Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Dismal Array of Local Candidates

Jackson County Candidate Forum:
Why all the candidates were pretty much pathetic

I attended our local Candidate's Night Forum on Monday Night, October 15th, at the new Jackson County Public Library. Sponsored on by The Smoky News, The Canary Coalition, The League of Women Voters, and the local Occupy WNC group, I was the assistant moderator at the forum which basically meant I pretty much had nothing to do but listen.

I originally wrote a slightly different version of this post as a Letter to the Editor of the Smoky Mountain News, but since they declined to publish it, I've decided to post on my blog and then tag the hell out if it so it can get picked up locally as much as possible. If you're local, too, you can help get it out there so as many people as possible see it.

Starting at the end, let me state that when the debate was over, I left with the feeling of being terribly let down and disappointed by candidates on both sides of the political paradigm. I thought to myself, “how do we navigate all of the critical problems that we face in Jackson County, North Carolina, and the nation, with the extreme lack of critical thinking, mediocrity, dogmatism, and simple lack of knowledge displayed at the forum by these candidates? This was the best we could do?

In fairness, neither Mark Meadows or Hayden Rogers, candidates for US House of Representative District NC11, bothered to show up. Below, I’ve chosen a couple of examples and am including who I think made the most egregious statements and responses during the evening. There were, unfortunately, many more. 

The first was Senator Jim Davis’ statement claiming Obama gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it to fund Obamacare. This is a statement that was debunked when both Romney and Ryan made it in their respective debates. Independent fact checker says that’s simply not true. The law stipulates that “guaranteed Medicare benefits won't be reduced, and it adds some new benefits, such as improved coverage for pharmaceuticals." But some Republican politicians, like Romney, Ryan, and apparently Davis, never let the facts get in their way and are claiming the money has already been taken. I will give Senator Davis the benefit of the doubt thinking he may not know this and is just be repeating party rhetoric, but that would be almost as bad. We should all demand integrity from those who represent us. Although I was born into a democratic family, I’ll take a republican with integrity over a Democrat without it anytime…and visa-versa. Ask yourself where your moral compass is on that one. Are you willing to win at all costs, including not telling the truth?

On the other side---the Democrats, particularly John Snow, Davis’ Democrat opponent---failed miserably, much like President Obama in the first debate by not calling out Senator Davis about this gross misrepresentation.  Here was an opportunity to use Reagan’s famous line by saying, “well, there you go again.” Snow seemed out of his league, vague, somewhat confused, and did not carry himself with a confidence that would inspire even some Democrats to vote for him. For example, when the subject of GMO food labeling came up and Davis said that he had been eating genetically modified food for years and he was still living, and added, “I think we have so many other things to worry about, that that is way down on my list,” Snow simply said, “I agree with him.” 

Both of these candidates showed a complete lack of knowledge and understanding about a very serious multi-tiered problem that threatens people from corporate corruption and fascism, to extreme health and crop problems that are beginning to show up. The list of countries that have and are banning GMO foods is rising almost weekly. Apparently, neither candidate has seen the scientific study showing GMO tumors on subject rats fed GMO foods or they are ignoring it. One candidate shows disdain for those of us who are concerned about our food supply and the other isn’t knowledgeable or quick-witted enough to turn that easily-lobbed softball into a run. The Democrats also missed several opportunities to talk about the actual dangers of fracking to our precious and rapidly dwindling clean water supply, instead choosing to amaze us with, “I’m against it.”

NC house Candidate Joe Sam Queen spent much of the evening sounding as if he had lost his compass, and in typical liberal fashion, seemed like he wasn’t sure which direction he should head. I liked Queen, but have to admit that, even though he probably made more sense than any of the other candidates, he did little to inspire confidence. Queen’s opponent, House candidate Mike Clampitt kept making references to his religious perspectives and how they guided him, in a way that made me question if he might be ingenuously playing to that part of the voter spectrum. 

