High on the Hague: the Philippines in Deep Waters following the High Court Ruling


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Chinese citizens took to the streets last week to protest KFC, Apple and McDonald’s following an international court ruling attempting to resolve a longstanding land dispute in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China. The Hague court’s landmark case ruled in favor of the Philippines, deciding that the area in dispute fell within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.  So what does KFC, Apple and McDonald’s have to do with the Philippines and their exclusive economic zone exactly?  Well, it all stems from China’s accusation that the United States has instigated and embroiled an already heated dispute over what is known as the Scarborough Shoal off the coast of the Philippines.

While the U.S. has stated that its bolstered presence in the region has only been to re-establish a balance of power between neighbors, the Chinese response to the U.S. and more recently, the Hague have been less than desirable.  Chinese citizens are now protesting and demanding that U.S. companies like KFC and McDonald’s be immediately removed from the country, while simultaneously calling for the boycott of all imported Philippines products. The Chinese government was quick to comment on the situation, publicly denouncing the protests, referring to them as “jingoistic and ultimately a bad representation of national patriotism”, but while their public statements condemn the protests, China’s contradictory political maneuverings have long engaged in dissident behavior towards the West and their Southeast Asian neighbors.

While China’s political maneuverings this week are focused on the Philippines, they are not the only country whose borders have been encroached upon by the Chinese.  Most of Southeast Asia including Japan has been disputing the territories that fall within what is known as China’s “Nine Dash Line”.  A seemingly arbitrary line spanning across the entirety of the South China Sea, a line whose creation was solely determined by the Chinese government in 1947, but has still yet to be corroborated by the international community.  China’s Nine Dash line challenges not only the geographic claims of it’s neighbors but in addition, it also challenges international maritime law, both of which serve to illustrate China’s consistent record of disregard and disrespect for both international law and the international community at large.

Despite China’s blatant disregard for the international community the question still remains, what exactly is driving the dispute?  Why all the attention to a series of uninhabitable land masses in the middle of the South China sea?  The Philippines has suggested that the region is rich in oil, giving better insight into China’s recent obsession with the area.  Despite the apparent economic gain there is still no international consensus concerning the ownership of the area and the Hague court’s recent ruling ultimately calls into question China’s claims, inevitably having lasting implications for the other regional disputes in the South China Sea.

Not surprisingly though, China’s government officials were quick to denounce the Hague court rulings, explaining they would “not accept, not participate and not recognize” the legal proceedings of the court, referring to the arbitration and the court as an illegitimate tribunal whose findings are of no real consequence. It is clear that no matter whether China is silencing citizen protests or disregarding the legal claims of international neighbors, they consistently show their disdain for dissenting opinions, while stubbornly maintaining their own. The question plaguing the U.S. and the Philippines right now is to what lengths will China go to maintain control of the disputed regions within the nine dash line?

Over the weekend reports coming out of the the Philippines shed further light on China’s intentions concerning the dispute over the Scarborough Shoal.  The Governor of Zambales in the Philippines,  Amor Deloso told the Manila Bulletin Saturday that the Chinese military is currently present in the Sta. Cruz municipality of Zambales.  He went on further to explain that they are inhabiting an area of 500 hectares previously sold to the Chinese, by former Governor Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. and ever since the Hague ruling, a United States warship has been watching over the area in question.   With an increased Chinese military presence now in and around the Philippines, it is clear how China intends to maintain control of the Scarborough Shoal.  While the future of China’s “Nine Dash line” is unclear, what is clear is how they plan on maintaining their control of it.  China’s increased presence and their unwavering dedication to disputing claims of the waters and land within the South China Sea implies a willingness to escalate if necessary. Whether it be through compromise or conflict, China seems poised to act accordingly, and with the United States in deep waters defending its interests in the region, it would seem that the Philippines may be in the center of a battle far greater than its squabble for the Scarborough Shoal.

