for his life to thrive.

That is, the spirit for the Europeans was a form of propaganda about possessing high-value, but they attached themselves only to a narrow vision about possessing riches in an exclusively material-world.
Today, the "ancient aliens" TV show on History-channel, is still grappling with the ideas of ancient religions concerning the powers of giant peoples
(eg so many religious stories of creation deal with the giant origin of the first humans, ie emerging from the constellation Orion (the giant)),
which the religions represent as being both narrowly confined in their views and selfish in that narrow outlook as to the existence-properties of the Gods, ie the difficult challenge of continually transcending the creation of existence by the natural living entities which are fundamental to existence,
So that the "ancient aliens" TV show, attributes these mysteries to the existence of superior-intelligences who can better deal with the material context, so as to provide the lowly mankind with technical gifts concerning the material-world, ie a myth of inequality and the diminution of the powers of individuals of the human species, ie a very narrow context concerning the nature of existence.

The amazing building capabilities of the ancient world was a world where knowledge was about both (1) the material world and (2) "the living world and a world which transcends the material world,"
and this knowledge has been demonstrated by the skillful work in very old cities, which are over 12,000 year old (perhaps greater than 30,000 years old) wherein structures of great size were built so that the work demonstrates deep technical knowledge of material and a capacity to technically create in a material context at a high-level, even beyond our technical understanding today.

These engineering marvels of ancient mankind are shown on the "Ancient Alien" TV shows on History-channel, but they are improperly interpreted to show that mankind is inferior except for the few elites.
But the correct interpretation is that;
This was possible for mankind who possessed a deeper knowledge, which transcends the idea that there only exists "a material world," and the absurd idea, based on violence, of "an arbitrary high-value being represented by an elite few," who are to be allowed to "dominate society by violence."

The current basis for science, ie the knowledge needed for practical creativity, first it is assumed by science that "the world can only be a material world" and that different regimes of differential equations define measurable properties of physical systems
1. Classical solvable and based on the existence of measurable properties of relatively stable material systems, this is the set of precise descriptive structures upon which a great deal of all the practical technical development in the western civilization is based. Note: "western" means society based on the Roman-Empire, or whose main religions are Judeo-Christian-Islam.
2. Classical, non-linear these are quantitatively inconsistent descriptive structures, used to describe unstable material system patterns, which can only be controlled based on the properties of the system's differential equation itself, ie not the (solved) properties of the system, where the information derived from the properties of the system's differential equation can be used in feedback systems, ie this means that the system is contained in a discontinuous set of descriptive structures, between which the system's description is changed where these changes are based on the observed properties of the system being fed-back so this information is used to alter the description of the system, but the system still being related to the differential equation (the changing conditions are discontinuously and totally outside the context of the system's descriptive structures)
3. General relativity also non-linear and un-relatable to practical use,
since the observed properties of the solar system are stable, but the descriptive structures available to describe the solar-system can only describe a non-linear quantitatively-inconsistent, and thus chaotic, context.

Furthermore, there are the very stable nuclei, general atoms, molecules, molecular shapes, and crystal properties, which all go without valid quantitative descriptions.
Thus there are
4. Quantum physics randomness, ie function spaces of harmonic-functions, and operators, which represent measurable properties, together are used to define a statistical mess, which cannot be used to identify the observed stable spectral-orbital properties of general quantum systems, because the observed spectral properties of general, but very fundamental, quantum systems cannot be found to sufficient precision with this method, it has become a method of statistical (or probabilistic) manipulation of non-physically motivated models of these general quantum systems. Within this failed context, of not being able to identify by physical law the spectral properties of general quantum systems to sufficient precision, it can be defined as a method of indefinable randomness.
It is, more or less a method which tries to identify macroscopically physically measurable properties with sets of operators, which, in turn, act on sets (or spaces) of harmonic functions, ie functions of the form, Ae^i(Et-px), that is operators which act on sets of functions whose domain spaces are defined on sets of circles.
That it, quantum theory is a description which tries to use the properties of probability to fit the descriptive structure to the observed data.
Yet many of the reasons for abandoning classical, or geometrical-and-measurable based, description are not really resolved by the quantum context, such as accelerating charges giving-off electromagnetic radiation (so as to give-off energy)... ,
[whereas a bounded system composed on individual, free charges moving in an unknown, yet, nonetheless, bounded context, in turn, requires these free charges to possess various types of charge-accelerations, and, thus, causing these charges to give-off electromagnetic radiation],
... ., so as to make the system unstable.
An alternative
Whereas, If one identifies the descriptive context so that the (quantum, or physical, charged) systems and their interactions exist in a set of open-closed metric-space structures, whose geometry is that of circle-spaces, so that the description depends on processes defined in a discrete manner, with discrete relations existing between the separate descriptive structures (or separate metric-spaces, which are involved in the descriptive structure), then this is a descriptive context which has many similarities to a harmonically-based quantum description, but would account for a closed system, which, when left undisturbed, would not give-off electromagnetic radiation.
5. Particle-physics, whose properties are only related to calculating elementary-particle cross-sections, "Where is a precise description of a general nuclei's stable spectral properties, where the description is based on the laws of particle-physics?" (Answer: No such description exists, ie it is a physically useless theory since it is based both on indefinable randomness, ie it is mathematically structured to adjust the wave-function of a regular quantum system, and non-linearity, ie its is both chaotic and quantitatively inconsistent)
Particle-physics is based on data which can be interpreted to mean that there are dimensional levels in regard to U(1) x SU(2) x SU(3), which are unitary, ie based on pairs of opposite metric-space states, where these levels have stable patterns associated to themselves, ie the particle-collision patterns, but whose interpretation is confined to the idea of materialism, but the particle-collision patterns are not stable properties, but the patterns of this suggests the idea of grand-unification which is an idea related to SU(n), and this does imply the material world is but a single dimensional-level within a many-dimensional context where the many-dimension model implies a transcendence of the idea of materialism. There is a new idea which builds the higher-dimensions with stable geometric shapes, rather than trying to build it with the ideas of indefinable randomness and non-linearity.
6. Derived theories, eg string-theory, derived from both particle-physics and a model of gravity consistent with general relativity, it is a geometric theory consistent with indefinable randomness, non-linearity and the idea of materialism.
Where all of the above descriptive structures demand the idea of materialism, and all of these descriptive structures cannot be used to describe the observed stable properties of the above mentioned fundamental physical systems. The basis for the current math models of physical systems is both indefinable randomness and non-linearity, and these descriptive structures cannot be used to describe the observed stable properties of (general) physical systems, which exist at all size-scales.

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Posted: Jun 27, 2013 5:18pm
Jun 18, 2013

Harold German Bustamante RBI- Rainbow Bureau of Information... Collective..As we all have been sharing on the great technological tool of Facebook, we all know is a fast paced and informative world and we as conscious humans and lightworkers who are spreading positive, optimistic and informative indy information our timew is now. 2012 has passed and those of us that attended world gatherings and such and waiting for prophecies etc.. have realized we are the new earth and the world we have been waiting for.. Rainbow is no longer a new age idea. Its a old ancient way of life and in modern world people have forgotten to reconnect to the earth. We are our worst enemies and to honor all our elders and ancestors we are here to help thru this basic training of reharmonization as a community and village. In the USA we know that politics and rules created by those that took from the 1st Nations have created regulations, boundaries laws etc.. for an un harmonized society. Thats understood. We live by example and Rainbow Family/Tribe of Living Light is part a Hopi/native prophecy and its also a human emergence. Humanity is way becoming rainbow on large scales daily and this gathering is not enough for the job at hand.. so who does come has the collective responsibility to share and re-educate, heal and inspire, empower and be opened, love and share responsibly as we humans are brothers and sisters in the fullest of soul innocence.. We invite all leaders of spiritual, tribal, and even government with the notion that this is an experiment of human collectiveness and self governance. The Politics and targeting by the feds has hurt the concept of established grounded groups to represent in outside world. So we all have learned that there is no 1 Leader but we are all Focalizers, we all have leadership skills. We all can activate and participate and make the process more harmonized as in a tribe people work and cooperate and care for each other. The military is good at this, they for some reason do not want large groups to do this unless we pay for services, taxes, and fee's..They always want a cut..Burning Man happens in the desert and 60,000 strong, but they have to charge to pay for all needed services and fee's so the Gov't will ease off..Anyways.. back to RBI.. RBOS Collective is anyone and everyone that wants to help and is capable to help and has skills on many levels to help from your laptop right now to the streets in the local area of a town near the gathering to the trails of the Rainbow Gathering. Information is there and volunteers share info as it comes in and there are boards and everything is a volunteer process. You can be part of any part of the gathering and can start you own thing as long as it follows our tribal RAPS which are written in 40 years of experience. So everyone here is RBI, sharing information to help sync and harmonize those as this phenomenon begins. We are stabilizing earth by being the aware ones to bring awareness .. Chemtrails, gmo's, counter culture, culture creative, 1st nation rights, ecology etc.. We are educated and inspired humans..So I am just helping the understand, that we too can be a fine oiled collective that can activate on self governance for 1-2 weeks and take care of the community . RBI needs people with skills to make or design signs to help guide people, print large and laminate Raps and Kitchen etiquette health standards, emergency plans, fire n rescue plans, community information sharing, educating locals ( print fliers, have town hall video presentations..etc.. ) We are all humans, we are all mostly 99 % citizens of the working class and pay taxes and do so many good deeds in the world. Some are business owners, doctors, innovators and even gov't employee's.. I am a vet and believe in my work and not a dirty street kid..Even when i was a Veteran on the streets I was clean and was peaceful and lived to better myself. There many groups that come to Rainbow. The Christian, Krishna, and eclectics.. Buddhist show up as thats no really a camp.. I believe we need to welcome Muslims as they believe they are a rainbow religion, 1st Nations always.. Montana is Tribal lands and sacred to many of us.. I'm chibcha and my son is western cherokee. so I feel we need to invite all local and national tribes and inform them they can integrate or set up their own camps as Rainbow is a Pow Wow.. RBI is everyone.. use the modern resources wehave to share and educate and even help our young leaders, YES Leaders and recognize and empower the youth to be empowered ..A lot of older folks can't work or communicate with the ever progressive street youth..some can.. There are many focalizer/leaders in those ranks.. We need not be afraid to be organized, even if its once a year.. We lost 3 people in Washington Gathering.. 1 was in our clan who died on the 6th, another was an older brother at Loven Ovens and Then an elder sister who was missing and found months later near Rainbow in an abandoned camp.. We need to RBi everyone to activate and all new participants of the gathering will be inspired to be lights in their community.. I love that we are all talking and doing this here.. its crucial.. If there is anyone that Has short wave radio in their RV let me know, we can get you rainbow music and then know the channel for emergency info. also any one that has satellite wifi in their RV or such..that would be crucial as we have a right to share info to outside world. we do not need the fearless paintballer cops to shoot up kiddie village, we need to educate our youth to not be aggressive and yes post signs up everywhere that guns and hostility is not welcomed.. its all about energy.. i also believe we need to protect our rights and be informed. Who gets arrested, etc.. festivals bring money to local business, no matter what they know that, and no matter what more positive then negative happens.. One Love everyone..I'm not a leader of this Collective , I'm dropping my focus to help you all and i will do my part..
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Posted: Jun 18, 2013 2:11pm
Feb 25, 2013

"Human life is sacred and human rights are not to be denied by those who would subvert them for 'national security' or for any other reason. No one knows this better than the Jews, who have been second-class citizens so often and for so long. Some Zionists, however, may differ." Original article:

Where the Torah tells about the creation of the first human being, the most prominent Jewish commentator, Rashi, explains that the earth from which Adam was formed was not taken from one spot but from various parts of the globe. Thus human dignity does not depend on the place of one's birth nor is it limited to one region.

