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DNS provider EveryDNS.net has dropped the wikileaks.org domain, apparently after DDoS attacks, WikiLeaks has said on Twitter.

EveryDNS explained its decision: "The interference at issue arises from the fact that wikileaks.org has become the target of multiple distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These attacks have, and future attacks would, threaten the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure, which enables access to almost 500,000 other websites."

You can still reach WikiLeaks via http://46.59.1.2/, http://213.251.145.96/ or athttp://collateralmurder.com as of the time of this update.

You can support WikiLeaks via http://46.59.1.2/support.html , http://213.251.145.96/support.html , https://donations.datacell.com/ or http://collateralmurder.com/en/support.html

Cablegate releases are reachable at http://statelogs.owni.fr or via torrent search.

Update: WikiLeaks is now accessible at http://wikileaks.ch/

Read more

Source: wlcentral.org

 
By Admin (from 02/12/2010 @ 16:33:29, in en - Global Observatory, read 1986 times)

Harper's: The Madrid Cables

Scott Horton writes: "In Spain, the WikiLeaks disclosures have dominated the news for three days now. The reporting has been led by the level-headed El País, with its nationwide competitor, Público, lagging only a bit behind. Attention has focused on three separate matters, each pending in the Spanish national security court, the Audiencia Nacional: the investigation into the 2003 death of a Spanish cameraman, José Cuoso, as a result of the mistaken shelling of Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel by a U.S. tank; an investigation into the torture of Spanish subjects held at Guantánamo; and a probe into the use of Spanish bases and airfields for extraordinary renditions flights, including the one which took Khaled El-Masri to Baghdad and then on to Afghanistan in 2003.

These cables reveal a large-scale, closely coordinated effort by the State Department to obstruct these criminal investigations. High-ranking U.S. visitors such as former Republican Party Chair Mel Martinez, Senator Greg Judd, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were corralled into this effort, warning Spanish political leaders that the criminal investigations would “be misunderstood” and would harm bilateral relations. The U.S. diplomats also sought out and communicated directly with judges and prosecutors, attempting to steer the cases into the hands of judges of their choosing. The cables also reflect an absolutely extraordinary rapport between the Madrid embassy and Spanish prosecutors, who repeatedly appear to be doing the embassy’s bidding."
Read more

El País: How US worked to get three soldiers off the hook for cameraman's death

"One of the biggest objectives at the US Embassy in Madrid over the past seven years has been trying to get the criminal case dropped against three US soldiers accused of the killing of a Spanish television cameraman.[...]

The High Court has charged three soldiers - Sgt. Thomas Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Col. Philip de Camp, all of the Third Infantry Division of the US Army - for the killing of Telecinco cameraman José Couso on April 8, 2003 during a tank shelling of the Hotel Palestine where he and other journalists were staying while they were covering the war in Baghdad. Also killed was a Reuters cameraman, Taras Protsyuk of Ukraine.

On May 25, 2007, US Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre, who served in Madrid between 2005-2008, wrote to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice days before her visit to Spain to tell her that the Zapatero government "has been helpful behind the scenes in getting the case appealed by the Spanish prosecutor." Aguirre recommended that Rice should express "continued US government concern" about the case when she met with Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Foreign Minister Moratinos. "We want continued vigilance and cooperation by the government of Spain until the case is dropped," Aguirre wrote."
Read more

The Guardian: UK overruled on Lebanon spy flights from Cyprus, WikiLeaks cables reveal

"Americans dismissed 'bureaucratic' Foreign Office concern that Lebanese Hezbollah suspects might be tortured," write David Leigh and Richard Norton-Taylor.

"Labour ministers said they feared making the UK an unwitting accomplice to torture, and were upset about rendition flights going on behind their backs.

The use of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus for American U2 spy plane missions over Hezbollah locations in Lebanon – missions that have never been disclosed until now – prompted an acrimonious series of exchanges between British officials and the US embassy in London, according to the cables released by WikiLeaks. The then foreign secretary David Miliband is quoted as saying, unavailingly, "policymakers needed to get control of the military".[...]

