Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa on the prowl

Santa has had a bad hair day. He has quarreled with his wife, quarreled with his wife yet again. Actually, this is practically an ongoing thing, and the missus is quite pissed off at him. One of his reindeers has a bad toe and is on sick leave, and must stay at home. His sleight gets fewer reindeer powers. But the sleight is still no slouch. Santa stamps on the gas. The missus has left home without him tonight, and left him with the stinking reindeers, and Santa is in a very bad mood.

He has moved around aimlessly for a while when he realizes that the house the missus is visiting is right up the alley. The reindeer howls as he cut the next corner, to the big, bright lit house at the end of the road. He stops the sleight so abruptly that the animals grunt and shit hot shit. The sound of christmas carols reaches his ears, and a happy smile lit his face. He twists a bit in his seat and grabs his flame thrower and the two semiautomatic guns. The final preparations don’t take long. He has already loaded the guns. The flame thrower is also ready for action. He throws his tools across the shoulders and sets off towards the house at the top of the hill. Slightly out of breath he can finally stop in front of the door and ring the bell. An older gentleman opens the door.

- Santa lends a hand, Santa Clause cries.

- You are early, the old gentleman says happily. – Come in, come in.

- Oh, yes, Santa says, also in a very good mood, - I was done with the last job a lot sooner than expected, so I…

But the older gentleman has already walked back inside and left the door open. Santa chuckles wickedly and jumps inside. He produces both weapons. A little girl comes running.

- Santa, she cries. – SANTA IS HERE

He pulls the trigger and hit her right in the middle of her happy grin. The thunderous crack makes the walls shake. An older girl turns to run and he shoots her in the back. The missus stands there, before him with a silly expression of extreme surprise on her face. Santa cackles and shoots her right in the open mouth. He fires his weapons in an even flow, hitting someone virtually every time. They go down like felled trees. Howling and whining those still able flee the premises. One of the weapons runs out of ammo. He grabs the flame thrower and begins spraying walls and roasting flesh. In less than a minute the flames are licking the walls everywhere, and one may safely assume that the christmas party is a bust. Santa slips in the blood and guts on the floor. He looses his balance, and as he falls his weapon is jammed between himself and the floor. The final load goes off and blows off his head. The eerie, silly grin on his face remains to the last possible moment. The bullet holes make the mask-like smile look very inspired, almost like a work of art.

Author’s word: This story is completely true, even though the author admittedly took some creative liberties upon bringing the tale to life.

Two more ballads concerning the non-existing king:

Christmas is finally over

Nothing happened - a ballad

Monday, December 14, 2009

Unprovoked

One word is repeated in the comments from the bold protesters in Copenhagen these days: Unprovoked. The established media’s «reports» from the streets of Copenhagen and the police statements concerning their brutal actions against protesters are exposed as the usual lies and deceit.

Protesters are brutalized and dehumanized in every possible way, forced to sit on cold streets for hours, kept from peeing and shitting, eventually peeing and shitting themselves, imprisoned for up to twelve hours in cages, where they get sick and aren’t helped, and so on, and protesters are accused of being violent?

It’s the same pattern we have seen when people are gathering to protest against injustice, against power. You are told repeatedly that there is a price to pay if you want to exercise your right to protest. You are told that if you are disobedient against the masters at the top of the pyramid you will get beaten. They will strike you with clubs, with break your ribs, will make you suffer. All this while a clueless general population buys the lies and deceit they are fed through established media and official channels without even attempting to exercise any independent thought.

"I'm outraged at this treatment of legitimate protesters & the media's distorted reporting of it." Maude Barlow protester Copenhagen

"Suddenly, an unprovoked and very military-style police action took place." - Maude Barlow protester in Copenhagen

"Why just criminalise protesters, when you can dehumanise them too?” Helga Matthiassen - protester Copenhagen

Others, also neutral observers and even «outstanding citizens» report that they had to seek shelter in restaurants and virtually anywhere from police officers «attacking everybody».

I have read independent news reports even more than I usually do the last few days, and also spoken to people that are present in the cauldron in Copenhagen, all of them presenting a completely different picture than what we are served through the official treacherous channels and their lying shit employees.

Denmark has recently, like so many other nations increased the police’s right to break up protests, to basically behave exactly as they please. The situation for people that want to exercise independent thought and action has gone from bad to worse.

The police hasn’t killed anyone yet, not this time, like they have on many others events in the past, but they have traumatized countless people, deliberately, and made sure many will never dare venture into streets of fire again.

Fortunately there are still people that are able to take even such inhuman treatment and go out there and «ask» for more. That is a comforting thought in this bleak, oppressive society.

Are police officers human beings? Yes, the scariest thought in all of this is that they are, and still are able to behave in such a manner.

And last, but not least it’s important to remember that this isn’t and shouldn’t be about the cops, the Gestapo. One should always keep in mind that they are «merely» the eager servants of the pyramids and the people at the top of it, of a society long ago bereft of reason and basic humanity.

A few of the other relevant articles on Midnight Fire:

1984

The Battle of Gothenburg

The Fourth eState

Media censors those criticizing it

Police heavy-handed at protests

Riots in Copenhagen - truth victimized yet again

Fifty bullets

American skin - 41 shots - by Bruce Springsteen

The usual lies and deceit

Watchdogs

Tyrants' manual - advanced reading

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A list

I’m going to do something unprecedented (for me, that is). I’m going to make a list of what I’m going to do/accomplish in what is left of 2009 and during 2010.


I’m going to sign the contract with an international printer/distributor of books (done), and I’m going to publish at least one novel: The Defenseless, a story I originally wrote in my teens, which I’ve since then rewritten, translated and expanded. Except for one final bout of rereading it’s ready, with cover and everything.

I will restart my career as writer/director/participant/actor in films, theater and plays. 3 shorts and 2 long stories are ready to be made. Confessions of a midnight cannibal could start shooting tomorrow.

I should return to music. I’ve been away from it for too long.

There is a lot of unplowed ground for all of this, a lot not made or published or written. Internet is the new arena for all of it, even though live performances should always be there.

Films, books, music, serialized «tv» (web), totally ignoring the censorship so prevalent today. Let them come for me. They have always done that, and I’m still here.

And my poker success should begin in earnest, of course.

The plan was to reach the final table in a major tournament before the end of 2010. That’s still my goal, even if it has become more difficult because of my troublesome neck.

So, another goal is certainly to get well, to be completely healed.

My neck has made everything more difficult for me, including financially.

During my recent London trip I set out to win enough money to continue to Las Vegas and play in the World Poker Tour festival there, and I was actually not that far away. It is possible. When I focus my will I can do anything. I know that.


I have accomplished all the goals I set for myself when I was twenty, every single one. I had done that by the time I was 42. Things take time, but are doable, with persistence and patience. I learned everything I needed to learn from scratch, without formal schooling. My formal schooling was a great and major disaster, I’m happy to say.

During those 22 years I added new goals for myself, but all those I had listed on my twentieth birthday were accomplished way ahead of the initial schedule… being my entire life.


I have traveled the world, done so several times, have visited all continents except Australia and Antarctica (and I was really close to Antarctica), and met a lot of beyond interesting fellow Travelers with a similar outlook on life. I lived and live on my earnings as a poker player and have played all over the planet.

I have published novels, have become a writer and artist in my own right, in name and fact, independent of the old, trite established and oppressive system. Later I also became an actor, wrote screenplays and played theater, became a musician and a composer. And the musician/composer part wasn’t even in the original plan. That was a coincidence. I tossed a coin when I was fifteen whether I should become a musician or a writer. The writing won, and will always be first, but I can safely state that I got a part of both.


The main objective was personal empowerment. Everything else followed that.

When I was twenty I set out to change my life, to become an assertive and independent person, and I did.

I have had a great life so far. I have become the Nomad, the Traveler I always desired to be, mind and matter and Shadow. I have become a witch, a seeker in Shadow. I’ve become physically fit, able to live and survive in the wilderness, even if I still have a stretch to go before I become a full-fledged survivalist.

All this didn’t find me my accident. I sought it, both within and without, and I found it, against incredible odds.

Variety has become so much more than a word to me.

Hopefully it’s only the beginning.


The most difficult an artist, a creative person can do is to compete against oneself, and I’ve done a lot to compete with, I'm proud to say.

With the current world so full of shit it feels even better to have done and do something honest and real.


The Long Walk

The Mystic's Dream

The Wanderer's Book

Transformation and Metamorphosis

Living in the Wild

True Artistic Freedom

The Long Walk

Monday, December 07, 2009

The dumb and easily fooled - Radioactive Earth Part 2

The Danes have turned around in their outlook on nuclear power. From a great, massive resistance of 80 percent to what is presently 54 percent in favor.

One factor is good about this: It shows that the Danes have finally started to panic when it comes to Global Warming, and the Climate Change. That realization serves them and others well.

