20 December 2007

Voters who go to the polls may win $1m - Telegraph

And then there is this from Arizona: Voters who go to the polls may win $1m - Telegraph:

"Who wants to be a millionaire? Anyone using the ballot box in America's western state of Arizona, if campaigners have their way.

Under the scheme, which is designed to increase turnout, a $1 million (£550,000) prize will be handed to a voter selected at random after elections held every two years. Those taking part in party primary elections could win another $1 million prize. [...]

The next step will be openly paying people to vote for a particular candidate.

But the scheme has been attacked by those arguing that voting is a civic duty. They worry that voters would cast their ballots without examining the issues, or the candidates."

Uh, isn't that what is happening already?

A young blonde Icelandic woman's recent experience visiting the US -- Signs of the Times News

We put this story up a few days ago:A young blonde Icelandic woman's recent experience visiting the US -- Signs of the Times News.

Eva Ósk Arnardóttir was on her way for a few days of shopping with some friends in New York. When she arrived at JFK airport, she was pulled aside for a visa violation stemming from 1995. In her account, she describes the humiliation she suffered, including being put into chains, being refused any communication with her embassy, refused a chance to sleep, and put into jail.

The story has drawn a lot of comments, most of which express outrage at the conduct of the customs and immigration officials. Most people are genuinely appalled at how she was treated.

Then there have been a few "America can do no wrong" type comments. What is of concern is that there are people who equate a visa violation (Arnardóttir overstayed her visa in 1995) and dangerous and violent criminal activity. For these black and white 'thinkers', a crime is a crime is a crime. For those who are able to think a little more clearly, the episode is one of many that show how the US is turning into a police state. For the a desscription of how this change has been happening through new laws passed by Congress, check out the excellent article by Stephen Lendman, Police State America - A Look Back and Ahead. For an overview of incidents similar to that befalling Eva Ósk Arnardóttir, read Militarized Police, Overreaction and Overkill: Have You Noticed It In Your Town Yet?.

New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection -- Signs of the Times News

Laura has a new article up, a review of Mike Baillie's important book New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection:

Medieval depiction of the Black Death

I just finished reading this one and all I can say is: Wow! This was an intense book! Not a long one, either - just 208 pages including appendices. It's tight and economical with no wasted words or idle rambling around. Every example and temporary diversion is crucial to the central argument which is - brace yourself for this one - Mike Baillie (yeah, a real scientist and not a crackpot), is saying that the Black Death, one of the most deadly pandemics in human history, said to have killed possibly two thirds of the entire population of Europe, not to mention millions all over the planet, probably wasn't Bubonic Plague but was rather Death By Comet(s)!

Oh yeah! That's far out, isn't it?

Then when you are done with that one, check out our article Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!

17 December 2007

US woman launches 'Taserware' parties | The Register

And then there was this gem....:

An enterprising Arizona woman has redefined the Tupperware party paradigm for the 21st century, and is hosting girlie get-togethers where security-conscious women can get to grips with the US's fave non-lethal lethal weapon - the Taser...

Shafman explained: 'I felt that we have Tupperware parties and candle parties to protect our food and house, so why not have a Taser party to learn how to protect our lives and bodies?'

The end of the last century saw the advent of Tupperware-inspired sex toy parties, which somehow seems fitting with the general ethos of the times. And, unfortunately, taser parties are very much part of the ethos of the period of the Bush Reich, the period opened by the false flag attacks on 9/11... "the day everything changed".

As excited as these women are by the tasers, there does appear to be a down side:

The only cause for concern among mothers was the C2's range of colours - black, blue, pink and silver - some of which might lead their kids to view the weapon as a toy. Mum-of-two Caily Scheur said: "I want to protect my children from [the Taser] just as much as I want to protect myself by using it."

Forbes: World No.1 baby--Shiloh _English_Xinhua

It can now be reported that::

BEIJING, Dec. 17 -- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's 1-year-old daughter Shiloh has been named the most influential infant in the world by Forbes magazine.

The only biological child of two of Hollywood's hottest stars tops the newly published list, compiled through media exposure over 2007-- beating an army of celebrity under-fives to the No. 1 spot.

Say what?

Influential with who? Their peers? The readers of Forbes?

The mind boggles at the lunacy of it all.

OK. You can resume your normal lives.

16 December 2007

Militarized Police, Overreaction and Overkill: Have You Noticed It In Your Town Yet? -- Signs of the Times News

Militarized Police, Overreaction and Overkill: Have You Noticed It In Your Town Yet? -- Signs of the Times News: Do you think that reports of police overreactions are overblown? Check out the pattern described in this article. Police in the US are being militarized, and that is not a good thing. The friendly neighbourhood cop on the corner is becoming a thing of the past....

14 December 2007

Freedom's just another word for...

©Richmond Times-Dispatch
People fighting over used iBooks offered for $50 by the Henrico County school system in Virginia. "A rush to purchase $50 used laptops turned into a violent stampede Tuesday [August 2005], with people getting thrown to the pavement, beaten with a folding chair and nearly driven over. One woman went so far as to wet herself rather than surrender her place in line."

Ever feel a compulsion to shop?

The following comes from an interview with Susan Linn, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, by Terrence McNally, AlterNet: Born to Shop: How Marketers Brainwash Babies:

Linn: Studies suggest that marketing is a factor in many of the problems facing children today. It's not the sole cause of any of them, but it's a factor in childhood obesity, eating disorders, precocious and irresponsible sexuality, youth violence, certainly underage drinking and tobacco use, family stress, the acquisition of materialistic values, the false notion that things will make us happy.

And the one that is dearest to my heart, the erosion of children's creative play. Which doesn't sound like much until you realize that such play is the foundation of learning, critical thinking, and empathy -- and I believe, also essential to democracy."[...]

McNally: You write that two of the most worrisome things to you -- and I suspect these are not things that people might think of immediately: One, that it's having an adverse effect on creativity and children's creative play, and two, on democracy itself.

Linn: There's a threat to creative play in a lot of different ways. One of them is the notion that you need certain products or brands in order to play. You can't play Harry Potter without a Harry Potter wand or a Harry Potter broomstick or this or that. Creativity comes out of silence and emptiness in some ways and out of desire. You need that in order to create. So if everything is given to you -- all of these media-linked toys, and the scripts themselves, and your seeing them over and over again. One thing that happens is that you don't need to be creative.[...]

McNally: You say it has a ripple effect on democracy. How so?

Linn: What children learn through marketing or in commercial culture is antithetical to democracy. What do marketers want them to learn? Impulse buying -- that's terrible in a democracy. Lifetime brand loyalty, unthinking brand loyalty -- well, we're certainly experiencing the problem with that. They're learning "me first" -- that's not helpful in a democracy.

A more subtle message in marketing is that there is a right way to do something. That's where we get the connection to the erosion of children's creative play. Creativity thrives in democracy and democracy thrives because of creativity. When we squelch that, we'd do very well in a dictatorship.

Long gone are the days when a couple of sticks served as guns or dolls were made by mothers for their daughters. Now it has to be a toy recognizable from the television or Internet.

