Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cocaine planes make a "Bogotá Connection"

Federal Aviation Administration records obtained recently by Narco News offer some razor sharp evidence that a fat line of connections in the ongoing cocaine plane mystery leads right back to the nose of the U.S. government.

At the time a Gulfstream II jet, packed with nearly four tons of cocaine, crashed in Mexico's Yucatan on Sept. 24 of last year, the owners of that jet were Clyde O'Connor and Greg Smith — both pilots who hail from Florida.

Both men have since vanished like vapor in the wake of that ill-fated Gulfstream II's misadventure, but the paper trail has now caught up to them.

The Gulfsteam II jet (with the tail number N987SA) has been linked to past use in the CIA's terrorist rendition program, according to media reports and an investigation by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

And now, via FAA and other documents obtained by Narco News, both Smith and O'Connor have been connected to yet another jet that has been used by U.S. government agencies (including the DEA, FBI and CIA) to advance covert operations targeting Latin America.

~ read on... ~


Musical Innerlube: 'Monster' - Steppenwolf

Musical Innerlube: 'Poets' - The Tragically Hip

“Well,” says Vonnegut, “I just want to say that George W. Bush is the syphilis president.”

The students seem to agree.

"The only difference between Bush and Hitler," Vonnegut adds, "is that Hitler was elected."

"You all know, of course, that the election was stolen. Right here."

Off to a flying start, Vonnegut explains that this will be his "last speech for money." He can't remember the first one, but it was on a campus long, long ago, and this will be the end.

The students are hushed with the prospect of the final appearance of America's greatest living novelist. Alongside Mark Twain and Ben Franklin, Will Rogers and Joseph Heller and a very short list of immortal satirists and storytellers, there stands Kurt Vonnegut, author of SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE and SIRENS OF TITAN, CAT'S CRADLE and GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSEWATER, books these students are studying now, as did their parents, as will their children and grandchildren, with a deeply felt mixture of gratitude and awe.

Nobody tonight seems to think they are in for a detached, scholarly presentation from a disengaged academic genius coasting on his incomparable laurels

"I'm lucky enough to have known a great president, one who really cared about ALL the people, rich and poor. That was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was rich himself, and his class considered him a traitor.

"We have people in this country who are richer than whole countries," he says. "They run everything.

"We have no Democratic Party. It's financed by the same millionaires and billionaires as the Republicans.

"So we have no representatives in Washington. Working people have no leverage whatsoever.

"I'm trying to write a novel about the end of the world. But the world is really ending! It's becoming more and more uninhabitable because of our addiction to oil.

"Bush used that line recently," Vonnegut adds. "I should sue him for plagiarism."

Things have gotten so bad, he says, "people are in revolt against life itself."
[ ... ]
As for making money, "war is a very profitable thing for a few people. Jesus used to be so merciful and loving of the poor. But now he's a Republican.

"Our economy today is not capitalism. It's casino-ism. That's all the stock market is about. Gambling.

"Live one day at a time. Say 'if this isn't nice, I don't know what is!'

"You meet saints every where. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society.

"I'm going to sue the cigarette companies because they haven't killed me," he says.

Bangladesh: Islamists violently protest National Development Women Policy

Khelafat Majlish and Islami Shashontantra Andolan recently formed the Anti-Quran Law Resistance Committee to protest against the National Women Development Policy approved by the advisers' council recently.

"As police halted their progress, the agitating activists started pelting them with brickbats and broke through the police ring," said pedestrian Mostofa Kamal who took shelter near the mosque during the clash.

Fifteen pedestrians including two children Shaon, 12, and Badhon, 9, were injured.

Torture From the Top Down: Of Memos and Rotting Fish

Last week saw the release of a previously-classified torture memo of March 14, 2003, authored by John Yoo. The memo (here are parts 1 and 2) was declassified in the face of a judicial inquiry into why it was not disclosed as part of the torture FOIA brought by our organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights, as well as the ACLU, PHR, and two veterans groups. Almost as astonishing is an excellent article in the latest issue of Vanity Fair by another lawyer, Philippe Sands Q.C., that details the evolution of the Bush administration's torture policies up through early 2003 - policies which culminated in the "First Special Interrogation Plan" devised for our client Mohammed al Qahtani, now a capital defendant in the military commissions.

