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Is The Force Really With Us? (Star Wars)

Star Wars is generally considered science fantasy (as opposed to science fiction) as it incorporates elements of my mysticism and mythology. Many hard core science buffs assume that its primary themes have no real-life equivalent in the extant universe. After all, ideas like the Force and the Dark Side (good versus evil) are mere human projections. Human values are arbitrary impositions painted onto an impersonal and mechanistic cosmos devoid of purpose or meaning.

Conscious Cosmos or Machine Universe?
Yet I believe that this latter take on a mechanical cosmos is in itself a kind of pathetic fallacy; a case of human beings projecting their own worldview out onto the cosmos and depicting it in the contours of their own psyches. My understanding emerges from several decades of having explored human consciousness at a first person level, spending many thousands of hours in meditation, mindful presence and non-ordinary states of consciousness. I have also worked with some very powerful and gifted seers, and my understandings have been mediated by their wisdom.

Good versus evil
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Good versus evil, light versus darkness are assumed by many to be human archetypes, primal motifs which exist within the mind, but which do not reflect extant properties of life and cosmos. Yet I have come to conclude that this assumption is false. The images of light and darkness are metaphors through which the human psyche represents the play of energetic consciousness structures which are central to the experience of life and probably to the existence of the universe itself.

Ironically, the idea of a mechanical universe grinding out a purposeless existence according to preset cosmological laws is neither “rational” nor “scientific.” It is pathetic fallacy. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution the machine has become an archetypal image with the human psyche. The machine is probably now the most common single phenomenon that we encounter in our daily lives. As I write this in the Black and White coffee shop in Shenzhen, not far from Hong Kong, I am writing on my iPad. Outside the big window to my right shiny metallic machines glide past (cars). Above me and in my foreground is a large television set, and music plays softly through the sound system.

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Machines are everywhere. Today, in the twenty-first century, most people spend a large proportion of their free time with their eyes glued to the screens of the little machines they hold in their hands (and then put in their pockets when they are finished gazing at them). In days of yore human beings used to attribute acts of nature to human qualities. The volcano was angry; the thunder God cantankerous; that bit of bad luck arrived because the cosmos was in a bad mood. Yet in the moder era human beings are just as likely to attribute mechanical functions to natural events, projecting the idea of the machine onto the fabric of the universe. Could both the pre-modern and modern takes on cosmic operations may be equally fallible?

The answer is that there is now an abundance of scientific evidence which suggests that consciousness (mind) plays an important role in life and perhaps in the nature of the universe itself. The evidence for ESP (clairvoyance, remote viewing, telepathy and so on) is strong, and well supported by well-documented reports from both history and the modern world. There are certain (though not clear) parallels with quantum physics, and these suggest that non-locality may be an important aspect of both cosmos and psyche. The universe may possess an innate intelligence. The question then becomes, what is our relationship with that cosmic “mind”?

Is the Force Really With Us?
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This brings us to the idea of “the Force?” Can human beings tap into some kind of cosmic intelligence (with good or evil expressions) and employ it in their lives in ways that are either creative or destructive? The idea, of course, is not new, and it certainly isn’t exclusive to the Star Wars franchise. The idea that human beings can align their minds with the currents of universal intelligence is found in many religious and spiritual traditions. Sometimes this is given personified form, as with the ideas of God, Jesus, Allah and so on. In other traditions the universal mind appears to be similar to that represented in Star Wars, more a kind of impersonal intelligence that one can tap into.

Perhaps the closest classical equivalent in that of The Way (Tao) in Taoism, the ancient Chinese teachings which emerged from the spiritual master Lao Zi, half a century before the birth of Christ. Taoism drew strongly form Budddhist thought. Lao Zi spoke of a kind of feminine or receptive power that could be aligned with, but not grasped in the sense of more patriarchal expressions of power. Without leaving the room, one could know the world. One could be a master of men, but not by rising above them, but by lying below them. Softness could be strength. In silence all could be revealed.

My own experience as a mindful individual is that this intelligence is indeed an extant quality of life and can be activated and subtly employed. I call it Integrated Intelligence, and it has both an impersonal nature (reading the tones of fields) and a personal aspect (personal spiritual guidance from conscious spiritual entities). I have experienced a great deal of both, as I outline in my book Discover Your Soul Template.

It is, however, a skill that may require a lifetime of mastery, as the human mind is prone to impose its own wilful delusions upon the cosmos. We must learn to listen carefully with the heart, follow our deepest intuitions, and acknowledge the many errors we will inevitably make. In the Buddhist traditions they say “Not this way, not that way” as one follows the middle path. This means that we must be contantly mindful in each moment, even as the mind tends stray from the path. Another way of thinking of this is that the mind has a propensity to leave the real world of the present moment and travel to imagined fearful or expectant futures. Or it will return to painful pasts and the self-limiting beliefs embedded within hurtful memories. Once this habit is concretised, we become lost in the mind and its delusional thinking.

To the Dark Side!
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And what of the dark side of the Force? Is there any real-life spiritual equivalent? The bad news is yes, and in many ways it is very similar to that depicted in Star Wars. All life is embedded within fields of intention, within consciousness fields. Each species and life expression has both an individual and collective field. In fact, we are all embedded within multiple fields: such as family, race, religion, the human collective and so on. Each field contains a general “tone”, or energy structure. These tend to have a controlling or normative aspect. If your mind is part of the Chinese collective, for example, that collective will tend to pull your mind along with it. It is our beliefs, judgments and unconscious needs to belong that attach us to such collective fields. It is very, very difficult to pull one’s mind out of a collective field in which it is embedded. The simple recognition of being controlled by the group mind is insufficient to free one. The individual must first look long and hard within himself and identify exactly why it is that he has given his power away to the group. This is much, much more difficult in practice than in theory.

It is very possible for people to become ensnared within dark fields of intention without conscious knowledge. The most common reasons for this are twofold. The first is desire for power and control, and again this is similar to what we see in the Star Wars movies. Darth Vadar is the classic example, driven by anger and lust for power and domination. In this scenario the human ego seeks to set itself above others, to elevate itself in importance, status, hierarchy.

Given that many cultures on this earth explicitly operate according to honour, face and status it is unfortunately quite the norm for human beings to fall into collective dark fields of intention in this way. In fact, virtually all of you reading this article will currently be “possessed” by several fields in such a manner. We human beings like to think of ourselves as “good” (or victims of bad others), and have a strong tendency to deny acknowledgment of our own manipulative and deceitful intentions. But we all have such propensities. In fact, it is not a question of whether you are a “dark” human being. It is a question of how “dark” you have unconsciously allowed yourself to become. I believe that if we were beyond these dynamics of power, control and self-deception we would not be here on this plane of experience. For it is our relationship with this reality that defines much of the human experience here.

If we think of it like this, enlightenment or awakening becomes about fully acknowledging the unconscious parts of our minds that we generally prefer to avoid. This realisation is quite a shock to the human ego at first, because such awareness requires that you acknowledge how far you have turned away from the truth of yourself, of your life. Can you do this without self-judgment, without condemning the others who have unconsciously cooperated with you in your story of deception? Can you forgive humanity, life, and ultimately God for this development? For at the bottom of the human story many of us find an unspeakable rage at “God” for allowing us to fall so far into darkness. This is certainly what I found within myself, and I have witnessed it within many other human psyches as well.

What about the practical employment of such universal intelligence? Can we, for example, employ it in going about setting and pursuing goals, in creating our ideal lives? The answer is yes. But… and there is a caveat… the power that this afford us as individuals is directly proprtional to the degree to which we surrender our personal will to it. This is an irony, no? It means the more you seek power via the universal mind, the less available it is. It becomes increasingly unreliable as we turn away from the light.

Nonetheless, there are forms of human intuition which can be readily employed regardless of intentionality. You can employ these intuitive modes of awareness no matter whether your intention is to serve the light, or to serve the separated consciousness of the darkness. All you have to do is relax and allow your mind to sense the tone of a field in order to make its essential nature known to you. In this sense both Hitler and the Dalai Lama can simply focus upon the same field and get pretty much the same “data”. However, it is far more likely that the minds of the Hitlers of this world will be manipulated by the malevolent intentions of the darker fields of intention that they are connected to.

While dark consciousness fields are impersonal in much the same way that a destructive tornado is impersonal, the truth is that such darkness is channeled via individual minds. This means that certain individuals can become channels for demonic energies. They then become ensnared with a pool of minds with similar intent via the deceitful stories that they have come to invest with their intention. These other “dark” minds can be either other living human beings, or they can be discarnate entities. This is one of the most terrifying realities to personally witness. I wish I could write that it is a fantasy, but this would be a lie.

