Friday, March 10, 2006

Plan BK: The Solutions Presents... A Minifesto, an Email, an Attack, and an Invite :-)

Friends, Showmen, and Countrymen, (and of course Women), Please Lend Me Your Ears...

Just a shoutout to let you all know about an incredible event I am fortunate enough to be a part of this Sunday, March 12th: the Artists Against War Pro-Peace Arts Festival. It takes place from 1 - 6 pm at Metro Hall, at the south-east corner of King and John Streets in downtown Toronto.

Over 50 amazing artists are donating their time and effort for a jam-packed feel-good pro-peace event, and helping to put an end to war as we know it. Bring the folks, bring the kids, and bring yourself, and help the billions of people around the world who want to live in peace stop this and future wars.

After all, if we don't, they will continue. And that would suck.

The flyer is attached so you can see the talent in advance, and it's going to be a wonderfully energizing chance to collectively experience passionate Canadians doing their best to enlighten and engage your own passionate desires to make a better world for yourself, your friends, and your family. It’s also a prelude to the anti-war rally taking place on March 18th, marking the 3rd anniversary (if you want to call it that) of the War in Iraq.

Drop by, say hi and enjoy the efforts of those helping to bring about peace. And the next day, I dare you not to have the best Monday you've had in a while... :)

Peace by peace...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Having researched this stuff for a while, I thought I'd put together some analysis for you. I'm pretty good at consulting on anything, but have a special interest in systemic issues that bug nearly all of us today. Feel free to use any of the ideas here for your own needs, and forward this to anyone you want to help them understand why the world is screwed up. They can compare it to their belief system, and see which set helps them better act out of "hope" or "fear". If you question something just "Google it", and use your best judgment on the quality of the information you find as opposed to having either blind faith in or a blind disdain for the source.

Plan BK: The Solutions Presents... A Minifesto

While ignorance is bliss and knowledge is power, half-knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that's what most of us are fed today. We're given information without context, problems without solutions, stories without endings, tragedies without healing, and subtly sold the inevitability of societal decay through our own powerlessness.

"What can we do?" I've heard, or "Where's today's Gandhi?" as another rejoinder. This merely needs to be contrasted with what we know: there are literally millions of people working for organizations that defend the rights and freedoms of ordinary people, or "activists", as a loaded term.

We all know a few or at least know of a few, and yet despite being ordinary people who are extraordinarily committed and knowledgeable, they are largely invisible in mainstream discourse unless they are being demonized. We are told they represent "special interests", when in reality they represent the interests of everyone. Their interests are also usually not to the exclusion of their peers, and given the opportunity and resources they could help create a better world for everyone to share. We are being taught to fear, hate, and dismiss their actions as ineffective, unimportant or harmful to discourage us from supporting them, and yet without them we would all be slaves getting worked to death in a Dickensian nightmare.

Don't believe it?

Look at how hard big corporations fight to destroy unions, the environment, workers rights, equal rights, safety regulations, and any other restrictions that protect people from their institutionally sociopathic actions. And look at the sweatshops both here and around the world where they've happily succeeded.

I've learned to trust people who make the best arguments for "people" instead of simply justifying the actions of those in "power", which is the majority of self-destructive mainstream logic sold by those in "power" for us to use against each other. We shouldn't worry about "people" wrecking our societies based on the functioning of "powerful" institutions, after all, they're "powerful", they'll be fine, and they are much better at operating in the best interests of all with checks on their actions.

If the answer to "why are you saying what you're saying or doing what you're doing?" is for any construct of power, then you're screwing the rest of us – whether you know it or not. If it's for people alone, then you're our salvation.

I've also learned to trust myself, and in my ability to evaluate the "quality" of information and analysis as opposed to just trusting any source based on their reputation. Since “The New York Times” or “the paper of record” got the “WMD’s” story so wrong it helped launch an illegal war, I figure everything’s up for grabs. Much like good workmanship on a pair of Italian loafers, I can tell good workmanship in a story or series of arguments, and believe we all can. It's not that hard, and once you get the hang of it you can avoid regurgitating lazy sources who merely reprint from wire services as opposed to offering constructive analysis. Plus you can start to see patterns and history, and when individuals or institutions have proven they’ve lied in the past, it's best to avoid automatically trusting them in the present – no matter how loudly the echo-chamber asks you to.

The search for heroes in the 21st century will be crucial in maintaining our collective sanity and hope, and as long as they exist in history and in our minds in principle, then we need to practice finding, encouraging and appreciating them today. It's not hard, but it's also hard not to be cynical, often in creative defense of our own inaction. Still, we have to decide which of these people we want to be: slaves of our fears, or servants of our desires. We have to understand which of these approaches actually makes us "feel" better, since all practical philosophy must be based on self-interest. Once we figure out that middle-management intelligence operates cynically out of "fear" while upper-management intellgence operates optimistically out of "hope", then we can see which set of management tools we want to use to manage our own lives.

Even the “tin-foil hat” crowd long disparaged in the media inevitably have a point, and now have a medium for widespread verification, cross-referencing, and information dissemination in the internet. It’s about time that “conspiracy theorists” had their moment to shine based on how many awful conspiracies governments have been involved in, and it’s great that ordinary people are suddenly able to connect and discuss extraordinary questions that could lead to important answers.

A “conspiracy” is when two or more people get together to discuss doing something illegal or immoral, and since that’s the case every one of us has at some point been involed in discussing some sort of “conspiracy theory”, whether we went through with it or not.

I don’t know everything about them, but I know this much for absolute certain: as long as they have peers, persistance, and proof, then they’ve always stumbled upon “questions” that need “answers”. We can crap-on them as much as we want, but even a cursory scan of mainstream insanity reveals nothing stranger than truth, and nothing stranger than assuming all else to be fiction.