Those torture policies were the predictable result of our government's response to 9/11. Whenever intelligence and law enforcement agencies are caught off guard, as they were by the 9/11 attacks and by the size and strength of the insurgency in Iraq, governments have responded by sweeping huge numbers of people into detention without real cause for suspicion, based on profiling criteria – being Arab in Afghanistan, being Sunni in the wrong Baghdad neighborhood – and then relying on the interrogation process to find the suspects from among the mass of detainees. It happened domestically here after 9/11 with immigration detentions, it happened in Afghanistan and it happened in Iraq. And while everyone knows that sweeps end up punishing the innocent, they also generate pressure to torture – because the "sweep-first-and-ask-questions-later" policy puts tremendous pressure on the interrogation process to make wheat out of chaff. Abuses predictably follow.

Like a law of bureaucratic physics, the process generates the pressure – but did this manifest itself from the bottom up, or the top down? Since the invisible hand of history always works through the actions of real people, we must ask: was the torture revolution the product of the masses or the vanguard? Did the Yoo memos reflect a desire to defend what soldiers and CIA officers in the field had already started doing, as the administration has implied, or did pressure from political officials in Washington drive a change in interrogation policy on the ground?

Professor Sands' detective work brilliantly shows that the "trickle up" theory that the administration has consistently put forward – that the torture memos were shaped in response to the demands of the interrogation experts working on the ground – is nonsense:
The real story, pieced together from many hours of interviews with most of the people involved in the decisions about interrogation, goes something like this: The Geneva decision was not a case of following the logic of the law but rather was designed to give effect to a prior decision to take the gloves off and allow coercive interrogation; it deliberately created a legal black hole into which the detainees were meant to fall. The new interrogation techniques did not arise spontaneously from the field but came about as a direct result of intense pressure and input from Rumsfeld's office. The Yoo-Bybee Memo was not simply some theoretical document, an academic exercise in blue-sky hypothesizing, but rather played a crucial role in giving those at the top the confidence to put pressure on those at the bottom. And the practices employed at Guantánamo led to abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Wanted Poster! A call for the UK Prime Minister's fingerprints

From Privacy International :

Privacy International and the UK's NO2ID have launched a campaign to show the dangers of the collection of fingerprints into central government databases. We are offering a reward for the first person to collect and submit the UK Prime Minister's and Home Secretary's fingerprints.

Around the world, politicians are now calling for the mass fingerprinting of foreigners. The UK is relatively unique in that the Government is calling for the collection of all ten fingerprints of all citizens and residents and placing them into a single centralised database for wide access by police, and other government agencies. The Government is clear that it wants to treat all citizens as though they are criminals, having promised the police that they can trawl through the fingerprint database for forensic purposes.

Following recent data breach scandals, including the loss of 25 million records on British families, we are not confident in the ability of the Government to secure this information. In fact, even the Government's advisors, including the recent report for HM Treasury by Sir James Crosby argues against the collection of unique biometrics; but the Home Office insists that it will continue along this hazardous path. As fingerprinting systems expand to enable people to secure their computers, possessions and even homes, the centralisation of biometrics will increase the risks of breaches.

Building on the great work from the Chaos Computer Club in collecting the fingerprints of the German Interior Minister (see Der Spiegel and the Register articles (both links off-site)), we are campaigning to raise politicians' awareness of the dangers of collecting this type of biometric data.

The poster is also available in higher resolution formats including PNG, PDF and jpeg.

Search engine activities threat to privacy, says EU report

Search engines should not hold on to personal data at the end of six months due to privacy concerns, the European Commission's data protection watchdog has recommended in a report.

In a draft document issued following an extensive inquiry into data retention, the commission's advisory body on data protection said: "Search engine providers must delete or irreversibly anonymise personal data once they no longer serve the specified and legitimate purpose they were collected for."
"The consent of the user must be sought for all planned cross-relation of user data, user profile enrichment exercises," the document further reads, noting that collectors have "insufficiently explained" to their users what they are retaining data for.

Furthermore, the report calls for the consent of the user to be sought "for all planned cross-relation of user data and user profile enrichment exercises" - in other words, joining up bits of user data to deliver other services or to develop a profile of the web-surfer.

The group was established to advise the European Commission and make recommendations on data protection. It is unusual for the commission to not heed its advice – although any attempt to do so is set to be sharply opposed by the major search engine providers, such as Google and Yahoo, who retain such data for up to 18 months.

