Monday, May 08, 2006

Closed Minds vs. Reality

The confluence of similar events at the same time can seem coincidental, but usually it’s not. The energy of the Universe ebbs and flows in meaningful patterns, not at random. Otherwise, how is the introduction of life explained? Or an invention from two minds oceans apart at the same moment?

A view of reality that insists that there is only coincidence through chance happenings, is from a closed mind. A worldview without flexibility goes against nature, because change is the essence of existence, and new information of what was previously unknown can initiate new consciousness—just a few hundred years ago, very sophisticated people thought the earth was the center of the universe.

Alternatively, never to accept anything as a fact, and to question every detail of life, is not to be open-minded, but psychotic. Nevertheless, even conspiracy-doubters would have to acknowledge the historical record of the plot to kill Lincoln and members of his cabinet, and no one knows if and what might have been Secretary of War Seward’s part in the machinations. Modern-day conspiracy theories abound regarding everything from Roosevelt’s prior knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor, to the assassinations of recent history, to the events of 9/11 and the possibility of government complicity.

It is possible to keep an open mind, sift through available evidence, and still not thoroughly be sure about what happened in any given event or series of events. Next time you see a police car in your neighborhood, ask your neighbors what happened, and each story will vary slightly, or completely, from what really took place. People debate the events of the life of Jesus as if he lived yesterday, and they argue the merits of whether Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction or not as if it happened long ago. One thing is for certain—the more debate there is, the closer to the truth we get. Suppression of information, such as the Bush administration withholding documents from the 9/11 Commission set up to determine the details of what happened, only leads to further rumor, vague speculation—anything but the truth.

There are issues swirling in the media and the internet and taking huge space on blogs. I was confronted by several articles all at once, and that’s where my awareness of intention and absence of coincidence kicked in. Hatred, doubt, fear all connect these stories.

Even an email, which quoted no source, turned out to be from an editorial in USA TODAY which is flying around the web in answer to the ubiquitous downloading of the film, Loose Change, which theorizes about government conspiracy behind 9/11.

In the USA TODAY piece, Conspiracy Film Rewrites Sept. 11: Alternative versions of terrorist attacks find niche on Web By William M. Welch, the point of view is to put Loose Change in a niche of radical expression by irresponsible young people exploiting the power of the internet for attention and dollars.

Most of what the film alleges is refuted by the evidence at hand. Anything not answered definitively by the government is interpreted by the film as proof of a coverup.

The use of an inherently imprecise word, most, is lost for those willing to believe the official line of the events of 9/11—that the US was attacked by 19 Saudi terrorist hijackers directed by Osama Bin Laden from overseas. In their closed minds, those who denounce that their was a government plot, or even government gross negligence, hear the word all instead of most. Then why not say “all of what the film alleges…?”

There may be relevancy to “some” of what is alleged about loopholes in the official story, and the meaning of those holes could be significant—if all the reports and documents were public. Maybe the entire scenario is far more complex than anyone yet has “alleged.” The government intelligence groups—CIA, FBI, NSA etc., which are still in a state of general upheaval, witness last Friday’s sudden exit of CIA head Porter Goss for reasons unclear—could have been privy to so much knowledge of ensuing plans for the 9/11 onslaught, and so totally blew it with inaction, that to their mindset, any public knowledge of this incompetence would be a disaster in itself. I for one would like to know that, if it’s true. But such immense bungling starts a new assumption of overwhelming coincidences, that so many intel observers knew so much and never put their information together.

This doesn’t diminish the gall of fudging the truth to congress in the well-known instance of former National Security Adviser to Bush, Condoleeza Rice, tongue-tied trying to explain what the memo from August, 2001--just 1 month before 9/11--titled “Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S” really meant--that it was "historical information" rather than an imminent threat. I'm pretty open-minded, but really!

With finger-shaking and tongue-clicking that there should be no questions asked about the great national tragedy of attack on domestic soil, truth--and thus potential protection from a future similar event through knowledge of what really happened—will not see the light of day. The dissemination of Welch’s clearly disdainful opinion about Loose Change through emails and blogs will help to keep complacent minds closed.