The Other Side of the Dark Side
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The best way to avoid dark energies is to ground yourself in presence, in your body and to witness your own mind’s lust for power and control over others. But take note. And here we come to the second way that “the Dark Side” can ensnare us. Much of the power and control of dark energy structures is not a classic lust for wealth, status and political power. It’s not simply a Hitleresque lust for world conquest. Much of the darkness emerges from a desire to control others such that we do not have experience our terror of abandonment and death. In other words we unconsciously seek power and control over others so that we do not have to experience the painful state of separation. We then seek to gain power over others for this purpose.

Now here is a very important point. Such power and control over others is primarily achieved through the projection of two contrasting human manipulative tactics: shame and flattery. Shame is an attempt to make the other feel worthless and “dirty.” The projection of sexual and toilet shaming is central to this. This represents body shaming. The light cannot shine through is while we are embodied in a physical system that we feel is dirty and disgusting.

Flattery is also unconsciously employed as a means to ensnare minds, as the human ego is particularly susceptible to the perceived elevation of status.

So the idea of going to the Dark Side as depicted in Star Wars, is accurate. It is just that the dynamics that underpin the process are more complex than than Star Wars suggests.

Success and Failure
Ultimately, what we humans consider success and failure may not comply with a greater cosmic appreciation of success. For Hitler, the invasion of Poland was a success. On a less demonic scale, your becoming CEO may be your definition of success. But from a deeper and more expansive perspective, there may be other factors at play in such scenarios which do not mirror your (nor Hitler’s) personal value hierarchies. When you become CEO your mind might become ensnared in your company’s story of power and control of a certain financial market. You might get rich. But from a universal perspective you may be playing a part of your soul group’s learning about the abuse of power and control. And there may be suffering in that, both for others and yourself.

So, we can indeed say “May the Force be with you!” as we go about living our lives. Yet to some degree it is a matter of grace as to how this plays out. We can invite such “awareness” through prayer and meditation, and by grounding ourselves in the truth of the present moment. But the rest is up to the cosmos. And if you fight that reality, well, you are resisting “what is” and this rejection and anger may open pathways to the “darkness.” It’s all a little unfair from the mind’s point of view. But that is the way it is. The best thing you can do is relax, surrender, be as transparently honest as you possibly can be, and enjoy the journey.

Marcus

Marcus T Anthony, PhD is the author of ten books about human awakening, including Discover Your Soul Template. He is also a life coach and teacher of profound intuition. His web site is www.mind-futures.co




Star Wars Finally Returns: The Force Awakens

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By M. Hatti |GeekPower

Photo Source: Star Wars

The day has come! It has arrived!! After 30 years of waiting (32 years for some) the day is finally here!!!

Related Article: Mr. Spock, Star Trek & Their Lessons for This “Toddler” of the ’60’s

I have read all the rumours and interviews and hunted down anything and everything I could find about Star Wars: The Force Awakens with more precision and determination than a Mandolorian looking for bounty.

Related Article: A New Hope: Is This What the Last Three Star Wars Films Were Missing?

Star Wars: The Quest for Trailers

I have watched the official teasers and trailers, and I have watched the fan-edits and timeline trailers…in

The Dark Side iMax Theatre Entrance
Entrance to the theatre at BFI IMax.

fact, I’ve seen so many of them so often that  it has led me to organise all my favourite videos on YouTube – as of today I have 102 videos related to Star Wars on my account and most of them are some form of trailer or interview with the cast of The Force Awakens. Needless to say that I am a fan. I cannot say I am the biggest fan in the world, but I’m certainly vying for a spot in the higher levels of Star Wars fandom.

Creators of Dreams and Magic

When I heard that Disney was buying Lucasfilm, I was in awe. For many reasons I thought this would be the perfect company to buy one of the most popular movie franchises of all times. There would surely be more merchandise (yes I love it!), more paraphernalia, and perhaps most importantly Disney has lately proven to be quite good at creating films that are not primarily directed at young children so MOAR MOVIES!!! No company in the world can put a show and immerse you into a magic more than Disney.

MOAR MOVIES!!! Five movies so far announced, three of them being the “crown jewel” of the Lucasfilm and Disney empire, Episode 7, 8 and 9.

Lucasfilm and Disney with all their might (and money) got married and have finally delivered the long, long oh so long awaited sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy. Bob Iger, arguably the most powerful man in the entertainment industry, and Kathleen Kennedy, the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy and current president of Lucasfilm and possibly the most powerful woman in the entertainment industry, embarked on the task of satisfying us, the fans. But that task might sound simpler than it actually is, even Mr. Lucas himself failed to achieve that goal with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. And so they turned to a new captain to helm the Star Wars universe, a new hope in which we fans put our faith. None other then Steven Spielberg himself advised them that there would be no better option than to hire the talented, successful and huge Star Wars fan himself, for this task, J. J. Abrams.

Related Article: George Lucas, Star Wars, and False Flag Terrorism [must see video]

Despite being hesitant to take this daunting task, J. J. took the leap of faith and embarked on the journey to rejuvenate this epic franchise and return it to its former glory.

May the chills be with you

On 28th November 2014, the first teaser arrived, and with it came the chills – I instantly became a kid again. A few seconds was all it took for me to get emotional – “…and the light…” Star Wars theme blasts and the Falcon swoops into scene – I actually just got the chills writing this.

Pre Movie Pictures on the Screen iMax
Screen just before the Movie starts at the BFI IMax in London.

Despite my initial euphoria, I started to get cautious. Lets face it, it is hard to get it wrong with that theme and the Falcon doing its magical hunk of junk manoeuvres, but I have been burned by Star Wars before, so I was bracing myself for a possible disappointment.

At Comic Con San Diego 2015 they revealed the trailer, narrated by Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, and to top it all Han and Chewie finally arrived home again…stop cutting onions when I am watching this stuff for crying out loud!

Moar trailers and moar interviews to a point that I got tired of hearing the words “practical effects”. They were using it like Apple uses “magic” during their keynotes, but you know what, I don’t care, because I love practical effects and I think that this is one of the things that immerses us into the “reality” of the movie. Listening to the passionate interviews on how the cast and crew behaved, seeing Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) on the trailers I could feel the energy and how much talent this movie showcases.

And yet, after all that, I was still a bit cautious. While 99% of me knew that this was going to be a hit movie, that one percent, that scar left by Star Wars The Phantom Menace still lingered.

I will watch what you started

And so, finally , we come to the movie.

The screen goes dark…the theatre is silent…and bam the Star Wars theme song blasts… I’m hooked.

With just the right amount of action, comedy, and special effects (practical or otherwise) J. J., Kasdan, Kathleen and their team delivered!

What a performance from Isaac, Boyega, Driver and Ridley!!! You really feel for the characters and you are quickly drawn once more into that galaxy that is so far away and yet so close to our hearts.

I still have to decide if this is on par with best films from the originals or if it can take the mantle of being the best Star Wars movie yet. It may take a few more viewings but I suspect I will only really know once I’ve watched Episode 8 and 9.

I would like to say a special thanks to all the people involved in the making of this movie. May the Force be with you.

TL;DR: It is Awesome

 

See the Original Article here….

 




The Plot of Star Wars Frighteningly Resembles Modern Day America

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By Dan Sanchez | Activist Post 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters this week, continuing the cinematic saga of an interplanetary civilization’s struggles with galactic war and tyranny. It will be watched by millions whose own civilization is beset by global warfare driven by a planetary empire on the verge of descending into a militarized police state. So now would be a good time to review the lessons to be found in the first two Star Wars trilogies concerning the road to universal serfdom and how to keep off it.

The story of how the Galactic Empire arose is told in the prequels trilogy. The whole process is orchestrated from within the Galactic Republic by Palpatine, a seemingly benign politician who is secretly Darth Sidious, grand master of the Sith, a power hungry order of mystic warriors wielding the dark side of the Force. The Sith are a dark reflection of the Jedi Knights, who use the Force to protect life and in service to the Republic.

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Sidious is the “phantom menace” who, aided by his apprentice Darth Maul, covertly manipulates the galaxy’s republican government to progressively increase his own power, steadily advancing toward a total Sith coup. Just as with real life democracies, the Galactic Republic masks the machinations of the true wielders of power with the facade of “representative government” and drapes their seizures of still greater power with the sanctifying mantle of “popular sovereignty.” The Sith can be seen as an analogy for the deep state.

Sidious’s implement of choice for accumulating power is war. His modus operandi is as follows. He first manufactures an interplanetary conflict and crisis, manipulating one side as Palpatine and commanding the other side as Sidious. He then engineers enhancements of his own power over the Republic, justifying them as regrettably necessary for decisively dealing with that crisis.