The rights and responsibilities of citizenship have been reduced to one: the right to shop. Democracy has become having a choice between competing products. You vote with your dollar, or now, with your credit card. For those who are old enough to remember the propaganda during the cold war, one of the harshest critisisems directed at the Soviet Union was that the people there didn't have any choice. The state decided what products were on the shelves. There was only one of everything.

Academics who are considered serious theorists told us that the advent of the information multiverse, with 500 channels of TV coming to your home, would turn us into something more than consumers. With all of that choice, we would somehow become creators. Merely selecting from the programmes offered would allow us to customize our own newspapers or news programmes.

What a joke!

Citizenship has been emptied of its political and civic responsabilities. It is no longer a question of forming an opinion yourself in order to contribute to the political debate on the future of your society. Your only responsibility is economic. All you need to do is get down to the shopping centres and spend, spend, spend. Empty your wallet for America! Go into debt for America!

Remember what the decider-in-chief said in the days after 9/11?

I see an opportunity at home when I hear the stories of Christian and Jewish women alike, helping women of cover, Arab American women go shop because they're afraid to leave their home. Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2001

He must have loved that idea so much that he repeated a week later.

I was struck by this: that in many cities, when Christian and Jewish women learn that Muslim women — women of cover — were afraid of going out of their homes alone, that they went shopping with them, that they showed true friendship and support — an act that shows the world the true nature of America. Presidential Prime Time News Conference, Oct. 11, 2001

We'll pass by his remarks about "women of cover"... but the president's idea of what "true friendship and support" means is revealing and quite in tune with his other remarks. And it certainly does "show the world the true nature of America, or at least the America shaped by the pathocrats.

And then there was his famous cry of encouragement to rally Americans after 9/11:

I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its source. America is successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11th, and they are our strengths today. (Applause.)

Five years later, he stayed with this theme with his year end press conference on December 20, 2006.

As we work with Congress in the coming year to chart a new course in Iraq and strengthen our military to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must also work together to achieve important goals for the American people here at home. This work begins with keeping our economy growing. … and I encourage you all to go shopping more.

In the interview above, Susan Linn mentions how marketing efforts are directed now towards babies. With different marketing campaigns aimed at younger and younger children, our children are being led straight from the cradle to the shopping centre, and the shopping centre has replaced the commons as the public meeting place. Just don't wear the wrong t-shirt because unlike the commons, the shopping centre is private property.

To paraphrase an old song, freedom's just another word for having the right to shop.

24 November 2007

U.S. tightens screening of Canadians with visas

U.S. tightens screening of Canadians with visas:

Canadians entering the United States with visas will have to scan 10 digits rather than just two under a newly expanded security program launching later in November.

It is instructive to see that at the same time the pathocrats of North America are making it easier and easier for capital to move from the US into Mexico and Canada and for resources to move from Mexico and Canada into the US, the citizens of the US's neighbours are finding it harder and harder to actually visit the greatest and freest country on earth.

The neoliberal economic religion, given from the prophet Milton Friedman, has no concern for the populations of the countries on which it is imposed, a point made with painstaking research by Naomi Klein in her book The Shock Doctrine, where she details how the imposition of Friedman's free market theology is intricately linked with the imposition of tyrannical regimes.

It is only going to get worse.

Right-Wing Pundits on Killing Liberals

One of the indices of the ponerization of society is a change in the use of language. Not only do spurious arguments get made, such as "We invaded Iraq to bring democracy", but language takes on an emotional colour intended to provoke and incite animosity and hatred, as the cleavage between the haves and the have-nots, the insiders and the outsiders, those in power and those without power, deepens.

Here are some examples of right-wing venom collected by Dave Neiwert in a recent article entitled The Politics of the Personal: The Urge to Purge:

Rush Limbaugh: "I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus -- living fossils -- so we will never forget what these people stood for."

Ann Coulter: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

Or: "We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too."

Bill O’Reilly: “Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.”

Michael Barone: “Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and ... transnationalism.”

Karl Rove: “Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.”

Kathleen Parker: “Here's a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: ‘These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shot.’ "

When confronted with the bad taste, to put it mildly, of such remarks, the pundits say that it is only a rhetorical flourish, that no one takes it seriously, that they don't really mean that liberals should be killed. But even if that were the case, which I doubt, it reveals the pathological underpinnings of their thought processes. They are intolerant, authoritarian, and violent. They are not interested in dialogue and any exchange of ideas. They believe that they have the truth. They mirror the same attitude towards people who disagree with them as does the president when he said in December 2000 that things would be a lot easier if he were a dictator.

Ha ha. Some joke. Look where we are seven years into the Bush Reich. The US Constitution has been disembowled, the rights of US citizens have been exchanged for tyrannical measures that we are told will increase our security, anyone can now be taken away and tortured with no recourse to the due process of the law.

Dictator indeed.

27 September 2007

No Mandela’s in Iraq, no gays in Iran, what’s a world leader to do?

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela? Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas." -- George W. Bush, September 19, 2007

"In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country." -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, September 25, 2007

Listening to these lines from two religious leaders, Ahmedinijad democratically elected, Bush imposed by judiciary fiat, one must come to the conclusion that nuclear weapons were on the mind of both as they said it. No gays in Iran? Not possible! No Mandelas in Iraq? How can that be after all the promises from Donald Rumsfeld that they were North, South, East and West of Baghdad. Where did Saddam hide all those Mandelas? Is Ahmedinijad hiding all those gays in subterranean nuclear weapons factories? Are we to believe that no gays exist in Iran? Show me the evidence! Or is the lack of evidence, evidence that Iran is in fact the Islamic world's answer to Provincetown?

Maybe I have it backwards. George Bush is really gay. That's why James Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, the Republican Christian Homosexual Military Prostitute and White House Press Reporter had numerous "sleepovers" at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue according to Secret Service logs. It's not about nuclear weapons. George Bush really wants to invade Iran to liberate the homosexual community with the added benefit of opening up Iran to gay conservatives. You see, all those Republicans and their supporters soliciting sex in Men's rooms and from Congressional pages really need a place to go where they aren't so oppressed by the laws they helped to write and to get free sex change operations if they want to because the health care in the US really sucks.

Wait. Don’t bother. I have a solution. Lock Bush in the same room as Ahmedinijad and let them either discover that one needs a sex change or the other is Mandela. No. That wouldn't be right. After all, Bush doesn't look good in drag.

I have the answer. Invite George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a forum to discuss petty tyrants. Columbia University president Lee Bollinger could host it. Among the questions he could ask Bush is if Mahmoud is trying to kill his daddy like Saddam had, and he could ask Ahmadinejad if he denies the native American holocaust, too. Of course Ahmadinejad doesn't stand a chance against Bush, who should know, since his grand daddy was such a huge supporter of Nazi Germany, that is when he wasn't trying to overthrow the US government.

13 August 2007

“I Wake Up Screaming—Vietnam and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”

An exerpt from “I Wake Up Screaming—Vietnam and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” by Lucian J. La Joie describing his experiences in Vietnam:

...A native village flooded during the monsoon season. Every year this village floods during the rainy season. An American would think, move the village to higher ground. To the native peasant Vietnamese, the ancestral homeland where the past generations are buried is one of the most precious, important possessions of life. This is one of the reasons that the Strategic Hamlet Program of the South Vietnamese government failed. Uprooting the peasant farmers from their homeland and keeping them in "protected enclaves" generated resentment between the peasants and the South Vietnamese Government.