Being utterly fooled by the nuclear power lobbyists doesn’t.

People in Copenhagen have for decades protested against the nuclear power plant across the sound, in Sweden. Now, they want one outside their doorstep. How fickle are people’s convictions.

When focus has now, for a while turned to the Climate Change many people conveniently forget about all the other pollution, all the poisons we produce every day, every second.

Fooling most of the people all the time seem to be beyond easy.

The nuclear power lobbyists have since awareness of Global Warming and Climate Change became an issue used the opportunity to push their insane agenda of a massive expansion of their industry. A powerful lobby group quickly grew even more powerful.

Three horrible factors are important here:

Radioactive material is the absolutely most poisonous material we know. In a world filled with pollution, with poison, this is the absolute worst. The story of nuclear power is one of «accidents», «incidents» and constant spills. A typical reactor, including the «technological superior» in the west and Japan is constantly leaking radioactive material.

Then there is the matter of the radioactive waste, which is a practically unsolvable problem.

And last, but not least there is the danger of a truly horrible accident like Chernobyl or worse.

Supporters of nuclear power claim, in their insane propaganda, that it’s basically harmless. The truth is that nothing is more dangerous. It’s the absolute worst and most dangerous act mankind has ever touched, and that says a lot.

Even a few «environmentalists», among them James Lovelock are supporting it, a truly sad fact.

The «nuclear apologists» basically have two arguments killing each other. First they say that there are no leaks or ongoing leaks from nuclear power plants or reprocessing plants. Then, when that obvious lie is exposed, they claim that the leaks and added, artificial radiation are miniscule and pose no threat to life. They are so childish in their zeal that it’s almost touching, or it would have been if it and they weren’t such a danger to continued life on the planet.

The very existence of nuclear power plants is just a bad idea, and should be abandoned immediately. Madam Curie found death in a handful of sand, and since then many have followed her lead.

Turning the Earth, slowly or quickly into a radioactive wasteland won’t save mankind. This should be evident to everybody. Sadly and horribly it isn’t.

Even the British government termed the birds around the Sellafield reactor «flying nuclear waste». They are quite simply way too dangerous to be around. That was ten years ago. Now, the practically same Labour government has set out to make a massive expansion in Britain’s use of nuclear power. France and China and India and a lot of other countries have similar plans.

Me? I tell people claiming, in their insanity, that nuclear material is safe that they should keep it in their fridge or better, under their bed for a year. If they’re still here after that, then we can talk.

This material, something so lethal that is really beyond poisonous is what greedy and silly and insane business ventures and scientists will use to save us from ourselves?

Yes, that is indeed yet another act that is beyond insane in the present society. Nuclear power and the human-created Global Warming and what is practically the industrial production of poison stem from the same source: from humanity’s alienation from nature, from us abandoning an instinctive awareness of our surroundings. That is what has to change if we are going to save ourselves, not more of the same.

More articles about the same or similar on Midnight Fire:

Chernobyl everywhere - radioactive Earth Part 1

The true hoax exposed

Chemical cocktail

The caves of doom

Tailspin suicide run

The technological glorification of technology

The world grinder

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2012 - The Movie

This is fairly closed to a perfect movie. Roland Emmerich, the director has clearly thought it through. It's obvious that he has a passion for the material, for the story. It's well thought out and executed, almost to the details. Only at the end it is slipping a little. The writer should have died, the touch of a Hollywood ending should have been left out, and the aftermath should have been a few minutes longer and better explained.

This movie has taken a lot of heat, from reviewers and others, from people phrone to ridicule the subject. I don't believe this will happen in 2012, but it's still a great story and a story well told, and not that far away from how it MIGHT happen. Reviewers have stated that people were laughing throughout the film, which is a plain lie. This is a great subject, and, as stated a well-made film.

Emmerich has stated that this will be his last disaster movie, and it is his masterpiece. He has become more skilled with each new film, and with this he shines, quite frankly. We can see that he goes all the way with this one, not holding anything back. The special effects are stunning, but they aren't the most important.

On a more personal note I will say that I am pleased over the fact that the story centers around a writer that has sold 150 copies of his book. Emmerich is a man that has succeeded on the uneven path outside the well-established system of film-making, and that, too shows in his favor. He makes fun of his detractors, and that, too serves him well. I didn't much enjoy his ealier films, but the last two have been fantastic.

I loved this film. 9.4 of 10

Monday, November 30, 2009

The pox on mankind

One subject among several I’ve been happy about on Twitter and elsewhere lately is the new aggressive, militant atheism. Most atheists I knew and knew of in the past were way too tolerant about religion’s countless atrocities and dominant position in the present world. That people put up with the dominance of such organized insanity has always been beyond me.

Religion is a pox on mankind, pure and simple, always has been, is and will be. Religious people are deranged as individuals and beyond dangerous as groups. With billions of them worldwide there is no surprise that humanity is so out of it today.

Atheists are quite the diverse «group». What we have in common is that we don’t believe there are any gods, not the christian god, and not the numerous other major or minor gods out there. It is that simple. Everything else is optional.

Humans created the gods, mostly out of various kinds of fear, and some people’s wish to dominate others. It’s way past time that we put a stop to this. We shouldn’t live in constant fear, and no one should rule others.

That, too, is very simple.

Further reading on the subject on Midnight Fire:

No god

A land given them by god

Loathe


Nothing happened - a ballad

The Ten Commandments

Ravings of an insane idiot

Fear is the key

Why missionaries suck

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All Soul's Night

I see masks dance in the air
I see them fall like rain
On All Soul's Night

I see the weird shimmer in the night
Something different from what my eyes see
Everything is opening up
On All Soul's Night

A woman is coming at me from the left
I see beyond her mask
To her seething Shadow beyond
Boiling blood flows through my veins

I died the first time when I was three
Floating under the ceiling
Looking down on my blue, still body
Listening to people speak far away
Breaking through the veil
To the Other World

I returned from a land
Of mist and shadow
So much more
Than I had been

I died the second time
When i was nine and a score
I fell on my back
And as my worried friends
Gathered around my still body
I fell into a hole black and deep
To The Other World

I saw so much more this time
Of the land of mist and shadow
I sensed spirits, ghouls and
What was Beyond
Knowing my distant friends
And the world they roamed
Better than I ever had
In an instant or two or three
during the time I was dead
Everything woke up inside me

And it stayed awake, stayed open
Like it does to this day
On this All Soul's Night

In a glimpse, in a mirror
Far more powerful than the reflection
We see ourselves as we truly are

Amos Keppler
Late October/early November 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The mindless, the insecure and the hateful

A survey for the British newspaper Daily Telegraph shows that 22 percent is considering voting for the British National Party (BNP). The survey is done after the BNP-leader Nick Griffin’s infamous appearance on BBC Question Time (#bbcqt on Twitter). Among the reasons for their potential vote people say that white people, «indigenous white British people» have become threatened and are under attack in their own country. Almost half of those asked, including many that wouldn’t, «under no circumstances» consider voting for BNP shared that view.

These numbers and viewpoints are more or less shared in most western countries, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but the existing undercurrent is pretty much the same. There are large nationalist and racist political parties in many countries. The Norwegian «Progress» Party, seething with nationalism and racism gained 22 percent in the recent parliament election.

Many whites in the United States have expressed similar «concerns», especially after Barack Hussein Obama was elected president. Australia has also had a heavy increase in overt racism lately.

There is no sane reason, or even anything even resembling a sane reason for these viewpoints, but they are still there, like a cancer in the modern society. Griffin’s popularity becomes almost laughable when you consider how he obviously made a total ass of himself on Question Time, but as has been shown on many occasions earlier: racism and bias and similar expressions of the lowest common denominator in human beings don’t care about reason, about dignity and respect for others. It just keeps festering beneath the surface, growing like a never closing wound.

It is no laughing matter, even though many of the statements coming from Griffin and equals are indeed laughable to a somewhat truly decent and intelligent person.

Griffin’s appearance was discussed on Twitter. Most felt he had completely fucked up, ruined any change for him or his party to ever grow big and influential in British society. I and a few others, having realized the irrational behavior inherent in racists weren’t so sure, and, as usual our worst fears were confirmed.

The same people that have, for decades instigated and supported attacks on other races and cultures claim that they are the victims. Again, it would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic and dangerous. They deserve no respect, but they get the respect anyway, of sorts. They are listened to and appeased and society is changed to suit them, instead of them and their inhuman views being rejected and attacked like the waste they are and the rubbish it is.

Established politicians in all countries talk about «being firm» against asylum seekers and other «threats» to the white christian dominance in a given country. The truth is that far more than 22 percent support the ideals put forward by Mr. Griffin and pals across the world. No country has ever made a stand against the undercurrent of racism, and the result is not hard to see.