In Episode 1, as Darth Sidious, he commands the Trade Federation to blockade and occupy the planet of Naboo. Then as Senator Palpatine, he convinces Naboo’s elected queen Padme Amidala to call for a vote of no confidence against the Republic’s Chancellor after he and the Galactic Senate fail to come to the aid of her people. This paves the way for Palpatine’s own election to the Chancellorship.

In Episode 2, as Darth Sidious, he organizes a secessionist movement and directs the separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems to build a massive droid army. Meanwhile, he also oversees the spawning of a vast army of clone troopers, bio-engineered for docility.

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The Republic had been hesitant to raise an army to confront the secessionists. But after news breaks of the Confederacy’s droid build-up, the Senate grants Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers, enabling him to enlist and deploy the clone troopers as the Grand Army of the Republic. Palpatine assures the Senators:

It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy! I love the Republic! Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me.

In Episode 3, the fielding of the clone and droid armies has engulfed the galaxy in all-out war between the Confederacy and the Republic, with the Jedi leading the clone troopers into battle. This presents the opportunity for Sidious to issue Order 66, which activates the clones’ bio-programmed “Protocol 66,” under which they turn on and kill their Jedi commanders. (I will cover Anakin Skywalker’s role in all this later in the essay.)

Finally, unhampered by the Jedi, wreathed with emergency powers, and backed by a perfectly obedient standing army, Palpatine declares himself Emperor with the following address to the Senate:

In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society.

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All the steps in the Dark Lord’s rise to total power were enabled by the crises of wars that he himself engineered. The overriding theme of the first trilogy is that the star wars engendered galactic tyranny. This is a perfectly realistic narrative motif, because it is merely an interstellar extrapolation of Randolph Bourne’s insight that war is the health of the State. The emergency-propelled rise of the Sith also fits with Robert Higgs’s broader insight that crisis is the health of Leviathan.

Indeed, throughout history, rulers, regimes, and power cliques (just like Sidious and the Sith) have dragged their countries into wars in order to acquire, shore up, and enhance their power. This power play almost always works, because war activates in indoctrinated adherents of a State what Randolph Bourne called the “herd mind”: a sort of statist Protocol 66.

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Terrorized by the menaces of war, and aroused by its prizes, State citizens react like a spooked herd or a ravenous pack. They become as docile as sheep or dogs (or Sith-bred clones) to their shepherds and masters in government, swarming to their feet and granting them sweeping emergency authority, just as the war-spooked Galactic Senate repeatedly empowered Palpatine. They yield their liberties, even to the point of renouncing their individuality (like how the imperial troopers were all clones of a single man). Under the exigencies of war, the people, as Bourne put it

…proceed to allow them­selves to be regimented, coerced, de­ranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction to­ward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come with­in the range of the Government’s disapprobation. The citizen throws off his contempt and indifference to Government, identifies himself with its purposes, revives all his military memories and symbols, and the State once more walks, an au­gust presence, through the imaginations of men.

As Higgs detailed, the expansions of state size and power that occur during a war or other emergency are generally scaled back after the crisis passes, but never all the way down to the pre-crisis level. Thus, the power of the state ratchets up with every war.

This is why governments pursue war, and why war eventually leads to tyranny, and ultimately to totalitarianism.

Empires are so enamored with the empowering effects of war, that they will often try to maximize the clash by, like Palpatine, deliberately provoking (or fabricating) attacks, arming future enemies, and aiding both sides in a conflict. Especially egregious in this regard has been the US empire.

The casus belli of the Mexican-American War (the Thornton Affair), the Spanish-American War (the USS Maine), World War I (the Lusitania and the Zimmerman telegram), World War II (Pearl Harbor), and the Vietnam War (Gulf of Tonkin) all involved engineered conflicts, deliberate provocation and baiting, deception, or outright fabrication on the part of the US.

The US armed the Soviets against the Nazis in the Second World War, then armed international jihadis against the Soviets in the Cold War, and is now devastating the Greater Middle East under the pretext of fighting international jihadis in the Terror War.

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The US sold weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq for use in invading Iran, while secretly selling arms to Iran at the same time.

To provoke a crisis which led to the first war on Iraq, the US green-lit Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait over an oil rights dispute, just as Sidious greenlit the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo over a trade taxation dispute.

After having sold WMDs to Saddam, the US invaded Iraq again years later over then non-existent WMDs, as well as non-existent ties to the international jihadi movement that the US first built up.

And now the US is arming the new Iraq government to fight the jihadis of ISIS, while also arming the jihadis fighting alongside ISIS in Syria.

And Washington has used every single war and crisis it has concocted to expand its global empire and justify the accumulation of greater power over its domestic subjects. Are you getting the picture yet? We are ruled by a power clique just as diabolical and ruthless as the Sith.

What especially accelerated Palpatine’s accumulation of autocratic power was general frustration over the fractious Galactic Senate’s inability to come to decisive agreement over how to deal with the Sith-generated crises. This was most fully expressed in an intimate interlude between Padme Amidala and the young Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker (who later becomes the evil Darth Vader), following a romantic romp through the countryside.

ANAKIN: I don’t think the system works.

PADME: How would you have it work?

ANAKIN: We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problems, agree what’s in the best interests of all the people, and then do it.

PADME: That is exactly what we do. The trouble is that people don’t always agree. In fact, they hardly ever do.

ANAKIN: Then they should be made to.

PADME: By whom? Who’s going to make them? (…)

ANAKIN: Someone wise.

PADME: That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.

ANAKIN: Well, if it works…

Padme then decides that Anakin is teasing her, and, sitting in a meadow with the future Fuhrer, laughs it off. “You’re so bad!” she playfully chides him, as if to say, “Oh, Adolph…!”

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As F.A. Hayek explained in The Road to Serfdom, such an impulse toward dictatorship among those “impatient with the impotence of democracy,” as he put it, occurs frequently. He argued that it is a function of citizens giving their republics too expansive a mandate for addressing the ills of society through central planning. As Hayek put it:

…agreement that planning is necessary, together with the inability of democratic assemblies to produce a plan, will evoke stronger and stronger demands that the government or some single individual should be given powers to act on their own responsibility. The belief is becoming more and more widespread that, if things are to get done, the responsible authorities must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure.

For example, Hayek argued that Weimar Germany’s embrace of planning paved the way for the rise of Adolph Hitler:

In Germany, even before Hitler came into power, the movement had already progressed much further. It is important to remember that for some time before 1933 Germany had reached a stage in which it had, in effect, had to be governed dictatorially. Nobody could then doubt that for the time being democracy had broken down… Hitler did not have to destroy democracy; he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done.

When dictators come to power, it is generally because many in the public are clamoring for it, yearning for an Alexander who will cut the Gordian knot of parliamentary discord, and who will use unchecked power to finally deliver all the good things that they believe can only flow from the State. As Padme remarked upon Palpatine’s declaration of the Empire, “So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause.”

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All this is very disquieting when we reflect on our present political state of affairs. We ourselves are mired in war, crisis, and insecurity. Great swaths of the country are demanding more planning (whether escalation of the war on ISIS or a larger welfare state at home), and expressing frustration over the republic’s inability to decisively deliver on those demands. Moreover, every one of the leading Presidential candidates is a potential strongman.

Trump preens as a “tough guy” and his ardent followers want him “make America great again,” with a strong, authoritarian hand. Trump, echoing Palpatine’s promise of a “safe and secure society”, foretells that:

…security is going to rule. […] And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.

Then there is Marco Rubio, a loyal apprentice of the neocon Sith who parrots his masters in everything from his phraseology (“New American Century,” “Clash of Civilizations,” etc.) to his dedication to an ever-expanding Empire and ever-proliferating wars.

And Ted Cruz would have loved to command his own Death Star, judging from his expressed enthusiasm for civilian casualties and dropping nukes.

On the Democratic side, there is the Machiavellian Hillary Clinton who is almost as imperialistic and warlike as Rubio. Clinton is also eager to disarm the American public, which would place us in completely prostrate serfdom under the government’s stormtroopers in the military and militarized police departments.

Then there is the avowed advocate of all-around economic planning, Bernie Sanders.

In America we have the blessed freedom to select our flavor of dictator. We can choose where we want the coming totalitarianism to begin before spreading everywhere else: total war, a total police state, or total economic planning. “I love democracy! I love the Republic!”

The Jedi suspect that Anakin is the prophesied “chosen one” who will restore balance to the Force. Yet his turn to the dark side is also anticipated. When Anakin is brought before Yoda as a child, the Jedi Master senses much fear in the boy: specifically fear of losing his mother.