We need to start thanking them for sticking their necks out instead of chopping their heads off, after all they usually find truth before anyone else does and help force the issue into the mainstream. It’s not like they are always right, but they’re always right in asking a hell of a lot of questions, and often find a hell of a lot of answers to share. Based on their desire to study information most of us have never heard of nor would take the time read, they deserve to have their investigations taken seriously for all our sakes until they are proven wrong.

I used to watch the “X-Files”, and the idea of secret agents investigation strange occurences always appealed to me on a deeper level, like even though it was a fantasy it resonated with my basic understanding of government’s obsession with secrecy. While I don’t even pretend to know exactly what’s happening at the Area 51 top-secret military installation in the Nevada desert (I just “Googled” it to find out it was in the Nevada desert) and it’s not an area I’ve looked into at all, I picked this extreme example merely because I think on principle we have a right to know what they’re up to for sure.

Maybe they’re baking cookies? Maybe they’re baking brownies? Maybe they’re baking alien shortbread? I honestly have no idea. But I know that movies like “The Matrix” resonate for a damn good reason: we know we’re being lied to all the time, and when someone asks what the government is doing with the billions of tax dollars they often have a damn good reason to.

Besides, when someone has never lied to you before and isn’t asking for any money, you’d do well to offer them a clean slate and an open mind. We all have examples of both the government and mainstream media lying to us repeatedly, and yet very few of us can prove that conspiracy theorists are. We often assume they are without looking into any of it ourselves – despite the fact that makes absolutely no sense. Anyone who works hard enough to study official documents, investigative journalists, history and the history of deception should be given the benefit of the doubt and a great big “Thanks!” by those of us who don’t care to spend the time to.

I’m afraid we currently have it backwards, and I’m afraid we have been taught to think this way on purpose. In reality we should trust those who are swimming against the tide of disdain to get to the bottom of a mystery we all share. After all, beyond a desire to expose the truth at all costs, including their reputation, why they hell else would they do it?

Having met hundreds of people around the world in my lifetime, I can truly say that we're not that different, and that we're basically all "peers". Given access to the same great information we would come to the same basic empathetic conclusions, and settle on arguing over a few nuances on how exactly how to move forward. The facts are currently buried in an avalanche of fear, but a little creative shoveling can help dig through the snowjob of disinformation.

How do we know which facts to trust?

A simple Latin phrase: "Qui bono?"

Or: "Who profits?"

As any good cop will tell you, to find the crime, follow the money.

With respect to information, if the logic used is justifying the profits of "power" at the expense of "people", then you have your answer as to why you're hearing it.

After all, implicitly or explicitly, why else would it be promoted?

And for what purpose?

And by whom?

To wit: the "military-industrial complex", a term first coined in 1961 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a warning to all of us during his final speech in office, has somehow been paid enough money to produce enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world 10,000 times.

Umm... why?

At what point did any government say: "You know, we can only destroy the entire world 2000 times... Dammit, we need more nuclear weapons!!!"


We come up with the dumbest logic sold to us by the (supposedly) smartest people to justify the dumbest decisions in the history of the world, including the above. We can see it playing out every day, we can see 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, and we can see that nearly 25 years after LiveAid – 25% of Africa has AIDS.


We think we hear enough "bad" news to know how "bad" things are, and are somewhat satisfied by our permanent indigestion. Yet, despite the compassionate bonafides earned by casual criticism, we clearly don’t understand who's responsible for the problems, how these issues are being worked on, or the various ways we can contribute to solutions. That's where the failure of our collective discourse hits the hardest, and that's where we'll need to figure out how to cheer up and Save The World.

Peace by piecing it together...

BONUS: "Heil Harper!"

May as well start practicing and start local, and see how Canada, the world's multicultural role-model of relative social democratic peace and harmony, a nation committed to universal healthcare, environmental standards, education, immigration, workers, womens, minorities and other rights, among many other liberal (nee: human) values, has all of a sudden taken a hard-swing towards the Right.

Or have we?

Professor Noam Chomsky has noted how "public policy is often radically to the Right of public opinion", and while polls show what people really care about, governments somehow manage to do the exact opposite.

Strange but true.

In dismantling national daycare programs, Harper has promised each family a bonus of $1200 per child per year instead, ensuring "Canadians can do what they want with their money" instead of trusting the government to screw it up. So, let me get this straight: we're dumping federally subsidized daycare and giving families $100 a month to pay for private daycare? And exactly how much daycare is $5 per day going to give your kid? And exactly why wasn't this simple math discussed more in pointing out how unbelievably stupid this plan is?

With the cold, dead-eyes of a shark and the genial smile of a pedophile, Harper has conned the public into believing he's changed, and that he's left his radical Reform Party roots, an organization that took over the Conservative Party by being, well, "more" conservative. Much of the media bought it – begrudgingly or not, virtually declaring Harper the winner 2 weeks before the election and setting the stage for our easy acceptance of it.

They also declared in many ways that Left-leaning NPD candidate Jack Layton "couldn't" win. Not "shouldn't". Not "wouldn't". But "couldn't".

Some "democracy", eh?

Since then Harper’s taken aggressive moves to consolidate power in the Prime Minister's office, virtually daring anyone to take issue with his (now not so hidden) neo-con and neo-fascist agenda, and aggressively dismissing any critics as “partisan”.

It's going to be a rough ride, and we've only just begun...

There is a long-standing myth about the Left vs. the Right, or conservative vs. liberal ideology, and that is that the "Right" is better at managing the economy and government spending of "your" money.

It's a lie, and examples prove that over and over again.

We’re going to find out the hard way, as despite the "sponsorship scandal" being a relatively small $100 million boondoggle when compared to the normally wasteful mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, the corporate pro-Harper media enraged Canadians about it, and now Paul Martin and the Liberals are out of office and out of luck. Unfortunately the Conservatives will do at least 10 times that much damage to the Canadian economy – as felt by the average Canadian, because the "Right" historically sucks at running a government.

