Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Earth Day Late

 Conscious Star-Seeds,

  I remember the first "Earth Day", April 22, 1970. I was in 6th grade. Our teacher, who had been a student teacher the year before, was very enthusiastic about this new thing. It seemed like we might be taking a new and better direction, and in many ways, the US was. We spent a decade and a whole lot of money reducing pollution and starting some Superfund cleanups. We got smog controls, and the Hudson River eventually got fish again, and the unleaded gasoline led to an unexpected reduction in violent crime...
​  Maybe it should be called “Universe Day” ​, Josh Mitteldorf
I learned from physics that the universe is alive. I learned from biology that evolution crafts ecosystems.
​  A child of the Space Age, I was drawn to study physics because I believed that the world could be understood from the bottom up. The world is made of particles that follow mechanical laws, and everything could be understood if I plumbed the broad implications of those laws.​..
​..Many physicists are deeply committed to the principle that there is no “creator”, so they reject the idea that the laws of physics could have been created by consciousness as a way to make a physical home for itself. The only way they can do this is to assume the existence of a “multiverse” an unimaginably large number of universes, each with its own physical laws. Almost all of these are incapable of supporting life, so there is no one in them to look back and ask questions about physics. This is supposed to explain the fact that we find ourselves in a universe built on such hospitable physics.
​  Life is not an opportunistic phenomenon that took the particles and laws that it found and happened on a way to create self-reproducing systems that could evolve. No, life is built into the fabric of the universe. Life is the reason that this universe is what it is. The universe is a response to life’s longing for a home.
​  At age 46, I was drawn to study biology. It was not the above reasoning that prompted my move out of physics. I became intrigued by the evolutionary paradox of programmed death.
​  Anyone who looks without theoretical preconception at the many ways that aging manifests in nature realizes that aging is a biological function. It is not a bug but a feature of the software. Aging is an epigenetic program.
​  But if we believe that all biological functions are products of evolution, we face a paradox: Fitness is about producing lots of babies. Fitness is about surviving robustly in challenging circumstances. Aging is the opposite of fitness. How could aging have evolved through a process of natural selection?
​  I was obsessed with this question from 1996 to 2001. I pursued dozens of hypotheses to dead end conclusions. My “eureka” moment came with a radical message, for which I have been a passionate advocate in the community of aging science and also in the field of evolutionary biology. In one sentence,
​  Evolution has worked to craft robust ecosystems.
​  Starting in 1966, mathematical theorists dominated the field of evolutionary biology with a concept of the “selfish gene”. Natural selection works at the lowest possible level. A gene is “fit” to the extent that it produces more copies of itself in the next generation. There is no such thing as a “fit individual” — only a collection of fit genes. There is no such thing as a “fit community” or a “fit species”. Natural selection might, in theory, operate on higher levels than the gene, but in reality, those higher level processes are too slow to matter.
​  This was the dogma introduced by R. A. Fisher, evangelized by George Williams, explicated theoretically by John Maynard Smith, presented to the public by Richard Dawkins.
and opposed by one man, David Sloan Wilson. During the era 1966 - 2005 when the “selfish gene” ruled evolutionary biology, Wilson was meticulously laying a mathematical foundation for what he called “multilevel selection”, MLS. Wilson interpreted the mathematics of the selfish gene through a lens invented by George Price. He detailed circumstances under which group selection might be able to override individual selection, leading to altruistic behaviors.​..
..Wilson became my mentor, and introduced me into the evolutionary community as co-author of my first evolution paper. But even for Wilson, “fitness of an ecosystem” was beyond the pale. The dynamics of George Price as realized in MLS theory could not support a mechanism as radical as selection among ecosystems. It was mathematically implausible.​..
..I was able to break out of selfish gene theory and MLS theory to understand aging when I realized that both those bodies of theory were built within an assumption of a stable ecosystem. But selfish genes are not compatible with a stable ecosystem. I was able to demonstrate this with mathematical models, and I consider this to be my principal contribution to science. Selfish genes very rapidly destroy the ecosystem in which they appear. This is how natural selection has so ruthlessly eliminated the selfish gene.
​  The fact that individual animals share a prey population ties their destinies tightly and inextricably together in a way that changes the fundamentals of evolutionary dynamics. All animals are forced to cooperate to preserve the pool of plants or animals on which their future depends. Selfish genes inevitably lead to overconsumption. No one can afford to be ruled by selfish genes.
​  The requirement of ecosystem stability changes everything about evolution, which is ultimately everything we understand about biology.​.. For four billion years, natural selection has been in the business of creating robust, homeostatic ecosystems. The scope of the “selfish gene” in this picture is limited indeed.​..
​..Earth Day
​  So we come, at last, to the theme of the day. Sharks and lions and killer whales and polar bears may look ruthless to us, but no predator is evolved to be as efficient as physically possible. All predators are smart enough to protect the prey upon which they depend. (“Smart” may be in their genes rather than their brains.)​ ...
..Human brains have taken over from our genes and, just in the last few thousand years, have conceived the idea of turning nature into a “resource”. We have lost the knowledge that we are part of nature, and we have convinced ourselves that nature is something we can use.
​  Many indigenous peoples did not go astray in this way, but our dominant culture of the West used the temporary advantage that it gained via our exploitative mindset to subdue them...
​..In the 21st century, the study of molecular biology has vastly outpaced ecology. We have the illusion that life might be understood from the bottom up. We have the related and very dangerous illusion that if Gaia dies, that will be very sad, but humans will still be able to support our species using hydroponics and lab-grown food.
​  No. If Gaia dies, then we all die with her. Every species depends on an ecosystem, and no individual can live without robust ecosystem “services”. If we are really “selfish” then we will organize to restore nature as if our lives depended on it — because they do.
​  You don’t have to march in the streets. You don’t have to write to your Congressperson. You don’t even have to plant a garden. But please celebrate a living Universe and give yourself space to feel a part of Life.​  

