Life Imitates Art

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The movie War Machine, with Brad Pitt, was quite interesting.

This movie reveals why the US cannot make much progress in Afghanistan, despite troop increases. It turns out that local Afghanis don’t really like foreign troops occupying their country. Who would have thought?

House of Cards also uses troop increases in the Middle East as a subplot. US presidents have a habit of resorting to surges – or just threatening deployments – in order to score some political points with the base, and to provide fodder for the media complex.

The media complex, like the infamous war pigs, must be fed. Talking Heads must be kept talking, or they will explode.

Here, the base of support for further military meddling is quite wide. Christian evangelicals endorse war when it is waged against Muslims (anything to accelarate the Second Coming!), and the pro-Israel group AIPAC, backed by a Jewish political mafia, is dedicated to the conflict model in the wider region. That’s why AIPAC applauded loudly for the interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even Syria.

Interestingly, much of the Alt-Right media, especially Infowars, criticized both the Bush and Obama administrations for their foreign interventions. But Infowars will almost certainly support Trump on Afghanistan, regardless.

Trump is simply sending another 4,000 troops. There is nothing really innovative going on. No breakthroughs, no progress. We are up to… 16 years… of intervention in Afghanistan. A generation. Of course, there has been a lot of “the boys will be home by Christmas” talk, plans for drawdowns, but it is just part of the game.

Actually, if American interests are really for security and prosperity in Afghanistan, then it should leave, and allow China’s Silk Road project to make some headway.

House of Cards

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It must have been back in the 1990s, when I first saw a “real” news commentator appear in a movie.

At the time I thought it was odd, even inappropriate, as this would or should effect the credibility of the newscaster and show. What’s a news anchor or news commentator doing in a film or TV show?

Now I have the opposite view.

I got a chance to binge on Season 5 of House of Cards. Excellent, as usual. It’s a great series. I’m a fan.

Many of the characters are amalgams or composites of the real people who have held high office or who have worm tongued their way into circles of power. Also, House of Cards is predicated on levels of corruption, including murder and attempted murder, that are in fact accurate.

So House of Cards is more accurate than the “real” news that is being advanced in the media complex.

This means that when Rachel Maddow and the half a dozen other Talking Heads are on House of Cards, they are actually being more “real” than they are when presenting and commenting on the watered-down version of events packaged for popular consumption.

Yes indeed. On their regular shows, well, that is when they are “acting.”

Thought for Food

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It is interesting that so many people consider themselves critical thinkers when it comes to media and politics, but simply accept social conventions regarding food.

Why do we eat what we eat? Our family history, socialization, advertising…

My approach to nutrition is that I know next to nothing, but I am highly skepical of official and corporate propaganda regarding food. I’m also suspicious of the medical community, especially considering that much of it is part of a disease-industrial complex.

It seems that human health “was allowed” to improve across most of the 19th and 20th centuries, with life expectancies increasing. Now, however, life expectancies are stable and even declining in the US.

In recent decades, we’ve seen the advent of GMO foods, fluoridation, chemtrails, vaccinations on steroids, etc… Childhood diabetes and autism are exploding. I’m beginning to think that diet has more to do with all this than the other factors.

In this posting, I do not have a lot of insight or breakthroughs – although my recent elimination of wheat is showing results.

Here, I simply want to place the conventional diet into the context of “human husbandry,” and to recognize this mainstream diet as the latest development in the “Domestication of Man (and Woman).”

Further research also needs to be done on the shape, color and symbolism of food.

I reflect on the Chinese Masters thesis I edited, on how Coca-Cola became a ritualistic drink, a sacrament at the altar of American-led globalization, stimulating the new converts to greater efficiency while paradoxically symbolizing modern leisure. American troops in the Pacific during WWII used to dispense Coke to the islanders, with messianic zeal. There were in fact especially designated soldiers to liaison between the Army and Coca Cola.

Last week I saw the movie The Founder, about McDonalds, and am convinced that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.

Food for Thought

This is an interesting video,  4 plus minus long.

 

Reaching…

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The Groxt1 channel on youtube is narrated by a Christian evangelical.

Sometimes he makes good points, but I disagree (fundamentally!) with the idea of interpreting all these terrorist attacks as fulfilling Biblical prophesy.

For a start, many if not most of these attacks are not natural, organic events; they are conjured, manipulated from the top-down, or are simply “false flags.”

This begs the question: Biblical prophesy must be lied into fulfilment? So the Great Deception must be ushered in with nothing less than a long chain of deceptions?