 

by: Justin Blush        July 25, 2016

 

The Idea of Open-Source Politics and Crowd-Sourcing Leadership


PeopleOverProfitFlickruserAericans4FinancialReform-150x150

http://www.mediaroots.org/open-source-politics-an-inquiry-into-the-crowdsourcing-of-leadership/

The hallowed halls of a once respected US government are now filled with the hollow promises of an impotent governing class. In a political landscape riddled with indecision, political pageantry and growing despotism, the people are hungry for a leadership that represents them. Instead, we are faced with a corporatocracy – one hellbent on the consolidation of wealth and power rather than the proliferation of freedom and justice.

Believe it or not, there was a time when representative government worked on behalf of its people, but those days have long succumbed to the political distortions of misguided leadership. Thus, the age old questions remain: If it is possible to revitalize the self-governing power potential of the ‘We the People’, then what might be a viable alternative or how might we augment the current system to provide the proper infrastructure for a change of guard? Perhaps by looking to the revolutionary ideas of the internet and the co-creative force of its users and developers we can begin to find answers to those difficult questions.

One of the groundbreaking ideas that the internet has provided is that of open-source development, which promotes the universal access to a product’s design as well as redistribution of that design. This developmental model set by programmers and software developers exemplifies the highest order of free trade, and serves to utilize the best ideas for the overall benefit of the system. If we are to apply a similar model as the framework for government, we begin to see parallels between open-source programming and the ideas put forth by America’s founding fathers.

Unfortunately, the fundamental ideology of the US political system has been absent from view for quite some time. The growing disconnect between the people and their representatives has led to a lag in public representation, thus resulting in a severe lack of people’s interests and ideas being properly expressed by US legislation and leadership.

A recent example of this contrast is illustrated in the debate over the legalization of marijuana, where an overwhelming public support for legalization has not been echoed by the government, nor the legislation regarding the issue. However, the ‘War on Drugs’ is only one of many examples which illustrates the delay we are experiencing in our current democratic process.

In a world where efficiency and speed are essential to human progress, it’s unfortunate that our legislative powers have become cumbersome and inefficient. However, the internet’s crowd-sourcing concept could provide us with the possibility to facilitate some level of autonomy, where the average individual has the ability to exercise their right to self-representation.

The idea of crowd-sourcing was first referenced by Jeff Howe of Wired magazine, and can be best understood as the purposeful re-appropriation of resources for achieving a particular goal by an indeterminate group of individuals.  Much like open-source programming which relies upon a multitude of contributors, so too does crowd-sourcing rely upon the involvement and contributions of the collective.

There are many examples of crowd-sourcing being used throughout the internet today.  Chemists have crowd-sourced protein folding techniques, YouTube has done so with entertainment, Facebook with different language versions of it’s site, while politicians and artists alike have crowd-sourced funding for their campaigns and projects. If this is a successful tool for science, entertainment and finance, could it also be possible to crowd-source political leadership?

Endless possibilities could present themselves once we focus the “spare processing power of millions of human brains” towards the evolution of political representation. For example, a truly participatory system could unfold which no longer relies upon single individuals to represent the will of many, but instead allows all people to become micro-leaders in a process of collective representation. Although this idea may seem farfetched, it’s not far from the framework that helped to build this country’s political system.

The founding fathers believed that public office should be held by its citizens, to act as contributors as well as beneficiaries in a collective effort to provide society with a fair and just governing body. As we continue to evolve socially and intellectually, it’s the hope that our leadership would incorporate the enlightened ideas of the past as well as those that propel us into the future. If they don’t, ‘We the People’ can and will find ways to represent ourselves through active participation in the political process.

As more and more people wake up to the corruption of the current system and the lack of political reflection on a federal level, passive acceptance of oligarchical rule will end, soon to be replaced by an active contribution in the political progress of this country, and ultimately, the world.