At this particular village, the villagers were being evacuated by the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN). There was a shortage of boats to evacuate the villagers. Too many people, not enough boats. The ARVN were in charge of the operation. Our squad was assigned for extra security under operational control of the ARVN. The ARVN Captain said because of the shortage of boats the peasants could only bring one item as a carryon. One suitcase, one bag, one box, one only, no exceptions, one only.

A Vietnamese peasant woman shows up. Under one arm she has her baby about one year old. Under her other arm she had a small pig about fifteen inches long. The ARVN Captain stops her and says only one item as carryon. The peasant woman protests, arguing that the human baby is a live child and not a carryon. The ARVN Captain will not budge on his position. Only one carryon per person.

The peasant woman steps back and places her baby face down in the river and drowns it, holding the baby until it quits kicking and lets go of the baby's body and climbs into the boat with the pig under her arm. The peasant woman could always have another baby but she might not ever own another pig. That is how poor the peasants were.

Tears stream down the mother's face as she watches the small corpse float down the river. The ARVN Captain gloats and the Marines are getting pissed off. We are here to help these people, not to enforce a police state. The ARVN troops think what has just happened is funny.

After the baby's corpse floats down stream about fifty yards the ARVN troops use it as target practice, laughing all the while. I walk over to the ARVNs who are shooting and use my steel helmet and hit the ARVNs in the head and knock one of them unconscious. I sucker punch them with my helmet. The rest of the ARVNs point their weapons at me and, in response, all the marines point their weapons at the ARVNs. It is a Mexican standoff.

Here we are, supposed to be allies and we are pointing weapons at each other ready to shoot the shite out of each other. The ARVN Captain orders the u.s. Marines to lower their weapons because he outranks everybody. I tell the ARVN Captain he is a bad officer and marines do not take orders from bad officers. The ARVN Captain then orders the marines to provide security until the ARVNs had evacuated all the peasants. I tell the Captain ''F**k you, we're leaving! 'The marines promptly get into their boat and escort the boats of peasants that are already loaded in boats down the river.

Upon returning to our parent unit, Echo Company, I filed an after action report detailing the incident, including statements from those who witnessed the Vietnamization [i.e. “pornerization”] was in progress. The report was buried in the paperwork. Life is cheap in a war zone.

What can you say? You know it goes on. You know it is happening right now in Iraq. You know this is the attitude of the IDF to the Palestinians.

Rudy Giuliani on Freedom

From the Rocky Mountain Chronicle - RUDY! we get this quote from Rudy Giuliani on his vision of freedom:

"Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

04 August 2007

Psychopathic Bosses Get Promoted

In a Reuters article Bad bosses get promoted, not punished?: we learn that "In the study to be presented at a conference on management this weekend, almost two-thirds of the 240 participants in an online survey said the local workplace tyrant was either never censured or was promoted for domineering ways."

One of the study's authors, Anthony Don Erickson, Ben Shaw and Zha Agabe of Bond University in Australia, wrote that:

"The fact that 64.2 percent of the respondents indicated that either nothing at all or something positive happened to the bad leader is rather remarkable -remarkably disturbing."

It won't come as a shock to anyone who has worked in an American company. A large part of the frustration of workers in the US comes from facts like this. The corrupt, the cruel, and those without a sense of compassion rise to the top while people who treat others with curtesy, respect, and understanding fall to the bottom. It is explained away with rhetoric about needing to be lean and mean in "today's economy", about being loyal to the company -- as opposed to your fellow humans. These are examples of what Andrew Łobaczewski calls "paramoralisms", phrases that appear on the surface to appeal to our best instincts but which on analysis are found have a meaning that is exactly the opposite, that is, to cover-up and excuse the worst horrors under a blanket of righteous-sounding words:

Paramoralisms: The conviction that moral values exist and that some actions violate moral rules is so common and ancient a phenomenon that it seems to have some substratum at man’s instinctive endowment level (although it is certainly not totally adequate for moral truth), and that it does not only represent centuries’ of experience, culture, religion, and socialization. Thus, any insinuation framed in moral slogans is always suggestive, even if the “moral” criteria used are just an “ad hoc” invention. Any act can thus be proved to be immoral or moral by means of such paramoralisms utilized as active suggestion, and people whose minds will succumb to such reasoning can always be found.

In searching for an example of an evil act whose negative value would not elicit doubt in any social situation, ethics scholars frequently mention child abuse. However, psychologists often meet with paramoral affirmations of such behavior in their practice, such as in the above-mentioned family with the prefrontal field damage in the eldest sister. Her younger brothers emphatically insisted that their sister’s sadistic treatment of her son was due to her exceptionally high moral qualifications, and they believed this by auto-suggestion. Paramoralism somehow cunningly evades the control of our common sense, sometimes leading to acceptance or approval of behavior that is openly pathological.

Paramoralistic statements and suggestions so often accompany various kinds of evil that they seem quite irreplaceable. Unfortunately, it has become a frequent phenomenon for individuals, oppressive groups, or patho-political systems to invent ever-new moral criteria for someone’s convenience. Such suggestions often partially deprive people of their moral reasoning and deform its development in youngsters. Paramoralism factories have been founded worldwide, and a ponerologist finds it hard to believe that they are managed by psychologically normal people.

The conversive features in the genesis of paramoralisms seem to prove they are derived from mostly subconscious rejection (and repression from the field of consciousness) of something completely different, which we call the voice of conscience.

A ponerologist can nevertheless indicate many observations supporting the opinion that various pathological factors participate in the tendency to use paramoralisms. This was the case in the above-mentioned family. When it occurs with a moralizing interpretation, this tendency intensifies in egotists and hysterics, and its causes are similar. Like all conversive phenomena, the tendency to use paramoralisms is psychologically contagious. That explains why we observe it among people raised by individuals in whom it was developed alongside pathological factors.

This may be a good place to reflect that true moral law is born and exists independently of our judgments in this regard, and even of our ability to recognize it. Thus, the attitude required for such understanding is scientific, not creative: we must humbly subordinate our mind to the apprehended reality. That is when we discover the truth about man, both his weaknesses and values, which shows us what is decent and proper with respect to other people and other societies.

(Via Signs of the Times.)

13 July 2007

Boris Berezovsky: Oligarch, Murderer, MI6 Agent

Today there's an interesting item on SOTT that caught my attention: Brazil orders Berezovsky, soccer bosses detained. It's one of those little "tip of the ice-berg" things that just make you go "hmmmm..." The story tells us that:

Judge Fausto Martin de Sanctis froze the bank accounts of one of Brazil's most popular teams and said Interpol would be asked to carry out the overseas arrests of Berezovsky, Kia Joorabchian and Nojan Bedroud.

The article then notes - rather disingenuously in my opinion - that:

Berezovsky was Russia's most prominent and controversial businessman in the mid- and late-1990s and a Kremlin insider under Russia's first post-Soviet president, Boris Yeltsin.

But he fled to London in 2000 and has become a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin. Britain has annoyed Moscow by rejecting requests to extradite the businessman to Russia on corruption charges.

