Sunday, August 28, 2005

Feverish Earth - Late August update

Thousands of people living in and around the low-lying Louisiana city of New Orleans are fleeing as the Hurricane Katrina approaches. Ray Nagin, the city's mayor, who ordered the mandatory evacuation, says it is an unprecedented move. Forecasters say the city could be in the eye of the storm when Katrina, now swirling over the Gulf of Mexico, hits. The storm has strengthened into a dangerous Category Five hurricane - the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale - with winds of up to 160 mph (257 km/h). Katrina has caused at least nine deaths since it lashed Florida on Thursday. It is the sixth hurricane hitting Florida in less than a year.

Feverish Earth on the Midnight Fire weblog so far:

July 30.
August 4.
August 24.


2005-08-29


The hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and surrounding areas this morning. Most of its impact was on the heavily populated area east of the city. But windows were still smashed and roofs disappeared in the central parts of town. Thousands of poor refugees, people without a car, unable to obey the evacuation order, hid inside the Superdome stadium. Parts of its roof blew off, but it stood its ground. Trees have broken everywhere, and water covers the street. There is not a single whole house anywhere. Yet a sense of relief is actually dominating people’s thoughts, a certainty that New Orleans avoided Armageddon once more.

- It’s bad, a man says, – but we all know we didn’t get the worst of it. We could have, if only things were a little bit different.

Katrina wasn’t as powerful as was feared. It lost some of its punch (going from Category Five to Four), and turning left, just before landfall. In spite of all the destruction, all the suffering it didn’t turn out to be anywhere near the cataclysmic disaster it could have become.

New Orleans has been given yet another reprieve.

Powerful hurricanes have increased in both intensity and longevity the last ten years. An index describing the intensity and longevity of the hurricanes shows that the hurricane level in the period 1995-2004 was 70 percent higher than the average for the last fifty years. The surface temperature of the oceans gives energy and drive to the hurricanes, and that has also reached dramatic record levels the last ten years.


2005-08-30


It is now evident that the initial fairly positive reports from Katrina’s arrival in New Orleans and Louisiana/Mississippi were not very reliable. The devastation is immense. At least hundreds of people, probably more, in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have lost their lives. Media has had an increasing tendency to underreport natural disasters the last decade or so, and we all wonder why...

Local government officials are now stepping forward one by one, telling it like it is, and a picture of horror and immense destruction is emerging.

Katrina, carrying a nine meter tall wall of water, hit the city of Biloxy «like a velvet glove», and quite simply disintegrated houses in its path. A levee holding back water from Lake Pontchartrain has a seventeen meters broad hole. Most of New Orleans is flooded and the water level is rising fast. It is said that at least hundred thousand people are trapped within the city. Bodies are floating in the water.

Major parts of the region will be inhospitable for weeks, perhaps longer. Electricity will be gone for a long time. Drinking water will be heavily polluted and make people ill in the foreseeable future. People are looting shops and grocery stores right in front of the police and soldiers, stating that they have to do so to feed, to survive. South Eastern United states has become a wasteland of rubble and ruins and death.

And this was, according to official statements «only» a Category Four» hurricane the moment it hit land. One can hardly imagine how much worse it would have been if Katrina had remained a Category Five.

Oh, yeah, ninety percent of the United States' Gulf of Mexico oil production has shut down.

Sunday there were queues all the way to the Texas border, and the refugees will remain there for a while, before returning slowly, painfully to «the City of the Dead».

The Atlantic hurricane season ends in November. At least traditionally it does.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Magick in the attic

We sit there, around the table, our faces lit by candles, by the flickering fire. It’s twilight, and Night and the Wild are coming to us. The Twilight Storm awakens in our hearts, inside us, as it awakens outside. We dance, as we sit there, mumbling and chanting our half edible words, as half forgotten syllables and understanding float into the air, float like we do, into the charcoal night.

It’s Witchnight tonight, the ancient night we know intimately at the tip of our tongue. At this night we break through the boundaries of our mind, we smash the velvet walls to that fluttering true Other World of our Dreams. Fire burns our wings and makes them true. Fire turns to ashes, turns to shadows, to the strongest of feathers. Yes, we know this night intimately. We have celebrated it for millennia, celebrated this night of gossamer and truth.

