Friday, March 31, 2006
TRUTH IS HITTING THE BIG TIME
Charley Sheen, "Boston Legal," & "V For Vendetta"
The mainstream media is the mouthpiece for the powers that rule the world behind the
scenes. Since 9/11 this has been more glaringly obvious than perhaps any time in
history. However, it appears as though some cracks are showing in this lockdown
against the truth, and things might be starting to swing in the other direction. The three
stories below, and the links to videos, audios, and websites where you can learn more,
speak for themselves.
One word of caution. If things are going to swing the other way, lets' make sure we don't
fall into the trap of polarity thinking. In this case, this means laying all the blame on the
Bush Administration, and trusting the liberal Democrats, who will step forward as the good
guys, to lead us out of this mess. This has been going on for a long time, and goes far
deeper than that. Both major parties are equally complicit, and dance to the tune of the
same masters. They all have to go.
MOVIE STAR CHARLEY SHEEN QUESTIONS OFFICIAL VERSION OF 9/11
& CNN PICKS UP THE STORY & GOES WITH IT
To watch the video of movie star Charley Sheen's interview with Alex Jones, in which he
discusses the multitude of holes in the official version of 9/11, as well as the obvious
government whitewash, click below.
To watch the video of the coverage of the Sheen story on CNN's Showbiz, click below.
To watch the video of CNN's interview with Alex Jones on Showbiz, in which he
discusses the Sheen interview, click below.
PRIMETIME TV'S BOSTON LEGAL ATTACKS GOVERNMENT INJUSTICE
& SCOLDS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR NOT STANDING UP
To watch the marvelous soliloquy by actor James Spader who plays an attorney on the hit
TV show Boston Legal., where he highlights the recent lies and abuses of the American
government, and his dismay at the apathy of the people, click the link below. The context
is his defense of a woman who withheld paying her taxes because she conscientiously
opposed the government's policies.
V FOR VENDETTA - A NEW HIT MOVIE
A GLIMPSE OF OUR FASCIST FUTURE,
HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS ORCHESTRATING IT
& WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO RECLAIM OUR POWER
V For Vendetta is the strongest mass-media challenge to the established system since
The Matrix, no coincidence because it is created by the same folks, the Wachowski
Brothers. The setting is Great Britain in the not so distant future, where a fascist
dictatorship has taken power, reminiscent of Orwell's 1984, which has come about due to
a government engineered virus epidemic. But not to be dismayed, the hero, V, a Zorro-like
figure, and his apprentice, Evey, have hatched a plan to wake up the masses, and
mobilize them to reclaim their power. The movie's Libertarian slogan: "People should not
be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." To take a
closer look, click below.
All of this information and the links have also been posted on my website. See
Alternative News - Featured Story of the week. Go to www.harmonymindbodyspirit.com.
Personal Growth & Awareness Teacher & Author
THE HARMONY OF THE MIND, BODY & SPIRIT
PO Box 132, Okauchee, Wisconsin 53069-0132
(262) 569-9873, 1 (800) 995-0796, Ext 9486 (Message Center)
Libertarianism: The Path to Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom
by Jarret Wollstein
Would you like to live in a society of peace, prosperity and freedom? Would you like to earn a lot more money than your parents, be free to do whatever you want so long as it doesn't harm others, and see the threats of violence and war largely disappear? Would you like to live in an age of artistic freedom and rapid scientific progress in which anything seems possible?
Such a world is not only possible – it is a part of our history. For nearly fifty years, between the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the beginning of World War I in 1914, the United States was the freest, most prosperous society on earth. Living standards rose nearly 5% a year. The average American's income was six times higher at the end of the period than at the beginning.
There was little restriction upon personal, economic and artistic freedom. There was no income tax, no military draft, little government regulation of business, and no prohibition of drugs.
Independent schools and private charities made education available for all, and helped those in need. And, except for the brief Spanish-American War, the nation enjoyed the longest period without foreign wars in our history. Nearly anything seemed possible. Illiterate immigrants who started with a pushcart became millionaires through hard work.
Living Standards Are Falling
And Violence Has Become Epidemic
America of the 1990s is far removed from the America of the 1890s, both in time and in spirit. Today's social landscape is one of deterioration, violence and mounting fear.