​  Michael Brenner: The Moral Depravity of Western Imperialism
​  Brenner details how this depravity manifests not only in the form of mass slaughter and total disregard for human life, but also through mass psychosis of government leaders who consistently make global decisions through a distorted lens completely detached from reality. Only this can explain their escalations in Ukraine at every turn, their “acknowledgement” of Palestinian life yet total complicity in its destruction and the mass censorship being imposed upon dissidents by the ruling class, most recently at the University of Southern California...
..I think we’re at a moment of  truth for both Washington, the Biden administration  and the Israeli government.  It’s both a moment of truth, it’s a moment of truth because they’re in a quandary, they’re in a dilemma...
..Hypersonic missiles is the kind that Russia has developed and which the United States does not possess.  And trying to catch up. They come at such a speed as to make it impossible  for even the most sophisticated defenses to intercept them.  The other feature was something that I believe they call maneuverable
  What it means is that the warhead, the missile and warhead, has built into it such intelligence  that it can see  an anti missile coming at it and change its course to evade it.  And apparently it has been shown, there is one video which depicts  what happened.  When the Iranians attacked this sort of  air base in the Negev with the Americans, which is both where the American sophisticated equipment was located and the base from which the Israelis had launched their F 35s, which struck the  Iranian consulate in Damascus.
  And you can see the missile is headed towards the base. You see the anti ballistic missile trying to intercept it  on a line and the incoming missile does a sort of jog  in dogleg.  The anti ballistic missile flies harmlessly past it. The incoming missile resumes its previous trajectory and hits the base.
  Now, so what we know, just to sum it up,  is that seven of those sophisticated ballistic missiles did hit that base.  Four hit another  Israeli air base in the Negev. One destroyed a Mossad sophisticated communications in the Golan Heights. And one actually hit the building in which was located the unit of the  IDF, Israeli Defense Forces, that they believe organized the attack  in Damascus...
..And we should remind ourselves, something which has been overlooked. It was the position of the United States government  to support  and to encourage  the expelling of the Gazans into the Sinai Desert.  Secretary​ (Blinken) , and this is a matter of public record, it’s not opinion, it’s not speculation.  Secretary of State  went some weeks after October 7th, but still in the month of October, paid a visit to Cairo.
​  In Egypt  and to King Abdullah in Jordan and press them in effect to open the gates and allow hundreds of thousands, if not a million, of Palestinians to vacate  Gaza.  And in fact,  in Egypt,  he held out a number of enticements to President Sisi, including writing off tens of billions. Of debt, which Egypt owes the United States, and a readiness to lobby on their behalf for the IMF to write off other billions, which Egypt owes the fund.
​    A​nd Sisi told him, ​"nothing doing​"​, the thought of having a million refugees, that would be a breeding ground for jihadi terrorists,  which his government’s already trying to suppress​,  In Sinai, it was intolerable, in addition to which he knew that if he were to accept that, he’d be overthrown.  Because  opinion, popular opinion in Egypt is  so intense, in a way,  that no government that would accept a proposition like that, no matter how autocratic, how ruthless​, could stand.​..