The greatness or worth of a person is not measured by his or her outward appearance. Jews believe that Adam was created in G-d's image and that he is the common ancestor of all mankind. At this stage in human history, there is no room for privileged people who can do with others as they please. Human life is sacred and human rights are not to be denied by those who would subvert them for "national security" or for any other reason. No one knows this better than the Jews, who have been second-class citizens so often and for so long. Some Zionists, however, may differ. This is understandable because Judaism and Zionism are by no means the same. Indeed they are incompatible and irreconcilable: If one is a good Jew, one cannot be a Zionist; if one is a Zionist, one cannot be a good Jew.

For over 60 years I have fought Zionism, as did my father before me, and I am therefore quite familiar with it. For those who have been in this fight for only the last ten or twenty years, what I have to say may be surprising or even shocking. Nevertheless these matters must be stated clearly and openly, because unless the disease of Zionism is diagnosed accurately, it cannot be cured. Too long have those opposed to Zionism engaged in daydreaming and wishful thinking. In order to recognize Zionism for what it is, one has to know about Judaism, about Zionism -- the opposite and negation of Judaism, and about Jewish history. In the time allotted to me, I am not going to talk about the actions of the Zionists; they will be adequately dealt with by others. As a Jew, I plan to discuss Zionism, which is rebellion against G-d and treason to the Jewish people.

To begin with, a few definitions: Who is a Jew? A Jew is anyone who has a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism in conformity with Halacha, Jewish religious law. This definition alone excludes racism. Judaism does not seek converts, but those who do convert are accepted on a basis of equality. Let us see how far this goes. Some of the most eminent and respected rabbis were converts to Judaism. Jewish parents throughout the world bless their children every Sabbath and holiday eve, and they have done it in the same way for millennia. If the children are girls, the blessing is, "May G-d let you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah." Not one of these matriarchs was born a Jewess; they were all converts to Judaism. If the children are boys, the blessing is, "May G-d let you be like Ephraim and Menashe." The mother of these two was an Egyptian woman who became Jewish and had married Joseph. Moses himself, the greatest Jew who ever lived, married a Midianite woman who became Jewish. Finally, the Tenach, the holy writings of the Jew, contains the book of Ruth. This woman was not only not Jewish by birth, but she came from the Moabites, traditional enemies of the Jewish people. This book describes Ruth's conversion to Judaism and is read annually on the holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah, the "Law," i.e. the Pentateuch. At its very end, the book of Ruth traces the ancestry of King David, the greatest king the Jews ever had, to Ruth, his great-grandmother.

Apart from the Zionists, the only ones who consistently considered the Jews a race were the Nazis. And they only served to prove the stupidity and irrationality of racism. There was no way to prove racially whether a Mrs. Muller or a Mr. Meyer were Jews or Aryans (the Nazi term for non-Jewish Germans. The only way to decide whether a person was Jewish was to trace the religious affiliation of the parents or grandparents. So much for the this racial nonsense.

Racial pride has been the downfall of those Jews in the past who were blinded by their own narrow-minded chauvinism. This brings us to a second definition. Is there a Jewish people? If so, what is its mission? Let us make this completely clear: The Jewish nation was not born or reconstituted a generation ago by some Zionist politicians. The Jewish nation was born on Mount Sinai when the Jews by their response, "let us do and let us hear," adopted the Torah given to them by G-d for all future generations. `This day you become a people," though valid still today, was spoken thousands of years ago.

According to Jewish tradition, there are seven Noachide laws which apply to all human beings. Then there are the Ten Commandments which form basic standard of morality and conduct for adherents of all monotheistic religions. In addition to these, there are 613 laws obligatory for Jews, and every Jew has to observe those which are applicable to him or her according to Halacha. It is the carrying out of these mitzvoth, "commandments," which constitutes the essence of being Jewish, and therefore of the Jewish people and their covenant with G-d.

In what way are the Jews a "chosen people"? Every Jewish man anywhere and at any time when called to the reading of the Torah says, "Who has chosen us from all the peoples and gave us His Torah." This is the way in which the Jews are chosen. The Jewish people are chosen not for domination over others, not for conquest or warfare, but to serve G-d and thus to serve mankind. "And the hands are the hands of Esau," has been traditionally interpreted to mean that while "the voice is Jacob's," the hands- - symbolizing violence - are Esau's. Thus physical violence is not a tradition or a value of the Jews. The task for which the Jewish people were chosen is not to set an example of military superiority or technical achievements, but to seek perfection in moral behavior and spiritual purity. Of all the crimes of political Zionism, the worst and most basic, and which explains all its other misdeeds, is that from its beginning Zionism has sought to separate the Jewish people from their G-d, to render the divine covenant null and void, and to substitute a "modern" statehood and fraudulent sovereignty for the lofty ideals of the Jewish people.

One means of misleading many Jews and all too many non-Jews is the Zionist misuse of names and symbols sacred in Judaism. They use the holy name Israel for their Zionist state. They have named their land acquisition fund with a term that traditionally implies the reward for piety, good deeds, and charitable work. They have adopted as a state symbol the menorah (candlebrum). What hypocrisy, what perversion it is to have the Israeli army fight under an emblem, the meaning of which is explained in the Tenach (on the occasion of a previous return to the Holy Land) as, "not with armed force and not with power, but in My spirit says the Lord of Hosts."

The infamous founder of political Zionism, may his name be cursed, who only discovered his own Jewishness because of anti-Semitism displayed at the Dreyfus trial in France, proposed various solutions to what he called the "Jewish problem." At one point he proposed to resettle the Jews in Uganda. At another he proposed to convert them to Catholicism. He finally hit on the idea of a Judenstaat, an exclusive Jewish state. Thus from its very beginning Zionism was a result of Anti-Semitism and indeed is completely compatible with it, because Zionists and anti-Semites had (and have) a common goal: To bring all Jews from their places of domicile to the Zionist state, thus uprooting Jewish communities that had existed for hundreds and even thousands of years. Loyalty to the Zionist state was substituted for loyalty to G-d, and the state was made into the modern "golden calf". Belief in the Torah and fulfillment of religious obligations in Zionist eyes became a private matter and not a duty for every Jew or for the Jewish people. The Zionists made divine law subject to party or parliamentary votes, and they set their own standards of conduct and ethics.

Neither the founder of political Zionism nor any of the prime ministers of the Zionist state believed in the divine origin of the Torah nor even in the existence of G-d. All prime ministers were members of a party that opposed religion in principle and that considered the Bible a document of ancient folklore, devoid of any religious meaning. And yet these same Zionists base their claim to the Holy Land on this same Bible, the divine origin of which they deny. At the same time they conveniently forget the Jewish holiday prayer "and for our sins have we been exiled from our land," and ignore the fact that the present exile of the Jewish people is divinely decreed and that the Jewish people are neither commanded nor permitted to conquer or rule the Holy Land before the coming of the Messiah. The Jewish people do, of course, recognize special spiritual ties to that land they call it Eretz Yisrael. Every morning, afternoon, and evening, and night they mention it and Zion and Jerusalem in their prayers, and indeed a Jew does not sit down to a meal without doing likewise. To the Jew, the very soil of the Holy Land is different from that of any other spot on this globe, and wherever he is he turns his face toward Jerusalem during prayers. To live in the Holy Land or even to be buried there was always considered to be of high merit.

This love of the land and the Jewish longing for a return to it and for the coming of the Messiah have been exploited innumerable times during the past 2,000 years. Zionism has had many precursors and each has been a curse for the Jews. Individuals who proclaimed themselves the Messiah and messianic movements have sprung up from time to time, from the Roman era through the Middle Ages and down to the modern Zionists. Many of these pseudo-Messiahs posed as rabbis or as national leaders, though some of them eventually professed other faiths; many temporarily - some for longer periods - succeeded in misleading Jews, rabbis, and entire Jewish communities. All were in due course exposed and recognized as frauds, and those who had set their hope on them found only disappointment and all too often disaster.

In the early stages of the development of modern Zionism, the Mizrachi was founded, an organization of so-called religious Zionists who tried to combine their faith with political Zionism. This led to constant conflict between the dictates of divine law and the demands of Jewish nationalism. Most of the time, the Mizrachi was outvoted at Zionist congresses and served only to give the Zionist movement a false religious aura. Whenever expediency called for it, these "religious" Zionist fellow-travelers have been used by the Zionist government to underpin national claims with "religious" authority. The National Religious Party in the Zionist state has been well rewarded for giving its stamp of approval to nationalistic measures and enactments, whether these rewards were of financial nature or in the form of cabinet or other government posts. The chauvinism of these religious Zionists frequently exceeded that of other Zionists, and it was always couched in religious terms - a prime example of the abuse of religion. The fraudulence of these "religious" Zionists was demonstrated during the past year when it was revealed that two of their world leaders had committed million-dollar thefts.

A Jewish world organization was founded in 1912 on the German-Polish border with the specific purpose of fighting Zionism. This organization, Agudath Israel, "Union of Israel," was to represent the true Jewish people in the world and to unmask the unwarranted and unjust claims of the Zionists. Rabbis everywhere joined Agudath Israel, as did masses of observant Jews. Anti-Zionist congresses were convened in Vienna and in Marienbad. In countries such as Poland, Agudists were members of parliament. Under Agudah leadership more than 50 years ago, Jews in the Holy Land opposed to Zionism obtained permission from Britain, the mandatory power in Palestine, to declare in writing that they did not wish to be represented by the Zionists or any of their groups, particularly not by the Zionist quasi-governmental organizations such as the Va'ad Leumi, "National Council."