“What has that got to do with anything?” Anakin objects. “Everything!” Yoda answers, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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This echoes the 12th century Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes), who wrote:

Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation.

Years later, after Anakin does turn, becoming Darth Vader, Yoda warns his son Luke Skywalker not to follow in Vader’s footsteps:

Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did [Darth Vader].

Yoda later clarifies that:

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

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Yoda’s references to “aggression” and “attack,” as opposed to “defense” invite a libertarian interpretation of what the dark side of the Force is. Indeed a fundamental libertarian concept is the “Non-Aggression Principle” (NAP). According to the NAP, violence is unjust (crosses over to the dark side) when it is aggression: that is, violence initiated against another. Violence, as Yoda would say, is only justified in defense against aggression (which, according to libertarians, includes violence to reclaim stolen property or restitution).

What about the “path to the dark side” that Yoda spelled out? It is difficult to believe that anger and fear never serve a good function.

However, if instead of “anger,” we stress Yoda’s and Ibn Rushd’s reference to “hate,” it makes more sense. We can define “hate” as anger that is so overwhelming that it leads one to commit aggression against the target of that anger, as well as to indiscriminately attack those lumped in with that target.

Similarly, we might substitute “terror” for “fear,” defining “terror” as fear that is so overwhelming that it drives one into hate, and thus into aggression.

Terror is the path to the dark side. Terror leads to hate. Hate leads to aggression. Aggression leads to suffering.

Especially with these refinements, we can see Yoda’s warning about Anakin being vindicated throughout the prequels trilogy. The terror Anakin feels over losing his mother, which Yoda identifies in Episode 1, emerges again in Episode 2, as he begins having dreams about her suffering.

Later, after his mother is killed by Tusken Raiders, the terrorized Anakin slips into hateful indiscriminate vengeance: into aggression, the dark side. As he later confesses to Padme, he massacres the entire camp of “Sand People”, including even innocent children and babies.

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With this massacre, Anakin starts down the “dark path,” and from then on it “dominates his destiny.” He takes another step down that path at the beginning of Episode 3, when he again yields to hate and executes a surrendered prisoner under the prodding of Palpatine.

He also begins having premonitions of his beloved Padme suffering. And so terror of losing his mother is replaced by terror of losing his wife. This leads to his final turn, after Palpatine offers to teach Anakin how to use the dark side of the Force to stave off Padme’s death. After helping Palpatine kill a Jedi Knight, Anakin swears himself to the Sith, taking on the name Darth Vader. When his new master activates Protocol 66, Vader participates in that Night of Long Knives, even massacring young children in a Jedi temple school.

Nonetheless, his terror of losing Padme ensures that he does lose her. Thinking she had turned against him, he lashes out using the Force and wounds her. Despondent over her husband’s dark turn, she soon after dies giving birth to Luke and his sister Leia. As Yoda warned, the path to the Dark Side only leads to suffering.

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Anakin then takes his station beside the new Emperor in the “benevolent” ironfisted dictatorship that he had dreamed of years ago.

Throughout the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke faces challenges similar to those of his father. In Episode 5, Yoda has misgivings about Luke as well, complaining that his new apprentice is too impatient and impetuous. But Luke assures Yoda, “I’m not afraid,” marking out the fundamental difference between himself and his father: freedom from terror.

Related Article: A New Hope: Is This What the Last Three Star Wars Films Were Missing?

Yoda is dubious, especially when Luke, like his father, begins having his own premonitions about people close to him suffering: in his case, Leia and Han Solo. Terrified of losing his friends, Luke insists on breaking off his training with Yoda to go help them. Yoda worries that this is Luke’s own start down the same dark path that his father followed.

And Luke indeed is faced with temptations to join the Dark Side, especially after learning he is Vader’s son, and upon his father’s invitation to help him rule the galaxy. But Luke rejects the offer, choosing to jump to his own possible death instead.

Far from turning to the dark side, Luke is determined to turn his father away from it. To this end, he allows himself to be captured by the Empire in Episode 6. This leads to a duel with his father, during which Vader terrorizes Luke by threatening to turn Leia to the dark side. This drives the young Jedi into hate, causing him to temporarily lose control, and to grievously injure and incapacitate Vader.

The Emperor is also present, and urges Luke to complete his turn to the dark side by striking his helpless father down:

“Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and take your father’s place at my side!”

But Luke catches and calms himself, breaks the spell of terror and hate, casts his lightsaber away, and refuses to commit aggression against his father, a defeated opponent. He says:

Never. I’ll never turn to the Dark Side. You have failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.

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Enraged by failure, the Emperor tries to kill Luke. Seeing his son about to be slain by his master, Anakin finally turns back against the dark side and against the Sith. In defense of his boy, he incurs mortal injury by hurling the Dark Lord into the Death Star’s reactor.

As Anakin lay dying, his son pleads with him, “No, you’re coming with me. I won’t leave you here. I’ve got to save you!”

His father answers, “You already have, Luke.”

The libertarian spin on the path to the dark side has many lessons for our country.

As a result of decades of foreign wars and intervention, on 9/11, we were struck by terrorists and allowed ourselves to be stricken with terror. This terror drove us into irrational, broad-brush hatred toward Muslims in general. That hatred provided cover for a war of aggression in Iraq which has resulted in over a million dead, followed by over a decade of wreaking havoc throughout the Muslim world, which has left over four million dead. Having suffered the massacre of our innocents, like Anakin after the murder of his mother, we ourselves allowed for the massacre of innocents, and in far greater numbers.

Related Article: George Lucas, Star Wars, and False Flag Terrorism [must see video]

Shortly after 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney said on television, “We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will.” And, stricken with terror and indulging in hate, America did embrace the dark side, accepting torture, indefinite detention, warrantless surveillance, assassination, perpetual illegal wars, and mass civilian casualties.

Terror led to hate, hate led to aggression, and aggression has led to suffering, not only for the the direct victims of the wars, but for Westerners at home, as we find ourselves afflicted by blowback in the form of a refugee crisis and terrorist attacks.

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This blowback has, in turn, provoked a fresh bout of Islamophobic terror and hate, driving calls for still more aggression in the form of more foreign militancy as well as domestic oppression against Muslims. This too will only lead to suffering, both in the form of further blowback,and in the form of an oppressive militarized garrison state that will not stop at persecuting only Muslims. As Yoda warned: “If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…”

But it need not dominate our destiny literally forever. As difficult as it may be, we can always choose to turn away from the dark side.

It will help if we recognize that our giving in to the dark side is precisely what the terrorists want. They are, like the Sith, striving to terrorize us into hatred and aggression. They want us to sink ourselves into military quagmires, where we can be “bled to bankruptcy,” as Osama bin Laden put it. They also want our indiscriminate violence to radicalize Muslims in order to boost their recruitment.

Also like the Sith, the terrorists want to breed antagonism. As ISIS proclaimed in its own official magazine, the strategy of its terrorism is to polarize the whole world into two warring camps (Islamists and Crusaders) locked in a black-and-white clash of civilizations, with no “gray zone” in between. “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy,” said Anakin after he turned, echoing a sentiment expressed by President Bush, and explicitly seconded by Osama bin Laden. “Only a Sith deals in absolutes,” responded Anakin’s former master Obi Wan.

We must also realize that the ultimate source of most of our terror and suffering is our own government. As discussed above, the Sith-like State accumulates power by making enemy menaces (terror), cultivating nationalistic furor (hatred), and instigating foreign wars (aggression).

Indeed the very essence of the State is regularized aggression, which it terrorizes the populace into accepting as the only possible way of providing security. And the modern democratic State wins loyalty and revenue by stimulating mutual hatred and fear among its citizens, and then brokering the mutual aggression that results.

The dark side is the health of the State. But it is the sickness of civilization.

Related Article: Polls Show Americans Are Sick of the War On Terror, War On Drugs … And All of the Other Failed U.S. Wars

Luke Skywalker’s heroic victory was that he resisted terror, renounced hate, and rejected aggression. Inspired by his son’s example, Anakin finally turned back from the Dark Side, and so was redeemed.

If we would but be similarly inspired, then America could be redeemed as well. And we would finally step off the dark path to global suffering and universal serfdom.

May liberty, justice, and peace be with you. And enjoy Episode 7.

1 Jqj6yOoat672l0igLFFkAwDan Sanchez writes for TheAntiMedia.org.

Read more great articles at Activist Post.




