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Interesting Series

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Kiefer Sutherland does a good job playing a HUD Secretary who survives a massive bombing of the capital and becomes president.

What is interesting is how the show recycles actual past events, spinning them this way and that for the sake of entertainment.

The new president struggles over decisions to send helicopters into a crisis zone – shades of Iran back in the day.

The first lady has a looming scandal that never quite explodes – at lest not by episode 5.

There are governors who refuse to play ball with immigration and other issues.

In Congress, or what was left of it, and how it gets reconstituted, everyone is blackmailing everyone else. A complete snakepit.

Most interestingly, a few FBI agents stumble across evidence that the capital bombing was not perpetrated by a carboard cut-out bogey man from the Middle East (who plays his role) but was, instead, an inside job.

Art imitates life.

 

Perspective

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Iranians are understandably protesting about many things: the economy, political corruption, repression, etc…

But if western critics of Iran believe that they have discovered the region’s most repressive regime, they are wrong. That regime is Saudi Arabia, which gets a pass.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a domestic crackdown, with tons of people being confined, tortured, and extorted. Even some Saudi elites have been swept up into this dragnet.

Saudi Arabia also exports war, principally to Yemen.

But Saudi Arabia gets a pass, mostly because its economy is folded into the petrodollar system. Also, its political legacy stretches back to the days of British imperialism: bedfellows. Finally, Saudi Arabia colludes with Israel.

And so Trump, Cruz, and other critics of Iran (some of whom are right on one level) are acting so very predictably.

If there is regime change in Iran, the motley crew of trumpeteers, christians, zionists, top generals, media moguls, and others will probably be disappointed.

Many Iranians are much like the ones I met in Beirut. They are not happy with the backward, repressive elements of Islam, but they remain fiercely nationalistic, very much anti-Israel, and in favor of developing the country’s nuclear program.

Also, if one looks at Iran’s constitution carefully, it ends up producing a very resilient political system. It’s not like Saudi Arabia, where one focused coup d’etat brings down the entire house.

Power is actually very divided in Iran, and only one branch might feel the impact of this upheaval, and probably through the usual means: elections. One possible result is a more mild, secular-Islamic government, although Iran’s modern history suggests that a new government would be more aligned with Russia and China than with the West.

So the motley crew mentioned above should probably hold off on forming its usual circle jerk.

A Would-Be Cannibal Kingdom

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CNN in Spanish is giving extensive video coverage of the Venezuelan pork protest.

On closer inspection, the protesters are wrong on this count. Granted, there may be issues deserving protest in Venezuela, but this is not one one of them.

The pork in question is “subsidized pork,” “free pork.” The mistake the government made was promising this holiday gift, but it’s not some huge violation to now cancel it.

The worse transgression is to consider oneself entitled to eat pork in the first place.

The Venezuelan government should have said this:

“At holiday time, we are going to give you the worst think you can put into your mouth: pork. It can cause trichinosis, giving you worms that produce larvae and infect vital organs. Yes, we are going to make a gift to you of a meat so vile that it is banned by the Bible.”

“Never mind that pork (and beef) is probably the worse thing you can do to the environment: deforestation, the mono-cropping of corn to feed animals, the fossil-fuels used to harvest it; and the methane gas produced by so many millions of animals.”

“Never mind, for now, that a pig is as smart as a five-year old child, and that some of its organs can be swapped out for yours. It’s not cannibalism (well, maybe a little).”

So protesters are lining up and causing a ruckus. No free pork.

They never stop to consider, to look in the mirror, who the pigs really are..

The Case for Guaranteed Income

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The Drudgereport linked to an article about the idea of “Universal Basic Income” being promoted in Finland and elsewhere.

Of course, many Americans – especially libertarians and conservatives – oppose the idea, seeing it as statism or as undermining incentives for work. This position brings out the more negative aspects of those ideologies: they have often reinforced class hierarchy and protected power.

What people often forget it this: We already have Universal Basic Income!!! For banks. For foreign governments. For corporations (who are technically “persons” according to the new laws). But not for ordinary citizens. The Equal Protection Clause should apply: Why are some “citizens” getting free money and others not?

There has never been – nor presently exists – anything remotely resembling a free enterprise system. All markets are propped up; all markets are rigged; all economic activity is ultimately subsidized by monetary regimes injecting cash at the top levels of the pyramid.

In fact, as I’ve argued previously, the entire concept of “an economy” is a political construction, designed to both control and channel populations in certain directions, at certain speeds, and for certain purposes.