The nationalist groups in Europe are currently discussing cooperation between themselves across borders. I guess their sense of irony is just as lacking as their basic humanity.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No god

Religious tweeters first tried to trend Know God, know peace. No God, no peace on Twitter. It ended up trending No God at the very top of the list and encouraging atheists to post no god know peace. Then after hours of heavy, very enjoyable posting, a so called trend war Twitter removed no god from the trending list, joining it with «know god», even though No God had far higher numbers.

And the hashtag #NoGod could no longer be searched properly.

They attempted to explain away their crime, but there is very little doubt that this is censorship of the worst order. Their various explanations ring hollow and is basically bullshit. This with people claiming that they don’t interfere with the tweeting except when it is pure spam.

Atheists have attempted for months to make a related topic reach the top ten. Now, we know why it didn’t work. Twitter is clearly biased in favor of christianity.

But it doesn’t seem like they know their own medium very well. There have been many cases where the tables have been turned on people and firms attempting censorship by people using Twitter. This time it does look like it will turn on themselves. Hopefully it will. Let’s pray it doesn’t end here… in any way.

People, not only atheists... are pissed. They call it one of the worst cases of censorship on the Internet... ever.

Twitter's terms of service: «We may not monitor or control the Content posted or endorse any opinions expressed.»

Articles about similar themes on Midnight Fire:

The True Ten Commandments

Loathe

A land given them by God

Nothing happened - a ballad

Ravings of an insane idiot

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Warmer, wetter, wilder

Eleven years ago:

1998 was the warmest year since systematic measurement started, according to the UN meteorological organization WMO. This means that the 10 warmest years measured, all have been within the last 12 year period. Every month this year have up till now been warmer than the same last year. Everything suggests that 1998 beats every single former record, WMO General Secretary G. O. P. Obasi said at the current climate conference in Buenos Aires.

WMO has a network of 300 stations measuring temperatures from the Arctic to Antarctica.

- By these measurements we’re able to document that the concentration of climatic gases continue to increase, Obasi says. - The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now 35 percent higher since before the industrial revolution. The number of storms and their strength are also on the rise. We know that warmer weather increases the strength and numbers of extreme weather conditions.

Today:
There are three main issues one should note about the human created Global Warming:

One: it is here, far more volatile than most people and public officials and even most scientists wish to admit. The few tiny «attempts» at stopping it in the works now, like recycling and more effective light bulbs won’t even slow it down. The Kyoto accord was totally useless. Whatever is the result of the Copenhagen meeting will be, too.

Two: There are a lot of powerful people all over the world, in key positions that work hard, extremely hard to spread their propaganda against the unfolding truth. These people will stop at nothing to keep anything truly effective from being done.

Three: My guess is that there will be a lot of bloggers writing about the more prosaic and useless themes of Global Warming today, repeat ad nausea what is well within the public domain, and hardly even scratch the surface to what’s needed. They will use the buzz words and do their best, deliberately or not to conceal the issue, will conceal the true ramifications of Global Warming, of pollution and of civilization itself.

The truth is that none of the so called preventive actions on the main table today will work. They can’t truly be called preventive actions at all. They are quite simply just more diversions, more ways for the dominating forces in society to conceal the issues in play.

And since most people are buying that, they will repeat the lies and deceit, as most people always do, and aid in the widespread deception.

You’ll have to look long and hard for relevant information on blog action day, this year supposed to be about Global Warming and the human created climate change.

Other articles about the same and similar subjects on Midnight Fire:

The true hoax exposed

Cretaceous era revisited

Summer trip in the high north

Feverish Earth - on the edge

Know

It's happening

Alternative news - feverish Earth

Feverish Earth - Additions

Feverish Earth - more additions

Feverish Earth - Late August update

Burning waters - the Katrina aftermath

Feverish Earth - Stan the man and other stories


Feverish Earth - The North Atlantic

Quiet before the storm

External links:

On Ocean Acidification

Warming Arctic should be cooling

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Labeling and genre-writing

I despise both, really. Both are detrimental to the story, in my not so humble opinion.

Categories, whether or not it’s the stores or the publishers using it, are wrong, and even unnecessary. It’s just that some people, a certain kind of people, critics, readers and publishers alike love labeling and will go to any length pursuing that craving. In a society where the average, where conformity is «celebrated» and originality is frowned upon, at best this is a given, rather than the exception.

People ask me if I would prefer going to a bookstore where everything is labeled from A to Z, and nothing more. Yes, I would actually, but that’s just the half of it. What I would love is to enter a bookstore celebrating diversity and daring and the controversial. That should be the norm, not the bland, massive sameness we experience today. A friend suggested to me that a bookstore these days is no different from a grocery store. I think that is the case. It is the same, bland food.

Being on Twitter lately, and as expected been confronted with how ingrained the current system of labeling and writing in general is among writers, publishers and prospective writers and artists (in general) I despair once again over how set in their mold most people are, and creative people are unfortunately not no better than the average population.

How presumptive creative people so eagerly and easily can accept being labeled is just yet another horrible mystery of the modern world.

True artistic freedom

Wreck on the highway

It started in the late eighties, in Denmark of all places. Since then it has become very popular all over the world. It goes like this:

Truck drivers are shaken by a series of spectacular suicides. Drivers wait until the last second and then make a sharp turn to collide front to front with the truck. It’s usually done on a highway, in high speed. The car and its driver, of course are like mashed potatoes after such a brutal, deliberate collision. There is hardly anything left to bury.

Therapists treating the surviving truck drivers were initially baffled by all this. Since then, after the phenomenon began spreading a hint of fear has been added. They started investigating it further, and found that over half of the front to front collisions in Scandinavia and Northern Europe from 1989 to 1999 had been premeditated.

There has never been much about this in the established media. It has been going on for twenty years, now, without anything even resembling front page coverage.

Fences have been put up between lanes, even where the lanes are divided, to no avail. People wanting to commit suicide will do so, no matter the security measures. Obviously.

Committing suicide is illegal, as I understand it. At least you may be locked up without a trial if you survive. But the thing is with many suicidal people: they are very committed to their cause. Various governments have done a lot to keep people from jumping from The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and other bridges, without much success. If people want to die and are very determined there isn’t any easy way to stop them.

Obviously not.

Must be very frustrating.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Six months

I have now been on Twitter for six months.

One reason I joined was that I wanted to return to my Midnight Fire blog that had been more or less in hiatus for two years. That worked great.

The main reason is the usual reason why I do anything, to reach out to the world, to find likeminded people and more of the spice of Life, and I have.

During these six months I’ve found many new contacts and even a few more friends, more wanderers in Shadow. Thus it is worth it.

I have two basic rules for following. I follow no one not following me and they have to be interesting one way or another. Since I follow both rules I have to break them both occasionally. It doesn’t bother me. Rules are made to be broken. Or rather: rules are, as always a bad excuse for living. I currently follow 326 people and are followed by 450. My numbers increase at a slow pace, and I’m quite okay with that. I prefer quality before quantity.

Advertising is blocked, period! I hate advertising, including veiled, indirect advertising.

Interaction is very important to me. If people don’t reply to my tweets I will always consider removing them, whether or not they follow me or are interesting.

Yes, it is worth it, but I also meet the same frustrations here as I do elsewhere on Internet and in society in general. No matter the subject, whether or not it is environmentalism, art/writing or people’s view of existence as a whole I find that most of those I encounter are way too entrenched in traditionalism and established society. And worse, by default: they can’t even imagine that there are people that aren’t, and that the world is so horribly screwed up that there is a desperate need for everybody to wake up and smell the stinking coffee. They even grow angry and attack the messenger when their obvious sheep-like attitude is pointed out to them. Like Goethe said: «Nobody is more hopelessly enslaved then those falsely believing themselves to be free».

So Twitter is like Internet in general: a mirror image of the society we live in.

I keep seeking uncompromising rebels, artists, witches and other Human Beings eager to transcend and transform society and embrace the world.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The true hoax exposed

A few scientists and individuals paid by the industry have for years claimed that the human created Global Warming isn’t happening. Those scientists and individuals have long since been exposed. Neither variations in the sun’s output (less the last twenty years) nor cosmic radiation nor urban heat islands are contributing much to Global Warming. On the contrary, it is now clear, and has been for a while that there are those being paid and supported by the industry that have deliberately faked results in their own «research». Industry sells doubt, in all areas to be able to continue their insane venture.

This is merely one of many exposures and unambiguous results the last decade. I am, generally speaking critically inclined towards science, but when findings and theories to such an uncanny degree fit reality there can be very little doubt left. We have all observed, with our own eyes and senses what’s happening and what becomes increasingly clear: warmer and more violent weather patterns, more rain, more drought, longer growth seasons, longer summers, shorter or non-existing winters and so on.