At this point Richard LeBaron, charges d'affaires at the London embassy, cabled Washington that human rights concerns could not be allowed to get in the way of counter-terrorism operations. Britain's demands were "not only burdensome but unrealistic", he said, proposing "high-level approaches" to call the British to heel."
Read more

Foreign Policy: Did a U.S. ambassador accuse Sri Lanka's president of war crimes?

"Are we surprised to learn, via WikiLeaks, that American diplomats in Colombo blame Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his top officials for the massacre of tens of thousands (by most estimates) of Tamil civilians during the final months of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war? The goods are in a Jan. 15 cable sent by U.S. Amb. Patricia A. Butenis on the eve of Sri Lanka's presidential elections (which Rajapaksa won handily). Butenis was assessing the country's ability to come to terms with the atrocities committed in the protracted conflict between the government and the Tamil Tigers rebel group, which was defeated in May 2009 after nearly three decades of fighting."
Read more

Foreign Policy has also started a website dedicated to analysing the Cablegate revelations:http://wikileaks.foreignpolicy.com/

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Berlusconi 'profited from secret deals' with Putin

"US diplomats have reported startling suspicions that Silvio Berlusconi could be "profiting personally and handsomely" from secret deals with the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, according to cables released by WikiLeaks.

Exasperated by Berlusconi's pro-Russian behaviour, American embassy staff detail allegations circulating in Rome that the Italian leader has been promised a cut of huge energy contracts. The two men are known to be personally close, but this is the first time allegations of a financial link have surfaced."
Read more

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables link Russian mafia boss to EU gas supplies

"Gas supplies to Ukraine and EU states are linked to the Russian mafia, according to the US ambassador in Kiev.

His cable, released by WikiLeaks, followed statements by the then prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, to the BBC that she had "documented proof that some powerful criminal structures are behind the RosUkrEnergo (RUE) company".

Allegations have long swirled that the Russian crime don Semyon Mogilevich had covert interests in Swiss-registered RUE, which distributes gas from central Asia."
Read more

Der Spiegel: In Russian Hands: US Forced to Change Course in Relations with Ukraine

"When seeking a productive working relationship with an undesired newcomer, it is best to have a plan. On Feb. 23 of this year John Tefft, the American ambassador in Kiev, was preparing a plan for the arrival of US National Security Advisor James Jones. On the occasion of the inauguration of the new Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Jones was to convey a generous offer of friendship: The administration of US President Barack Obama "looks forward to working with you across the full range of issues," Tefft's brief suggested Jones tell the new Ukrainian leader.

Jones, who had fought against Moscow's allies in the Vietnam War, was seeking to strike a diplomatic blow against the Kremlin, by making Yanukovych into a US partner."
Read more

Der Spiegel: Cables Track US Diplomatic Efforts to Avert Russian-Georgian Conflict

"The leaked embassy cables show how the US, after spending years helping to build up Georgia's military capabilities, made last-ditch diplomatic attempts to avert the August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia.[...]

The Georgians were close allies with the US, while the Abkhazians and South Ossetians were supported by Russia. Neither the Russians nor the Americans wanted a major escalation in the regions -- but they weren't averse to fanning tensions. It was a dangerous approach that eventually backfired."
Read more

Der Spiegel: 'Virtual Mafia States': Russian Mafia an International Concern for US Diplomats

"The secret embassy reports read like descriptions of a small banana republic. The mayor of the capital city allegedly has "connections to the criminal world," a few of his friends, including members of parliament, are said to be little more than "bandits," with city officials supposedly "requiring bribes from businesses attempting to operate in the city." The mayor, US diplomats allege, "oversees a system in which it appears that almost everyone at every level is involved in some form of corruption or criminal behavior."

