Monday, October 27, 2008

In Support of a Negotiated Peace

The United States has been at war with Afghanistan for six years. The original intention of the war with Afghanistan was to find and capture Osama Bin Laden. In the years since the original occupation of Afghanistan, the war with Iraq has eclipsed both national and international attention, leaving Afghanistan as America's forgotten war. Much like Korea was in the 1950's, the United States is engaged in a war it cannot win against an enemy it cannot defeat. Recently, rhetoric by both the Democratic and Republican Presidential campaigns has been actively calling for a troop surge in Afghanistan. In addition to costing the United States more money that we cannot afford to pay, this foreign policy decision ignores the obvious repercussions of an extended and increased war with Afghanistan.

These factors, which seem obvious to the average resident of Afghanistan, a country that has been bombed into the stone age, seems to escape the leaders of the free world, the policy wonks at the pentagon, and most of the corporate media. The simple equation goes something like this, more bombs and more military equals more resistance and hence more enemies to be defeated. In this case the enemy is the Taliban, a right wing fundamentalist reaction to Soviet occupation and failed US foreign policy. Here in the United States of America, the Taliban has been labeled public enemy number one, and for the past six years we have been pouring tens of billions of dollars annually into defeating an enemy that was created out of our own failed international policy under the Reagan administration.

Today the Taliban numbers in the thousands or perhaps tens of thousands and is perceived as a real threat to both the United States and the occupying administration in Afghanistan. Although the US death toll remains relatively low in relationship to the war in Iraq, the death toll could mount significantly if US forces are redirected to that area or even brought in from further depletion of US reserves based stateside or in other parts of the world. In addition, the people of Afghanistan are tired of US occupation. They have been occupied continuously by one or another occupying foreign power since 1979. Afghanistan is a country that has not known peace in almost two generations.

The specter of fear and nationalism lives on in the long tried US war on the Taliban. It is now 2008 and the United States still hasn't caught Osama Bin Laden, but we have managed to destroy an entire country. The international community is calling on the United States leadership to step back from its rhetoric about increasing the troops in Afghanistan. They are calling for a negotiated peace, led by the United Nations, between the United States and the powers that be in Afghanistan. For every day that we stay in Afghanistan, for every bomb we drop, for every gun we fire, for every civilian we torture and for every innocent villager we accidentally kill we create yet another recruit for the Taliban and make the resistance to US occupation that much stronger.

It is time for the United States to remove its forces from Afghanistan and bring the troops home now from the Middle East. The failure of US leadership for the past eight years has been obvious to the entire international community. We are behaving as an occupying power and have not succeeded in our missions. We never found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we never found Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan and yet somehow US foreign policy continues to occupy these two zones, taking hundreds of billions of dollars from our national budget at a time of looming economic recession when Americans need jobs at home and investment in America. Now is the time for a negotiated peace and an immediate withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Re: Resource-based Society

Daniel Stafford wrote:
Interconnectedness in an alternative future...DS

Future by Design - William Gazecki has produced and directed a documentary based on him and his ideas...
Imagine a world where war is outdated, there is no shortage of resources, and every human being enjoys a high standard of living. THIS IS THE STORY OF JACQUE FRESCO -- A MODERN-DAY DA VINCI

Documentary on My Life Directed by William Gazecki (3 min 22 sec)
There is a good preview of this documentary...


Future by Design

Future by Design is a documentary film by Academy Award nominated filmmaker William Gazecki, sharing the life and far-reaching vision of Jacque Fresco, a modern day Da Vinci. Peer to Einstein and Buckminster Fuller, Jacque is a self-taught futurist who describes himself most often as a multi-disciplinarian or “generalist” -- a student of many inter-related fields. He is a prolific inventor, having spent his entire life (he is now 90 years old) conceiving of and devising inventions on various scales which entail the use of innovative technology. The film explores Fresco’s world of the future, where scientific method, not politics, rules world operations, and all human activities and efforts are directed towards achieving dynamic equilibrium between man and nature. Future by Design is a visually and intellectually engaging exploration of one man’s vision of a future where war is outdated, there is no shortage of any necessary resource, and our focus as a species is sustainability. But far from presenting a vision of Utopia, this documentary demonstrates a “possible future” -- with real and viable alternatives to our current paradigm of militarism and commercialism. Jacque Fresco is an outspoken and immediately likable character who’s radical and sometimes irreverent ideas are sure to draw both praise and controversy.