The last Conservative Premier of the province of Ontario, Mike Harris, aggressively cut social spending and healthcare programs causing pain to millions of Ontarians, and yet still left the province with a monstrous and hidden $6 billion debt – one which his administration coyly lied about in suggesting it was around $2 billion. Current Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty had to readjust his goals once he got in power to deal with the massive debt and is getting savaged for it, and yet had he been a Conservative he probably would've just ignored and added to it.

President Ronald Reagan massively increased America's debt by trying to outspend the already bankrupt Soviet Union with huge gifts to the military-industrial complex, further strengthening their existing stranglehold on public policy. Current President George W. Bush’s administration has (incredibly!) managed to spend more money than ALL the U.S. Presidents in history COMBINED, refusing to veto any pork-laden bills in the Republican-controlled Congress, and taking the country from a $5 trillion surplus under President Bill Clinton to a now nearly $9 trillion debt – mostly foreign owned, and currently dragging down the entire U.S. economy.

Mark Green, co-author of “The Book on Bush”, has noted that the American economy since The Great Depression has grown 2 to 3 times faster under Democratic Presidents than under Republicans. In fact, unemployment goes down, interest rates go down, and nearly everyone does better under Democratic Presidents, especially the poorest 20%, while only the top handful of the wealthiest Americans do better under Republican leadership.

However, many of them control the corporate media, hence the myth persists.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and former Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan Administration, a bonafide old-school “conservative”. He’s well respected worldwide, and the French even inducted him into the Legion of Honor, one of his many accolades. He recently said on Air America Radio that according to the official numbers from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, America needed to create 9 million jobs over the last 5 years to keep pace with inflation, and actually created only 2 million – an incredible 7 milllion-job shortfall, and many of those were lower-wage.

He also said because of this America would probably be a Third World country in 10 years. And he wasn’t kidding. Poor Sam Seder, the host of “The Majority Report” with Janeane Garofalo, had nothing to say.

The Harper Boys have taken careful note of how the Bush Boys operate, and how they sell their particular brand of neo-conservative fascism. While they can't use the exact same tactics of Bush consigliori Karl Rove, ones originally pioneered by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, they can use a version of the same here.

It's already happening.

The plan is to simple-speak in strong terms with a generically fake smile on his face, just like Dubya, and trust that the corporate media will find creative ways of justifying radical policies that benefit only a handful of Canadians – or fail to properly analyze and expose their potential impact.

Harper even recently said he refuses to "cut and run" from Afghanistan, and that he “expects all Canadians to support the troops”. He’s begun stealing hackneyed Bushisms that play to our basest and most cowardly desires to wage war on invisible enemies using our kids as toy soldiers from the comfort of our couches. We’re also, after hearing them repeated just south of us, getting quite used to hearing them ourselves.

Despite the fact that over 2000 Canadian troops have been deployed in Afghanistan for a while, we’ve barely heard about it – until now. Bush’s rhetoric succeeded in dumbing-down much of the American electorate – and convincing them they were smart in repeating it, and much the same will happen hear now that “military pride” is on the line. Harper’s begun embracing the military, long an embarrassment for Canadians (“Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry” anyone?) to prove what a strong leader he is. Will he soon start parading around in military uniforms like dictators such as Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam – and until recently, no U.S. President except for George W. Bush? With special “War on Terror” graphics appearing more frequently in various mainstream news outlets, it appears we’re hell-bent on becoming a part of the paranoid insanity. Harper with his dictatorial ambitions nakedly flaunted is the perfect candidate to make Canada into a new war-monger, and please his partners in crime in the Bush Administration.

Make no mistake, fascism will be tough to recognize since our historical appreciation of it extends to jackboots’n’swastikas. Harper will balance out sweeping rhetoric and cosmetic improvements with a massive undercuttting of social services and healthcare, all the while ramping up the police state by chasing after potheads, gays, dissidents, protestors, and other undesirables. Canada is already a world leader in DNA database technology, we're forging ahead with RFID chips, and with cops, cameras, metal-detectors and random searches already underway in high schools, our kids are being raised to consider this the “normal” way our Canadian society is supposed to function.

He’ll continue strengthening ties with the growing neo-con fascist takeover of the United States. We won’t notice it, but when the rolling-blackouts arrive, when gas prices spike up to $1.50 per litre, when universal healthcare gets a lot less universal, and when poverty is further demonized and other cracks in the social safety net start widening to allow more Canadians to fall through them and turn to crime, we’ll all start to feel the crunch of a society in decay.

You know, much was made about the Liberal campaign’s “Stephen Harper will have soldiers in our streets commercial”, the actual text of which said:


The original ad, which Liberals say was pulled before it ever ran on television, opens with the sound of a military drumbeat and Harper's blurred face in the background.

As the face comes slowly into focus, a voice warns ominously:

"Stephen Harper actually announced he wants to increase military presence in our cities. Canadian cities. Soldiers with guns. In our cities. In Canada. We did not make this up. Choose your Canada."


While it was quickly mocked as being farcical despite being based on actual statements Stephen Harper had made, few stopped to think about how it incredible it was that it was actually produced at all.

This wasn’t some random quip by a drunken Liberal strategist at a party, nor a verbal faux pas by an unwitting MP in front of the cameras. This was an idea that was obviously discussed and debated by many strategists, and had to pass by several sets of eyes and ears to get to the final production stage.

They had plenty of time to stop making it if it wasn’t true.

They all thought it was a reasonable warning.

They were right.

Peace (NOW!!!)

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Bites Back: "VIDEO - Bush's Orwellian Attack on Whistleblowers and the Media" (Good Night and Good Luck...)

See, this is what happens.