Best “Voice” Performance Ever: Jordan Smith’s Rockin’ (and Moving!) Queen Tribute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQao9OnpmLU

We all know that music, really good music, has the power to move us emotionally. For me, Jordan Smith’s performance of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” on The Voice last night did just that – and more. He blew me away! Watch for yourself and you’ll see why. It’s probably the single best performance in the history of The Voice.

Joined by a full choir, Jordan rocked the stage. I believe Freddy Mercury would have been proud. Most of the audience was on their feet throughout the performance, and he was greeted with a standing ovation from all four coaches at the end.

How good was it? The numbers speak for themselves. It took less than an hour for Jordan to take the top spot on the iTunes singles chart. The 21-year-old’s performance beat out record-breaking Adele for the number one spot just minutes after he left the stage.




Media Matrix: An Ancient Perspective on Modern Media

Jon Rappoport | NoMoreFakeNews

“A long time ago, teachers and students in Tibet considered themselves artists of reality. They practiced inventing it. And then, separating themselves from every other spiritual system, they practiced destroying what they created. Back and forth, back and forth, with the goal of achieving an intimate knowledge of their own existence.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

Television news is about giving the viewer a dose of mind control, but what’s the underlying principle?

Answer: Something is better than nothing.

Corollary: A lot of something is better than even a little bit of nothing.

Imagine this: an elite television news anchor just sits there in front of the camera for a half-hour. Silently. People watching this would start to get very antsy. They would feel anger and rage building up inside them.

Why? What’s wrong with nothing? Why is it so maligned? “And now, tonight, we have no news to report. Nothing happened today.” What?? “He’s crazy. He’s a lunatic. Get him off the air. He’s making me feel…”

Making the viewer feel what? And why?

For the early Tibetan adepts, the Void was a vital concept. Stripped of its metaphysical baggage and embroidery, Void was the place where creating stopped. The constant “noise of existence” went away. The ongoing parade of inner thoughts, sentiments, propensities—vanished. For as long as a person wanted to stay there. And experience the greatest “vacation” he’d ever known. If he could handle it.

But humans felt a great need to avoid the Void. They demanded activity, flow, information. They eventually sank to the level of passivity…and then they simply wanted input, more input, and still more input. From an authoritative unimpeachable external source. Hence, from the earliest societies onward, there was a thing called: the news.

It was updated. It was ongoing. It was forever. Priests delivered it. Kings delivered it. Their minions delivered it. If the news stopped, people felt anxiety, which, at bottom, was a fear of Void.

There is much more to say about the Tibetans and their understanding of Void and its twin, ongoing Creation, but I’ll save that for another time. Now, in these times, the global population has television news. The imitations of life called anchors are the arbiters. How they speak, how they look, how they themselves experience emotion—all this is planted deep in the minds of the viewers.

Much of the world can’t imagine the evening news could look and sound any other way. That’s how solid the long-term brainwashing is. The elite anchors, from John Daly, in the early days of television, all the way to Lester Holt and Scott Pelley, have set the style. They define the genre.

The anchor taps into, and mimics, that part of the audience’s psyche that wants smooth delivery of superficial cause and effect. (In the Void, of course, cause and effect dissolve.)

The network anchor is the wizard of Is. He keeps explaining what is. “Here’s something that is, and then over here we have something else that is, and now, just in, a new thing that is.” He lays down miles of “is-concrete” to pave over deeper, uncomfortable truth.

Ultimately, he is paving over Void. On air, the anchor is neutral, a castratus, a eunuch.

This is a time-honored ancient tradition. The eunuch, by his diminished condition, has the trust of the ruler. He guards the emperor’s inner sanctum. He acts as a buffer between his master and the people. He applies the royal seal to official documents.

All expressed shades of emotion occur and are managed within that persona of the dependable court eunuch. The anchor who can move the closest to the line of being human without actually arriving there is the champion. These days, it was, until his downfall, Brian Williams.

The vibrating string between eunuch and human is the frequency that makes an anchor great. Think Cronkite, Chet Huntley, Edward R Murrow. Huntley was a just a touch too masculine, so they teamed him up with David Brinkley, a medium-boiled egg. Brinkley supplied twinkles of comic relief.

There are other reasons for “voice-neutrality” of the anchor. Neutrality conveys a sense of science. “We did the experiment in the lab and this is how it turned out.”

Television news is really all segue all the time. That’s what it comes down to. The word “segue,” pronounced “segway,” refers to a transition from one thing to another, a blend. Ed McMahon once referred to Johnny Carson as the prince of blends, because Carson could tell a clunker of a joke, step on it three times, and still move to the next joke without losing his audience.

Television news is very serious business. A reporter who can’t handle segues is dead in the water. He’s a gross liability. The good anchors can take two stories that have no connection whatsoever and create a sense of smooth transition. Brian Williams could say, “The planes were recalled later in the afternoon…And a man was cut in two in a horrific accident in Idaho today…And in Seattle (smile), three people reported seeing turtles falling from the sky.”

And it works. The segue works. The blends from one story to another seem reasonable somehow.

The networks basically have, on a daily basis, radically fragmented stories, and they need an anchor who can do the blends, the segues, and get away with it, to promote the sense of one continuous flow. So the audience doesn’t say, “This is just an odd collection of surreal moments,this is Salvador Dali on my television screen.”

The news is all segue all the time.

Not just nationally. On the local level, too. The pounding lead-in music at the top of the show prepares the audience. A) Music. B) “Tonight, our top story: a man ate a hot dog and died …” The voice of the anchor is the non-stop blending machine that ties all news stories together. That’s why the elite network stars earn their paychecks. Good segue people are stage magicians. They can move the viewer’s attention from item A to item B without a tremor or a doubt. The segue, the blend not only connects wildly disparate pieces, it keeps the viewer from brushing up against the Void. The blend is the primary mechanism for creating an endless river of “information” linoleum with no cracks.

It’s often been said of certain actors, “He could read from the phone book and you’d listen.” Well, an elite anchor can hold the viewer’s mind as he reads a sentence from the phone book, another one from a car-repair manual, a third from a cookbook, and a fourth from a funeral-home brochure. Without stopping.

And afterward, the viewer would have no questions.

The news is surreal because the stories are mostly fool’s gold to begin with; and they’re unrelated. They’re rocks lying around. The anchor picks them up and invents the illusion of One Flowing Stream.

This is what the audience wants. The news feels like a story. It feels like unity. It feels like a stage play or a movie. It feels, when all is said and done, good. You can’t pull just anyone off the street and have him describe car crashes, murders, storms, threats of war, political squabbles, 300 cats living in a one-room apartment, a new piece of Medicare legislation, genitalia picture tweets, and the dedication of a new library, while keeping the audience in a light trance.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

 




CLN RADIO: The Shadow and Light of Hollywood Film

Alexis speaks with film historian and new media pioneer Randall Libero about the multiple dimensions of Hollywood Film

Watch the full interview on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVUXCFOCr7k

What do motion pictures (Hollywood Film) have to do with human consciousness? According to film historian and new media expert Randall Libero, a lot!

When we watch a movie, whether romantic comedy, deep drama or even documentary, are we tuning in to tune out or are we staying conscious within ourselves and not allowing what we’re experiencing with our physical senses take us over?

These questions spawned a most intriguing discussion about the role of media in consciousness and why now more than ever we must choose wisely the images that we allow to come into our lives.

Both shadow and light have a critical role to play in the way we view film and it is with this perception that many ancient peoples understood the benefits of both in all aspects of life.

With more choices than ever to view media as well as create it, we can certainly choose which side of the veil we wish to partake.

Fortunately with these choices, the emergence of conscious media is now being given a starring role. And with this burgeoning trend, we now have the opportunity to allow that which we take in through our eyes and ears – expand our consciousness, rather than repress it.

This is a special re-broadcast of Conscious Inquiry Radio. But note, ALL of what is discussed is even more relevant today! Listen up!

More about our guest:

randall-libero-jpeg-pictureRandall Libero is a producer and online media authority with more than 25 years of professional experience across three major media industries. He has a combined media background in creative and technical film and TV production for network and independent television, broadcast news journalism, and Internet Radio & TV. He began as a comedy writer at NBC television in Burbank and later shot, edited, directed and produced TV pilots, documentaries, TV talk shows and commercials in Los Angeles. In the 1990s, he created the first online media research facility and historical news archive for the U.S. State Department’s International Bureau of Broadcasting and WorldNet TV and was nominated for a major agency award.

He is currently known for being one of the first “Internet Producers”, producing thousands of hours of TV and radio programs and online events with some of the world’s leading best-selling authors, motivational personalities, visionary thinkers, and business leaders. He has built highly successful New Media content and innovative online marketing strategies for many NY Time bestselling authors and notable personalities such as Jack LaLanne, Eckhart Tolle, Dr. John Gray, Dr. John Demartini, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Zhi Gang Sha, and many others.