So, Russia wants Boris but the UK won't give him up, and now, all of a sudden, Brazil wants him too and is issuing an arrest warrant? Say what?! Is somebody putting the screws to Boris? It's hardly likely that London will give him up... hmmm... maybe that's the point: somebody is putting the screws to MI6 through Boris? Just to refresh your mind, have a look at the following items:

Berezovsky on wanted list in 2001

Russians point finger at Berezovsky over ex-spy's death

Polonium detected at Berezovsky's office

Boris Berezovsky: The first oligarch

Berezovsky to be interviewed by Russian detectives

Blockbuster Revelations!! Mystery witness implicates Berezovsky in Litvinenko murder

Berezovsky:'I am plotting a new Russian revolution'; London exile Berezovsky says force necessary to bring down President Putin

Russia vows legal action against Berezovsky on sedition charges

Lugovoi be aware! Berezovsky says you are a dead man.

Britain: Litvinenko murder not intelligence-linked. Berezovsky denies his MI6 connections

Lugovoi says Litvinenko, Berezovsky spied for U.K.

Russia says Litvinenko visited Chechnya to kill for Berezovsky

Berezovsky fraud case goes to court

Berezovsky charged with plotting coup in Russia - lawyer

No surprise! CPS advises police no prosecution of Boris Berezovsky over press report

Russia says U.K. refusal to open case vs. Berezovsky ungrounded

UPDATE!! Oooh! Things are heating up! Lookit this:

Britain 'will expel Russian diplomats over Litvinenko'

Russian diplomats are facing expulsion from Britain as the crisis over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko escalated today.

Moscow and London are on the brink of a damaging showdown after President Vladimir Putin refused to hand over the main suspect in the poisoning of the former spy.

The Foreign Office is expected to announce a tough response as early as next week after Moscow formally confirmed it would not extradite Andrei Lugovoi. Downing Street is considering a range of "punitive measures" including ejecting diplomats - a move certain to prompt a "tit for tat" response from Moscow.

Looks to me like some "tit for tat" stuff is already going on here!

08 July 2007

Myth and History in The Bible

As an amateur historian, researcher and author, I spend most of my time reading scholarly papers, articles and books on a wide range of historical topics. Giovanni Garbini, author of the "Myth and History in The Bible" is my new favorite and I am hoping that more of his work will be translated into English and read by everyone, not just scholars.

It would be difficult to summarize the many fascinating subjects covered in this small volume: "The Myths of the Origins of Israel", "Cain's Impunity", "Abraham and Damascus", "Reuben's Incest and the Contested Primogeniture", "Moses and the Law", "Davidic Traditions", "The Calf of Bethel", "Ezra's Birth", "Birth and Death of a Messiah", "The End of Myth". In summation, Garbini writes:

"The examination of some aspects, usually neglected, though evident and essential, of the mythic reconstruction of Israel's past and of the figure of its God as the Hebrew religious thought presented them in the Bible presents us an apparently paradoxical situation. The Law and the Prophets ... codify and exalt a kind of religion centred on the cult of Yahweh, national and sole true god, who established the Jerusalem temple as his only seat; from the other, they reveal explicitly the moral inconsistency of that god... his unfulfilled promises and the vacuity of all the practices related to his cult.

"The first chapter of Isaiah, which opens the section of Latter Prophets and, as all the writings placed at the beginning of a collection, gives the key to its interpretation, cannot be more explicit in this regard. The chiefs of Jerusalem, that is the high priests, are called 'rulers of Sodom' and its population 'people of Gomorrah (Isa. 1:10). Against them, in the following verses, God refuses all the cultic practices: sacrifices, burnt offerings, visits to the temple, oblations, incense, new moon, Sabbath, readings, fastings, assemblies, feasts, prayers. It is not pointless to ask ourselves what was the effect on the priests of the obsessive motif, present in all the Bible, of gratitude to Yahweh for the deliverance of Israel from Egypt: such a deliverance never took place and was invented by themselves to allude, probably, to their return from Babylon.

"...[T]he interesting thing is that, apart from the many details concerning the external activities of the priesthood (which any Jew in Jerusalem could easily see with his own eyes), the texts do not contain any information about the structures, the organization and the other activities of the priestly class; it is like seeing only the front of a building.

"In these biblical writings we find not only a description of the religious practices, but often also their history, their meaning and their mythic origin, and since the religion of Israel is the expression of its relationship with Yahweh, all Israel's history becomes the history of this religion. In other words, these books fix a precise moment in the history of Hebrew religion, when a deep reflection on its nature was carried out. On the basis of this reflection, the entire past was reinterpreted (not as it was, but rather as they wanted it to be) and the future imagined, a glorious future with Jerusalem at the centre of the world."

Garbini writes in a companion volume, History and Ideology in Ancient Israel, an amplification of the above problem:

"Biblical Yahwism certainly reflects a monotheistic conception, but at the same time it is something less and something more than monotheism. ...Yahwism seems to be something less than monotheism: God is certainly one, but he is essentially the God of just one people and he acts only with them. If we reflect on this aspect, which is the central nucleus of the Old Testament, we discover that here we have what the historians of religions call henotheism rather than monotheism. On the other hand, Yahwism is also, and perhaps above all, an extremely rational vision of the world and of the privileged position that the people of Israel occupies in the world. So it would be legitimate to ask whether one could consider as a real religion, with all that this word implies.. a doctrine like that taught in the Old Testament in the first millennium BC, which denies the survival of the spirit."

He then asks how it is that a 'religion' which attributes importance to liturgies practiced only in Jerusalem, (that is, not by all Jews at that period of history), which denies survival of the human spirit, could even have survived and spread, especially after the destruction of said temple.

Good question.

Myth and History in the Bible is full of detailed linguistic analyses that are rational, sophisticated and, at the same time, easy to follow. An interested non-scholar can easily read this book and begin to understand just exactly what a "religious scam" Judaism really is, though, of course, it offers no answer as to how it managed to be foisted on the Western world via its equally mythical Christianity. (Those answers are contained in Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology). It also makes it abundantly clear that the Jews have no right to steal the land of the Palestinians at all because their whole history and claim to Palestine is based on myth and fraud.

A definite "must-read" though be prepared for a (very) few awkwardnesses in the translation; I'm sure it wasn't easy to translate academic Italian. Even so, it is a surprising easy read even if you must often pause to consider the importance of Garbini's insights.

06 July 2007

Paul Krugman: Sacrifice Is for Suckers

Economist's View: Paul Krugman: Sacrifice Is for Suckers: "Back when the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson%u2019s identity began, Mr. Bush insisted that if anyone in his administration had violated the law, %u201Cthat person will be taken care of.%u201D Now we know what he meant. ..."

No comment necessary.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

18 June 2007


In an recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Steven Landsburg talks about "progress".

After arguing that real incomes have been growing for the past one-hundred years and that it will continue on into the future, he writes:

Against a backdrop like that, the temporary ups and downs of the business cycle seem fantastically minor. In the 1930s, we had a Great Depression, when income levels fell back to where they had been 20 years earlier. For a few years, people had to live the way their parents had always lived, and they found it almost intolerable.

Can you spot the sleazy argument here, the cherry-picking of data? He reduces the Great Depression to income levels falling back to levels seen 20 years earlier. And people found having to live like their parents 'almost intolerable'!