When you throw your lot in with the bad guys hoping for a payoff, sometimes you forget they're the "bad guys", and ready to screw you too.


Well it's too bad, but I'm afraid democracy is threatened everywhere as the "fourth estate", or the final check and balance on power in securing the rights of people, has been completely compromised. By allowing the Bush Administration and their Republican Reich to get away with murder - literally, and much, much more, the mainstream media has also allowed them to consolidate enough power to change laws in favor of protecting government secrecy over their ability to expose it.


A criminal is a criminal, and while you can't put lipstick on a pig, the Nazi pigs in in the Bush Crime Family have certainly been made-up to seem unreasonably reasonable in the Left-Right paradigm of artificial equivocation that is the news today. The moral center of the media is now caramel oozing out of the square that is your TV set, fluidly escaping to rot the teeth of the our ability to bite back at the dogs of war setting up their fascist takeover.

Even when they do, it's hard to believe them, just like it's hard to believe anything at all with any certainty these days. The general feeling of unease is a perfect breeding ground for siring soldiers in a police state, and the increasing numbers of paranoid people will only feel good when they're snitching or silent in servitude as slaves in fear of their masters. At least fascism brings certainty, and if one lacks the courage and character to define and preserve their own freedom and identity, at least and at last they've found Homeland Security.

If all this sounds extreme, take note of what's happened over the last 5 years, and of what moral turpitude has been sold as merely equal "opinion". The mainstream media's abdication of any responsibility for interpreting "good and bad" ideas in favor of dutifully reporting government "spin" has lead to two wars, thousands of people illegally detained and tortured, a city under water with two-thirds of it's people displaced, increased illegal domestic spying and government secrecy, the consolidation of dictatorial power in the Office of the President - or "unitary executive", the largest national debt in history, the grossest environmental violations in history, and much, much more we haven't heard about.


Perhaps we won't notice when Blackwater stormtroopers (who?) are patrolling the streets like they did in New Orleans, ready to shoot on sight anyone in sight for any reason without oversight. Or perhaps after a steady diet of selling us on how acceptable it is, we'll just accept them.

After all, we definitely knew something "bad" was happening down in good ol' N'awlin's, a city that was "federalized" a few years ago, but really, didn't we make excuses about how the government's response just couldn't be that "bad" on purpose? About how people were behaving so "bad" that a pre-emptive military crackdown was more reasonable than offering help? And about how just "bad" the situation really was until it was too late to save the city?

And will we ever know how bad it "is" right now before it's too late?

There for "them"?

And here for "us"?

Thanks to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and others like him, perhaps we'll have a clue as to how reality is being warped, and how dangerous it is to accept it.

Unfortunately, there's always two sides, and more unfortunately, we've been trained to ignore common sense in thinking they're equal.

They're not.

Unless you feel you have to accept the views of fascists, racists, sexists and classists as equal to those of compassionate people, then it's time to take sides.


*** VIDEO - Bush's Orwellian Attack on Whistleblowers and the Media ***

Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

The Bush Administration has ordered investigations into who blew the whistle leaked information about NSA domestic spying and information about secret CIA prisons.

Employees of the CIA and other agencies have been questioned and forced to undergo polygraph testing. The Justice Department has warned that journalists may also be prosecuted under Federal espionage laws.

This video is a segment from Monday's MSNBC Countdown. Craig Crawford discusses the chilling effect this attack has on the ability to report information about the government. In effect, we are quickly getting to the point where only official information released by the government can be reported by the media.

You may also want to take a look at this video at C&L where David Gergen rails against the Bush Admin. for being worse than Nixon about secrecy and the press.


Found first at -

"Qui bono?"

"Who profits?"

Peace by sharing pieces of truth...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

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BONUS: The Billionaire Boys Club...

Bill Gates (R) talks to Warren Buffett May 20, 2004 in Redmond, Washington. The world now has a record 793 billionaires, up 15 percent from a year ago, Forbes magazine said on Thursday. Gates topped the list for a record 12th year in a row with a net worth estimated at $50 billion, followed by perennial No. 2 Buffett, the famed investor of Berkshire Hathaway, worth $42 billion. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen

Yahoo! News

Number of Billionaires Up to Record 793

By J.W. ELPHINSTONE, AP Business Writer Thu Mar 9, 8:48 PM ET

NEW YORK - As emerging stock markets surged during the past year, 102 wealthy people around the world won a much-coveted title along with their stellar gains — they all became billionaires.

The number of billionaires around the world rose by 102 to a record 793 over the past year, and their combined wealth grew 18 percent to $2.6 trillion, according to Forbes magazine's 2006 rankings of the world's richest people.

Forbes editor Luisa Kroll noted that Russia's stock market jumped 108 percent between February 2005 and February 2006, while India's market rose by more than 54 percent during the same period. Brazil "was another bright star" with a market gain of 38 percent, she said.

Kroll said the changes on the list weren't driven by U.S. investments.

"The more exciting story is these emerging markets," she said. "The U.S. stock market was quite a laggard with only a 1 percent increase."

Such tepid returns ate into the fortunes of some of the richest Americans, including the founding family of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The growth in emerging markets also meant the Czech Republic placed a billionaire on the list for the first time: Petr Kellner, who debuted at No. 224 with $3 billion. And while China's market grew just 3 percent, the country added eight more billionaires, up from two last year.

Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates was again the world's richest man for the 12th year running. Gates grew wealthier, with his net worth rising to $50 billion from $46.5 billion. Investor Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., again ranked second; his fortune fell by $2 billion to $42 billion.

The rest of the top 10 underwent a major reshuffling, with three familiar names dropping out of that select group: German supermarket company owner Karl Albrecht, Oracle Corp.'s Lawrence Ellison and Wal-Mart chairman S. Robson Walton.

Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu moved up one notch to No. 3 with $30 billion, replacing Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who fell one place to No. 5 with $23.5 billion.