All of the candidates pretty much stuck to the simplistic talking points of their party and were pro-growth and pro jobs, for that, the audience was the loser. There was a clear lack of unique problem solving from either side of the traditional right and left political spectrum, and this, in light of the tremendous problems we face, locally, nationally, and globally, is pretty sad. Paraphrasing Einstein, it was clear from the evening that the level of thinking that was trying to solve our state and local problems, is the same level of thinking that got us there in the first place. We’ve got to do better.

Maybe it's time to start running a new breed of candidates.

You can watch the entire painful debate here:

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Trance-Formation", the Movie

I don't know if you're familiar with Max Igan...but he's an incredibly talented film maker who is apparently the genius behind a powerful documentary movie called Trance-Formation. Max Igan is a pen-name and you can find out a little more about him here. He apparently wants to remain anonymous. But I'm not writing to talk about Max Igan, I'm here to talk about his amazing movie. First, it is extremely well done with top notch special effects, graphics, music, and quality.

Trance-Formation is an important and brilliant movie that pulls "the big picture" together....It's about the creation of a new "meme" and the splitting of the world. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "meme," it is largely defined as "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture" and "is an idea that behaves like a virus--that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects. In a broader sense, and how it is eventually described in the movie, Igan's "meme" becomes a cultural movement and is a creation that results in the next really big evolutionary step for humankind: The Trans-Human.

Only, aspects of trans-humanism, as Igan powerfully points out, are not likely to be a good thing.

The last time humankind made an evolutionary leap of this magnitude, other hominids disappeared from the planet.

The "splitting" of the world comes from what are now are the beginning stages of what is called "Trans-Humanism." From Wikipedia, Trans-Humanism is "an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as study the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label "posthuman."

Transhumanism is largely promoted by thinkers like Ray Kurzweil, who popularized the term, "The Singularity," which describes the moment artificial intelligence overtakes human intelligence. Scoffed at by many scientists who say the human brain is too complex for this to happen, transhumanism combines supercomputers with the neural paths of the brain, bridging this limitation.

Think that's the stuff of science fiction? See my comment at the end of this article.

Part of the premise of the movie is that it would very easy for "someone" to take control of people who are"enhanced" posthumans, resulting in a totalitarianism that George Orwell and Aldous Huxley could only hint at. Another aspect of transhumanism probably well-known to many of you is what would result in the complete subjugation and dominance of nature. In fact, one of the arguments for transhumanism is that, using this technology to its ultimate expression, we can create "God" and  an earth-community of permanent peace. They would do this through implanted computer chips and ports integrated into the human bio-system and getting your dogs and now your children to accept this technology through fear. There are already people who are willing to get chip transplants so they can process the internet faster. Advocates are also doing it by geo-engineering theough GMO foods, TV, chemtrail exposure, nano-bots (see Morgellons Disease) and more.

There will be those who choose not to be enhanced, and another premise the movie is that these non-enhanced humans could become the modern day equivalent of the neanderthal and may very well go extinct. Not that far out as we recall what man has done to more primitive cultures all over the planet.

What transhumanism advocates probably get--and fear--is that we humans are about to reach the capacity to touch God and to become a peaceful planet, but it's just so much more in their interest to give everyone a techno-lobotomy, and convince them that they're happy, knowing their place is to serve...but serve who? The masters of the planet, the Powers That Be, the Elite. But wait, won't they--and their children--be affected, too? Yes, but they want to become posthuman, with them in charge of the rest of us who do their bidding without complaining or questioning.

What can we do about this? We need as many people to wake up as possible, do their work, and become the shift, the transition, shifting naturally into a posthuman-like consciousness that can prevent this from happening . It is definitely time for us to grow up. Now. Can that happen? In time? That is a very big question.

This is an age-old story that is continuing to play out today in the form of a dominating hierarchy that wants to subdue and control nature and the universe--and the rest of us--and we play right into it because we're experts at creating technologies that we don't have the wisdom to control.

Hmmm...humans vs. the transhumans...the choice of which way to go is a soul choice.

Welcome to the Borg.

Top Ten Transhumanist Movies 

Enhanced TV