Gone are the bankruptcies, the lost houses, the lost farms, the unemployment, the food lines, the riots, and the suffering of real people faced with a world that was collapsing around them. Landsburg abstracts the blood out of this sorrowful period in US history by reducing it to a few statistics. For him, it was a moment when incomes levels fell back... that is, pay cheques weren't as big... The point is, there were no pay cheques for many people. There were no jobs. Income "fell back" to zero. Sure, average all of them together and you get his antiseptic paramoralism. But statistics only live on a page of paper. They don't have houses and children to feed.

You can almost hear him, "Sure, it may have been rough for a few years, but when it got better, everyone benefited! They were better off than they had been before!"

Maybe, the ones who didn't die fighting in the Second World War.

Are there people who actually believe this trash?

We've got more comments on this article on the Signs site. Feel free to add your own.

10 June 2007

De Gaulle and the Seven Day War

Robert Fisk cites the following comment from Charles de Gaulle, then president of France, on the Israeli attack on Egypt in June 1967:

Only the president of France, General de Gaulle, moved into political isolation by telling a press conference several months later that Israel "is organising, on the territories which it has taken, an occupation which cannot work without oppression, repression and expulsions - and if there appears resistance to this, it will in turn be called 'terrorism'"

As Fisk points out in his article, de Gaulle was the only French politician at the time to see it as it was and have the courage to speak it. He may well have been the only non-Arab politician!

A year later, the events of May 1968 in France pushed de Gaulle out of power.

09 June 2007

Unconscionable Squatters

The Forward, which bills itself as "the Jewish daily", had an article this week on American Jews who choose to become illegal settlers on occupied Palestinian land. The "difficulties" they face are illustrated by the following comment:

"'Before we found Neve Daniel, my husband told me, 'I love you and I want to live in Israel, but I'm very materialistic and if I don't have a nice house, we're not moving,' said Lara Kwalbrun, a peppy mother of six, as she gave a tour of her luxurious new home while toting a baby in her arms."

As long as moving into an illegal settlement meant life in a mobile home, a large number of American Jews weren't interested. They left it up to their more pioneering and violent brethren to go out and "colonize" the area, to actually confront the owners of the land with clubs and guns and chain saws and bulldozers. Now that the out and out outlaws have "claimed" the land, so to speak, and the base can move into a gated community fed by water siphoned away from the Palestinians and policed by troops paid for by American taxpayers, these new settlers can move in and never have to come into contact with the people they have displaced. You know, the ones walled in.

Another choice quote:

"Jerusalem has evolved to be like Manhattan in terms of prices and having to live in an apartment," said Michael Chernofsky, an orthopedic surgeon from Pennsylvania who recently moved with his family to Efrat, a Gush Etzion settlement. "If you want to live in a house, you need to move out to the suburbs."

Language is a powerful means of creating an illusory world. We make up words to replace other words, antiseptic words to replace bothersome and ugly words, neutral or comfortable words that point away from injustice and suffering. The Palestinians are being ejected out of Jerusalem by force and by a series of laws that mean that if they are essentially imprisoned on the West Bank and unable to return to their homes in East Jerusalem, after a certain amount of time, the state can confiscate their property.

"Suburbs" brings to mind the manicured lawns of the New Jersey many of these settlers have left. "Suburbs" has associations of being the epitome of American life. "Suburbs" is a telling example of how language is used to create an illusory world that we take for reality.

Settlements on Palestinian land are illegal in international law. The settlers are criminals. Not only that, they are actively abetting the genocide of the original inhabitants of the land, the Palestinians who have been walled off into compounds on their own land.

If such actions don't make your blood boil, then you probably don't have a conscience. I'm not talking about a set of rules you live by that let you believe you are a 'good person', the kind of thing you can apply mechanically as a series of if-then statements that allow you to see how much you can get away with in any given situation. We all go through that stage as kids, and some people do actually outgrow it. Though from the state of the world, it is clear that it is a small percentage. But there are unfortunately large numbers of people for whom this stage represents the pinnacle of their moral development.

Illegal settlers are certainly counted among their number. They are, however, buttressed in their selfishness by the ideology that justifies killing off the Palestinians in the name of their god, so their crimes, crimes to anyone of conscience, become holy acts under the ideology of Judaism as well as to their Christian supporters.

There is no excuse for these acts. None. And anyone with a functioning conscience knows this, feels this deep in his or her gut. Any attempt to justify or explain away the theft of land and genocide of the people of Palestine is a clear marker that the individual has no conscience or that it is so far asleep that it may as well not exist.

08 June 2007

USA TODAY/Gallup Poll results - USATODAY.com

The following rather scary news came fromUSA TODAY/Gallup Poll results today. Sixty-six percent (66%) of Americans, according to the poll, think that "Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" is either "Definitely true" (38%) or "Probably true" (27%).

The weird, though perhaps not surprising, thing is that 53% of Americans also think that evolution is either definitely or probably true. And just to make it simple for them, the poll defined evolution as "the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life". That a certain percentage of the respondents were unable to see a contradiction between the two responses is what is weird. Millions of years on the one hand, under ten thousand on the other... anyone see a problem here?

The poll also checked on whether or not the people responding considered that they were familiar with the ideas of evolution and creationism. Here, 82% thought they were either very familiar or some-what familiar with evolution, while 86% thought they were very or some-what familiar with the ideas of creationism. What can we say? No one thinks they're stupid.

06 June 2007

That Perception Thing: Romney bemoans tarnished U.S. image

Really. It is all out there for anyone with two firing neurons to see. The Associated Press offers us the following:

Republican Mitt Romney on Wednesday jabbed at President Bush, saying the image of the United States has suffered globally based on the perception that it invaded Iraq unilaterally.

[...] "There has been the perception that we have not been as open and participative with other nations as is our normal approach," he said.
Perception? Because most of the rest of the world opposed the invasion, this is only a "perception"???

He said the next president must not only re-engage Middle East and European leaders — labeling France's new conservative leader Nicolas Sarkozy as a potential "blood brother" — but also Latin American nations.

Romney said his call for expanding the U.S. prison camp for terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was consistent with that world view, despite condemnation from some human rights groups and other countries. He said the prison's intense interrogating environment is necessary to prevent future attacks.

"I think some people see Guantanamo as a source of America's arrogance, and I see it as a source of America's resolve," Romney said.

He said terrorists such as Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed had broken when they were kept from the traditional U.S. justice system with legal representation and typical court proceedings.

Romney added: "The food down there is unbelievable. This is not this gulag; this is a modern prison which treats people with dignity and respect."

Romney's call for expanding Guantanamo is certainly consistent with his world view because his world view is to make an alliance with the pathological elite of other countries against people of conscience the world over. They will need camps such as Guantanamo spread out over the globe to handle those who resist the increasing authoritarianism and tyranny of the pathocrats.

What is worrisome is that Romney can say this stuff and no one bats an eye. He whitewashes the use of terror using the antiseptic wording "intense interrogating environment" while in the same breath describing it as a place that treats people with dignity and respect! Now, anyone with a conscience will know that the two concepts are contradictory and mutually exclusive. There can't be torture and respect and dignity at the same time. Torture is predicated on treating the victim as less than human, as not worthy of respect. Yet this man is a contender for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party.