The US cable, dated Feb. 12, 2010, originated from one of the world's largest capitals, Moscow. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov at the end of September because he is no longer trusted by the government. Nevertheless, the memos documented by the American diplomats show how the mafia appears to be deeply anchored in Russian society and to have ties with the government. US diplomats believe that some criminal masterminds have the blessing of people in the Kremlin and security services."
Read more

Source: wlcentral.org

 
By Admin (from 02/12/2010 @ 12:00:43, in en - Global Observatory, read 1163 times)

The following are actual stories provided by travel agents:

I had someone ask for an aisle seats so that his or her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii.  After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"

I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown.  I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts. "Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Capecod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa."  Her response ... click.

A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state."

I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."

Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay over in Dallas.  When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time."

A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am.  I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

A woman called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who's luggage belongs to who?" I said, "No, why do you ask?" She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I'm overweight, is there any connection?" After putting her on hold for a minute while I "looked into it" (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

I just got off the phone with a man who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied, "I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them."

A woman called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes." I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever."

A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."

A woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York" The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent: "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Hippopotamus anywhere." The customer retorted, "Oh don't be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo, do you?" "That's it! I knew it was a big animal!"

Source: strangeplaces.net

 
By Admin (from 01/12/2010 @ 18:00:09, in en - Global Observatory, read 1151 times)

... CONTINUES after the First Part of the video.

The British Broadcasting Corporation: In a wide-ranging special interview, Jeremy Paxman talks to Christopher Hitchens about his cancer diagnosis, his life, his politics and his writing.

 
By Admin (from 30/11/2010 @ 18:00:36, in en - Global Observatory, read 1380 times)

The British Broadcasting Corporation: In a wide-ranging special interview, Jeremy Paxman talks to Christopher Hitchens about his cancer diagnosis, his life, his politics and his writing.

TO BE CONTINUED with Part 2 of the video ...

 
By Admin (from 25/11/2010 @ 08:00:15, in en - Global Observatory, read 1450 times)

... CONTINUES.

This concept has been taken further by Internet giant, Google, who operates a policy known as ’Twenty Percent Time’. Instead of being given a day or two each year to work entirely freely, without set aims or objectives, Google’s engineers operate totally independently of management for twenty percent of their overall employment time. From this, some of Google’s biggest successes, including Google News and Gmail have arisen; in a talk at Stanford University, Google’s Vice President of Search Products and User Experience stated that “half of all new products are the result of ‘Twenty Percent Time’”.

These trends have led to the development of an entire philosophy regarding motivation and work, known as the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). ROWE accepts the fact that in both business and the wider world, results are often the only recognized factor in measuring success. As such, businesses that have adopted the ROWE approach do not set their staff hours, offices, targets, objectives or any other requirements that paralyze creativity. Employees are allowed to work when they choose, where they choose, to whatever means they choose, as long as they reach the specified final result. They are not taught how or when to do things, allowing them to develop their own uniquely creative methods and motives. Thus far, in all cases where the ROWE philosophy has been enacted, worker satisfaction has increased, worker engagement has increased and overall productivity has increased.

In 1993, Microsoft began a little-known project to create a digital encyclopaedia, named Encarta. You may have correctly assumed that Encarta is little-known because of the fact that it was largely commercially unsuccessful. This lack of success came despite heavy investment into paid professionals to create the encyclopaedia entries by strict deadlines in excellent working conditions, contrary to what we are told about monetary incentive driving human achievement. Eight years after Encarta’s inception, another encyclopaedia project was launched, this time utilizing an entirely different model. In this model, there are no wages for contributors, nor is there any other sort of tangible, materialistic reward. It is based simply on the fact that people enjoy expressing their creativity, and relish the chance to contribute to a cause larger than themselves. As a result, Wikipedia is undoubtedly the best-known digital encyclopaedia in the world today, far out-stripping the achievements of Encarta.

What these successes all prove is that allowing our beliefs about how the human race can operate creatively to stagnate in the outdated pool of monetary-ism is simply unproductive and inefficient. Until we accept that, we will continue to live in a society where decency and ethical behavior are fundamentally impossible.

