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Cognitive Dissonance and the Blowback Economy

Andrew Brewer

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Dedicated to my girls, Riana and Lehna and, of course, Alicia Kent

Copyright Š 2009 by Rudolph Terry Andrew Brewer

All Rights Reserved ISBN: 1450559905 EAN-13 -- 978-1450559904 3


Preface

*These are a few of my blogs from 2007 / 2008, back when I pissed off EVERYONE, as opposed to now when I only piss off a select few. I was talking a few months back with Terry and Linda, The Psychic Twins, about past "predictions" and how inevitable they "seem" when you look backwards but people very quickly (and conveniently) forget how off the hook saying these things were WHEN THEY WERE FIRST SAID. I started publicly talking about an impending "housing crisis" in the Spring of 2005.

At the time this was like telling people standing in line at Walmart to go home when the signs all said, "Free weed whackers with a $10 purchase" -- and they were holding coupons for $10 off! Nobody could pass up the feed bag; at the time, NO ONE would (or could) hear what I was saying.

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My "vision" has often been heretical and controversial and, to many, a source of extreme annoyance but, in hindsight, I do believe my "opinions" were closer to the truth than the common wisdom "at the time". Here are a few pieces from "way back" then.*

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Cognitive Dissonance and the Blowback Economy (Originally Posted: November 20, 2008)

I tried to play the game. I really did. And, for awhile, anyway, I did alright (more than alright, actually) but I am an emotional guy and ultimately when a perfect storm of sadness crossed my path I crashed along the rocks and well there you go.

But the problem (as I see it) is not so much that I or maybe one or two souls just like me drop out of the world because they feel sad or pissed or confused or whatever but rather that there is a very subtle manipulation of emotions happening on a macro-level all across America. In plain English, the average American is being fucked with.

Hard.

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With nary a kind word or caress or even some nice scented lube to make it just not hurt so bad and the way this is being done is kind of like this: you see one thing but hear another and since we are taught to believe in the higher power of AUTHORITY well the only thing you can really do is just go "oh I guess I didn't REALLY see what I just SAW".

The fancy Psych 101 term is "cognitive dissonance" and it is symptomatic, to me, of the age at hand. Cognitive Dissonance—our brains are fried, the wires all cross uncharted territories and even though the MK Ultraists behind the hollow throne of Corporate Daddy America have poked prodded and recorded every variant ever seen to every stimuli ever imagined, still the mass accumulation of imagery flying by in some vague horse shit what the fuck did I just see way when we've been youtubed and MTV'ed to death—well the jury is still out on how the brain will function when it reaches ouchy

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that just hurts me TOO MUCH status—and I am thinking that day may not be all that far off.

How will the brain and the body tied to that fancy little brain react when all the messages it has been spoon fed all its life go poof "do not look at that man behind the curtain do not look at that man behind the curtain do not . . . look" and reality intrudes in a way we have been CONDITIONED to believe could never CAN NEVER . . . happen. Well it is a sad day coming.

First cluster fuck . . . the ECONOMY. Oh my . . . a team of professional looters with giant Ryder trucks full of thousand dollar bills drive through town in broad day light while Corporate Daddy WAR BUCKS waves his magic red white and blue wand and the getaway Escalades drive off in to the Northern Virginia night.

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It is a scam. SOMEBODY is having Thanksgiving and Halloween all year long and we just keep dropping golden Hershey bars in their baskets over and over again. Here little boy would you like something sweet? Something oh so yummy?

The economy is being driven to a dark side of town, the side of town where the poor people go . . . to find sustenance and maybe a song or a beer or a peck on the cheek while the masters party on the hill, champagne by the case, food and drink and pretty lace curtains all for them.

All for them.

Because that is what this song dance and patriotic flag wavin' Bible thumpin' charade is all about . . . bringing back the good old days when the rich were . . . well . . . FUCKING RICH. A gilded age. 9


Palaces and yachts and pretty French maids all in a row. One for you fifteen for me one for you thirty-two for me one for you one hundred and sixteen for me the square root of one for you three hundred and five thousand four hundred and two (cubed) for me . . . less for you just a teenie bit more for ME. A bigger car a bigger house maybe a title too . . . the Duke of Antioch, the Baron von Bush, the Fresh Prince of . . . oh sorry. . . the Earl of Ft Worth, the Duke of Oklahoma City, the KING of the FUCKING WORLD!

More More More.

More money for me, more stuff for me, more GIRLS for me, more love and adulation for ME . . . all for me . . . and none of those big tall black men with the giant pee pees stealing the NBA and the NFL and getting in my WAY and well really wouldn't it just be better if a little 10


bit of applause went to some nice white boy from a good family . . . well wouldn't it?

It is that kind of smalldickwhiteboy (all one word) logic that is at work behind the Neo-Con game that is going on, a Ponzi scheme where old people with tiny pensions get left holding the bag while the banker's reward themselves with a bigger better something . . . just so they can say my something is bigger and better than . . . your's.

My dick is bigger than yours. Cognitive Dissonance. You hear one thing but you SEE something else.

There is a sad day coming. The economy, the war(s), oil and global warming and everything in between . . . a fancy Fourth Reich white boy eugenicist's wettest wet dream. A scam, planned, plotted, graphed and ruthlessly carried out right before our eyes, and while 11


the magician is pulling a quarter from your ear, the pretty assistant lifts your wallet.

Cognitive Dissonance. You hear one thing but you SEE another. Quit listening and OPEN YOUR EYES . . . there is so much to SEE and it is right before your EYES.

Yeah buildings fall down just like that . . . and crazy men with sling shots living in caves can so EASILY attack the richest country on earth . . . and, my personal favorite, spending like a drunken sailor when you have no money well hell no one will ever really notice, will they. I mean, will they?

Corporate Daddy America . . . fucking you HARD . . . protect the share holders protect the share holders protect protect protect . . . it is all a precursor to the NEW Gilded Age. So much to see, so much to 12


QUESTION, so much to just say "oh hell NO". Oh HELL NO . . .

SO FUCKING MUCH . . .

The world is changing right before our very eyes. But the ways in which we "understand" those changes—and "what it all means"— is going through dramatic shifts. The manner in which this "shift" (from seeing things "true" versus seeing them after "being taken for a spin by the doctors of spin") takes place intellectually is facilitated, in large measure, through subtle modifications in language. Words are descriptors of things or actions or feelings. They are not the thing described but, rather, a socially agreed upon sign to point the way to others.

Words serve as a bridge between people so that they may more easily share and understand their 13


environment. Language allows individuals to express "meaning" to others in ways that are designed to elicit similar responses in the receiver of the message. I say it and hopefully you understand pretty much what I mean because we each know those particular words or phrases.

Words are both by-products AND determinants of cognition. The words we use are developed and codified within a particular culture but the mores and emotive anchors tied to those words, as defined by the community at large, also play a large role in determining "how we think".

You may have heard the concept "the map is not the territory"; well that is particularly relevant, I think, in breaking down how and why the "doctors of spin" are successful in making rotting lemons look like a tall cool glass of lemonade. Education and the socialization

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process accomplish many things but one of the primary outcomes of the educational system is the development of a mental framework within which to view individuals and events.

Not only does this "mental house" store certain predefined limits, it also stores a repository of associations that can be layered on to a descriptor—a word or a sentence—that influences, often in very dramatic ways, the manner in which a person or event is understood.

If we change the words we use to describe events we are borrowing associations tied to one word and layering them over the thing "we see" that, before, we called something else. The thing is still the same but the descriptor is now different and the baggage that descriptor brings with it now becomes part and parcel of the way in which the "thing" before us is now understood.