Tibet monks face starvation siege

Thousands of monks are being starved into submission by Chinese soldiers who have surrounded their monasteries, cut off the water supply and stopped monks from going out to buy food, according to information reaching Tibetan exiles in India.

The exiles, based in Dharamsala in the Himalayas where the Dalai Lama has lived in exile since 1959, fear that the monks could die if the outside world fails to intervene.

"They are targeting the monasteries where protests took place," said Karma Chophel, the Speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile. "In a week's time, the monks might start dying of thirst or hunger. This is alarming news for us."

~ read on... ~


Professors study healing potential of clay

Two Arizona State University professors are trying to dig up new medical cures, studying the use of clay to combat some of the planet's deadliest bacterial infections.

The researchers, geochemist Lynda Williams and microbiologist Shelley Haydel, already have demonstrated that certain clays are able to wipe out microbes responsible for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), as well as intestinal bugs such as E. coli and salmonella. But they remain stumped as to how it works.

"We know they kill bacteria, but we don't know why," Williams said. "The 'eureka' moment - we haven't had that yet."

~ more... ~


Chinese creation story

In Scroll One Chapter One of Pantao Yen Log or The Feast of Immortal Peaches, Daozu Lao Tsu (道祖老子) introduced the genesis starting with the definition of Tao, in simpler less ambiguous descriptions than the starting chapter in Tao Te Ching. Tao according to Daozu is the infinite primodial Wuji, out of which came a supra-being Xuanxuan Shangren (玄玄上人). This supra-being first transformed into the Daoist Trinity Three Pure Ones and later manifested at the cardinal south as another Chi Jingzi (赤精子), cardinal north Shui Jingzi (水精子), cardinal east Mu Gong (木公), cardinal west Jing Mu (金母), in the cardinal center Huang Lao (黃老) were formed, collectively also revered as the Five Supremes (五老) as all are over ten thousand years old.
Genesis and Creation
Creation of lives including man was by Jin Mu and Mu Gong after they breathed qi into an incubator ding. A male and female child were born from this breath of life. The excess qi escaped and became other forms of lives on earth. Supra-beings such as Xuanxuan Shangren and the Five Supremes were not themselves Yuanren beings but more primordial concepts of creation.

In a follow up book called Tiantang Yiuchi 天堂遊記 the same creation story was narrated and given more details in Chapter Four and Chapter Seven. Xuanxuan Shangren transformed into the Three Pure Ones and again transformed to the Five Elders or Five Supremes(see reference) before the first man and woman were incubated. They were allegorically the same as Pangu from the Chinese mythology and Adam and Eve of Christianity.

In Chinese mythology, a second folkloric version of genesis described the beginning of the universe started out as a black egg in which the Earth, heavens, and Pangu exist together as one. Pangu cracks open the egg, thus creating the universe. Pangu then creates Earth and Sky. Nüwa made the first members of mankind from yellow clay. This is believed to be an allegorical tale of the Division-Genesis in Tao Te Ching, partially in I Ching and re-stated in Tiantang Yiuchi. Out of Tao, the primodial infinite Nothingness or Wuji came Taichi(太極 ), which then split into the binary yin and yang (陰陽) or Two Aspects (兩儀), yin and yang slitting into the Four Realms (四象) and from which begets Bagua or Eight Symbols (八卦) , and from which every beings were created.

Shouyuan and Yuanling

It was further explained in Tiantang Yiuchi by Lao Tsu who is Tai Ching 道德天尊 that from the seeds in the first man and woman begets a total of 9.6 Billion original souls Yuanling 原靈 ( or Yuanren 原人), with a qualifier that all living sentient'beings' were not limited to 9.6 Billion. The fall of man was given an explanation as these yuanling were muddied on earth.

The purpose of Souyuan (收圓) or the Chinese Judgment Day was intended to induct these fallen from the realm of the living back to the heaven. There were two previous Shouyuan which guided some 400 million souls back to heaven. Currently the world is at the third period of Judgment Day called in many guidance books and Sift Text dictation as Sanhui Shouyan (三會收圓).

'Ecoterrorists' May Have Kept GM Bug From Wreaking Climate Havoc

A widely despised plant pathogen may play a vital role in the formation of rain and snow -- and had ecoterrorists not fought a genetically modified version of the bacteria, unforeseen weather shifts might have followed.

That's one interpretation of a sequence of events described to me by Brent Christner, a Louisiana State Microbiologist who studies the interactions of bacteria and clouds.