“We were saying how very important it is to bring about, in the human mind, the radical revolution. The crisis is a crisis in consciousness; a crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms; the old patterns; the ancient traditions. And, considering what the world is now, with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression, and so on, man is still as he was: is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive, and he has built a society along these lines.” - Jiddu Krishnamurti

The other half of the ‘basic economic problem’ is arguably less ambiguous: ‘the world’s resources are finite’. However, this should not be interpreted as ‘money is the only way of distributing something of a limited quality’.

It is true that if we continue to fuel approximately 300 million automobiles with oil, we will run out. It is true that if we continue to heat our homes with coal and natural gas, we will run out. It is also true that, in his work The Republic, Plato identified that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. This essentially means that, whenever humanity runs out of a resource, an alternative will be sought. This is no less true today than it was in 380 BC: realizing that our energy sources are dwindling, massive investment has been made in ‘green’ fuel – perhaps more so than you even realize. The fact is that we could stop burning all fossil fuels tomorrow and never run out of energy using today’s technologies. Geothermal power alone has been proven to be a source of potential energy potent enough to fuel the world as it is now for the next 4000 years.

Additionally, the world’s core heat constantly renews itself, allowing geothermal energy to realistically power everything on earth infinitely. Although I have only briefly addressed the issue of energy, it does not require a well-qualified scientist to even begin to guess at the limitless number of possible alternative materials and resources that could be harnessed, given man’s incredible known propensity toward innovation.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America, first started seeking ways for his country to enter World War Two, the US owned roughly 600 fighter jets, and lacked the money to invest in more. Yet, what they did have access to was the resources to produce fighters, and by the end of the war, they were creating 90,000 every year. What this shows is that, in times of war, we are more than capable of producing arms at incredible rates, regardless of the availability of money. Imagine if this same efficiency was applied in times of peace, and we instead chose to produce food and build schools and hospitals instead of fighter planes. This is a testament to our true ability to produce abundance when necessary.

I hope that you will assess this article with an open mind. Evidently, it is difficult to accept that everything your teachers and text books have taught you about the way Man operates within this system is a combination of lies and nonsense, but I hope that you are intelligent enough not to accept the first thing you hear or read as gospel. In a world where so much is concentrated in the hands of so few, at the brutal expense of so many, it is easy to see that something is very wrong. Your duty to yourself and to everyone around you is to never stop asking questions. ‘Be a teacher and a student; inspire everyone around you through your example’.

---------------
“Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention: it is not a natural resource, nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.”
- Jacque Fresco

Author: Liam Blee - Source: thezeitgeistmovement.com

 
By Admin (from 24/11/2010 @ 08:00:25, in en - Global Observatory, read 2585 times)

... CONTINUES.

“The only true lasting American value that’s still around today is buying things; people spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.” - George Carlin

Yet, we continue to believe that ‘this is just the way it is’: that greed is natural and thus acceptable. This ridiculous notion is what all of the text books are based upon, this ‘me against you, us against them’ mentality is where the absurd and fallacious ‘basic economic problem’ comes from, and this incredible lie is what makes people maintain their nonsensical support for monetary-ism, despite its plainly horrific flaws. To truly put this into perspective, ‘the basic economic problem’ causes 34,000 people to die every day because of poverty, and forces around 3.4 billion people (half of all people on earth) to survive on less than $2 per day. How anyone can be aware of these statistics and still refuse to seek alternatives is nothing short of a disgusting and unsane disregard for human life. If you still believe that human wants are naturally infinite, rather than the result of the competitive environment in which we are raised – the environment which ‘forces us to fight with each other to survive’ – I will now attempt to provide some other broader examples.

A better analogy than the ‘blank canvas’ to which I earlier referred is the idea that all children are born holding a mirror; they reflect the society around them. A child born into an Italian family and raised in Italy will develop the mannerisms of the Italian culture; the accent, the traditions, the tastes and all other aspects will be ‘mirrored’ by the child. He was not born with an ‘Italian’ gene which made him this way. Similarly, a child born to German parents in Germany who is then adopted by English foster parents in England will reflect the English culture in which he is raised, rather than developing a German accent, etc. Characteristics such as dialect, tradition and taste are in no way more inherent in humans than greed: a man who lives alone on an island and has no competition for food and water will not develop the same ‘infinite wants’ as a man raised in a village of one hundred people who only have access to one fruit tree and one well.