Take-home pay fell 17% between 1980 and 1997, after adjusting for inflation. High taxes and regulations are crippling our economy. Few young adults can now afford to buy their own homes, save for their children's education, or build security for their retirement.
Violence has become epidemic. Murder is now the leading cause of death among young black men. One in four college women report they were the victim of rape or attempted rape. And nearly 25% of all American families are now victimized by theft or vandalism every year.
The threat of superpower warfare has declined. But weapons of mass destruction – chemical, biological and nuclear – continue to spread to the world's most repressive regimes, many of which have been supported by US military and economic aid.
Liberty Is Required For Any
Peaceful & Prosperous Society
What has changed in America in the last 80 years? Why has this nation changed from one of the most prosperous and progressive on earth to one of increasing deterioration and violence? "The cause dear friend, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves." America is declining because we have largely abandoned our libertarian heritage.
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and America's other founders understood the values required for a free, peaceful and prosperous society: individual liberty, economic freedom, and limited government.
Liberty means the freedom to control your own life, to work and play as you choose, to keep what you earn, to practice the religion of your choice, to speak freely, and to associate voluntarily with others.
Liberty can flourish only in an environment of tolerance, voluntary association, and mutual respect for the lives and property of others. You can have liberty for yourself only if you grant it freely to everyone else.
The genius of America was that our government was created as a protector of our fundamental human rights. America's founders well understood that government's immense power can be used to destroy as well as to protect; that when government uses force against its own peaceful citizens, it becomes just another criminal gang. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were designed to protect us from government.
Our libertarian ideal, that government exists to protect our rights, was never fully realized. Our legislatures, police and military have frequently crossed the line from defenders of our liberty to violators of it. But the previously slow erosion of our rights has recently become a raging torrent, and our heritage of liberty is being obliterated.
The Government Now Takes
70% Of Your Income
If you're typical, you now spend nearly five months a year working to earn enough just to pay your taxes. And that's only the beginning.
According to Dr. James Payne's study, "Costly Returns: The Burdens of the US Tax System," for every dollar that the IRS collects in taxes, we pay an additional 65 cents in compliance costs - tax accountants, attorneys, tax software, etc.
When you add the 35% of your income you pay directly in taxes, 22% you pay indirectly in compliance costs, and another 13% you lose as a result of economic regulations, over 70% of your income is now taken from you by the government.
Our Economy Is Being Crippled
By Stifling Regulations
In Los Angeles, it takes up to 70 licenses and permits to open a small business. In Washington, DC it costs $7,000 in fees to operate a pushcart. In New York City, a "medallion" to operate a taxicab costs over $150,000.
In Hawaii, a homeless man who tried to earn a little cash by taking pictures of tourists with his pet parrot, was arrested and his parrot confiscated because he didn't have a business license.
Over 50,000 pages of new regulations are now published in the Federal Register every year. That's in addition to state and local regulations.
Goods and services that could improve your life are being banned, confiscated, and regulated out of existence.
Everything You Own Can Now
Be Confiscated By The Police
You no longer have a right to your own property. Over 200 federal and thousands of state civil asset forfeiture laws, authorize police to confiscate everything you own without trial or even without charging you with a crime.
* In Volusia County, Florida, police regularly stop motorists and ask "How much cash are you carrying?" If the answer is more than a few hundred dollars, they routinely seize it, along with your car, if it's an expensive one. In the last four years, these legal "highway robberies" have brought in over $8 million for Volusia County.
* In Washington, DC, police confiscated the home of Helen Hoyle, a 69-year-old grandmother. Police claimed an anonymous informant told them Helen's grandson sold unidentified illegal drugs to an unidentified buyer from her front porch two years earlier.
Cars, homes, businesses, pocket cash, bank accounts, and pensions are now confiscated from over 5,000 innocent Americans like you every week. According to a Pittsburgh Press study, in 80% of the cases no one is ever charged with a crime.
Even if you are totally innocent of any crime, there is little chance you will ever get your confiscated property back. Under civil-forfeiture laws you are presumed guilty, and you must prove your innocence and pay $5,000 – $100,000+ in legal expenses out of your own pocket – after your home, bank accounts or business have been seized.