​..There is good reason to doubt that this Israeli leadership is capable at this point of making rational decisions.  They’re so caught up  in their own emotion,  in their own biblically, supposedly foreseen turning point, in achieving all the great sort of prophecies, and that they seem to be unable to sit down and do a cool calculus, say, what are the possible costs? What are the possible benefits?  What are the probabilities, what are the probabilities that we would get this response from Iran, that response from Hezbollah, and a key,  what is the chance the Americans would indeed join us,  which would give us a chance to reach our goals, or won’t, in which case Israel as we know it,  will cease to exist.​..   And since they’re probably  incapable of accepting a new reality in which they’ve been thwarted in all of their aims and purposes, they are most likely to launch a rather large attack on Iran. How large, we don’t know.
​  The position of the United States, has been much discussed and is in the news and as publicly stated is to convince the Israelis  not to overreact by which they mean don’t react so massively  that Iran will then respond with an equally massive and destructive attack on you​.  ​And they’ve also said ​"we’re not going to participate​", we’re not going to foreclose the latter​ by participating in the initial, any initial attack​,  that you have in mind.  And then they’re trying to dissuade the Iranians, with the implicit assistance of Russia and China,  not, in a sense, to overreact  if the expected Israeli strike is relatively limited. Now, that’s a very delicate game to play.

US forced Israel to abandon larger attack on Iran – NYT​ , Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to destroy military sites near Tehran until Washington intervened, the newspaper has claimed​  https://www.rt.com/news/596414-israel-iran-larger-attack/

Gaza War At 200 Days: IDF Pivots From Iran Threat Back To Hamas Operations​               "Israel bombarded northern Gaza overnight in some of the heaviest shelling in weeks, panicking residents and flattening neighborhoods in an area where the Israeli army had previously drawn down its troops, residents said on Tuesday," Reuters reports.​... As for Rafah in the south, so far it seems the IDF's planned offensive appears to be on pause. An estimated 1.5 million civilians are sheltering in the city, and the White House has urged the Netanyahu government not to attack it. Humanitarian aid groups currently say they don't know what to expect.  The US has urged that Israel evacuate civilians first, but these plans are anything but clear at this point. "I have no idea what the plan with the procurement of tents by the Israelis is," the head of the UN humanitarian office in Gaza, Andrea de Domenico, told Al Jazeera. Recent days have seen dozens of casualties due to shelling of some areas, but a full assault is expected to be a humanitarian nightmare for the refugees there.​  https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/gaza-war-200-days-idf-pivots-iran-threat-back-hamas-operations  