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad of Sweden rose two slots to No. 4 with $28 billion.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen edged up to sixth place from No. 7, with a net worth of $22 billion. He was followed by France's Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH and The Christian Dior Group, with $21.5 billion; Arnault was new to the top 10.

Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud fell to eighth place from No. 5, with $20 billion; and Canadian publisher Kenneth Thomson and his family moved into the top 10, ranking No. 9 with $19.6 billion.

Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing rose to No. 10 with $18.8 billion. Ka-shing is the chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. and Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd.

The Walton family, which dominated the upper echelons of the Forbes list in recent years, tumbled in this year's ranking as stock in the world's largest retailer dropped more than 10 percent in the past year.

S. Robson Walton, known as Rob, who last year ranked 10th, fell to 19th with $15.8 billion. Christy Walton and Jim Walton tied for 17th with $15.9 billion each, while Alice Walton followed Rob Walton at $15.7 billion. Helen Walton, mother of the clan, did not make it into the top 20, landing at No. 21 with $15.6 billion.

Martha Stewart, who was new to the list last year, dropped off completely this year. Her fortune shrank from $1 billion to an estimated $500 million following her conviction for lying about a stock sale and her five-month prison term.

Investors in new industry sectors popped up on this year's list, most notably those with holdings in alternative energy and online gaming.

Australian Shi Zhengrong, ranked No. 350, made his $2.2 billion fortune through his solar energy company out of China. India's Tulsi Tanti, whose company owns Asia's largest wind farm, arrived at No. 562 with $1.4 billion after his company went public in October.

J. DeLeon and Ruth Parasol, both of the United States and tied for No. 428, represented the online gaming industry with $1.8 billion each. Interestingly, most of their company's revenue comes from the United States, where online gaming is illegal, Kroll said.

"Somehow, they have been able to skirt that," Kroll said.

Parasol is also one of the 10 new women to make the list and the only female newcomer to be self-made. Only six of the 78 female billionaires are self-made; most attained their wealth through marrige or inheritance.

The youngest billionaire is also female. Hind Hariri, daughter of slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, is 22 years old and eight months younger than Germany's Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis.

The methodology of the rankings remains consistent with years past, Kroll said. The magazine confirmed the worth of an individual's holdings in public companies by using the Feb. 13 closing stock price, and estimated the value of private companies by looking at comparable public firms in the industry and by consulting with experts in the field.

Forbes calculated the value of real estate by square footage minus any debt on the properties.


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BONUS: One of these things is really worth looking at more closely...

Homeless person Darren Brown, right, picks up a meal from the Hunger Busters truck as Mary McCoy and Van Tant wait their turn, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006 in Dallas. As Dallas continues to pass laws governing a growing homeless population, the city builds a reputation as being uncharitable to some of its neediest citizens. Panhandling is banned. Shopping carts are prohibited on city streets. Food safety training required for volunteers feeding the homeless and distribution of meals is restricted to designated areas.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Yahoo! News

Dallas Institutes New Laws on Homeless

By MATT CURRY, Associated Press Writer Thu Mar 9, 3:54 PM ET

DALLAS - Panhandling banned. Shopping carts prohibited on city streets. The distribution of food to the homeless restricted to designated areas.

With a series of ordinances governing its growing homeless population, Dallas is gaining a reputation as a city uncharitable toward some of its neediest citizens.

The National Coalition for the Homeless recently ranked Dallas sixth among the Top 10 "meanest" cities in the country. No. 1 was Sarasota, Fla.

Dallas officials say they are trying to steer the homeless toward help and make the streets a little safer for them. But advocates for the estimated 9,000 homeless people in Dallas say the city is pursuing a harsh and pitiless policy.

"That's like a form of social Darwinism, if you cut off food to force people to get help, and it really doesn't work that way," said Michael Stoops, acting executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Last month, Dallas began enforcing an ordinance that prohibits charities from distributing free food to the homeless except at city-approved locations and only after volunteers undergo food safety training, provided free by the city. Violations of the law, enforced by city food inspectors, are punishable by fines up to $2,000.

"It's OK to sell someone a sandwich, but if I hand a sandwich to a homeless person, I'm committing a crime," groused Charles Wellhausen, a volunteer for the Sathya Sai Baba Center.

The ordinance was passed last summer. Over the past few years, Dallas has also banned begging and prohibited possession of a shopping cart away from the cart owner's property.

Mayor Laura Miller said that the city is actually trying to help the homeless, whose population doubled last year and is expected to grow again as displaced Hurricane Katrina evacuees lose their free federal housing this month.

She noted that voters last fall approved construction of a $23.8 million homeless shelter to replace an overcrowded one. The 24-hour shelter would provide beds, restrooms, showers, job training and mental health treatment and is set for completion in 2008.

Boadicea White, the city's interim manager for homeless services, said the feeding ordinance was designed to fight litter and food-borne illnesses and steer the homeless to places where they could receive a variety of services, not just meals.

"We're definitely not trying to starve anyone and not trying to keep anyone from services," she said. "We're trying to do just the opposite."

James Waghorne, a 48-year-old advocate for the homeless, said the new ordinance will lead more people to eat out of the trash. He said he received food from a charitable organization during the two years he lived on the streets.

"It really wasn't so much about the food, but that someone still cared," he said.


On the Net:

National Coalition for the Homeless:

James Waghorne's Web page:

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BONUS: Don't be fooled when Republicans running in 2006 soon begin running from Bush who can't run in 2008...

President Bush gestures during remarks at a fundraiser for the Georgia Republican party on Thursday, March 9, 2006 in College Park, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Yahoo! News

Poll: Bush Approval Rating Hits New Low

By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer 24 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - More and more people, particularly Republicans, disapprove of President Bush's performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the bleakest points of his presidency.