I’ve stated all this for twenty years and it’s nice to be proven right, of course. It’s no longer controversial to say that the world is growing warmer, and that the warming is caused by human activity. But this should only be the beginning of people’s insight. Unfortunately that isn’t so. People still cling to the old illusions of civilization’s perfection. The few measures implemented so far, and even those planned, like recycling, higher fuel-prices, various cleaning technologies, more environmental-friendly fuels, more effective light bulbs and similar just won’t matter in the grand scheme things. Everything will be hopelessly insufficient. It won’t safe life on Earth, or even delay or reducing the increase, the speed of the ongoing destruction. Yet, people are talking about this with something approaching religious awe, while bluntly rejecting critical voices speaking about what is or should be self-evident: that the entire human society must change completely, that it must be turned upside/down, inside out, and that civilization itself is destroying all life, including ours.

The struggle to prevent dramatic Global Warming has become a fad, and thereby two important things are happening: One is that it is distracting from and hiding, concealing the other equally dangerous general chemical and radioactive pollution from factories, a selection of modern consumer products and from nuclear power plants. The second is that the last time environmental issues were popular, in 1989/90 it turned out to be quite a short-lived phenomenon. The measures implemented then were cosmetic, useless. Today we see the same happening. The Kyoto accord and additions, like the upcoming Copenhagen meeting in December and absolutely any countermeasure to Global Warming officials are talking about in public aren’t merely totally useless, but also the usual, deliberate distraction the establishment put in motion in order to keep anything substantial from being done.

Those in power, the elite at the top of the pyramid, their stooges in public government, the industry and the establishment in general don’t want true changes. They are quite pleased with the world like it is, and don’t want to change shit. Thus the current human society continues on its destructive path like a growing snowball rolling ever faster towards the inevitable end of its run, at the abrupt halt at the bottom of the slope.


Monday, September 21, 2009

The ravings of an insane idiot

Many pagans (like me) don't believe either in god or satan or any gods, or believe they exist at all. They believe in humanity and our place in nature, as an integral part of the Universe, not apart from it. We are of the Earth, its blood, its dirt and sweat. That is a fact. Not some lofty other-dimensional realm.

Good and evil, heaven and hell, the whole duality insanity thing is basically an invention of zarathustra, a persian prophet living thousands of years ago. His teaching spread to judaism and from there to christianity and islam, and also to some eastern religions.

So almost all the larger present day world religions and society as a whole are a result of an insane idiot wandering and raving in the Persian sands...

That irony is truly something, isn't it...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Britain’s unions commit to a mass boycott movement of Israeli goods

In a landmark decision, Britain’s trade unions have voted overwhelmingly to commit to build a mass boycott movement, disinvestment and sanctions on Israel for a negotiated settlement based on justice for Palestinians.

The motion was passed at the 2009 TUC Annual Congress in Liverpool today (17 September), by unions representing 6.5 million workers across the UK.

Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: ‘This motion is the culmination of a wave of motions passed at union conferences this year, following outrage at Israel’s brutal war on Gaza, and reflects the massive growth in support for Palestinian rights. We will be working with the TUC to develop a mass campaign to boycott Israeli goods, especially agricultural products that have been produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.’

The motion additionally called for the TUC General Council to put pressure on the British government to end all arms trading with Israel and support moves to suspend the EU-Israel trade agreement. Unions are also encouraged to disinvest from companies which profit from Israel’s illegal 42-year occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

The motion was tabled by the Fire Brigades Union. The biggest unions in the UK, including Unite, the public sector union, and UNISON, which represents health service workers, voted in favour of the motion.

The motion also condemned the Israeli trade union Histadrut’s statement supporting Israel’s war on Gaza, which killed 1,450 Palestinians in three weeks, and called for a review of the TUC’s relationship with Histadrut.

Britain’s trade unions join those of South Africa and Ireland in voting to use a mass boycott campaign as a tool to bring Israel into line with international law, and pressure it to comply with UN resolutions that encourage justice and equality for the Palestinian people.

Notes to Editors

* Media contact: Palestine Solidarity Campaign 020 7700 6192
* The full motion passed on 17 September can be viewed at: http://www.congressvoices.org/2009/76-palestine/
* The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is the largest solidarity movement with Palestinians in Britain – and is supported by thousands of individual members alongside 18 national trade union and hundreds of local trade union affiliates. For more information: http://www.palestinecampaign.org
* The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aims to pressure Israel into complying with international law. http://www.bdsmovement.net/

=====================================

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!



Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Box BM PSA
London
WC1N 3XX

Tel: 020 7700 6192
Fax: 020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Cretaceous era revisited - a Global Warming timetable

The Cretaceous period on Earth was an extremely hot and volatile era with a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere, eventually buried and transformed into the fossil fuels we are using today. All the CO2 of the Cretaceous period is now being returned to the atmosphere.

Knowledge of what will happen, what will be the inevitable, ultimate results of the human created Global Warming has come to us in pieces. We still don’t know exactly what will happen, but we can make ever better informed educated guesses and predictions.

The first signs have already asserted themselves, bad enough, but nothing compared to what will follow. The first reports ten years ago dealt solely with the warming, a few, direct results of that, making some idiots state something like this: «so, it will get a little warmer, so what? I would love a little hotter climate and few more trees». Or similar. Our knowledge has long since drawn a far more drastic, volatile and lethal scenario.

Today we see the deserts spread. In southern Europe, in the United States and Australia, in China people have felt the horrors of expanded drought. In California, Australia and Greece forest and bushfires have become the norm, not the exception. Elsewhere, where there isn’t drought, there’s usually flooding. The storms and hurricanes have increased in frequency and strength. The oceans get warmer, and with that the changes of hurricanes occurring and turning more powerful have increased significantly. Temperatures have spiked, creating close to unbearable summers, with death and suffering as a result. The polar icecaps are melting, and much faster than anticipated. The arctic will be ice free in the summers by 2013, fifty years ahead of «schedule». The ice on Greenland has begun melting at an unprecedented rate. What was once just a theory, a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in China has now become an absolute, undeniable certainty.

This is today, what I call the first phase.

The immediate tomorrow, the next ten, twenty and thirty years, a far more volatile scenario will quickly reveal itself. The bread baskets of the United States’ Midwest and in the Ukraine will literally turn to dust. So will the Amazon jungle and other tropic rainforests around the world. The land ice in Antarctica will begin melting in earnest. That, too, has already begun. The melting of the Greenland ice will cause the world’s ocean to rise about seven meters. The West Ice in Antarctica will make that seven more, and the West Ice has also protected the inland from the warmer winds, a protection it will soon no longer have. The ice and snow of the Himalayas will melt and initially cause floods. Then, when there is no more left it will cause starvation on a massive scale in India and China. When all the ice on Earth have melted the sea level will be approximately 70 meter higher than today. Long before that all the current coastland will be below the surface. 84 percent of the world’s humans live by the coast or close to the coastline. Hurricanes, drought and floods will assert themselves with ever greater strength and numbers, making the coastlines and vast parts of the inland practically uninhabitable, setting off the greatest human migrations in history.

Official reports still cling to a thousand year timetable on most of these scenarios, but that fallacy has long since lost all credibility. I see it as the governments and established society’s attempt at panic management. Lies and deceit have brought us where we are today, on our collective, suicidal path, and that path should of course be abandoned yesterday.

The ocean will grow increasingly warmer, and as it does the process of acidification will explode, killing at least 80 percent of all life in the sea, ruining its ecosystem completely, and certainly also ruining whatever is left of the ecosystem on land. Even officially sanctioned scientists speak of this process within a thirty-year period.

This is the immediate future, the second phase. It’s bad enough, and may cause billions of human deaths, but there is still a chance of us surviving as a species, beyond the inevitable destruction of civilization, of a way of organizing ourselves that has always, right from its modest beginnings destroyed everything making life worth living.

What will follow after the above described doomsday scenario is uncertain, is speculative, but one thing is certain: the new Cretaceous era has still not fully asserted itself. The Cretaceous era, as stated was volatile and lethal, and very different from today. It was hot, humid and its atmosphere and ocean were very close to what we would consider toxic.

Once, not too long into the future the final stages of the human created Global Warming will assert themselves. The acid seas will release clouds of Hydrogen Sulfide, a highly toxic gas, potentially killing the last few oxygen-breathers on the planet.

The development towards the first hot Cretaceous era took a very long time, thousands and even millions of years. We have done the same in little more than a hundred. That’s the only difference. Everything else is chillingly similar.