So we have a system in which some persons (banks and corporations) receive billions in free money, while people at the bottom rungs of the ladder must scrounge. Hopefully, this will change.

 

 

Mexico Trends

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Mexico has been having a problem with expanding waistlines. According to many estimates, their are now more overweight people in Mexico, on average, than in the US…

Mexico put a 10% tax on sugary drinks in 2014, but this did not reverse the trend, and child and adolescent obseity is increasing. I don’t think the diet has changed all that much; it’s just that people have become more sedentary.

Mexico’s traditional high-caloric diet was designed for serious manual labor, for working in the fields all day long. Now, people eat the same things and sit at their desk, and walk down to Carls Jr for lunch.

Starbucks is also quite popular here. They are everywhere. While some people use Starbucks for coffee, it has become a milk-shake factory dispensing giant, sugary, creamy, frothy drinks with whipped cream and candy sprinkles. Starbucks should airlift all those drinks to refugee camps in the Sudan, because just one drink exceeds the UN minimum daily requirement for calories probably.

Also, much of Mexico’s food is unhealthy: unhealthy fats from red meats and processed meats, for example. Lots of snack foods. Lard. Cooking oils of mysterious origin.

I noticed that yes, on average, the Mexican person is more overweight that the US person. Almost all middle-aged women can stand to lose 10- 15 pounds (the demographic I notice most).

However, very few people in Mexico are “TSA fat,” to paraphrase comedian Rob Schenider, who wondered that if to become a TSA agent one must swear an oath to only henceforth eat pudding. (His new stand-up routine on Netflix is great).

True, I’ve not seem Mexicans confined to wheelchairs because they are so fat. No Wal-Mart levels of obesity.

So I wonder what explains this. Why are Mexicans more overweight, but less grossly obese, than North Americans?

 

Jumanji – Chain to the Rhythm

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Katy Perry’s Chained to the Rhythm is supersaturated with codes and symbols about the nature of this reality, much like Jumanji. I will attempt a youtube video on this topic within one month.

Both Jumanji and Chained to the Rhythm raise the issue of reincarnation. In Jumanji, players get three lives (compared with out nine), and in Chained to the Rhythm we don’t know how many, but visitors to the part (new souls) have their past memories cleared: Oblivia.

They only enter with the raw soul – and as soon as they do, the cotton candy mushroom cloud is visible (more on that in the video). This signifies that this world/park/matrix has been designated for destruction since the beginning.

I think that the soul comes from a good place, a place of infinite love, if you will, and that it has an instinctual drive to return to that source. But I wonder if that is the end of the good news.

Absolutely everything in the world/park/matrix is designed (was, but no longer) to add experience to souls, as a kind of classroom. That was the original idea. This world was supposed to be level playing field, a place where souls with “free will” could advance. Clues as to how to get there were sprinkled here and there,just as in Jumanji.

I’m beginning to suspect that something went terribly wrong: malware of some kind. The matrix has been hijacked. The program has been glitched; basic rules of the game have been broken. “Free will” runs on pathways so narrow as to render that concept meaningless.

The negative forces have reached a critical mass, a tipping point, and the world/park/matrix has become a self-sustaining system, with souls as lumps of coal of the furnace.

I hope I’m wrong.

The War on Law

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Looking back across almost one year of the Trump administration, it is becoming more clear what its marching orders really are: to declare a war on law, both domestic and international.

Domestically, the first signs of this were when the administration ordered DHS, Immigration, etc…, to issue a blanket ban on visas from certain countries – moving away from the individual-based assessments that are the basis of western law, and towards the idea of “collective punishment.”

Similarly, any constriction of the DACA or Dreamer’s rights also violate western legal tradition: children are not responsible for the crimes of their parents.

Also domestically, there has been an effort to elevate police forces to the status of military forces, even to assign them first-class citizen status whereby their being killed is somehow more of a serious crime, under the law, than any regular citizen being killed.

Also domestically, there has been zero effort – zero – to roll back the war on civil liberties that has been waged since 2001, and this is never highlighted by the alt-right press, including Infowars, a major shill outlet, Trump cheerleader, and bulletin board for Blood-and-Soil Christians.

Internationally, the Trump administration thinks it is legitimate to consider military action against North Korea outside the UN Security Council. Unless the US is directly attacked ,or faces a realistic imminent attack, this option is highly illegal, and going down this road would lead (in a normal world ruled by laws) to Nuremberg II and a round of hanging for the officials directly involved.

Also internationally, international law is crystal clear regarding the status of Jerusalem. Recently, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem, but the US media tried to pull propaganda from the jaws of defeat.