Written by Justin Blush for Media Roots

You can Follow @Justin_Blush on Twitter

Justin writes for Media Roots News with Abby Martin and you can read more of his content at mediaroots.org

You can also follow the Wax Blog by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

The State of Surveillance and Our Fight for Freedom | MEDIA ROOTS – Reporting From Outside Party Lines


The United States surveillance state has grown to a level never witnessed before in history. Following the revelations of Edward Snowden, the world is now privy to the lengths to which the U.S. government has been watching every single one of us in the global community. International governments caught off guard by the breadth of the United States spying program are now questioning to what extent they want their internet traffic funneling through U.S. servers and ISPs.

In all aspects of the global contemporary life, the U.S. government has found its way into the far reaches of personal space. From NSA email and phone spy programs, to FBI surveillance drones, the airwaves are filled with the prying eyes of our so-called protectors. These discriminating eyes which have creeped their way into every facet of our lives continue to intensify their surveillance efforts across the planet…..

Read More of Justin Blush’s article on the Surveillance State at Media Roots

Media Roots is a citizen journalism project that reports the news from outside of party lines while providing a collaborative forum for conscious citizens, artists and activists to unite.

via The State of Surveillance and Our Fight for Freedom | MEDIA ROOTS – Reporting From Outside Party Lines.

The Wax Weekly


The Wax Weekly News is up!

Rupert Sheldrake Challenges the dogmas of Science

Richard Dawkins and his Psychedelic TED presentation

Congress members who vote for the attack on Syria make more money

Thousands of fish turn up dead

Syria, Syria & more Syria…

Get informed and Be Inspired!

A Pattern of Tyranny & the War Machine of the West


 

 

 

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The political game of the United States has become a spectator sport for the People of a once great country.  We watch in the comfort of our homes as our politicians feign leadership, while wielding a war machine that was never meant to be.   On the heels of shattered promises, we find ourselves in familiar territory as President Obama makes his case for war once again.  A case that eerily echoes the controversy of Bush’s WMDs and Iraqi despotism at the beginning of this dysfunctional story.

 

But unlike the coalition of his predecessor in 2003, Obama’s recent, seemingly strong, coalition of support now wavers in the wake of a devastating defeat in the halls of the British Commons. Britain’s lawmakers have decided not to follow us into our attack on Syria.  So why the change of heart?  Could it be Britain and the rest of the world have begun to recognize the inconsistencies of United States regurgitated rhetoric.  Or maybe it is due to the deplorable decision-making of our so-called democratic practitioners.

 

In either case the world now waits for the evidence we hold against Syria.  All of us have been promised this evidence, a so-called proof that has apparently laid the groundwork for these future strikes on Syria, but in our foolish anticipation for the smoking gun, what we shall soon find is that the United States is the only one whose finger is on any trigger. A lone gunman, on a global stage, in a perilous drama of playback politics, and recycled rhetoric. It’s players, playing for an audience of fools and fanatics, acting out the script given to them and those who came before. A bitter cast of thugs and thieves driving a war machine that no longer represents the best interests of the American People and the world.

 

The People of the world are waking up and recognizing that United States aggression around the globe is not rooted in heroism but hubris. In our fight for Freedom, it is not Freedom we dispense but rather it is tyranny, a tyranny that continues to impose its will upon the world in the pursuit of selfish gain.  A tyranny that represents the worst parts of human nature and neglects to nurture the best aspects of what humans can be.

So let the dogma of United States democracy, no longer close its doors to dissent, and let us stand in opposition to the warmongering tactics of our lost leaders.  Protest war proliferation, call your Congress, speak out against attacking Syria , stand up for Liberty and fight against the despotism of overgrown military establishments such as this one. If our capacity for peace was developed as well as our capacity for war, just imagine what we might achieve. John Lennon once said “War is Over if You Want It.”  The Fight for Freedom is ours to fight, We the People have the power to drive the decisions of our Leaders but it requires action and to win the fight we must break our silence.

Just. B.

“Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to liberty” George Washington.