Other articles about the same and similar subjects on Midnight Fire:

Summer trip in the high north

Feverish Earth - on the edge

Know

It's happening

Alternative news - feverish Earth

Feverish Earth - Additions

Feverish Earth - more additions

Feverish Earth - Late August update

Burning waters - the Katrina aftermath

Feverish Earth - Stan the man and other stories


Feverish Earth - The North Atlantic

Quiet before the storm

External links:

On Ocean Acidification

Warming Arctic should be cooling

Monday, August 31, 2009

Inspiring music

Music inspiring me, in no specific order, songs and pieces I can play time and time again, making my thoughts fly, creating scenarios in my head almost every time:

Eagle - Abba
Nostradamus - Al Stewart
A dream within a dream - Alan Parsons Project
A lot of Alan Parsons Project
Main Theme Mulholland Drive - Angelo Bandalamenti
Followed the waves – Auf der Maur
Bad company – Bad Company
I still remember – Blackmore’s Night
A hard rain’s gonna fall - Bob Dylan
Visions of Joanna – Bob Dylan
Dignity – Bob Dylan
Nebraska (live) - Bruce Springsteen
Factory – Bruce Springsteen
Badlands – Bruce Springsteen
Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen
Dead Man Walking – Bruce Springsteen
Nothing to fear (instrumental prologue) - Chris Rea
Midnight Blue – Chris Rea
Life on the balcony - City Boy
Ambition – City Boy
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Cat people (soundtrack version) – David Bowie
Child in Time - Deep Purple
Tango in the night - Fleetwood Mac
Go your own way – Fleetwood Mac
Garden of man – Grace Slick
Dreams – Grace Slick
Thunderbird (theme from Thelma & Louise) – Hans Zimmer
Broadsword – Jethro Tull
Halloween Theme - John Carpenter
Main theme Escape From New York – John Carpenter
The Fog – John Carpenter
Master of the Universe – Hawkwind
Children of the sun – Hawkwind
Frozen - Madonna
Highlander Theme - Michael Kamen
10 000 years/sexual moon – Lee Clayton
Prologue (live) – Loreena Mc Kennitt
The Mystic’s dream – Loreena Mc Kennitt
Mighty Quinn – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Almost anything Manfred Mann really
Eagle Brother – Mari Boine
Grendel – Marillion
Eclipse – Nightwish
The islander - Nightwish
Boy cried wolf – Patti Smith
Because the night – Patti Smith
Paths that cross – Patti Smith
I lost it all – Paul Rodgers
Solsbury Hill (live) – Peter Gabriel
Biko – Peter Gabriel
The Feeling begins – Peter Gabriel
On the turning away – Pink Floyd
And a lot of early Pink Floyd
Summer Elegy – Rick Wright
Christ Goodbye - Saturnus
Last Day of our Acquaintance (live) – Sinnead O’Connor
Born to be wild – Steppenwolf
Boat on the river – Styx
Pieces of eight - Styx
The End – The Doors
Waiting for the sun – The Doors
The Terminator Theme – Brad Fiedel
All Tomorrow’s Parties – Velvet Underground

Monday, August 24, 2009

I believe it

I believe israeli soldiers have taken organs from dead Palestinians, like the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported. That, bad as it is pales totally compared to the countless other horrible crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide the israeli authorities and army have perpetrated and condoned the last sixty years.

They’ve wanted the Swedish government to apologize for the article, but since the Swedish prime minister is a man and not a mouse (surprising as that is) he has refused to do that. This astonishing fact has raised the ire of the israeli further. No dictatorship likes to be exposed for what it is, of course.

Israel has clearly wanted to bomb both Sweden and Norway in recent years because of their criticism of israeli atrocities, in spite of the criticism being rather bland. Various representatives for the criminal israeli government and establishment have been very cross with people telling it like it is, calling the israeli genocide against the Palestinian people for the genocide it is. The only reason why countries in Western Europe haven’t been bombed is probably because they are so far away. That fact must be very frustrating for israeli officials. They are used to bomb anyone opposing them or even disagreeing with them.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dried blood

I wake up in the morning with the familiar sweet stench itching in my nose. It’s a hot, dark summer’s day where no birds are singing and everything is quiet. I rise from the bed and cross the floor nude. Semen is dropping from my half erected cock. I look out the window, at the yard, and see a lot of bloody bodies hanging form thick ropes, swinging back and forth in an endless movement. They hang in a long row. Birds with bloody beaks are happily feeding off the set and tasty table. I glance back at the table. The cunt still sleeps and dreams her sweet dreams. She’s a cold bitch. Nothing can rouse her from her sleep. I stumble out in the hallway. There is lot of dirt on the floor, dried blood and a lot of other stuff generally ruining any chance of a decent walk, forcing me to navigate instead of walking, really. Feet are constantly bumping into something. Several cut-off heads have been left in a corner. I ignore their reproachful, dull eyes.

The kitchen is, generally speaking very dirty and unclean. Yes, it can certainly be said that it is downright filthy. There is a lot of hair and pieces of skin everywhere. I finally find a somewhat clean table. The kettle is still there, and the food is still hot. It was hot yesterday and is still hot now. I sit down and start wolfing heartily. It tastes great. The eggs, the sandwiches and ham are all marvelous. The warm juice drenches my thirst in a way I didn’t believe was possible. The hotel is silent. I can’t hear a single sound anywhere. Both the guests and employees seem to have left the place. Or they might still be sleeping. Some people sleep way too much.

I return to my room and fetch my jacket and things in the tiny suitcase, and resume my wanderings. Blood is still flowing from the bodies hanging upside down from branches on trees on both sides of the alley, swinging back and forth in an endless cycle. The branches move slightly up and down, making the blood jump a little further than it usually would. The birds stare at me with their cold eyes, and I get delightful trickles down my spine. I pull my SLR-camera from my jacket and start documenting my art, snapping many pictures. There are fabulous possibilities for great composition here, and I exploit each and every one. I imagine how everything will look after a turn or two in the electronic darkroom, in Photoshop and other programs, and almost get an orgasm on the spot. I have used a pirated copy of Photoshop for ten years, by now, and am very pleased with it.

The photos are practically snapping themselves, like they did during my first excursion last night. I have many Gigabytes of storage capacity available, and use a lot of it, but all good things come to an end, and I put the camera away, and take a final look at the many works of art surrounding me, before resuming my eternal walk.

The sun is rising in the sky. It will be yet another fine day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Celebration of the just

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the man accused and convicted for the Lockerbie-bombing in 1988 was met with celebration as he returned to Libya. I see nothing wrong with that, for several reasons.

His «trial» was hardly more than a sham, a geopolitical show to satisfy the forces in the United States and Western Europe ruling the world. They just needed someone to point their fingers at, as usual, and Libya was always convenient for that in the past.

The man was wrongfully convicted, and he is dying. There have been occasions when Barack Obama has shown himself no better than his predecessors. With his criticism of Scottish and Libyan authorities in this matter he puts himself in a bad light, not Scotland, Libya and Abdel Basset al-Megrahi.

We should all celebrate, because, in this case, at last and at least to a degree justice eventually «won». A man unjustly spent many years of his life behind bars and was allowed to go home and die.

It is also interesting to note that it’s mostly Americans that are still crying for his blood and suffering, while the relatives of the European victims are far more forgiving and compassionate.

- «Today is a great day for Libya and for anyone caring about justice» a man on the street said.

That is so very true. The forces behind the power of the world didn't have their way this time, which is very good. There are those opposing them. There should be far more of us.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Conservative

Conservative... taste that word. what it entails. It entails defending the status quo, the established order. Many people do that today, from all kinds of political backgrounds, one way or another, but not everybody is bragging about it. Not everybody has it as their catechism, their holy scripture. Think about it, how it must be, living like that, to discipline yourself to reject any new thought, resist any wind of change. In a world screaming for true change this is particularly bad, but these people are a threat to humanity no matter what society they are found.

These people have never contributed anything good to humanity and they never will.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Provocation

I have, since I started blogging, and long before that, really been told that I’m provoking people. That’s a correct assumption, I guess, but only because I point out things most people close their eyes to, and don’t want to think about or even be reminded of. I certainly mean what I say. The way I see it people should have been provoked by those bad things I and others tell about, not over the fact that we point at them.

But to close one’s eyes to obvious truths have become quite the sport today.

Radical and aware people rarely set out to provoke deliberately. The fact that some people are provoked is a completely different matter, but says much more about he or she being provoked than those writing about and highlighting controversial subjects.

People’s reason for being provoked is often that they haven’t even considered the matter being discussed, but that they, on the contrary see the subject, the current state of affairs being challenged as an eternal, acceptable and often sacred truth. Nationalism in all its shapes and forms is one example of many here. When a given nation is criticized most people, even people with a fairly critical mindset are often taking it very, very personal, feeling that the criticism is directed at them. The propaganda has been this effective in hindering true and infinite critical thinking.

I have felt, for a very long time that the very society we are currently residing in, and countless smaller and bigger factors within it is the greatest provocation, and that is what people should have been provoked by, not those pointing out the bad news.

