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Archive for the ‘Establishing PROUT’ Category

== HOW SHUDRAS ARE BRAINWAHED ==

Namaskar,
The last few years we have seen the pillars of capitalism soften, decay, and nearly crumble. Now the demerits and defects of capitalism seem “obvious” and “clear” to the common people. Even then many still suffer from the ways and strategies outlined below. Few can conceive that something else can work other than capitalism.

Here is one angle of how capitalism got where it is today.

ANANDA MARGIIS ARE AWARE

Every Ananda Margii knows that Baba has given the teachings of the social cycle and that now in this present era we have reached the height of vaeshyan exploitation. The ill effects of this era are rampant and can be seen everywhere. From commercial billboards to the buying and selling of water, air etc, the extreme capitalist presence is quite palpable. Tomorrow we may even awaken to find that one company is selling gravity itself. The whole point being that the rapacious capitalist exploiters are on the prowl. And to achieve their ends they inject numerous types of complexes upon their employees in order to maximize profits. In short, they want more money for themselves.

CAPITALIST COMPANY OUTLOOK

In straightforward language it can be said the main goal of capitalists is to draw more and more blood from the common mass, i.e. to make money off of the efforts of others. In this regard, the greed and devouring approach of such capitalists knows no bounds. Their main strategy is to create a group of employees and manipulate them into working night and day. Then those bosses keep all profits for themselves. This is essentially what top vaeshyas aim to do. Hard-working and dutiful employees get virtually nothing for their all their sweat and blood. Instead, all the cream goes to those top company executives – i.e. those blood-sucking capitalists. That is the chief characteristic of the vaeshyan era – the top people gain control over most of the money while countless others do all the work.

PROUTISTIC OUTLOOK

In contrast, in our God-centered Prout system, there is no single key person who is the owner. Rather the employees themselves are owners. So however hard they work and to whatever degree they are successful, they themselves reap the benefits of their labour. In turn, they must not exploit others and they must abide by all Proutistic principles. The basic idea is that the “employees”, or, more precisely, the members of the co-op, get the direct benefit of their own output. This is part and parcel of Prout’s cooperative system.

BRAINWASHING TECHNIQUE

But in the present day company system, the employees do not get anything. Instead the owners plot & invent strategies how to give them as little as possible and at the same time get the maximum in return. This is the negative mentality of those capitalist owners. And they achieve their ends by imposing a manipulative outlook upon their employees. Here is how that works.

Even though top capitalists are wreaking havoc in the lives of their employees, those same capitalists have simultaneously convinced, nay brainwashed, many of their laborers to feel obligated and verily committed to the company. This is their cunning way of brainwashing “their people” – their employees. Those bosses reached the conclusion that without completely brainwashing their employees then those “hired hands” will not work 100%.

So at the height of capitalist exploitation, those owners have successfully brainwashed many of their employees. Certainly there are some labourers, especially labour leaders, who are keen to the exploitative methods of capitalist owners. Such conscious employees who possess the requisite awareness and fighting spirit are known as vikśubdha shúdras. They put forth sustained efforts to change the system. But until, there are a critical mass of vikśubdha shúdras, the capitalist modus operendi continues on. That is the state of affairs today.

Thus, when owners use psychological strategies to befool and brainwash their staff, many of those employees become completely committed and conjure up the mistaken idea in their mind that they are only surviving only due to the good graces of their capitalist employers – otherwise they’d be struggling to manage. Such employees feel fortunate to be in the hands of their employers. This is the way it works in this vaeshyan era. This is the main qualitative difference between capitalistic and non-capitalistic labor forces. The labor force in the capitalistic era feels grateful and indebted to their employer, i.e. the same employer that is exploiting them.

So, on the one side, those capitalist bosses are breaking the back of their employees by making them work at such a vicious pace whereby they eat, sleep, and dream about their jobs. And, on the other side, those employees are feeling completely committed to those very employers.

This is the harsh reality of many employees involved in the capitalist schema. In fast-paced, western materialistic nations – and in the east wherever materialism has taken root – and in our so-called developing nations, so many working a 40 hour work week breathe the company air and sing the song of their capitalist employers.

When they return home at night, they often continue to attend to their work duties: Checking email, fielding calls, sending tweets, reviewing reports etc. That is how employers have trained their employees in this digital era. All because they have become numb to their own existence – due to extreme work pressure and stressed out conditions at the hands of their capitalist employers.

Yet those employees feel faithful to their employers. In the end, after being devoured whole by their company boss, their leftover energy is goaded toward sexual desires by the film industry or they gossip, talk, and dream about their company. So the whole affair is rather sickly; for all practical purposes the large majority of employees have sold their souls to their bosses. Only those right-minded vikśubdha shúdras understand the deceptive and manipulative ways of those capitalists. But again, until awareness mounts and more vikśubdha shúdras are created, there is no recourse.

SELF-DENIAL AND JUSTIFICATION

Perhaps the saddest part is that so many of those innocent employees do not even recognise what is going on. And if you try to give them a little hint, those employees will defend the matter and state that they are being paid adequately or even handsomely by their employer. This is the extreme degree of their blindness. This is the level to which they have been brainwashed. It is like the syndrome of a battered wife who is willing to defend her abusive husband to the end of the earth. This is the way most employees operate – whether they are willing to admit it or not. And even the majority of those who “complain” about their jobs fall into this same category. Because when given the opportunity to quit and go elsewhere, they become nervous and hesitant to venture away from their employer. In that circumstance, those complainers say, “Actually, my job is not so bad”. Hence, from top to bottom, these capitalist exploiters have just about everyone under their control. That is why it is not easy to create vikśubdha shúdras.

WHAT IS THE WAY OUT IN THESE PRESENT CONDITIONS

The only way out is to truly recognise that those employers are really bloodsuckers. This is evidenced when employees adamantly maintain the approach of not giving any little extra of themselves to those capitalist exploiters. That means that one must not “buy in” to the tricks and strategies of those big bosses. That means one must not become a tool in their hands. For most, this is nearly impossible as they are brainwashed to the core. As Ananda Margiis, even then we have to be extremely careful. It is not entirely uncommon for some to even stay home from dharmacakra under the excuse they have office work to do or that they are tired and need to rest up for the work week. By that way, one can judge how brainwashed anyone is. And like that there are thousands of ways how the negative qualities of the employer-employee relation sneaks into one’s own psyche.

So we all have to be careful and keep a keen eye on our own situation as well as those margii brothers and sisters around us– to ensure that we not get drawn into the deep waters of capitalist employer-employee relations. On this point I hope others will write and share their experiences.

MORE PROUTISTIC TEACHINGS ABOUT CAPITALISTS

(A) Here below Baba points out the key role that vikśubdha shúdras play and why their presence is so vital.

“In a capitalistic social system or in a democratic structure the situation of middle-class people (the vikśubdha shúdras) is generally miserable. This is because they are the greatest critics of capitalism and the strongest opponents of exploitation. An increase in the number of vikśubdha shúdras in a society is an early omen of a possible shúdra revolution. It is therefore the duty of those who want to create a world free of exploitation to help to increase the number of vikśubdha shúdras. It will be harmful for the revolution if these people die or are transformed into shúdra-minded shúdras. All the sadvipras in the world should be vigilant to make sure that the number of vikśubdha shúdras does not decrease due to unemployment, birth control, or other bad practices or policies.” (Human Society – 2, Shúdra Revolution and Sadvipra Society)

(B) In this next teaching, Baba guides us that capitalists will stay in power for a long, long time – until that key moment arrives when there is a rise in mass awareneness. That momment is soon to be upon us – we should ready the soil.

“Vaeshyas believe that only a few people can accumulate material wealth, depriving the rest. Thus there will always be only a few vaeshyas, while those who are the objects and tools of their exploitation form the majority. Like exploited beasts of burden which carry bags of sugar, in their crippled state of mind the majority feel that they do not have the right to taste the sweetness. This feeling is the greatest ally of the vaeshyas, so directly or indirectly they always try to nurture this type of feeling in the minds of the majority. Consequently they propagate various types of isms and ethereal theories with the help of the vipras in their pay whom they have reduced to the level of shúdras. When the majority, unable to tolerate this exploitation any longer or find any other way out, desperately leap into action, the Vaeshya Age comes to an end. But it takes a long time for downtrodden people to understand that the vaeshyas are the parasites of society. Hence thorough preparation is required to end the Vaeshya Age.”
(Human Society – 2, The Vaeshya Age)

(C) Here Baba points out how in the height of the vaeshyan all others get reduced to the status of shudra – all are exploited.