Nearly four out of five Americans, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq — the bloody hot spot upon which Bush has staked his presidency. Nearly 70 percent of people say the U.S. is on the wrong track, a 6-point jump since February.

"I'm not happy with how things are going," said Margaret Campanelli, a retiree in Norwich, Conn., who said she tends to vote GOP. "I'm particularly not happy with Iraq, not happy with how things worked with Hurricane Katrina."

Republican Party leaders said the survey explains why GOP lawmakers are rushing to distance themselves from Bush on a range of issues — port security, immigration, spending, warrantless eavesdropping and trade, for example.

The positioning is most intense among Republicans facing election in November and those considering 2008 presidential campaigns.

"You're in the position of this cycle now that is difficult anyway. In second term off-year elections, there gets to be a familiarity factor," said Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., a potential presidential candidate.

"People have seen and heard (Bush's) ideas long enough and that enters into their thinking. People are kind of, `Well, I wonder what other people can do,'" he said.

The poll suggests that most Americans wonder whether Bush is up to the job. The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday of 1,000 people, found that just 37 percent approve of his overall performance. That is the lowest of his presidency.

Bush's job approval among Republicans plummeted from 82 percent in February to 74 percent, a dangerous sign in a midterm election year when parties rely on enthusiasm from their most loyal voters. The biggest losses were among white males.

On issues, Bush's approval rating declined from 39 percent to 36 percent for his handling of domestic affairs and from 47 percent to 43 percent on foreign policy and terrorism. His approval ratings for dealing with the economy and Iraq held steady, but still hovered around 40 percent.

Personally, far fewer Americans consider Bush likable, honest, strong and dependable than they did just after his re-election campaign.

By comparison, Presidents Clinton and Reagan had public approval in the mid 60s at this stage of their second terms in office, while Eisenhower was close to 60 percent, according to Gallup polls. Nixon, who was increasingly tangled up in the Watergate scandal, was in the high 20s in early 1974.

The AP-Ipsos poll, which has a margin of error of 3 percentage points, gives Republicans reason to worry that they may inherit Bush's political woes. Two-thirds of the public disapproves of how the GOP-led Congress is handling its job and a surprising 53 percent of Republicans give Congress poor marks.

"Obviously, it's the winter of our discontent," said Rep. Tom Cole (news, bio, voting record), R-Okla.

By a 47-36 margin, people favor Democrats over Republicans when they are asked who should control Congress.

While the gap worries Republicans, Cole and others said it does not automatically translate into GOP defeats in November, when voters will face a choice between local candidates rather than considering Congress as a whole.

In addition, strategists in both parties agree that a divided and undisciplined Democratic Party has failed to seize full advantage of Republican troubles.

"While I don't dispute the fact that we have challenges in the current environment politically, I also believe 2006 as a choice election offers Republicans an opportunity if we make sure the election is framed in a way that will keep our majorities in the House and the Senate," said Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Stung by criticism, senior officials at the White House and the RNC are reminding GOP members of Congress that Bush's approval ratings may be low, but theirs is lower and have declined at the same pace as Bush's. The message to GOP lawmakers is that criticizing the president weakens him — and them — politically.

"When issue like the internal Republican debate over the ports dominates the news it puts us another day away from all of us figuring out what policies we need to win," said Terry Nelson, a Republican consultant and political director for Bush's re-election campaign in 2004.

Bowing to ferocious opposition in Congress, a Dubai-owned company on Thursday abandoned its quest to take over operations at several U.S. ports. Bush had pledged to veto any attempt to block the transaction, pitting him against Republicans in Congress and most voters.

All this has Republican voters like Walter Wright of Fairfax Station, Va., worried for their party.

"We've gotten so carried away I wouldn't be surprised to see the Democrats take it because of discontent," he said. "People vote for change and hope for the best."


Associated Press writer Will Lester and AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson contributed to this report.


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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mass Culpability: Bloody Hands Make Easy Work... "Hear boiling water whistle while you work! Phoo-phoo-phoo! Phoo-phoo! Phoo-phoo!"

"Guess who's back?

G-G-Guess who's back?

G-G-Guess who's back?

G-G-Guess who's back?

Everywhere I see, a soldier, a soldier,
Everywhere I see, a soldier like me,

Everywhere I see, a soldier, a soldier,
Everywhere I see, a soldier like me,

Everywhere I see, a soldier, a soldier,
Everywhere I see, a soldier like me,

Everywhere I see, a soldier, a soldier,
Everywhere I see, a soldier like me..."

- 2Pac, "Soldier Like Me" (produced by Eminem)

I was trying to figure out why they get soldiers to keep torturing people.

No seriously.

I mean, with over 14,000 people being held without trial, no Al-Qaeda leaders have been found at any of the prison camps, and almost no members either.

We certainly haven't seen or heard of any, and no convictions are moving forward with any sincerity or publicity. That seems odd, for if they did they would provide a phenomenal propaganda tool for an administration that's extremely fond of using them, especially the silent 10 second clips of Osama bin Laden that pop-up every few months apparently saying something threatening.

No information is being found that is helping the "War on Terror", or the "Global War on Terror" (GWOT), or the "Long War" (100 years as estimated), or the "War in Iraq", or the "War in Afghanistan", or the "War on Iran" (Coming Soon!), or the "War in Syria" (Coming Soon!), or the "War in Venezuela" (Coming Soon Once They Start The New Wars In This Hemisphere!), or the "War on Rights" (Now Playing Near You!)...

...after all, it never seems to be going any better, nor even remotely close to any sort of resolution in any part of the world.


It seems that they (the bad guys) are trying to get all of us on board, just riding out repeated and pointed criticism by respected bodies such as Amnesty International, the United Nations, the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, the European Union, hundreds of others and over 90% of the World, all backed up by photos, videos, testimonials, official documents, and tonnes of other evidence.