 

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or Follow the Blog via email by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

 

 

 

 

 

The Wax Weekly


The Wax Weekly  is back in the mix monkeys! Get the week’s dose of news and inspiration. A new blog post will be on its way later today but while you wait get informed and be inspired!

 

-Future Soldier by Michio Kaku

-The Fighter’s Peace with Rickson Gracie

-Jason Silva and the Extended Mind Thesis

-Bill Hicks spits wisdom

-Why Pot makes you feel good

& More…

 

Hope everyone has great Friday!

The Wax: a message to the readers


To all readers of the Wax and the Wax weekly, I apologize for the inactivity for the past month. I have been in the midst of moving my home and have been without internet for the past couple weeks. This problem should be fixed at the beginning of next week. So to any and all subscribers of the Wax, I will be resuming posts and news shortly. Thank you all for the support and patience.

Just. B.

Bitcoins, Bullion and the Battle for Economic Dominance


Bitcoin Magazine

Bitcoin Magazine

As the global economy continues to be the topic of interest and concern, the people of the world search tirelessly for an answer to the never-ending  crisis of economic confidence.  Gold has been a safe-haven for many people who fear that the corruption of global government and the mishandlings of our money masters will soon sink the floating currencies of a toppling global economy.  Although gold has served our economic endeavors time immemorial, it unfortunately shares the same trappings of the other controlled currencies within this global economy.  In the case of gold, the fixing of its price is determined daily by five of the most powerful banking institutions in the entire world. These also just happen to be a few of the same banking institutions that have played pivotal roles in the creation of our current financial predicament. Just as gold pricing is fixed by the gurus of modern finance so too are the floating currencies of the world, which find their footing in the foreign exchange market, which relies entirely upon the interdependence of the foreign exchange rates of the day.  In a global community whose faith in financial institutions and governmental guidings is swiftly fading, likewise the controlled currencies and gold fixings of those institutions are fading alongside them as well.  We are left with a single question in response to this declining confidence – If not this system, then what?  Could it be that the answer to that question lies within the ever-expanding and enlightening conversation of the internet?

Over the past decade there has been a revolution happening within the minds of the global citizen.  Each of us, everyday, is being empowered, we are realizing that no longer are our ideas confined to the rhetoric of experts and talking heads, but instead we can be the experts of our own experience.  We are now finally in control of the conversation.  The governments of the world are finding it harder and harder to sell citizens the necessity of representative governance, this is because the people are coming closer and closer to the realization that they can now represent themselves more freely than any corporate shill can. The proliferation of ideas and the empowerment of the average person is all well and good you say, but what exactly does that have to do with gold and floating currencies?

In 2011, Adrien Chen at Gawker wrote an article about an underground website called “the Silk Road” that is facilitating the black market transactions of a budding internet drug trade.  For many people like myself this would be the first time that we would  be introduced to the Silk Road as well as a new currency that was being used on the site called bitcoin.  Bitcoin is a crypto-currency and in addition to being used on the internet for illegal transactions is also being used for many other purposes as well.  Vendors that accept Bitcoin range from the online drug dealer to the local dry-cleaners.  Bitcoin, recently has gained the interest of the global community because of the sudden rise in its value over the past few months.  In January one bitcoin was trading at around $15.00, as of this post the bitcoin is trading at $126.20 on Mt. Gox and over the past few days the price has been perpetually rising.

One of the more interesting aspects of this new currency is that it is not controlled by any government nor banking institution, but rather it is a digital currency that relies upon an open source, person to person, network of transactions.  Bitcoin, in this way is providing a new global currency that is not only free of failing governments and the trappings of global banking institutions, but also mirrors the new paradigm of the internet community which includes innovations such as crowd-sourcing, open-source programming, free file-sharing, etc.  If the internet and the information revolution has taught us anything over the past decade, it is that the decentralization of power has led to an expansion of possibilities and new ideas.