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You say tomato I say red vine of happiness and well things are perhaps a little different than before. If eventually the tomato becomes the red vine of happiness then the associated meanings of the new term will influence the way in which we see what used to be called a tomato. Change the name, allow the name change to saturate the community and gain acceptance, and eventually the thing (in this case the tomato) will morph before our eyes.

It now "means" something "different" even though it is still the same thing as before.

The bailout of the banks is a "prime" (sorry for the pun) example of cognitive dissonance and subtle changes in value judgments as reflected in "mass consciousness", due in large part to the manner in which the bailout is described and the connotations implicit in the language 16


used to describe it. A big debate and highly contested vote was held to determine if the funds should be allocated to help the banks but it has now come out that prior to the vote 2 Trillion Dollars (yes that is Trillion—3 times the 700 Billion requested for the bailout) had already been given to "someone" in secret—sorry can't say who—and rather than see this for what it seems, looting the treasury, we just assume that all must be well.

Our minds recognize that we are in a sorry mess, the administration is filled with secrets and everything they touch turns to gold for the wealthy (Bush's "base", the "haves and the have mores") and pain and misery for everyone else.

However, the words used to describe these transfers are designed to make it seem as if this was done as a benevolent thing—to help prop up the economy and save

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the little guy—rather than what it really is, borderline criminality, at a minimum.

The world is sick and the disease continues to spread. Until we begin to see things (and call them out) for what they are the average American will continue to feel an ever increasing sense of malaise and paranoia. The world is not what it is reported to be . . . but it IS exactly as it appears.

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Fun with Dick and Jane and the Mean Old Man from the Bank

(Originally Posted: September 26, 2008) Well I could sit and say "I told you so" until I was blue in the face but (to use my most famous "line" from the past year -- "it doesn't take Nostradamus") the implosion of the American "economy" was soooooo predictable that it is sort of amazing, to me, anyway, that so few people could see it coming.

There are lots of blogs and posts of mine from the past 18-24 months saying that this was inevitable. Great . . . so fucking what, smarty pants . . . if you're so fucking smart then what does it all MEAN?

Well . . . I am going to try and answer that . . . here is what I have been saying . . . why I have been saying it . . . and what I think it SUGGESTS.

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Going forward . . . a strategy, if you will. But first, the hows and why.

First off--the value of homes was artificially inflated for three primary reasons: (1) speculation. People saw the value of homes rising so quickly that they wanted a piece of that happy pie. As the rush for people to jump on the gravy train expanded, then the late stragglers (the "suckers" or the "fucked" -- pick your favorite or just mix and match to suit) came in and bought over-priced homes. . . most of them on "margins", basically, interest only or no money down mortgages that could ONLY work if the laws of "economic physics" were suspended, what goes up must one day come down, and so poof . . . BUMMER DAY.

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People had been burned (RECENTLY burned, with the unhappy memories fresh in their mind) in the stock market and the dot coms had already cum and dot gone (dot gummit) and so with relatively low interest rates and a free-wheeling moving about economy fueled by news of big price spikes in some of the larger cities, buying (and oh my "flipping") houses became the latest get rich quick scheme. Homes were no longer places to live, they were "investments".

Not good oh no not so fuckin' good . . .

(2) lack of regulation. One of the biggest scams of the past 10 years has been the erosion of the safeguards put into place to protect the average person, like GlassSteagall. Without these laws in place to keep everyone on the same page it (again, the laws of "emotional physics" -- if an envelope can be pushed, someone will surely come along to push it) was only a matter of time 21


until unregulated sharks would go swimming in the unwashed seas . . .

. . . eating the little credit seeking fishies swimming in their soon to be bloody pool.

and (3) "bait and switch" math. "Well, hell, Myrtle, we've got to buy. The damn interest rates are 4.25 % and when we bought our home in 1981 interest rates were 14 and a half percent!" Problem is this--no matter what the interest rates, if the houses cost twice as much then that 3 % savings on the interest rates really just don't matter ALL THAT MUCH. Plus banks seem pretty adept at changing the rules after the games begin so . . .

again . . . BUMMER FUCKIN' DAY.

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People are upside down on their houses. The house I live(d) in (and rented) would have listed for about $560,000 when I moved in 3 years ago. It would have gone up from that the following year (2006). Now it is probably "worth" less than $300,000. *(since this was written last year, the value has dropped to $210,000 – and is probably going to continue to drop)* That is a lot of negative equity. There are soooooo many people here in California who are just ruined. But it is not just the drops in home prices that are screwing the "average guy".

The risk on these questionable loans was packaged and sold (down the river) in a variety of esoteric investment packages that probably found a home at the end of the line in your company's 401K mutual fund. Uh oh, fucked TWICE!

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That's right not only is your home value tanking but your mutual fund portfolio is littered with toxic fumes coming off the stink from these loans. And now, third stick up the ass, the "let's drown the government in the bath tub" economic evangelists suddenly have found religion and have repented of their foolish ways because they need us to bail their ASS OUT and, how, you may ask, do they expect that to happen.

By raising taxes. I am all for taxes, provided I get something in return. Privitization is the neo-con wet dream but it is so contrary to what is good for the group although it sure as FUCK is good for the corporations and since corporations are all that matter . . . since they control the legislation that gets passed and how existing legislation is interpreted . . . their word IS law and now the "little people" will pony up to the trough and help the masters get back on track.

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But this is a lot like taking the bratty nine year old and scolding him but then just going "fuck it" here is a play station and a wii and a wide screen TV--and hell let's just get a couple of hookers for the little guy, too, you're never to young to LEARN and well, I am just not SO SURE this reinforces socially adaptive skills.

And before the robber barons looted the Treasury we might have used those tax dollars for things like roads and schools and lunches for underprivileged children and paying down the debt and well . . . the list could go on and on but NO we needed to play at the corporate casino a while longer.

Greed is NOT good . . . not when it goes hog wild. We are on the verge of a 1929 style depression only I expect it to be much worse than 80 years ago. Recession, fuck we are so far past a recession that it isn't funny. And one other stick up the ass--inflation. 25


To add liquidity to the market more and more money is going to start floating in the turd pool we call a banking system. This does nothing to those at the top but those who have saved for a rainy day well . . . sorry it is raining . . . hard.

All those fifties in the freezer suddently morphed into tens.

BUMMER BUMMER BUMMER . . .

But back to "privitization" . . I know a little about deregulation and privitization first hand as I was the lone "executive contractor" on CSC's $1.1 Billion outsourcing deal with ENRON--in fact, I personally wrote the Disaster Recovery Plan for Enron hahahahaha but also TRUE. 26


Privitization taken to its extreme would eliminate things we currently take for granted, like fire departments and public schools. House on fire? Well make sure you have your fire prevention service provider on speed dial or else

again . . . BUMMER FUCKING DAY.

I have publicly stated for several years that the world was going to CHANGE sometime around September 15, 2008 and all this madness is the tipping point, to me, for BIG changes.

What has happened to the "average Betty and Joe" over the last 10 years is that they have been robbed, stuck up and shaken down in broad daylight and most people

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were too blind or greedy (but mainly BOTH) to see what was coming DOWN.

And what was stolen?

Your labor your work, the effort you made to build a better world . . . because the fruit of that labor has been roped off by the corporate KINGS and they are getting ready to exact their toll.

And that my friends, is where the fun really begins . . .