Randall is the producer and host of the Spirit of Film: Conversations radio show, an Internet Radio program that premiered in September 2006 and has been heard by more than half a million people globally. He is also the producer and host of the new “Visionary Entertainment” TV series and a speaker at conferences, seminars, and workshops internationally.

As Senior Executive Producer for the VoiceAmerica Network, (VoiceAmerica.com), he created and directed the pioneering 7th Wave online radio broadcast channel, which premiered in May 2006 and has grown to more than a million listeners monthly.

Randall’s mission is to promote the idea of a new emerging period in media history which he calls the era of “Visionary Entertainment,” a term he coined in 2005 which refers to a convergence of the worlds of media and entertainment, technology, culture, and consciousness in the Digital Age and their impact on both the individual human being and society.

www.randalllibero.com

Click here for episode show notes and relevant links!




Michael Stipe Lashes Out at Candidates for Using R.E.M. Tune

By Chris Leo Palermino | Digital Trends

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R.E.M. has a major beef with two outspoken GOP politicians using their music— namely Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. And the iconic band isn’t pulling any punches.

“Go f–k yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men,” R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe wrote via bassist Mike Mills’ Twitter account. “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

The harsh words came after Trump and Cruz played R.E.M.’s 1987 hit It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) as an opening song during a rally criticizing President Obama’s recent nuclear deal with Iraq yesterday afternoon.

It’s certainly not the first time a musician has publicly lashed out at Trump for using their music. When Trump used Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World at his presidential nomination earlier this summer, the musician called out Trump for using his music without authorization. In response, the Republican presidential candidate agreed not to use Young’s music again — and apparently simply moved on down the line to another high-profile group of liberal rockers.

“We won’t be using it again,” Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said to Rolling Stone in regards to Young’s rebuke. “There are plenty of other songs to choose from, despite the fact that Mr. Trump is a big fan and likes Neil very much. We will respect his wish and not use it because it’s the right thing to do.”

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “R.E.M. Frontaman Lashes Out at Trump, Cruz for Using Their Music”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.



Gwyneth Paltrow Campaigns for GMO Labeling at U.S. Capitol

By  Jennifer Lea Reynolds | Natural News

Monsanto alone has poured roughly $14 million into local 2014 ballot fights opposing GMO legislation. (Photo: CT Senate Dem/cc/flickr)

Taking a much-needed stance against the horrors of GMO chemical violence, actress Gwyneth Paltrow — long known for her attention to healthy eating — recently headed to the U.S. capitol to express her concerns. Speaking to politicians about what’s on many Americans’ minds, she voiced the ludicrous nature of a bill that would bar individual U.S. states from enacting GMO food-labeling laws.(1)

Demonstrating strong support for the coalition Just Label It, she spoke in opposition of the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” passed in July 2015. The bill, which many feel is inappropriately named, has been dubbed “DARK Act” (Denying Americans the Right to Know) by health-conscious people who want to know what they’re ingesting, no matter what state they live in.(1)

Paltrow, who was accompanied by her celebrity mother, addressed politicians including ones who also support the campaign such as Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jon Tester of Montana.

Paltrow: “Americans all have the right to know what’s in our food”

“Much the way I want to know if my food is farm-raised, or wild, or if my orange juice is fresh or from concentrate,” said Paltrow, “I also believe I have the right, and we as Americans all have the right to know what’s in our food. I’m not here as an expert. I’m here as a mother, an American mother, that honestly believes I have the right to know what’s in the food I feed my family.”(1)

She reminded everyone of her steadfast dedication to the cause, reinforcing her involvement with a healthy lifestyle. “I’m a home cook and I’m a cookbook author, and I’m a proponent of organic food and healthy food when I can, but we all eat genetically modified food,” she said. “It’s in the food supply.”(1)

Take action, sign petition against the DARK Act

Late last month, Paltrow took to Twitter (@GwynethPaltrow) making the following statement: “I am joining @JustLabelIt in DC to fight for mandatory GMO labeling. Stop the DARK act by signing this petition….”(2)

She then included this link, which you are encouraged to visit to sign the petition. The petition includes a letter urging Senate members and President Obama to “oppose H.R. 1599, which would deny Americans the right to know whether their food contains genetically modified food ingredients.” It goes on to stress that allowing this to continue would severely jeopardize Americans’ right to have access to basic food information, which would weaken the voluntary labeling system as well as trust in the food supply.(3)

File under “ridiculous”: Food producers would have to pay for non-GMO food labels

Of the voluntary labeling system, for those who may not be aware, it’s not as simple as any one store or state choosing to make consumers aware of GMOs. Unfortunately, the DARK Act extends to that aspect as well.

Voluntary non-GMO labeling, under this Act, would be monitored by the federal government in a bizarre plan whereby food producers would have to pay to use the “GMO free” label. You read correctly. If a food producer wants to let citizens know about GMOs and work towards creating a healthy environment for all of humanity, then they must dish out the dough to the government’s eagerly extended hands.(4)

Of this insane approach, the Organic Consumers Association, asked, “And why should the burden of labeling fall on the producers of non-GMO foods, when the risk factor is associated with those foods that do contain GMOs?”(4)

You can read more news on the GMO food labeling issue by visiting Labeling.news, powered by FETCH.news.

Beyond food labeling, DARK Act problematic for GMO crops

Additionally, the DARK Act also goes beyond GMO food labeling.

[Read more here]

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.  



Members of U2 Join Cover Band to Play U2 Songs

By Andy Greene | Rolling Stone

U2StampImage-25092708_m-680x380

Editor’s Note: What a great story this is. Anyone who loves music and who has taken the time to learn to play an instrument and/or sing has their favorite bands. A favorite band for many is U2. They have been around nearly forty years and thus their reach is multi-generational. Some of these fans care so much about a band they form tribute or cover bands. Recently, one such band had the surprise of a lifetime when U2 joined them onstage. Here is that story…

U2 have spent the past couple of months bringing special guests – an Elvis impersonator, a Canadian U2 cover bandLady Gaga – onto the stage at their own shows. But on Wednesday night, they brought the act to a higher level when The Edge and Adam Clayton joined the New York-based U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire at The Cutting Room, a club in New York that seats 450 people.

Two months ago, the @U2 crew formally invited the band and their entire team to the party. The African Well Fund, a registered charity comprised of U2 fans that raise money to build wells in Africa, hoped to present their annual birthday card to Bono as part of the festivities. They also knew that U2 had an off-day from their Madison Square Garden residency and might enjoy the chance to meet their most passionate fans. “It was a million-to-one shot,” says McGee. “As late as yesterday afternoon, we got an e-mail saying they had other commitments and couldn’t rearrange their schedules.”

But the U2 representatives did say that members of the band’s management and publicity team might want to stop by. A large group of them showed up shortly after the party began and were given a detailed walk-through of the event, including a side door and VIP balcony. “All of a sudden Edge’s guitar tech Dallas Schoo walked through the main entrance and stood at the check-in desk,” says McGee. “I saw they weren’t letting him in. I ran over and said, ‘He’s on the list! Let him in!'”

Schoo is a familiar site to U2 fans, and a crowd formed around him as McGee led him towards the stage. “He said to me, ‘Listen, take me up the stage,'” says McGee. “‘I’m going to play a few songs with Unforgettable Fire.’ Looking back, I think his entrance was partially a planned distraction. It got the attention of all the fans, and Edge and Adam were able to slip in through a side door and up to the VIP area.”

When Unforgettable Fire finished their next song, Schoo walked onstage and began talking to their guitarist Mick Normoyle. “He said to him, ‘What’s the setting on your rig for ‘Streets?,'” says McGee. “He then picked up the instrument and began tuning it. At this point, we’re still thinking Dallas is going to be the one playing.”

The sight of Dallas tuning a guitar was enough to make the crowd go nuts, but then Clayton and Edge walked onstage and took over for their doppelgängers as the half-real/half-fake U2 hybrid kicked into “Where The Streets Have No Name.” “Everyone erupted,” says McGee. “It was unforgettable and just insane. I was just numb. Tribute Edge was standing right behind Real Edge and Tribute Adam was standing right behind Real Adam. There was such joy in their faces. I’m almost in tears watching how happy they were.”

When the song ended, Edge and Clayton took off their instruments and posed for photos with the band. “The crowd kept chanting ‘One more song,'” says McGee. “They then put their instruments back on and played ‘Out of Control.’ They took a group photo with the band and their security led them out through the side door. It was fantastic.”