I cast this spell, we choir, to forever banish our limitations, our fear of succeeding. We hold hands. We form a circle around the soundlessly shaking table, the flickering lights, the shadows that has become our faces. I am The Storm, we choir. I am the coming twilight, the Earth and sky, day and Night. The Witch brings out what is inside and we are witches. We are the whisper echoing in eternity. This is the world. Feel it! Sense what is misplaced and bring it forth once more. Pull it from the deepest recesses of the furnace that is the Human Being, and burn like the Night.

The windows are open. We see them and sense and feel the wind. It’s there, right at our fingertips, ever untouchable, ephemeral and tangible simultaneously. The gates open up to the Other World. There are flashes, of memory, of the world, and other memories as well. We can’t stop them from coming, and we don’t want to. A burning circle formed once in the distant past, the distant future, the distant now, and it never stops burning. As our bodies catch fire, as shadows and dark fire surround our form, we know. In fleeting moments, lasting forever, we know the truth.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Feverish Earth - More additions

Katrina - the eleventh Atlantic storm this season - is ravaging Florida and the Caribbean.

Fires and drought continue to ravage Portugal, Spain and France. Firefighters from large parts of the EU are attempting to help out, in vain.

Floods are drowning Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Rumania in another «the worse in living memory» rainfall. Here it is the water that is killing and maiming people, like the fire does in the southern parts of Europe.

The New Zealand snow is vanishing in early spring. Alpinists from United States and Europe, going down there to find snow… don’t find any. Winter sports are becoming an increasingly threatened activity.

In Japan, threatened by yet another Typhoon, one disrupting the preparations to the World Rowing Championships, summer sports are revealed to be an endangered species as well.

Yes, the fever leaves no area or activity alone.

It leaves no one alone.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The usual lies and deceit

The London police told the public and Jean Charles de Menezes’ family that he was a terrorist.

They lied.

They said he was fleeing from the police and dodging the Underground fare (yes, that too, terrible isn’t it…)

They lied.

They claimed he was wearing a wide and thick jacket, well suited for hiding explosives, «well known» as the typical suicide bomber haute couture.

They lied through their teeth.

First they claimed he was a terrorist. Then they said he looked like one and acted like one, in an attempt to justify their regime of tyranny and intimidation and fear.

And as usual very few people are asking the right questions after such a horrible event. It seems to be perfectly all right (as usual) for the police to kill a human being. It was a mistake, people say. Very few are questioning the uniformed thugs’ right, a right given them by the tyrants and a clueless population, to do such a thing.

No one is arrested. The person that leaked the truth to the press has been suspended. He has not been praised. He has not been given a medal, to honor his brave acts. No, he has been punished for his transgression against the system and its eager servants, those getting away with murder time and time again.

A whistle blower is not popular in certain circuits, that’s for sure.

And once again, very few are asking the right questions:

Why did Jean Charles de Menezes have to die?

Was he a patsy? If so, was he a randomly chosen victim or is something even more sinister being hidden from public view? If so it will certainly not be the first time.

Tapes from four CCTV cameras have disappeared into thin air, and no one seems to know where they have disappeared to...

Most patsies know too much. History has taught us that.

Why isn’t there a public outcry against the murder?

Something went seriously wrong this time, also seen from the tyrants’ point of view. They failed on several counts this time around. They couldn’t make even the dumbest citizen believe Jean Charles de Menezes was a terrorist. They couldn’t even make the cover up stick, at least not the most obvious.

And still most people stay loyal to, stay supportive of the oppressive regime dominating today’s human society. There is opposition to the tyrants’ desire to tighten the noose, to develop the tyranny further, but it is so weak, so very weak. They rule all important parts of society, from top to bottom in the rotten hierarchy, controlling the vertical, the horizontal and its adjacent three-dimensional space, the x, y and z of modern life.

They lie completely openly, without consequences, and their vile acts, murders and torture on assembly lines and worse, go practically unopposed.

The murder of Jean Charles de Menezes is not the exception, but the norm.

This is the world «we the people» get by accepting tyranny, accepting murder and the countless inhuman acts in the name of democracy and freedom and safety. The tyrants do all these things in our name and we do nothing. We, by proxy, killed Jean Charles de Menezes and countless, countless others.

So…

How do we get rid of the tyrants, of the tyranny?

That one is easy. By removing their/its power base. It is really that easy.

But there is a problem, one major, seemingly insurmountable problem.