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Embracing my Inner Outlaw

(Originally Posted: September 19, 2008)

They are gathered together, the captains of killing, in their dark cars, with slippery eyes and swollen fingers, staring out at the oil-stained fields of death. They want it all. They do. They expect it all. They plan to take it.

All.

And they will--unless we stand up, unless we realize that this is no different than Germany in 1933, unless we take a stand together.

As artists we must band together to let our words and images speak truth to power. As concerned citizens, people who care, we MUST take a stand so that others in this world can live in peace.

As people of color, all colors, we have to love each other 29


and DO what is right and fair and supports the planet and ALL people, not just rich white people.

I have dropped my connection to the white boy world— no longer will I take consulting jobs, no longer will I lend my expertise to support and help corporations. My $175.00 an hour consulting jobs—GONE. My fancy Platinum American Express Card—GONE. My belief and acceptance of the "status quo"—LONG GONE.

Because if we don't stop it now something will stop US later on. Read a history book. Take a stand. Fight the power, fight the powers that be.

The Revolution (once again) WILL NOT be televised . . .

. . . because BIG MONEY OWNS "big" media. But that does not mean that the revolution will not be BROADCAST or that our collective voices will not be heard. Blog baby blog march baby march raise your 30


voice your collective power to the people take back the street put it to the MAN voice and make shit happen!

As Carl Jung said "there is no coming to consciousness without pain" and this is COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS (as opposed to Jung's theory of the collective unconscious) that is springing forth from the pains and trials and almost total darkness of the past eight years.

The time is at hand to truly show love to all creatures, to embrace each other from our collective goodness and humanity, black white red brown male female straight gay no matter ALL PEOPLE as one voice one heart one purpose. That is the ONLY way out--the shamanic path the path of transformation the love of self and not-self and all that IS.

We can make a difference. We really can. Because if we don't stand up for what is RIGHT, not what is EASY not 31


what will further my career or "social standing" but for once in our lives WHAT IS FUCKING RIGHT then we deserve the shackles and blinders that this New World Order has in store.

Power to the people the free people the people of ALL nations all continents. It is only through love that we can heal it is only through action that we can show love it is only by healing ourselves that we can save the world.

And there is just this much to it--the world needs us to save ourselves so we can reach out a hand to one another. FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE.

peace . . .

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Redemption Song (Originally Posted: August 19, 2008)

Listening to Bob Marley, trying to get right with God, and thinking about all the ways in which our brains are locked down tight, cognitive castles with tall thick walls and soldiers at the ready--designed to kill unwelcome intruders, fully conditioned to judge friend and foe.

Our minds are a trap and, like all traps, a danger if we are unaware. We are conditioned, programmed (like a computer) to see events and trends in a specific way. I could give my usual speech about evil bankers and oil companies, international tribunals, occult cabals, war profiteers, crooked politicians on the take, media monopolies and Paris Hilton but I will save all that for another day.

It is too easy to fall into "lazy thinking", seeing people and things as "other"--something different and, as a 33


result, something to be avoided. But the truth is that we are all connected, all spiritual beings, filled with the essence of the Creator and the color of our skins or the country of our birth are irrelevant. We are all God's creatures and bound together. Separation breeds fear, recognition of our common divinity breeds tolerance and peace.

We are on the verge of "interesting times". It is time for all of us, I THINK, to look into our souls and make peace with where we stand. Are we willing to embrace our fellows on this lovely planet and love them or do we need to see some as less than us because they look different or talk different or drive an older car or worship a different version of the True God?

One of the true prophets of our age said it beautifully in his classic "Redemption Song‖ . . . Bob Marley's great prayer to the almighty.

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History 101 in Hell (Originally Posted: October 13, 2007)

Sadly, even though there are millions of caring talented people in the United States we have allowed con men with Bibles and bazookas to take over our country; these are people who have absolutely no sense of anything other than "what's good for me, right now"-me, big, perfect, today--those words are pretty much all these people seem to know or care about.

Truly "'tis a tale told by a (sea of) idiot(s)" but that is America. It will change when the world goes bad and that day is rapidly approaching; no matter how much people deny it, the government has been hi-jacked and they are now (as History would suggest) recruiting people of limited intellect and large dreams to do their bidding and like all historical movements based on this logic this, too, shall pass but not before destroying the reputation as well as a large chunk of the internal 35


infrastructure of the United States.

Idiots who "think" they know; at least I am aware that I don't know everything plus I am able to think through processes in ways most people can't (and have proven that in businesses over and over again).

I am not "against the system"; I am against people "stealing the system" and making it ethically unworkable. Any one with a conscience has to be going through terrible anxiety now; I can't be the only one.

But this "New World" is governed by the principle of "live (and fuck) for today; we will figure out tomorrow when (and if) it comes". Dangerous thinking, dangerous thinking.

Hang tight. Mister Toad's Wild Ride will soon begin.

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Lebensborn - the totalitarian control of our Children (Originally posted September 27, 2007)

One of the most insidious elements of any tyrannical power is the need to control the indoctrination of children into their off-the-shelf "one size controls all" world view. I think it unlikely that public schools in the U. S. will ever be much more than an assembly line to train the latest worker-bees with the occasional Einstein or Mozart plucked from the herd and set up with special training and privileges so as to be co-opted later on.

There are too many of us who are relatively bright and articulate and just independent enough to see how this all is likely to play out. We didn't sleep through History class and so the patterns are visible to us for what they are: patterns—suggestive of certain types of behaviors. The Nationalist, Racist, Elitist, God Loves ONLY us

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blinders are gone—we can accept that all things are possible.

I am not saying I know all the answers because of course I don't. But I am saying this: "No one else knows all the answers, either."

If someone—whether they use Religion or a science book or a sanitized abridgement of History as their "proof"— tells you they do, all they are really doing is advertising their ignorance. Better to let people think you're a fool than to talk and confirm it, right?

Eventually the rabble rousers (the ones who see through the 24 Hour 49,802 channel propaganda machine) will die off or be silenced in some way. People will either "get with the program" or be "excused from the after school picnic."

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The best way to promote a totalitarian agenda is to get the kids when they're young.

So it would not surprise me (in fact, the opposite would surprise me) that in the very near future more and more "attention" will be paid to just how the little boys and girls of America behave and if they (or their parents) should fail to fall in line, well then . . .

A lot of foolish hardy souls may perhaps object to the idea of drugging, chipping, and brainwashing their children but the State will soon figure that out and either pressure the parents in to compliance or just simply take the kids.

The Nazi's knew this concept all too well. In fact, early on they developed a fairly "unique" social experiment. It was based on a theory that was being given a lot of attention back in the 1930's called "Eugenics", which is 39


basically a social philosophy that promotes advancements in human heredity and human achievement through "selective coupling". In other words, better babies through engineering—really what's love got to do with it Just match your racial characteristics add two and two together take the square root of your family tree, divide by your resume and your mother's bra size and poof—a perfect genetic match.

The really chilling make your arms tingle and fears of the boogie man in your bed kick into turbo gear element here is the fact that some of the early supporters and promoters of this "theory" were The Rockefeller Foundation, The Carnegie Institution, and the Harriman family, groups with proven ties to supporting the Nazi's before—and even during—World War II.

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The dark hands of the Illuminati at work both then and now.

The SS (the German Gestapo) decided to put theory into practice and developed a fun program called "Lebensborn". In hopes of creating a master race (through the controlled application of Eugenic theory) the German government "encouraged" the blonde blueeyed German SS supermen to have sex with as many women as possible and to that "noble end" the government set up farms to allow young SS studs to mate with racially pure and sexually willing young madchen in hopes of swelling the ranks of the Hitler Youth.