Shortly thereafter, Jacob de Haan, a former distinguished Dutch diplomat who was then leader of Agudath Israel in Palestine, initiated talks with Arab leaders with a view toward the eventual establishments of a state there in which Jews and Arabs would have equal rights. In this way he hoped to forestall the creation of a Zionist state. Despite threats to his life, de Haan, fully aware of the ultimate dangers of a Zionist state, continued his talks and negotiations. On the eve of his departure in 1924 for Britain to meet with authorities there, he was assassinated by the Haganah, the Zionist paramilitary force, in the center of Jerusalem as he came from evening prayers. More than a half a century ago, this devout and visionary Jew gave his life in a fight that he considered paramount, at a time when the world at large was still blind and deaf to the difficulties and problems that a future Zionist state would entail.

As a result of such terrorism and increasing Zionist pressure, Agudath Israel gradually began to weaken and to compromise. During the Nazi period, it entered indo deals and arrangements with the Zionists, despite the fact that its fundamental aim had been to combat Zionism. After the Zionist state was established, Agudath Israel broke off with its past, participated in the Zionist government on the cabinet level and elected Agudists to the Zionist parliament. Still professing a nominal anti-Zionism, Agudath Israel established a network of "independent" schools in the Holy Land, but today the overwhelming part of the budget of these schools comes from the Zionist government.

In view of these developments, those Jews who wanted to continue the fight against Zionism without any compromise left Agudath Israel and constituted themselves as the Neturei Karta, an Aramaic phrase meaning "Guardians of the City," i.e. the city of Jerusalem. The Neturei Karta in turn became a worldwide movement, known in some places as "Friends of Jerusalem."

The greatest leader of the Neturei Karta was Rabbi Amram Blau, an inspired and dedicated leader whose compassion equaled his courage. He could not keep silent in the face of injustice, immorality, or hypocrisy. He was beloved by Jews and respected by Christians and Muslims. Born in Jerusalem, he never left the Holy Land during his entire life. In his writings he stressed many times that Jews and Arabs had lived in harmony until the advent of political Zionism. Rabbi Blau was imprisoned in Jerusalem, not by the Ottoman authorities, not by the British, and not by the Arabs, but by the Zionists. What was his crime? He defended with vigor and honesty, without regard for his own safety, the holy character of Jerusalem against the "innovations" and encroachments of the Zionists. He fought for the sanctity of the Sabbath and actively opposed the inroads of indecency and immorality made under the Zionist regime. Unceasingly he denounced the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah as an acct of infamy and blasphemy. Under his leadership, the Neturei Karta declared year after year that they did not recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state or the validity of its laws.

During the first period of fighting between the Zionist state and the Arabs, the rabbis of the Neturei Karta went toward the combat lines, carrying a white flag, and stated that they wanted no part in this war and that they were absolutely opposed to the creation of a Zionist state. In his last proclamation, Rabbi Blau deplored the actions of the Zionists against the Muslim and Christian Palestinians and the grievous harm done by the Zionists to the Jewish people in endeavoring to change them from "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" to a modern state, devoid of spiritual foundation, based on chauvinism, built on conquest, and relying on military prowess. "The number of your cities constitute your gods," the prophet Jeremiah had thundered to the chauvinist and idolatrous Jewish government of this day. Like it, the Zionists are now establishing a new status quo and expanding their position by founding new settlements in he territories occupied since 1967.

Rabbi Blau in his last statement severely condemned the UN for recognizing and accepting as a member the Zionist state, thus giving the Zionists unprecedented prestige and power. It is high time that the anti-Zionist nations listen to him, heed his plea, and undo this great wrong and correct this fatal error. It is well known that no action was taken concerning the expulsion of the Zionist state because of the fear that financial support for the UN would be withdrawn. Let those states, opposed to Zionism, who have become affluent during the past generation, show that they mean what they say by offering to replace any financial loss the UN may suffer as a consequence, and let the member states vote their conscience without fear and regardless of any intimidation.

There has been times before in Jewish history, as related in the Bible, when the masses were misled and only a minority of Jews clung to the true mission of the Jewish people. One of the first such of the occasions was the worship of the golden calf; today we unfortunately see a repetition of this, with the Zionist state now being the object of worship. Until the appearance and growing influence of political Zionism, Jewish leaders were chosen on the basis of their piety, decency, learning, and their love of justice and mercy. Today only too often so-called Jewish leaders, completely unqualified under Jewish law and traditional concepts, make pronouncements and decisions in the name and on behalf of the Jewish people. This is particularly true in the USA where there is the largest Jewish community in our time. I can never forget the remark of a woman in Oklahoma: "Isn't today's Judaism wonderful! All you have to do is give money."

Even at his death Rabbi Blau refuted the Zionists who had often claimed that the Neturei Karta was nothing but an insignificant sect of a few hundred souls. Yet when Rabbi Blau died in Jerusalem on a Friday morning two years ago, a few hours later no fewer than 22,000 men attended his funeral.

At all times in the past, the misleaders of the Jews have sooner or later fallen by the wayside, and only those who upheld the validity of the Torah and the Talmud (the written and oral law) and of Halachah, and who resisted the demagogues, prevailed. The Neturei Karta follow in this tradition. They continue as a living rebuke to Zionism and speak in our time for the true Jewish people, those who have not been misled by Zionism.

During the Roman conquest of the Holy Land, there were Jews who on the basis of nationalism and racial pride were sure that they could not lose a war. They, like the Zionists of our day, were opposed to any compromise or settlement; there were determined to fight to the end. At that time, however almost 2,000 years ago, the fore most rabbi, Rabbi Yochanan ben Sakkai, chose a different way. The military adventurers prevented him from leaving beleaguered Jerusalem to negotiate with the Romans, so the rabbi had himself carried out in a coffin by his disciples to the Roman headquarters. He said to the Romans that the Jews need neither an army nor weapons and asked for permission to establish a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school, at Yavneh. It was this religious school, and not the militarists or generals of the time, that helped to perpetuate Judaism and the identity of the Jewish people.

It must be stated explicitly that while not all Jews are Zionists, not all Zionists are Jews. The motives of some of these non-Jewish Zionists, e.g. Lord Balfour and General Smuts, are at least open to question. From the beginning of the Zionist movement, some of the most articulate and fervent Zionists have been Christian clergymen, especially "fundamentalists," who hail Zionism as an important "religious" movement and welcome it as a fulfillment of prophecy. They also, and significantly, serve the cause of Zionism.

One of the basic aims of Zionism is aliyah, the immigration to the Zionist state of Jews from all countries. Nevertheless, during the past few years hundreds of thousands of Israelis have outgathered themselves from the Zionist paradise, and American Jews have "voted with their feet" and have chosen not to be ingathered. These Jews recognize that the Zionist state is in fact nothing but a giant ghetto.

Instead of being able to render assistance to Jewish communities in other countries, American Jews have been mobilized to concentrate on helping the Zionist state, making the USA the real and major source of Zionist power and influence. The Zionists, true to the nature of their movement, rely on technical superiority and on a forbidding military deterrent - provided largely by the USA - for their security.

Nothing could be farther from the true ideals of the Jewish people. The Jewish people were chosen in the first place "for you are the leas of all nations." As the Psalm says, "they rely on vehicles and horsepower, but we invoke the name of the Eternal, our G-d."

One most vital point deserves mention. A former president of the World Zionist Organization has stated explicitly that a Zionist owes unqualified loyalty to the Zionist state and that, in the case of a conflict, the first loyalty of a Zionist must be to the Zionist state. According to Jewish law, however, a Jew owes allegiance and loyalty to the country of which he is a citizen, and, of course, no faithful Jews owes any loyalty or allegiance to the Zionist state which has been condemned by the foremost rabbis of our age.

It is not my purpose to detail how Zionism should be dealt with. Let me state, however, that isolated or spontaneous acts against individuals or the mere adoption of resolutions in the UN or elsewhere are not effective means of bringing an end to Zionism. Let me state also that the battle against Zionism must be waged first, not on the shores of the Mediterranean, but in Zionism's most powerful bastion -- the USA>

As an American citizen, I deplore that our government and our politicians have adopted an attitude that is in complete contradiction to the advice of the father of our country George Washington. Instead of shying away from foreign entanglements and permanent alliances with foreign powers, the establishment in Washington has embraced Zionism so wholeheartedly that in the eyes any criticism of the Zionist state and any opposition to political Zionism in the UN by any nation has become a punishable offense. And the docile American media do not dare to speak out against such an absurdity.

Unfortunately, thus far, each year sees still further gains in influence by American Zionists. This fact has made possible events and developments that were unthinkable even ten years ago. It takes a lot of courage to be opposed to Zionism in the USA today. It also took a lot of courage during the Second World War to be anti-Fascist in Italy or anti-Nazi in Germany. In the long run Zionism is nothing but a passing aberration in the long history of the Jewish people and of the world.

Let us take faith and hope in the certainty that eventually prejudice, hatred, and injustice will disappear, and that the prophecy will come true that all nations of the world will participate in the pilgrimage to Jerusalem "for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Feb 25, 2013 7:01am
Dec 2, 2012