​  Israel prepares Rafah evacuation with US, Arab assistance: Report

Arab states, including the UAE and Egypt, are involved in plans to push Rafah’s civilian population into tent compounds near Khan Yunis​                                          The Israeli army is closing in on completing its plans for an assault on the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on 23 April.​ WSJ cites Egyptian officials as saying that Israel’s plan to evacuate civilians from the city will take two to three weeks and will be carried out in cooperation with Washington, Cairo, and other Arab states, including the UAE.
​  The officials say Israel is planning on gradual deployments of troops to Rafah. The troops will concentrate on specific areas where Tel Aviv believes Hamas leaders are holed up.​ The entire operation – including the evacuations – is expected to take at least six weeks, according to WSJ.​  
https://thecradle.co/articles/israel-prepares-rafah-evacuation-with-us-arab-assistance-report​                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ​ Some 2,000 Palestinians have been found to be missing following the Israeli occupation army’s withdrawal from several areas across Gaza, spokesman for the Civil Defence in the Strip, Major Mahmoud Basal, has said.  Speaking to the media yesterday, Basal said over 150 bodies were found and around 500 people were reported missing in the aftermath of the Khan Yunis massacre following the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces.  He expressed deep concern regarding the fate of those missing, as their whereabouts are unknown, some of whom have been buried in unmarked graves​.  https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20240422-official-2000-palestinians-missing-after-israel-army-withdrew-from-gaza/

NYU, Columbia, Yale Crack Down On Demonstrators As Anti-Israel Protests Intensify​  The protests, which have been growing in size and intensity over the last week, were met with aggressive crackdowns from school administrators and police, as a wave of arrests, suspensions and canceled classes. Last week, officials at Columbia University called the cops to remove demonstrators who want the school to exit all investments that benefit the government of Israel amid the rising death toll in Gaza, which now stands at more than 34,000 according to local health officials.​  https://www.zerohedge.com/political/nyu-columbia-yale-crack-down-demonstrators-anti-israel-protests-intensify

​  President Biden Smears Pro-Palestinian Protesters as ‘Antisemitic’​   (Is the term "self-hating-Jews" going to make a comeback?​ Go "Biden"!)
Some members of Congress are calling for the National Guard to be sent in to break up a protest at Columbia University​                                                                    Critics of the protests have accused the demonstrators of harassing Jewish students
, which has been a common claim about recent college protests in general. Peter Beinart, editor-at-large of Jewish Currents, made the point on X that Jews are usually “overrepresented” among pro-Palestinian protesters at colleges. “Sometimes they’re the largest identity group. Maybe folks calling for cracking down on protesters in the name of Jewish safety should consider their safety too,” he said.

  My Congressman, Lloyd Doggett voted against the war funding, and I called his office this morning to extend my heartfelt thanks to him; I spoke to a nice staffer.  
Sanders Pushes Amendment to 'Cut Billions in Offensive Military Funding to Israel'
"Enough is enough," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "We cannot continue to fund this horrific war."

​  Israel army unit ‘kills Palestinians for no real reason,’ party leader says​  (and she seems to be against it, too)

​  Israeli Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli yesterday called for the dismantling of an army unit with a history of abuses, saying it is killing Palestinians “for no real reason”, Anadolu agency reported.
​  Her call came amid reports that the US was preparing to impose sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda battalion over human rights violations committed by the combat unit against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “The sanctions are an acknowledgment of the reality and an understanding that Israel’s conduct in the territories cannot continue,” Michaeli said on X.
​  “The violent and corrupt conduct of the Netzah Yehuda battalion and those around it has been known for years, and nothing has been done to stop it.” The Israeli party leader said that Washington established a team two years ago to investigate the conduct of the army unit. “The political and military echelons cannot pretend they did not know about it,” she added. “Instead of wising up and dealing with the situation, we get yet another dose of denial and foot-dragging, lies and covering up the bitter reality.”​  

​  Igor Chudov has this story of a scientific experiment with​ mis-informed-consent: Religious Faith Can Be "Turned Off" by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Scientists Find​   Your tinfoil hats will not help you this time​                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We can ask a question: can the invisible link between the faithful and God be severed by a third party armed with the tools provided by the latest scientific advances?
Disturbingly, the answer may be yes. Scientists led by Dr. Colin Holbrook at UCLA undertook a multi-year endeavor to discover ways to stop “religious beliefs and right-wing prejudice.” They attempted to apply direct electromagnetic stimulation to the brain to alter human beliefs, specifically turning off belief in God.  

