Category Archives: People

Man Awakens After 12 Years in a ‘Vegetative State’, Says “I Was Aware Of Everything”

By Steven Bancarz January 15, 2015
Martin Pistorious was just 12 years old when the doctors diagnosed him with what they believed was Cryptococci Meningitis, a sever fungal infection of the brain. This news completely devastated his parents.  His conditioned worsened until he was in a vegetative state, unable to move or care for himself.  He lost his motor skills, his speech, and was unable to perform even the most basic of human functions.

The story was originally featured on Life News|

Continue reading Man Awakens After 12 Years in a ‘Vegetative State’, Says “I Was Aware Of Everything”

A Man Uses A Rake On The Beach

Andres Amador is no ordinary artist. He neither draws or paints. He doesn’t sculpt. Instead of a white canvas, he uses nature, namely the beach. Instead of a brush, he uses a rake. Andres creates artworks that are larger than 100,000 square feet. He spends countless hours on his pieces even though he knows that the tide will soon wash it away…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full story and more pics here: http://sftimes.co/?id=25&src=share_fb_new_25

The US is not a democracy but an oligarchy, study concludes

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

By JC Sevcik   |   April 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM
The American Flag seen behind a sign for Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange. UPI/John Angelillo

| License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) — Oligarchy is a form of government in which power is vested in a dominant class and a small group exercises control over the general population.A new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities concluded that the U.S. government represents not the interests of the majority of citizens but those of the rich and powerful.

“Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” analyzed extensive data, comparing nearly 1,800 U.S. policies enacted between 1981 and 2002 with the expressed preferences of average and affluent Americans as well as special interest groups.

The resulting data empirically verifies that U.S. policies are determined by the economic elite.

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” says the peer-reviewed study.

The 42-page study analyzes U.S. politics through the framework of four major theoretical traditions — Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic Elite Domination, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism — concluding that U.S. political policies rarely align with the majority of citizens.

What do our findings say about democracy in America? They certainly constitute troubling news for advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

The report consoles that “Americans do enjoy many features
central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association” but goes on to warn that “we believe that if policymaking is dominated
by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/04/16/The-US-is-not-a-democracy-but-an-oligarchy-study-concludes/2761397680051/#ixzz2zDse9tIq

Plans for manned missions to Mars ~ Elon Musk

Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and founder of Tesla Motors, is the man behind the project to send manned missions and colonize Mars within our lifetime ~ He is quoted to say he wants to die and be buried on Mars~ Here is an article and video with more details on the 41 year old – It seems the consensus is split on Musk as nut or visionary ~

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jul/17/elon-musk-mission-mars-spacex

Musk made his mark by co-founding PayPal, which transformed e-commerce, in 1999. He sold it three years later to eBay for $1.5bn. When, armed with this fortune, he turned to space exploration, the consensus said he was nuts. Building and launching rockets was the preserve of states – big states, because small states tended to spend a fortune trying and still fail.

He is also the founder/creator of Tesla Motors ~ His company is working on creating a more affordable Tesla car ~ The current version of the all electric Tesla has caught the public interest and is selling well but the expensive price tag has limited the Tesla sales to upper income car consumers ~

The plan, says Elon Musk, is to minimize climate change – and colonize the red planet ~

“The key thing for me,” he begins, “is to develop the technology to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars. That’s the ultimate awesome thing.” Musk envisages a colony with 80,000 people on the red planet. “But of course we must pay the bills along the way. So that means serving important customers like Nasa, launching commercial broadcasting communication satellites, GPS satellites, mapping, science experiments. “There’s no rush in the sense that humanity’s doom is imminent; I don’t think the end is nigh. But I do think we face some small risk of calamitous events. It’s sort of like why you buy car or life insurance. It’s not because you think you’ll die tomorrow, but because you might.”