Police Can Now Beat Or
Kill You With Virtual Impunity
According to "60 Minutes," Oakland, California Housing Authority Police routinely rob public housing residents, plant drugs on them, beat them, and then arrest them. In Oakland, on an average night, 42 people are admitted to hospital emergency rooms after police beatings. But they're lucky.
In California, "Multimillionaire rancher Donald Scott, 61, was shot to death when 26 DEA agents, LA County sheriffs deputies and National Park Service officers raided his 200-acre Malibu spread looking for marijuana they never found."
"Annie Rae Dixon, 84, bedridden with pneumonia in Tyler, Texas, [was] shot to death by police in a 2 AM. raid last January. An officer said his pistol accidentally went off when he kicked down her bedroom door. No drugs were found." (Both quotes from USA Today, 1/11/93.)
There are now dozens of such deadly police "mistakes" every week. If an anonymous informant claims without proof that you have illegal drugs or firearms in your possession, that now gives police a virtual license to kill you and your family.
To Restore Prosperity, Freedom
And Peace In America, We Must
Restore Our Libertarian Heritage.
We must return to the principles of tolerance and respect for the rights of others. Activities that are crimes for individuals – theft, assault, kidnapping, intimidation and murder – must be crimes for government agents as well.
The crushing burden of confiscatory taxes and suffocating regulations must be lifted from our economy.
As the revolutions that swept Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union demonstrated, even authoritarian governments require the consent of the governed.
America can again be a land of liberty and unlimited opportunity. This is what America once was and can be again. Millions of American libertarians invite you to join us to restore our liberty.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The Mystical Core of Organized Religion
Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., is a monk of Mount Savior Monastery in the Finger Lake Region of New York State and a member of the board of the Council on Spiritual Practices. He holds a Ph.D. from the Psychological Institute at the University of Vienna and has practiced Zen with Buddhist masters. He is author of Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer and Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day.
Copyright Â© 1989 by David Steindl-Rast.
Used by the Council on Spiritual Practices with permission.
First appeared in ReVision, Summer 1989 12(1):11-14.
Mysticism has been democratized in our day. Not so long ago, "real" mystics were those who had visions, levitations, and bilocations and, most important, were those who had lived in the past; any contemporary mystic was surely a fake (if not a witch). Today, we realize that extraordinary mystical phenomena have little to do with the essence of mysticism. (Of course, genuine mystics had told us this all along; we just wouldn't listen.) We've come to understand mysticism as the experience of communion with Ultimate Reality (i.e., with "God," if you feel comfortable with this time-honored, but also time-distorted term).
Many of us experience a sense of communion with Ultimate Reality once in a while. In our best, most alive moments, we feel somehow one with that fundamental whatever-it-is that keeps us all going. Even psychological research suggests that the experience of communion with Ultimate Reality is nearly universal among humans. So we find ourselves officially recognized as bona fide mystics. Some of us even sense the challenge to translate the bliss of universal communion into the nitty-gritty of human community in daily living. That's certainly a step forward.
Like every step forward in life, however, the discovery of mysticism as everyone's inalienable right brings with it a puzzling tension. Those who feel this tension most keenly are people who have long been members of an established religion, with its doctrines, ethical precepts, and rites. They may discover the mystical reality inside the religious establishment or outside of it: either in church or on a mountaintop, while listening to Bach's B-Minor Mass, or while watching a sunset. In any case, but especially out in nature, those who taste mystical ecstasy may begin to sense a discrepancy between this undeniably religious experience and the forms that normally pass as religious. If the religious pursuit is essentially the human quest for meaning, then these most meaningful moments of human existence must certainly be called "religious." They are, in fact, quickly recognized as the very heart of religion, especially by people who have the good fortune of feeling at home in a religious tradition. And yet, the body of religion doesn't always accept its heart. This can happen in any religious tradition, Eastern or Western. To the establishment, after all, mysticism is suspect. The established religion asks: Why is there a need for absorption in the Cloud of Unknowing when we have spelled out everything so clearly? And isn't that emphasis on personal experience a bit egocentric? Who can be sure that people standing on their own feet won't go their own way? These suspicions gave rise to the famous saying that "myst-i-cism begins with mist, puts the I in the center, and ends in schism."