Check this out for a recruiting drive: you get to walk around in these total badass black uniforms, you can walk down any city street and basically kick the shit out of anyone you feel like, AND there is a stud farm where you can go and fuck as many young willing women as 41


you want as much as you want and it is all for the good of the state? Fuck "Army of One". Those Germans knew how to recruit!

The next big thing on the horizon are likely to be laws outlining what children are to do, how they are to do it, and what is likely to happen to rebellious "parents" who don't play along. The ideas of racial superiority that the Nazi's held dear are being played out once again. This is not a game and the new Nazi's of the 21st century have technology on their side in a way in which their German forefathers did not.

This is no joke; this is the way the world will turn unless we say no now.

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Voluntary Compliance--yeah that works (Originally Posted: September 27, 2007)

I spent a restful weekend, doing nothing but watch music videos online. I made a pact with myself to tune out the madness and bullshit of the outside world and retreat to my "happy place" with blankies, and cookies, and a little online hard core punk--just to balance my karma.

I was doing fine, too, until I made the mistake of walking outside and picking up the newspaper and I read two articles that put the steam back into my nostrils pretty quickly. The first one involved the recalling of over a million defective cribs from Simplicity and Graco.

Three babies have already died as a result of a faulty design. But the thing that MOST made me crazy was this--the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall TWO YEARS after they were first 43


alerted that a nine month old infant died as a result of problems with the drop rail.

Just not enough babies to justify the expense I guess. Since my baby died because of this same cost saving mentality it is safe to assume that my happy peaceful don't watch the news don't get upset day was pretty much over.

But my inner thermostat was only at this point set on broil, not, to quote "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", volcano heat. That happened when I turned the page and saw this article: "Bush, U.N. differ on Global Warning."

After my initial shock that Bush, the champion of the environment, might turn a blind eye to global warming and cave to interests of lobbyists from Big Oil I was further dismayed to see that--rather than actually spelling out a plan and getting everyone to agree to a specific protocol, via a treaty or mandate, Bush felt it 44


was good enough to just plan for "Voluntary compliance".

Voluntary compliance--well sure, that has worked so well. Why have all those nasty regulations to get in the way; let's just allow everyone to allow their conscience to guide them knowing that they will take the high road every time and "voluntarily" go against their selfinterests for the good of the planet.

In fact, why even waste the paper to codify laws in the first place--why don't we just voluntarily comply all the time. I promise I won't steal, I wouldn't think of assaulting my neighbors or dropping my garbage in the river or shooting people walking along the street or doing anything that wasn't part of the Republican National Committee's list of preferred actions.

You and I cannot walk across the street anymore without being bombarded with a long long list of things 45


we cannot do and to ignore any of them is to invite the possibility of some orally-fixated ex-linebacker with a taser and a quota kicking your ass or a team of smalldickedwhiteboys (all one word) trying to ram an American Flag up your ass in order to justify some corporate sponsored agenda with which they are, in most cases, blissfully ignorant.

Face it: Capitalism without checks and balances is nothing short of the Wild West. It is, at its core, a philosophy designed to justify greed and selfish behavior.

And the linking of Christianity (at its core a wonderful spiritual philosophy from a Master Teacher promoting love and sharing) to flat out greed and killing (remember the story of the rich man and the camel and the eye of the needle?), as the Republicans have so blatantly done, is (to me ) the absolute pinnacle of hypocrisy.

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It is time that we collectively stand up and say that we don't Voluntarily Comply with their vision of the world. And then we need to let them know that there are laws and standards in place already to which we DO expect THEM to comply.

Because if we don't . . .

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A Vision (Originally Posted: September 19, 2007)

Rather than give a high-level picture of my "vision" of the future, I want to first give my "opinions" as to some current issues impacting what I believe is likely to happen going forward. Be forewarned, though, my picture of the future--at least the American future--is not all Mom and Apple Pie and Manifest Destiny. I think things here are going to be just a little bit "stressful".

So, first things first: 9/11.

I think this is the dividing line, the Rorschach for the inner state of America and Americans--did the planes knock down the towers or was there something more sinister at work?

That is THE question and how one answers it says a lot about what they are likely to do and think going 48


forward.

Here is my "likely 9/11 scenario".

1) I believe the towers were brought down by internal explosives. I could MAYBE be persuaded Towers One and Two fell down because of the fires from the planes but there is NO WAY building Seven was anything BUT a controlled demolition.

The Pentagon raises some interesting questions--the main one being: "where is the fucking plane?" We can go on from there, too; why is the lawn still perfectly green, why hide the videos from around the area, how could ANY pilot, much less a hack trained on a prop plane and video games at Chuck E. Cheese's, make those maneuvers in a plane so big, how come the hole doesn't show evidence of the wings hitting the building (hey I watched "Who Framed Roger Rabbit") and on and on and ON. 49


Norad--how come the Air Force didn't intercept these planes? I guarantee you if you get in a plane tomorrow and fly it over the Pentagon you will have company pretty damn fast.

And all the weird comings and goings in the Towers in the weeks leading up to 9/11 PLUS all the insurance money PLUS the fact that the Towers were old and in need of a very EXPENSIVE make-over . . . well, you get the point.

I am a Truther. The official story is ridiculous but hey if you must believe it, you simply must and not much is likely to change your mind.

But . . . even with all the evidence, literal or conjectural, both current and sure to come forth in the future, I don't think any of that matters because I think the powers that be are already firmly in place and nothing 50


any of us can do will change it. Bush is not going to get impeached, no one is going to let the flaming cat out of the bag, the lies and distortions will continue. Period. It is too late to do anything about THAT.

2) The Patriot Act and all subsequent legislation was drafted and ready to roll. All that was needed was a "Pearl Harbor" like event to help do the bait and switch and push it through. I called the bill almost the day I learned of it "The Gestapo Bill" and that, pretty much in a nutshell, is what I think of it.

To enforce the Gestapo Bill one really needs . . . the Gestapo . . . and so I would expect two things to happen more and more in the days ahead. Police Officers will have a distinct military, Special Forces "kick your ass" attitude (and probably the pedigree to support it) and the use of force will kick in like never before.

Intimidation, brutality, arrests for trivial shit--welcome 51


to the U S of A. As more and more thugs and psychotics get jobs (since the standards are likely to change as to who gets hired to be a policeman) then the chances of violence and harassment will go up. Just watch an old movie about Germans attacking Jews or Gypsies or Communists on the streets of Berlin in 1937 and you'll see what I think is going to happen.

And that IS what I think, too.

3) Every time a new "enemy" needs to be subjugated then expect a new, smaller more compact (i.e. less expensive) 9/11 to precede it. This is a very dark time and likely to get much much worse.

As the need to bomb Iran and start a whole new wave of murky Blackwater dealings revs up I think it very likely that an internal "split" begins to appear in both the fabric of American life as well as the internal psyche of many Americans. In a time of madness it is perfectly 52


legitimate to expect many of us to, literally, go mad.

Fear is a terrible thing, especially when you're not quite sure what EXACTLY to be afraid of.

****

Prophecies for the future: Nostradamus, The Mayan Calendar, the Hopis, et al consistently point to a cleansing period leading up to a rebirth—the end of the ego, the end of history. I think the next five years are going to be just that—a big ass colonic to the world.