Maybe this is a more important question: What separates prophesy from a playbook? Now that the prophesy has been widely disseminated, what is to prevent any ordinary cult from simply acting it out? What is prophetic about that?

Is the “V” in the Boook of Daniel really representing the “Van” of Barcelona? Does Ivanka Trump (with a “van” in her first name) really factor into Biblical prophesy?

We are now mixing the Bible with the political celebrities of People Magazine?

I agree with the narrator that the usual suspects are plotting evil… But Biblical scripture (Illuminati scripture centuries in the making) looks a lot like a Rorschach ink test. People read whatever they want into it.

Here is the 5 minute video:

Barcelona VanAttack Daniel 8 Goat runs into Ram WW3 Illuminati Freemason Symbolism

 

 

Alternative Options

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Erasmus University, Netherlands

My son started the 11th grade, and one year from now will be applying to universities. We both agree the better options are universities in Europe, some of which conduct their classes in English. And then there are the “American University of [fill in the blank]” systems, in Athens, Rome, Paris, etc…

Still another option, also to be pursued, are the English language universities in Asia, including Singapore and Hong Kong. Even mainland China has programs. East Asia has better infrastructure. This is where the growth is. But he is keen on Europe, being a soccer fan.

As we both see it, he has spent his life thus far in the US, and it is not the only ride in the park. Anywhere in Europe is good as a base to see the rest of the continent on long weekends and such.

Besides, tuition is astronomical in America. American tuition is much, much, much higher than anywhere else. Even though the cost of living in Europe can be higher than in parts of the US, Europe still comes out as the cheaper option.

Europe is no paradise, and the European Union is sclerotic. Nevertheless, recent events in the US, including in Virginia, suggest that the American train to disaster is on a faster track. All aboard with a one way ticket?

The United States does not deserve my son, quite frankly, or my daughter. They are too precious to me. My children deserve more out of life.

The research begins… In time, I will report back on the wish list, with a table including tuition rates, etc.

Food Pyramid? Grains?

Food-Pyramid

I’ve been thinking a lot about food and diets because I’m reducing my intake of grains, as an experiment.

On the one hand, I think many people go overboard on diets and become extremists, taking an almost religious or puritanical approach to food: culinary crusaders.

I’m going to reduce grain intake when and where I control it… But if a little old lady offers me freshly backed chocolate chip cookies, loaded with flour, butter and sugar, I’m going to enjoy them. It would be a bit rude to refuse, besides. It’s not like she’s offering me pork or beef, which I’ve not touched since 1994. (I don’t care what other people, apart from my children, put in their mouths.)

But there will be no little old lady offering me cookies because I live in China. People here tend to gift one another fruit.

There is a tendency in the American health community to seize upon a particular item, demonize it, and then categorize its consumption as a cardinal sin. The approach is a bit like the Salem Witch Trials.

On the other hand, there is something quite odd about society’s effort to get people to eat grains and ALL the other items on the food pyramid. The US government, after WWII, went to great lengths to include all agricultural and industrial sectors in its dietary guidelines, with zero consideration for health.

Consider, for example, how ridiculous the government’s official “food plate” is:

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Every lobby group is represented at the table… It’s just one large “bad food combination.”

And why are grains so prominent? Grains represent one of the most important items in the food pyramid, and in some versions the most important base for nutrition.

That is quote odd, considering that grains are a relatively new invention, coming about during the neolithic revolution of some 10,000 years ago (if armchair history can be trusted).

The human body either evolved or maintained itself, without grains, for a much longer time span. But suddenly this Johnny-come-lately food item is fundamental. Vital for human health! Needed at every meal!

The other problem with wheat is that the new genetially-modified varieties have not been proven safe over the long run,especially those with toxic insect repellent inserted into their codes.

Of course, grains as a staple food can be stored, transported, and commodified… Grains allowed for the development of early civizations. Therein lies a symbolic aspect: grains as “human food” for sedentary populations. Sit down, shut up, and eat your bread.

Wheat is even woven into Christianity (still another control mechanism) with the wafer representing the body of Christ, and with Biblical references to the staff of life, etc… Rejecting wheat becomes mildly heretical.

Across history until very recently, nomadic life was the norm, and sedentary life was the novelty, the exception that became the norm.

For reasons that are both practical and ritualistic, sedentary humans – like livestock – are grain-fed creatures.

So I’m not stuffing my face with noodles anymore. Will my wheat belly disappear? Will my health be emancipated?