__PCU //\_Free Assembly Project____
          St.Louis MO -
_//\_________________________________an Association of Volunteers__/
    12 November 2012                ~ A Torrid Commentary ~
     To:   St. Louis Allies & Lawyers
     Re:   'Occupy' Rights & Loser Law ~
               Back-Talking the Slack on the Takedown's Anniversary
    The big bust & takedown of Occupy St. Louis was a year ago
today, in the wee hours:
A large force of Police moved in on Kiener Plaza, forced out most
participants and arrested 27 who remained, then stood in phalanx at
the perimeter as Parks personnel broke down the whole camp and
trucked it all away.  In fact the operation commenced the prior
afternoon, Veterans Day 11/11/11, presupposing that a flimsy
last-minute TRO filing to stop it in federal court would fail.
       It was a done deal before the late ruling came down... only the
final formalities, busts & seizures pushed past midnight, as a crowd
protested but the rest of the city slept -- including you.
    That day should be remembered darkly as a demise of civil
liberties in St. Louis, and a failure of its 'rights community' to
protect Public Assembly & Speech.  Through the preceding weeks it was
made inevitable by the blithe disregard of lawyers & activists who
claim to know and care about such things, but could not grasp the
situation or muster any proactive response.  I know this because our
organization was on the ground, getting the facts and foretelling the
End-Game from the start:
Letter to City: "First Amendment Notice" - 5oc11
to Parks Dept., 1no11 - "The 10/28 Draft Permit, as Proposed"           I tried to engage cooperation, and got none... the mute absence
of known legal players telegraphed weakness in support, and Occupy
St.L was a sitting duck when the showdown came.
    Through the ensuing months more opportunities have been blown
-- foremost the "Vigil for Economic Justice" initiative, crafted to
regain the constitutional high ground.  We informed attorneys in
these circles and sought able support from the outset:  The 3
proponents were committed to this honored form of expression, and
knew the need to set it up in accord with permit standards in public
Parks -- either for authorization to proceed, or for any
constitutional recourse if denied.  Their proposal was sound, and the
unfolding facts were optimal for an 'as-applied' challenge, but they
got no timely help going in as special use Applicants, nor reliable
counsel in bringing claims to court.
       Still they persisted and made a full record in their ambitious
move to join (and save) the failed TRO case in Federal court.  When
the judge called for this to be filed as a separate case, all the
documents  were fully prepared or easily adapted... then in seeking
new representation, they have put these ready filings on the table,
valuable stuff.  This is the best Assembly case in the country,
positioned to redeem past losses and make important First Amendment
law.  Yet the vaunted 'civil liberals' in St. Louis seem unable to
read or discuss it -- much less comprehend it, endorse it, or
actually assist.
    A year later, public dissent has been swept from the parks...
the long-awaited citizen debate on Wall Street and our Economy is
unfulfilled, and expression on common ground is suppressed.
For people aspiring to democratic discourse & reform, it is
demoralizing to see rights curtailed and nothing done about it;  for
acclaimed legal advocates, it is a perilous course of inaction:
       The vain and fractious neglect of these issues leaves political
speech chilled in fear of arrest and reprisal, and the public forum
under de facto closure.  In St. Louis, the emboldened Police stepped
on the 'Occupy Midwest Conference' with violence last March... a
strict Curfew has been newly posted in City Parks, and gatherings
draw surveillance.  This is supposed to be the 'new normal' in First
Amendment policy -- repugnant to the Constitution, unacceptable in
the public interest.
    My mom taught me to do the right thing, and my dad taught me
to do it right... and when the right thing must be done right, both
said Don't Quit.  So did the great Arthur Kinoy, to me personally and
whenever it came to Constitutional endeavors:::  his career is
examplary of "Law for the People" with defiance and guts, and
stepping up in decisive moments of need.  407 U.S. 297 (1972).
    Any of you might still step up for the 'Vigil' case in St.
Louis... others could critique it and give input as-needed, or at
least show support.  The pleadings are set forth for peer review,
seeking a consensus on its legal worth and feasibility, to break
through this stalemate & sad paradox:
       This case was launched to galvanize the rights community on the
real issues of public assembly, in an effective fight... instead it
has only exposed our unpreparedness and divisions, so far.
    An intelligent and civil conversation can commence at any
time -- but not for long, because this opportunity will not outlast
statutory limits, or more lazy dithering.  If it is lost, things will
get more stupid and uncivil, all around... with basic liberties at
stake, it's better to be right than polite.
        Gut check, RSVP, hard reckonings encouraged.
        In service...
            _scott c. addison__

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Posted: Dec 2, 2012 6:28am
Jul 25, 2012

NOAM CHOMSKY ranks among the leading intellectual figures of modern times. He has changed the way we think about what it means to be human, gaining a position in the history of ideas – at least according to his supporters – comparable with that of Darwin or Descartes. Since launching his intellectual assault against the academic orthodoxies of the 1950s, he has succeeded – almost single-handedly – in revolutionizing linguistics and establishing it as a modern science.
Noam Chomsky: Politics or Science?

 by Chris Knight

NOAM CHOMSKY ranks among the leading intellectual figures of modern times. He has changed the way we think about what it means to be human, gaining a position in the history of ideas – at least according to his supporters – comparable with that of Darwin or Descartes. Since launching his intellectual assault against the academic orthodoxies of the 1950s, he has succeeded – almost single-handedly – in revolutionizing linguistics and establishing it as a modern science.

Such victories, however, have come at a cost. The stage was set for the ensuing ‘Linguistics Wars’[i] when Chomsky – at that time a young anarchist – published his first book. He might as well have thrown a bomb. ‘The extraordinary and traumatic impact of the publication of Syntactic Structures by Noam Chomsky in 1957’, recalls one witness,[ii] ‘can hardly be appreciated by one who did not live through this upheaval.’ From that moment, the battles have continued to rage.

1.01 ‘Command and control’

How could a technical book on syntax have produced such dramatic effects? By his own admission, the author knew little about the world’s different languages. Indeed, he outraged traditionalists by claiming he didn’t need to know. Chomsky was not interested in documenting linguistic diversity. Neither did he care about the relationship between language and human thought or social life. As far as his opponents could see, he was not really interested in linguistics at all. He seemed to be more interested in computers.

Chomsky’s research was conducted in a laboratory funded mainly by the US military – the ‘Research Laboratory of Electronics’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The preface to Syntactic Structures concludes:

‘This work was supported in part by the U.S.A. Army (Signal Corps), the Air Force (Office of Scientific Research, Air Research and Development Command), and the Navy (Office of Naval Research); and in part by the National Science Foundation and the Eastman Kodak Corporation.’[iii]

Two large defence grants subsequently went directly to generativist – that is, Chomskyan – research in university linguistics departments – one to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-1960s and the other, a few years later, to the University of California Los Angeles. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax contains this acknowledgment:

‘The research reported in this document was made possible in part by support extended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Laboratory of Electronics, by the Joint Services Electronics Programs (U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force) under Contract No. DA36-039-AMC-03200(E); additional support was received from the U.S. Air Force (Electronic Systems Division under Contract AF19(628)-2487), the National Science Foundation (Grant GP-2495), the National Institutes of Health (Grant MH-04737-04), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Grant NsG-496).’[iv]

Several questions arise. Why did Chomsky – an outspoken anarchist and antimilitarist – take the money? Secondly, what did the military think they were buying? Both questions are sharpened by the fact that MIT at this time had no tradition in linguistics. This confronts us with a third puzzle: why was such military investment not directed to an institution with a proven record in linguistic research?

Explaining his decision to choose MIT, Chomsky recalls that he felt in no mood to serve an established department of linguistics. He needed somewhere where original thinking could be freely explored:

‘I had no prospects in a university that had a tradition in any field related to linguistics, whether it was anthropology, or whatever, because the work that I was doing was simply not recognized as related to that field – maybe rightly. Furthermore, I didn’t have real professional credentials in the field. I’m the first to admit that. And therefore I ended up in an electronics laboratory. I don’t know how to handle anything more complicated than a tape recorder, and not even that, but I’ve been in an electronics laboratory for the last thirty years, largely because there were no vested interests there and the director, Jerome Wiesner, was willing to take a chance on some odd ideas that looked as if they might be intriguing. It was several years, in fact, before there was any public, any professional community with which I could have an interchange of ideas in what I thought of as my own field, apart from a few friends. The talks that I gave in the 1950s were usually at computer centers, psychology seminars, and other groups outside of what was supposed to be my field’.[v]

As for the military, they anticipated some practical value in Chomsky’s theoretical agenda. In a 1971 interview,[vi] Colonel Edmund P. Gaines explained:

‘The Air Force has an increasingly large investment in so called “command and control” computer systems. Such systems contain information about the status of our forces and are used in planning and executing military operations. For example, defense of the continental United States against air and missile attack is possible in part because of the use of such computer systems. And of course, such systems support our forces in Vietnam.

The data in such systems is processed in response to questions and requests by commanders. Since the computer cannot ‘understand’ English, the commanders’ queries must be translated into a language that the computer can deal with; such languages resemble English very little, either in their form or in the ease with which they are learned and used. Command and control systems would be easier to use, and it would be easier to train people to use them, if this translation were not necessary. We sponsored linguistic research in order to learn how to build command and control systems that could understand English queries directly.’

Chomsky’s followers were by then engaged in just such a project at the University of California Los Angeles, prompting Colonel Gaines to comment:

‘Of course, studies like the UCLA study are but the first step toward achieving this goal. It does seem clear, however, that the successful operation of such systems will depend on insights gained from linguistic research ....’

The colonel went on to express the Air Force’s ‘satisfaction’ with UCLA’s work.

 1.02 Versions of the machine

On the eve of the computer age, Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures excited and inspired a new generation of linguists because it chimed in with the spirit of the times. Younger scholars were becoming impatient with linguistics conceived as the accumulation of empirical facts about locally variable linguistic forms and traditions. Chomsky promised simplification by reducing language to a mechanical ‘device’ whose design could be precisely specified. Linguistics was no longer to be tarnished by association with ‘unscientific’ disciplines such as anthropology or sociology. Avoiding the obscurities of sociocultural or psychosocial studies, linguistics would be redefined as the study of a ‘natural object’ – the specialised module of the brain which (according to Chomsky) was responsible for speech. Excluding social factors and thereby transcending mere politics and ideology, the reconstructed discipline would at last qualify as a natural science akin to mathematics and physics.

If a theory is sufficiently powerful and simple, said Chomsky, it should radically reduce the amount of knowledge needed to understand the relevant data. As he explains:

‘In fact, the amount that you have to know in a field is not at all correlated with the success of the field. Maybe it’s even inversely related because the more success there is, in a sense, the less you have to know. You just have to understand; you have to understand more, but maybe know less.’[vii]

Syntactic Structures infuriated established linguists – and delighted as many iconoclasts – because its message was that much of the profession’s work had been a waste of time. Why laboriously collect concrete, detailed observations as to how the world’s variegated languages are spoken, if a simplifying short-cut is available? In an ice-cool, starkly logical argument that magisterially brushed aside most current linguistic theory, Syntactic Structures evaluated some conceivable ways of constructing the ultimate ‘language machine’:

‘Suppose we have a machine that can be in anyone of a finite number of different internal states .... the machine begins in the initial state, runs through a sequence of states (producing a word with each transition), and ends in the final state. Then we call the sequence of words that has been produced a ‘sentence’. Each such machine thus defines a certain language; namely the set of sentences that can be produced in this way’.[viii]

As his argument unfolds, Chomsky rules out this first, crude design for his envisaged machine – it clearly wouldn’t work. By a process of elimination, he then progressively narrows the range of designs which – on purely theoretical grounds – ought to work. Thrillingly, Chomsky opens up the prospect of discovering in effect ‘the philosopher’s stone’: the design specifications of a ‘device’ capable of generating grammatical sentences (and only grammatical ones) not only in English but in any language spoken (or capable of being spoken) on earth.

