The smaller we go the greater life’s wonder.

I share just one of 91 extraordinary microscopic pictures of the living world. Each new one in the slide show had me in awe and then at No.13 I gasped, stopped looking and began this blog.

Within the human brain, we know that each tiny neuron is connected through its dendrites, axons and synapses to thousands of other neurons, and that these connections shift as different tasks are demanded of our organism. It’s a staggering scenario, and one I have never really been able to picture. Here we see this for real, in an extraordinary photo of “fresh” brain cells, newly formed from embryonic stem cells. Looking at this cell, I get visual support for a point I make in my book, Sun of gOd, about the bottom-up structure of our own organism. Each single cell in our body contains 5-10 million residents going about their business of eating, excreting, repairing, assessing, co-operating,  communicating with other cells, reproducing and so forth. There is no sign of a gang-leader determining what these individual characters do or when.

Here we see a brain cell looking like a miniature organism in its own right, ready to connect up with up to 10,000 other brain cells and exchange information, make decisions, learn new skills and much much more. Our brain has the structure of something organised from the bottom-up. Off on a wild tangent, looking at these fine filaments makes me wonder if they might also act as antenna connected to the activity of an energetic mind.

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Now I want to get back to the remaining 78 photos. SEE THEM ALL HERE

While writing the book to which I refer above, Sun of gOd, Discover the Self-Organizing Consciousness that Underlies Everything, it became increasingly apparent that consciousness had to pervade everything, once we extend its reach beyond the human brain. In the early stages of that recognition came the discovery  of how an animal cell’s inner residents work together.

 

 

Dark side of the World Cup

Brazil continues to abuse the indigenous population, who took part in the anti-FIFA riots along with ordinary citizens. FIFA and other corporations rely upon the coercive state to do their dirty work.

“Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup with impeccable style and a great win for its national side on the very first day! But scratch the surface and you’ll find a darker side, because what’s missing from the popular image of Brazil is the shocking treatment of its first peoples. Its football stadiums are built on Indian land, and its new-found wealth comes from the dispossession of the Indians and the theft of their lands. Now Brazil is planning a new assault on its first peoples: targeting the lands they have managed to keep.”

General Gentil Noguera Paes said, ‘The road must be finished, even if we have to open fire on these murderous Indians to do so. They have already greatly defied us and they are getting in the way of construction.’
Click here to continue this story.   More here from Survival International
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An excerpt from chapter 21 – Global Corporation Inc.

“Many examples of corporate abuse persist today, where a corporation has enlisted the state to do the dirty work it could not do itself. Whether it is tribal farmers in Guatemala murdered to pursue World Bank-supported dam projects, or indigenous communities evicted when mineral rights to their ancient lands are sold to Western companies, it is the state with its soldiers and police who are there to do the dirty work, paid for by the purchase of “rights” from the state. Companies cannot easily get away with naked coercion in today’s world. Hell, even the police are having a difficult time getting away with indiscriminate beating and killings, now likely to be broadcast worldwide within minutes.”

Seven current examples of the out-of-date state in action.

UK  – FRACKING away!

The UK government pushes forward with its plans to frack the hell out of our green and pleasant land, pumping toxic chemicals through miles of horizontal shafts beneath the ground. They are bribing local councils to give permission for criminal damage to planet Earth, while deploying their police to deal with pesky protesters trying to save the planet. Get detailed information here on the toxic components of Haliburton’s fracking fluids.

TURKEY – rampant corruption

The Turkish government has just sacked 350 police officers, including those chief officers in charge of monitoring financial crime, smuggling, and organized crime. This follows  a corruption investigation that had named and shamed several of Prime Minister Erdogan’s minsters and close associates.  Thousands have taken to the streets in protest. Fighting  and scuffles even broke out in the Turkish parliament.

UKRAINE – savage brutality

There have been huge anti-government protests in Ukraine over the past few weeks after the government rejected a closer alliance with the EU in favour of closer ties to Russia (dogshit versus catshit, I would say). But the organizer of those protests was savagely beaten by a gang of thugs last week as he left a police station. Another pro EU campaigner was stabbed outside his apartment and a journalist supporting the protest was beaten unconscious.

SPAIN – a right royal fraud

The daughter of the Spanish king has been named as a suspect in a fraud and money-laundering case involving millions of Euros, allegedly taken from a publically funded charitable fund run by her husband.

UK – wasting money on pharmaceuticals

The British state has purchased some £500 million worth of Tamilflu vaccinations without having any evidence of its effectiveness. Those lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry are certainly earning their inflated salaries!  In the USA there are three of these lobbyists for every congressman and senator.