~ read on... ~


Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, ritual sacrifice and ... South Park

From Do Trey Parker & Matt Stone Read Waking the Midnight Sun? Or Is It Just Synchronicity?

For those coming here just recently, my thesis is that the very public melt-downs and/or deaths of various Spectacle-created media starlets is simply the continuation of the ancient practice of ritualing sacrificing representatives of gods and goddesses. In our Cult-Sure, the practice has simply been rebranded, nominally secularized, and thus made harder to see, even though it's now all right there out in the open and many of us participate in it unknowingly.

You can check out the South Park episode right here.

Here are the main pieces I've written on this site so far about our Cult-Sure's debased rites of psychic human sacrifice. Compare this to what South Park's saying and get back to me:


'Jesus knows a camel when he sees one: We are NOT passing through the eye of that needle, America….'

Few decent human beings (save those still suffering the mental disease of allegiance to capitalism–which is inculcated into us from birth and constantly perpetuated by the filthy whores of the corporate media) could imagine Jesus Christ walking onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange without a whip in hand to drive out our rotten-to-the-core modern day money changers.
"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus said, "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me…."
"Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."
—Matthew 25: 37-43
Given the above, as a rational and moral person, dear reader, what do you suppose Christ would think of a feculent, cynical system such as ours that values wealth and fame over people, pours buckets of money into wars that generate buckets of blood, maintains a "justice" system used to maintain the deep class divisions (in our allegedly "classless society") by coddling and protecting privileged contemptible criminals (i.e. Bush and Cheney) while condemning many non-violent impoverished offenders to the hell of the prison industrial complex (, and rains money upon the opulent when they are "needy" while offering tooth and nail resistance to nearly any attempt to aid the poor (witness the rapid-fire $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns and the criminally slow and inadequate response to the Katrina crisis in New Orleans)?
The day we empty our prisons of non-violent petty criminals and fill them with the likes of Clinton, O'Reilly, Scalia, Koch, and Condi Rice (the power elite and their enablers), bring our imperial legions home, down-size our military to a modest defensive-sized force, cut all "aid" to the murderous state of Israel, utilize our nation's wealth to eliminate homelessness and hunger AND to provide universal healthcare and higher education, eliminate corporate person-hood, nationalize industries vital to human survival (i.e. health care, oil, utilities, food), criminalize factory farming, permanently shut down Wall Street and Madison Avenue, and sweep away the last vestiges of the virulent planetary affliction known as consumerism….that will be the day that we will begin to even resemble a nation that wouldn't leave Christ retching in disgust.

The Black Death of financial collapse

The financial and economic crisis now upon us is by far the most menacing of the past century - even more so than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is not just a "subprime" crisis; it is systemic - affecting the entire financial system. It is also global, affecting various countries in various ways but affecting them all. In achieving a certain "globalization", we have been uniquely successful in globalizing collapse, chaos and misery. It is a globalization which, in our short-sighted negligence, we never envisaged.

In this crisis, even a country such as Australia is no more than a subordinate, neo-colonial, financial and economic dependency. In essence, we have reverted to what we were before and during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when Whitehall, Westminster and the Bank of England played the tune to which we jigged. Then, from 1945 to 1969, for the first time, we played our own tune of full employment and stable economic growth. Wild radicals such as minister Eddie Ward in the governments of John Curtin (1941-45) and Ben Chifley (1945-49) warned us to be wary of Wall Street.

The cynics might now say that Eddie, who died in 1963, was right. After 1969, we forgot his warning. Indeed, the Americans themselves forgot to guard against the chicaneries of Wall Street, where eternal vigilance should always be the watchword. They forgot what the mania of Wall Street can do to the reality of Main Street; and we shared their amnesia.

'Hesse implored for the defeat, not of foreign nations, but of "unreasoning war and modernised brutality" '

The politics and writings of this Nobel Laureate are particularly relevant in this, his 125th birth centenary, because he had the courage of his convictions to protest against German militarism in the years during and after the First World War. On November 3, 1914, Hesse wrote an article that hurled him into the maelstrom of controversy. Sharply critical of his colleagues who had defected to the "camp of the super patriots", Hesse pleaded for an upholding of the historic standards of German culture. Hesse implored for the defeat, not of foreign nations, but of "unreasoning war and modernised brutality". The results were immediate: his books disappeared from bookstores and he was lambasted for being a traitor, and unpatriotic pacifist. This call to action, however, softly interwove a desire for contemplation. In 1951 Hesse told his friend Miguel Serrano: "You should let yourself be carried away, like the clouds in the sky. You shouldn't resist. God exists in your destiny just as much as he does in these mountains and in that lake. It is very difficult to understand this, because man is moving further and further away from nature, and also from himself."