In all of his dealings with the public, Jacque attempts to illuminate the causes of our current social ills and outline a wide range of constructive alternatives. He does this by presenting a redesign of our culture, one that would emphasize the intelligent use of science and technology to enhance the lives of all people. Infused within everything he does is his desire to share his global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age.


Jacque’s vision of a Resource-based Economy is a society where automation and technology replace servitude and menial labor, and where resources are distributed on a whole basis according to the needs of the population, balanced with the carrying capacity of the natural environment. Much of the technology Jacque has developed over the years is designed to support and implement the cybernated culture he envisions. In Fresco’s world of the future, all activities and efforts are directed towards productive solutions to real and physical problems. It is a society which utilizes energy, materials and human potential in the most organized and efficient manner possible. In Jacque’s perspective, professions and industries which do not contribute to the physical wellbeing of the population are deemed inconsequential. He also feels that environmental restoration and the elimination of human-caused environmental decay is essential for long-term survival.

Jacque’s concept of a society of the future integrates intra- and inter-personal needs, psychological and sociological functioning with the macro-scale mechanisms of governance, social stratification, commerce and spiritual needs. It is not a society based upon a moral philosophy. His long study of human and animal behavior has greatly influenced his thinking with regard to psychology and sociology. Jacque’s idea is that our actions are determined by our values, and our values are in turn determined by our beliefs. What he has observed is that, in general, human social evolution throughout history has been cyclic – war, poverty, aggression, territoriality, violence and crime are all indications of aberrant human behavior. Given that these kinds of behavior are consistently demonstrated over time, it is Jacque’s consensus that there is some underlying cause. In his opinion, the source of all aberrant behavior is the operating belief systems with which we determine our values.

Jacque’s research has led him to the conclusion that one of the most harmful beliefs carried by the majority of people is the general assumption that there is “not enough to go around” for everyone. Jacque calls this tendency or belief “scarcity”. The perception of scarcity on a mass scale throughout history has led to the accumulation of wealth, the gross obsession for power, and the tendency to manipulate people in order to protect one’s resources or belongings (property). All of these mechanisms can be seen to function on a personal as well as an international scale. In Fresco’s projection of a functional future, where each individual’s needs are met, the tendency to want to accumulate material things or exercise power will become minimal or unnecessary.

In a Resource-based Economy, the use of resources is balanced with the needs of the population. This is done through the gathering of information and the use of artificial intelligence and automated technology to apportion resources on a fair and equitable basis based on physical needs rather than other factors, such as perceived threat or the domination of central power structures. In the Future by Design, governance is maintained by the cybernated system, which depends wholly upon information derived from the physical environment. This information is derived from physical measurement and the input of data by the general population. Beliefs, biases, prejudices, class systems, religions, nation-states and their priorities play no role in determining “who gets what” in the future. In Jacque’s synthesis of elements, he firmly believes that equitable use of physical resources combined with a dramatic shift in elevating the level of education of the public will create a functional, equitable world capable of long-term sustainability. A highly educated population can articulate their needs intelligently, make informed decisions.

He believes that when people are born into a system where it is understood and assumed that all physical needs will be met and that access to resources will be unfettered, that the majority of individuals will grow up psychologically healthy. His feeling is that aberrant behavior which results in crime or in some kind of overt harm is not the result of any moral crisis or ethical violation, but is really determined by one’s environment. If an individual’s needs are met, in an environment of non-violence and comprehensive education, the tendency to explore or institute harmful behavior is eliminated.

In the Future by Design, all systems work together. The personal, social, economic, industrial and governance arenas are all interconnected and balanced into one functional system. The Future by Design is a true participatory democracy, where each member of the society has the opportunity to input their needs, opinions and preferences into the central computer, which then assesses and analyzes all information to determine the use of resources in distribution of goods and services.

As a futurist, Jacque is not only a conceptualist and a theoretician, but he is also an engineer and a designer. Each one of his concepts and ideas has a firm foundation in the physical world. Whether through his study of animal and human behavior, science and the methodologies of science, or physical engineering principles, everything he has conceived of is rooted in practical reality. The basic overall concept of the Future by Design is the application of the scientific method to social systems, wherein all processes are based upon measurable factors rather than beliefs and opinions. Everything Jacque has conceived of can be designed and built as envisioned.