“The vaeshyas increase their wealth by buying the back-breaking labour of the shúdras, the powerful personalities of the kśatriyas, and the intellect of the vipras, according to their needs. The shúdras, just like beasts, sell their physical labour in exchange for mere subsistence. Because they sell their labour, society survives and moves ahead. The powerful personalities of the kśatriyas build and maintain the social structure with the labour extracted from the shúdras. Through their intellect the vipras utilize the personal force of the kśatriyas, and through their money and capitalistic mentality the vaeshyas utilize the vipras’ intellect to increase their wealth.”
“The vaeshyas do not confront any social problem directly. Just as they buy the labour of the shúdras, the personal force of the kśatriyas and the intellect of the vipras with money, so they endeavour to solve all social problems with money. They do not win victory on the battlefield; they buy it with money. In poverty-stricken democratic countries they buy votes. As they accomplish everything with money, their vital force comes from money. They therefore take all sorts of risks in life to accumulate money. For money they can sacrifice their conscience, their sense of good and bad, right and wrong, at any moment. So in order to save the exploited shúdras, kśatriyas and vipras from the vaeshyas, money, which is the source of all their power, has to be taken out of their hands.” (Human Society – 2, The Vaeshya Age)

PROUT IS THE PANACEA

By propagating the name and ideals of Prout, the day is not far when the cooperative system will come into vogue on this earth where workers will be recognised, respected and honoured for their human qualities and potentialities, and not just be pawns of big bosss capitalists.

“PROUT is the only panacea. The ideas of PROUT are spreading throughout the world. This new day is yours.” (Prout in Nutshell – 18)

Namaskar,
in Him,
Vinay

Note: WHO IS SHUDRA

Throughout His Proutistic teachings, Baba has discussed the mind-set of those who get exploited by capitalist in the height of the vaeshayan era. Those who give way to this mentality are verily shudras. Unfortunately, now in the early part of this 21st century, many fall in this category.

“Shúdras live only for physical enjoyment. They neither bother about ideology nor give any value to rationality. Of the three aspects of time – past, present and future – they think only about the present. They have neither the time nor the inclination to think about the past or the future. Religion, spirituality and a genuine social system have no significance for them…”
“Shúdras are always sleeping. They can perform work only if someone wakes them up. Once the work is done, they go back to sleep. In order to maintain the cáturvarńika (i.e. shudra, ksatriya, vipra, & vaeshya) social system, some work will have to be taken from the shúdras. Consciousness should be developed among shúdras in order to protect them from the inhuman greed of the vaeshyas. (All non-vaeshyas slip into shúdra-hood on the eve of a shúdra revolution.)” (Humans Society – 2, The Kśatriya Age)

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Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2012 07:28:13 -0000
To: AM-GLOBAL
From: Hariish Deva
Subject: How to Rig An Election

Baba

== HOW TO RIG AN ELECTION ==

Namaskar,
Here in the US, officials and their spokespeople brag and beat the drum that, “The United States of America is the ultimate democracy”. In turn, they preach and sell democracy to each and every land and province on this planet – all over the globe. As if democracy is pure and blemishless. Yet extensive vote rigging is done even in the “great” democracy of the US. The following is a very poignant article.

First, let us all reflect on this following teaching on democracy from Shrii P.R. Sarkar:

“Practices as making false promises, intimidation, gross abuse of administrative power and vote rigging, repeatedly win over the electorate. This is the farce of democracy. Once they form the government, they get ample opportunity to indulge in rampant corruption and political tyranny for five years. In the subsequent elections – whether on the provincial or state level – the same absurdity is repeated.” (Prout in a Nutshell – 21 Economic Democracy)

Namaskar,
Hariish
How To Rig An Election
Victoria Collier
Posted on October 26, 2012