​  Military Summary has the ongoing saga of Ukrainian forces being abandoned in positions without supplies, left to fight the Russians until the last man, and abandoning their positions, instead. Fewer and fewer are willing to die. More and more of the surviving Ukrainian soldiers have seen how cynically this has been played on them.  
​  Hundreds Of Bradley Fighting Vehicles On The Border | The Defeat Of 47th Brigade | MS For 2024.04.23​  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44_RL3F3BEM

  ​From Last Friday 4/19/24  37-year-old Max Azzarello has been identified as the man who set himself on fire near the NYC courthouse where Donald Trump's 'hush money' trial is taking place. He is in critical condition in a burn unit, police said Friday. Before setting himself on fire, Azzarello dropped a stack of pamphlets that led people to the "Ponzi Papers" substack - in which he writes: "My name is Max Azzarello, and I am an investigative researcher who has set himself on fire outside of the Trump trial in Manhattan." Azzarello claims that a totalitarian conspiracy is in play, orchestrated by the U.S. government and its allies, aiming to impose a fascist world order.
  This extreme act of protest is to draw attention to an urgent and important discovery: We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our own government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup.  

Rest in Peace, Max:  Trump Trial Self-Immolator Donated Both His Kidneys, Saving Two People’s Lives

  Max's Manifesto, The Ponzi Papers
My name is Max Azzarello, and I am an investigative researcher who has set himself on fire outside of the Trump trial in Manhattan.
​  This extreme act of protest is to draw attention to an urgent and important discovery:
We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our own government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup.
​  These claims sound like fantastical conspiracy theory, but they are not. They are proof of conspiracy. If you investigate this mountain of research, you will prove them too. If you learn a great deal about Ponzi schemes, you will discover that our life is a lie. If you follow this story and the links below, you will discover the rotten truth of ‘post-truth America’. You will learn the scariest and stupidest story in world history. And you will realize that we are all in a desperate state of emergency that requires your action.
​  To my friends and family, witnesses and first responders, I deeply apologize for inflicting this pain upon you. But I assure you it is a drop in the bucket compared to what our government intends to inflict.
​  Because these words are true, this is an act of revolution.​..
​..Ponzi schemes are vicious beasts, and cryptocurrency is history’s largest Ponzi by orders of magnitude. It could best be described as an economic doomsday device, intentionally made to shatter the world economy.​ https://theponzipapers.substack.com/p/i-have-set-myself-on-fire-outside

​  Ellen Brown,  “The Great Taking”: How They Can Own It All
“’You’ll own nothing and be happy’? David Webb has gone through the 50-year history of all the legal constructs that have been put in place to technically enable that to happen.” [Oct 2 interview titled “The Great Taking: Who Really Owns Your Assets?”]
​  The derivatives bubble has been estimated to exceed one quadrillion dollars (a quadrillion is 1,000 trillion). The entire GDP of the world is estimated at $105 trillion, or 10% of one quadrillion; and the collective wealth of the world is an estimated $360 trillion. Clearly, there is not enough collateral anywhere to satisfy all the derivative claims. The majority of derivatives now involve interest rate swaps, and interest rates have shot up. The bubble looks ready to pop.​..
..Meanwhile, we need to design an alternative financial system that is equitable and sustainable. Promising components might include publicly-owned banks, product-backed community cryptocurrencies, a land value tax, and a financial transaction tax.
​  A neoliberal, financialized economy of the sort we have today produces little and leaves the workers in debt. Goods and services are produced by the “real” economy; finance is just superstructure. Derivatives do not now produce even the security for which they were originally intended. A healthy, enduring economy must produce real things and exchange them fairly for the wages earned by labor.​  

​  Charles Hugh Smith, Is the 'Housing Shortage' the Result of Housing-Hoarding by the Wealthy?
  Those seeking to buy a house as shelter for their household can't compete with the wealthy seeking assets to snap up and hoard for appreciation. Those seeking to rent a dwelling are up against corporate hoarders of homes such as Blackrock, which owns 7% of all rentals in the US, and wealthy households pulling dwellings out of the year-round rental market to feast on the profits generated by revenge-spending vacationers.​  https://charleshughsmith.substack.com/p/is-the-housing-shortage-the-result

Ecosystem Stabilizer (pictured with onions getting big, baby squash and growing tomato vines)

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