 

A follow up to Sevaji’s wisdom quote on Loss and Grieving ~

Sevaji ~ Johannes’s quote on Loss and Grieving is a very beautiful perspective and deeply felt expression of loss and death ~ With gratitude to Johannes/Sevaji for his enlightening meditation that reflects upon the many questions, fears and confusion that arise when a loved one passes away ~ His words are an offering and blessing to the soul ~

Here is the link to some other related wisdom quotes on the subject of death ~ http://www.sapphyr.net/smallgems/quotes-death.htm

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John Pisciotta’s Life in Palermo (Sicily) – “A true story”

HERE IS A “MUST WATCH” VID – that i wanted to share – in response to the still growing conditions of poverty and human rights violations in the land of my paternal heritage – the island of “Sicily” – Sicilia. UPDATE: THE VIDEO HAS BEEN DELETED.

As i’ve shared before in a previous post – I’ve discussed about the many economic and political hardships (as well as cultural) Sicilians have been faced with for many many years – The island of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean….(located between Southern Italy to the Northeast and across the sea from Tunisia to the West) – has been a land that has seen it all – from thousands of years of ancient history, invasion after invasion from many different tribes and ethnic groups that have conquered and occupied the island (from the ancient Greeks, to the Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Phoenicians….and such) – and as a result: creating the very essence of the ethnic Sicilian identity – a land that, while currently annexed to Italy politically and administratively, is quite a distinct entity to itself – a land  that is unique and rich in its own culture, history and even its traditions, cuisine, flag, and language (Sicilian being its own separate Romance tongue…..in fact, many Sicilians are bilingual in both standard Italian and native Sicilian)

An island that was its own nation-island, as a Kingdom for centuries (Kingdom of Sicily) – which at one point enjoyed a period of flourishing success and wealth during its rule….(since the Hellenistic period….Sicily saw places such as the city-state of Syracuse – “Siracusa” – rival that of Athens itself)

Today though – sadly is quite the opposite picture – While still a land that holds onto its natural picturesque beauty which attracts many visitors on vacation (blessed by its sunny Mediterranean climate) – remains one of the poorest and least developed “regions” of Italy…..Ever since Sicily became a part of the Italian state in 1946 (and even earlier, “unofficially” during the “Risorgimento” [Ressurgence] Era of the 18th century led by Giuseppe Garibaldi) – it has faced such extreme conditions of poverty and hardship, further aggravated by local crime and corruption – especially back in the day when the Mafia held control of much property by its illegal doings – and also, the Italian government’s continued neglect and failed promises to improve conditions for the Sicilian people – (despite making Sicily an autonomous region….it still fails to recognize and implement the full laws of the “Sicilian Statue” – of autonomy within govt) – and has led to the mistreatment of Sicilians [along with the still prevalent discrimination & prejudice against the people] – lack of resources, practically no welfare service and poor health care…etc…forcing folks to do whatever is necessary to survive – including sometimes violent protesting against the state – and living illegally in the local impoverished areas of the main cities, called ironically, “ZEN” (in Italian, stands for: “Zona Espansione Nord – Northern Zone Expansion” –

 

Below is a video that was created by John Pisciotta – a local street vendor (a friend whom i’ve been in contact with for about a year or so now…) – who lives in one of the impoverished ZEN’s of Palermo (Zen di San Filippo Neri) – a real life true story personal tale of life in today’s Sicily – and showing the truly terrible conditions that exist right now….what many people are largely ignorant about – A Human Rights issue that direly needs to be addressed –

In the the vid – John talks about his own personal story and shows the grounds of San Filippo Neri – as well as clips of the brutal protests against the Italian state and police (much of the protests which he has also orchestrated as well…) – and lastly, of the community project that would help benefit the people….little by little – [i just heard recently….sadly the grounds have been abandoned and became a “lost cause” – which just totally breaks my heart – I’ve been supporting such great things like this!]

The vid is narrated in Sicilian, Italian and English – (the part in the very beginning with video footage of the protest – is John shouting out loud at the government police in the Palermo dialect of Sicilian) – the rest is conducted in Italian and lastly…in English – (translation provided)

:interesting note: Printed on John’s shirt is one of the banners that were used at the protests – representing the Italian gov’t holding Sicily captive (symbolized as an octopus holding the head of Medusa which is at the center of the “Trinacria” symbol, the ancient symbol of Sicily) – and in Sicilian it says: “L’amu a tagghjari ‘sti granfi” – which literally means, “We’re going to chop off these clutches/claws” –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=djwhOvV0PSA

PLEASE SHARE IF YOU CAN! – it’s a message

that needs to be heard………