Syntactic Structures itself, as it happened, proved unequal to the extraordinary task. Aware of this, Chomsky in his next book proposed a completely different design for his machine – variously known as the Aspects model or as the Standard Theory. This in turn, however, had to be abandoned when mathematical linguists Stanley Peters and Robert Ritchie[ix] demonstrated that the class of grammars described by the new model was so all-encompassing as to be vacuous. A device built in such a way, they showed, would be quite extraordinarily stupid. In fact, it would be unable to distinguish between (a) any conceivable list of strings of symbols (say, all the decimal places of π, divided into arbitrary sequences and enumerated by value of the products of their digits) and (b) a list of actual strings used by humans for expressing themselves in, say, English.[x] As one critic put it, attempting to use Chomsky’s new model would be like having ‘a biological theory which failed to characterize the difference between raccoons and lightbulbs’.[xi]

Responding to all this in the early 1970s, Chomsky introduced a number of changes, offering what became known as the Extended Standard Theory, or EST. By the late 1970s, further changes seemed required, leading to the Revised Extended Standard Theory, or REST. Realising that this was still unsatisfactory, in 1981 Chomsky published his Lectures on Government and Binding,[xii] which swept away much of the apparatus of earlier transformational theories in favour of a much more complex approach. In its ‘Principles and Parameters’ incarnation, the language machine becomes a box of switches linked to connecting wires:

‘We can think of the initial state of the faculty of language as a fixed network connected to a switch box; the network is constituted of the principles of language, while the switches are the options to be determined by experience. When the switches are set one way, we have Swahili; when they are set another way, we have Japanese. Each possible human language is identified as a particular setting of the switches – a setting of parameters, in technical terminology. If the research program succeeds, we should be able literally to deduce Swahili from one choice of settings, Japanese from another, and so on through the languages that humans can acquire’.[xiii]

Without abandoning this extraordinary dream, Chomsky has since jettisoned most of the specifics in favour of yet another attempted solution – known as the ‘Minimalist Programme’.[xiv] It is hard not to suspect that should this in turn be discarded, the patience of even Chomsky’s most ardent supporters may run out.

1.03 Linguistics as physics

To his academic colleagues in the humanities and social sciences, Chomsky’s programme has caused predictable astonishment, exasperation and even outrage. How could Chomsky imagine it possible – even in principle – to construct a ‘device’ enabling scientists to ‘deduce’ the languages currently or historically spoken across the world?

In replying to such critics, Chomsky accuses them of misunderstanding science. To do science, Chomsky explains, ‘you must abstract some object of study, you must eliminate those factors which are not pertinent...’[xv] The linguist cannot study humans articulating their thoughts under concrete social or historical conditions. Instead, you must replace reality with an abstract model. ‘Linguistic theory’, Chomsky declares, ‘is primarily concerned with an ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogenous speech-community, who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge of the language in actual performance.’[xvi] In this deliberately simplified model, children acquire language in an instant.[xvii] The evolution of language is also instantaneous.[xviii] The meanings of words – even historically recent ones such as ‘bureaucrat’ or ‘carburetor’ – are not socially constructed, having long ago been encoded in our genes.[xix] The function of language is not social communication but ‘inner speech’ – clarifying thoughts by talking to oneself [xx]. Speech is the natural, autonomous output of a dedicated computational mechanism – the ‘language organ’ – located in a special region of the individual human brain.

The linguist is therefore ‘a scientist who regards people as “natural objects” and their use of language a part of nature, to be studied in a familiar way’.[xxi] ‘The study of language falls naturally within human biology’.[xxii] However, this is not biology as normally understood. Discussing the evolution of speech, Chomsky suggests: ‘The answers may well lie not so much in the theory of natural selection as in molecular biology, in the study of what kinds of physical systems can develop under the conditions of life on earth and why, ultimately because of physical principles.’[xxiii]

Language’s features may be ‘simply emergent physical properties of a brain that reaches a certain level of complexity under the specific conditions of human evolution’.[xxiv] More recently, Chomsky has speculated that ‘ ... a mutation took place in the genetic instructions for the brain, which was then reorganized in accord with the laws of physics and chemistry to install a faculty of language’.[xxv] This faculty is so unlike anything else known to biology that it cannot have evolved in the normal way. In fact, something quite mysterious must have happened. ‘To tell a fairy story about it, it is almost as if there was some higher primate wandering around a long time ago and some random mutation took place, maybe after some strange cosmic ray shower, and it reorganized the brain, implanting a language organ in an otherwise primate brain’.[xxvi] The result was a faculty whose design appears so perfect as to match what would be expected of ‘a divine architect’.[xxvii] 

For Chomsky, linguistics can aspire to the precision of physics for a simple reason – language itself is a ‘natural object’.[xxviii] As such, it approximates to a &lsquoerfect system’ – an optimal solution to the problem of relating sound and meaning. Biologists, according to Chomsky, don’t expect perfection – but physicists do. He explains: ‘In the study of the inorganic world, for mysterious reasons, it has been a valuable heuristic to assume that things are very elegant and beautiful.’ Chomsky continues:

‘Recent work suggests that language is surprisingly &lsquoerfect’ in this sense .... Insofar as that is true, language seems unlike other objects of the biological world, which are typically a rather messy solution to some class of problems, given the physical constraints and the materials that history and accident have made available.’[xxix]

Language, according to Chomsky, lacks the messiness we would expect of an accumulation of accidents made good by evolutionary ‘tinkering’. Characterised by beauty bordering on perfection, Chomsky’s postulated object is biology – yet not biology as we know it.

It is easy to understand why computer programmers and engineers might find it useful to treat language as a mechanical ‘device’. If, say, the aim were to construct an electronic command-and-control system for military use, then traditional linguistics would clearly be inadequate. Such engineers would need a version of language stripped free of ‘meanings’ in any human emotional or cultural sense, cleansed of politics – and stripped also of poetry, humour or anything else not accessible to a machine.

But military figures such as Colonel Gaines were not the only people hoping to benefit from the new approach. What of Chomsky’s other institutional sources of support? And what about his own fiercely anti-militarist, anarchosyndicalist politics? How did anticapitalist revolution connect with the ‘revolution’ Chomsky inaugurated in linguistics? Indeed, can the two sides of Chomsky’s output be reconciled at all? Was the young anarchist tailoring his theories to meet the requirements of his military sponsors – forcing us, perhaps, to question the sincerity of his anarchosyndicalist commitments? Or did he believe he was taking the money – refusing to let this influence his scientific results – in order to secure the best possible position from which to promote the anarchist cause?

 1.04 Chomsky’s politics

Born in 1928 in Philadelphia, Chomsky describes himself as ‘a child of the Depression’.[xxx] ‘Some of my earliest memories’, he reminisces, ‘which are very vivid, are of people selling rags at our door, of violent police strikebreaking, and other Depression scenes.’ He recalls looking out from a trolley car window as it passed a textile factory whose workforce had set up a picket line:

‘It was mostly women, and they were getting pretty brutally beaten up by the cops. I could see that much. Some of them were tearing off their clothes. I didn’t understand that. The idea was to try to cut back the violence. It made quite an impression. I can’t claim that I understood what was happening, but I sort of got the general idea. What I didn’t understand was explained to me .... My family had plenty of unemployed workers and union activists and political activists and so on. So you knew what a picket line was and what it meant for the forces of the employers to come in there swinging clubs and breaking it up’.[xxxi]

Chomsky’s politics, then, didn’t have to be learned from books.

Between the ages of two and twelve, Chomsky attended the Oak Lane County Day School in Philadelphia. This was an experimental progressive school which sought to foster non-competitive creativity. Chomsky remembers that the teaching here produced ‘a lively atmosphere’ in which ‘the sense was that everybody was doing something important’. Each child ‘was regarded as somehow being a very successful student’:

‘It wasn’t that they were a highly select group of students. In fact, it was the usual mixture in such a school, with some gifted students and some problem children who had dropped out of the public schools. But nevertheless, at least as a child, that was the sense that one had – that, if competing at all, you were competing with yourself. What can I do? But no sense of strain about it and certainly no sense of relative ranking’.[xxxii]

On later entering a city high school, Chomsky was shocked to discover that none of this was considered normal. In other schools, apparently, competitive dynamics were encouraged and personal creativity suppressed. Chomsky comments:

‘That’s what schooling generally is, I suppose. It’s a period of regimentation and control, part of which involves direct indoctrination, providing a system of false beliefs. But more importantly, I think, is the manner and style of preventing and blocking independent and creative thinking and imposing hierarchies and competitiveness and the need to excel, not in the sense of doing as well as you can, but doing better than the next person.’[xxxiii]

Chomsky here identifies the educational philosophy he would resist throughout his life. Chomsky’s real education, however, came less from school than from a lively intellectual culture dominated by the radical Jewish intelligentsia of New York. It was, he recalls, a

‘working-class culture with working-class values, solidarity, socialist values, etc. Within that it varied from communist party to radical semi-anarchist critique of Bolshevism .... But that was only a part of it. People were having intensive debates about Stekel’s version of Freudian theory, a lot of discussions about literature and music, what did you think of the latest Budapest String Quartet concert, or Schnabel’s version of a Beethoven sonata vs. somebody else’s version’.[xxxiv]

At an early age, Chomsky was affected by the outcome of the Spanish civil war. ‘The first article I wrote was an editorial in the school newspaper on the fall of Barcelona , a few weeks after my tenth birthday’.[xxxv] He describes the defeat as ‘a big issue in my life at the time’.[xxxvi] Referring to events in Germany and Italy after World War I and in Spain in 1936, Chomsky comments:

‘The anarchosyndicalists, at least, took very seriously Bakunin’s remark that the workers’ organizations must create “not only the ideas but also the acts of the future itself” in the pre-revolutionary period. The accomplishments of the popular revolution in Spain, in particular, were based on the patient work of many years of organization and education, one component of a long tradition of commitment and militancy. And workers’ organizations existed with the structure, the experience, and the understanding to undertake the task of social reconstruction when, with Franco’s coup, the turmoil of early 1936 exploded into social revolution’.[xxxvii]

By his twelfth birthday, Chomsky had already rejected the politics of the Communist Party. Inspired by Barcelona’s anarchists, he adopted their defeated cause and in subsequent years has never abandoned it.

Chomsky rejected not only Stalinism but also Leninism, which he associated with elitist attempts at indoctrination of the people. The Spanish anarchists, he felt, didn’t try to educate the masses by imposing a rigid ideology from above. They believed in self-organization and everyone’s capacity – once personally and politically liberated – to contribute to the revolutionary cause. ‘I do not doubt’, Chomsky writes, ‘that it is a fundamental human need to take an active part in the democratic control of social institutions.’[xxxviii] The ‘fundamental human capacity’, in his view, ‘is the capacity and the need for creative self-expression, for free control of all aspects of one’s life and thought’.[xxxix] Contemporary capitalist society ensures rewards for the more selfish tendencies in human nature. ‘A different society’, however,

‘might be organized in such a way that human feelings and emotions of other sorts, say solidarity, support, sympathy become dominant. Then you’ll have different aspects of human nature and personality revealing themselves’.[xl]

Chomsky observes:

‘We may only hope that human nature is so constituted that these elements of our essential nature may flourish and enrich our lives, once the social conditions that suppress them are overcome. Socialists are committed to the belief that we are not condemned to live in a society based on greed, envy, and hate. I know of no way to prove that they are right, but there are also no grounds for the common belief that they must be wrong’.[xli]

1.05 Chomsky and academia

In 1945, Chomsky entered the University of Pennsylvania:

‘I entered with a good deal of enthusiasm and expectations that all sorts of fascinating prospects would open up, but these did not survive long, except in a few cases[xlii]..... At the end of two years, I was planning to drop out to pursue my own interests, which were then largely political’.

