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Total number of comments: 28 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:42)

Björn Lindgren

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  • Can Meditation Slow Ageing? One Nobelist thinks So
    • Björn Lindgren 07/03/2014 at 4:06 pm

      REALIZING THIS VERY MOMENT: NO SELF, NO OTHER!

      Yes, meditation could prolong the life-span. This shouldn't be surprising or controversal. Within in the ancient Taoist/Daoist tradition, this is one of the goals.

      How is it done? By controlling and slowing down the heart-beat rate, the metabolism will run slower, using less energy, and wear out the organs at a slower rate. You move less, eventually feel more cold inside. Much of the action and functions in life are discarded.

      But the crusial question is: what's the point of this? And how could you be at use for other people? Living like a frozen vegetable doesn't have much to it, right?

      If you leave the narrow scope of prolonging your life-span, (or improving your self) meditation, indeed, has a value in itself. Apart from many of the wholesome side-effects that appear.

      You settle down on your cushion, and attend at your breath, again and again. Through daily practice, you'll slowly learn to sink below the surface of the mind's buzz.

      When the mind is still and quitet by itself, you enter there, and sit fully present and awake. Not pushing away or touching thoughts or feelings that rise, exist, and disappear. Just seeing., just this moment; no inside, no outside, no self, no other.

      However, when your mediation period is over, you bring this clear open mind into daily life, family, work, and social protest, realizing generosity, compassion, insight, and joy in a world. A world that now is in rapid change, and is falling apart.

      Making your telemeres longer, will not solve our problems. It stinks of self-improvement - contradiction in terms - the self tries to improve itself.

      In their empirical studies, the authors of "Spirit Level", Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have found, that what hurts us most is to live in an unequal society, not having control of our lives. They now conclude that, "[R]educing inequality is about improving the psychosocial wellbeing of the whole society." *

      Within the Buddhadharma (Buddhism) we contribute, and do our bodhisattva work: forgetting ourselves, helping others.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      * link to theguardian.com .
      ---

  • Obama Plans for complete US Withdrawal from Afghanistan in December
    • Björn Lindgren 02/27/2014 at 7:48 am

      The US-NATO withdrawal is natural, since the legitimacy of the military occupation, long has been put in question. After a withdrawal, partial or complete, many problems remain: the US bases; the Durand line, the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Pakistan military remote control operations; the extraction of natural resources; the reconciliation within a society brutalized by Sovjet and US-NATO occupation and civil war; the healing of traumas.

      I suspect that all "Talibans" are not Talibans at all, but Afghanis throwing out occupiers, now making US-NATO irrelevant. A few years ago, MI6 counted Talibans. The found about fifty.

      A pointer for the future: among others, Svenska Afghankommittén, SAK (the Swedish Afghan Commitee) has successfully worked in Afghanistan for decades, offering humanitarian and medical service to Afghanis, and is respected by Kabul and Talibans alike.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ---

  • US-Iran War Averted by Agreement to Negotiate on Nuclear Enrichment
    • Dear Farhang,

      I've been missing your excellent articles and commentaries on the Middle East and on international politics and disarmament. Often published here at Informed Comment.

      Do you write? and publish elsewhere these days?

      With many thanks, Björn Lindgren.

    • Well, we'll see if the scramble for war is thwarted.

      The imagination of neo-conservatives, militaries, and the White House private armies to "create" casua belli (+ necessary mass hysteria) is endless. Remember the Tonkin incident or WMD and its legal, political, and military consequenses.

      I will believe in a change of the US Middle East policies, when I see a long-term shift in the US relations to the rest of the world, a dismantling of the US exceptionalism, and a new understanding of the meaning of international obligations.

      The US aggression internationally reflects the structural and open violence domestically, and vice versa.

      A pointer: common security, democracy, cooperation, and equity.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  • Our Gasoline thirst fuels Mideast Fundamentalism, Violence - EVs are the Answer
    • Björn Lindgren 11/15/2013 at 5:16 am

      The efficiency of the electric motor is about 90 %, while the usual otto motor just gives 20-30 %, then, just at maximum rpm (usually at 3000-6000 rpm). The electric motor gives almost full torque at all rpm. And it just has one movable part (the rotor).