CNN examined the countries that voted “against” the US and Israel. Instead of focusing on the UK, France and Germany, it highlighted Venezuela. Imagine that.

Many countries abstained from the vote, especially those with low to medium levels of sovereignty in the “Third World” (a term that still fits) – countries living under the IMF, etc… These countries did not agree with the US or Israel, but faced threats and retaliation (open threats! public record!). And so they abstained.

But only seven countries stood with the US and Israel, and this list looks like an SNL skit.

There were four Pacific Island cargo-cult countries: the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau (oh yes! Palau! one of the first members of the 2003 “coalition of the willing!”)

There was one African country, a neo-colonial backwater: Togo.

There were two Central American countries, both the most fascist banana republics that ever were: Honduras and Guatemala, the latter of which had its military kill more civilians than all Latin American governments combined (your tax dollars at work).

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Apparently, these nine countries threw a party: The Pacific Islands brought tropical drinks; Togo brought its ridiculous white wigs and Victorian robes they wear in court, to give the party a kind of ancien regime flair; and the Central American governments were going to bring some strippers – but that was not necessary, because the eyes-wide-shut party was scheduled to be thrown by the Whore of Jerusalem, above.

The first year of the Trump administration is no longer tragic. It’s just a grotesque farce.

Jumanji World

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Jumanji is a fun movie. I was never bored. There was a lot to think about.

Clearly, and the producers probably intended this, the movie is a metaphor for this world: We are avatars occupying a flesh-and-blood suit in a Matrix, with the possibility of advancing to the next round.

Our own Jumanji world is Version 5.0 (according to the Aztecs, who were right). It does not seem like the previous players busted out of those previous world. Game over for them.

In the previous Fourth World, it seems like Atlantis tried to bust out, or to put another way, tried to bust into the next dimension, and failed. Atlantis still reverberates around the world, and the star-gazing cults of the Maya, Aztecs and Zapotecs appear to have carried forth a lot of that knowledge (most of which was burned by the Spanish).

Interestingly, for Meso-American cultures the Creator was not really “good” or “bad” but both… If anything, the main power behind the sun was a blood-sucking deity demanding human sacrifice. Maybe they were onto something after all. Westerners, incurably optimistic, normally insist that their creator must be benevolent.

In Jumanji, there are omens, helpers, and obstacles, as in  any video game/world.

But is our Jumanji Version 5.0 a glitched version of these earlier games? It seems so… It seems that the usual rules of any game have been abandoned. We may be playing a game that is rigged.

The so-called illuminated powers, the rather unearthly ones – way above and beyond any masonic, jesuit, royal, or zionist factions – are doing what they can to draw forth the next climactic cataclysm. The fuel for history, its high-octane accelerator, is conflict. This is the path to the next Atlantis-style confrontation with ultimate reality.

Who knows… Are these powers really trying to direct human history to the next level, whatever that may be? Or are they simply parasites who have burrowed their way into human civilization? Time will tell.

Meantime, these powers have become so self-infected with their own lies that “Game Over” is now the more likely outcome for all. In Jumanji, of course the players/avatars won. No spoiler alert there, being Hollywood. They won by working in unison, in synchronicity, to break the curse hanging over this world.

Interesting movie.

Sunday in CDMX – Bucket List-it

Here are some photos from Mexico City. If you have not yet been here, please consider putting it on your bucket list.

My Nikon D300 over-exposes and I’ve yet to youtube the situation, so they are from phone.

The last images are actually two 20-second videos.

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Chinese tourists are now common and I often chat them up.

There’s a relatively new direct flight from Shanghai.

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The Latest

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Juan Jose Nemi Dib “Falls”

A couple of other big news stories in Mexico…

First, the center-left presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has run and lost several times before, is proposing “amnesty” to the narcos, as a way to reduce the violence. The other candidates, ex-presidents and so on are treating this proposal as an outrage, accusing him of negotiating with delinquency. The media, too, is not on his side because so many reporters have been killed by the narcos. I’ve not really weighed the pros and cons. There are many on each side of the ledger.

Also, a major state government official in Veracruz “falls” and has been detained. He is accused of setting up “ghost” businesses and deviating money – federal money – from pediatric programs. I like how the Spanish language can sometimes capture something better than English. He “falls.” Yeah, that’s what happened, very Shakespearean.

Also, Mexico will be suing the US in the European Courts over the DACA Dreamers situation…

On the happier side, Mexico City is actually making good progress. The economy seems to be improving. Infrastructure being developed. New buildings.