Jacque is not a Utopianist. In his paradigm, all social systems are evolutionary. Jacque has always based his work on the processes of nature and how organisms and systems function in a natural eco-balance. In Jacque’s estimation, there is no such thing as a Utopia, as Utopias are generally conceived of as a status-quo or end-result, never to be surpassed. In Jacque’s estimation, once our basic needs are met and we have eliminated usurious and superfluous inefficient efforts (i.e., militarism, commercialism, etc.), we can then focus the whole of human effort on an endless cycle of constant improvement and endless evolution.

The Venus Project is a educational think tank operating out of a 25-acre Research Center located in Venus, Florida.

When one considers the enormity of the challenges facing society today, we can safely conclude that the time is long overdue for us to reexamine our values, and to reflect upon and evaluate some of the underlying issues and assumptions we have as a society. This self-analysis calls into question the very nature of what it means to be human, what it means to be a member of a "civilization," and what choices we can make today to ensure a prosperous future for all the world's people.

At present we are left with very few alternatives. The answers of yesterday are no longer relevant. Either we continue as we have been with our outmoded social customs and habits of thought, in which case our future will be threatened, or we can apply a more appropriate set of values that are relevant to an emergent society.

Experience tells us that human behavior can be modified, either toward constructive or destructive activity. This is what The Venus Project is all about - directing our technology and resources toward the positive, for the maximum benefit of people and planet and seeking out new ways of thinking and living that emphasize and celebrate the vast potential of the human spirit. We have the tools at hand to design - and build - a future that is worthy of the human potential. The Venus Project presents a bold, new direction for humanity that entails nothing less than the total redesign of our culture. What follows is not an attempt to predict what will be done - only what could be done. The responsibility for our future is in our hands, and depends on the decisions that we make today. The greatest resource that is available today is our own ingenuity.

While social reformers and think tanks formulate strategies that treat only superficial symptoms, without touching the basic social operation, The Venus Project approaches these problems somewhat differently. We feel we cannot eliminate these problems within the framework of the present political and monetary establishment. It would take too many years to accomplish any significant change. Most likely they would be watered down and thinned out to such an extent that the changes would be indistinguishable

The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any social system that has gone before. Although this description is highly condensed, it is based upon years of study and experimental research by many, many people from many scientific disciplines.

The Venus Project proposes a fresh approach--one that is dedicated to human and environmental concerns. It is an attainable vision of a bright and better future, one that is appropriate to the times in which we live, and both practical and feasible for a positive future for all the world's people.

The Venus Project calls for a straightforward approach to the redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, environmental degradation and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable.

One of the basic premises of The Venus Project is that we work towards having all of the Earth's resources as the common heritage of all the world's people. Anything less will simply result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems inherent in the present system.

Throughout history, change has been slow. Successive groups of incompetent leaders have replaced those that preceded them, but the underlying social and economic problems remain because the basic value systems have gone unaltered. The problems we are faced with today cannot be solved politically or financially because they are highly technical in nature. There may not even be enough money available to pay for the required changes, but there are more than enough resources. This is why The Venus Project advocates the transition from a monetary-based society to the eventual realization of a resource-based global economy.

We realize to make the transition from our present culture, which is politically incompetent, scarcity-oriented and obsolete, to this new, more humane society will require a quantum leap in both thought and action.

An Obsolete Monetary System

The money-based system evolved centuries ago. All of the world's economic systems - socialism, communism, fascism, and even the vaunted free enterprise system - perpetuate social stratification, elitism, nationalism, and racism, primarily based on economic disparity. As long as a social system uses money or barter, people and nations will seek to maintain the economic competitive edge or, if they cannot do so by means of commerce they will by military intervention. We still utilize these same outmoded methods.

Our current monetary system is not capable of providing a high standard of living for everyone, nor can it ensure the protection of the environment because the major motive is profit. Strategies such as downsizing and toxic dumping increase the profit margin. With the advent of automation, cybernation, artificial intelligence and out-sourcing, there will be an ever-increasing replacement of people by machines. As a result, fewer people will be able to purchase goods and services even though our capability to produce an abundance will continue to exist.