      The weak point of EVs is the battery. Right now, most efficient EVs are powered with lithium ione batteries, but this is not ideally. The best would be batteries made of a cheap material that there is plenty of (based on iron?).

      Since the battery technology will develop fast(?) in the near future, and since it is not known how long a rechargeable battery really lasts, leasing the battery would be a good solution.

      The newly released VW e-UP have a range of 120 km (winter)-160 km (summer).

      I have shares in a county wind power plant, and would be more than happy to buy a (second hand) EV.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ...

      ...

  • Top Reasons Israel's Likud Really Opposes an Iran Nuclear Deal
    • Björn Lindgren 11/09/2013 at 7:45 am

      A COMING WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY?

      Juan, thank you again for a good analysis of Israel-Palestine-US-Iran relations.

      Your analysis might point towards a window of (long-term) opportunity: a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, and thereafter, common security by means of a Middle East Union, MEU.

      It is ironic, that the illegal U.S attack on Iraq, with its Shiite majority, has lead to making Iran a regional power, with many interests common with Iraq.

      Given the mind-set in Israel, there is also hope. In Germany, searching for the strategic point of gravity is part of military thinking, stemming from von Clausewitz, while in Israel, improvising is tradition (check the 1967 war).

      When looking at politics at Knesset, one wonders if anything could be planned in Israel.

      Facing a reoriented - improvized(!) - US policy in the Middle East, made possible by Russia (and Iran), Israelis might have use of their talents of improvisation.

      Militaries have long known that nuclear weapons are military useless, but dangerous. Unless you want to join A. Hitler, J. Stalin and others in the history textbooks.

      Björn Lindgren

      ---

  • Israelis plan new Colonies, Oil Drilling, on Palestinian Land during "Peace Talks"
    • Hi Bill Bodden,

      If your point of departure is "such a union could never work," then it surely cannot be done.

      On the other hand, each group and country involved in the conflict has legitimate and unlegitimate goals and interests. A conference, where the region gets help from "outside," can sort among these in a constructive way.

      It is obvious that neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Israeli government or Knesset can do this on their own or together. They need help from a Conference involving UN, EU (now making distance from US/Israel), Russia (look at what happened with the Syria agenda), and maybe even Iran (searching for regognition)?

      Germany and France had millions of dead, wounded, and mutilated between themselves after WWII. Not to mention hate. They had had (too) many wars between themselves.

      French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. The Treaty would create a common market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr.

      Nobody should say this can't be done in the Middle East/Israel-Palestine. But it takes persons with integrity and vision to do this.

      Hate and prejudice will always exist, but they are ghosts thriving on fear and our worst insticts. Given a great vision and a path of constructive solutions, including all peoples involved, fear can be shattered, and step by step be dismanteled altogether, and turned into mutual trust and security.

      The greatness of M.K. Gandhi was that he asked for the impossible.

      We should do that too.

      Cheers, Björn

      ---

    • Björn Lindgren 11/04/2013 at 1:42 pm

      Hi James Speaks,

      Yes, Jews should be welcome! And muslims and Christians leaving Syria, and Egypt, too. Not to forget Afghanis and Iraqis. (Sweden have given shelter and asylum to far more Iraqis than mighty, big U.S.A.)

      This morning, I listend to an interesting radio program at the Swedish Radio, SR. In the program, young Jewish women and men were interviewed because they had left Israel/Palestine to permanently live in Berlin(!). How come?

      They said that they felt safe there, could enjoy a cosmopolitan cultural scene, and enjoyed living in a city with so many "free" (low rent flats) and other facilities. Of course, the knew about the Third Reich and the Holocaust, but they didn't bother to look closer at that.

      What they didn't touch, however, was that they also left Israel because they saw no future in an apartheid state. (Any Jew in Israel with their senses in order, keep double citizenship and passorts, just in case.) And maybe, they would not like their (future) young serve in the Israeli armed forces, for three years I think, subjugating Palestinians, and getting brutalized.