Wow. Now that's guts.

It takes a phenomenal force of will to go against the tide of criticism, not to mention the actual process of creating mechanisms to not just continue but also expand the network and scope of torture. Beyond the ones most people know about, these include the so-called "black sites" overseas, where innocent victims are being taken after being scooped-up in democratic countries by agents of the U.S. military. An Italian judge has even ordered the arrest and extradition of between 13 and 22 CIA agents, with pressure being applied both for and against the measure by those for and against torture.

In many cases the victims are tortured to death.

And in some cases, like in Uzbekistan, they are being boiled alive.


Here, I just Googled "boiled alive" and this was the third hit, an article courtesy of the good folks at Human Rights Watch and Information Clearing House:



The soldiers role in this is clear: follow orders, and consider every "gook" er--, I mean, "raghead", a terrorist until it's proven otherwise.

Oh wait, it's never proven otherwise.

Scratch that.

In fact, the soldiers have absolutely no idea what's going on.

In a world with the facts eventually admitted by even the Commander-In-Chief, that's absolutely incredible, and absolute proof they are being forcefully lied to so they can continue to blindly hate, torture and/or kill every Muslim or Arab they see.


The occasion was a press conference with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, which took place in the White House on 31 January 2003. Here's the key portion:

[Adam Boulton, Sky News (London):]
One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.

THE PRIME MINISTER: That answers your question.


*** VS ***

Poll: 72% of US Soldiers in Iraq Want Exit Within Year

A new poll from Zogby International shows nearly three-quarters of US troops in Iraq believe the US should pull out within one year. One-quarter of those surveyed believe the US should leave now. And only one in five US troops want to heed President Bush’s pledge that US forces stay “as long as they are needed.”
The poll also found an overwhelming majority of US troops believe the widely discredited theory that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. 90% said the Iraq war was a retaliation for Saddam Hussein’s supposed role in 9/11. (1/Mar/06)



So, if we really "Support The Troops", then we should really let them know they're being lied to.

We should also let them know they're being turned into mindless killers who will suffer horrendous psychological damage that they will then inflict on the people and country they love if they manage to survive and return home.

Perhaps we should send them an email...


Google search: "email the troops"



Either way, the longer this drags on the deeper we'll all be soaked in blood, and the more our own mass culpability will numb us to the actions of our inaction.


Once a soldier has committed war crimes, they can easily be blackmailed into continuing to commit them or maintain their silence.

After all, after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke and the photos of torture were released, the focus was on the prosecution of the lowest-level soldiers barely out of their teens to the exclusion of their superiors - with widespread media complicity.

The military has abandoned it's responsibilities of "loco parentis", or assuming the role of parents in ensuring their charges adhere to the strictest moral values of the military.

That is, assuming those values exist.

Even a cursory view of history suggests that the military is far better at propaganda than they are at performance, and that we've learned to give them far more credit than they deserve.

After all, we've also given them budgets that have allowed them enough money to purchase enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world 10,000 times.

Umm... why?

Even in the movie "The Matrix", when Neo said:

"We need guns. Lots of guns."

He and Trinity only took a couple of dozen with 'em to Save The World...

I mean seriously, since the inception of armies they have always committed at least as much harm as they have good, if not far, far, far more...

Either way, despite over 8000 deserters so far - a conservative estimate, the kids know they'll be hung out to dry or even killed if they fight back or expose the truth, so it's best that they get along to get along...


How about a criminal Investigation into the exploitation of Tillman's death?

Steve Watson / Prisonplanet | March 6 2006

Related: Pat Tilman hoax data page

The Army said Saturday that it would launch a criminal probe into the death of Pat Tillman, the onetime National Football League star who was killed by gunfire from fellow soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan in April 2004.

The decision has been reached further to a review of the case by the Pentagon's inspector general,Gen. Gary M. Jones, recommended further investigation into whether soldiers in Tillman's unit should be charged with negligent homicide.



*** PLUS ***

"You know what I told him? I said, fella, I said: you've complained to the captain. He knows you think they committed murder. Your troops know their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Just shut up. Get through your tour and just shut up. You're going to get a bullet in the back. You don't need that. And that's where we are with this war."

- Journalist Seymour Hersh speaking at UC Berkeley



As citizens operating domestically and independently, we can feel versions of the above policies slowly constraining our own actions.

The Department of Homeland Security, or "Gestapo" if you want to be (Nazi) old-school about it, has already begun investigating random citizens for random violations of non-existent laws.

In many cases these are "thought crimes", as they monitor communications and search library records courtesy of The Patriot Act, or "Enabling Act" if you want to be (Nazi) old-school about it.

They are also compiling watch-lists of terror suspects, or "dissidents" if you want to be (Nazi) old-school about it, many of whom are valiantly battling for collective freedoms that were once thought guaranteed and unassailable.

And who knows?

Maybe they were...

As we continue to justify the possibilities of why the government has to act this way, we engage in tying together the frayed argument-threads of our own collective noose.


Fear has worked on those that many of us mock and scorn for their unfailing support of the Bush Administration. We laugh pretentiously at their whitewashing of 5 years of abject failure, idiocy, racism, sexism, war-mongering, and murder. We cringe at their insipidly stupid loyalty to Fox News, right-wing talk radio, and the rest of the mainstream media brainwashing that successfully conflated the imagined threats of both Al-Qaeda and Iraq...

...and that continues to lie to us today.

And yet, if we believe any of it, any of it at all from any of these same people, or from our preferred less extreme version soft-selling the same...

...then fear has also worked on us.


Perhaps there is a "real" terror threat.

Perhaps there are "real" terror suspects.

Perhaps there needs to be a "real" response to ensure security.


But perhaps not.