In every religion, there is this tension between the mystic and the religious establishment. As great a mystic as Rumi (1207-73) attacked his own Muslim establishment:
When the school and the mosque and the minaret
get torn down, then the dervishes
can begin their community.
Al Hallaj (c. 858-922), on the other hand, was attacked by that same establishment, tortured, and crucified for his mystical lifestyle and convictions, a persecution not without political overtones. One way or the other, the same plot is acted out repeatedly on the stage of history: every religion seems to begin with mysticism and end up in politics. If we could understand the inner workings of this process, maybe we could deal with the tension between mystical religion and religious establishment in a new way. Maybe we could transform the polarization into a mutually vitalizing polarity. Understanding would certainly make us more compassionate with those caught up on both sides of the struggle.
The question we need to tackle is this: How does one get from mystic experience to an established religion? My one-word answer is: inevitably. What makes the process inevitable is that we do with our mystical experience what we do with every experience, that is, we try to understand it; we opt for or against it; we express our feelings with regard to it. Do this with your mystical experience and you have all the makings of a religion. This can be shown.
Moment by moment, as we experience this and that, our intellect keeps step; it interprets what we perceive. This is especially true when we have one of those deeply meaningful moments: our intellect swoops down upon that mystical experience and starts interpreting it. Religious doctrine begins at this point. There is no religion in the world that doesn't have its doctrine. And there is no religious doctrine that could not ultimately be traced back to its roots in mystical experience â€“ that is, if one had time and patience enough, for those roots can be mighty long and entangled. Even if you said, "My private religion has no doctrine for I know that my deepest religious awareness cannot be put into words," that would be exactly what we are talking about: an intellectual interpretation of your experience. Your "doctrine" would be a piece of so-called negative (apophatic) theology, found in most religions.
Some of us are more intellectually inclined than others, more likely to interpret experience by thinking it through, but all of us do so to a certain extent. Yet, forming an opinion is not all we do. On the basis of that opinion, we take sides for or against; we desire or reject. Our will does that. As soon as we recognize something as good for us, we cannot help desiring it. That is why we commit ourselves willingly to go after it. The moment we taste the mystical bliss of universal belonging, we say a willing yes to it. In this unconditional yes lies the root of ethics. And all ethical systems can ultimately be reduced to acting as one acts when one feels a sense of belonging.
It is always the whole human person that interacts with the world, but when the interaction aims at knowing, we speak of the intellect. When desire stands in the foreground, we speak of the will. The intellect sifts out what is true; the will reaches out for what is good. But there is a third dimension to reality: beauty. Our whole being resonates with what is beautiful, like a crystal lampshade that reverberates every time you hit a C sharp on the piano. Where this feeling of resonance (or, in other situations, dissonance) marks our interaction with the world, we speak of the emotions. How joyfully the emotions reverberate with the beauty of our mystical experience! The more they respond, the more we will celebrate that experience. We may remember the day and the hour and celebrate it year after year. We may go back to the garden bench where the singing of that thrush swept us off our feet. We may never hear the bird again, but a ritual has been established, a kind of pilgrimage has been undertaken to a personal holy place. Ritual, too, is an element of every religion. And every ritual in the world celebrates in one form or another belonging â€“ pointing toward that ultimate belonging we experience in moments of mystical awareness.
The response we give in those moments is always wholehearted. In the heart, at the core of the human person, intellect, will, and emotions still form an integral whole. Yet, once the response of the heart expresses itself in thinking, willing, or feeling, the original wholeness of the response is refracted, or broken. That is why we are never fully satisfied with the expression of those deepest insights, in word or image. Nor is our willing commitment to justice and peace, our yes to belonging, as wholehearted on the practical level as it is in moments of mystical communion. And our feelings often fail to celebrate the beauty that we glimpsed unveiled for a moment, the beauty that continues to shine through the veil of daily reality. Thus, doctrine ethics and ritual bear the mark of our shortcomings, even n these earliest buds of religion. Yet, they fulfill a most important function: they keep us connected, no matter how imperfectly, with the truth, goodness, and beauty that once overwhelmed us. That is the glory of every religion.