http://shiftfrequency.com/victoria-collier-how-to-rig-an-election/

OPINION ~ It was a hot summer in 1932 when Louisiana senator Huey “Kingfish” Long arranged to rig the vote on a number of amendments to his state’s constitution that would be advantageous to his financial interests. Long was no stranger to rigged votes. This time around, however, the fix delivered by his machine was blatant and sloppy: his favored amendments won unanimously in sixteen New Orleans precincts and garnered identical vote totals in twenty-eight others. Eugene Stanley, the incorruptible district attorney for Orleans Parish, presented evidence of fraud to a grand jury. Louisiana’s attorney general, the less morally encumbered Gaston Porterie, stepped in to sabotage the case for Long. Nonetheless, two judges demanded a recount, at which point Governor O. K. Allen obliged Long by declaring martial law. Intimidated jurors found themselves sorting ballots under the supervision of National Guardsmen, who stood by to “protect” them with machine guns.
When this effort failed, another grand jury was convened. Their eventual finding of a massive conspiracy led to the indictment of 513 New Orleans election officials. Once again, Long used his famous powers of persuasion. At his behest, the Louisiana legislature modified the state’s election law, giving ex post facto protection to the defendants. Election rigging, Long might have quipped, had become downright exhausting. But it worked.
From the earliest days of the republic, American politicians (and much of a cynical populace) saw vote rigging as a necessary evil. Since the opposition was assumed to be playing equally dirty, how could you avoid it? Most Americans would probably have confessed to a grudging admiration for New York City’s Tammany Hall machine, which bought off judges, politicians, and ward captains, ensured the suppression of thousands of votes, and controlled Democratic Party nominations for more than a century.
By the beginning of the last century, however, sentiment had begun to shift. In 1915, the Supreme Court ruled that vote suppression could be federally prosecuted. In Terre Haute, Indiana, more than a hundred men had already been indicted for conspiring to fix the 1914 elections for mayor, sheriff, and circuit judge. The incumbent sheriff and judge went to jail for five years, and Mayor Donn M. Roberts spent six years in Leavenworth.
Roberts and his gang, declared the New York Times, had failed to grasp that “what is safe and even commendable one year may be dangerous and reprehensible the next.” Almost overnight, commonplace corruption had become unacceptable, and vote rigging a serious crime. It took a strongman like Huey Long to remain an exception to the rule. But the overall trajectory seemed to point toward reform, accountability, and security. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, seventy-two years after Elizabeth Cady Stanton first demanded women’s suffrage – the right that would, in Stanton’s words, “secure all others.” By the 1960s, Northern Democrats abandoned their Southern allies and pushed to end the mass suppression of black votes below the Mason–Dixon line. With the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many Americans began to believe that the bad old days of stolen elections might soon be behind us.
But as the twentieth century came to a close, a brave new world of election rigging emerged, on a scale that might have prompted Huey Long’s stunned admiration. Tracing the sea changes in our electoral process, we see that two major events have paved the way for this lethal form of election manipulation: the mass adoption of computerized voting technology, and the outsourcing of our elections to a handful of corporations that operate in the shadows, with little oversight or accountability.
This privatization of our elections has occurred without public knowledge or consent, leading to one of the most dangerous and least understood crises in the history of American democracy. We have actually lost the ability to verify election results.
The use of computers in elections began around the time of the Voting Rights Act. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the use of optical scanners to process paper ballots became widespread, usurping local hand counting. The media, anxious to get on the air with vote totals, hailed the faster and more efficient computerized count. In the twenty-first century, a new technology became ubiquitous: Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting, which permits touchscreen machines and does not require a paper trail. Old-school ballot-box fraud at its most egregious was localized and limited in scope. But new electronic voting systems allow insiders to rig elections on a statewide or even national scale. And whereas once you could catch the guilty parties in the act, and even dredge the ballot boxes out of the bayou, the virtual vote count can be manipulated in total secrecy. By means of proprietary, corporate-owned software, just one programmer could steal hundreds, thousands, potentially even millions of votes with the stroke of a key. It’s the electoral equivalent of a drone strike.
Symbolically speaking, this era was inaugurated by Chuck Hagel, an unknown millionaire who ran for one of Nebraska’s U.S. Senate seats in 1996. Initially Hagel trailed the popular Democratic governor, Ben Nelson, who had been elected in a landslide two years earlier. Three days before the election, however, a poll conducted by the Omaha World-Herald showed a dead heat, with 47 percent of respondents favoring each candidate. David Moore, who was then managing editor of the Gallup Poll, told the paper, “We can’t predict the outcome.”
Hagel’s victory in the general election, invariably referred to as an “upset,” handed the seat to the G.O.P. for the first time in eighteen years. Hagel trounced Nelson by fifteen points. Even for those who had factored in the governor’s deteriorating numbers and a last-minute barrage of negative ads, this divergence from pre-election polling was enough to raise eyebrows across the nation.
Few Americans knew that until shortly before the election, Hagel had been chairman of the company whose computerized voting machines would soon count his own votes: Election Systems & Software (then called American Information Systems). Hagel stepped down from his post just two weeks before announcing his candidacy. Yet he retained millions of dollars in stock in the McCarthy Group, which owned ES&S. And Michael McCarthy, the parent company’s founder, was Hagel’s campaign treasurer.
Whether Hagel’s relationship to ES&S ensured his victory is open to speculation. But the surprising scale of his win awakened a new fear among voting-rights activists and raised a disturbing question: Who controls the new technology of Election Night?
“Why would someone who owns a voting-machine company want to run for office?” asked Charlie Matulka, a Democrat who contested Hagel’s Senate seat in 2002. Speaking at a press conference shortly before the election, he added: “Is this the fox guarding the henhouse?” A construction worker with limited funding and name recognition, Matulka was obviously a less formidable competitor than Nelson. Still, Hagel won an astonishing 83 percent of the vote – among the largest margins of victory in any statewide race in Nebraska’s history. And with nearly 400,000 registered Democrats on the rolls, Matulka managed to scrape up only 70,290 votes.
Hagel had never actually disclosed his financial ties to ES&S, and Matulka requested an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. His request was rejected. Equally futile was his call for a hand count of the ballots, since a state law specified that recounts had to be conducted using the very same “vote-counting device” that was used to begin with – in this case, the ES&S optical scanners.
Meanwhile, the new millennium, far from delivering a democratic promised land, presented Americans with the debacle of the 2000 presidential election, whose fate hung absurdly on “hanging chads” – the little pieces of punched-out ballot so contentiously examined during the monthlong recount. Few Americans knew (and many still do not know) that a faulty computer memory card triggered this fiasco. Late on Election Night, Al Gore’s total in Volusia County, Florida, suddenly dropped when one precinct reported 16,000 negative votes. Fox News was immediately prompted by Florida governor Jeb Bush to call the election for his brother. On his way to a 3 a.m. public concession, Gore changed course when a campaign staffer discovered that he was actually ahead in Volusia County by 13,000 votes.
But the damage was done. Gore was cast as a sore loser in a hostile media environment. His effort to obtain a recount was described by Sean Hannity on Fox News as an attempt to “steal the election.” Meanwhile, George W. Bush invoked his duty to get on with the business of running the country. The rest, as they say, is history.
We are now in the midst of yet another election season. And as November 6 approaches, only one thing is certain: American voters will have no ability to know with certainty who wins any given race, from dogcatcher to president. Nor will we know the true results of ballot initiatives and referenda affecting some of the most vital issues of our day, including fracking, abortion, gay marriage, GMO-food labeling, and electoral reform itself. Our faith-based elections are the result of a new Dark Age in American democracy, brought on, paradoxically, by techological progress.
The spread of computerized voting has carried with it an enormous potential for electronic skulduggery. In 2003, Bev Harris, a citizen sleuth and the author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century, made a shocking and game-changing discovery: Diebold, then one of the primary manufacturers of voting machines, had left the 40,000 files that made up its Global Election Management System (GEMS) on a publicly accessible website, entirely unprotected. Diebold was never able to explain how its proprietary tabulation program ended up in such an exposed position. Harris downloaded the files, and programmers worldwide pounced, probing the code for weaknesses. “The wall of secrecy,” said Harris, “began to crumble.”
GEMS turned out to be a vote rigger’s dream. According to Harris’s analysis, it could be hacked, remotely or on-site, using any off-the-shelf version of Microsoft Access, and password protection was missing for supervisor functions. Not only could multiple users gain access to the system after only one had logged in, but unencrypted audit logs allowed any trace of vote rigging to be wiped from the record.
The public unmasking of GEMS by an average citizen (who was not a programmer herself) served as a belated wake-up call to the world’s leading computer-security experts, who finally turned their attention to America’s most widely used voting systems. Damning reports have since been issued by researchers from Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Rice, and Stanford Universities, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Government Accountability Office (none of them institutions hospitable to “tinfoil hat” conspiracy theorists). Experts describe appalling security flaws, from the potential for system-wide vote-rigging viruses to the use of cheap, easily replicated keys – the same kind used on jukeboxes and hotel minibars – to open the machines themselves. In 2005, the nonpartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker, stated unequivocally that the greatest threats to secure voting are insiders with direct access to the machines: “There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries.”
As recently as September 2011, a team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory hacked into one of Diebold’s old Accuvote touchscreen systems. Their report asserted that anyone with $26 in parts and an eighth-grade science education would be able to manipulate the outcome of an election. “This is a national security issue,” wrote the Argonne team leader, Roger Johnston, using the sort of language that would normally set off alarm bells in our security-obsessed culture. Yet his warning has gone unheeded, and the Accuvote-TSX, now manufactured by ES&S, will be used in twenty states by more than 26 million voters in the 2012 general election.
Johnston’s group also breached a system made by another industry giant, Sequoia, using the same “man in the middle” hack – a tiny wireless component that is inserted between the display screen and the main circuit board – which requires no knowledge of the actual voting software. The Sequoia machine will be used in four states by nearly 9 million voters in 2012.
Why did a physicist choose to hack into voting machines? “This was basically a weekend project,” Johnston told me, expressing his amazement at the meager funding available to examine America’s voting systems. “We did it because a lot of people looking at the machines are cybersecurity experts and programmers – and when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. They were largely looking at sophisticated, cyber-based attacks. But there are simple physical attacks, as we proved, that are easier to do and harder to prevent.”
The voting-machine companies never responded to the Argonne reports. “That’s not unusual,” says Johnston. “The manufacturers seem to be in denial on some of these issues.”
Why the denial? There are at least 3.9 billion good reasons. In 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), offering states $3.9 billion in subsidies to modernize their election administration and equipment, purportedly in response to Florida’s hanging-chad fiasco of 2000. HAVA mandated that every polling place provide at least one voting system that allowed disabled people to vote with the same “privacy and independence” accorded to nondisabled voters. Thanks to confusing language in HAVA itself, and even a misleading report issued by the Congressional Research Service, one might easily assume that the mandate called for the purchase of DRE machines. In this way, the blind and visually impaired were unwittingly used as pawns to advance the agenda of the voting-machine industry. One election supervisor claims that Diebold went so far as to send him threatening letters after he sought out less expensive alternatives to service the disabled, even when these machines were compatible with Diebold’s systems.
This was not the only deception surrounding the rollout of these electoral Trojan horses. In a 2007 Dan Rather exposé, The Trouble with Touch Screens, seven whistle-blowers at Sequoia charged that company executives had forced them to use inferior paper stock for ballots during the 2000 election. What’s more, said the whistle-blowers, they had been instructed to misalign the chads on punch cards destined for the Democratic stronghold of Palm Beach County. “My own personal opinion was the touchscreen-voting system wasn’t getting off the ground like they would hope,” said Greg Smith, a thirty-two-year Sequoia employee. “So, I feel like they deliberately did all this to have problems with the paper ballots.”