Editor’s Additional Note: The following is a link to one of the videos that captured this momentous occasion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=61jx9VlWkqg

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “Watch the Edge, Adam Clayton’s Shock Performance With U2 Cover Band”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.

 




Tom Morello & His New Label: ‘Making Music with a Purpose’

By Brian Ives | Radio

FlamingGuitar-7599556_m-680x380

By his own admission, Tom Morello has led a charmed life. Morello is best known as the guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, but he’s also sold millions of albums with Audioslave and, more recently, he’s recorded on his own as the Nightwatchman and with underground rapper Boots Riley in Street Sweeper Social Club. On top of all that, in 2014 Morello spent much of the year as a member of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, and later this year he’s playing in Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band. All this is by way of saying: there’s a lot to talk to about with Tom Morello. During his recent Radio.com visit, the main thing on Morello’s mind is his brand-new record label, Firebrand Records. He also talks about his next album, the night he searched for the grave of the late AC/DC singer Bon Scott, his unlikely friendship with Ted Nugent and his relationship with former bandmate Chris Cornell. Oh, and that new video Rush has been using every night on their tour that features Morello, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and Peter Dinklage, among others.

Radio.com: So, I think the big question on everyone’s mind is: how did you get involved in the video that Rush plays during their performance of “Roll The Bones” every night on this tour? 

Tom Morello: [Laughs] Oh, it was really one of the most challenging artistic endeavors of my entire career! I actually rapped the lines, I didn’t lip-synch. I saw Rush’s concert in Chicago, I was pleased that I made the final cut.

I was at the New Jersey show and the fans went crazy during the video. Anyway, tell me about why you decided to start a label in 2015. 

There has been a void in the music industry for a long time; we are a record label that focuses exclusively on artists with revolutionary lyrical and musical content. The idea was a global label for all your rebel music needs. We have literally scoured the planet from Egypt to Sweden to my hometown of Libertyville, Illinois, for artists that don’t just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We’re very proud of this diverse group of artists that have one unifying characteristic: they’re making music with a purpose.

I know you’ve been involved in the Last Internationale‘s career; the story goes that they were having Thanksgiving dinner at your house, and they mentioned that they needed a drummer, and you hooked them up with your former (Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave) bandmate, Brad Wilk. But how did you get to know them? 

My good friend Boots Riley [his bandmate from Street Sweeper Social Club] sent me a YouTube video of them. Boots Riley sends me a lot of YouTube videos, most of them you don’t want to watch! But this one was interesting: they were a very different kind of band. Shortly thereafter they were playing a show in L.A., I thought they were great, and we started talking afterwards. When I moved to Los Angeles, I was a “stray,” and I’ve always endeavored to take in strays. They were kind of strays and we took them in! They’re lovely people and a great band. We spent some time around the kitchen counter talking about music and politics and having a lot of laughs. We’ve been friends ever since, and now they’re on my record label.

I know they released an album on Epic; I was wondering if they’d get lost on a major label.

They did get lost on a major label. While our coffers aren’t as deep as Sony’s, we certainly care about them in a way that other labels won’t.

They remind me of the great alternative rock bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s; I imagine they could have held their own on stage at Lollapalooza alongside bands like Rage, Primus, Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, etc., and I don’t know that that’s the case for many current “indie” bands. 

Hell, yeah! They’re a great great band that has a musical and personal integrity. It’s raw and it’s powerful and in my mind, Delia Paz is the greatest singer to come along in memory.  In memory, dude! She’s like, part Joan Jett, but she could win American Idol, and she’s committed to the social justice struggle. It’s an incredible combination. Their cover of Mahalia Jackson’s “I’m Going To Live The Life I Sing About In My Song,” that’s the best thing I’ve heard all year. They’re one of those bands where, if the right s*** lines up, there’s no ceiling for them. They could be the biggest band in the world. They’re destroying Europe right now, they’re opening for the Who, and Incubus, they already opened for Robert Plant.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “Tom Morello and His New Label Are ‘Making Music with a Purpose'”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.



“Freedom” Music Video by Pharrell Williams will Stir Your Soul

Source: PharrellWilliamsVEVO

Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams just released a soul-stirring and thought-provoking piece of musical activism called “Freedom!” The video expands on his lyrics (see below), with nods to slavery, the environment, science, plus political, gender, and sexual freedoms. Enjoy!

“Freedom!”

By Pharrell Williams

Hold on to me
Don’t let me go
Who cares what they see?
Who cares what they know?
Your first name is Free
Last name is Dom
We choose to believe
In where we’re fromMan’s red flower
It’s in every living thing
Mind, use your power
Spirit, use your wings
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom

Hold on to me
Don’t let me go
Cheetahs need to eat
Run, antelope
Your first name is King
Last name is Dom
Cause you still believe
In everyone

When a baby first breathes
When night sees sunrise
When the whale hunts in the sea
When man recognizes
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Breathe in

We are from heat
The electric one
Does it shock you to see
He left us the sun?
Atoms in the air
Organisms in the sea
The son and, yes, man
Are made of the same things

Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom




Some Cruel Truths About Rock n’ Roll: What Can We Learn from Them?

By Ann Powers | NPR Newswire

Last week, a story about The Runaways’ Jackie Fuchs, centered around her account of being raped by the late music entrepreneur Kim Fowley in a motel room full of people on New Year’s Eve in 1975, challenged the very idea that rock and roll is something worth loving. Fuchs’ account hit the music world like a bomb that obliterated all taste of cherry from our mouths, demanding the acknowledgment of certain painful facts from anyone who loves 1970s pop culture, that groundbreaking all-female band in particular, or the romantic notion that music celebrating and enacting sexual openness is a force for freedom and empowerment. (Full disclosure: I’m one of those people.)

SexDrugsRocknRoll--680x380Like any secret laid bare after years of only furtive acknowledgment, this one has disrupted many lives and caused reactions ranging from rage to self-righteous moralizing to Fuchs’ own remarkably generous forgiveness of those who knew something terrible had happened but didn’t directly respond. (Here’s a good, if incomplete, roundup of responses.) Fowley’s reputation is now rightly destroyed. Other Runaways members and people involved with the band have come under fire and responded. (One of them, Runaways biographer Evelyn McDonnell, is my friend and longtime collaborator, and her comments have expanded the discussion in important ways.) As others shared crucial truths or pontificated, Fuchs herself, now a lawyer, employed her own great eloquence to call for the focus to remain on “holding rapists, abusers and bullies accountable.” Several commenters have mentioned that the 1970s was a time when the exploitation of very young women was often in the media, citing the famous examples of the groupie milieu surrounding Led Zeppelin and the statutory rape case that exiled film director Roman Polanski from the U.S.

Here’s the truth: The history of rock turns on moments in which women and young boys were exploited in myriad financial, emotional and sexual ways. This most sordid secret history lurks in the background, but it’s not incidental: from the teen-scream 1950s onward, one of the music’s fundamental functions has been to frame and express sexual feelings for and from the very young, and its culture has included real kids, the kind who feel free but remain very vulnerable, relating to older men whose glamour and influence encourages trust, not caution. The worst, weakest and most self-deluded of these men have stepped over moral lines, over and over again. It happened in the early 1960s, when, according to Patti LaBelle, her fellow soul great Jackie Wilson attempted to assault her — then a teenage member of the Bluebelles — backstage at a show. It’s happening now, with 23-year-old Warped Tour performer Jake Mcelfresh (who performs as Front Porch Step) facing accusations of sending explicit texts to girls as young as 13.

Examined coldly, these cases really don’t seem to inhabit a proverbial gray area. Men have behaved abhorrently toward young women whose only mistake was in assuming they’d be treated with respect. Yet the music itself, so redolent of pleasure, muddies peoples’ responses. We want to enjoy it and to take its dares. And for young girls and boys, it does express real sexual feelings, often otherwise denied. The craving for that expression has led to a startling number of cases in which deeply inappropriate responses to it have been rationalized or simply overlooked.

Sometimes, as with the Fuchs story, useful public conversations do emerge in light of young people’s exploitation. The trials of R. Kelly, who was eventually acquitted of crimes against several underage girls in Chicago, became a touchstone for those questioning the the enjoyment of explicit music and the celebration of its creators. And sometimes the men involved are so blatantly transgressive that they become pariahs: when 30-something metalhead Ted Nugent became the legal guardian of his teenage lover in the 1970s, all the while recording songs like “Jailbait,” it added to his reputation as a truly unstable character.