'Breakthrough' at Stonehenge dig

Archaeologists carrying out an excavation at Stonehenge say they have broken through to a layer that may finally explain why the site was built.
The team has reached sockets that once held bluestones - smaller stones, most now missing or uprooted, which formed the site's original structure.
The researchers believe that the bluestones could reveal that Stonehenge was once a place of healing.
The dig is the first to take place at Stonehenge for more than 40 years.

The great forgetting

From The Great Forgetting

The dawning of the Bad Memory Century will have vast consequences for the social fabric and the international balance of power. International relations experts will notice that great powers can be defined by their national forgetting styles. Americans forget their sins. Russians forget their weaknesses. The French forget that they've forgotten God. And, in the Middle East, they forget everything but their resentments.

There will be new social movements and causes. The supermarket parking lots will be filled with cranky criminal gangs composed of middle-aged shoppers looking for their cars. As it becomes clear that a constant stream of blog posts and e-mails decimates the capacity for recall, people will be confronted with the modern Sophie's choice -- your BlackBerry or your mind.

Neural environmentalists will emerge from the slow foods movement, urging people to accept memory loss as a way to reduce their mental footprint. Meanwhile, mnemonic gurus will emerge offering to sell neural Viagra, but the only old memories the pills really bring back will involve trigonometry.

From The Great Forgetting

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, located on the Mall in Washington, D.C., is a monument to historical amnesia.  The blond limestone building, surrounded by indigenous crops of corn, tobacco and squash, invites visitors on a guilt-free, theme park tour of Native American history, where acknowledgment of the American genocide is in extremely bad taste.

The beauty of the architecture and landscaping conceals the hollowness of the enterprise.  The first two floors of the four-story building are turned over to gift shops and the cafeteria.  The museum provides no information on the forced death marches, authorized by Congress, such as the Trail of Tears, the repeated treaty violations by the United States, reservations, infamous massacres such as Wounded Knee, or leaders such as Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull), Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekht (Chief Joseph), Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse), or Goyathlay (Geronimo). 

"If it does not talk about massive land theft—3 billion acres of stolen land in the continental United States; if it does not talk about broken treaties—over 400 treaties violated by the United States government and its European American citizenry; if it does not talk about genocide—16 million native peoples wiped out by the United States and its citizenry; if it does not talk about residential Christian boarding schools, about the suppression of our languages, our Indigenous spirituality and religious ceremonies, and on and on, it is literally a whitewashed history," said Dr. Chris Mato Nunpa of the Dakota Nation, professor and head of the Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies Program at Southwest Minnesota State University.  "And then they get our colonized, Christianized Indian colleagues to tell the same story that has been told by the European Americans for generations."

From Daniel Quinn: The Great Forgetting

By the time anyone was ready to write the human story, the foundation events of our culture were ancient, ancient developments - but this didn't make them unimaginable. On the contrary, they were quite easy to imagine, simply by extrapolating backward. It was obvious that the kingdoms and empires of the present were bigger and more populous than those of the past. It was obvious that the artisans of the present were more knowledgeable and skilled than artisans of the past. It was obvious that items available for sale and trade were more numerous in the present than in the past. No great feat of intellect was required to understand that, as one went further and further back in time, the population (and therefore the towns) would become smaller and smaller, crafts more and more primitive, and commerce more and more rudimentary. In fact, it was obvious that, if you went back far enough, you would come to a beginning in which there were no towns, no crafts, and no commerce.

In the absence of any other theory, it seemed reasonable (even inescapable) to suppose that the human race must have begun with a single human couple, an original man and woman. There was nothing inherently irrational or improbable about such a supposition. The existence of an original man and woman didn't argue for or against an act of divine creation. Maybe that's just the way things start. Maybe at the beginning of the world there was one man and one woman, one bull and one cow, one horse and one mare, one hen and one cock, and so on. Who at this point knew any better? Our cultural ancestors knew nothing about any agricultural "revolution." As far as they knew, humans had come into existence farming, just the way deer had come into existence browsing. As they saw it, agriculture and civilization were just as innately human as thought or speech. Our hunting-gathering past was not just forgotten, it was unimaginable.