      It is good to remember, that before the WWII, Palestinian peasants (Arab and Christian) lived peacefully together with their fellow poor Jewish neighbors in Palestine.

      Since then, especially since 1967 when Israelis became occupiers and perpetrators, Israel goes like a blind planet towards what I and many others would describe as a catastrophe. A second Nakba?

      About one hundred years ago, one million, a quarter of the Swedish population, emigrated to America. Because of poverty, lack of opportunity, religious and political reasons.

      Again to day, we live in times of global migration.

      Björn Lindgren

      ---

    • This is clearly against international law, like all the Israeli settlements and annexations since 1967, step by step completing a ethnical "clean" Israel.

      The key to lasting peace in Israel/Palestine lies, of course, in the US, and the gathering of an international conference creating a Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Union, AIP, modelled on the EU (long suggested by peace researcher Johan Galtung). For mutual interest and benefit. Changing the warrior mind and state into cooperation and commerce.

      Now, a great part of the US decent and enlightened Jewish community are ashamed of the racist policy of the Israeli government and the apartheid opinions in Israel.

      Björn Lindgren

      ---

  • Scrooge Republicans prefer Pentagon White Elephants to Food Stamps for Poor Children
    • Björn Lindgren 11/03/2013 at 3:29 am

      Hello Spiral 007,

      It seems that the book you found at Amazon is identical with the edition I have read. The book is a pearl.

      Does the ending have to be fascisic?

      Well, when the "system" has discredited itself, there will be disappointment and confusion. In the Weimar Republik, there were some specific factors present, leading to Nazism: an authoritarian culture, a polarized political scene, a need for compensation, and an inferiority complex. (Compared with Great Britain and France, Germany was a small colonial Power.)

      As I have written in other comments, the seed of Fascism/Nazism could be found already at the dawn of Western civilization: admiration for strength and contempt for weakness.

      Remedy? Lift up the poor! It could be done by a progressive movement (that is not isolated!). It should give space (mental, cultural, ideological, and physical) for people to ask the following question:

      How should a society/community look like that I would like to live in?

      In the case of M.K. Gandhi, his positive program was
      "swaraj", i.e. self-rule, independence, self-providing community.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      PS: At "Transcend Media Service" homepage, you can read an article by Harald Ofstad, "Did Hitler Win the War?". Though written 1969, it has relevance still today.

      ---

    • Hi Spiral007,

      Thanks for the link, which I´ve just read.

      I am afraid that much of what Lynn Parramore is writing is superficial and historically wrong. I don't blame him for this, because he simply tries to explain processes which are very complex, hard to discern, and are under current reconsideration of historians.

      For a much better understanding of the Scandinavian welfare state (and Japan), please read Richard Wilkinson's och Kate Pickett's: "The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better," Allen Lane, London 2009.

      In their collected studies, the Scandinavian countries and Japan, always rate highest for welfare, equality, education, medical care, trust, and so on. And there are always two countries that rate lowest: England and the U.S.

      But, from a high level of equality, justice, and welfare, Sweden is now racing downhill due to neo-liberal deregulations and sell-out. (One grand example is the railway system that now is steadily deteriorating and collapsing.) Trade unions, the Social Democratic party have turned away from people. They forgot the crucial question of "power". But the global finance didn't.

      And now Sverigedemokraterna, SD, (The Swedish Democrats), an extreme right wing party with a Nazi history, and a
      "social democratic" facade and propaganda, gains access to county parliaments,the parliament (Riksdagen), and state money financing their propaganda. They attract people who mainly used to vote for the Social Democrats.

      The same happens in Denmark and Norway. In Norway, Fremskrittspartiet, with a history and agenda a bit different from SD, now is part of the Norwegian right-wing government.

      This happens all over Europé: the revenge of the destitute.

      If you want to know the Nordic mind and (tribal society) of Scandinavia before the introduction of Christianity, read the Icelandic sagas. Especially "Njal's saga"; it belongs to world heritage. Already then, equality was important, and women had a strong position.

      Björn Lindgren

      ---

    • Thanks Juan!