So, in the case of our money, will we merely be destined to be the perpetual purchasers of interest-laden toxic currencies provided to us by the powers that be, or will the future of our financial maneuverings find the freedom that our ideas are only now beginning to enjoy?  Bitcoin, with its promise of anonymity, and its disconnection from centralized banks and governments is providing users with freedom that is seldom experienced in the court of finances and greed.  In the battle for economic dominance, bitcoin ultimately may provide the people with the power and freedom to dictate the strength of their own economy, instead of depending upon the inflationary illusions of our modern money magicians.

Although, Bitcoin very well may not be the answer to our current economic problems, it is a de-centralized currency that’s price is finalized by the free transactions of a global internet community.  If anything, this provides us with a new way of looking at how we handle money and ultimately how we manage the distribution of wealth and power.  Bitcoin is a mark of a new economic revolution, cultivated in the conversations of a cypherpunk community, interested in the freedom and privacy of all people.  Let us continue the conversation.

Just. B.

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If you are interested in learning more about Bitcoin read some of the articles below

& if you are looking to purchase Bitcoin, you can do this by visiting mtgox.com

NDAA, Drone Strikes and the Death of Freedom


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It could be argued that the United States began it’s descent decades ago, spiraling out of control into the depths of its own misconduct and manipulation.  But, there is one distinct moment that lives on in the collective memory that marks the fall of an Empire of Freedom & Justice, it was the moment on September 11, 2001 at 9:59 am when the south tower fell and with it fell the idealism and aspirations of a young country.  In that moment the world was united, but soon the whole world would witness the decline of an American century, the degradation of an American value system steeped in a long history of Justice, Equality & Freedom.

The next year would bring the Patriot Act and the establishment of the Guantanamo Bay Detention center. The trauma and tragedy of a single event would bring forth a new era of American oppression and like the shifting scenes of a bad dream, Americans would find themselves struggling to keep up with an ever-changing landscape of an American legal system that was slowly doing away with the Bill of Rights.  Propaganda would propel the delusions of an entire nation that struggled to believe that they still stood for Freedom and Justice.

Almost an entire decade would be dedicated to the pursuits of war and terror, but the Presidential elections of 2008 would bring a reinvigoration of hope to the nation.  Promises of peace and diplomacy were the rhetoric of the day, but time would soon turn the tide on the political pandering of the populace.  We have now come to witness what the peace and diplomacy of this administration has to offer. We continue to lose rights with draconian laws like that of the  NDAA with its indefinite detentions and the death of Habeus Corpus.

In addition to the provisions of the NDAA, drone strikes on foreign nations are stretching the limits of International humanitarian law and show blatant disregard for the Geneva Conventions.  Americans now stand knee deep in the blood of 4,700 dead from these drone strikes, 178 of which are dead children, while civilian deaths have been reported as high as 800.   If our declarations of war upon foreign nations were not enough, our leaders now deem it legal to use lethal force on American citizens on U.S. soil.

Following a 13 hour filibuster concerning this issue, Thursday Senator Rand Paul declared victory when he received notice from Attorney General Eric Holder that the President would not use lethal force on “non-combatant” United States citizens.  Unfortunately, I do not share Senator Paul’s enthusiasm, as this still leaves the door open for the possibility of lethal force against American citizens.  This elaborate dog and pony show only assumes the act of opposition and provides one more public presentation of legal justification for the unconstitutional acts of a despotic leadership.

This marks a new era in American politics.  The battlefield now on American shores and a declaration of war made by the Government against its own citizens.   With questionable war tactics and failed human rights policies we join the ranks of the oppressors of history, a new chapter in the book of tyrants who have made it their practice of showing indifference to the world.  Kings attempt to masquerade as common men, but no mask can hide the true intentions of a tyrant.  Freedom hangs in the gallows and the citizens of the world look on with disgust.  We must rise against the despotism of the new American war machine otherwise we too will hang alongside Freedom in the gallows.

Just. B.

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