Additionally, through further analogies, we can see that this is not just a trend limited to humans. In World War Two, dogs were trained to attack and kill Japanese soldiers; simultaneously, dogs were also trained to guide the blind. The dog that kills soldiers is not bad, just as much as the guide dog is not good: they are simply the products of training and conditioning, in no different a way as we are the products of the indoctrination of the monetary system. A frequently raised question is: ‘I’ve worked for what I have, why should people in the less-developed world be given the same for free?’ Let me simply remind you that you were born into modern Britain, where electricity, running water, hospitals, schools, cars, telephones, televisions, computers and every other piece of technology which betters your life had already been created. You contributed nothing to this, yet still have total access to it.

The vital understanding is that ‘the basic economic problem’ that we have been presented with is simply not accurate in the way that most people understand it: human wants are not infinite. Rather, the wants of humans raised in a competitive environment – where fighting others for survival is the norm – may be infinite, but to label this a natural facet of all men is simply inaccurate. In the world as it is today, our only motivation and measurement of success is monetary reward, and so to constantly seek more (even when we have no tangible use for it) seems a natural process. In this way, however, ‘the basic economic problem’ is not some ultimate obstacle to a transition to a Resource-Based Economy. If people can be conditioned to believe that they will demand materialistic gratification indefinitely, they can just as easily be conditioned to think the opposite. This is not even an alien methodology without grounds in the present system; in a 2010 speech to students at Oxford University, American studier of motivational patterns Dan Pink discussed the following unconventional approaches to employment.

In the past few years, an Australian software company named Atlassian has introduced a scheme called ‘FedEx Days’ – presumably stemming from the idea of delivering an overnight solution – to their business. The idea is that, several times a year, their entire workforce is given 24 hours of totally free time in order to engineer a solution to a problem of their choosing. They are allowed to work on absolutely anything, without limitations, targets or budgets, as long as it does not relate to their everyday paid work. Atlassian admits that some of its most successful software solutions have stemmed from these ‘FedEx Days’. The engineers who develop these ideas are motivated by the chance to fulfil their creative potential and express their ability, rather than by monetary reward or the need to meet a given expectation.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Author: Liam Blee - Source: thezeitgeistmovement.com

 
By Admin (from 23/11/2010 @ 08:00:40, in en - Global Observatory, read 1602 times)

... CONTINUES.

History is filled with examples of wars, invasions, genocides, and all manner of abuses of power that have been waged by men and women who desire to steal what they do not already possess, and in this way, it is easy to see why it is so widely assumed that humans as a race are implicitly competitive, acquisitive, and self-serving. Despite the implications of this evidence, however, this is simply superficial and untrue. I believe that the best way of explaining this is through a particularly excellent quotation, which came from the Belgian economist Bernard Lietaer, who worked closely on the creation of the EU currency system, and who succinctly summarises the issue:
“Greed and competition are not the result of immutable human temperament; greed and fear of scarcity are in fact being continuously created and amplified as a direct result of the money we are using. We can produce more than enough food to feed everyone, and enough work for everybody in the world, but there is clearly not enough money to pay for it all. The job of the central banks is to create and maintain this scarcity, and the direct consequence of this is that we have to fight with each other in order to survive.”
- Bernard Lietaer

What exactly does Lietaer mean by this? Firstly, he points out that greed, competition and all similar characteristics are ‘not the result of immutable human temperament’: in other words, they are in no way fundamentally incorporated into the human race, which in turn means that they can be changed and removed. Secondly, he addresses their true origin: ‘the money we are using’. Essentially, his point is this; people are conditioned to be greedy and materialistic because monetary-ism is designed to create competition through scarcity: if there isn’t enough to go round, people will work harder in order to obtain that ‘stuff’, even if it is at the expense of others. This is why people become greedy, or, as Lietaer poetically puts it, why ‘we have to fight with each other in order to survive’.