As long as all goes well with a religion, then doctrine, ethics, and ritual work like an irrigation system, bringing ever fresh water from the source of mysticism into daily life. Religions differ from each other, as irrigation systems do. There are objective differences: some systems are simply more efficient. But subjective preferences are also important. You tend to like the system you are used to; your familiarity with it makes it more effective for you, no matter what other models may be on the market. Time has an influence on the system: the pipes tend to get rusty and start to leak, or they get clogged up. The flow from the source slows down to a trickle.
Fortunately, I have not yet come across a religion where the system didn't work at all. Unfortunately, however, deterioration begins on the day the system is installed. At first, doctrine is simply the interpretation of mystical reality; it flows from it and leads back to it. But then the intellect begins to interpret that interpretation. Commentaries on commentaries are piled on top of the original doctrine. With every new interpretation of the previous one, we move farther away from the experiential source. Live doctrine fossilizes into dogmatism.
A similar process inevitably takes place with ethics. At first, moral precepts simply spell out how to translate mystical communion into practical living. The precepts remind us to act as one acts among people who belong together, and so they keep pointing back to our deepest, mystical sense of belonging. (The fact that a community will often draw too marrow a circle around itself is a different matter. That's simply an inadequate translation of the original intuition. The circle of mystical communion is all-inclusive.) Because we want to express unchanging commitment to the goodness we glimpsed in mystical moments, we engrave the moral precepts on stone tablets. But in doing so, we make the expression of that commitment unchangeable. When circumstances change and call for a different expression of the same commitment, the dos and don'ts remain stone-engraved and unchangeable. Morality has turned into moralism.
What happens with ritual? At first, as we have seen, it is a true celebration. We celebrate by remembering gratefully (everything else is optional). The particular event that we celebrate merely triggers that grateful remembrance, a remembrance of those moments in which we are most deeply aware of limitless belongings. As a reminder and renewal of our ultimate connectedness, every celebration has religious overtones, echoes of mystical communion. It is also the reason why, when we celebrate, we want all those who belong to us in a special way to be present. Repetition also is a part of celebration. Every time we celebrate a birthday, for example, that day is enriched by memory upon memory of all previous ones. But repetition has its danger, especially for the celebration of religious rituals. Because they are so important, we want to give them the perfect form. And before we know it, we are more concerned with form than with content. When form becomes formalized and content is forgotten, ritual turns into ritualism.
We may try to depict this process (and its happy ending, when all goes well) in a simple diagram (see Figure 1). The arrows represent the flow of mystical light, as it were. The white light of original wholeness is refracted through the lens of the mind's action (the Founder's own mind, to begin with). As intellect, will, and emotions inevitably process the mystical experience, the basic elements of religion (doctrine, ethics, ritual) originate. Religion in its diverse expressions is now filtered through historical influence (e.g., institutionalization) and tends to deteriorate. It can, however, be purified and renewed whenever a faithful heart recognizes, in spite of all distortions, the original light. Thus, the believer's mysticism becomes one with the Founder's. The heart of religion finds itself in the religion of the heart. The two are one.
Sad as it is, religion left to itself turns irreligious. Once, in Hawaii, after I had been walking on still-hot volcanic rock, another image for this process occurred to me; the image not of water but of fire. The beginnings of the great religions were like the eruptions of a volcano. There was fire, there was heat, there was light: the light of mystical insight freshly spelled out in a new teaching; the best of hearts aglow with commitment to a sharing community; and celebration, as fiery as new wine. The light of doctrine, the glow of ethical commitment, and the fire of ritual celebration were expressions that gushed forth red hot from the depths of mystical consciousness. But, as that stream of lava flowed down the sides of the mountain, it began to cool off. The farther it got from its origins, the less it looked like fire; it turned into rock. Dogmatism, moralism, ritualism: all are layers of ash deposits and volcanic rock that separate us from the fiery magma deep down below.
But there are fissures and clefts in the igneous rock of the old lava flows; there are hot springs, fumaroles, and geysers; there are even occasional earthquakes and minor eruptions. These represent the great men and women who reformed and renewed religious tradition from within. In one way or another, this is our task, too. Every religion has a mystical core. The challenge is to find access to it and to live in its power. In this sense, every generation of believers is challenged anew to make its religion truly religious.