      Yes, first comes a good description of the situation based on good hypothesis about reality (that is, what usually is called 'facts'), then, comes analysis, and finally conclusions. You are good at all of these.

      The crucial question is in what state the sleeping giant will wake up. Since long, all kinds of seeds are already planted in the US soil.

      A dominant condition in current America is structural and open violence, fear, ignorance, and injustice. These seeds must be cast off in the process of organizing radical change - mental, social, communal, economic, and political.

      Recently Timothy Garton Ash stated that "Americans Need to Discover How the World Sees Them" (The Guardian
      15 October 2013). That is, to shred the crazy self-image that Americans are indoctrinated with.

      Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky has done a great work lifting up the forgotten and marginalized history of the American people.

      Leaving a false self-image is an important and painful work of grieve. England and France has just began to walk this long road of sobering. (Scrapping their nuclear armed submarines, military useless, but dangerous, would be a good next step.)

      Sweden, a regional superpower, terrorizing the European continent during the 17th Century, have had two hundred years to mourn the loss of "greatness." It has not yet been completed.

      Björn Lindgren

      ---

      ---

  • Now the NSA has your Little Black Book
    • Björn Lindgren 10/15/2013 at 5:46 am

      Yes, this is how the end of an empire looks like: the isolated elite runs amok, surveillance and security spread like cancer; military overstretch, economy and ecology are abused, media profits on infotainment; poverty, unemployment, structural and open violence spread, and finally never ending wars.

      Everything falls apart.

      The system's contradictions are so great and overwhelming that whatever you do, nothing happens. Keeping the facade deepens the apathy and fear.

      What to do?

      Return to the basics: economy as the handling of limited resources (potatoes!); politics realized as participartory democracy; the small community producing work, food, and energy locally in cooperatives and work shops (Peter Kropotkin's "Fields, Factories and Workshops" is not far away).

      A big menu, indeed.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ...

  • Top Ten Things Ted Cruz did to the NSA and other Security Agencies that Edward Snowden Couldn't
    • Hi Juan,

      Thanks for your article. Again, you make many interesting points that should stimulate to many common sense conclusions.

      After Pearl Harbor, the US converted its industrial capacity into war production in one month.

      When the war was over, downsizing military organization and the production of military hardware should have been policy, but wasn't. Fear of "international Communism" appeared.

      Peoples were tired of war. Europe was ruined; Sovjet Union had sacrificed 20 million people against Nazi Germany. Welfare reforms and programs were launched and welcome.

      Still today, Russian people depend heavily on their small allotment where they grow their vegetables. And on the Babushka, of course. The state is dysfunctional, but not minimal.

      Even in the 50s, there were moments of light. Adam Rapacki Polish Minister and diplomat, presented at the UN 1957 his plan for a nuclear-free zone in Central Europe (comprising Czechoslovakia, Poland, East and West Germany), known as the "Rapacki Plan". Unfortunately, it was never realized. Like now, in the Middle East?

      Instead a dangerous nuclear armament race boosted the economy, but could have killed us all, and still can.

      When Sovjet Union finally collapsed 1989, NATO had no purpose, and should have been dismantled, but wasn't.

      Instead a new "enemy" suddenly appears: the terrorists, ("jihadists", or just unknown "Muslims").

      Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski, CIA finanzied and organized jihadists in Afghanistan, (among them Usama bin Laden), and still today, heavily "aids" Saudi Arabia, undemocratic to the last head chopped off.

      And the neo-cons went further,(and the military still does) encircling China and Soviet Union, seeking further world dominance. The Earth is too small for CIA/NSA: next is outer space. Lebensraum enough?

      1970 I read A. Hitler's "Mein Kampf". A sourcebook of evil, rage, and hate. A few years later, I read "The Pentagon Papers," (read them!). The two texts display the same norms, values, and weltanschauung, but in contrast to "Mein Kampf", the "Pentagon Papers" were cold, technocratic, and bureaucratic. But they share the same outlook: Power is right!