Think there’s going to be a bird-flu pandemic? Some experts are convinced there will be—and they’ve managed to brain wash Americans too. Last week the government allotted $1 billion to 5 big pharma companies for r & d on a possible vaccine for bird-flu. The previous entry in this blog refers to this as well. How do we keep an open mind on something so vital as our health, and not believe what medical experts, who certainly know more than the lay person, say?

Here’s why – in a headline, of one of the beneficiary companies of last week’s spec payola:

Panel Faults Pfizer in '96 Clinical Trial In Nigeria:
Unapproved Drug Tested on Children

By Joe Stephens Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, May 7, 2006

You don’t have to see the film Constant Gardner to know how immoral and unethical drug companies are. It’s also not an effect of my closed mind to assume it was easier for the Pfizer people to sleep at night after experimenting on black African children, rather than on white Americans.

That’s a disgusting, here’s more: the delineation of Mexican hatred right here in Orange County, CA, was artfully explained in an LA Times op-ed piece by GUSTAVO ARELLANO, a staff writer with OC Weekly, where he writes the "¡Ask a Mexican!" column:

Ask the haters, and many will insist that some of their best friends are Mexicans; it's illegal immigrants they despise. But the slope here between "Mexican" and "illegal immigrant" has always been a Slip 'N Slide. And even if immigration stopped tomorrow, Orange County would still look down on Mexicans.

Arellano can’t resist some of the ironic humor involved in irrational hatred, as he points out that the founder of the militia border vigilante group, minutemen, has a Mexican son-in-law. The last line of his remarks is worth reading for yourself, so I will simply say his concise history and point of view is stunning. Except for the white hoods with slits for eyes, or brown shirts and swastikas, the anti-immigration voices by whom I am surrounded should see themselves for what they are—the truth is obvious.

But let’s be open-minded here—it isn’t just white Orange County American citizens who know how to hate others who are not white Orange County American citizens. In a brilliant examination of anti-immigration in times past, Michael Powell of the Washington Post writes that nothing much has changed in 100 years, except the national origins of the hated:

Most of the concerns voiced today -- that too many immigrants seek economic advantage and fail to understand democracy, that they refuse to learn English, overcrowd homes and overwhelm public services -- were heard a century ago. And there was a nub of truth to some complaints, not least that the vast influx of immigrants drove down working-class wages.

That nub, by the way, is outweighed by the help immigrants have made in the US economy over the past 20 years. Statistics that prove this have been cited here. So what’s the good news in Powell’s column?

Yet historians and demographers are clear about the bottom line: In the long run, New York City -- and the United States -- owes much of its economic resilience to replenishing waves of immigrants. The descendants of those Italians, Jews, Irish and Germans have assimilated. Manhattan's Little Italy is vestigial -- no more than a shrinking collection of restaurants.

Now another wave washes over. Fully 38 percent of New York's 8 million residents are foreign-born, nearly the same percentage as a century ago.

"It would be easy to say the short-run costs of immigration outweighed the benefits," said Joe Salvo, a director at New York's city planning department. "But the benefits are longer term. We wouldn't be the superpower we are if we hadn't let them in."

That’s why we need to keep open minds—that’s what the several stories meant to me today. The absurdity of staking a claim to the truth by stating a position that is unprovable is the final story, one more that made the rounds as a background blurb:

Another UFO study: still no sign of aliens
LONDON, May 8 (UPI) -- Another UFO study, this by the British government, has concluded there is no proof that alien life forms exist.

This may come as a surprise to all those who insist they have seen extraterrestrials, actual space ships, or have been abducted by aliens. What is interesting is that the authors of the report remain anonymous, the report is six years old and was kept secret.

Since the report is focused on UFO’s in the UK, it’s possible the author(s) missed the bastion of submersible vessels which come and go in the mysterious deep trench between Marina del Rey and Catalina Island—at least according to last week’s open-minded, if somewhat skeptical, History Channel episode.

What’s my point? For our mutual protection, we need to remain skeptical of official versions of reality. Many people are comforted who think that they know exactly what happened on 9/11, and therefore the "powers that be" are working to build additional defenses against upcoming terrorist events. That closed-minded unwillingness to ask questions and remain even a little skeptical, can prevent the real protection that is needed.

The expenditure of billions of dollars to maintain a presence in Iraq, at the cost of paying too little attention to needs in the US—the willful ignorance of possibilities surrounding events--is a self-righteous mistake that we can’t afford to continue.

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