Category Archives: The State of Democracy

Europe moves to protect your data… or does it?

The European Union has recently passed something called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The full implications of this are still unclear. Will it protect people from spam and abusive treatment by corporate behemoths, or will it impede the free flow of peer-to-peer communications?

The cynic in me is inclined to suspect that the regulation may be intentionally designed to destroy the greatest threat to centralized control, our ability to communicate with, and inform, one another without being driven through the filters of the propaganda machine that is so ably served by the mainstream media.

Here below is the English translation of a message I received from a correspondent in Germany, which illustrates the chilling effect the GDPR will have on peer-to-peer communications.

This is my last newsletter.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation will apply from 25.5. and forbids me to email you my newsletter as usual in the future.
The European Parliament wants to protect us – against data abuse, against loss of privacy. A well-intentioned bureaucratic attempt to save the freedom of European citizens. The opposite of “good” is mostly “well meant”.
With the threat of absurdly high fines I face an opaque jungle of prohibitions and regulations. The lifetime is too precious to me to deal intensively with the question: May I and if so, how legal it would be to send a newsletter to 3,000 customers, friends and cooperation partners?
If there were not so many state interventions in our most intimate private lives at the same time – surveillance cameras in every public area, data collections and evaluations, small and large eavesdropping attacks – I would be happy to receive so much political care. In context, I feel this law as a bumbling, hypocritical harassment. An attack on the biggest capital of individual entrepreneurs and artists: Our network of relationships.
I’m tired of being a one-person entrepreneur by the legislature constantly equal to a group – and thus discriminated against – I’m fed up with unnecessary, bureaucratic stupidities, I’m sick of wasting my valuable, limited life with pointless administrative clutter. I prefer to focus on my clients, work, family, friends and art.
Relevant information you will find in the future on my two homepages, please take care of it yourself.

[Signature and personal information omitted]

Happy about old-fashioned calls, paper letters, e-mails, meetings at the Heuriger and in the coffee house.

See you soon in the woods!


Why America isn’t the greatest country in the world anymore.

This opening scene of HBO’s “The Newsroom” is more than plain entertainment. It’s time we faced up to the facts, put aside petty politics, and started to work together to make America great again

Unbelievable: Saudi Arabia SECRETLY appointed to U.N. Women’s rights Commission

Watch this RT report:

Where to find real news?

Can the mainstream media be trusted to present a true picture of what is happening in our world? I have serious doubts about that. Much of what we hear on the major networks and read in the major newspapers is slanted to make us believe a particular story. It is, in short, propaganda. We often hear allegations repeated as if they were facts, but without specific evidence. Plus, there are important stories that are simply not reported or relegated to back pages where they are little noticed. Here below is a start on where to look to get more balanced perspectives. –t.h.g.

“ has put together a starting list of 20 alternative media outlets (in alphabetical order) that we feel form a solid base for the new media movement that is now emerging. Click on and let’s move.”

Al Jazeera America – After earning a reputation as one of the most globally trusted media channels, the Qatar-owned company recently launched a large and growing operation focused on U.S. coverage.

Alternet – Shows glimpses of mainstream style, but still a great source for a wide array of news with straightforward and honest, factual reporting.

Democracy Now – Home to mainstay truth-telling journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, whose engaging and timely commentary along with video covers a wide spectrum of national and global stories.

DeSmogBlog – Great source for climate-related news, which follows the motto, “Clearing the PR Pollution That Clouds Climate Science.”

Disinfo – Has shocking and oddball articles you won’t find elsewhere.

Mother Jones – As they say it themselves, “smart, fearless journalism” and a mainstay in the alternative media sphere for decades.

Moyers and Company – Brought to us by the long-time investigative journalist and respected thought leader Bill Moyers, combining insightful interviews with strong articles on the leading political and economic subjects of the day.

Popular Resistance – Aggregating alternative news and resistance movements around the country and worldwide.

ProPublica – Journalism, particularly the investigative sort, in the public interest.

Reddit News – Updated continuously, sourced from across the Internet by its users

Russia Today – This outlet is Putin-owned, so be wary of any news concerning Russia, but when it comes to reporting U.S. politics and news, RT offers some of the best.

The Center for Public Integrity – A recent Pulitzer Prize winner, this team produces some of the hardest hitting, most thoroughly investigated reports out there, particularly in relation to tax evasion and the role of money in the electoral process.

The Daily Beast – Independent, intelligent news infused with irreverent tone.

The Hill – Hardly underground, but gives a surprisingly un-biased account of political events and news in the capital.

The Intercept – Probably the hottest development in U.S. media, the site launched earlier this year with renowned journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill following the Edward Snowden leaks, and promises a new brand of fearless, fact-telling journalism.

The Real News Network – With “no advertising, government or corporate funding,” this online video news provider based in Baltimore bridges TV and Internet with strong alternative views and professional newsroom reports.

Think Progress – One of the most impressive, wide-ranging and popular online outlets providing short, insightful news reports across the political, economic, social and environmental spectrum.