While actively opposing the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, Chomsky met Zellig Harris, who was at that time campaigning for Arab-Jewish co-operation. According to Chomsky, Harris possessed ‘a kind of semianarchist strain to his thought’. It so happened that he was also a charismatic professor of modern linguistics. Chomsky, in his own words, was at this time ‘a kind of college dropout, having no interest in college at all because my interest in a particular subject was generally killed as soon as I took a course in it’. Just ‘to have something to do’, however, he decided to study linguistics under his new friend Harris. Gradually, ‘I got interested in the field and sort of put it at the center of my concerns’.[xliii]

Although he ‘got interested’, however, Chomsky felt by no means qualified. His father had been a noted Hebrew scholar, imparting to Noam a childhood interest in historical linguistics and mediaeval Hebrew grammar. But on attending college, Chomsky felt no enthusiasm for structural linguistics. Neither was he attracted by anthropology or current versions of psychology. Under Harris’ influence, Chomsky instead took courses in philosophy and mathematics, ‘fields in which I had no background at all, but which I found interesting, in part, no doubt, thanks to unusually stimulating teachers’.[xliv]

As an anarchist, Chomsky naturally distrusted the state, large institutions in general, the university and all its functionaries. Disaffected intellectuals of this kind, according to one historian,[xlv] ‘are less vulnerable to the corruption of title and salary because their resistance is moral, almost instinctual’. Chomsky respected science, especially mathematics and physics. By the same token, he was deeply suspicious of the so-called ‘social sciences’, regarding them as patently ideological. Chomsky dreamed of ridding linguistics of such contamination. He would do this by detaching the discipline from its current institutional affiliations and rendering it purely formal, even mathematical. Was it no more than a happy coincidence that this was exactly what the nascent computer industry – and its military sponsors – required?

 1.06 The behaviourist background

Up until this time, speech had been allocated to ‘culture’, in turn thought of as ‘learned behaviour’. During the 1940s and 1950s, the standard paradigm in psychology had been behaviourism – championed in the United States most prominently by B.F. Skinner. Skinner’s new book, Verbal Behaviour, claimed to explain language as a set of habits built up over time. Rats, Skinner showed, can be trained to perform extraordinarily complex tasks provided two basic principles are followed. First, the tasks must be broken down into graduated steps. Second, the animal under instruction must be appropriately rewarded or punished at each step. This type of learning was termed by Skinner operant conditioning. Building on his work with rats, Skinner argued:

‘The basic processes and relations which give verbal behaviour its special characteristics are now fairly well understood. Much of the experimental work responsible for this advance has been carried out on other species, but the results have proved to be surprisingly free of species restrictions. Recent work has shown that the methods can be extended to human behaviour without serious modification.’[xlvi]

Skinner accordingly treated human language in stimulus-response terms, identifying ‘meaning’ with the habituated response of the listener to the speech-sounds he or she repeatedly heard. Language was conceptualised as structured like a chain, learned by associating one link – via appropriate approval or ‘reinforcement’ – to the next.

This stress on ‘learning’ was, of course, part of a much wider intellectual movement. It was closely linked to the notion of ‘culture’ that had been central to anthropology since the beginning of the twentieth century. Franz Boas and his students founded cultural anthropology in the United States by repudiating Darwinian and social-evolutionary traditions and by forcing a breach with physical anthropology. Their justification for ignoring ‘nature’ was that humans can apparently learn virtually any conceivable cultural pattern given appropriate contact, needing external input because they lack the precise instincts of other animals.

In Britain, anthropologists such as Bronislaw Malinowski and A.R. Radcliffe-Brown later echoed these themes, arguing that man’s evolutionary origins were unknowable and in any case irrelevant, breaking with evolutionary theory and instead recommending ‘functionalism’ – a body of knowledge designed specifically to appeal to educators, employers and administrators. Radcliffe-Brown in particular helped redefine the discipline as an instrument of political coercion. ‘To exercise control over any group of phenomena’, as he explained, ‘we must know the laws relating to them. It is only when we understand a culture as a functioning system that we can foresee what will be the results of any influence, intentional or unintentional, that we may exert upon it.’[xlvii]

What the colonial and other authorities needed was an applied science, a rule-book for dealing with indigenous peoples, enabling them to be manipulated in much the same way that a chemist or physicist can manipulate nature. Planners and social engineers – among them Stalin in the Soviet Union – welcomed behaviourism for similar reasons. Like the new anthropology, behaviourism in psychology seemed to offer enhanced techniques for mass education, pacification and control. Stimulus-response psychology, as one historian observes,[xlviii] encouraged industrial planners and managers in the belief that securing compliance meant finding in the workforce which buttons to push – and pushing them. Or as Noam Chomsky puts it:

‘Those who rule by violence tend to be “behaviorist” in their outlook. What people may think is not terribly important; what counts is what they do. They must obey, and this obedience is secured by force.’[xlix]

1.07 The language instinct

Two years after publishing Syntactic Structures, Chomsky published a devastating review of Skinner’s Verbal Behaviour. He had been wise enough not to take issue with, say, the school of child psychology pioneered in the Soviet Union by Lev Vygotsky or the subtle and fruitful approach adopted by the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget. Despite major differences with psychoanalysis, these psychologists had echoed Freud in taking for granted that humans, like other animals, must have deep-rooted instincts of some relevance to a study of the mind. Chomsky, however, refrained from acknowledging the existence of such intellectual giants. By singling out behaviourism for attack and ignoring everything else, he succeeded in arranging the battleground to suit his own needs.

According to Chomsky, we must choose one of two logical extremes. Is language ‘external’ to the individual?  If so, a child acquiring its natal language needs repetitive training and behavioural moulding – a regime of punishments and rewards. At the opposite extreme is the assumption that language is ‘internal’. If so, the child’s pre-installed knowledge of language can simply to be allowed to ‘grow’.

Chomsky’s review of Verbal Behaviour succeeded, it would seem, beyond its author’s wildest dreams. Published in the journal Language and subsequently splashed across the front cover of The New York Review of Books, the ‘case against B. F. Skinner’ set in motion a tidal wave of revolt against a school of thought increasingly perceived as Orwellian in its project to shape and manipulate human life.

It was not difficult for Chomsky to associate traditional linguistics with Orwellian aims. Leonard Bloomfield was the major figure in American linguistics between the wars. In 1929, he told the Linguistics Society of America:

‘I believe that in the near future – in the next few generations, let us say – linguistics will be one of the main sectors of scientific advance, and that in this sector science will win through to the understanding and control of human conduct.’[l]

Following the Second World War, reviewing the undesirable conduct of large numbers of military personnel and insurgents worldwide, many of Bloomfield’s professional colleagues in the United States saw themselves living ‘at a time when our national existence – and possibly the existence of the human race – may depend on the development of linguistics and its application to human problems’.[li] The wave of McCarthyite witch-hunting which swept North America during the 1950s was in part premised on the belief that critics of ‘the American way of life’ must clearly have been brain-washed by ‘communists’. In this bitter cold-war context, linguistics was seen as a crucial weapon in the world-wide struggle for ideological control.

Against this backdrop, Chomsky found it easy to present his antithesis as politically attractive and even liberating. Chomsky is withering in his response to the notion – still prevalent in left-liberal circles to this day – that a child must be taught its natal tongue through social pressure, training and example:

‘Attention to the facts quickly demonstrates that these ideas are not simply in error but entirely beyond any hope of repair. They must be abandoned, as essentially worthless. One has to turn to the domain of ideology to find comparable instances of a collection of ideas, accepted so widely and with so little question, and so utterly divorced from the real world. And, in fact, that is the direction in which we should turn if we are interested in finding out how and why these myths achieved the respectability accorded to them, how they came to dominate such a large part of intellectual life and discourse. That is an interesting topic, one well worth pursuing...’[lii]

How can language be an ordinary acquired skill? What kind of ‘skill’ is it when humans everywhere in the world ‘learn’ it in basically the same way and in equal measure? Languages – Chomsky points out – are not like other cultural patterns. They are not more or less complex, more or less sophisticated, according to the level of technological or other development. While differing from one another grammatically and in other ways, every human language is an equally intricate, complex intellectual system; none can be described as more or less sophisticated or ‘advanced’ .

In all cultures, moreover, people speak fluently regardless of social status, training or education. There is a fixed biological schedule for language acquisition, specifying at what age a language can easily be mastered and at what age the task becomes virtually impossible. While young children take quickly and easily to learning a new language, adults encounter immense difficulties, often making recurrent basic errors and revealing a permanent tell-tale accent even despite years of trying. Young children not only learn easily: in linguistically impoverished environments, they may creatively invent improvements, developing a language more systematic than any they have heard. It is as if they knew by instinct how a proper language should be structured, anticipating regularities and establishing them inventively where necessary.[liii]

The human vocal tract is a complex arrangement – a combination of disparate structures whose original functions certainly had no connection with speech.[liv] But with its independently controllable parts, the tract as it now exists appears eminently well designed for speech. This, too – as Chomsky’s colleague Lenneberg[lv] was among the first to stress – illustrates the importance of ‘human nature’. No child needs to be taught to babble, any more than it needs instruction in suckling at the breast. The rhythmic lip and mouth movements are instinctive and enjoyable for their own sake. Given even a minimally loving and stimulating environment, the next transition – from babbling to mature speaking – occurs equally naturally. Like the transition from crawling to walking, it’s just part of growing up.

The syntactical skills of children mastering a language, Chomsky points out, are acquired with extraordinary rapidity and in unmistakably creative ways. The child is not just assimilating knowledge or learning by rote: on the contrary, what comes out seems to exceed what goes in. Children hear relatively few examples of most sentence types, are rarely corrected, and encounter a bewildering array of half-formed sentences, lapses and errors in the language input to which they are exposed. Yet despite all this, they are soon fluent, creatively producing sentences never heard before, as if they knew intuitively already which sequences are grammatical and which are not. In Chomsky’s words:

‘The fact that all normal children acquire essentially comparable grammars of great complexity with remarkable rapidity suggests that human beings are somehow specially designed to do this, with data-handling or “hypothesis-formulating” ability of unknown character and complexity.’[lvi]

It is as if humans have an instinct for language.

 1.08 Chomsky: Politics or science?

In accepting military funding for his early language research, Chomsky risked accusations of political corruption. How could an anarchist do such a thing? As if fending off such attacks, Chomsky went out of his way to clarify his political stance. Showing unusual courage, he led demonstrations and advocated ing civil disobedience in opposition to the United States’ war effort in Vietnam.