So where does that leave the United States? Is it only a question of perception? Torture, invasion, occupation, the thoughtless killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, support for the genocide of the Palestinians by Israel, all only a question of perception?

If you're a psychopath, yes. In the mind of the psychopath, reality is whatever they think it is. And as long as people of conscience don't call them out on it and insist on the reality of reality, the one we share, that we are born into and die in, then nothing is going to change. As long as we define reality as that little bit of turf we touch in our own lives, that turf that is as yet untouched by false arrests, torture, job loss, illegal detention and the like, and as long as we turn our backs on what is happening to others of our kind, that is, people of conscience, just because it is out of sight, out of mind and doesn't touch us directly, we are all a bit psychopathic ourselves.

'I did what I thought was right'

The Guardian brings us the following report on Tony Blair's exit from politics:

Mr Blair announced the handover date in a conciliatory, confessional, almost humble speech in his Durham constituency, in which he apologised for when he had fallen short, but insisted "hand on heart" that he had always done what he had thought was right for the country. [...]
He added: "I was, and remain, as a person and as a prime minister, an optimist. Politics may be the art of the possible; but at least in life, give the impossible a go. Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong, that's your call. But believe one thing, if nothing else. I did what I thought was right for our country."

And that is really the trouble. Everybody thinks that what they are doing "is right". How many people do you know who do things because they think they are wrong?

Meanwhile, a report from the new French news site set up by former journalists from Liberation, Rue89 tells us that Hillary Clinton made the outrageous remark over the weekend that the Iraqis didn't seize the opportunity that the US gave them! And there are people who still think that there are differences of importance between the Democrats and the Republicans in the United States! No wonder the Dems are still supporting the war.

03 June 2007

Al "Joseph Goebbels" Gore

While reading Global Warming: They call this a consensus? this morning, I noted a very telling statement:
I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Certainly there is no consensus at the very top echelons of scientists -- the ranks from which I have been drawing my subjects -- and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientists, several of whom I have profiled. If anything, the majority view among these subsets of the scientific community may run in the opposite direction. Not only do most of my interviewees either discount or disparage the conventional wisdom as represented by the IPCC, many say their peers generally consider it to have little or no credibility. In one case, a top scientist told me that, to his knowledge, no respected scientist in his field accepts the IPCC position.
The article also tells us:
Today, Al Gore is making the same claims of a scientific consensus, as do the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of government agencies and environmental groups around the world. But the claims of a scientific consensus remain unsubstantiated. They have only become louder and more frequent.
This, of course, reminded me of the fact that Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, followed two primary rules when brainwashing the German public. The first was to tell a big lie loud enough and long enough so that people would eventually start to believe it. The second rule was to always accuse your enemy of your own worst crime.

07 May 2007

Airport Security

I recently had the... opportunity... to fly through the UK. It was a brief stopover on my way somewhere else. Flying these days is an absurdity designed to insult our intelligence. First, there is the new regulation that liquids must be placed inside a clear plastic freezer bag. The bag keeps the items separate from the rest of your belongings on any bag you carry on. This rule is the aftermath of last summer's accusations that the invisible but omnipresent 'Islamic terrorists' had a plan to make explosives in an aircraft toilet, a dastardly plot that was, fortunately, foiled by the heroic efforts of British intelligence.

Well, more than one expert has written on the absurdity of making explosives on an airplane without the necessary laboratory equipment, but that information doesn't make it onto Fox News, the BBC, or the mainstream newspapers.

The long and the short of it is that flyers are forced to put their toothpaste, shampoo, perfume, bottled water, and any other liquid into plastic bags. And we are supposed to think that we are safer for it. In France, certain soft cheeses, such as camembert, must also be put into the plastic bags.

I arrived in the UK with two bags: the first a small bag with my clothes and the second a bag with papers, books, and my laptop. I had no trouble getting onto the plane in France with them. That changed in the UK. Arriving at the security checkpoint before having my bags scanned, I was stopped and told that I was only permitted one carry-on bag. A new rule, I was told. I stopped, more than a little non-plussed by the remark. I said I hadn't had any problems in France with the two bags. I said to the security agent that I only had one carry-on bag, the clothes bag, but the other was more a briefcase. The reply was that I had two bags and only one was permitted. Well, quite obviously I wasn't in France, or Kansas, anymore. Fortunately, the woman security agent was friendly. She asked if the book bag would fit into the larger clothes bag. I knew there was no way it would fit, but I duly unzipped the clothes bag and placed the book bag on top. Very little of the book bag was on the inside of the clothes bag. I made a move to try and force it more deeply inside, but before I could do anything the woman said, "See, now you only have one bag!" I looked up to see if she was joking. She smiled and said, "You see, you have one bag. You can proceed".

So I proceeded... on to the scanning machine, carefully holding my 'one' bag in my arms so that it wouldn't fall apart into two bags. Arriving at the scanner, they asked me to remove the book bag from the clothes bag to send them to be x-rayed separately. And so they stayed for the rest of the trip, through the x-ray machine, through the wiping down to check for explosives, and as I walked to the gate, one bag on each arm.

An hour later I was out of the UK. What can you say about such absurdities? It is clear that the entire 'airport security' scam has nothing whatsoever to do with 'terrorism', Arab or otherwise, and a lot to do with programming the population to accept greater and greater levels of interference in their lives. The message is "Big brother is ubiquitous: get used to it". The trouble is that no individual can do anything abut it: One by one we move through the airports, and any pointed remarks about the ridiculousness of it all only brings down the potential for being detained as a 'suspicious character', never to be permitted to fly again.

We have accepted each move put into place by the pathocrats against our rights and liberties, preferring to feel secure against a non-existant enemy. Hard-fought gains of freedom have been thrown out the window with little thought.

The planet is being put into lock down mode. What are you doing about it?

The Masks are Falling

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about an evening spent watching the Al Gore global warming film An Inconvenient Truth sponsored by the local branch of Attac, a French association active in questions of globalization. Last week was an evening with another group, the monthly Repas UFOlogique in Toulouse. I have been attending these meetings fairly regularly for almost two years, but not because of any particular interest in UFOs. Once you look at the data and see that a small percentage of the sightings cannot be explained by any known technology, and you study the reports that have come down through the ages of strange phenomena reported in the skies, you come to understand that our reality is a lot weirder than they teach us in school or in the mainstream media. After that, to chase after some nuts and bolts craft that might be peopled with god knows what, well, no thanks.

But there are open and friendly people there each month, and it's a chance to get away from the computer for an evening....

So the subject of the evening was the recent opening of the files of Le groupe d'études et d'informations sur les phénomènes aérospatiaux non identifiés [Geipan], a working group within the French research network called the CNES. The files the group are putting on-line are the reports from the Gendarmerie made by individuals who have seen something curious in the skies. None of the information was ever classified. They amount to police reports of unexplained sightings. In other words, nothing special: no declassified documents from the government, the military, or the French intelligence agencies.

However, there has been a certain amount of press about the publication of this material on the web, and so this evening there was a journalist from the Depêche du Midi, the local paper, coming to cover the Repas UFOlogique and the presentation by a member of Geipan. Before the presentation started, the journalist moved from table to table (the meetings are held in a restaurant, which is why they are the 'Repas' UFOlogique) asking the participants about their interest in UFOs.