But the many more examples of sexual encounters crossing over into criminality have made such behavior almost mundane. Start at rock’s beginning, with a foursome of legends — Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, all of whom had significant relationships with teenage girls while they were major celebrities in their 20s and, in Berry’s case, 30s. This is the foundation of the music. It’s no wonder that such troubles haunt it to this day.

In 1956, Little Richard looked out of a hotel window in Savannah, Ga., and spotted a 16-year-old named Audrey Robinson. He was 24. He pursued her and they became intimate, though not in the conventional way — according to Richard’s autobiography, he liked to watch while she had sex with others. (Robinson has denied this.) Changing her name to Lee Angel, Robinson became a renowned exotic dancer, and she has stayed close to Richard into their old age. Was this a relationship between equals? It’s hard to say. The same question has been asked of the most notorious sex scandal in early rock: In 1958, rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown; he was 22. Myra had the support of her family — her father sometimes played bass with Lewis — but years later, after the couple was divorced, she claimed that Lewis had abused her.

In 1959, Presley met 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu on a German army base and began dating her. He was 24. He moved her to Memphis when she was 17, but, perhaps frightened into waiting by the scandal afflicting Lewis after his marriage to Myra, waited to marry her until she was 21. That same year, Chuck Berry was arrested in St. Louis, Mo., for transporting a minor across state lines for “immoral purposes.” The 14-year-old in question was a runaway named Janice Escalanti whom Berry met and wooed (according to her court testimony and accounts from other witnesses; he denies any intimacy) on the road. Berry was 33. His conviction and imprisonment demonstrates a racist double standard that put African-Americans behind bars while whites like Presley remained free. Yet this wasn’t an isolated incident; the year before, he’d been arrested for gun possession in St. Charles, Mo., while in the company of his then-lover, Joan Mathis, who was 17.

All of these stories have become part of rock’s lore, perhaps tainting the reputations of some of the music’s greatest figures, but hardly sinking them. The notorious tales just keep rolling on. In 1966, Mick Jagger’s girlfriend Marianne Faithfull was 20 and already a mother when police on a drug raid at Keith Richards’ mansion found her wrapped in a fur rug while tripping, the only woman in the house. While the Rolling Stones survived this scandal unscathed, it led to Faithfull being branded a “whore” in the British media and led to an escalating drug habit. In 1972, Lori Maddox was 14; she met Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page at L.A.’s Hyatt House hotel, where he spirited her away and kept her under lock and key for many nights to shield the fact that he was committing statutory rape. In 1982, Tam Paton, the manager of teen idols the Bay City Rollers, was convicted of molesting two boys as part of the Walton Hop scandal, which eventually took down numerous British music business executives who frequented that all-ages Surrey club. In the 1990s, teen pop mogul Lou Pearlman allegedly demanded sexual favors from many of the underage musicians he managed, some of whom were only 13.

These rock and pop memories are all ones I pulled from the top of my head, without doing any research. They’re not obscure. And they’re being made anew every day. The threat of adult men violating women and boys haunts every era and subculture, because art worlds like these exist within a larger culture that’s fundamentally patriarchal and racist, placing white men in positions of ultimate authority, and men above women, even when people work to cultivate equality. (This is Sexism 101, and many writers have shown how it works in popular music.) Because rock and roll originates within a celebration of the spirit of teenage self-empowerment, girls especially have moved more freely within the spaces it creates than they could elsewhere, and, in doing so, have often found themselves in peril of violation by the very men who would call them queens.

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “The Cruel Truth About Rock And Roll”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.

 

 




Russell Brand on New Amy Winehouse Documentary: Could She Have Been Saved?

Video Source: Russell Brand

In this edition of The Trews, Russell Brand talks about the new documentary “Amy” based on the life of the Uber talented Singer and addict, Amy Winehouse.

Russell, was a friend of Amy’s and is a self-proclaimed former addict. In this video, he courageously examines some deep questions as to whether the talented young Londoner could have been saved. Openly admitting that he probably could have done more for her himself, Russell also questions the potentially lethal role our media-voracious culture may have played in Amy’s demise.

Related Article: How To Use Spirituality To Recover From Addiction

He ends the video with a couple suggestions of things you can change as a consequence of learning from Amy’s tragic death.

1. Change the way you consume media — according to Russell, the culture that currently exists around celebrity and fame is “a vampiric, canabalizing system that wants it’s heroes and heroines dead so it can devour their corpses in public for entertainment.”

2. Treat addicts and people with all forms of mental illness with more compassion.

Video Source: A24

Related Article: One Mother’s Touching Story of Dealing With Her Son’s Addictions




Here’s Why Heavy Metal Music is Actually Good for You

By Peter Dockril | Science Alert HeavyMetal-29227818_m-680x380

Editor’s Note: As a singer-songwriter, musician & music lover, I have politely listened to others who have, over the years, put down heavy metal & rap music as if to say that they have no musical quality or otherwise value. I have always disagreed with the categorical dismissal of these genres of music because, while I can agree that  there is bad music in every type, I have found these styles of music to have a lot of quality & benefit for me personally. I am thankful that this article has brought a scientific approach to 1 of these styles of music: heavy metal.

In contrast to the popularly held view that extreme music like heavy metal is responsible for causing feelings of anger, depression or isolation, it may in fact be capable of combating these very sorts of negative emotions, according to a new study published this week.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia have found that when volunteers were exposed to extreme music genres including heavy metal, emo, hardcore, punk, and screamo, they actually experienced a range of positive feelings, such as calmness, happiness or being inspired. (It’s worth noting that the participants in the testing were fans of these genres already – if not, your individual results may vary!)

The study, conducted by honours student Leah Sharman and psychologist Genevieve Dingle, took 39 regular listeners of extreme music aged between 18 and 34 years and subjected them to an anger induction, where for a period of 16 minutes they were prompted to recall unhappy personal experiences that made them feel angry or stressed, involving their partners, employment or finances.

After the anger induction, participants were then monitored during a 10-minute window in which they either listened to 10 minutes’ worth of extreme music or were required to sit in silence for the same amount of time.

The researchers found that, rather than amplifying the negative emotions of anger or stress, those who listened to 10 minutes of head-banging tunes actually felt the better for it.

According to the research, published this month in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “The findings indicate that extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions. Listening to extreme music may represent a healthy way of processing anger for these listeners.”

The researchers contend that we’ve had it the wrong way around when it comes to assumptions about heavy music and the emotional state of the listener. Their findings suggest that people don’t listen to hardcore, thrash and punk and become angry as a result; rather, listeners may choose music forms that match their current level of stress or agitation and use the energy and rhythm of the recordings to help process how they feel.

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” Sharman said in a press release. “When experiencing anger, extreme music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger. The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired. Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt.”

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “Here’s why heavy metal is good for you”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.




AT&T Hit with $100mn Fine After Slowing Down ‘Unlimited’ Data

By Mike Blake |Reuters SlowInternetAhead-37696917_m-680x380

The Federal Communications Commission hit telecommunications giant AT&T with a $100 million fine, the largest it has ever levied, for slowing down the internet speeds of customers with “unlimited” data plans. The company said it will fight the fine.

Thousands of AT&T customers complained to the FCC about the issue, saying they noticed that when they had used up a certain amount of data watching movies or browsing the web, AT&T “throttled” their internet speeds so that they were much slower than normal. Millions of AT&T customers were affected by the practice.

In a press release announcing the fine, the FCC said the company “severely slowed down the data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans” and “failed to adequately notify its customers that they could receive speeds slower than the normal network speeds AT&T advertised.”

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “Broadband providers must be upfront and transparent about the services they provide. The FCC will not stand idly by while consumers are deceived by misleading marketing materials and insufficient disclosure.”
AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans in 2009, but many customers were grandfathered in before the company began slowing down internet speeds in 2011. The company said it disputes the charges and will fight the fine.
The FCC has specifically identified this practice as a legitimate and reasonable way to manage network resources for the benefit of all customers, and has known for years that all of the major carriers use it,” the company said in a statement, reported the Washington Post.
Other companies have been targeted for similar practices, according to CNN money. Verizon was criticized by the FCC for its efforts to slow down 4G connection speeds and ceased the practice in October 2014. T-Mobile was also issued a warning, while the FCC sued Tracfone for $40 million in January for falsely advertising its unlimited plan.
AT&T argued that the cap only goes into effect after an unlimited plan customer hits a certain threshold, and that the slow speeds last only until the end of a billing cycle. However, the FCC found that unlimited customers were being hit with slower speeds for an average of 12 days – nearly half the billing cycle – and that this often affected mapping services and streaming video over AT&T’s network.
Chairman Wheeler said that by not properly disclosing the policy to customers, the company violated FCC rules on corporate transparency.
Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.