How, exactly, have we been manipulated to believe that our wants are infinite and that our greed is primordial? Modern culture is, in fact, riddled with institutions that perpetuate this myth, although we rarely stop to question either their motives or their methods. Perhaps the biggest contributor is the advertising and marketing industry. Their simple procedure is to make people feel inadequate, inept, and inferior because of what they do or do not own, and then offer their particular product as the ‘cure’ to these insufficiencies. They constantly bombard the population with messages and images of models and celebrities who are ‘better people’ than you because of the labels on their clothes. Vast expenditure is used to achieve this: ZenithOptimedia reported that over $542 billion will be spent on advertising globally by the end of 2010, whilst “it is currently estimated that a child sees more than 40,000 television commercials a year”. The simple fact is that, in surrendering to their suggestions of inferiority and purchasing their products, consumers are parading those labels on their behalf, becoming a walking advertisement with no earned wage.

The entire fashion industry, and the advertising agencies with which they work with, have created and installed an artificial system of values within all of us, convincing the population that a person can be deemed good or bad, worthy or unworthy, simply because of their ability to purchase the latest designer goods. Thus, we constantly lust for more: our idea of self-fulfillment and achievement becomes so clouded and illogical that we believe that the greatest sense of accomplishment in life comes from purchasing certain commercial articles. ‘Fashions’ are thus created: endless advertising manipulates our values, creating trends that people are forced to adhere to, simply out of fear that they will be mocked for failure to conform. We lose all sense of perspective and balance; the way we continually evaluate our self-worth on some imaginary, materialistic, commercial scale fuels our need to constantly purchase more in order to be the apparent best person that we can. The manifestation of our values is quantified by the fact that, in culture is, in fact, riddled with institutions that perpetuate this myth, although we rarely stop to question either their motives or their methods. Perhaps the biggest contributor is the advertising and marketing industry. Their simple procedure is to make people feel inadequate, inept, and inferior because of what they do or do not own, and then offer their particular product as the ‘cure’ to these insufficiencies. They constantly bombard the population with messages and images of models and celebrities who are ‘better people’ than you because of the labels on their clothes. Vast expenditure is used to achieve this: ZenithOptimedia reported that over $542 billion will be spent on advertising globally by the end of 2010, whilst “it is currently estimated that a child sees more than 40,000 television commercials a year”. The simple fact is that, in surrendering to their suggestions of inferiority and purchasing their products, consumers are parading those labels on their behalf, becoming a walking advertisement with no earned wage.
The entire fashion industry, and the advertising agencies with which they work with, have created and installed an artificial system of values within all of us, convincing the population that a person can be deemed good or bad, worthy or unworthy, simply because of their ability to purchase the latest designer goods. Thus, we constantly lust for more: our idea of self-fulfillment and achievement becomes so clouded and illogical that we believe that the greatest sense of accomplishment in life comes from purchasing certain commercial articles. ‘Fashions’ are thus created: endless advertising manipulates our values, creating trends that people are forced to adhere to, simply out of fear that they will be mocked for failure to conform. We lose all sense of perspective and balance; the way we continually evaluate our self-worth on some imaginary, materialistic, commercial scale fuels our need to constantly purchase more in order to be the apparent best person that we can. The manifestation of our values is quantified by the fact that, in the USA alone, over $250 billion is spent annually on fashion, whilst the US Department of Education’s 2010 budget was only $46.7 billion.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Author: Liam Blee - Source: thezeitgeistmovement.com

 
By Admin (from 22/11/2010 @ 17:00:01, in en - Global Observatory, read 2316 times)

WIKILEAKS has revealed plans to publish a new tranche of secrets, this one seven times larger than last month's massive 400,000 military reports about the Iraq war.

The announcement comes days after Swedish authorities issued an arrest warrant for the organisation's editor, the Australian citizen Julian Assange, following a two month investigation into allegations of rape.