THAILAND – shut down the government

Protesters are out on the streets of Bangkok once again in an attempt to shut down the government being run by the sister of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatr who fled the country to evade corruption charges after being ousted by the military.

BRAZIL  – stamping out protest

After wide-ranging protests last year against corruption and government waste in Brazil, a new 10,000 strong force of specially trained elite police officers has been created to make sure that no protests interrupt the smooth running of next year’s World Cup matches being played in Brazil. Is this how democratic states respond to citizens expressing their dissatisfaction?

– – – – – – –

 Ever wonder why we get so frustrated with the political process? This book will help you see why, while embracing real-world alternatives.

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the wheel needs a new hub, not just another revolution

Is the state worse than obsolete?

As we stride forward into a global community of the 21st century, the state increasingly attempts to drag us backwards through overbearing surveillance and repressive laws that increasingly favour large corporate interests. This article from the Guardian tells it like it is.

“Fundamental issues of government and its reach into our lives are now bubbling away as never before, and may well reach boiling point over the next 12 months…

If you doubt this, consider what the essential functions of the modern state look like to any politicised person under 30. The state comes to the rescue of banks while snatching away benefits. It strides into sovereign countries, and commits serial human rights abuses. It subjects doctors, nurses and teachers to ludicrous targets. It watches us constantly via CCTV, and hacks our email and phone data. It farms out some of its dirtiest business to private firms. This is not a vision of modern government invented by the current lot: in Britain, it decisively came to life thanks to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Whether knowingly or not, they demonstrated an essential modern truth: that contrary to the vanities of the “free market”, neoliberal capitalism needs the big centralised state to clear its way and enforce its insanities…

The truth is that the arrogant, centralised state is as much of a problem as the out-of-control market, and the dominion of one is symbiotically related to the tyranny of the other.”  Read full story here.

From The State of Business, chapter 13

“Can we really hope that the state, disconnected from the feedback loop of our society, is going to make big business safer and more ethical, when we regularly witness the state exceeding the corruption of corporations, while aiding and abetting their worst abuses? In the dangerous combination of big business and the state, it is the agency of the state that usually creates or officially condones the damage. Only we can protect ourselves from the dangers posed by the growth of big corporations, and the sooner we empower ourselves with this awareness the better.”

Download the book now, or order a hard copy

Big Business battles against GMO’s

  • I had quite a few things to say about GMO’s in The State Is Out Of Date, so was delighted to see that Dr Bronner’s soaps are in the forefront of the campaign to get GMO foodstuffs labeled as such in the state of Washington. Today, the 5th of November, is the critical day when voting takes place on what could be a historic turning point.

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It’s midmorning at the hive of cheap buildings that serves as the global HQ of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and, as usual, David Bronner isn’t working on anything to do with soap. Sure, his phone is ringing off the hook with business calls and a rep from Trader Joe’s is visiting tomorrow, but the 40-year-old CEO—who looks like a 6-foot-5 raver version of Captain Jack Sparrow—could care less. A Burning Man amulet dangles on a hemp necklace over his tie-dye shirt as he leans in toward his computer screen, staring at what really matters to him: the latest internal poll results for Washington Initiative 522, a ballot measure that would require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

The initiative, which Washingtonians will vote on tomorrow, is one of the costliest in state history: Its proponents have spent a little more than $7 million, while their opponents in biotech and agribusiness have poured in $22 million.* Dr. Bronner’s has donated a whopping $1.8 million to the Yes on 522 campaign. (That’s on top of $620,000 it gave in support of a similar California ballot measure last year.) At stake, Bronner says, is consumers’ right to decide what they put in their bodies. “If we don’t win the right to label and enable people to choose non-GMO, then everything is going to be GMO.”  Read the full story here.

From “Natural Government vs State Control,” chapter 7

The reason there are virtually no GMO products on sale in the European food chain is not because they are illegal but because they must be labeled as GMO, and people remain unconvinced on the benefits versus the risks.”

Death in/of the Pacific?

Why is there so much death and disease among sea life living near the west coast of North America right now? Could the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water that are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day have anything to do with it?Pacific-currents-300x217
…Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores…Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low…Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs…the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
Read full story here

We thought that the one positive spin-off of Three Mile Island was that it would be the death-knell for nuclear power. We thought the same after Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Yet the madness continues with the UK now going to China for money to build more. The risks are so unacceptable that only the disconnected thinking of a coercive state could countenance them.extract from The State of Business, chapter 20