Truthdig – The current media home of author and journalist Chris Hedges, the site’s motto is “drilling beneath the headlines.”

Truthout – The non-profit organization and news team delivers independent, unbiased essays and analyses on a daily basis.

Yes! Magazine – The optimistic, up-beat side of the news revealing the people and projects focusing on solutions that build stronger, more resilient communities.

– See more at:

And while, we’re at it, why not try to hear the other side of the story directly from those involved. Here, for example, is Syria’s President Assad answering questions posed by a Swiss journalist. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

911-Need we look again?

This video by David Hooper is the best document I have seen about the events that resulted in the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on 9-11-2001.

Methodically raising the obvious questions, presenting numerous testimonies, and examining plausible explanations, this video will keep you riveted as much as the best mystery thrillers, and probably lead you, as it did me, to consider the unthinkable about what really happened on that fateful day.

ANATOMY OF A GREAT DECEPTION (New and Updated Sept 2014).

God Bless America–a New Year’s Prayer

I espouse the cause of human unity and am inclined to eschew anything that promotes nationalism, sectarian attitudes and class separation. The 1940s America that I grew up in was a place where children were taught that Americans adhered to a higher standard of humanistic values and tolerance than was the global norm. But the America of my adulthood has been greatly disappointing in that regard. Perhaps that is why I sobbed as I read this story and listened once again to Kate Smith sing this song.

My New Year’s prayer is that America will once again find its way–to set for itself a higher standard of peace and fellowship and lead by example, not by force. –t.h.g.

From an anonymous source:

You may or may not know the history of this song…
Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time and said that when he  and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.
Here are the facts… The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the  very first public singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA”. But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.
The  time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was  taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a  time of hardship and worry for most Americans.
This was the era just  before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no  entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
Yes, Kate was also large. A “Plus Size: as we now say and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her.
Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.
Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see  Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something  to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin  (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make  Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.
He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way  back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra.  She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the  public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. All profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the  Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the  background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The  Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper.  It’s Ronald Reagan.
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be  for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry….. and for  many generations of Americans to follow.
Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you’ll enjoy  and treasure it even more.
Many  people don’t know there’s a lead-in to the song since it usually starts with “God Bless America ….” So here’s the entire song as originally sung:


Burzynski, an incredible story of abusive government

The documentary DVD, Burzynski, (2010) arrived from Netflix a couple days ago and I watched it.
What an amazing account of harassment by the Texas state government and the FDA on behalf of big pharma to protect the vested interests from losing out to a cancer treatment that really works and is non-toxic.

Now that they can no longer deny the efficacy, they are trying to steal Dr. Burzynski’s patents.
A must watch.

Deadly medicine and the future of health care in America

Up to now I’ve not paid close attention to the debate about the health care law commonly referred to as Obamacare, but I’m beginning to think that it may be important to do so.

I never did like the provision that makes it compulsory for everyone to buy insurance. That seems a blatant attempt to secure profits for the insurance oligopoly. Nor do I have much respect for big pharma and the massive promotion of prescription drugs, most of which I avoid like the plague they are.

Now, investigative journalist Jon Rappoport raises further concerns about the health care law and where it seems to be taking us. His recent article, The devastating truth behind Obamacare, begins:

I want my Obamacare! I want my Obamacare!

It’s vital to look at the real meaning of this sinister plan. It’s all about the toxic effects of mainstream medicine. That’s what the sold-out press is refusing to examine.

A year ago, I discussed the case of a young Michigan boy, whose parents had been taken to court three times to force them to submit their child to intensely toxic chemo treatments—despite these facts:

The boy’s latest scans revealed no sign of cancer; the drugs that would be forced on him can cause cancer; the drugs have not been approved to treat children.

And I warned: this is what waits for you and your children, up the line.

The “share and care” humanitarian mask will be peeled away. The US Dept. of Health and Human Services will create, as ordered, a complete list of approved treatments for every disease-label under the sun. And everyone in the insurance plan will be forced to take what the doctor tells them to take.

For a bonus, unapproved treatments will be banned. People and practitioners who try to use alternative treatments will find themselves in trouble.

This is the hidden agenda of Obamacare. This is what it will morph into in the future.

You can read the rest of the article here.

You might also read the report of Dr. Barbara Starfield that was published in the AMA Journal several years ago in which she exposed the large number of deaths caused by medical treatment every year (Is US Health Really the Best in the World? JAMA, July 26, 2000—Vol 284, No. 4). You can download it here. — t.h.g.




The Locus of Power in Today’s World

What are the largest, most powerful entities in the world? Transnational Institute has published a report, State of Power: 2013, that contains some interesting statistics, among them the fact that forty of the world’s biggest economies are corporations, and less than one percent of the companies, mostly banks, control 40% of all corporate shares. Read the full report here.

Maps of the 2012 US presidential election results

This site provides some interesting ways of looking at the results of the 2012 presidential election. Click here.