We the people are their, its power base.

And we do nothing.


«People shouldn't be afraid of their governments.
The government should be afraid of their people».

V for Vendetta


Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Path to Power

«A party is like a meat grinder.
It grinds all the brains into one stew».
Henrik Ibsen
There are always parliament elections somewhere in the world, where lies are produced on an assembly line. Lies are always popular among the politicians and leaders of the current world, but never more so than during an election year, and in that regard it’s necessary to state a few plain truths.

It’s said we turn more conservative as we grow older, more closed to alternative views, more willing to accept conformity. This is obviously not true with everybody. There are exceptions, fortunately, showing there are ways to resist group pressure.

It’s said that power corrupts. This is obviously true - without exceptions. A Serbian-Croatian proverb says: «Give a man power and you’ll see who he is». Whether it’s in politics or climbing the corporate ladder one sees the truth of it time and time again. Those setting out as idealists and with a burning desire to change things, change society in drastic ways, find that it isn’t society, but they who are changed. Ten, fifteen years after they began their single minded journey on the Path to Power they’re no better than the people they originally held in justified contempt, and they’re defending the same things they do, making them an integrated part of the same oppressive regime.

When protesters and rebels are charging the gates of power, those very people, in their newly won position, are as eager as their predecessors to send their uniformed thugs (policemen, military and secret services) at the people opposing society’s accepted gospel. It looks like the people with new-won power have completely forgotten that they were once at the other side of the fence. When they’re confronted with «their sordid past» they usually offer excuses like «I was young and immature» or similar. Now, when they’re less mature than ever, now, when they have discarded their very humanity, everything they once saw as essential in life.

The list of former idealists, rebels and revolutionaries attempting to join the system to change it is long and sad. They’ve all failed. The system is still here, more dangerous than ever. Fundamentally speaking it remains unchanged. The changes are cosmetic and to the worse. Change people. Change ideologies. The tyranny prevails. All the idealists, rebels and revolutionaries, all the suckers, become more or less willing victims on the Path to Power.

A good illustration of such processes is what happened to the Greens, the various environmental parties entering politics the last twenty-five years or so of the twentieth century. Spurred on by the increasing ecological crisis and the collapse of communism most alternative oriented people joined them, especially after the «success» of the German branch.

«Die Grunen» started as an alternative movement with heavy emphasis on ecology and an anti-authoritarian and anti-war stance. But the seeds of dissolution and capitulation were present right from the start. They quickly turned into what effectively were two factions. One become «Fundis», those who wanted to change society in drastic ways and not make compromises. The other became «Realis», those who wanted to cooperate with other parties and make compromises. Events proceeded as they often do today. Fundis was cast out. The people supporting it were either pushed out or they quit in frustration. Today Realis is part of the German government, and they’ve discarded everything they once believed in. They haven’t changed society. Society has changed them. They support all important parts of the system. They support the War. They support nuclear power. They support Agenda 2010, the social democrats’ erasure of the German welfare state. They haven’t made any serious attempt to even reduce pollution. Is this The Green, or in truth just another bunch of society’s servants.

Andrea Fischer, former health minister in the «red/green government, now lobbyist, illustrates this in an excellent manner with this revealing statement (to Der Spiegel English site):

«I think politics without power is not politics. If you say you are not interested in power, you should write for the papers, not be a politician. What distinguishes us from other European (Green - author’s comment) parties is our relationship to power. Others think power is nasty and muddy, but if you look back, the changes of the Green party put them on the way to power».

And the great thing about it all: a lot of what she’s saying is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

Heavy irony here…

Not that other countries’ green parties are that much better. They have also rid themselves of their fundis. But no others have reached the level of power that the German green has reached, as Andrea proudly states.

She actually seems proud beyond words. What reason she has for her pride is harder to gauge, except for the fact that she and the Party have achieved Power.

Of their three initial principals, and every other area where they’ve sold out, there are now nothing left.

And now green parties all over the world are copying the German Realis. Both in Great Britain and the United States there is a lot of talk about «proportional representation» as if it’s the Holy Grail. They refuse to listen when true radicals, with experience from «proportional representation», tell them that this is not a viable solution, that it is just yet another misdirection, an even more sneaky way to organize tyranny. It is, to use more heavy irony, a freedom lover’s last temptation…

And it should and must be repeated time and time again: These are just a few of countless illustrations about what’s happening when people and groups of people attempt to change the system, instead of using all their energy to destroy it.