WikiLeaks announced on Twitter yesterday afternoon: "Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. Intense pressure over it for months."

It has published two massive tranches of secret US military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - 77,000 files on Afghanistan in July, and 400,000 files on Iraq last month. It has not discussed where the material came from. But US authorities have charged a soldier, intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, over the thefts.

Mr Assange has been in England since leaving Sweden in August after publicity surrounding the allegations made by the two women.

Both had separate and brief sexual liaisons with the WikiLeaks editor while he was there, and both allege they had consensual sex with him, but that he refused to wear a condom.

Mr Assange and his supporters have alleged he is the victim of a US-initiated smear campaign as a result of his work.

"I request the District Court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion," the Swedish Director of Prosecutions, Marianne Ny, said last week.

In a statement the same day Mr Assange's London lawyer, Mark Stephens, said the allegations were "false and without basis". He also said Mr Assange has repeatedly offered to be interviewed.

"All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate."

Author: Dylan Welch - Source: smh.com.au

 
By Admin (from 22/11/2010 @ 08:00:05, in en - Global Observatory, read 1178 times)

“We paid the cover charge of life with our birth, and we all pay the full cost with our death, so everything else in between should be free.” - Bill Hicks

When the use of money as a means of resource allocation first occurred in ancient Mesopotamia (now Iraq and Syria) around five thousand years ago, a theory, which has since plagued humanity’s understanding of the world, was born. It has been named ‘the basic economic problem’ and is taught as gospel to all students of the free enterprise system. Sadly, challenges to its validity are thus rare, and economists of all levels are continually indoctrinated with a well-manipulated lie about the fundamentals of human sociology. It states the following:
“The world’s resources are finite, but human wants are infinite.”

The truth that so few ever learn is that there is no ‘basic economic problem’. To better understand this, some terminology must be first defined: most importantly, the erroneous phrase ‘human nature’.

Human nature is often defined as ‘the psychological attributes of humankind that are assumed to be shared by all human beings’. Like ‘the basic economic problem’, the truth is that there is no such thing as ‘human nature’, at least to the misguided and exaggerated extent understood by the majority. Humans, as a species, are actually born with virtually nothing that is ‘common’ to all. Arguably, the only thing that we do share is a basic need for survival, through the consumption of nutritious food and clean water, and shelter from danger. No human is born wanting to die, and so we can reliably claim that the desire to survive is part of ‘human nature’. That, however, is where humanity’s universal characteristics end, and that is why there is truly no such thing as ‘human greed’ or ‘the basic economic problem’. These are all myths designed to maintain your faith in a broken system.

Secondly, the term ‘monetary-ism’ must also be defined. Monetary-ism is used in this document in place of all the other ‘ism’ ideologies: capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism (and so on and so forth), for they are all fundamentally the same. They are all irrelevant ideologies with the same deep-rooted core: an unyielding faith in the monetary system. Communist China and capitalist America are really no different in this sense, and so this term will be used to more accurately describe the market-based free-enterprise system, where labour is sold for wages in order to fuel cyclical consumption. This general economic process will henceforth be referred to as monetary-ism.

No human being is naturally greedy. In the same way, no human being is good, bad, smart, stupid, or any other variable characteristic; this simply stems from the primitive religious expectation that there are only ‘good’ and ‘evil’ people. As an overall race, human beings simply are. Every boy and every girl is born into this world equal, a blank canvas. No human being is competitive or materialistic as a result of – depending on how you value those traits – any genetic advantage or fault, and this is why ‘the basic economic problem’ is essentially nonsense; people can be conditioned to believe that their demands are infinite, but this is not an inherent, unchangeable or fixed trait.

“The first man, who, after enclosing a piece of land, took it into his head to say ‘this is mine’, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of our current civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, misfortunes and horrors would the human species have been spared had someone pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: ‘Beware of listening to this impostor. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of this earth belong to us all, and the Earth itself to nobody.’
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

TO BE CONTINUED ...

Author: Liam Blee - Source: thezeitgeistmovement.com

 
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