      Unless the military-industrial-congress-white house-mercenary-NSA-terrorist complex is not dismantled - or the US simply collapses into regions (rather peacefully like the USSR) - the future for welfare, justice, work, peace, and environment looks bleak and grim.

      War and military are as American as pie. Why?

      When it should be the Quakers, MLK, the peace and civil rights movements, the cultural, and intellectual achievments.

      "A New American Century" will kill us all.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ---

  • Why Ted Cruz Should sit down and Shut Up: Countries with Social Safety Net Happiest
    • Björn Lindgren 09/27/2013 at 11:42 am

      Björn Lindgren adds,

      Of course the first line of my comment should be "Yes the Swedish state owns a gamble monopoly".

      Cheers, Björn

      ---

    • Björn Lindgren 09/27/2013 at 6:07 am

      Hi Bill,

      Yes, from a high level of welfare, we fall down faster than most countries.

      Now, it is confirmed (Peace reseacher Wilhem Agrell: "Ett krig här och nu. Sveriges väg till väpnad konflikt i Afghanistan"), that neutral Sweden lets its military fight under US command, strategy, and interests in Afghanistan (and Libya). Forget UN mandate, democracy, women, children, narcotics.

      Add to this, a clandistine export of a complete missile factory(!) to Saudi Arabia, organized and financed by state authorites! (The Swedish export of military hardwear has quadrupled in ten years.) Without debate and decision in the riksdag, parliament.

      Now, Sweden is de facto integrated in and member of NATO, which now operates globally together with the military-industrial-Congress-white house-mercenary-terror complex.

      And note: The riksdag, Swedish Parliament, has not decided this.

      - It just...eh... happened!

      Generally, Swedes know and sense much of this, but since the former trust in state, authorities, and trade unions has withered, people are isolated, confused, and afraid, (see my note on "structual violence" and definition by Johan Galtung).

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ---

      Politicians, ecconomists, and journalists sit in each others laps.

    • Hi Stout Beer,

      Yes, the Swedish owns a gamble monopoly, Svenska spel, which now is threatend by private gamble companies. Svenska spel generate billions to the state. And an unsound culture of money and futile hopes.

      Like Noam Chomsky says, Gambling is extra taxes on the poor. The rich own the gambling companies (and the banks). A clear expression of structural violence.

      Structural violence is systematic exploitation that becomes part of the social order. This systematic exploitation renders personal violence unnecessary.

      Peace researcher Johan Galtung writes, “Personal violence is only for the amateur in dominance; structural violence is the tool of the professional. The amateur who wants to dominate uses guns, the professional uses social structure.”

      Structural violence has four basic components: exploitation which is focused on the division of labor with the benefits being asymmetrically distributed, penetration which necessitates the control by the exploiters over the consciousness of the exploited thus resulting in the acquiescence of the oppressed, fragmentation which means that the exploited are separated from each other, and marginalization with the exploiters as a privileged class with their own rules and form of interaction.

      Many years ago, Galtung gave a descriptive reciept of revolution: "Educate the middle class, and give them no work". This is what happens all over the world right now. The crucial question is, will it be Progressive or Fascist?

      Further Reading: Richard Falk's articles, "Is this a Global Gandhian Moment?" and "Anarchism without Anarchism: Searching for Progressive Politics" (at his homepage).

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren
      SWEDEN

      ---

    • Hi Don and Juan,

      The tax system in Sweden, which I used to know, isn't what it used to be.

      When neo-liberalism swept across the world, Swedish socialdemocrats left their extremely successful interventional economical policy of high taxes and high level of welfare for all.

      Århundradets skattereform (The Tax Reform of the Century)that they launched 1990, was under-financed, and (secretly) a construct of Sven-Olov Lodin, an ecconomist at Federation of Swedish Industries(!).

      When the taxes were lowered, ordinary people didn't work more, as calculated. But the lower taxes benefitted the already the well-off. And the deficit was payed by the socialdemcrat's most fagile members and voters, those who rented their flats. In two years, the renting costs rose about 150%. And this was only the beginning...

      The past eight years, the right-wing government has been lowering the taxes with about 100bn SEK, money that is taken away from schools, hospitals, and care for elders, infrastructure, railroads, etc.