Democracy is obviously a deception, one designed to more easily fool people into believing they’re there when the decisions are made. At best it’s the tyranny of the majority. At worst it’s both the tyranny of the majority and minority simultaneously. You’re being told you’ll lose influence by not voting, by not using your right to take part in the election, but that’s a lie; that’s when you’re taking it back, from everyone and everything that have stolen it from you.

You take one step, at least, on your path back to independence, a certain autonomy. You take a modest, but not unimportant step forward in the process of reclaiming your own life.


«No one is more hopelessly enslaved
than a man falsely believing himself to be free».
Goethe

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Mother of All Wars

United Kingdom’s Prime Mini$ter Tony Blair knows his bible, knows his «1984». He sits there with it in his lap, and he gains daily inspiration from it. One of the most important points the novel describes is that the most effective way to control a population «is to keep the world in a permanent state of war». It has become gospel these days.

United Kingdom has taken the lead in the fight against free expression and independence. The video surveillance of our streets began, began in earnest there. ASBO, «the law against anti-social behavior», has been working for a while there, with the introduction of curfews and similar in «places of unrest». Many claim that the United States is the point, is best in class, when it comes to destruction of our very last human rights, but perhaps United Kingdom is more deserving of that honor. No matter, it’s no coincidence that the tiny island nation is the United States’ foremost partner in this endeavor.

It’s not very productive to focus on one person or a set of persons, random janitors in the halls of power or a few nations for the increase in tyranny we see today. Change a person or a group of persons, elect or appoint another person or group of persons to the various positions within the system, and nothing changes. The system itself prevails.

That being said, Tony Blair, «Teflon Tony» and his servants have served the system in an excellent manner, in a manner «far beyond the call of duty». The system, the tyranny that began long before 11/9, long before 7/7 (or 21/7), long before even the video surveillance or databases. But it was intensified then. The Arabs have an expression: «The Mother of All Wars», about the final war, «the war to end all wars», an expression also favored among the western allies.

Keep people in the mud. Keep them in a permanent state of paralysis and fear, and they stop dreaming, stop caring, and all they hear is Big Brother or Big Sister’s voice, and they become easy to lead, easy to rule. Here and there, there and here, until they don’t know south from north, or in from out, and they don’t listen to any others, any alternative explanations to what’s happening. And thus is today.

No, the final war, if there is such a beast, isn’t soldiers fighting, machines of flesh and blood bombing small children and pregnant women and helpless people on markets with planes and large guns. It isn’t fought with physical weapons. It does so happen that blood flows and bones break, but that isn’t the main purpose. It has never been. It’s about our humanity, about our ability to think and act independently, to hold on to the fire inside, the fire that keeps us from kneeling for Tyranny, for its servants, puppets on strings such as Blair and Bush and all the rest. The fire inside keeps us from joining the army of eager servants, docile slaves, keeps us from becoming like them, becoming them.

And this is what the Tyranny more than anything wants to take away from us.

The Mother of All Wars is fought in our hearts and minds.

Feverish Earth - additions

The eight storm, Harvey, approaches Bermuda «as we speak». The National Hurricane Center in Miami will be using the Greek alphabet to extend the number of names this year, as the latest projection says the number of storms is expected to exceed the names on the list. The new data totally blows away this year’s storm forecast.

And Global Warming is fueling these numerous and nastier storms, according to more and more new reports.

The tropical Atlantic Ocean temperature is currently 3 degrees above normal, stressing the truth about the current and upcoming global cataclysm.

In Portugal 1500 firemen are fighting against twenty forest fires, «the worst in memory». Those words are also being used to describe the drought. Warm winds from Spain makes the temperature rise to 45 degrees Celsius in the shade. The water supplies are dwindling rapidly. 53000 people are dependent on water from trucks. According to the Portuguese agricultural department there have been 4353 forest fires so far this year.

The Hurricane Ivan generated a wave more than 27 meters high - the tallest and most intense wave ever measured. It would have dwarfed a ten-story building and had the power to snap a ship in half, but it never reached land. Sensors on the ocean floor recorded the wave, as Hurricane Ivan passed over the Gulf of Mexico last September. The observations prove that prior estimates for extreme waves are too low, scientists warn in the magazine Science.