After all, only 5% of cargo at U.S. ports is inspected, the borders are wide open, and all of this has been known for years while ordinary Americans are increasingly being profiled, tracked, spied on, arrested, detained, and stripped of their Bill of Rights and Constitution.

So, is it easier to question the "War on Terror", and trust those who are brave enough to do so in order to finally get some "real" answers?

Or, is it easier to throw up our own bloody hands and accept that we can trust the same people, both in the government and the media, who've proven they lie to us every chance they get to be currently telling us the truth?

I guess we'll see.

Though so far, it appears bloody hands make easy work...

Jon Stewart on Larry King Live (27/Feb/06)...

KING: What do you make of this Arab Emirate story and guarding the ports?

STEWART: I'm trying to figure out how whoever is running the ports could inspect actually less than the five percent that are inspected now. I mean apparently they only inspect five percent of what comes in there, so you don't know if, you know, when a ship comes in you don't know if it's unloading rattan chairs for Pier 1 Imports or Chinese sex slaves, like nobody has any idea.

So, I'm not exactly sure what that -- I know that it sounds bad. I know that if, you know, in America today it's as though somebody has stoked fear in this country. I don't know who that might have been but it appears that the country is poised to react, let's say reflexively with a certain xenophobic zeal.

KING: But when you stoke fear why then would you have the people you are saying to be fearful of run your ports?

STEWART: Because you forgot you had stoked the fear. I'm not so sure they're paying much attention to the speeches they gave three weeks ago. "We're at war." Then three weeks later. "I don't understand. What's wrong with the port deal?" You know it's as though when you're at war, you know, he put us on war footing. You remember that. And then he seemed absolutely shocked that anyone would complain that perhaps our ports might be run from foreign nationals, although apparently most of them are.

The more you look into it the more it seems like not a very big story but I think like everything, people are reacting to the way that this administration does their business, which is I really feel like Bush just is like Santa. I know who's naughty. I know who's nice. You have no reason to pay attention. No, the Dubai guys are OK. These guys over here they're evildoers. These guys are OK. Don't look into it.


KING: So, you don't want it to be bad?

STEWART: Did you really just ask me if I want it to be bad?

KING: Yes because you...

STEWART: What are you -- I have kids what do you think? Yes, I don't want them to have any kind of a -- I want things to corrode to the point where we're all living in huts.

KING: Not all living in huts but generally comics political comics like things to go a little wrong, don't have to be the end of the world.

STEWART: Like things to go a little wrong like birdshot to the face of a guy that will survive.

KING: That's right.

STEWART: Not like things to go wrong until it's like Mad Max, every man for himself, let's all ride around with machineguns on, which seems to be the way that it's...

KING: You don't want Medicare to fail?

STEWART: Are you insane?


STEWART: You're literally asking me if I would prefer -- yes, Larry, what I'm saying to you as a comedian I want old people to suffer, old and poor people to suffer. That is -- that is -- what we want is -- what seems absurd to me is the length that Washington just seems out of touch with the desires of Americans to be spoken to as though they are adults.



Peace by piecing it together...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


"What you want in a media system is ostensible diversity that conceals an actual uniformity."

- Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda


Three more free documentaries that could actually help Save The World.

They're awesome, the concerned and courageous filmmakers encourage us all to make copies and distribute them to everyone we can for free, and I double-dawg-dare you to actually "disprove" them instead of just "dismiss" them.

When you can't, just believe them.

*** 9/11: THE ROAD TO TYRANNY (2002) ***

(Shows the history of government sponsored terrorism still used right now to scare, control, and pacify populations, rally them behind government police-state initiatives, and facilitate "war" as the most profitable enterprise in history justifying any price paid. It has incredible footage culled from mainstream news sources from around the world, plus interviews, analysis, and context. Stirring stuff.)

...the sequel...


Information Resource Companion Web Site

...the kids are alright...


Original DVD site:

Dylan Avery, 22
Founder, Owner, Director

In less than a year, Avery has gone from waiting tables to directing one of the hottest 9-11 documentaries out there.

Born in Leesburg, VA, and living for a year in Washington, DC, from homeless to a couch to an apartment, all the while completing "Loose Change," he has returned to his old stomping grounds in Upstate New York to direct a full length motion picture.

Korey Rowe, 22
Owner, Producer

"Born and raised for the first 18 years of my life, in Oneonta NY. During that time I attended Greater Plains Elementary, Oneonta Middle School, and Oneonta High School. I was a normal kid, played sports, took vacations, worked for my father on the weekends.

At 18 for no apparent reason I joined the Army. I guess for a way out of my home town. Joined and not even six months later I found my self in a fox hole in Kandahar, Afghanistan (January 14th, 2002 - July 15th, 2002). Served six months there before returning stateside for a hellish 7 month full out training cycle before being shipped back across the Atlantic to Kuwait were we staged for a nice long year in Iraq (February 28th, 2003 - January 16th, 2004).

I am out of the Army now, and have dove straight into the production of Dylan's documentary Loose Change. Due to government obligations that I did not support in the first place, I was unable to dedicate as much of my time as I would have liked to.

As for the future, only life can tell. My life to date has been very interesting, despite the very short life summary. I could only guess where I will be down the road."

Jason Bermas, 26
Webmaster, Graphic Designer

A Graphic Designer located in Upstate New York , I have been independently researching 9/11 for over three and a half years. After realizing that something was very wrong I began showing people the video and photographic evidence that contradicted the official version of events.

Through a mutual friend I was introduced to Dylan and Korey, and the rest will be history. I was lucky enough to help out on the second edition of the most well produced and concise 9/11 documentary out there, and for that I am eternally grateful.

My goals in this situation are simple, FIGHT this WAR through PEACEFUL INFORMATION until those truly responsible are tried for their CRIMES, and the RESTORATION of the CONSTITUTION and BILL of RIGHTS is complete!