As the political system is currently constituted, Chomsky argues, policies are determined by representatives of private economic power. In their institutional roles, these individuals ‘will not be swayed by moral appeals’ but can only be affected by the ‘costs consequent upon the decisions they make’.[lvii] Chomsky and his allies seemed vindicated when, after the Tet offensive of 1968, the joint Chiefs of Staff pointed out that the deployment of additional troops to Vietnam was being hampered by the need to ensure that ‘sufficient forces would still be available for civil disorder control’ at home.[lviii] During these and subsequent years, no American public figure did more to put the record straight on the United States’ invasion of Vietnam than Noam Chomsky. Other left-wing intellectuals may not have felt quite the same need to deny personal culpability for their country’s actions around the world. Chomsky experienced this need as intimate and morally inescapable.

But simply to explain his political stance was not enough. Chomsky’s overall programme had to appear consistent. He could hardly afford to let his critics suggest that although his politics were progressive, his linguistic theories were clearly reactionary. His anarchosyndicalism and antimilitarism had to be constructed as consistent with his linguistics. Somehow, the corporate backed and financed ‘cognitive revolution’ in psychology and related sciences had to be presented as intrinsically liberating and consistent with Chomsky’s political beliefs.

He did not have to look far for a solution. Chomsky projected the ‘language device’ of his electronics laboratory into the brain of the human child. In real life, the human brain is not composed of wires or switch-boxes of the kind a 1950s computer engineer might devise. But if Chomsky’s electronic ‘device’ could henceforth be conceptualised as a feature of the maturing human brain, it would nonetheless solve a number of pressing problems.

Central to anarchism is the celebration of spontaneity and self-organization. It must have occurred to Chomsky that a machine defined as autonomous – as freely controlling its own ‘creative’ output – would fit into the anarchist scheme of things. Chomsky could now claim that his commitment to what looked like a box of electronic tricks had a deeper political significance. The commitment in reality was to a resistant and creative human nature. Children don’t need to be taught language by external pressure or example because – thanks to the special ‘device’ in their brains – they know the basics already. We ‘can know so much’, as Chomsky explains,

‘because in a sense we already knew it, though the data of sense were necessary to evoke and elicit this knowledge. Or to put it less paradoxically, our systems of belief are those that the mind, as a biological structure, is designed to construct’.[lix]

If human mental nature is intricately structured and resistant, it must set limits to authoritarian control:

‘If, indeed, human nature is governed by Bakunin’s ‘instinct for revolt’ or the “species character” on which Marx based his critique of alienated labor, then there must be continual struggle against authoritarian social forms that impose restrictions beyond those set by “the laws of our own nature”, as has long been advocated by authentic revolutionary thinkers and activists’.[lx]

Moving onto the offensive against his left-liberal critics, he explains:

‘For intellectuals – that is, social, cultural, economic and political managers – it is very convenient to believe that people have “no nature”, that they are completely malleable. That eliminates any moral barrier to manipulation and control, an attractive idea for those who expect to conduct such manipulation, and to gain power, prestige and wealth thereby.’[lxi]

In fact, according to Chomsky, revolution remains possible because of the deep-rooted human instinct to resist.

As we acquire our natal language, according to Chomsky, we are not just conforming to external pressure. We are mastering a complex system because, deep down, its principles we already know. The acquired language is not habit but an expression of individual creativity:

‘If some individual were to restrict himself largely to a definite set of linguistic patterns, to a set of habitual responses to stimulus configurations ... we would regard him as mentally defective, as being less human than animal. He would immediately be set apart from normal humans by his inability to understand normal discourse, or to take part in it in the normal way – the normal way being innovative, free from control by external stimuli, and appropriate to a new and ever-changing situation’.[lxii]

Celebrating a rebellious human ‘nature’, Chomsky repudiates the pessimistic view that humanity’s &lsquoassions and instincts’ will forever prevent enjoyment of the ‘scientific civilisation’ that reason might create. He concludes instead that ‘human needs and capacities will find their fullest expression in a society of free and creative producers, working in a system of free association ...’ ‘Success in this endeavour’, he continues,

‘might reveal that these passions and instincts may yet succeed in bringing to a close what Marx called the &ldquorehistory of human society”. No longer repressed and distorted by competitive and authoritarian social structures, these passions and instincts may set the stage for a new scientific civilization in which “animal nature” is transcended and human nature can truly flourish’.[lxiii]

1.09 In defence of science

For Chomsky, so-called social science – premised on the idea that human nature doesn’t exist – is irretrievably, hopelessly ideological and reactionary. Intellectuals embrace it not because it is true but, on the contrary, because it is a patent fiction required to keep people ignorant and confused. Writing of school education of the kind typical in the United States, Chomsky terms it ‘a period of regimentation and control, part of which involves direct indoctrination, providing a system of false beliefs’.[lxiv] Other components of the system have the same basic function:

‘Over sixty years ago, Walter Lippmann discussed the concept of “the manufacture of consent”, an art that is “capable of great refinements” and that may lead to a “revolution” in “the practice of democracy”. The idea was taken up with much enthusiasm in business circles – it is a main preoccupation of the public relations industry, whose leading figure, Edward Bernays, described “the engineering of consent” as the very essence of democracy. In fact, as Gabriel Kolko notes, “from the turn of the century until this day, [the public mind] was the object of a cultural and ideological industry that was as unrelenting as it was diverse: ranging from the school to the press to mass culture in its multitudinous dimensions”. The reason, as an AT&T vice president put it in 1909, is that “the public mind ... is in my judgment the only serious danger confronting the company”’.

The idea was also taken up with vigor in the social sciences, continues Chomsky:

‘The leading political scientist Harold Lasswell wrote in 1933 that we must avoid “democratic dogmatisms”, such as the belief that people are “the best judges of their own interests.” Democracy permits the voice of the people to be heard, and it is the task of the intellectual to ensure that this voice endorses what far-sighted leaders know to be the right course. Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism. The techniques have been honed to a high art, far beyond anything that Orwell dreamt of. The device of feigned dissent, incorporating the doctrines of the state religion and eliminating rational critical discussion, is one of the more subtle means, though more crude techniques are also widely used and are highly effective in protecting us from seeing what we observe, from knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live.’[lxv]

For Chomsky, the only kind of knowledge which is free from such ideological contamination is genuine natural science. Chomsky disagrees passionately with those social theorists – including historians of science – for whom science itself is just another form of oppressive ideology. He admits that such suspicions have long found favour among his fellow anarchists:

‘Within the anarchist tradition, there’s been a certain feeling that there’s something regimented or oppressive about science itself, that we should break free of the oppressive structures of scientific thinking, and so on. I’m totally out of sympathy with that attitude. There are no arguments that I know of for irrationality. I don’t think the methods of science amount to anything more than being reasonable, and I don’t see why anarchists shouldn’t be reasonable’.[lxvi]

With the rise of postmodernism, Chomsky complains, science has become viewed as just another form of manipulative ideology. Whereas in the 1930s, he notes, progressive intellectuals were still running education classes for ‘the workers’ and writing books with titles such as ‘Mathematics for the Millions’, everything has now gone into reverse:

‘To days counterparts of these ’30s left intellectuals are telling people, You don’t have to know anything. It’s all junk, a power play, a white male conspiracy. Forget about rationality and science. In other words, put those tools in the hands of your enemies. Let them monopolize everything that works and makes sense’.[lxvii]

Chomsky passionately opposes the idea that ordinary people needn’t learn anything but can think what they like. Instead of urging us to ‘break free of the oppressive structures of scientific thinking’, he recommends respecting and upholding precisely those ‘structures’. The compatibility between anarchist politics and science, according to Chomsky, is proven by numerous precedents, including the work of Pyotr Kropotkin, whose great book, Mutual Aid – a celebration of co-operative self-organization in nature – was &lsquoerhaps the first major contribution to ‘sociobiology’.[lxviii]

According to Chomsky, the nub of the matter is that while everyone acquires linguistic competence, not everyone

is in a position to conduct scientific research. The difference between the humanities and the sciences, for Chomsky, is that scientists must co-operate with one another across space and time and therefore be honest. In the humanities, by contrast – as in ordinary life – people are free to ignore one another and can claim whatever they please. In the humanities, scholars tend to feel threatened by science precisely because of its unrestrictedly co-operative nature. Equally, they feel threatened by ideas which are genuinely new. Such defects may also afflict disciplines within natural science. But at least ‘the sciences do instil habits of honesty, creativity and co-operation’, features considered ‘dangerous from the point of view of society’.[lxix] A student in a university physics department will hardly survive without being questioning; in the ‘ideological disciplines’, by contrast, originality is discouraged. Chomsky complains that in the ‘domain of social criticism the normal attitudes of the scientist are feared and deplored as a form of subversion or as dangerous radicalism’.[lxx] For Chomsky, the culture of science is the real ‘counter-culture’ to the reigning ideology.[lxxi]

In recent decades, historians of science have clarified the social and political processes through which research agendas are set and ‘facts’ correspondingly selected and constructed.[lxxii] For many social anthropologists, the concept of a monolithic, unitary knowledge-form known as ‘science’ has yielded to a more pluralistic vision of multiple ‘sciences’ fashioned for diverse social purposes. Western versions, it is widely argued, prevail over indigenous alternatives because their supporters can lay claim to disproportionate levels of economic and military power.[lxxiii]

Chomsky does not hold this view. Since Copernicus and Galileo, we have known that the earth is round and that it encircles the sun – facts which remain true regardless of anyone’s tribal or religious beliefs to the contrary. For Chomsky, political pluralism doesn’t license unqualified persons to intrude as they please into scientific debates. Those who have not mastered the relevant literature – internalising its concepts and terms – have nothing of interest to contribute and should therefore expect to be excluded:

‘Look, in the physical sciences there’s by now a history of success, there’s an accumulated record of achievement which simply is an intrinsic part of the field. You don’t even have any right to enter the discussion unless you’ve mastered that. You could challenge it, it’s not given by God, but nevertheless you have to at least understand it and understand why the theories have developed the way they have and what they’re based on and so on. Otherwise, you’re just not part of the discussion, and that’s quite right’.[lxxiv]

1.10 Not Part of the Discussion

According to Chomsky, the so-called ‘social sciences’ amount only to political ideology, a defect extending naturally to sociologically conceived versions of linguistics. Consequently, it is right to exclude such perspectives from discussions within science. Those who fail to understand this clearly haven’t mastered certain foundational concepts intrinsic to the field. For Chomsky, ‘society’ is not a valid scientific concept. No natural language should be conceptualised as belonging to a social group. Neither should we imagine that in acquiring linguistic competence, children need social relationships – science cannot say anything about such things. ‘Mind’ has no necessary connection with ‘society’. To study mental phenomena is to examine aspects of brain structure and function. Ignoring the so-called ‘social sciences’, Chomsky’s dream is to unify the sciences by integrating linguistics into an expanded version of physics:

‘The world has many aspects: mechanical, chemical, optical, electrical and so on. Among these are its mental aspects. The thesis is that all should be studied in the same way, whether we are considering the motion of the planets, fields of force, structural formulas for complex molecules, or computational properties of the language faculty’.[lxxv]

Consistently with this project, Chomsky defines language as ‘an individual phenomenon, a system represented in the mind/brain of a particular individual’,[lxxvi] contrasting this with the earlier view of language as ‘a social phenomenon, a shared property of a community’. The Swiss founder of general linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure wrote of langue:

‘It is the social side of speech, outside the individual who can never create nor modify it by himself; it exists only by virtue of a sort of contract signed by the members of a community.’[lxxvii]

The problem with such usage, Chomsky complains, is that it ‘involves obscure sociopolitical and normative factors’ – about which science can have nothing to say.[lxxviii]

Chomsky denies the relevance of social factors even when considering language acquisition by the human child. The infant’s linguistic capacities, he explains, cannot be taught. Instead, they must be ‘allowed to function in the way in which they are designed to develop’. After briefly discussing this topic, he concludes: ‘I emphasized biological facts, and I didn’t say anything about historical and social facts. And I am going to say nothing about these elements in language acquisition. The reason is that I think they are relatively unimportant’.[lxxix]

Superficial irrelevancies aside, Chomsky views language acquisition as independent of experience:

‘No one would take seriously a proposal that the human organism learns through experience to have arms rather than wings, or that the basic structure of particular organs results from accidental experience. Rather, it is taken for granted that the physical structure of the organism is genetically determined ...’[lxxx]

Human mental structures develop in the same way.