Those pointing out bad news have for quite some time been treated badly. They used to be killed on sight. Conquerors, for instance took care of their messengers that way. One has become slightly more sophisticated today, with mechanisms in place to cast bringers of bad news in a bad light. They are ignored, ridiculed and incarcerated and headed for obscurity, placed as far away from the public light as they can possibly be.

Any society, even those that may exist like the proverbial needle in the haystack need to be confronted and confronted with unpleasant truths. That a given society, supported by the vast majority of its population does its very best to keep such facts under wraps is one of the most significant unhealthy signs there are.

«With truth one may go anywhere, even to prison» - Polish proverb

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Monsanto Files (4 of 4)

The Ecologist September October 1998

Who are the real Terrorists? by Zac Goldsmith

Unable to rely on courts, politicians, or regulations, 'normal' people have decided to take things into their own hands. They are branded as terrorists, vandals and hooligans. But who are the real hooligans?

By all accounts the people of Europe are more than just skeptical about biotechnology. Indeed numerous studies have shown that the great majority of people are actively opposed to any further development in the field. One recent Mori poll found that 77 per cent of those questioned would like to see an end to experimentation with generically engineered crops in the UK, and a study of UK consumer attitudes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Food. backed by Unilever, the Green Alliance and the University of Lancaster, has shown that consumers "harbor significant unease about the technology as a whole." More importantly it found that consumers have "mixed feelings about the integrity and adequacy of present patterns of government regulation, and in particular about official scientific assurances of safety

Such assurances are, of course. meaningless, since the knock-on effects of biotechnology are inherently unpredictable [see Mae Wan Ho, A. Kimbrell, P Kingsnorth J. Mendelson etc. in this issue]. According to the Soil Association, the organisation responsible for issuing the ‘organic’ label to UK farmers, "once released. the spread of genetically modified organisms in the environment cannot he balled. nor can the consequences be predicted . Genetic engineering is incompatible with sustainable agriculture." There have already been a number of potential disasters with accidentally released GMO’s. In mid-April for example Monsanto announced that it was recalling small quantities of genetically engineered canola seed which contained "an unapproved gene that had found its way into the product by mistake."

Significantly, there has been an 8 per cent increase in public rejection of the technology since 1996, during which time there has been a great deal more information on the subject. What’s more, a study published in Nature shows that the more people learn about biotechnology, the less faith they have in its safety or usefulness. "How much more evidence does the government need that the public does not want genetically engineered food, and that this opposition is increasing?" asks Sue Meyer, Director of Genewatch, the organization responsible for commissioning the Mori poll.

Widespread rejection of genetic engineering stretches far beyond the shores of Britain. In Austria, more than 20 per cent of the population signed a petition to ban genetically engineered food, and test crops have been uprooted in Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. A number of highly respected and usually uncontroversial organizations like, for example, Scottish Natural Heritage and the one million-member Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have clamored for a ban, or at least a moratorium, on genetic engineering. John Vidal of The Guardian newspaper tells us that over 200 whole food companies are calling for a similar moratorium, that Greenpeace has mobilized over 250.000 consumers in Germany, and that riots are expected among small farmers in India if biotechnology takes a grip on their country. Some UK retailers, including Iceland frozen foods and British Sugars, have already begun to exclude genetically engineered foods from their produce.

In March the Genetic Engineering Network, together with Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. launched a "protect your food" campaign, designed to name and shame influential food producers, in particular Unilever, that continue to use CMOs. Already, over half a million "disloyalty cards" as opposed to supermarket customer loyalty cards, have been distributed around the UK, in supermarkets and wholefood shops. Holland and Barrett, one of the UK’s leading health food shops. has delisted a number of products as a result of the above campaign, and some Japanese firms have agreed to stop the marketing of processed foods manufactured with genetically engineered tomatoes.

At the same time, as Mae Wan Ho points out in this issue, there has been a massive increase in the popularity of organic foods, which more and more people are coming to see as their only safe haven from biotechnology. And as an unprecedented 220,000 US consumers illustrated in letters to the United States Department of Agriculture earlier this year. in protest against the proposed inclusion of genetically modified foods under the "organic" label [see R. Cummins in this issue]. They are determined to ensure that the term "organic" is not usurped by the likes of Monsanto.

There can be little doubt that most ordinary, independent people reject the genetic manipulation of life, arid yet licenses for such experiments are being handed out by governments like confetti. By April of this year there were 332 test sites in the UK, 70 per cent of which are controlled by just four companies: Monsanto, Agrevo/BGS, Novartis/Hilleshog. and Sharp’s International Seeds Ltd. Indeed not one application so far presented to the British government’s committee of experts on genetic engineering has been turned down.

In effect, we have allowed a small number of very large corporations, which are by definition concerned almost exclusively with short-term profit, to gamble with our very existence on Earth. The rhetoric can be quite compelling. Monsanto. for instance, is apparently keen to ensure that we are "fully aware of the facts before making a purchase". They have ‘"often provided more information [on the subject] than necessary," they tell us. Yet the very same company is doing all in its power to prevent any form of labeling which might inform consumers of the genetically modified nature of their products [see Gore-lick in this issue. The company also tells us that they believe food should be grown with fewer pesticides and herbicides. Yet in their 1994 report to shareholders they point out that, "approximately 90 per cent of the world’s farm lands suitable for conservation tillage remain to be converted to this technique. For herbicide manufacturers this untouched potential means significant opportunities for sales growth.’

Robin Page, Director of the Countryside Restoration Trust is rightly skeptical "We have heard it all before," he points out. "DDT-based chemicals were going to help feed the world —instead they created an environmental catastrophe. BSE was another product of high-tech husbandry, involving a mixture of junk cattle food and organophosphates chemicals. Now again we are seeing a science described as ‘no risk’, when we have good reason to believe that there are major risks involved."

Other influential voices of opposition include f’lorianne Koechlin, who ironically comes from the Geigy Pharmaceuticals Empire. "Genetic engineering", she says, "is like a jumbo jet with bicycle brakes." Koechlin helped organize demands for a Swiss referendum on the issue. The campaign was a success until the tables were turned on them by the Swiss biotech company. Novartis, which among other things threatened to abandon the Swiss economy in favour of more sympathetic policies elsewhere.

The biotechnology industry is keen to suggest that public opposition to genetic engineering is essentially "emotional", and that science is on industry’s side. But given that the vast majority of resources funnelled into research on the subject come from industry itself, it would be naive to suppose that such research is entirely "objective". No institution can he expected to fund self-discrediting research. Numerous examples of misleading "findings" are listed in the pages of this magazine. Collectively they make it quite clear that we simply cannot believe the likes of Monsanto when they tell us that "we know.... that biotech’s seeds and plants are safe for human consumption, for farm animals and the environment?

But even in cases where science does raise serious doubts about the safety of individual experiments it is largely ignored, unless its findings are consistent with the interests of industry. For example, Swiss research into a genetically modified strain of maize, designed by Novartis as a poison to the larvae of the corn borer, has shown that it can kill beneficial insects as well as pests, and therefore disrupt the entire food chain. And yet still the European Union has declared that approval of the GM maize can be withdrawn only if new scientific evidence raises questions of safety. But, as Dr Ian Taylor of Greenpeace points out, that is exactly what the Swiss scientists have provided. Perhaps for the EU, research can only be classified as scientific if it serves to promote the interests of the biotechnology industry

If official assurances of safety are so unsatisfactory, where can consumers turn for honest information? As Peter Montague illustrates in his article on the sacking of two veteran news reporters from Fox TV Florida, for scrutinizing Monsanto’s involvement in BGH, the media seem unable to provide such a service. The likes of Monsanto are, after all, very major advertisers in television and the print media throughout the world, and therefore often exercise a determinant influence over what we, the public, get to see or read.

Even governments are to a worrying and increasing extent, controlled by these corporations. They too depend primarily on science generated by industry itself to form their views on biotechnology, and in any case tend to be obsessed by short-term economic indicators, frequently at the expense of more fundamental considerations of environmental health or human wellbeing. In the name of "inward investment" nations offer special trading terms and subsidies of every conceivable sort to woo the TNC’s to their shores. Keeping big business happy is now one of the basic governmental priorities — both left and right — in every country of the world. As a result corporate "irregularities" are routinely overlooked. For example, even though by 1994 Monsanto had been named by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a potentially responsible party at a great many Superfund sites (sites of unacceptable environmental damage), the company was able to assure its shareholders that "Monsanto’s liquidity, financial position and profitability are not expected to be materially affected."

On the issue of regulations at least, Monsanto has in the past been perfectly honest: ".... . in many cases we and others were writing the rules for this new science as we went along particularly regarding applications in foods and plants", it admitted. It is hardly surprising therefore that in response to Prince Charles’ attack on what he sees as an invasion into "realms that belong to God and to God alone", Monsanto advised the public that "while [he] is an intelligent man and perfectly capable of deciding whether he wants to eat these foods this should be the province of regulatory agencies ".