When she got to my table, the other person present began to say that he wasn't interested in UFOs more than that. He was interested, however, in the reasons the governments of the world lie about UFOs and why they refuse to publish their classified info on the subject. If there is nothing there, if UFOs are nothing more than swamp gas or sightings of Venus, then what do they have to hide? He then brought up the subject of 9/11, pointing out that once again the government had lied, and that it was an inside job.

The journalist then turned to me. I said I agreed. I was there because I am an editor at Les Editions Pilule Rouge, and we publish books that attempt to bridge the gap between science and the mysterious. I concurred that it was the way governments treated the question that was intriguing, once one admitted that there was 'something' there. I said that the study of history shows that myth and legend is replete with appearances by creatures who appear to have a mastery of space and time, beings that we label gods or fairies. My working hypothesis was that UFOs were manifestations of these beings, not ETs from other plantes. History also shows that these beings don't have our best interests at heart... and that led to more talk on 9/11 and the coming cyclic catastrophe...

Well, the poor journalist was having her head spun six ways to Sunday by then, but she continued to ask questions, and, wanting to be helpful, I continued to answer them.

Then, the organizer of the evening came running over to the table in a fit. She grabbed the journalist and said, "This is suppose to be a story about the meeting tonight, not about conspiracy theories. I don't want you to report anything that he (pointing to me) has been saying." And the two of them moved away.


Talk about the mask falling. The organizer, who until then had been extremely friendly with me for as long as I had been going to the meetings, showed another side. I was simply answering the questions I was asked, and WHAM!

Then the conference started. The speaker knew his stuff and took a scientific approach. When members of the audience said, "Yes, but given what we know, these unexplained sightings have to be extra-terrestrial...", he said that, no, all forms of human technology haven't been ruled out. There are top secret programmes that have billions of dollars of financing that could produce such technology. The true believers in the crowd didn't want to hear that. As the speaker said, "When you say 'we don't know of any human technology like this, therefore it must be ET', you lose me at the 'therefore'. That is where science confronts conviction".

And he is correct. That is where science does meet conviction, but it also shows that science has blinders because there is a lot of info that can be used to support the non-human working hypothesis from history, as Laura has shown in The Secret History of the World.

After the conference was finished, the organizer came over to me and explained that if I wanted to get any publicity, I could phone the newspaper myself and arrange an interview. By then I was so disgusted with the entire evening that I muttered under my breath, "Whatever...", the first time I have ever descended to valley-girl speak....

On the sidewalk after the restaurant closed, the discussion continued. I was talking with a regular participant, and we were discussing the way things seem to be speeding up and the world is becoming more openly polarized between those who want to believe their subjective interpretation of the world, which amounts to believing an illusion, or, to be more blunt, the lie, and those who are working to see the world as it is. The masks are starting to fall as quickly as the meteorites.

The evening was an excellent example.

22 April 2007

Auguries of Innocence

Some recent news items in Signs of the Times and on the web have moved me to pain and tears. An Arab woman speaks of her sorrow; Israel imprisons mothers and wives of political prisoners to pressure confessions; Guatemala's women being murdered in the thousands; children in Sudan enduring "unspeakable" abuse; Baghdad being turned into a prison; and a small disturbing example of everyday inhumanity: women laughed as they forced their toddlers to take part in a 'dog fight'. It is the Terror of the Situation: a world tormented by psychopaths.

Meanwhile, many in 'developed' countries of the Western world enjoy the comfort of their daily lives undisturbed.

The stark contrast and contradiction of human life reminds me of the last lines of William Blake's poem 'Auguries of Innocence':
Every Night & every Morn

Some to Misery are Born.

Every Morn & every Night

Some are Born to sweet Delight.

Some are Born to sweet Delight,

Some are born to Endless Night.

We are led to Believe a Lie

When we see not Thro' the Eye

Which was Born in a Night to Perish in a Night

When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light.

God Appears & God is Light

To those poor Souls who dwell in the Night,

But does a Human Form Display

To those who Dwell in Realms of day.

20 April 2007

The EU should imprison John McCain

This is not an opinion of mine. It is simple logic. European interior ministers have agreed on a new law that "makes it an offence to condone or grossly trivialise crimes of genocide - but only if the effect is incitement to violence or hatred." Turns out that US presidential contender John McCain grossly trivialises crimes of genocide and incites to violence and hatred. AP reports:
In response to an audience question about military action against Iran, the Arizona senator briefly sang the chorus of the surf-rocker classic "Barbara Ann." "That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran," he said in jest Wednesday, chuckling with the crowd. Then, he softly sang to the melody: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, anyway, ah ..." The audience responded with more laughter.
You can watch the YouTube video of the grotesque moment through this SOTT article. I think I ought to send it to those EU ministers.

18 April 2007

Manufacturing Terror

Things were getting pretty warm for the administration over the past few weeks, what with the Prosecutor's purge and Bush's "Fascist Law Czar" - Gonzales - getting ready to be called on the carpet in a serious way. (If you want to know how hot it was getting, just go to SOTT and use the search to find "prosecutors".)

Thankfully, all that is over now: we have a new media feeding frenzy: the Va. Tech. Massacre.

Yes, indeedy. Who cares if Bush and Rove were stacking the courts now?! After all, it is not JUST about "terr'rists" anymore since ANYBODY can be one and they can be anywhere!

A correspondent wrote to me last night an interesting remark: "Imagine billionaires with sick and twisted minds and a warped view of government who get together to manufacture a wave of terror against the American people so they demand a dictator."

Wow! What a concept!

You could say that what we have here is the "Suicide Bombing Cycle" on our doorstep. Heck, we've had it for awhile, but those clever Pathocrats have tailored it just for us.

13 April 2007

'Very lucky' folks on Maui possibly saw meteor - The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper

Ran across the following today:

'Very lucky' folks on Maui possibly saw meteor - The Honolulu Advertiser - Hawaii's Newspaper: ""

In the article, there is this comment:

Mike Maberry, assistant director of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, said he was not aware of any reports of an object in the sky. But he said its description sounded like a meteor.

"Whoever got to see that was very lucky," he said, adding that chances are "very slim" of a meteor landing in the vicinity of Maui in the middle of the Pacific.

I don't know... I have really mixed emotions when reading this. If Mr Maberry really had a clue what was in store for us in the near future with fireballs and meteorites, he might be less inclined to make such a statement. For some idea on the reasons, check out our Fireballs and Meteorites blog.

The short answer is that we're going to be seeing more and more of these things. More than you would ever want.... They might well be the last thing we see...

(Via Signs Of The Times.)

10 April 2007

Media Spin, Limited Hangout, and the Melting of the American Mind or Who is Stupid Enough to Believe it is Springtime in Iraq?

We spend a lot of time gathering the news from many sources here at SOTT. We go all over the world via the Internet to bring the news to our readers. Of course, you won't find much, if anything, from Fox News, and very little from sources like USA Today, the "national" newspaper in the US of A. We can't get Fox TV so we are spared the most outrageous of the propaganda and brainwashing.