Such blockbuster allegations are perhaps unsurprising given the group of Beltway insiders who helped to pass HAVA. One central player was former Republican representative Bob Ney of Ohio, sentenced in 2006 to thirty months in prison for crimes connected with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff – whose firm was paid at least $275,000 by Diebold.
HAVA’s impact has been huge, accelerating a deterioration of our electoral system that most Americans have yet to recognize, let alone understand. We are literally losing our ballot – the key physical proof of our power as citizens.
Even a former major elections official has heaped scorn upon HAVA’s mission. DeForest Soaries was appointed by George W. Bush to head the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which HAVA created to oversee security standards for new voting devices. Soaries stepped down in 2005, calling his office a “charade” and claiming that he had been deceived by both the White House and Congress. Washington politicians, Soaries declared in a 2006 radio interview, have apparently concluded that our voting system can’t be all that bad – after all, it got them elected. “But there’s an erosion of voting rights implicit in our inability to trust the technology that we use,” he added. “And if we were another country being analyzed by America, we would conclude that this country is ripe for stealing elections and for fraud.”
The sheer unreliability of this new technology is only half the problem. The other half is a series of mergers and acquisitions that have further centralized the voting-machine industry over the past decade or so. Election Day is now dominated by a handful of secretive corporations with interlocking ownership, strong partisan ties to the far right, and executives who revolve among them like beans in a shell game.
Bob and Todd Urosevich are hardly household names. Yet the two brothers have succeeded in monopolizing American election technology for decades through a pair of supposedly competing corporations: the Ohio-based Diebold and the Nebraska-based ES&S. The latter was founded by the Urosevich brothers in 1979 and is headquartered in Omaha, where it has an Ayn Rand–flavored corporate address on John Galt Boulevard. It is also, let us recall, the same company that may have won Chuck Hagel his Senate seat.
Diebold became the most infamous name in the industry in 2003, when its CEO, Walden O’Dell, a top fund-raiser for George W. Bush, made a jaw-dropping public promise to “deliver” Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush. The following year, California banned Diebold’s touchscreen system, and Secretary of State Kevin Shelley blasted the company as “fraudulent,” “despicable,” and “deceitful.” O’Dell stepped down in 2005, right before the filing of a class-action suit that accused Diebold of fraud, insider trading, and slipshod quality control.
Concerned about its tarnished brand, the company removed its label from the front of voting machines. Then Diebold went one step further and changed the name of its voting-machine division to Premier Election Solutions.
In 2009, Diebold, which makes ATMs and other security systems, got out of the elections business altogether, selling Premier to ES&S. Here was a windfall for the Urosevich brothers in more than one sense: Bob had decamped to Diebold in 2002, when the company bought Global Election Systems, where he then served as president. Todd, meanwhile, remained at ES&S. This cozy arrangement was disrupted by a Justice Department antitrust intervention, which forced ES&S to split ownership of Premier with Dominion, the next big name in election technology. A month later, the deck was shuffled once again with Dominion’s purchase of Sequoia.
Between them, Dominion and ES&S now count the majority of American ballots. There are, of course, newer technologies in development, including Web-based voting. This latest innovation is being peddled by the Spanish-owned Scytl, which named Bob Urosevich managing director of its Americas division in 2006.
One would think (or hope) that a private industry entrusted with America’s votes would require the highest degree of personal integrity from its employees. As it happens, many of the key staffers behind our major voting-machine companies have been accused or convicted of a dizzying array of white-collar crimes, including conspiracy, bribery, bid rigging, computer fraud, tax fraud, stock fraud, mail fraud, extortion, and drug trafficking.
In 2001, for example, a grand jury indicted Philip Foster, Sequoia’s southern regional sales manager, for malfeasance and conspiring to launder money. During the previous decade, he had facilitated a kickback scheme that funneled payments to a Louisiana elections official, who purchased Sequoia equipment while winking at millions of dollars in overcharges. The scheme, which also involved Foster’s brother-in-law and fellow Sequoia employee David Philpot, was hardly an advertisement for the company. Yet Foster, who gained immunity for his testimony against the elections official, not only avoided jail time but was promoted to vice president of sales administration and strategies at Sequoia.
One high achiever actually got his start in prison. Jeffrey Dean’s vote-by-mail software – developed while Dean was serving a sentence for twenty-three counts of embezzlement – came to dominate the U.S. absentee-voting market. Once out of prison, Dean launched his own ballot-printing company with narcotics trafficker John Elder. They later sold it to Global Election Systems, where, readers will recall, Bob Urosevich served as president and COO, before the company was sold to Diebold.
This leads us to a crazy-making realization. Although many felons (and prior felons) can’t cast a ballot in America – an estimated 6 million citizens will be disenfranchised in 2012 due to felony convictions – these particular felons are apparently free to design and manage our entire elections industry.
Since the American Revolution, election fraud has been attempted by every major political party, with frequent intraparty allegations, such as the claim of Ron Paul delegates that the rules were rigged against them at this year’s Republican National Convention. To say that Democrats haven’t committed their fair share of what were once quaintly called “shenanigans” would be disingenuous. Huey Long was a Democrat, as was virtually every candidate ever floated by Tammany Hall, not to mention Lyndon Johnson – whose election to the U.S. Senate in 1948, according to Robert Caro’s Means of Ascent, relied on flagrant vote tampering. Still, the main beneficiary of recent trends in election stealing seems to be the American right.
This is no accident. As the twenty-first century unfolds, American politics continues to veer precipitously to the right, even as the demographic base for such a shift – older white conservative males – keeps shrinking. The engine of this seismic movement is a strategic alliance of corporate interests promoted by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire and orchestrated by Karl Rove and the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council. And meanwhile, the American right has in recent years been empowered by a slew of upset victories that range from unexpected to implausible, and that have frequently been accompanied by technical failures and anomalies, which are swept under the rug as rapidly as possible.
In 2002, the G.O.P. regained control of the Senate with such victories. In Georgia, for example, Diebold’s voting machines reported the defeat of Democratic senator Max Cleland. Early polls had given the highly popular Cleland a solid lead over his Republican opponent, Saxby Chambliss, a favorite of the Christian right, the NRA, and George W. Bush (who made several campaign appearances on his behalf). As Election Day drew near, the contest narrowed. Chambliss, who had avoided military service, ran attack ads denouncing Cleland – a Silver Star recipient who lost three limbs in Vietnam – as a traitor for voting against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Two days before the election, a Zogby poll gave Chambliss a one-point lead among likely voters, while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Cleland maintained a three-point advantage with the same group.
Cleland lost by seven points. In his 2009 autobiography, he accused computerized voting machines of being “ripe for fraud.” Patched for fraud might have been more apt. In the month leading up to the election, Diebold employees, led by Bob Urosevich, applied a mysterious, uncertified software patch to 5,000 voting machines that Georgia had purchased in May.
“We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn’t do,” Diebold consultant and whistle-blower Chris Hood recounted in a 2006 Rolling Stonearticle. “The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done. . . . It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state. . . . We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from [Bob] Urosevich. It was very unusual that a president of the company would give an order like that and be involved at that level.”
Two years later, of course, John Kerry lost the presidency in Ohio. In this key swing state, election monitors were besieged by complaints of G.O.P.orchestrated voter suppression, intimidation, and fraud. Myriad voting-machine anomalies were reported, including “glitches” that flipped votes from Kerry to Bush. A phony terror alert in Republican Warren County (the FBI later denied issuing any such warning) allowed officials to move ballots illegally to an auxiliary building and count them out of public view. Presiding over the election was the Republican secretary of state, J. Kenneth Blackwell, a fiercely partisan fundamentalist Christian who also served as co-chair of Ohio’s Committee to Re-Elect George W. Bush.
The exhaustive evidence of voting irregularities in Ohio was documented in a 2005 report commissioned by Representative John Conyers, “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.” At the time of that report, however, a major piece of the puzzle was still missing: the role of G.O.P. computer guru Michael Connell.
Connell was the Bush campaign’s chief IT strategist. He was also a zealous anti-abortion activist whose two Ohio-based companies built websites and email systems for the Republican National Committee, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and many of the most powerful figures in the G.O.P., including Karl Rove, Jeb Bush, and Jack Abramoff. It was one of Connell’s websites that reported the surprising (many say unbelievable) surge of votes in Ohio that handed George W. Bush the White House for the second time.
In 2004, Connell was hired by Blackwell to design a website that would post Ohio election results to the public. Connell’s contract also required that he create a “mirror site” that would kick in to display the vote totals if the official Ohio servers were overwhelmed by Election Day traffic. For the latter portion of the job, he turned to SmarTech, a little-known company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. SmarTech was as partisan as Connell himself, and the company’s servers hosted hundreds of high-profile Republican websites (and, later on, an assortment of anti-Obama websites).
Four years later, Ohio attorney (and former Republican) Cliff Arnebeck began gathering evidence to file a racketeering claim against Karl Rove, which included the charge that Rove had masterminded the theft of the 2004 election. “We detected a pattern of criminal activity,” Arnebeck told the British journalist Simon Worrall. “We identified Connell as a key witness, as the implementer for Rove.” On November 3, 2008, he took a sworn deposition from Connell, who had repeatedly tried to quash Arnebeck’s subpoena.
Initially Connell denied any role in choosing SmarTech to host the mirror site. Questioned further, he admitted that he “may have” made use of the Tennessee servers, but denied any knowledge of whether the mirror site had even been activated in 2004. His job, he insisted, was simply to display vote counts, “taking the public results as they are currently being reported and aggregating them into totals.”
In fact, the SmarTech site went into action at 11:14 p.m. on Election Day. At this point, Arnebeck believes, the data being routed to Tennessee was used by G.O.P. partisans to target Ohio counties that were ripe for vote tampering. “The SmarTech people may have been guiding the manipulation of paper ballots in places like Warren County,” Arnebeck told me.
Others argue that SmarTech’s role was far more insidious and involved partisan control of the total vote count. Stephen Spoonamore, an IT specialist (and Republican) who has consulted on cybersecurity for Boeing, MasterCard, the Navy, and the State Department, has studied the electronic “architecture map” used by Ohio during the 2004 election. He speculates that SmarTech might have been able to use Connell’s interface to gain access to and modify vote totals. In a sworn affidavit, Spoonamore said that the “variable nature of the story” and “lack of documentation available” would, for any of his banking clients, provoke “an immediate fraud investigation.”
Arnebeck hoped to have Connell testify in open court against Rove. But the prospective witness died on December 19, 2008, at age forty-seven, when his single-engine Piper Saratoga, which he was piloting alone, crashed en route from Washington, D.C., to Ohio. The circumstances of his death were viewed with suspicion by his family and close friends and sparked a firestorm of conspiracy chatter on the Internet, but no criminal investigation was launched. Whether Rove and his collaborators orchestrated the electronic theft of the 2004 election will likely never be known. Still, Election Day exit polls make a compelling case that somebody may have been tampering with the presidential vote count, in Ohio and elsewhere.
Late on Election Day, John Kerry showed an insurmountable lead in exit polling, and many considered his victory all but certified. Yet the final vote tallies in thirty states deviated widely from exit polls, with discrepancies favoring George W. Bush in all but nine. The greatest disparities were concentrated in battleground states – particularly Ohio. In one Ohio precinct, exit polls indicated that Kerry should have received 67 percent of the vote, but the certified tally gave him only 38 percent. The odds of such an unexpected outcome occurring only as a result of sampling error are 1 in 867,205,553. To quote Lou Harris, who has long been regarded as the father of modern political polling: “Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen.”
The statistically anomalous shifting of votes to the conservative right has become so pervasive in post-HAVA America that it now has a name of its own. Experts call it the “red shift.”
The Election Defense Alliance (EDA) is a nonprofit organization specializing in election forensics – a kind of dusting for the fingerprints of electronic theft. It is joined in this work by a coalition of independent statisticians, who have compared decades of computer-vote results to exit polls, tracking polls, and hand counts. Their findings show that when disparities occur, they benefit Republicans and right-wing issues far beyond the bounds of probability. “We approach electoral integrity with a nonpartisan goal of transparency,” says EDA executive director Jonathan Simon. “But there is nothing nonpartisan about the patterns we keep finding.” Simon’s verdict is confirmed by David Moore, a former vice president and managing editor of Gallup: “What the exit polls have consistently shown is stronger Democratic support than the election results.”
Wouldn’t American voters eventually note the constant disparity between poll numbers and election outcomes, and cry foul? They might – except that polling numbers, too, are being quietly shifted. Exit-poll data is provided by the National Election Pool, a corporate-media consortium consisting of the three major television networks plus CNN, Fox News, and the Associated Press. The NEP relies in turn on two companies, Edison Research and Mitofsky International, to conduct and analyze the actual polling. However, few Americans realize that the final exit polls on Election Day are adjusted by the pollsters – in other words, weighted according to the computerized-voting-machine totals.
When challenged on these disparities, pollsters often point to methodological flaws. Within days of the 2004 election, Warren Mitofsky (who invented exit polls in 1967) appeared on television to unveil what became known as the “reluctant Bush responder” theory: “We suspect that the main reason was that the Kerry voters were more anxious to participate in our exit polls than the Bush voters.” But some analysts and pollsters insist this theory is entirely unproven. “I don’t think the pollsters have really made a convincing case that it’s solely methodological,” Moore told me.
In Moore’s opinion, the NEP could resolve the whole issue by making raw, unadjusted, precinct-level data available to the public. “Our great, free, and open media are concealing data so that it cannot be analyzed,” Moore charges. Their argument that such data is proprietary and would allow analysts to deduce which votes were cast by specific individuals is, Moore insists, “specious at best.” He adds: “They have a communal responsibility to clarify whether there is a vote miscount going on. But so far there’s been no pressure on them to do so.”
Some argue that the Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008 disprove the existence of the red shift. However, this may be a misinterpretation of complex political upheavals that occurred in each of those election years.
While Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives in 2006, and the White House in 2008, postelection analyses did in fact suggest extensive red-shift rigging. But in both election cycles, these efforts simply failed to overcome eleventh-hour events so negative that they drastically undercut the projected wins for the G.O.P.
In 2006, it was the exposure of Republican representative Mark Foley’s sexual advances toward male congressional pages, and the long-standing cover-up of his behavior by G.O.P. leadership. The scandal swirling around the outwardly homophobic Foley broke in a very ugly and public way, engulfing the entire party and causing a free fall in its polling numbers. The Democratic margin in the Cook Generic Congressional Ballot poll, which had been at 9 percent in early October, jumped to 26 percent by the week of the election.
The collapse of Lehman Brothers months before the 2008 elections had a similar effect on John McCain’s numbers. Pre-election polls showed that the American public blamed the Republicans for the imploding financial markets. “These political sea changes swamped a red shift that turned out to be under-calibrated,” argues Jonathan Simon, who speculates that Barack Obama actually won by a historic landslide, driven by an overwhelming backlash against the policies of the Bush Administration.
By 2010, the electoral map was once again littered with upset victories that tipped the balance of power in America back toward the right. In Massachusetts, it was Tea Party candidate Scott Brown who achieved what the New York Times called an “extraordinary upset” in his race for the late Ted Kennedy’s seat – and thereby erased the Democrats’ filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate. A little more than an hour after the polls closed on January 19, the Associated Press declared that Brown had defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley, becoming the state’s first Republican senator in thirty years.
By most accounts, Coakley, who was initially favored to win, ran a lackluster campaign. And her opponent was riding a wave of populist discontent with the Obama Administration. Yet even Brown’s victory, widely predicted by January 19, raised some questions about voting technology. According to the EDA, in all seventy-one locations where ballots were counted by hand under public observation – more than 65,000 ballots in all – Coakley beat her opponent by 2.8 percent. Their analysis also showed that computer-counted communities were more Democratic by registration and historically less likely to support Republican candidates.
In Florida, Rick Scott was elected governor in November after an historically close race with his opponent, Alex Sink. Scott, a millionaire and Tea Party favorite, squeaked through with a 1.15 percent margin of victory, representing just 61,550 votes, after a number of Dominion machines in Hillsborough County failed to upload results. In the wake of what was described as a memory-card glitch, election workers manually rescanned about 38,000 early-voting ballots, without any supervision by the public or the press. Sink, who needed only 35,000 more votes to trigger a mandatory recount, conceded the following day.
Further darkening Florida’s electoral atmosphere was Scott’s record of legal travails. He had narrowly avoided indictment in the late 1990s for his role as CEO of Columbia/HCA, a private health-care company. HCA eventually admitted to substantial criminal conduct and paid a record $1.7 billion to the federal government. Whistle-blower lawsuits alleged that HCA engaged in a series of schemes to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE, the military’s health-insurance program.
Scott left the company unscathed, with a reported $300 million parachute, then spent $73 million of his own money running for office. Two years later, he targeted 180,000 registered voters in an attempt to purge noncitizens from Florida’s voter rolls. Many of the state’s sixty-seven county election supervisors refused to carry out the purge. Leon County supervisor Ion Sancho called it un-American behavior. “This is an example of partisan manipulation of the process to try to affect the outcome,” he told me. “It’s sad but true.”
In Wisconsin in 2010, the new Tea Party governor-elect, Scott Walker, unveiled a violently corporatist agenda destined for legal challenge – ensuring that the 2011 race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court would be of crucial importance. The election was ultimately decided by Waukesha county clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who “discovered” 14,300 votes on her computer late on Election Night. This windfall handed the victory to the conservative incumbent, Justice David Prosser, for whom Nickolaus had worked for seven years. Prosser later joined the court’s majority in upholding Walker’s union-busting legislation, stripping workers of their collective-bargaining rights in the birthplace of the Progressive movement.
There is, finally, South Carolina’s 2010 race for U.S. Senate, which Republican Jim DeMint won with 78 percent of the vote. What is mysterious is not the ultimate outcome, but the Democratic primary that preceded it, which tossed up a fairly fortuitous opponent for DeMint: Alvin Greene, an unemployed thirty-two-year-old accused sex offender living in his father’s basement.
Greene, often described as “incoherent,” ran no campaign: no website, no appearances at Democratic events, not even a yard sign. Yet he miraculously beat his opponent in the Democratic primary, former judge and four-term state legislator Vic Rawl, by an 18 percent margin. Voters and campaign workers reported that the ES&S touchscreen machines “flipped” votes to Greene all day long. Meanwhile, the absentee ballots – which were counted by hand – told a different story. In half of the state’s forty-six counties, there was a 10 percent disparity between absentee ballots and those counted by machine; in Lancaster County, Rawl won 84 percent of the absentee vote.
Greene denied accusations (or, some would say, observations) that he was a G.O.P. plant, while declining to explain where he got the $10,400 needed to file as a candidate. Rawl lodged a formal protest and requested a new primary. That was quickly knocked down by the executive committee of the South Carolina Democratic Party – and DeMint sailed to a rout in November.
In the weeks following the South Carolina spectacle, the press engaged in round after round of analytic Twister, avoiding the most obvious question: Had another extremist just gained federal office on the basis of a rigged election? Their silence, however, was nothing unusual.
In his 2011 paper “To the American Media: Time to Face the Reality of Election Rigging,” Jonathan Simon accuses the press of maintaining a Mafia-style omertà on the subject. “The gruesome truth,” he writes, “is that American elections can be rigged, and are being rigged, because the American media treats election rigging as something that – all evidence notwithstanding – could never happen here.”
Few people know this better than NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, whose booksFooled Again and Loser Take All document a wide assortment of G.O.P. vote-stealing tricks in every major election from 2000 to 2006. When the books were published, he told me, “I got no interviews and almost no reviews, despite the wealth of evidence I’d gathered. The corporate media was silent. But the left-wing press was hostile.”
Indeed, his colleagues on the left seem most reluctant of anyone to grapple with the concept of large-scale election tampering. “I know Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Rachel Maddow,” Miller says. “I’ve tried for years to get them to concede that possibility, but they won’t do even that. There’s clearly a profound unease at work. They just can’t go there.”
Why? No doubt the fear of being branded a conspiracy theorist inhibits many – that term having long served as a cudgel to suppress discussion of all sorts of crimes against democracy. As Miller puts it, “There is no more exquisite method of silencing dissent, or shutting down inconvenient inquiry, than to charge someone with conspiracy theory.”
Like their counterparts in the media, Democrats in office today appear unwilling to defend what matters most. They stand in complicit silence as improbable results are spat from the innards of unaccountable voting machines.
“For Democratic legislators and candidates, openly questioning the integrity of American democracy feels like committing political suicide,” says Ben Ptashnik. A former Vermont state senator, Ptashnik ran for office in 1996 specifically to spearhead the state’s Clean Elections Act – whose provisions were largely struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court nearly a decade after its passage. Ptashnik believes that election rigging remains an untouchable phenomenon in American politics. “Very few leaders are willing to fight it, which is probably why Kerry backed off in 2004. But the evidence is piling up. Democrats have to get their heads out of the sand and realize we’re looking at our worst nightmare: Karl Rove’s projected forty-year G.O.P. dynasty.”
Ptashnik speaks with particular bluntness about the state of American democracy. “Today, Karl Rove and the Koch brothers are pushing a corporatist, anti-union agenda,” he says, “cynically allying with anti-immigrant nativists and Christian fundamentalists.” He compares the situation to that of Germany during the 1930s, when anticommunism drove industrialists and much of the working class into the arms of fascism. It is Germany, however, that has now become the standard-bearer for clean elections. In 2009, that nation’s constitutional court upheld the basic principle of the public nature of democratic elections. By ruling that the vote count must be something the public can authenticate – and without any specialized expertise – the decision directly challenged the use of computers in elections.
Ireland followed suit in June 2012, sending all its electronic voting machines to the scrap heap. Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan called the computerized voting system a poorly conceived, scandalous waste of money and said he was “glad to bring this sorry episode to a conclusion on behalf of the taxpayer.”
The November elections will be a watershed for American democracy. A handful of contested Senate seats stand between a right-wing juggernaut and a moderate-progressive counterforce. A few battleground states – notably Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin – hold the key to the presidential election, which may determine the ideological balance of the Supreme Court for decades to come.
Mitt Romney is regarded tepidly by the right wing of his own party. His Mormon faith and the moderate positions he took as governor of Massachusetts have limited his ability to rally the activist base. Consequently, even a weakened Obama may prove too powerful an incumbent to rig out of the White House.
But if the Republicans gain complete control of Congress, they can probably render Obama toothless for his second term and blame him for the economic upheavals that are sure to come in the next four years. Their focus, then, will probably be on the Senate, where Democrats still hold a precarious edge.
No matter how cynical we may have become about our elections, doing nothing to secure an accurate vote count is not an option. It may be too late to completely prevent vote rigging in the 2012 election. But the spotlight of increased public scrutiny may deter the most brazen acts of fraud – and perhaps dissuade those who believe that shifting votes by minuscule percentages in the electronic dark will go unseen.
Where paper ballots still exist, we can demand that local election clerks allow them to be counted by hand before they leave the precinct. Organizing citizen volunteer groups to count them may be necessary. Sheila Parks, who founded the Center for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, has also urged citizens with legal standing to file injunctions to impound ballots, memory cards, and even voting machines after the polls close. “This prevents tampering with any of these items after an election,” she told me, “and gives us access to them with a secure chain of custody.”
Staring at the outside of a black-box voting system and attempting to detect fraud, however, will not ultimately produce clean elections. It is an exercise in futility if we do not take the next steps now. In preparation for the 2014 election, we must demand that our representatives pass comprehensive election reform, including publicly financed races and a secure, transparent vote count. A privatized, secret ballot count must be viewed as a violation of our civil rights. Once that principle is clear, as it is now in Germany and Ireland, the rest will naturally follow. If we the people do not feel the outrage, or lack the courage to fight for this most basic right of American self-governance, who will?

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Date: 03 Aug 2012 06:33:47 -0500
From: “Dharmendra” dg4750@corpnet…
To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: Do You Think Doctors Are Your Friend

Baba

== DO YOU THINK DOCTORS ARE YOUR FRIEND ==

Namaskar,
The amount of radiation from even a single x-ray is extremely harmful. Over the years, the cumulative effects of the radiation are quite dramatic on the body. So just think how harmful one CT scan is when a single CT scan exposes you to more than several hundred times the radiation of an x-ray.

X-rays are dangerous for everyone: They damage the DNA and within 10 to 15 years cancer cells will develop in the body. People around the globe are suffering from cancer due to x-rays. And while it is dangerous to all, it is especially ghastly for children because their tender bodies are still developing. Their cells are very sensitive and highly susceptible to cancer from radiation. In that case, CT scans are a tremendous health risk which are far more harmful than x-rays.

So be aware. Avoid CT scans as far as possible – especially for children. Only if there is absolutely no other option – and without it you may die – then and only then should one get a CT scan. The basic approach is to steer clear from these CT scans.

One key point to keep in mind is that we are living in the culminating phase of the vaeshyan era – this is capitalism at its peak. Even doctors and hospitals are business entities and follow the profit motive. They think more about earning money than about the well-being, or life and death, of the patient. They will even push you up to the jaws of death if by that way they will earn extra money. Of course not every single doctor operates this way but certainly the majority.

Such doctors and medical professionals are paid commissions by diagnostic companies when they recommend patients for medical screenings and tests, like CT scans. That is why they may even resort to fear tactics to pressure you into getting tested.

So this is the general trend nowadays with doctors. If you are fortunate you may get good doctor – as there are some that are more concerned with patient’s care than their own profit. But again this is rare. Point being that if you see a surgeon they will almost always recommend surgery as that is they only way they earn money.

We should be careful. In order to diagnose a problem which may or may not exist, why invite cancer by getting a CT scan. Avoid this as far as possible.

In comparison, MRI’s are relatively harmless. So if you need such a diagnosis get an MRI – they are more clear than CT scans, but more costly. Or find other another option like an ultrasound exam. The main aim should be to spare yourself from the radiation of a CT scan.

Only in the worst case scenario, if really there is no other option, then one may get a CT scan – but be sure to educate yourself about the dangers ahead of time. The following articles are good and point to how Americans are often over-diagnosed.

Namaskar,
Dharmendra

CT Scans Boost Cancer Risks For Kids
Children who get CT scans are at slightly increased risk for brain cancer and leukemia, according to a large international study released Tuesday.
CT scans create detailed images of the inside of the body. So they’re great for diagnosing all sorts of medical problems — so great that their use has soared in recent years. More than 80 million are being done every year in the United States.

But the scans use a lot more radiation than standard X-rays, and evidence has been mounting that they may increase the risk for cancer. But no one could say for sure.

“This is the first study that’s looked at patients that had CT scans and then looked at their subsequent cancer risk,” said Amy Berrington de Gonzalez of the National Cancer Institute, who helped conduct the new study.

The study involved nearly 180,000 British patients who got CT scans between 1985 and 2002 before their 22nd birthdays. The researchers looked at kids because they are more sensitive to radiation than adults.

“We found that the radiation exposure from the CT scans was associated with a subsequent increased risk of both leukemia and brain tumors,” she said.
Based on the findings, researchers calculated that the amount of radiation from two or three scans of the head before age 15 would increase the risk of brain cancer threefold. It would take five to 10 head scans to triple the risk of leukemia.

Now, the researchers stress that the overall risk for brain cancer and leukemia is very low, so the risk remains quite low even among those who get scans.

“During the follow-up period of our study, which was about 10 years, we estimated about one excess brain tumor and one leukemia per 10,000 head CT scans performed in young children,” Berrington de Gonzalez said.
But scans of other parts of the body also look risky, and it’s probably not just a matter of multiple CTs and leukemia and brain tumors among kids, she said. There’s a good chance even one CT scan poses some risk to children — as well as adults — and possibly for all sorts of cancers.

“I think it’s really a landmark paper,” said Andrew Einstein of Columbia University Medical Center, who wrote an analysis of the study that’s being published along with the paper in the journal The Lancet.

“It’s the first paper that’s convincingly established that radiation exposure at low doses — in this case from CT scans — is associated with an increased cancer risk to patients,” he said.

Previous research has been based primarily on victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Now, Berrington de Gonzalez, Einstein and other experts stress that it’s important to remember that CT scans save a lot of lives.

“There are clearly situations in which CT is indicated: major motor vehicle accidents where there’s multiple potential organ injuries. In abdominal pain where surgery might be required for, say, a bowel obstruction or in some patients with apendicitis,” said Donald Frush of Duke University, speaking on behalf of the American College of Radiology.

If we just focused on the negatives, there are lots of things in life we wouldn’t do. “Just hearing the downsides of driving a car, or crossing a street or flying in an airplane,” he said, “if you only discussed the risks of all of those things no one would drive a car or walk across the street or fly in an airplane.”

Other experts agree. But many argue that a lot of CT scans — maybe as many as half — are unnecessary. So doctors have to be much more selective about how they use them, they say.

“It’s absolutely fair if your physician suggests that you or your child has a CT scan to ask that physician, ‘Why?’ Ask, ‘Are there good medical reasons why the CT scan is justified?’ ” said David Brenner, another Columbia University Medical Center researcher who has long studied the safety of CT scans.

Meanwhile, work is also under way to reduce the dose of radiation from each scan.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/06/07/154421129/ct-scans-boost-cancer-risks-for-kids

CT Scans Boost Cancer Risk in Young Patients, Study Finds
A study involving thousands of British children provides the first direct evidence that low-dose radiation used in diagnostic imaging produces a small but real increase in a child’s risk of developing cancer within 10 to 15 years, researchers say. The study, published today in Lancet, found that two to three head CT scans can triple a child’s risk of getting a brain tumor. Five to 10 scans that deliver radiation to the bone marrow triple the risk of leukemia, the research showed…

… the number of CT scans done in the United States is soaring. The most recent data suggests that U.S. doctors perform at least 70 million scans each year, 5 percent to 10 percent of them in children.

A CT scan—a computer-enhanced series of X-rays routinely used to identify brain trauma, cancer and other conditions that might be missed or take longer to diagnose by other means—delivers at least 10 times the radiation of a mammogram and up to 600 times the radiological punch of a single X-ray…

Children are especially susceptible to radiation-induced cancers, because their cells multiply rapidly. Radiation can damage the cellular controls that keep multiplication in check, over time transforming healthy tissue into tumors…

To avoid inappropriate scans—such as those for chronic headache, minor trauma, and low back pain—Swensen advises every person offered a CT scan—and every parent advised that their child might benefit from one—to ask the doctor:
• How could the test result change my (or my child’s) care, if at all?
• Can you recommend an alternative, such as an ultrasound or MRI, that doesn’t involve radiation?
• Can a dose at the low end of the scale be used?
• What is the accuracy of the test at the recommended center? Some operators are better at getting clear images than others, Swensen says.
• Do you have a financial interest in the scanner? Doctors that do, he says, have a greater incentive to refer patients for tests.
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/second-opinion/2012/06/06/ct-scans-boost-cancer-risk-in-young-patients-study-finds

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From: Gagan ”
To: AM-GLOBAL
Subject: Revolutionary Angle of Vision
Date: Wed 27 Jun 2012 21:39:02 -0000

Baba

“Jhar’er ra’te a’ndha’rete kendechilum van-ma’jhe…” (P.S. 3199)

Purport:

Baba, on that very dark night when a big hurricane & thunderstorm was raging, I was crying alone in the deep forest. Nobody was there to understand the tale of my suffering. Nobody was close to me. Certainly You were there along with me, but due to my narrow outlook I could not feel Your presence.

In the height of that wild storm big branches were breaking off from the trees and crashing down on the ground. And all those tender buds and
beautiful flowers were also completely blown off from the limbs of the trees; those buds and flowers were crying bitterly. That very dark, horrendous night was so disastrous.

Baba, O’ Parama Purusa, in the madhuvan [1] of my mind when that hurricane finished, then a sweet, soft, breeze started blowing by Your grace; and I began to feel Your divine, blissful vibration. And ultimately by Your great compassion that deadly night of the cimmerian darkness has passed away entirely; it is completely gone. Baba, You are the Saviour of all, the Benevolent Entity, the dearest one of my heart.

Baba, my most dear One, please grace me by coming closer and closer with Your sweet, charming, & attractive smile…

END NOTE FOR PRABHAT SAMGIITA #3199:

[1] Madhuvan: Literally meaning “sweet forest”; But it refers to that remote, isolated, garden in the mind that is filled with spring blossoms, sweet fragrance, aromatic flowers, and a gentle & fragrant breeze. It is that tranquil mental abode where nobody is present except the devotee and the Lord. And there the bhakta and Parama Purusa sit together ensconced in that very divinely intoxicated atmosphere and they share the loving feeling of their heart in a very close, intimate, and loving way.

== REVOLUTIONARY ANGLE OF VISION ==

Namaskar,

Baba says, “The people who have committed some misdeeds driven by want (be that want of food or clothes or of physical or mental gratification) make society responsible for it. They want to convey to us that their want was created due to flaws in the social system, which is, however, substantially
true.” (Human Society – 1, ’87, p.77)

Here following are some observations about Baba’s above teaching:

1. This tragic scene which Baba is describing is happening throughout the globe. In “third-world” countries and in so-called advanced nations, often the common mass is denied getting their basic necessities – in which case, with no other option, they are pressured into committing crimes.

2. In turn, the “powers-that-be” wrongly blame and convict that individual and label them as a thief or criminal.

3. However, in His dharmic & revolutionary approach, Baba views the situation completely differently. He holds the society at fault for putting its own citizens in such a dire position wherein they cannot even get their minimum requirements (food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care).

4. We should pay heed to Baba’s guideline and also make it known that the real culprits are those who are hoarding all the material wealth and not allowing general society members to get their basic needs met.

5. Parama Purusa has given an enormous amount of wealth for maintaining the human society; but, because of the terribly improper ways of distribution. Drastic inequalities have emerged and so many problems have erupted around the globe.

6. Everyone should remember Prout’s unique approach that 100% of the wealth belongs to Parama Purusa. He is the owner. It is everyone’s birthright to utilise this wealth in a rational way, but He is the Creator and the Owner.

Baba says, “None of the movable or immovable property of this universe belongs to any particular individual; everything is the common patrimony of all, and the Father of all is Brahma. All living beings can enjoy their rightful share of this property, like members of a joint family in the Dáyabhága system. As members of a joint family, human beings should safeguard this common property in a befitting manner and utilize it properly. They should also make proper arrangements so that everyone can enjoy it with equal rights, ensuring that all have the minimum requirements of life to enable them to live in a healthy body with a sound mind.” (Problems of the Day, Point #1)

Namaskar,
Gagan

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Date: 26 Jun 2012 19:38:29 -0000
From: “Manoj”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Relations with Others

Baba

“Arupe chile tumi rupe esecho, dhara’ke a’loke bhaviyecho…” (PS 2665)

Purport:

Baba, You were formless in Your unexpressed stance of Nirguna Brahma but now by Your infinite grace You have come in form as the Taraka Brahma [1]. Baba, You are so gracious. You have filled this earth with Your divine
effulgence and fathomless grace. Baba, with Your boundless compassion You have saturated this world with Your divine nectar. O’ Lord, You are the most Loving Entity in this vast universe. I do pranam to You again and again. I surrender completely at Your lotus feet.

Baba, in whichever direction I look on this earth, I only see Your magnificent Self in this expressed world. Baba, besides You nothing else exists; except You, I do not see anything. You are reflecting Yourself in each and every entity – animate & inanimate. Baba this world is filled with Your divine presence. O’ my dearmost, You are expressing Yourself with such overflowing bliss in each and every molecule and atom of this creation and in the transcendental realms also. Everything is filled with Your grace– both the expressed and unexpressed worlds. Nobody is alone; nothing has been forgotten. All are under Your loving shelter. Baba, although You are present throughout this created universe, even then in Bhavatiita [2] also, only You are there. Baba, You graciously fill both the manifested and unmanifested worlds with Your divine bliss.

Baba, You are the Goal of everyone. Without You, nobody has any future. Those who do not realise this think they are everything. But ultimately because You are the Goal of life their extreme arrogance gets pulverised. Their vanity is just wallowing at Your feet with the hope that You are going to forgive them and shower Your infinite grace and save them from total destruction because You are eternally established in karuna’.

Baba, You are so gracious; You have come and showered everyone and everything in Your bliss…

NOTES TO PRABHAT SAMGIITA #2665:

[1] Ta’raka Brahma: Some naive persons think that Taraka Brahma is gone. But that is not true. Because the dhyan Baba has taught us is the ideation on Taraka Brahma. And Baba Himself has said that to know Him and have Him, one must get Him in dhyana. That is why even central workers who were surrounding Baba 24hrs day were also forced to close their eyes and do sadhana each and every day. Because the real connection with Taraka Brahma occurs within. That is why we can say that the presence of Taraka Brahma lives on and on for devotees. Because it is in that form that He is present in dhyana. And indeed that is the only way to realise Him. And that dhyan did not change after 1990 – it is the same meditation. In that case which devotee can truly say that Taraka Brahma is gone – no one. Because by His grace each and every day we communicate with Him in dhyana in His divine form as the Taraka Brahma.

All in all, this is a vast discussion and there numerous angles to discuss but the overarching idea is that for devotees, the divine Presence of Taraka Brahma goes on and on as Baba remains ever-present in their mental plate in that form.

Baba says, “Ta’raka Brahma is not a figure of philosophy – it is a creation of devotional sentiment.” (Idea & Ideology)

[2] Bhavatiita: In His stance of bhavatiita, Parama Purusa is beyond all physical manifestations and beyond all thought conceptions.

Baba says, “Parama Purus’a, the Supreme Reality, is beyond all speech and thought: He is beyond the reach of the vocal cord. So He is bha’va’tiita [“beyond bha’va”]…The more one thinks of His infinite qualities, the more one becomes speechless, the more deeply one becomes absorbed in Him. However He is viewed, He is seen to be the newest of the new– constantly new. That is why He has been described as bha’va’tiita abhinava [“beyond
bha’va, ever-new”].” (Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Disc: 19)

== RELATIONS WITH OTHERS ==

Namaskar,

Baba says, “Bear in mind that you have a duty towards– indeed, you owe a debt to– every creature of this Universe, but towards you, no one has any duty; from others, nothing is due.” (Caryacarya – 2, ‘Sadhana’, pt #3)

In the various dogmatic religions, it is often taught that God has created this whole universe solely for the enjoyment of human beings. That is why, without a second thought, religious followers kill animals and exploit downtrodden people up to the bone without any qualms. Such followers think that everything has been put on this earth for my pleasure and gain.

Motivated by this dogmatic teaching, selfish people’s mind works in that way. Such people think that, ‘Others have the duty to take care of my situation and their own situation as well. And they should not bother me about their own problems’. This is the way such selfish persons think. And if due to some reason that same lowly person helps others then that selfish person thinks that in the near future the person they helped should pay them back in full plus interest for their so-called service. Thus there is no question of true duty and service; these ideals have no place in their mind.

Because of all this, present day society’s condition is unfavourable – bleak. All around the west these things are quite common, as well as in the big metropolitan cities of the east. But Baba’s teaching leads in a different direction. In His above mandate from Caryacarya, Baba is very beautifully guiding us that our duty is to serve everybody – without any expectation of anything in return.

Namaskar,
Manoj Deva

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Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 21:54:33 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: “Nataraj Deva” N_deva.deva@Millenia.net…>”
Subject: Possible Scam by GS

Baba

== POSSIBLE SCAM BY GS ==

Namaskar,

I have heard this news which I am writing below. If any reader has more information, please write.