“‘False Legitimacy’ is often extended to businesses that would otherwise have neither the means nor any reason to exist. As mentioned earlier, this is patently the case with nuclear power, a dangerous and uneconomic activity that would never merit its existence in a free economy. Unless exonerated by the state, companies have responsibility under common law for their activities. Nuclear power companies do not take responsibility for obsolete plants that will remain toxic and need minding for many tens of thousands of years beyond their thirty- to forty-year working lifespan. No insurance company is willing to cover for the incalculable potential costs of nuclear accidents, as demonstrated at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. The state will attempt to underwrite any disaster repairs, with our money. If I keep referring to nuclear, it is because nothing else on this planet matches its potential to so permanently destroy virtually all of this beautiful thing called life.” (get the full ebook online for less than a cup of coffee)

UK plans to build more nuclear

While Germany is scrapping all of its nuclear program and France cutting nuclear back by 33%, the UK announces plans to expand its nuclear program. There have been no nuclear plants built in the UK or USA for over 20 years, with good reason, since no commercial company is prepared to adopt this dangerous and expensive approach to power generation. Now, plans to build a giant new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point have been announced, underwritten by the British, Chinese, and French governments. It is solely our tax revenues and the idiocy of the out-of-date state make this expansion of nuclear power possible – even after the disastrous experiences of Fukushima and Chernobyl.

Full story in today’s Guardian newspaper

from The State of Business, chapter 20

“Government schemes create another major distortion of the natural evolution of business in society. These are designed to protect and promote certain industries—even when they are outdated and delivering overpriced product. Nuclear power was developed for one purpose alone—to supply material for the state’s nuclear weapons. It does not make economic sense and is uninsurable. Not even the most notorious industrialist of the nineteenth century would have jeopardized his entire wealth on such a risk. What company could cover the loss of a city the size of Tokyo or London, the re-location of its residents, and their medical bills for life? That responsibility falls upon the state and we must wonder whether they will be able to cover it. We now know that the evacuation of Tokyo was considered after Fukushima, and have been told that, if all goes well, it will take over forty years to clean up the mess and stabilize the dangerously damaged reactors.”

(get the full ebook online for less than a cup of cappuccino)

Mexico Bans GMO Corn, Effective Immediately

Just when you think there’s no winning against the biotech industry, news out of Mexico City shows that all is not lost. After years of deliberation, a Mexico judge has placed an indefinite ban on genetically-engineered corn. Effective immediately, companies like Monsanto and DuPont/Pioneer will no longer be allowed to plant or sell their corn within the country’s borders.
…read more

a few words on GMO’s from The State Is Out Of Date

“Genetically modified foods are made possible by the state; each product on sale has been officially approved by the government, who thereby assume the responsibility for any downstream consequences that may arise. As Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications, concisely put it: ‘Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.’ (New York Times, October 25, 1998).”

Uncle Sam Shuts Down as “The State Is Out Of Date” launches

Timing doesn’t get much more appropriate than this. On Oct 1st, the very day the US government grinds to a standstill, my book, The State Is Out of Date – We Can Do It Better, is released in its $2.99 Kindle edition by publishers Red Wheel/Weiser.

Could the US be experiencing a dress rehearsal for its own eventual failure as a sovereign state? This slight taste of what would happen if Washington’s credit line ran out is the reason banks receive ransoms to prop up, for a little longer, a clearly unsustainable financial system. It is well to remember that throughout history states have failed, every one of them, eventually.  The Romans never thought their might would crumble; Hitler expected 1000 years; the Brits trickled away their greatness; the sprawling Soviet Union imploded almost overnight. The US…?

Is there an alternative – something more real and effective than changing faces and tweaking the knobs and levers of power? Today’s so-called democratic system enables us to do little more than pick between different flavors of ice cream. Democracy and majority rule are incompatible concepts, and under the latter many are forced to eat flavors they don’t like and didn’t vote for. And if you don’t want any ice cream, well then, you must be some kind of a social deviant.

In fact, we are living much of the alternative already. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of everything that we use, enjoy and rely upon in this world originated outside of the state’s sphere of activities. These life components include air travel, bicycles, literature, phones, computers, clothes, bread, art, milk, music, beer, shoes, screws, axes, houses, hemp, light bulbs, cars, insurance, charity, electricity, houses, and a list of many pages

We are community animals with all the skills needed to co-exist peacefully in this world and look after each other in a co-operative community. We have many examples from history of well-developed cultures, trading goods between cities, without the need of an armed and coercive hierarchy.  The 600 year Tiwanaku empire of South America was non-coercive, combining beer, festivals, hallucinogenic snuff, nature worship and Sun worship with a co-operative community social order. Their empire spread, leaving no evidence of a ruling class, or weapons and warfare. We had enjoyed a few thousand years of civilization and trade before the first sign of a coercive state appeared around 2600 BCE in Mesopotamia. The concept spread slowly, usually carried by armed men or the fear of them.