Our present, outmoded political and economic systems are unable to apply the real benefits of today's innovative technology to achieve the greatest good for all people, and to overcome the inequities imposed upon so many. Our technology is racing forward yet our social designs have remained relatively static. In other words cultural change has not kept pace with technological change. We now have the means to produce goods and services in abundance for everyone.

Unfortunately, today science and technology have been diverted from achieving the greatest good for reasons of self-interest and monetary gain through planned obsolescence sometimes referred to as the conscious withdrawal of efficiency. For example, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, whose function is presumed to be conducting research into ways of achieving higher crop yields per acre, actually pays farmers not to produce at full-capacity. The monetary system tends to hold back the application of these methods that we know would best serve the interests of people and the environment.

In a monetary system purchasing power is not related to our capacity to produce goods and services. For example, during a depression, there are computers and DVD's on store shelves and automobiles in car lots, but most people do not have the purchasing power to buy them. The earth is still the same place; it is just the rules of the game that are obsolete and create strife, deprivation and unnecessary human suffering.

A monetary system developed years ago as a device to control human behavior in an environment with limited resources. Today money is used to regulate the economy not for the benefit of the general populace, but for those who control the financial wealth of nations.

Resource Based Economy

All social systems, regardless of political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social customs, ultimately depend upon natural resources, i.e. clean air and water, arable land and the necessary technology and personnel to maintain a high standard of living.

Simply stated, a Resource-Based Economy utilizes existing resources rather than money and provides an equitable method of distributing these resources in the most efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of debt or servitude.

Earth is abundant with plentiful resources; today our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. Modern society has access to highly advanced technologies and can make available food, clothing, housing, medical care, a relevant educational system, and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy such as geothermal, solar, wind, tidal, etc. It is now possible to have everyone enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities that a prosperous civilization can provide. This can be accomplished through the intelligent and humane application of science and technology.

A Resource-Based Economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.

Many people believe that there is too much technology in the world today, and that technology is the major cause of our environmental pollution. This is not the case. It is the abuse and misuse of technology that should be our major concern. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilize new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat.

To better understand the meaning of a Resource Based Economy consider this: if all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as topsoil, factories, and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we choose to build and fulfill any human need. It is not money that people need; rather, it is free access to the necessities of life. In a Resource Based Economy , money would be irrelevant. All that would be required are the resources and the manufacturing and distribution of the products.

When education and resources are made available to all people without a price tag, there would be no limit to the human potential. Although this is difficult to imagine, even the wealthiest person today would be far better off in a resource based society as proposed by The Venus Project. Today the middle classes live better than kings of times past. In a Resource Based Economy everyone would live better than the wealthiest of today.

In such a society, the measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one's individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.

The Choice Is Ours To Make

Human behavior is subject to the same laws as any other natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviors, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry, patriotism and hatred; these are all learned behavior patterns. If the environment is unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur.

Today, much of the technology needed to bring about a global Resource-Based Economy exists. If we choose to conform to the limitations of our present monetary-based economy, then it is likely that we will continue to live with its inevitable results: war, poverty, hunger, deprivation, crime, ignorance, stress, fear, and inequity. On the other hand, if we embrace the concept of a global Resource Based Economy, learn more about it, and share our understanding with our friends, this will help humanity evolve out of its present state.

The only limitations are those we impose upon ourselves. The Venus Project is neither utopian nor Orwellian, nor does it reflect the dreams of impractical idealists. Instead, it presents attainable goals requiring only the intelligent application of what we already know.


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Monday, October 06, 2008

[PDI] Naomi Wolf joins other conspiracy theorists that bailout was a coup


I am blocked from sending e-mail via my regular e-mail accounts by Comcast. They are claiming spam from our internet account, I believe they are blocking because of legitimate political discussion being sent out by myself.

I can receive but not send from my normal addresses, and must use webmail, yahoo groups, and blogs to speak out. This limits my access to my address lists, especially address groups in my e-mail client.

See below, give me your take on it, forward if you deem it appropriate.

Dan Stafford

*Watch this video:*
/"Americans are facing a coup as of this morning. It's happened."/ *- Naomi Wolfe*

This is apparently the clip of Rep. Brad Sherman talking about martial law threat if bailout bill did not pass: