Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Other Matrix

This is my most recent article that has been posted up at The Hampton Institution's website, of which I am the Politics/Government department chair.

"Fools," "sheeple," and "ignoramuses" are just some of the words used to insult those who are still trapped in what we call "The Matrix" - that system of thinking in which people expect the government to solve problems, and believe in the current economic and political system as well as have a faith in government officials and the mainstream media. Yet, there are many problems with referring to people in such a manner, and it ignores the fact that those who consider themselves having left this Matrix may only unknowingly find themselves within another one.

Upon encountering videos, articles, and general information which seems to shed the truth about how society works and how the entire system is rigged, many people become encouraged and want to spread this news around, which is good. In their quest to share this newfound information, many find that their friends and relatives are rather averse to what is being presented to them, and such a reaction can be taken in quite a negative manner. Others, after having been steeped in such information for quite some time, begin to develop disdain for those who do not accept the same ideas that they have. Such individuals take their knowledge and begin to lord it over others and insult those who have not read the same books, watched the same movies, read the same articles, and generally don't hold the same worldview as they have. Such examples can be seen in the aforementioned insults that are regularly thrown around by the so-called 'unplugged' individuals.

This is problematic, as it makes individuals much less receptive to even slightly discussing the information they are being presented with, as they feel the presenter is berating them, rather than attempting to display these new ideas in non-threatening and non-insulting ways.

Both the negative reaction from loved ones and/or the arrogance of individuals can result in self-alienation and information bias. In a way, the two go hand-in-hand as people who become 'purists' sometimes begin to alienate themselves from others who do not accept their newfound way of thinking, and thus confine themselves to communities that do reinforce their own thoughts, as well as get their information only from sources that agree with them, even if there are serious problems with their chosen outlets.

A prime example of this can be found in Alex Jones website Infowars. Many Jones fans take the word of Alex as gospel; and while he may get things right from time to time, it ignores the overall problem with sites like Infowars - namely that Jones doesn't truly care about "fighting the new world order," but rather is a fear monger and has had accusations of being a "disinformation agent." Alex Jones wins either way, because if the "plot" is foiled, then he can claim he "stopped it," and if the "plot" succeeds, then he can say everyone needs to help him. In both scenarios, Jones gets paid. There are a number of groups like Alex Jones, from Whale to Rense; groups which, at the heart, are nothing but fear mongers.

These groups, while they do feed highly questionable information, on a deeper level also constitute a different matrix, separate from the one which people claim to have broken free. They have unplugged from one matrix and jacked into another, arguably worse matrix, in which suspects range from "the powers that be" and "the new world order" to the so-called Illuminati. All this does is allow for people to be split up into different camps based on who/what they follow and fight amongst each other, while doing absolutely nothing to confront and battle the current oppressive systems of power. 

At the end of the day, only you can decide what you believe or do not believe; only you can actually do the research and decide for yourself.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Global Campaign to Call for a Peace Treaty

Editor's Note: As we all know, the developments are the Korean peninsula are quite worrying as the Koreas seem to edge closer to war and those of us who want peace are quite worried as the prospects for such an outcome seem to be dimming.

I received an email just two weeks ago and was asked to share the following document with my audience to hopefully encourage support for this movement that calls for peace between the two Koreas. It was launched by Professor Kiyul Chung, a visiting professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the editor of 4th Media.

The email stated that the following document "calls for Peace not for War in Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asia region" and "The 4th Media, with the support and solidarity from other global alternative, independent medias around the world, would like to launch a collective Global Campaign in order to support those tens of millions of Koreans who call for Peace." Thus, I encourage everyone to share this document far and wide to show that there are people around the world who not only support peace, but support the Korean people, no matter if they be in the North or the South.

The latest updates can be found here and here.

- Devon DB

A Global Campaign to Call for a Peace Treaty:
No to War on Korean Peninsula and in the whole Northeast Asian Region
by Prof. Kiyul Chung

May 18, 2013

On July 27, 1953, Korean War hostilities were ended only temporarily by introducing the fragile Armistice Agreement which was signed by DRPK, China and USA/UN. However, that “temporary cessation” of the deadly military conflicts has not put an end to all hostilities as it was supposed to and as was clearly stated as its intent in the 1953 document. Instead, a situation has continued of the peaceful reunification of Korean peninsula being serially obstructed and with the DPRK put under continual siege and even serial threats of nuclear annihilation by the U.S. since November 1950.

The result has been that critical and scarce resources in both the southern and northern regions of Korea, resources needed to lift millions out of poverty in both the north and south, have been diverted from development into military and defense. This dangerous, unstable and development-damaging situation has been forcibly continued against the will of the great majority of over 80 million Korean populations in north, south and overseas.

The hostilities, past, present and intended for the future have been purposefully maintained on the Korean peninsula for several reasons: the military-industrial-complex interests of the U.S. and its allies; the prevention of the self-determined peaceful reunification of Korea under terms and conditions not dictated by the U.S.; the use of portions of Korea for bases and staging areas for imperial adventures with specific targets in mind such as China, Russia and other potential rivals both in Northeast Asia and the Eurasian continent; and so on.
Therefore, countless “manufactured crises” have purposefully maintained the DPRK-USA “semi-war status”. The crises have been unilaterally imposed against the much weaker party by the much stronger. The “crises made by U.S.” have fundamentally defined and maintained and structured a “forcibly divided” Korean Peninsula over the last 60 some years.

The unilaterally-imposed military confrontations have continued between the two most incomparable parties: the DPRK and the U.S. There can be no comparison. One side incomparably outweighs the other in everything in number, quality, quantity, and size of the territory and the population, especially the military continuing until this very day.

There has been also a unilaterally-employed global demonization campaign as “war propaganda” or “psychological warfare,” by “the only global superpower” against the incomparably much weaker side for several decades.

The human suffering that has resulted from the forceful division of the Korean people and from the continued economic blockade, military threats, political isolation, financial sanctions and siege against the DPRK cannot be easily measured or described. It is simply beyond description. Beyond imagination! The waste of human resources, ecological-environmental devastation by the over 60 years of ongoing US-led (so-called) “military drills” and the continued “nuclear war games,” and the Korean national wealth by the forcibly imposed division cannot be easily described or measured either.

Today, along with those numerous manufactured crises, the immeasurable sufferings, and the life of already-disrespected, -discarded and –dismantled fragile Armistice Agreement seems to be coming to an end.
In the last 4 months, the Korean peninsula, the Northeast Asia region and the whole world seem to have been thrown into a new reality, i.e., a real possibility of the first-ever, Nuclear War.

Such a war is now again deemed, as it was during the 1950-53 Korean War, a real possibility to most, if not all, Koreans in north, south and overseas. It must also seem so to many Japanese and US military troops stationed in Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, and other US military bases.

This is the very reason why tens of millions of Koreans from all ends in north, south and overseas, together with tens of millions of peace-loving peoples from around the world, in unison and in solidarity, call for peace on the Korean peninsula and the region and not for wars not only in the region but also anywhere around the world.

Therefore, WE the undersigned PEOPLE, from all ends, not only in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia region but also in the whole globe, join with the tens of millions of Korean peoples in north, south and overseas to solemnly call for the following demands:

I.          The Armistice Agreement must be replaced by a Permanent Peace Treaty signed by those responsible parties such as DPRK, China and the US/UN-South Korea.

II.        All those deadly destructive Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) must be removed from the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asia region once for all.

III.       The Asia-Pacific region must remain and be saved for a new future of a peacefully-coexisting and mutually co-prosperous region.

IV.       The Korean Peninsula, the Asia-Pacific region and indeed the whole world must not be manipulatively used for the sake of global warmongers, military industrial complexes and/or hegemonic muscle –wielding powers that are eager to continuously raise military tensions at the expense of peace, security and prosperity for all.

Victory to Peace not for War by Ending the Already Dismantled Armistice Agreement to Be Replaced by a Permanent Peace Treaty for the Korean Peninsula!

On behalf of the tens of millions of peace-loving Koreans in north, south and overseas, Mr. Oh, Jong Ryul and Mr. Lee, Chang Bok, the two Standing Senior Chairs of the largest-ever nationwide Anti-war Coalition in Seoul, Korea present this document on the day of May 18.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Race, Queerphobia, and America

The oppression and problems that LGBT people face on a regular basis is gaining more and more exposure in the news on both a national and international level. Yet, while the main focus seems to be on same-sex marriage, there is also something that is ignored, namely the issue of race in regards to who is and who is not prejudiced against the LGBT community.

Earlier this year, Time Magazine ran a cover in which ran a headline that gay marriage had already won.[1] On the cover were either two gay men or two lesbian women kissing. While this is just a magazine cover, it epitomizes the general American view of lesbians and gays: middle-class, white individuals. It also reveals just how little attention LGBT people of color receive, with our communities consistently being labeled homo- or trans- phobic.

This manner of thinking is quite dangerous on a number of levels. For one, it implies that prejudice against LGBT people specifically lies with people of color when this ignores the fact that 1) there are homophobic white people- just look at the Westboro Baptist Church and 2) there are, in fact, LGBT people of color.

On another level, it implies that white people can’t possibly be anti-LGBT because of their very whiteness. This can be linked to the general idea of white supremacy in America where there are subtle “manifestations of white supremacy that are woven into the fabric of American culture”[2] and white people not being considered anti-LGBT is one of these manifestations in which whites are considered morally superior to people of color.  The fact of the matter is that most anti-LGBT prejudice that whites display is often ignored and paid no notice, with one example being the case of Cece McDonald, in which she was assaulted by white transphobes[3] and received little to no mainstream media coverage.

There are those who may argue that they are correct in painting people of color as anti-LGBT by pointing to certain articles such as Bill Maxwell’s Homophobia: It’s A Black Thing, in which we see a black author stating that “Several studies and polls show that homophobia is a major part of African-American culture, enabled by religious and political nonsense and emotional and intellectual immaturity.”[4] Yet, this ignores that soon after Mr. Maxwell’s article was published, information came out stating that blacks are more likely to identify as LGBT[5], the majority of blacks support same-sex marriage[6], and there are a number of influential LGBT blacks[7]. If this homophobia had been linked to the “religious and political nonsense” and the “emotional and intellectual immaturity” of the black community, how could any of this have happened? It is quite obvious that homophobia is not as prevalent in the black community as Mr. Maxwell had thought.

By buying into the idea that all people of color are anti-LGBT, one is only stereotyping and perpetuating a myth that is completely false and not only allows whites to continue to ignore their own shortcomings in regards to LGBT people, but on a larger scale, ignore the unique challenges that LGBT people of color face.[8]

Rather than quibble about who is more or less prejudiced, it is time that we actually realize that anyone, no matter their skin color, can be prejudiced against LGBT individuals and to fight that prejudice on both an individual and national level, from talking to anti-LGBT individuals we know to fighting for federal and state laws that end discrimination against trans* individuals. Only in that way will we be able to create a society that is more just, not just for LGBT people, but for everyone.


[1] Jake Merkinson, “Time Gay Marriage Cover: 'Gay Marriage Already Won' (PHOTO),” Huffington Post, March 28, 2013 (

[2] Anthony Mustacich, “White Supremacy: Exploring the Contours of Race and Power in America,” Global Research, May 11, 2013 (

[3] Jay Michaelson, Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender Women,” The Daily Beast, June 6, 2012 (

[4] Bill Maxwell, “Homophobia: It’s A Black Thing,” Tampa Bay Times, June 17, 2011 (

[5] Huffington Post, Black Gays Make Up Largest Share Of LGBT Community, Survey Shows,, October 19, 2012

[6] Hannah Morgan, “Blacks’ support a surprise on same-sex marriage,” Washington Times, December 9, 2012 (

[7] Lawrence Feber, “Eight LGBT African-Americans Who Changed the Gay Community,” Queerty, February 4, 2013 (

[8] Advocates for Youth, The Impact of Homophobia and Racism on GLBTQ Youth of Color,, June 2007

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why We Must Fight

Even doing so much as glancing at the occasional headline or ticker feed can make one feel as if the world is going to hell in a handbasket. From the economic crisis in Europe to the bombings in Boston, to the continuing news about the false economic recovery, the world can seem like a dangerous and terrifying place, yet we must realize that the people and forces behind these problems and realize that solutions are in fact possible.

Children are starving in Greece due to the fact that Greece’s economy “is in free fall, having shrunk by 20 percent in the past five years” and in the United States, the amount of suburban poverty is increasing, with neither situation seeming to change anytime soon. The entire global economy looks like it may come apart at the seams. Governments from the US to China are engaging in a massive currency war which is backed by the G20 and will hurt the average person.  

The governments of the world are hiding the economic downturns by fiddling with the indicators, such as the levels of unemployment and inflation. Generally, “the way these numbers are calculated sometimes doesn’t reflect the true economic landscape at all,” however this is unsurprising when we realize that the market has been manipulated time and again.

Due to these economic problems, one would think that many nations would be busy attempting to fix their wrecked economies, yet Western nations such as France have found the time to fund and arm radical Islamists in an attempt to overthrow Assad, the Chinese government is making “increased military spending a top priority,” and  the threat of regional wars from Israel-Iran to North and South Korea.

The corruption of governments around the world and how they do not care for their people has been shown time and time again. The fact that the Greek government is allowing for austerity to occur even if it means children starve is a crime in and of itself. What is occurring is the bastardization of the so-called First World countries by their own governments and in the case of Europe, the IMF and World Bank are helping in cannibalizing Europe, allowing for poor euro countries such as Greece to essentially become a corporate colony for the major EU countries like Germany. What has happened to the so-called Third World countries is now happening to the ‘First World,’ where “areas of education and health care as well as other public enterprises are dismantled, privatized and sold off to mega corporations and banks for pennies on the dollar,” resulting in a type of neo-feudalism where corporations are in control of our entire society, from the government to the very food that you eat.

While the situation may seem dismal and it seems as if all hope is gone, we must fight. People have been fighting all over the globe, from anti-austerity protests in Europe to the number of protests planned for this month across the US to labor strikes and social protests being on the rise in Egypt.

These protests are a sign that people are realizing that the power to change their reality doesn’t like in the halls of government nor in the offices of a corporate office, the power is- and always has- been inside of them. If we are to stop this madness, we must fight and not just for our own sake, but for the sake of those who have yet to be born.