The coercive states that today run every nation of the world are there, fundamentally, to protect us from other versions of themselves. It is for this alone that they hold power, a power also used to maintain order in the land, protecting us from each other. Fear is the fuel that gives them a reason to exist, and a motivation to keep us scared of all those hazards of life from which they promise to protect us, at great expense. State involvement in the food chain is portrayed as safeguarding the quality of our food supply. In the US that has led to a giant agribusiness industry, spawning factory farms dependent upon intensive chemical use and government subsidies. Oh yeah, and scary food that has led to unprecedented obesity levels and countless other diet-related afflictions.

Coercion is fine when you’re dealing with Napoleon, Hitler, and murderous or thieving sorts. But the “do (or don’t do) this or we will punish you” approach is not what we need when dealing with our food supply, our medical and healing options, how we make commitments to each other, what is a legal working week, or wage, or dwelling. We don’t need coercively-backed legislation covering cucumber shapes and the size of a pasta pack.

We can work this stuff out with industry guilds and trade bodies and consumer groups, connected today as has never before been possible. We have the Fairtrade mark, as well as organic and cruelty-free certifications. In the new online market, traders like eBay and Amazon have developed non-coercive methods of detecting and ejecting dubious vendors and dishonorable buyers. They do it without police, fines, judges or jails. Amazing? No, it’s how we do things naturally.

When contemplating the initial horror of the state’s multiple services being abandoned, we should keep in mind how many of their services produce consequences other than those intended.  Consider also that the total tax take is near to or above half of the wealth we produce, the value we add to the world. Just how much less hardship and economic crisis would there be if that half of the money was still in natural circulation, rather than feeding the insatiable state and underwriting it’s wars and overheads, its schemes and subsidies.

The State Is Out of Date, We Can Do It Better, is based on a simple premise, which is that bottom up organization beats top down control.  Support for this comes with the recognition by chaos theory that self-organization brings about structures such as rainforests, weather systems, the music industry, and the Occupy movement. In fact, wherever we look in the Universe we see the fruits of this phenomenon. It’s all about feedback loops, as everything that happens affects everything else in the system.  When these are replaced with fixed regulation, those mysterious natural organizing skills are disabled.

Yes, we CAN do it better ourselves and this book makes that abundantly clear. First, we must stop hoping that the state will one day get it right, sorting out the problems for which they are largely responsible. We are already building community-based alternatives to the state across the globe.  LETS (local exchange trading schemes), Bitcoins, PayPal and other innovative means of exchange are working. The World Wide Web has provided powerful connectivity that enables a truly democratic governing system to develop at minimal expense.

Though the state cries for more funds to fix society’s ills, it is the wealth they suck from our economy through myriad taxes and fines that is a primary cause of hunger, poverty, bankruptcy, homelessness and unemployment. It’s not a question of whether they are taking orders from corporations, bankers, the military industrial complex, a pope or ayatollah, organized crime, or a private dynasty. Somebody will always be pulling the strings of a body that can demand money from every member of society without needing to show a knife or gun; making laws and regulations governing how we live and interact with each other.  It is every gangster’s dream

Sure, we are in a hugely challenging position, with the state’s tentacles pervading ever-more aspects of our lives, private and public. It is almost impossible to imagine life without the coercive state, but even more difficult to see a sustainable future with it.  This is our future in the balance, and nobody can take responsibility for it more effectively than our selves. As George Orwell put it: “We shall get nowhere until we start by recognizing that political behavior is largely non-rational, that the world is suffering from some kind of mental disease which must be diagnosed before it can be cured.”

Three cheers for ethical mob rule

There are so many ways of exchanging goods and services between people – so many ways of doing business. This simple and effective setup was conceived by my brother Craig, and features in this article.

We used to fear mob rule. But if the ‘mob’ is all nice people who you’d be happy to introduce to your mother, well, what’s wrong with that? Welcome to the Collaborative Economy. I farm 20 acres, mostly woodland and orchard, with 2 acres of organic vegetable production.  I farm people – and they farm me.  They work the vegetable land and they call themselves Stonelynk Community Growers.

continued in Craig Sams’ column in the Natural Product News.

extract from The State of Business, chapter 20

“Many people could run a small venture with ease if freed from the need to keep specific records determined by the needs of the taxman, while keeping abreast of all the changing regulations, and collecting tax on the tax authorities’ behalf. It need not be so difficult to find a way of fitting into our society and providing a useful service or product to others. We are naturally very good at doing this using nothing more than our instincts. I have seen happy ten-year-olds on the beaches of India selling clothes and handiwork to tourists, in five different languages.”