The Great Forgetting was woven into the fabric of our intellectual life from its very beginning. This early weaving was accomplished by the nameless scribes of ancient Egypt, Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, India, and China, then, later, by Moses, Samuel, and Elijah of Israel, by Fabius Pictor and Cato the Elder of Rome, by Ssu-ma T'an and his son Ssu-ma Ch'ien in China, and, later still, by Hellanicus, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon of Greece. (Although Anaximander conjectured that everything evolved from formless material - what he called "the boundless" - and that Man arose from fishlike ancestors, he was as unaware of the Great Forgetting as any of the others.) These ancients were the teachers of Isaiah and Jeremiah, Lao-tzu and Gautama Buddha, Thales and Heraclitus - and these were the teachers of John the Baptist and Jesus, Confucius and Socrates, Plato and Aristotle - and these were the teachers of Muhammad and Aquinas and Bacon and Galileo and Newton and Descartes - and every single one of them unwittingly embodied and ratified the Great Forgetting in their works, so that every text in history, philosophy, and theology from the origins of literacy to almost the present moment incorporated it as an integral and unquestioned assumption.

Now I hope - I sincerely hope - that there are many among you who are burning to know why not a single one of you has ever heard a word about the Great Forgetting (by any name whatsoever) in any class you have ever attended at any school at any level, from kindergarten to graduate school. If you have this question, be assured that it's not an academic one by any means. It's a vital question, and I don't hesitate to say that our species' future on this planet depends on it.

What was forgotten in the Great Forgetting was not that humans had evolved from other species. There isn't the slightest reason to think that Paleolithic humans or Mesolithic humans guessed that they had evolved. What was forgotten in the Great Forgetting was the fact that, before the advent of agriculture and village life, humans had lived in a profoundly different way.

This explains why the Great Forgetting was not exposed by the development of evolutionary theory. Evolution in fact had nothing to do with it. It was paleontology that exposed the Great Forgetting (and would have done so even if no theory of evolution had ever been proposed). It did so by making it unarguably clear that humans had been around long, long, long before any conceivable date for the planting of the first crop and the beginning of civilization.

Paleontology made untenable the idea that humanity, agriculture, and civilization all began at roughly the same time. History and archaeology had put it beyond doubt that agriculture and civilization were just a few thousand years old, but paleontology put it beyond doubt that humanity was millions of years old. Paleontology made it impossible to believe that Man had been born an agriculturalist and a civilization-builder. Paleontology forced us to conclude that Man had been born something else entirely - a forager and a homeless nomad - and this is what had been forgotten in the Great Forgetting.

It staggers the imagination to wonder what the foundation thinkers of our culture would have written if they'd known that humans had lived perfectly well on this planet for millions of years without agriculture or civilization, if they'd known that agriculture and civilization are not remotely innate to humans. I can only conclude that the entire course of our intellectual history would have been unthinkably different from what we find in our libraries today.

But here is one of the most amazing occurrences in all of human history. When the thinkers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries were finally compelled to admit that the entire structure of thought in our culture had been built on a profoundly important error, absolutely nothing happened.

'This will be potentially the most pretentious social networking event of 2008!'


Amsterdam. A location is to be secured with open space for presentations and debates, and a smaller area for workshops and ad-hoc collaborations.


This will be potentially the most pretentious social networking event of 2008. (marketing slogan)

With an increasing ease of mobility and communication, we also experience a growing number of networks facilitating hospitality exchange. What are these networks? What is their history and their merits and dismerits?. Should the members be concerned how these networks are organised or is consuming enough? Is a 'perfect democratic organisation' feasible or even desirable?

We believe in the concept of sustainable hospitality exchange (SHE) and in the wealth of networks. Sustainable Hospitality Exchange is the result of the interaction between host and guest, facilitated by transparent trust-networks. How can these trust-networks best be implemented to facilitate sharing nicely among 'strangers'?

In addition, we also aim at tackling topics such as sustainable traveling, volunteer empowerment, interculturally exchange, Hospitality Exchange Communities and Real-Life Campaigns link, trust metrics, gift economy and pre-modern roots of hospitality exchange.

We call for members of Servas, Hospitality Club, CouchSurfing, BeWelcome, and Pasporta Servo (or any other hospitality exchange network) to put forward their ideas for presentations, debates and workshops in the agenda.


  • 27-29 June.

Musical Innerlube: 'Summer Breeze' - Aphrodite


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