Rivers rise, the earth shakes, the winds blow and blow and blow, cold today an oven tomorrow weather that is just plain STRANGE. Creatures that were everywhere a few years back will vanish, the eco-system will attempt to restore balance, and that "balancing act" will make for some interesting times for all of us trying to "control" nature in order that we might continue to live 53


comfortable, predictable lives.

Mother Nature is bigger than you and me and if she sees some of us as fleas on her back then she is more than capable of shaking us off.

*****

Neither a borrower nor a lender be—especially if the one holding your marker happens to be China. I think the US is likely to start getting a lot of collection calls from all over the world pretty soon and it is almost certain that those calls are going to be placed on speed dial to the "average" American who will be asked to step up and foot the bill for the excesses of the super-rich who caused this mess in the first place.

It will be harder and harder to buy homes and therefore people on the bubble, expecting rising equity to save them, may have some hard times ahead. Even the token 54


lowering of the interest rates is (to me anyway) a biscuit given to the dog after the evil master kicks him. Oh thank you thank you for this scrap—a designed game, like a crap game, with odds favoring the house, a game you might win but odds are greater that at the end of the day the house will end up holding the pot—the one you would like to piss in but can no longer afford.

*****

The wars will continue, killing innocents will continue, half truths and flat out lies will continue and the world will fall further and further down the rabbit hole to hell. I believe the primary issue for all of us going forward is how do we react to all the killing and destruction that is being driven by leaders of our own country—the country that was once the light of the world.

This is a spiritual crisis, more than anything and the only thing (I believe) that matters is how we deal with 55


the spiritual side of our lives.

A respect for the earth, a respect for all people no matter where they come from or what color they are or what language they speak, and a respect for one's self. It is too easy to hate one's self when staring at so much violence and bigotry and falsehood.

In a time of madness it is OK to be slightly mad but the trick, I think, is to try to find the spiritual core to balance that out. Love is the answer and right now we live in a time of hate and that hatred will only get worse as more and more things TO HATE appear before us.

I joked last night about my new invention: "The Armageddon Alarm Clock", set to go off six hours before the end of the world—so that we can all repent and pray for forgiveness. Some of us may have a longer list than others but I think six hours should HOPEFULLY be plenty. 56


But honestly the best course of action for all of us going forward is respect and love for one another. Tolerance and forgiveness and love, that is what is most important. The world is spinning out of control—fast. All we can do is right our own ship the best we can and showing a respect for the earth, for God, and for one another is (I think) a good place to start.

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may you live in interesting times (Originally Posted: September 19, 2007)

The world is fast becoming an interesting place, as in the Chinese curse sense "may you live in interesting times".

Brits standing in line to withdraw their money from the bank before it goes belly up, foreclosures on the rise and the dollar in what may soon be a virtual free-fall as the Fed pumps vaporware liquidity into a dying marketplace, and the latest in what is sure to be . . .

a fun new trend--trumpeting the Euro as the financial standard, THE international barometer going forward, a symbol of just how well a group of small nations with long histories of hating and killing one another can put all their differences aside for the good of a central allseeing all-knowing World bank.

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Good morning and welcome to your New World Order made to order Nightmare.

You've been fucked and not in the happy roses and kind words kind of fucked but rather the rammed up the behind with nary a kiss or caress and damn the torpedoes kind of fucked (oh, that's ouchy!) and all those lovely dreams . . .

about retiring and traveling the world, well I hate to tell you but the US will soon be a wonderland for EVERYONE ELSE to come to and we'll have Disneyland and NASCAR and trips to the Levi's Outlet Store to keep the rich nations of the world entertained. And not much else.

A gallon of gas: $14.69, a cheeseburger with real cheese: $22.50, Late Fees on your MasterCard: $245.00. Waking up to find a bunch of European bankers decided to piss on the American Dream (and you, too, while you were 59


asleep): Priceless.

The World (and the New World Order that now controls it) is fucking you--Hard.

Iraq is a scam--designed, I believe, to accomplish three things: 1) steal the Iraqi's oil, 2) make money for the Banks making loans to the government to pay for the war and the Defense Contractors happily cashing the checks covered by the bank's usurious loans, and 3) destroy, from within, the United States and the United States military.

And it is only going to get worse as we start marching off to Iran and then Syria and then Lebanon and on and on and on.

Be sure to order the first, in what is sure to be be a long running series, "Imperialism Gone Wild" video--the Commemorative first "Mission Accomplished" DVD is 60


free, subsequent DVD's of new Imperialist aggression will be shipped monthly, unless you do something for yourselves and cancel your subscription.

This is not a joke; the world is quickly (really quickly, I think) spinning out of control. It is time to seriously look at what's happening in the world, with the US Economy and the US Military and the state of the World in general.

The time is now before the American Dream is just a fading memory and the New World Order Nightmare is the only thing you see.

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J. P. Morgan, on Conspiracy (Originally Posted: September 12, 2007)

J. P. Morgan, on Conspiracy: "Capital must protect itself in every way‌ Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."

Morgan also said this: "A man always has two reasons for what he does--a good one, and the real one". 62


The housing "crisis"--and I do believe there is every reason to expect it will soon reach a crisis stage for too too many--is all part of an elaborate plan, in my opinion, designed to scare the masses into being good boys and girls and going along with the game. Nobody wants to sleep in their car or watch as the world they tried to build crashes around them.

But, mark my words, this is by design and it is one of the last pieces in a very interesting dark puzzle. As the economy tanks, and home prices drop, people will step to one of two different tunes: protect their home turf at all costs or attack the wolves at their door.

Henry Ford said, "It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

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It is time for all of us to realize that we are in this together--black white Latina Asian it doesn't matter. We are all in the mix together and the sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

The housing crunch is, to me, the final "test".

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FUBAR, Texas (Originally Posted: September 5, 2007)

I can't help but feel as if I have slipped into some "Twilight Zone/Land Before Time" thing because even though I think the world is beyond fucked-up and the current administration nothing but rouges and charlatans, the shit coming down lately surprises even me.

For example, did it not dawn on anyone that loading nuclear warheads onto a plane and then flying them from North Dakota to Louisiana was probably not a real "safety first" attitude?

B-52 Mistakenly Flies with Nukes Aboard

Even more amazing--as if this fuck-up wasn't quite enough--during the 3 and 1/2 hour flight no one seemed to notice that five nuclear warheads were 65


missing and unaccounted for.

Luckily a later bed check revealed the remaining nukes were safely in place but (a) how is it possible that they were loaded onto a plane in the first place--this is SOOOOOOO against stated policies that it is hard to imagine anyone in the Air Force doing this without orders from WAY up the command chain and . . .

(b) why wasn't anyone monitoring the warheads in the first place so they could account for their whereabouts at all times? Why did they have to "go look" after they found out they were gone?

There are so many examples of things like this happening--incompetence or outright manipulation (which is it? Either way is bad)--that in a perfect world one would expect some level of accountability and change if a continued string of failures of this scale impacted the good of the (insert group name here). 66


But that's not happening.

And it is not going to happen either. Here is just a short list of life in FUBAR, Texas:

1) The housing scam ("S & L II", we should call it, with a tip of the hat to Keating and the other Savings and Loan scammers from the 1980's who blazed a trail for the banks to follow);

2) the war in Iraq--how is it possible that we now have MORE troops on the ground than ever before?--some pullout;

3) health care totally in the shitter--truthfully do you have any real respect any more for a Doctor? Marcus Welby is Dead, baby, Marcus Welby is fucking dead;

4) an administration so arrogant so above the law to 67


say, basically right out loud, "fuck the Constitution, fuck the Geneva Convention, fuck Congress, fuck citizen's rights, fuck ANYBODY we decide TO FUCK (and it doesn't matter if you knew you were on the list or not because sorry to tell you you are on THE LIST) and just deep down FUCK the US".