 

Wheat Belly?

I’m trying to lose 10 – 15 pounds and get healthier. I’m generally on the right track with nutrition issues, I think, but stymied by all this wheat and gluten controversy.

Embedded below is the 3 minute trailer for “What’s with Wheat,” which is highly critical of grains in general. The full version exists on Youtube for those interested, and its a feature film length.

Below that is embedded another, rival video, about how all of this paranoia about wheat and gluten is just fashionable hogwash, pushed by “celebrities” and “pseudo-science.” The title of that video at 31 minutes is “The War on Wheat.”

For anyone beginning to research the wheat issue, these two videos are a good place to start.

Rules of Engagement

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My father used to tell me that “not all problems have solutions.” This is especially true regarding other people’s problems.

Venezuela’s problems do not have an easy solution. The current government has not managed the petroleum-based economy effectively, and it has sponsored reforms to the constitution that are producing tremendous blowback among a cross section of Venezuela’s society, understandably. Instead of decentralization and complexification, the model has been overly statist.

However, it is also true that the opposition to Venezuela’s government – domestic and international opposition – has absolutely nothing to offer, except a return to the very same neo-liberal, so-called capitalist-corporatist model that produced the revolution to begin with some 15 years ago.

In that model, democracy was something sold to the highest bidder. The rich used the oil economy as an ATM machine. The poor were left organizing anti-IMF riots – which were essentially food riots. Hence the revolution of Chavez gained ground. This revolution enjoyed its peak of popularity perhaps a decade ago. I was there for a week or so back in 2006 and the Chavistas were many, and they were optimistic.

Thus far, the Maduro administration does not seem able to offer up effective solutions to the problems facing Venezuela. But Washington is also bankrupt in terms of ideas. This is why Pres. Trump could only issue a veiled threat towards Venezuela.

Another veiled threat was offered up by Senator Marco Rubio, when he compared a Venezuelan lawmaker, Diosdado Cabello, to the famous drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Because the US and Colombian government publicly green lighted Escobar’s assassination, one might interpret Rubio’s comparison as a veiled threat. Maybe it was not so veiled, after all. Or maybe pampered senators are simply used to saying and doing whatever they want, on impulse, without thinking about potential consequences.

Now, speculation abounds that karma might circle around, and that Cabello contacted Mexican cartel members. The smartest thing Rubio could do would be to forget about Venezuela altogether, and to focus on some issue closer to home.

After all, even having one’s name delivered to the Sinaloa cartel, for example, in a book of death, opens the door to extremely bad luck (at the very least). There is cultish witchcraft attached. That was my impression when I lived in northern Mexico briefly in 2013, when I came to know a cartel attorney on friendly terms (who had managed to re-possess a confiscated plane from under the Mexican government’s nose). A friend of a friend, in the same office complex. Some of his associates, whom I avoided, were less buttoned-down.

Personally, I do not think Cabello has earned the right to write anyone’s name in a book of death. Rubio was simply grandstanding for Florida’s Hispanic voters.

In a perfect world everyone simply calms down, and minds their own business.

Meantime, it is important to note that Venezuela lies at the edge of the entire paradigm, straining the capacity of any political system to operate effectively, be it socialist or capitalist.

The Venezuelan government is struggling; the opposition has nothing to offer.

My father was right about how some problems do not have solutions.

Dujiangyan, Old and New

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I’m not sure when the original photo was taken, my ladyfriend says about the 1930s, and she should know because she grew up in this town, now a small city, about two hours northwest of Chengdu, in the foothills of mountains that continue into Tibet.

This town is just below the mountains and has some spectacular sites not included below. When I replace my good camera, which I finally broke, I will do more justice to the beauty here.

In any case the photo above represents “Old China,” in stark contrast to “New China.”

The photos above and below are of the same bridge, below.

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Dujiangyan is now a tourist site. Almost all the visitors are from other parts of China including Taiwan.

No doubt, back in the 1930s, the idea of “national tourism” in China would have been a complete fantasy.

Some of the “Beishanguo” high society people buy summer homes here. “Beishanguo” is a handy term for the cosmopolitan types, the fashion people and such, from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. They put the first parts of the three words together.

I did not see any foreigners here, but apparently they do trickle in.

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There is a raging river under this bridge.

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Several of the main streets are dominated by Muslim restaurants and shopkeepers, much like in Xi’an.

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The architecture above is extensive, going on for many blocks. I will return with a better camera.