This is the point where mysticism clashes with the institution. We need religious institutions. If they weren't there, we would create them. Life creates structures. Think of the ingenious constructions life invents to protect its seeds, of all those husks and hulls and pods, the shucks and burrs and capsules found in an autumn hedgerow. Come spring, the new life within cracks these containers (even walnut shells!) and bursts forth. Crust, rind, and chaff split open and are discarded. Our social structures, however, have a tendency to perpetuate themselves. Religious institutions are less likely than seed pods to yield to the new life stirring within. And although life (over and over again) creates structures, structures do not create life.
Those who are closest to the life that created the structures will have the greatest respect for them; they will also be the first ones, however, to demand that structures that no longer support but encumber life must be changed. Those closest to the mystical core of religion will often be uncomfortable agitators within the system. How genuine they are will show itself by their compassionate understanding for those whom they must oppose; after all, mystics come from a realm where "we" and "they" are one.
In come cases, officials of institutional religion are themselves mystics, as was true of Pope John XXIII. These are the men and women who sense when the time has come for the structures to yield to life. They can distinguish between faithfulness to life and faithfulness to the structures that life has created in the past, and they get their priorities right. Rumi did so when he wrote:
Not until faithfulness turns into betrayal
and betrayal into faith
can any human being become part of the truth. 
Note that betrayal â€“ or what is seen as such â€“ is not the last step; there is a further one, in which betrayal turns into faith. This going out and returning is the journey of the hero; it is our task. Faith (i.e., courageous trust) lets go of institutional structures and so finds them on a higher level â€“ again and again. This process is as painful as life, and equally surprising.
One of the great surprises is that the fire of mysticism can melt even the rigor mortis of dogmatism, legalism, and ritualism. By the glance or the touch of those whose hearts are burning, doctrine, ethics, and ritual come aglow with the truth, goodness, and beauty of the original fire. The dead letter comes alive, breathing freedom. "God's writing engraved on the tablets" is what the uninitiated read in Exodus 32:16. But only the consonants are written in the Hebrew text: (chrth). Mystics who happen to be rabbis look at this word and say: Don't read charath (engraved); read cheruth (freedom)! God's writing is not "engraved"; it is freedom!
Saying more than she realized, a schoolgirl wrote, "Many dead animals of the past changed into fossils while others preferred to be oil." That's what mystics prefer. Alive or dead, they keep religion afire.
From an unpublished translation, with the kind permission of Coleman Barks and John Moyne whose volume of Rumi translations is entitled This Longing (Putney, Vt.: Threshold, 1988). [return to text]
News Flash: The Dam is Breaking on the 9/11 Cover-Up
More Stars Go Public with Demands for 9/11 Investigation, Others to Follow
Infowars | March 28, 2006
Award winning actor, director, producer, and pioneering anti-Iraq war activist Ed Asner is scheduled to appear live on the CNN Headline News program Showbiz Tonight (6pm CST). Asner is reportedly going on to support Charlie Sheen's bold and brave stance calling for a real investigation of the events on September 11th, 2001 as well as to raise his own questions.
Also on Showbiz Tonight on March 27, actress Sharon Stone defended Sheen and his First Amendment right to speak out saying that he is brave and that it is important to confront authority.
Asner and Sheen are just two more of many celebrities who have already come forward to question the official story of what happened on 9/11.
Actor James Woods began questioning the official fable in the first weeks right after 9/11. X-Files and Lone Gunmen star Dean Haglund has already gone public on the Alex Jones Show (December 18, 2004) questioning the official story. Actor Ed Bagley, Jr. hosted a 9/11 Truth Symposium in New York City several months ago.
And we have recently confirmed that one of the world's most popular and beloved musicians is awake to the truth about 9/11 and in the very near future may be going public.
Many more major stars who are considering going public have contacted us in recent days.
The dam is finally breaking. Former Delta Force Commander Eric Hanney has spoken out in the press about the "War on Terrorism" being bogus and how there is no real threat to the United States. The 9/11 Truth Movemet has reached critical mass and is now exploding. The perpitrators of 9/11 have got to be concerned as more and more people across the globe wake up to the 9/11 hoax.
Sunday, March 19, 2006