Because I believe that is what is really happening.

I believe the current adminstration's GOAL is to dismantle and destroy the United States. Sounds crazy but I believe that it's true.

I have thought about this and agonized over this and taken deep breathes and walked around the house many times but the only thing that makes sense to me is that the current administration--the people SOMEBODY elected--are not only not doing what is best for the US but are instead doing (according to a very strict design) what is best for a financial cabal outside 68


the United States, a global corporate monolith who doesn't give a shit if they live in Northern Virginia or the South of France or in a fancy pad in Dubai.

So yeah call me a Conspiracy Nut but that is truthfully what I think. I believe it is the only thing that makes sense.

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Arma-Greed-on "how do you feel, how do you feel" (Originally Posted: August 30, 2007)

I have been accused of late as being kind of a negative guy. I don't really see that but I can understand how people who don't really know me might say that. After all I have very publicly stated that I felt the housing market would "crash", that the easing of credit standards was due to a complicity of key players (and yes I think it is appropriate to insert the dreaded word "conspiracy" here) thus artificially inflating the values of homes.

This serves as a positive for the previous owners and especially the financial institutions underwriting the loans and a negative for anyone who utilized questionable mortgage packages to get into homes, based on the faulty concept that the equity value in their homes would rise faster than their payments. Any hiccup in this equation, of course, makes for a bad day 70


and now as homes are dropping in value—since now no one can get loans to buy them—many of those people betting on rising home costs defraying their exposure will be crushed.

The subsequent bail out of the banks* (Remember: this was written in 2007, long before the "bail-outs" of September, 2008) and lenders will have an even greater—although less visible (again insert the word "conspiracy" here if you so choose)—impact as the infusion of capital in to the markets to stave off runs to the banks with little red wagons is adding additional dollars in to the mix, thus potentially, ney probably, disrupting the lives of anyone on a fixed income or little old ladies with bags of fifties stashed in the mattress.

I renamed the Patriot Act "The Gestapo Bill" and have compared 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag Building in Germany back in the early thirties. I published both of these comments on the internet 4 and a half years 71


ago (Feb, 2003) so I have a long and loud history as a cynic.

The reason I bring all this up is that like canaries in the mines or cows before an earthquake, many of my closest friends have gone through tremendous psychic upheavals over the past year.

Almost ALL of my closest friends who were/are professional psychics (as I used to be) have just been ripped apart, like a shamanic cleansing with a rotorooter and my guess is that many other creative sensitive types in this country (and throughout the world) have also felt this pervasive sense of angst and discomfort.

I am not just talking about thinking "oh, things are fucked up". I am talking about a real fundamental internal malaise that feels in many ways as if the world is going to end. 72


I believe there are many of us who feel this and, to that end, I would like to write about it and share our stories and our coping mechanisms and try to catalogue them into a book. In addition to my current project on music and magick and creativity, I also would like to talk to you if you, too, have felt this "thing" within. Even if nothing comes of this as a creative project, perhaps there may be some comfort for all of us in this state to reach out to others and see that we are not alone in having these feelings.

I believe that life is essentially good. I also believe that we are now facing a very difficult time in this country and we may soon be faced with issues that are unusual and taxing and in many ways quite demoralizing. For those of my brothers and sisters who also feel this canary in the mine angst, I look forward to hearing from you.

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Together all of us canaries (if we sing together) can perhaps make a difference, after all.

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A Liberal's Response to Conservative Rants against "Sicko" (Originally Posted, August 11, 2007)

One of the arguments made against ―sicko‖ is that it promotes socialized medicine and is just more ―liberal whining‖. The hard line argument by many conservative critics is that if we go to a system like Canada’s then we will all wait in line for weeks on end and no one will ever get care and then we will all be in the fields harvesting wheat and making substandard toaster ovens in some post-Stalinist nightmare world.

Could it just be that capitalism without checks and balances is fundamentally ―different‖ than what the US once was and the idea of regulatory, best practice oversight is not a bad thing but instead the basis upon which we can make things better?

The health care system in the US is, if not broken, then 75


at least seriously ―bent‖. I remember being a kid in the 60’s when you could still go to the doctor and not have to sell the house in order to do it. It is certainly not that way any more!!

There are laws and laws should be obeyed equally by all, not just by the poor or powerless. If health care providers are outside of the written legislation then the system does not, in fact, cannot, work.

But the reason we have laws is that it has been shown that not everyone ―voluntarily‖ takes the high noble path. Too often individuals or groups succumb to selfinterests and commit deeds that ―go against‖ what is best for the group.

That, on a simplistic level, is why we have a legal system–a codified standard of behavior with ―watchers‖ to help confirm we adhere to those standards and ―penalties‖ to be administered if we don’t. 76


Health care providers can ―stretch‖ contractual language–your policy–to the point of breaking and that is not fair. All I am asking is that health care providers be held accountable to do what the laws say they should do. Either re-write the laws or do something to hold providers accountable for breaking them. Either or.

Sadly–That is not how it is now. And that is what needs to change.

The concept raised by many Conservatives is that government ―involvement‖ in an issue is analogous to communism. This seems, to me, to be a very weak argument. There is government involvement in every area of our lives–checks and balances is the positive term, government interference is the negative.

Why can’t I drive 90 mph through a school district? Why do I have to have my kids vaccinated just so they can go 77


to 3rd grade? Why do I have confine myself to just one wife; why not three or four or as many as my income will allow?

These are examples of ―regulations‖ (instituted and ―controlled‖ by the government) and I don’t think this is a novel concept that they exist and, hopefully, they are put into place in order to help make the ―system‖ work ―better‖ for the common good.

What is happening, I believe, with health care is that the ―idea‖ of what one gets with insurance turns out to be in variance with what one often times receives. In both socialized medicine countries and the US there is a distinct stratification at work.

Whether one is excluded due to volume or due to income, in both systems there will be those who suffer and those who prosper and there are limitations to both.

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If Insurance Companies and other health care providers actually provided the services they ―advertise‖ and contractually agree to then this would just be a question of rich vs poor and a different line of argumentation would likely follow.

But the most important issue (in my opinion) is that health care providers are taking advantage of a system that allows for profit taking (by many that have nothing to do with actually providing care but instead serve only in administrative capacities) to the detriment–in many cases this is life threatening–of the people who pay for their services.

Why, if I am a manufacturer, should I put decent brakes on motorcycles if I can make them at a higher profit with sub-standard ones? Why build the house to code if the likelihood of fire seems so remote? These lines of argumentation are no different than asking ―why don’t you provide a level of service that meets acceptable, 79


agreed upon standards?‖

The issue is not that Canada is better or worse. The issue is that the system in the US does not work and whether or not one implements ―socialized medicine‖ or not is not nearly as important as making the current system better and providing a level of oversight and control that supports better service to the consumer/patient.

There are many people who feel as if the current healthcare system in America works ―just fine‖. I disagree. There are methodological imperatives based on both IT infrastructure and clinical processes that are out of control and most of the cost based models underlying health care are at serious odds with accepted best practice models.

Just to put things in perspective, as I do have some first hand experience with health care, on both sides of the 80


curtain, I made about 300,000 a year (as an analyst and manager for Kaiser Permanente–a rather large health care provider and, sadly, a very poor one, as well) and my 300,000 a year salary and my fancy job and title working FOR a hospital did nothing to help me because the hospital I designed business processes and testing methodologies for allowed my child to die.