As Gorelick and others point out in this issue. The revolving door between big business and the regulators operates so smoothly that the two are becoming barely distinguishable.

It is clear that democracy is failing us. Despite unambiguous resistance from the public at large, genetic engineering is being allowed to storm ahead — virtually unhindered. As a result, increasing numbers of people are deciding to take things into their own hands. Angry at the prospect of giving in to corporate bullying, they are setting out to accomplish by "direct action" what their political representatives have so lamentably failed to do on their behalf.

Writing in The Guardian newspaper about Patrick White-field, a lecturer with no history of civil disobedience, John Vidal shows how this is not just a fringe movement, but one which involves a cross-section of "respectable", law-abiding citizens. The same is true in the UK with the anti-road movement which is partly at least responsible for having scaled down government investments in road building from an initial £23 billion, to the present £6 billion.

"After hearing that five women had... gone into a test field and pulled up some genetically modified plants being tested for Monsanto, Whitefield phoned a Manchester-based group called Genetix Snowball and offered to do the same. Should he do so he risks being sued, fined and given a criminal record. Within weeks of his offer, a Manchester community worker, a Welsh lawyer and at least 250 others including TV chef Antony Worrall-Thomson had phoned to support or to join others taking ‘non-violent direct action’ against the controversial crops."

From the Lincolnshire Loppers, who pulled up a demonstration crop of genetically engineered Spring wheat. to the Kenilworth Croppers, who destroyed a display of GM wheat at the Royal Agricultural show; from the decontamination of an experimental crop of oilseed rape near Coventry to) the destruction of a plot of AgrEvo’s basta-resistant rapeseed in Australia by "Mothers Against Genetic Engineering"’: from the decontamination of 30 tons of transgenic maize seeds in France by 120 members of the farmers’ Confederation Paysanne to mass gatherings outside Monsanto’s Headquarters in Missouri, the clear message is that "normal" people are not prepared to allow their leaders to license away the stability of the living world.

So determined are an increasing number of people that the world should remain free from the possibility of infection by "Frankenstein foods", that direct action organizations are appearing as if from nowhere. As one participant in a Norfolk occupation pointed out, "it now seems that direct actions of this kind are the only way left to put the genie back in the bottle."

"Biotechnology companies must realize that they will be taken to task for their actions," warned another group of Scottish campaigners.

Not surprisingly this demonstration of public resistance has generated a backlash from the mainstream. Congressman Bill McCollum, for instance, condemned direct action as "terrorism in the name of Mother Nature", while Congressman Riggs described activists as "terrorists engaged in a criminal conspiracy". Some newspapers in England have complained that a number of campaigners were on government-funded educational grants. But to what greater use could students possibly put their grants than towards ensuring the world remains viable for future generations?

These dedicated people, from the old to the young. From mothers to grandmothers, from students to scientists, are referred to as ‘hooligans’, ‘vandals’ and ‘terrorists’. But in the end we should stand back and ask ourselves honestly, "Who are the real terrorists?"


Copyright © The Ecologist 1998

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Monsanto Files (3 of 4)

The Ecologist September October 1998

Revolving Doors: Monsanto and the Regulators by Jennifer Ferrara

Traditionally, key figures at the FDA in particular have either held important positions at Monsanto, or are destined to do so in the future. Is it surprising therefore that Monsanto gets clearance for its often dangerous products?

Though the evolution of genetic engineering from a laboratory science to a method of creating commercial products happened very fast—within a decade—the US government saw the commercialization of biotechnology coming and deliberately chose a path that has amounted to nonregulation. Genetic engineering broke through natural barriers of reproduction and sped up plant and animal breeding processes, but agribusiness corporations were wary that burdensome regulations would hinder new discoveries and therefore the commercial development of the technology. The federal government took up industry’s cause. Instead of establishing strict, precautionary regulations that gave priority to public and environmental health, the government patched together an inadequate regulatory system that relied on risk assessment, industry science, and corporate volunteerism.

The US was in the heat of a high-tech economic race with Japan, and, as far as agriculture was concerned, lawmakers saw genetic engineering as the new technology that would allow the US to maintain its position as the world’s agricultural "leader". The federal government would erect no law that might reduce America’s competitiveness in the future world market for bioengineered products.

The first government body to establish guidelines for biotechnology research was the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1976. Since the NIH is an advisory and not a regulatory body, it could formulate guidelines, but it had no power to enforce them. From the beginning, the NIH guidelines relied on the scientific community’s and industry’s self-regulation, starting a trend that continues today. As corporations became more involved in genetic engineering, NIH guidelines made accommodations for field tests and mass production of genetically engineered organisms. In 1977 and 1978, 16 bills to regulate genetic research were introduced in the US Congress. None was passed, and the NIH guidelines — which dealt primarily with medical and pharmaceutical research and did not take a precautionary approach — remained the sole regulatory mechanism for biotechnology research.

In the early 1980s, agribusiness corporations were developing genetically engineered plants, animal drugs, and livestock, but no system was in place to regulate the development, sale, or use of these products. This was the era of the deregulatory Reagan/Bush administration, which developed the framework by which bioengineered products, including food, are "regulated" today. Industrial profit, not public safety, was the administration’s top priority. Government officials in the Office of Management and Budget, the Departments of State and Commerce, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy wanted to ensure that the administration did not do anything to "stifle" the development of biotechnology or to send the "wrong" message to Wall Street. The Bush-era President’s Council on Competitiveness, chaired by Vice-President Dan Quayle, joined the biotechnology industry in opposing strong regulations and close oversight by federal agencies.

The result was a 1986 "biotechnology regulatory framework". The policy was founded on the corporate-generated assertion that bioengineering was just an extension of traditional plant and animal breeding, and that bioengineered products did not differ fundamentally from non-engineered organisms.6 The administration determined that existing federal agencies could regulate bioengineered products sufficiently and gave them overlapping regulatory authority.7 For instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would regulate bio - engineered organisms in food and drugs. The United States Department of Agriculture would regulate genetically engineered crop plants and animals. The Environmental Protection Agency would regulate genetically engineered organisms released into the environment for pest control. And the NIH would look at organisms that could affect public health. In determining that existing agencies could do the job of regulating bioengineered products, the administration avoided passing new, more stringent federal laws or establishing a new regulatory agency devoted to the task.

The policy left gaping communication gaps between agencies, plenty of regulatory ground uncovered, and confusion over who would regulate what. But most importantly, the regulations were founded on the false premise that bioengineered organisms used for food and agricultural products are no different from non-engineered, conventional products. In fact, to produce genetically engineered foods, researchers take genes from food or non-food organisms and add them to another organism to alter its genetic makeup in ways not possible through sexual reproduction. The process deletes essential proteins or adds entirely new ones, and can modify genetic characteristics in entirely unexpected ways. As long as the new genes come from an approved food source, the government treats new or altered genes in bioengineered foods as natural, not novel, additives. So in most cases regulators are not required to take a precautionary approach when evaluating new genetically engineered food products; products are considered safe until proven otherwise.

As late as 1994, it appeared that the federal government was still playing catch-up in establishing working biotechnology safety regulations. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which monitors the biotechnology industry and the federal regulatory system, was pointing out big holes in the so-called framework. "Fundamentally, it does not contain sufficient statutory authority to oversee all of the products and activities entailed in genetic engineering," wrote UCS in February 1994. "Where authority does exist, there are problems with implementing regulations and policies." For example, a 1992 FDA policy exempted corporations from having to test bioengineered food for safety and get FDA approval before the foods are put on the market. Unless the corporation determined that "sufficient safety questions exist", corporations could undergo voluntary, private "consultations" with the agency before marketing their product.

It is not unusual for agribusiness corporations like Monsanto to manipulate the limited safety regulations that exist. To establish safety standards for new products, federal agencies rely on studies performed by the very corporations that are trying to get their products on the market. Studies to determine the long-term health consequences of new products are not always required. Over the years, many corporations have submitted fraudulent test results showing that their products are safe, or they have simply withheld information or studies indicating otherwise. Because the federal government protects corporate safety studies as trade secrets, they are not available for public scrutiny. By sheltering corporations in this way, federal agencies hold corporations’ pursuit of profits above the public’s right to good health and a safe environment.

The Regulatory Irony

Laws governing biotechnology continue to favor agribusiness and biotechnology corporations, but as the industry has developed, the corporate push for specific types of regulations has taken ironic twists. The initial lack of a cautious regulatory approach enabled small biotechnology companies to develop and market new bioengineered products at a rapid pace. In the meantime, larger agribusiness corporations like Monsanto and Ciba-Geigy were buying up these small companies while developing their own expansive in-house biotechnology research and marketing operations. During this time, Monsanto, Ciba-Geigy, and several other agribusiness corporations came virtually to dominate the world market for bioengineered food products, strengthening their hold over much of the world’s food supply.