      More and more of institutions are privatized, or are run according to "market principles", i.e. profit only. The profits end up as speculative capital (in the Caribbians.

      What the citizens meet is greedy underfinanzied institutions and authorities taking higher and higher charges.

      Sweden has the fastest increase of inequity and inequality in the western World.

      Prime Minister Reinfeldt has coined a term for those who are marginalized - the sick, unemployed, poor - by his policies: "utanförskap" ("outside-ship"). He does this because "working should pay".

      Josef Goebbels, the Third Reich propaganda genius, would envy the term "utanförskap", designed to cover reality.

      Trade unions, the NGOs and the socialdemocrats are stone dead. Kurt Junesjö, former judical advicer at the two greatest trade unions, LO and TCO, said in an interview a few years ago, "They forgot the question of power".

      Now the public discourse in Sweden is filled with entertainment and a monstrous abuse of "psychology". People are isolated and marginalized. Chris Hedges would nod.

      ...

      There is much more to tell and say. But this is all from Björn's Magical Box for now.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren
      SWEDEN
      ---

    • Björn Lindgren 09/26/2013 at 11:13 am

      Well, I'd like to clarify:

      Compassionate deep norms, values, goals, perspectives, and good hypothesis about reality does.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ---

    • Juan Cole, thanks for your straightforward critique of Ted Cruz.

      Ted Cruz, and his fellow irresponsible ignorants, should read Richard Wilkinson och Kate Pickett: "The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better", Allen Lane, London 2009. If he can read, of course.

      If he can read, he could go further with John Rawls, "A Theory of Justice", Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999. Or is this too much to ask?

      Lesson from history:

      Vidkun Quisling was e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y intelligent, but had no judgement. At the Nazi Germany occupation of Norway, 9 April 1940, Quisling, the leader of Nasjonal Samling, with about two per cent of the national vote, seized power through a Nazi-backed coup d'état, and served as Minister President till the end of the war.

      Even though about one hundred of the Norwegian teachers were sent to concetration camps in Germany, the Norwegian school teachers refused to sign a declaration of loyalty to the illegitimate Quisling government.

      In a speech at the turning of the war, Quisling said, "It was y-o-u, teachers, who destroyed everything for me!"

      After trail when the WWII was over, Quisling was executed at Akershus Fortress 1945. Highly intelligent, but no judgement. Today, his name means "traitor".

      Conclusion: intelligence and high education and position doesn't help. Compassionate deep norms, values, goals, and perspectives does.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren
      SWEDEN

      ---

  • It's Psychological Warfare, Stupid: Why Netanyahu Really wants to Destroy Iran
    • Björn Lindgren 09/28/2012 at 11:23 am

      Hi Juan,

      First, thank you for informed comment.

      Reading it, I think of the dawn of the WWI. It had two causes: expectations and development of weapon technology. You could add German inferiority complex, which later propelled into the 20s and 30s, the Third Reich, and WWII.

      According to military sources past spring, all pieces are now in place for an attack on Iran. Step by step, all non-military options are eliminated.

      The history of both Israel and USA is full of examples of the search for causa belli, "reasons" for war. The Tonkin incident never happened.

      When the US illegally attacked Iraq, it changed the strategic balance in the Middle East. In one stroke, the Shite majority came to dominate Iraq, and to find common cultural and religious ground with Iran. And Iran, a former ally, became the regional superpower.

      Conclusion: military just have military solutions. And they usually don´t work.

      Israel is an army that have a country. All the top politicians are military.

      Will the israeli peace opinion wake up and change the destiny of their country and form a Middle East Union with their neighbors?

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

      ---

  • Why they Hate us: Romney Secretly Plots to Screw Palestinians over Again
    • Dear Juan,

      Thank you for truly good article, video, and informed
      comment.

      And thank you, Romney, for your stupied honesty! You
      surprise no one!