They were so cost-conscious that they did not ―notice‖ a medical crisis and so now we have no daughter. There are other problems I have experienced with health care as well. One more example (although nothing compared to the loss of our child): I have an arthritic badly damaged shoulder, but the doctors did nothing to help me with that other than confirm that, yes, my shoulder is damaged.

Thanks for the insight. No treatment, no medication, no therapy, nothing. I should ―exercise it‖ and ―maybe‖ it will improve. 81


As a former athlete I exercise it pretty much all the time. There are horror stories galore I could recite from listening to others talk about their experiences with their health care providers but I think mine should be enough.

And, after allowing our child to die–and trust me, if this happens to you, you may re-think your position on health care–the hospital LOST critical medical records and then, later, inserted false records in their place.

We know these are false because we know EMR (electronic medical record) protocol and the ―found‖ records do not conform to that protocol so they are obviously fakes–and please don’t even ATTEMPT to dispute this because, once again, based on my JOB, I know what these are supposed to look like and these ―ain’t it‖.

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The issue at hand is not one of socialism versus capitalism but rather the implementation of controls and standards that are in closer adherence to standard best practice models in business–the only best practice models anyone in health care pays much attention to are cost reduction models, which is fine provided that frugality does not undercut the efficacy of the service provided.

I am not saying that we need to be Canada or have socialized medicine. What I am saying is this:

1. The health care system does not work as well as it should.

2. Somebody should do something about it. Socialized medicine is not the only answer; but there must be changes, fundamental root cause changes, in order for the health care system to be viable and, well, ―healthy‖.

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To deny that there are ―real‖ problems is, to me, very short-sighted thinking.

Policy always drives process–always–so if the health care providers knew they were expected to conform to a specific level of care or risk being penalized then they would figure it out and the system would change. As long as they can play fast and loose and avoid being penalized nothing will change. That is the issue.

The health care system is based on a big lie–and it is this: we will honor our bargain with you, no matter what.

But what happens is this, if it becomes problematic or expensive later, then the health care providers stop holding up their end of the deal.

When you take your wedding vows, ―in sickness and health‖ there is no fine print that says ―unless you get 84


really sick and your illness costs a lot of money to cure.‖

With an insurance company you hear the vow but don’t realize the fine print because it is a faint hollow whisper. All I am asking is that the insurance companies honor their vows, their sacred trust, with me and anyone else who signs up for their services. Would you leave your sick wife or child to fend for themselves alone? Is this fair?

SOMETHING has to happen; the status quo is no longer a viable option and if ―sicko‖ brings awareness to this issue and initiates a dialogue and critical assessment of current state, then this, in my opinion, is a positive thing.

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Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood (Originally Posted: August 11, 2007)

So true and now it is even more blatantly fucked up than ever before--because we, as a country, at least from the top down perspective, are more fucked up than ever before.

Our leadership sucks; they don't give a fuck about us.

All they care about is "shareholder profits" and unless you own a big (and I mean BIG) wad of stock in Halliburton, or Blackwater, or Exxon or some other rich white boy tool then why in the Hell would you give a shit about fighting in Iraq?

Can you tell me?

If someone invades our country we will ALL take to the streets to stop them with steak knives and baseball bats 86


and anything else we can find. But this war in Iraq is ONLY about money and the trickle down theory on that money "don't trickle down too damn far".

AND . . . If we truly want to show our support to our troops why don't we do something unique like take care of them when they come home and help them then and not throw them to the curb if they are no longer "effective".

In business, people are "resources" to be plugged in wherever and discarded whenever. That sucks but the military is worse. If the Army gave a shit they would not let these men and women suffer in such dreadful circumstances after they are injured--and you can be injured mentally as well as physically.

This is class warfare against the poor. Our poor.

Stop this war. NOW. Bring the troops home in a safe 87


orderly way. It has been too long, long long ago. Stop the war NOW.

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Spirituality and the Will to Power (Originally Posted 3/22/2007)

One of the most amazing features of American life and "values" is the co-opting of the "Hard Core Religious"--I see this as "different" than the "Religious Right"--to support agendas that are so totally "un-Christian".

The rich man and the camel and the eye of the needle-remember THAT story, where did it go? We are bombarded with Bible verses supporting all this bull shit governmental policy but never does it dawn on any one that Christian values are at its core love, sharing, charity and goodness--not corporatism and greed and killing in "God's name".

The deeply religious too easily get sucked in to the corporation "Religion USA" and that makes it difficult sometimes to dialogue with them regarding how wrong the war in Iraq really is; WE are the devil now. 89


Many good people get caught up in the big-time PR campaigns of the Church and don't take it upon themselves to really question "the message".

Nietzsche's concept of "will to power" is often invoked as indicative of the "way things are". On one level, I can certainly understand that; a very strong case can be made that the "will to power" is a prevalent part of all of history. However, the fallacy, to me, is that because this instinct is there, that it is right.

I don't believe it is. I believe ALL wars are bad, violence is bad, and that goodness of spirit should over-ride the bullshit that we see happening around us now.

Great societies, great advances, all working towards destruction and death and breaking apart the world they created. A simpler friendlier BETTER world is one to work towards: less things more compassion, less will, 90


more sweetness.

Nothing wrong with wanting a sane world without war-that doesn't make me weak it makes me stronger. Longer life better life peace to all. If no one starts a war there is no need to defend--that is the logic I am invoking.

If we, somehow, can collectively rise above this as a planetary unit then wars would not be necessary and we could live in some form of harmony with one another.

I realize there have always been attackers and always a need to defend. I understand that; I know history very well.

HOWEVER, there is still no GOOD reason to go to war and the optimal position is to rise above this. Peace should be the goal.

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Sometimes that is not possible and that is sad. But it SHOULD be possible and I don't think it out and out impossible to attain.

Different mindset, that would be needed first--an understanding, not a vague conceptual understanding but a firm I KNOW understanding of the spiritual principles underscoring all life; with that we can rise above war and violence and greed.

To touch the spirit--that will change your thinking. I have been guilty too long of wanting women and money and things and I regret that now. I knew better all along but allowed myself to be seduced into short-term things.

The path of the spirit is the true WAY. Peace, love, God. All that IS.

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Why do so many People now HATE the Republicans (Originally Posted: March 13, 2007)

I cannot agree with those who feel that President Bush's actions leading up to the invasion of Iraq don't really matter or with those who think that whether he lied or not is unimportant. I think the question of culpability here is VERY important because if Bush DID lie then that is indicative of potential issues that are more boogie man in the dark complicated than simply bungling Iraq due to poor planning or faulty intelligence.

The possibility that the invasion of Iraq was intentional is, of course, not news. The bigger issue is how much of this is systemic and how much situational because if Bush is leading this and there is a design afoot to dismantle the Constitution and focus on global banking/oil/defense contractor concerns rather than the good of the collective American populace then THAT 93


is a problem, a problem which we should not take lying down, and is fundamentally different than just having things "not work out" in Iraq.

The Republicans have spewed such vitriol and hatred against all who dared oppose them that it is only fair that an equal amount of love and affection be shown them in return. I have never in my life seen such a concentrated effort at distortion of truth and suppression of individualism and I hope that we can wake up from this coup d'etat before it is too late.

I think Bush seems like a good guy if I was going over to his house for cheeseburgers and a beer to watch the Cowboys-Eagles game but as far as the policies of his administration--TOTAL Gestapo bullshit.