From their position at the top, Monsanto and other corporations have actually favored some seemingly tight regulations, but, it turns out, only when the regulations serve corporate marketing purposes. Regulations that require corporations to submit a plethora of costly scientific data to regulatory agencies, for example, discourage competition from smaller biotechnology and seed companies while giving the public the illusion that new biotechnology products undergo rigorous safety evaluations and are therefore safe.

In 1995, for example, Monsanto lobbied against a provision in the EPA funding bill that would have prevented the EPA from regulating agricultural plants bioengineered to contain the toxic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Genetically engineered foods had just hit the market, and Monsanto was fully aware that almost any EPA regulations for Bt plants would publicly sanction the genetically engineered products and defuse resistance from public interest environmental groups. Furthermore, corporations could only get their Bt products to market if they had extensive money and resources to jump through all the regulatory hoops. Big corporations alone can meet data requirements and, once in the system, manipulate and pass the EPA’s safety evaluation process. With the competition out of the way, the market is theirs.

FDA Scandals and Revolving Doors

To better understand how genetically engineered foods and the associated safety hazards were unleashed onto the American public, take a look at the story of the first mass-marketed bioengineered food product, the Monsanto corporation’s recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). rBGH has been linked to cancer in humans and serious health problems in cows, including udder infections and reproductive problems. rBGH’s development and approval was rife with scandal and protest. But the right combination of government backing, corporate science, and heavily-funded corporate public relations schemes paved the way for the first major release of a genetically engineered food into the nation’s food supply.

The roles played by the FDA and the Monsanto corporation in the development, safety evaluation, approval, and marketing of rBGH led to the exposure of the American public to the multiple hazards of bioengineered foods. These organizations hid important information about safety concerns, masked disturbing conflicts of interest, and stifled those who were asking the "wrong" questions and telling the truth about rBGH.

The FDA declared rBGH-milk safe for human consumption before important information about how rBGH-milk might affect human health was even available.’6 When critical information about how rBGH raised the levels of insulin-like growth factor, IGF-1, in milk’7 and the possible link between IGF-1 and human cancer began to emerge, [See Kingsnorth in this issue] the FDA was already apparently in too deep to change its mind or ask more questions about the drug’s effect on human health. Instead, the agency relied almost exclusively on data generated by the Monsanto Corporation and highly criticized by independent scientists to justify a decision it had made years Many independent scientists have called for more extensive, long-term studies, which have never been done.

In 1991, a researcher at the University of Vermont (UVM). where Monsanto was spending nearly half a million dollars to fund test trials of rBGH, leaked information about severe health problems affecting rBGH-treated cows, including mastitis and deformed births. The scientist heading the research had already made numerous public statements to state lawmakers and the press and released a preliminary report indicating that rBGH-treated cows suffered no abnormal rates of health problems compared with untreated cows. The US General Accounting Office (GAO) investigated. During the investigation, the FDA stalled in providing the GAO with original Monsanto test data, and the GAO was unable to obtain critical data from UVM and Monsanto. The GAO terminated its investigation, concerned that Monsanto had had time to manipulate the questionable data and that any further investigation would be Fruitless. In an effort to dissipate public concern, UVM scientists finally released information showing rBGH’s negative effect on cow health, years after the findings had been made."

Even FDA insiders have criticized the agency for its slack review of the drug, but the FDA has dismissed these concerns and fired at least one official who blew the whistle on the organisation’s corrupt drug approval process. Veterinarian Dr. Richard Burroughs reviewed animal drug applications at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Sciences from 1979 until he was fired in 1989. In 1985, Burroughs headed the FDA’s review of t rBGH and remained directly involved in the review process for almost five years. Burroughs wrote the original protocols for animal safety studies and reviewed the data that rBGH developers, including Monsanto, submitted as they carried out safety studies.

A 1991 article in Eating Well magazine quotes Burroughs describing a change in the FDA beginning in the mid-1980s. "There seemed to be a trend in the place toward approval at any price. It went from a university-like setting where there was independent scientific review to an atmosphere of approve, approve, approve."

This is the atmosphere in which the FDA carried out its review of rBGH.

According to Burroughs, the FDA was totally unprepared to review rBGH, the first bioengineered animal drug to go through the FDA’s approval process; rBGH was out of the scope of most FDA employees’ knowledge. But rather than admit incompetence, the FDA "decided to cover up inappropriate studies and decisions," and agency officials "suppressed and manipulated data to cover up their own ignorance and incompetence?

Burroughs himself was faced with corporate representatives who wanted the agency to ease strict safety testing protocols, and he saw corporations drop sick cows from rBGH test trials and manipulate data in other ways to make health and safety problems disappear. According to Burroughs, the raw, untouched data stashed away behind the agency’s doors and protected as trade secrets would show otherwise.

Burroughs challenged the agency’s lenience and its changing role from guardian of public health to protector of corporate profits. He criticized the FDA and its handling of rBGH in n statements to Congressional investigators, in testimony to state legislatures, and to the press. Inside the FDA, he rejected a number of corporate-sponsored safety studies as insufficient and was prevented by his superiors from investigating data submitted by industry revealing possible health problems caused by rBGH. Though Burroughs had a record at the FDA showing eight straight years of good performance, he began receiving poor performance reports, for which he claims he was set up. Finally, in November 1989, he was fired for "incompetence"

Not only did the FDA fail to act upon evidence that rBGH was not safe, the agency actually promoted the Monsanto corporation’s product before and after the drug’s approval. In doing so, the FDA took on the impossible double role of regulator and promoter of bioengineered foods. Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumers Union notes that the FDA acted as an rBGH advocate by issuing news releases promoting rBGH, making public statements praising the drug, and writing promotional pieces about rBGH in the agency’s publication, FDA Consume;:

This dual role also manifested itself in other ways. In an apparent attempt to quell public controversy over rBGH, for example, two FDA researchers published industry and "independent" data in the journal Science in 1990 to show that rBGH was safe for consumers)’ Gerald Guest, the director for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine told Science, "We’d like to get our side of the story out, to show why we’re comfortable with the safety. We’d like for people to know that ifs a thoughtful process. And we want it to be open and credible

Guest was apparently doing a lot of wishful thinking. Professor Samuel Epstein criticized the FDA for acting "as a booster or advocate for an animal drug that hasn’t yet been approved." Epstein and others faulted the FDA for including only pieces of unpublished studies about rBGH in the Science article. but not making the full studies available for independent review.

The FDA’s pro-rBGH activities make more sense in light of conflicts of interest between the FDA and the Monsanto Corporation." Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for policy, wrote the FDA’s rBGH labeling guidelines. The guidelines, announced in February 1994, virtually prohibited dairy corporations from making any real distinction between products produced with and without rBGH." To keep rBGH-milk from being "stigmatized" in the marketplace, the FDA announced that labels on non-rBGH products must state that there is no difference between rBGH and the naturally occurring hormone. In March 1994, Taylor was publicly exposed as a former lawyer for the Monsanto Corporation for seven years. While working for Monsanto, Taylor had prepared a memo for the company as to whether or not it would be constitutional for states to erect labeling laws concerning rBGH dairy products. In other words Taylor helped Monsanto figure out whether or not the corporation could sue states or companies that wanted to tell the public that their products were free of Monsanto’s drug.

Taylor wasn’t the only FDA official involved in rBGI-1 policy who had worked for Monsanto. Margaret Miller, deputy director of the FDA’s Office of New Animal Drugs was a former Monsanto research scientist who had worked on Monsanto’s rBGH safety studies up until 1989. Suzanne Sechen was a primary reviewer for rBGH in the Office of New Animal Drugs between 1988 and 1990. Before coming to the FDA. she had done research for several Monsanto-funded rBGH studies as a graduate student at Cornell University. Her professor was one of Monsanto’s university consultants and a known rBGH promoter. Remarkably. the GAO determined in a 1994 investigation that these officials’ former association with the Monsanto corporation did not pose a conflict of interest. But for those concerned about the health and environmental hazards of genetic engineering, the revolving door between the biotechnology industry and federal regulating agencies is a serious cause for concern.

In an ironic twist, Monsanto and other corporations have actually favored some seemingly tight regulations, but, it turns out, only when the regulations serve corporate marketing purposes.


Not only did the FDA fail to act upon evidence that rBGH was not safe, the agency actually promoted Monsanto product before and after the drug's approval. In so doing, the FDA took on the impossible double role of regulator and promoter of bioengineered foods.

Taylor wasn't the only FDA official involved in rBGH policy who had worked for Monsanto. Michael R. Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, wrote the FDA's rBGH labeling guidelines, which virtually prohibited dairy corporations from making any real distinction between products produced with and without rBGH. In March 1994, Taylor was publicly exposed as a former lawyer for the Monsanto Corporation for seven years.

Copyright © The Ecologist 1998