      Jewish community, and jewish young in particular, in the
      US - and Sweden where I live - are deeply ashamed over
      how the Palestinians are treated, and turn away from the
      way of war as solution.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  • Omar Khayyam (196) "I'm going to completely divorce reason and religion"
    • Björn Lindgren 07/24/2012 at 5:14 am

      Great Omar was, indeed, a practical man who enjoyed life!
      Cheers to him!

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  • Omar Khayyam (492) "What's with your supposed zodiac?"
    • Björn Lindgren 07/07/2012 at 5:39 am

      Yes, indeed!

      The same holds true of all people who beleive that they were kings, emperors, and pharaoes in their "former lives."

      Beleiving in past, present, or future kings and emperors is like voting for Reagan. It presupposes that you are willing to get totally fooled.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  • Ghoul's Glossary
    • Björn Lindgren 07/05/2012 at 5:02 am

      Dear Juan,

      Thank you for clarifying definitions.

      Words and phrases easily hijack our thinking, and, often,
      carry us astray.

      The past thirty years of neoliberal propaganda is an example of how "economists" has misused our language and its decent meanings, rigging the global political and economical agenda.

      It is worth remembering Goebbels definition of
      "propaganda": "Careful instruction".

      Add mass communication, corporate democracy, greed, ignorance, and aggression, and you end up in Bush/Obama/Nato
      "Total War without end".

      Many years I ago, I read A. Hitler´s "Mein Kampf" - a never-ending series of rage and hate. A few years later, I read the Pentagon Papers. These two documents carried identical basic values and weltanschuung. But the Pentagon Papers was not dependent on a screaming Führer and extatic massmeetings, but was cold, bureaucratic, technocratic, "scientific". Perverting language and science, democracy and state.

      It happens now, It happens here.

      Björn Lindgren

  • Low Life Expectancy tracks with Opposition to Obamacare (Map)
    • Björn Lindgren 06/29/2012 at 7:55 am

      Dear Juan Cole and fellow readers,

      Here´s a well researched book on welfare, trust, social justice, and democracy, well worth reading:

      Richard Wilkinson och Kate Pickett: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Allen Lane, London 2009.

      In the study, the authors show that among modern, rich countries, the Scandinavian countries and Japan are almost always doing better, and U.K. and the U.S. are almost always doing worst.

      Apart from the sound ability to achieve purpose, which we all need, power is the product of the cooperation between the powerful and the powerless.

      M.K. Gandhi understood this deeply.

      In the gospel of Luke, Rabbi Yeshua [Jesus]said, "God´s rule is right here on earth, but people don´t see it." Governments, economists, military, and Christian fascists don´t want to hear it.

      Nevertheless, the conclusions are ready to harvest:

      We are fully responsible, eternity is in this very moment, no belief in a heaven elsewhere, no life after death, no savior.

      Resurrection is clear mind and clear seeing. Unconditional, interdependent, and mutual.

      Take a deep look, and check for your self!

      Juan, thank you for your good blog.

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  • Romney wants to Fight Whole Muslim World, not Concentrate on Bin Laden
    • Dear Juan,

      From what I understand, Goldman Sachs is now putting their money on Mitt Romney. This is the Weimar Republik.

      The future of the U.S.: Fascism from above, Occupy from below?

      Cheers, Björn Lindgren

  • Omar Khayyam (96): Against Astrology
    • Björn Lindgren 03/29/2012 at 5:41 am

      Dear Juan Cole,

      Again, Omar Khayyam makes a good point.

      The gravity impact of planets are next to none, compared with the gravity impact of neighbors (at the moment of conception) or hospital personnel (at the moment of birth).

      Even if astrology was a fact, it would still miss the point. Astrology describes the conditioning of humans, i.e. cause-and-effect-cause-and-effect, which is a kind of blind machinery, or being chained.

      However, the human task is the opposite: liberation or freedom, i.e. to be unconditioned. To see, hear, taste, what really, really is.

      Most of the time, we are deeply conditioned by projections, the past, unconsciousness, and so on.

      Haze!

      True thinking has its ground in non-thinking, the uncondionioned. It could be called wisdom or a total view.

      Let the thunderbolt from the empty sky hit!

      Warm regards,
      Björn Lindgren

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