Current GS Dada (Ranchi), Ac. Citsvarupananda Avt, recently collected a huge sum of money (25 – 30 lakhs of rupees) from various Wts and margiis as a loan.

GS Dada promised to return back the money many-fold to lenders. But now he is not willing to return any of the money back to margiis and WTs.

Rather, GS Dada is abusing and scolding those workers and margiis who ask for their money back.

Dada Citsvarupananda is trying to convince everyone that he lost that huge sum of money, i.e. 25 – 30 lakhs. Dadaji’s claim is that he already lost all the money which he borrowed; all that loan money is gone.

So Citsvarupanandji is telling everyone that he cannot return the money to them; all those margiis and workers who lent him money have now lost their money. Dadaji says: Margiis & workers should console thus themselves that they donated to the organization. That is what Dadaji is telling everyone. He is also requesting everyone not to remind him of this matter because he cannot return the money since he lost it all.

Hearing this reply from Dada Citsvarupanandaji, WTs and margiis are frustrated and furious.

If any margii has come to know more about this incident please write.

Namaskar,
Nataraj

Note: HOW MUCH IS A LAKH

Most probably know that one lakh is equal to 100,000. So 25 – 30 lakhs is the equivalent of 2.5 – 3 million rupees. Thus GS Dada borrowed nearly 3 million rupees from margiis and workers; and now he is claiming that he lost all that money and people cannot get their money back.

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Tumi eso pra’n’e o pradiipe…” (PS no. 2535)

Purport:

Baba, please come in my heart, in the deep core of my mind. You are my everything– You are my dhya’na, You are my jinana, You are my Ista. You are most sacred, holy, and sweetness Personified. Baba, You are the controller of my entire existence. Keeping Your love and divine guidance in my heart I am moving on path which You have graciously shown me. By Your grace I go on remembering Your name constantly. That is my strength of forward movement. Baba, please grace me by coming in my heart…

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From: “Arisudan Deva”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: To Improve Sadhana
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 20:07:05 +0000

Baba

== TO IMPROVE SADHANA ==

Namaskar,
If you are sitting in your own older automobile and admiring your neighbor’s fancy, new car – internally wishing that it were yours – are you then going against the code of asteya (non-stealing)?

The answer is: YES.

So says Baba in His historic Patna discourse from 1971. That is the exact example that Baba Himself has given.

In that same discourse Baba raises many other new and unique points related with asteya that apply to our daily life.

As His disciples we should all familiarise ourselves with His expanded teachings on asteya so as to enhance our practical knowledge base gained from His monumental book, “Jiivan Veda” or “A Guide to Human Conduct” (Jamalpur 1957).

By this way, our sadhana will certainly improve.

Baba says, “…Without yama and niyama, sadhana is an impossibility…” (Supreme Command)

ALL WANT EXPANSION

Baba outlines that everyone in this world desires expansion (vistara) – all want to expand. This is the common feeling and inherent tendency of every human being.

But as Baba points out, not all expansion is in accordance with yama and niyama. Certain types of expansion run contrary to the code of asteya. In that case, one will not be able to progress on the path of sadhana, nor be a moral citizen in society.

ABOUT PHYSICAL, PSYCHIC, AND SPIRITUAL EXPANSION

We then need to understand what type of expansion is proper, and what not.

Baba says that expansion in the psychic world is very good. There is no problem with this. Baba furthermore states that by proper expansion in the psychic world the aspirant will become one with Saguna Brahma.

Baba also states that expansion in the spiritual world is also of great value and it has no drawbacks. By the proper approach, through spiritual expansion the sadhaka will become one with Nirguna Brahma.

So in these two planes – psychic and spiritual – expansion will further one along the path of dharma — sadhana.

The tricky aspect is if one chases after expansion in the physical sphere. That is when all the problems occur.

PROBLEMS WITH PHYSICAL EXPANSION

As Ananda Margiis – as sadhakas – we understand that we live in this world for the sake of adjustment only. This is not our permanent abode; this is not our eternal shelter; all the things of this world are transitory. There is no sense in collecting things which will not stay with us. This we all understand.

For that reason, we are (mostly) not allured nor enamoured with accumulating and collecting more and more mundane possessions or wealth. At least we should not be enticed in this direction.

Because we understand in our heart that we have come onto this earth to serve and please Parama Purusa and His creation. He is our Goal, not any mundane item like property, money, cars, women, gold, or prestige.

However, those without a higher goal in life will naturally try to satisfy their desire for expansion by chasing after physical pabulum. This leads to hoarding, greed, corruption, and so many other problems.

Tragically, now this is what most people are doing because capitalism is in vogue – wherein the material world is looked upon as everything, the be-all and end-all of life.

Baba says, “In capitalism the psychology of the acquisition of material wealth, be it land, money, metal or other property, strongly predominates. Such crude psychic urges and psychic pabula remain unchecked and unbridled in capitalism and turn into a hungry profit motive in the market system. As a result, traders, industrialists and business people suffer from the psychic disease of accumulating more and more wealth by any means, even to the point of depriving other human beings of their basic requirements…The inhuman exploitation causes the mass-level deprivation of millions of people. The curse of capitalism engulfs the whole of society. Thus capitalism is anti-human.” (PNS-12)

This entire defective approach of goading one’s inherent desire for expansion toward mundane things is against the code of asteya, as people are constantly desiring to own things that do not belong to them.

From top to bottom, it is a flawed approach to life and those who get stuck in this mode of living suffer from a severe psychic disease, and their future is not at all bright.

All this and more Baba describes in the about quote and in so many of His discourses. By this manner, such persons are going against the code of asteya and ruining their human existence.

WORKS IN TWO DISTINCT DIRECTIONS

To take the matter one step further, chasing after physical expansion leads to steya (stealing) in two ways.

Firstly, as described above, greedy people will always harbor the idea to grab more and more physical wealth. They will try and capture more money or land or whatever to the degree that they deprive others. This is one type of stealing.

The second type is that those who have been exploited up to the bone will then wander this earth in a penniless and hungry condition. In turn, they will resort to stealing in order to merely survive on this earth. They will steal for their next meal.

The first type of stealing – i.e. unbridled over-accumulation of physical wealth – is due to a misguided and greedy intellect. The individual is at fault.

The second type of stealing – i.e. theft out of want – is due to severe exploitation. In that case the society is at fault as those impoverished persons had no other course of action in order to stay alive. They were forced to steal in order to even eat.

Both of these conditions – both of these types of stealing – are not at all befitting of our human society and should be eliminated entirely.

SOLUTIONS

There are two basic solutions to these types of steya (theft).

Firstly, we are to teach sadhana to each and every person and by this way they will get the idea that this human life is not meant for running after mundane things and physical wealth. Rather we are to live in proper adjustment in this world so that all can goad their minds toward psychic and spiritual pursuits.

By teaching sadhana then people will get the idea that in their personal lives they should seek psycho-spiritual expansion. That will eliminate steya in individual life.

If we merely tell people not to steal but fail to give them the practical approach of sadhana, then they will steal secretly. So that will not work.

The second aspect is to propagate the ideals of Prout and thereby make society healthy. Then people will not roam around in halfway starving condition wondering how they are going to get their next meal.

Only Prout guides people that expansion should get aimed toward the field of spirituality. With this idea as the banner of human life, then asteya will certainly be properly practiced in life and all will get right expansion. Everyone’s sadhana will be better as that is what they cherish most in life, not a new swimming pool, Mercedes-Benz, or a large mansion.

Baba says, “PROUT is a socioeconomic philosophy to help take humanity from imperfection to perfection. To move towards the Supreme Entity is a continuous process for one and all. At the end of this process, you will become one with the Supreme Entity.” (PNS-17)

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace He has given us the right teachings in life so that the mind will be goad toward the benevolent Goal. In that case – unhindered by various afflictions – one will flow effortless forward on the path of sadhana.

Baba says, “The easiest way of practising asteya, as in the case of all other principles of Yama and Niyama, is auto-suggestion. If people, right from the childhood, remember these codes and remind themselves what is correct, they will not go astray when they grow up – even in the midst of temptations – and they will be able to maintain the high standard of thoughts and character.” (GHC)

Namaskar,
Arisudan

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“Tumi eso, tumi eso a’ma’r ghare…” – P.S. 3190

Purport:

Baba, please grace me by coming in my abode. I am waiting constantly for You, ceaselessly, after lighting the lamp of hope in my heart.

Baba, You are always so gracious. By Your grace-compassion I receive You in my dreams. By Your grace, I get You there. And when I wake up I continue thinking of Your tales and talks. Baba, You are so gracious, Your love is painted on every pore of my mind and heart.

Baba, I always remember You; even if I try to forget You still I remember You. When I yearn for You strongly then in my heart I feel pain in that longing. It is then that the thought comes that I should forget You– because by that way at least it will be peaceful. But it is impossible for me; I cannot forget you.

Baba, You always reside in the deep core of my heart. The whole universe is saturated with Your divine love. You shower Your causeless grace on everyone. Baba, please come in my mental abode; You are my everything…

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