They deserve our hatred because they obviously HATE us!!

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I believe the key to getting along is to love your neighbor and follow the golden rule and treat all people with dignity and respect. This administration does not practice that philosophy and even though I cannot personally harbor hatred in my heart towards anyone, if anyone EVER warranted that feeling I believe it is the people (and I don't believe they are necessarily politicians) running our government today.

I also recently read (and responded to) a group thread in which analogies were made comparing America's involvement in World War II to the situation today in Iraq; they were basically saying that America has always been the good guy and that any war America takes part in is, by default, good and that the past history of American intervention in World War I and World War II supports the premise that the US was right and justified in the invasion of Iraq. Germany was bad, America good. As it was before, so must it be today.

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The problem with this line of thinking (as I see it) is that we are using the GEOGRAPHY of WWII as indicative of causal principles in the current war with Iraq rather than the ACTIONS AND MOTIVATIONS of the participating countries.

Most of us can probably agree that Nazi Germany was an aggressor and someone upon whom most forward thinking people would agree that to sit passively by was suicidal and the only viable option was war--all out war.

In that war, as in WWI approximately thirty years earlier, the United States came in midstream during full scale conflict in Europe and tipped the scales in favor of the Allied forces and helped defeat Germany, first under Kaiser Wilhelm and then again under Adolf Hitler.

The problem today though is that in this particular case we are not saving ANY countries from attack by another-instead WE are the aggressor, the instigator and in the 96


analogy for WWII we are now Germany and Iraq is now Poland.

Hard to swallow for the flag wavers of America but in this case we are the ones who attacked, we are the ones who hold the country under our rule for our personal and monetary gain, and therefore it is not that much different than what Germany did to Poland in 1939 (and later France, Belgium, Holland, Hungary, Norway, etc etc during the early forties).

No one asked us to help save them from Iraq. This is what’s different between then and now. Iraq was not an aggressor as they were earlier in 1991. This time they were trying to mind their own business but Bush et al wanted them so they could have their oil and their land and also, in the process, show the world that we were studs and the baddest dudes on the street. ―Don’t fuck with us,‖ that is what they were really saying. ―If there is something we want we are prepared to take it, whether 97


YOU like it or not.‖

The US "decided" to attack Iraq, without legal provocation, and that, as the poet says, has made all the difference.

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Does Slavery STILL Matter? (Originally Posted: March 12, 2007)

Yes, racism is alive and VERY un-well in the USA today. Slavery is STILL an issue because it impacts the collective consciousness of a large group within this country and until we, as a collective, accept this and make some public overt effort to correct it we will always have a problem with it.

I have opportunities as a white boy that others don't have, pure and simple. I can open doors many black men cannot and it has nothing to do with me being so wonderful it has everything to do with me being so white.

If you are not on the receiving end of racism then sure it is easy enough for some folks to say "it is not a real problem to ME" but MOST blacks are victims of racism 99


on some level and probably ALL blacks have, at one time or another, been verbally impacted (at a minimum) by racist comments.

I think we need to do something about it and quit saying blacks should just get over it because until WE (read: white middle and upper class) get over it and publicly apologize for the fuck-ups of our ancestors it will always be an issue.

Things are better than they used to be, no doubt, but they are STILL not right.

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About the Author

Andrew Brewer, known internationally as ―The Rock n Roll Psychic‖, is a nationally televised clairvoyant and astrologer, host of Rock n Roll Psychic Radio, and Publisher / Managing Editor of The Alchemical Heart. Andrew has hundreds of appearances to his credit on radio and TV, perhaps most notably as the featured psychic and co-host, along with Erik Estrada (Chips) and Jenilee Harrison (Three’s Company), of Kebrina’s Psychic Answer, which aired throughout the United States and Canada from 1992-94.

Andrew was the resident morning psychic for many years on Magic 99.7 FM—Columbus’ leading Rock station—and was also featured in a segment on PM Magazine. A talented writer, Andrew has published articles on a wide variety of metaphysical topics. He was at one time a featured columnist in The Free Press and has been quoted in front page articles in both The Los 101


Angeles Times and USA Today.

Labeled ―The Rock n Roll Psychic‖ due to his many clients in the music industry, Andrew has advised major players from Hollywood to Wall Street and his client list, both past and present, includes Actors and Directors, Recording Stars (from L.A. to Nashville, San Francisco to Berlin) and business executives, internationally known super-models, NFL Cheerleaders and professional athletes in both the NFL and the NBA.

A dynamic speaker, Andrew has led workshops for both corporate and non-corporate audiences all across the country. Not content ―only‖ to be a psychic, Andrew ―retired‖ from metaphysics in 1994 to ―prove‖ he could make it in the big bad world of business and over a ten year six figure plus career, Andrew managed projects for several Fortune 500 companies and was twice selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in Business.

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Author’s Statement

Back in the late 80's and early 90's I worked as a psychic and astrologer and had a pretty successful career. I had a long running gig as the "Resident Morning Psychic" on a local rock station and a weekly column on metaphysics in The Free Press.

It was fun--for a long time. I jetted around from LA to New Orleans to Washington DC and all points in between and appeared on local and national TV many times, including a nationally televised infomercial with Erik Estrada, Jenilee Harrison and half the cast of General Hospital that aired throughout the U.S. and Canada twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for about a year and a half.

When my daughter was just a toddler I decided to stop doing readings professionally and "retired" for awhile in 103


order to provide, hopefully, a more "normal" Middle Class environment for my beautiful baby girl.

I set out to prove that a psychic could make it in the big bad business world (something that to most people probably would have seemed impossible); but my ability to analyze (and talk!) allowed me to do just that.

As a Management Consultant, I specialized in Change and Problem Management, Training Development and Delivery, Business Analysis and Strategic Planning and I have been elected twice (in 2000 and again in 2005) for inclusion in Who's Who in American Executives. Weird, I know, but absolutely true.

I have spent many many years reading and studying and "trying to figure it out". I am still trying. When I was young I wandered around the country chanting with Buddhists and hanging with witches and mystics and 104


crazy people and along the way I somehow found time to drop out of several very nice colleges--I was at one time the academic wunderkind, then, later, the creative writing wunderkind. I never did graduate but now have the fancy liberal education of a Ph.D.

My real education is shamanic, metaphysical--out of this world.

Not real resume material. And as a former New Age poster boy,

once labeled ―The Psychic Adonis‖, I had what is commonly referred to as ―attitude.‖

In order for me to develop my gifts as a psychic I needed to follow my own--very winding--path. I had to do it "my way"--no matter what it cost me. For now I am content to steal from several religious traditions to make sort of 105


a syncretic spiritual stew--the Sufis, Russian Orthodoxy, the Power Puff Girls, the Jewish Kabbalah, with New Agey stuff everywhere you look and a heavy dose of Paganism for those cold winter nights.

I believe very strongly that GOD exists I believe the essence of GOD is within every creature

I believe in the power of LOVE as a positive, creative, healing force

Spirit and the "Supernatural" are active, pervasive forces throughout the Universe

All Races, Genders, and Nationalities are equal in the eyes of GOD (and in my eyes, as well)

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*************************************************************** For more information, please check out:

www.rocknrollpsychic.com www.myspace.com/rocknrollpsychic www.facebook.com/rocknrollpsychic

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Andrew Brewer, The Rock n Roll Psychic www.rocknrollpsychic.com 108


Cognitive Dissonance and the Blowback Economy