‘Acquisition oflanguage’, concludes Chomsky,

‘is something that happens to you; it’s not something that you do. Learning language is something like undergoing puberty. You don’t learn to do it; you don’t do it because you see other people doing it; you are just designed to do it at a certain time.’[lxxxi]

1.11 Chomsky in political perspective

Let us retrace our steps. Consider Chomsky the young anarchist, faced with the problem of breaking into academia. Given his outspoken views, how was he to overcome the many obstacles that would naturally be placed in his way?

It would appear that Chomsky found a way of turning his apparent political handicap into an advantage. Financially and institutionally, the requirement – he knew – was for an agenda the precise reverse of anarchosyndicalism. The 1950s represented the dawn of the new computer age. Key intellectual and technical developments were being funded by the American military. These and other corporate forces required a new version of cognitive and linguistic science, having little in common with what they saw as Marxist-inspired versions of sociology or anthropology. What was needed was a psychology and a linguistics completely stripped of social content or political awareness – a version of these disciplines rigorously re-engineered and fine-tuned to serve the computer age in the name of ‘cognitive revolution’. But how could the left’s ‘natural’ ascendancy in these disciplines be overturned? Corporate America needed someone of intellectual integrity and – preferably – of unimpeachable political integrity to act as its standard-bearer in organizing the necessary coup. Ideally, this person should not only be ‘left-wing’ in an ordinary, run-of-the-mill sense. The perfect candidate would be sufficiently left-wing to outflank everyone else in the race. Chomsky in 1957 was the right person arriving in the right position at exactly the right time.

In the event, Chomsky forged an anti-behaviourist coalition linking much of the academic left with those corporate forces – including the military – who were underwriting the development of the nascent computer industry. It was an unholy alliance, and as such was destined to fall apart once the behaviourist enemy had been overthrown. Jerome Bruner recalls:

‘Now let me tell you first what I and my friends thought the revolution was about back there in the late 1950s. It was, we thought, an all-out effort to establish meaning as the central concept in psychology – not stimuli and responses, not overtly observable behaviour, not biological drives and their transformation, but meaning .... we were not out to “reform” behaviourism, but to replace it.’[lxxxii]

‘The cognitive revolution as originally conceived’, Bruner continues, ‘virtually required that psychology join forces with anthropology and linguistics, philosophy and history, even with the discipline of law.’

Once behaviourism had been toppled, however, Chomsky clarified that this was not his vision at all. As Bruner explains:

‘Very early on ... emphasis began shifting from ‘meaning’ to ‘information’, from the construction of meaning to the processing of information. These are profoundly different matters. The key factor in the shift was the introduction of computation as the ruling metaphor and of computability as a necessary criterion of a good theoretical model.’[lxxxiii]

Information, as Bruner points out, is a term designed to be indifferent with respect to meaning. In computational terms, information comprises an already precoded message in the system. Meaning is preassigned to messages. It is not an outcome of computation nor is it relevant to computation save in the arbitrary sense of assignment:

‘According to classic information theory, a message is informative if it reduces alternative choices. This implies a code of established possible choices. The categories of possibility and the instances they comprise are processed according to the “syntax” of the system, its possible moves.

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Posted: Jul 25, 2012 4:30pm
Apr 28, 2012

Bioelectromagnetics 23:488495 (2002

First Physical and Chemical Studies

Baconnier, Lang et al.

It should be noted that these are initial findings of an ongoing study. Given the proper opportunity this study may yield results that are of great significance in the area of mobile phones and health. One thing that could adversely affect the impact of any such results would be the exaggeration or misrepresentation of the findings so far, or premature claims relating to studies still under way. This could discredit the research and make it difficult to have genuine findings taken seriously.

The researchers have isolated and studied calcite microcrystals which they have found in human pineal glands.

Quotes from the paper:
“The pineal gland … converts a neuronal signal into an endocrine output. … [It] is located close to the anatomical centre of the human brain.” “A total of 20 glands from [human] subjects ranging in age from 15 to 68 years were studied.” “Microcrystals were found in every gland in quantities ranging from 100 to 300 crystals per cubic millimetre of gland. No attempt was made to correlate the quantity of crystals with either the age of the subject or pathological details.” “Length dimensions of the crystals varied from 2-3 to about 20 micrometres.” “These results (
referring to various forms of analysis described in detail) and the electron diffraction measurements definitely prove that the microcrystals are calcite.” “These calcite crystals bear a striking resemblance to the otoconia of the inner ear.” “The calcite in otoconia has been shown to exhibit piezoelectricity.” “If piezoelectricity were to exist [in the pineal calcite microcrystals], an electromechanical coupling mechanism to external electromagnetic fields may be possible.”

“The possibility of nonthermal coupling of electromagnetic radiation to biological systems has been considered recently [Kirschvink, 1992]. Reiter [1993] has reviewed the literature on the possible effects of static and low frequency electromagnetic fields on the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. A study by de Seze, [1998,1999] showed no influence of microwave frequency radiation on melatonin secretion. However, Kirschvink et al. [1992] and Kirschvink [1996] have shown the presence of minute crystals of magnetite in the human brain and have suggested a mechanism for coupling of microwave radiation to them. Additional research on the nonthermal effects of microwave radiation is definitely warranted.”

“In conclusion, we believe that even a very small risk of possible nonthermal coupling of radiation to microcrystals in the pineal gland merits further detailed study. Our future research will address these questions.”

To my mind, the significant features that can be used in the current debate are:

The human pineal gland, in the centre of the brain, has been found to contain large numbers of calcite micro-crystals that “bear a striking resemblance” to calcite crystals found in the inner ear. The ones found in the inner ear have been shown to exhibit the quality of piezoelectricity. If those found in the pineal gland also have this quality then this would provide a means whereby an external electromagnetic field might directly influence the brain.

Both the Stewart Report and the NRPB Report consider at some length how it might be possible for non-thermal levels of microwave radiation to affect a living organism.

In the Stewart Report, Section 5 paragraphs 12 through to 26 detail the sort of requirements that might have to apply in order for an electromagnetic field to directly affect biological tissue – living cells.
Nowhere in these paragraphs is the possibility considered of any form of crystalline deposit which might provide the ‘missing link’ between electromagnetic radiation and biological effects. It’s interesting to note, though, that paragraph 18 does refer to a suggestion by Frohlich that a biological system might behave in some way like a radio receiver, amplifying a very small signal through a process of resonance; this idea is dismissed due to the unlikelihood of biological material resonating in this way – but of course one of the earliest types of radio was the ‘crystal set’, in which a mineral crystal was made to resonate (by tuning with a ‘cats whisker&rsquo with an incoming radio wave, which is simply an electromagnetic wave of rather lower frequency than microwaves. The conclusion of this section was that “…there is little evidence to support resonant behaviour…”. The existence in the pineal gland of crystals which may prove to exhibit piezoelectric properties puts the whole issue in a totally different light – particularly in a scenario where the absolute requirement is to &lsquolay it safe’ (Stewart’s ‘Precautionary Principle&rsquo.
(It’s worth noting that paragraph 5.6 of this report considers the possibility of the magnetite crystals (see above) providing a causal link, and discounts this on scientific grounds. It goes on to say: “Indeed, it seems to be generally agreed that any biological effects from mobile phones are much more likely to result from
electric rather than from magnetic fields.” Note that piezoelectric qualities do link electric fields to mechanical effects.)

In the NRPB Report on TETRA, paragraphs 78 to 102 consider the effect of radiation, amplitude modulated (pulsed) at around 16Hz (cycles/second), on calcium efflux in the brain – the basis of the Stewart Report warning against using this pulsing frequency. Paragraphs 92-96, a substantial proportion of the latter half of this section, are devoted almost entirely to highlighting the fact that no clear mechanism has yet been identified to explain the effects observed by some researchers. The obvious inference that readers are expected to draw is that, because no clear explanation is apparent, these effects are highly questionable – indeed, one sentence in paragraph 95 almost says as much. Again, with the sort of causal link that may be provided by microcrystals interspersed among the organic matter of the brain, the perspective on this aspect of the issue is dramatically altered.

In brief, then:

Two things can be definitively stated from this research so far:

1. Calcite microcrystals have been positively identified, in substantial quantities, in every one of 20 human pineal glands studied;

2. These crystals bear a striking resemblance to those found in the human inner ear, which have been shown to exhibit piezoelectric qualities.

These two facts alone are sufficient to call into question the basis of conclusions in both the Stewart Report and the NRPB Report on TETRA. Neither of these reports considered the possibility of the sort of coupling that might be provided through crystals of this type. The reassurances given in both of these reports are thus based on a false premise, that any coupling of microwave radiation to cellular activity in a living organism must be direct, acting through the medium of biological material. It is of course entirely possible that other similar phenomena exist elsewhere in the brain (and/or other parts of the body), as yet undiscovered.

Whilst the means by which microwaves might directly affect living cells are rather obscure, the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and certain types of crystal structures is well understood; the possibility of
this then affecting living cells is very real.

The ICNIRP guidelines must therefore be considered inadequate, since they take no account of such a possible causal mechanism. The fact that such a mechanism has not yet been
proved to operate in no way lessens the responsibility of those setting or implementing guidelines to allow for its possibility – a precautionary approach.

(Dr.) Grahame Blackwell.

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Posted: Apr 28, 2012 8:07am


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