Every once in awhile, however, a real newspaper from the axis of evil falls into our hands. So it happened that a couple of days ago, we came across the Easter weekend edition of USA Today. We were so astonished by the lies and subterfuges it contains that we were inspired to do a podcast.

On the editorial page, we find the title: "Today's debate: How the surge is going".

Sounds promising, right? In response to the growing calls for a US exit from Iraq, drugstore fly-boy-by-night George W. decided to do the opposite and send an extra 30,000 poor blacks, latinos, and white boys from the wrong side of the tracks to Iraq to ensure that freedom wins. The media spin doctors have labelled this increase in troops, blood and violence "the surge". USA Today, never one to shy away from a phoney debate, promises to give both sides of the story. The debate to end all debates. Well, we deal with this in greater detail in the podcast, but I can't let pass a couple of comments made by the "pro" side of the debate, representative Mike Pence, who was with John McCain last week for the photo op at the Baghdad market. Remember while reading these comments that they are the arguments from the pro-Bush side of the debate.

Pence writes:

"We have a long way to go in Iraq. There is tough, difficult work ahead of us. But we are making progress, and there is reason for cautious optimism about President Bush's surge."

"Cautious optimism"??? Things are so bad that the lackeys defending the Bush "surge" can do no better than tell us there is reason for "cautious optimism"?!?! Are we soon to be told that "there is light at the end of the tunnel", the famous phrase used by the Nixon administration to justify the continued carnage during the Vietnam war?

The good representative, elected to office by the people of Indiana, who describes himself as a "Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order", offers up a couple of bits of evidence to back up his hopeful claim for "cautious optimism".

"Despite all you see and hear in the media, there is a springtime of hope beginning in Iraq."

Springtime of hope in Iraq?!?!

Springtime for Hitler and Germany Winter for Poland and France

is more like it, as the Mel Brooks' song from The Producers puts it... But what is really sinister is his placing of the blame on "the media". The media are lying about what is happening in Iraq. There is lots of good news! They just aren't reporting it! The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the news that the US media isn't reporting about Iraq would be the real numbers of deaths of Iraqi civilians, now close to 1 million since the invasion and occupation started. Add to that the million killed during the years of the embargo, mostly children, under the Democrats, and you've got both US parties responsible for killing 2 million Iraqis since 1991. But, somehow, I don't think that even a scoundrel like Pence would openly admit that these deaths are the good news to which he was referring.

So what kind of good news does he have in mind?

You're not gonna believe these....

"From the moment of our arrival, I could sense that things were different. Gen. David Petraeus met us at the airport, and, instead of boarding helicopters to the Green Zone, we drove into town. I hadn't done this since my first trip several years ago."
The man's a bloodsucking idiot. If he'd been alive in Germany under Hitler, he'd have been praising his Furher and the "freedom" brought to Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

What kind of person could wax nostalgic over those heartwarming and heady early days of the occupation when the infrastructure of the country was destroyed and US moneymen took control of the country? Oh, yeah. I forgot. They also toppled a statue of Saddam. Hooray! Unfortunately, while Pence can now drive into the heavily fortified Green Zone and feel like the clock has been turned back to the good old days, none of the Iraqi dead will rise up out of the graves and return to their families. None of the US soldiers killed to implement the imperialist dream will come back to life either. But for the pathocrats, we're all just cannon fodder.

Well, if Pence's trip throught the streets of Baghdad in armoured vehicles rather than via helicopter isn't enough evidence for continued hope and trust in the Great Leader's Surge, how about this:

"Along with a squad of military security, we spent more than an hour at a bustling, open air marketplace. While we were instructed to leave our bulletproof vests on, Gen. Petraeus took off his helmet and urged us to leave our helmets in the vehicles."
Hallyluuuujah! "Hey, Ma! I took off my helmet in Baghdad! Aren't I a brave boy?!"

Did he mention the three Apache attack helicopters hovering over the market? Did he mention the sharpshooters on the rooftops and the 100 heavily armed Marine troop on the ground? Well, sure. "Military security" covers that, right?

It truly boggles the mind. How can people like Pence get away with such glaring paramoralisms and outright stupidities? Is there no one left in the media in the United States to point out that not only does the emperor not have any clothes, but he has no brains either? And I'm not talking about making jokes about the intellectual faculties or lack thereof of Bush. There's plenty of that. But to what ends? All it does is reinforce the buffers while nothing changes. People can pump themselves up because they are smarter than the president, but then they roll back over to sleep and think that the political process will somehow put things right in the 2008 presidential elections.

Wake up, people! It isn't a joke. The United States is the aggressor. If you are an American, you are the aggressor. The United States is the bad guy. You are the bad guy. The United States and its allies are the Axis of Evil. It isn't Iran. It isn't North Korea. It isn't Russia. It isn't any of the bogeymen erected as strawmen to be taken down in the puff pieces for imperialist agression that pass for editorials or opinion pieces like that written by Pence. It is you. You are the new Nazis. You are the German people condoning and benefiting from violence and aggression committed in your name against innocent people.

The people of Iraq have every right to fight against the occupier, YOU, in the same way the Poles had the right to fight against the Nazis. The resistence in Iraq is legitimate, and any American who isn't fighting against the policies of his government is complicit in the crimes. There is no neutral position in the fight against the pathocracy. There is no sitting on the fence, no standing on the sidelines. You either stand up for what is right, live by conscience, or you are part of the problem. There is no excuse.

If there is a future, you are going to be judged by your grandchildren. They will ask you what you did. They will ask you how it was that Bush and his pathological buddies were able to subvert the US constitution. They will ask you why you did nothing while innocents were tortured and brutalized in detention camps that span the globe. They will ask you how it was that you couldn't see the, oh, so obvious lies that were told to justify this violence and aggression, not the first time after 9/11, not the second time for Iraq, and not the third time for Iran.

What will you have to say for yourself?

04 April 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

The other night I went off to a showing of "An Inconvenient Truth", the Al Gore, global warming film so dear to activists the world over. True to form, the showing was sponsored by the local branch of Attac, a French association working against neo-liberalism and globalisation.

Not much to say about the film itself. There is a lot of data about the fact of global warming, a fact that I have no problems with. Yes, there are some very ugly things happening on the planet at the moment: the melting of the glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic, drought and the increasing power of hurricanes and typhoons, the increase in disease as mosquito populations increase and spread, the extinction of many species as their natural habitats are destroyed, and on and on. We have a very serious problem here.

The problem comes with Gore's explanation of the causes of global warming: manmade production of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Undoubtedly, our production of carbons is one factor, but it is not the only one, and if we look a little more closely, we might discover that our contribution is not the one that is the most dangerous for our survival.

After the film, there was a discussion moderated by a member of the local Attac group. As was to be expected, it was all about what we could do as individuals to save the planet: better insulate our houses, walk or use a bike instead of using our cars, recycle. The moderator listed about ten things that we could do that could reduce carbon emissions to below 1970 levels.

Then I raised my hand....

I said that, yes, global warming is a very serious issue and we are in deep trouble, but given that the Earth is not the only planet subject to global warming, it is happening on Mars, on Saturn, and the last time I looked, there was neither a neo-liberal economy nor a problem of globalisation on either of these planets, so maybe the real problem may be elsewhere.

Well, the moderator knew his global warming talking points, and he said that, yes, we knew that the sun was responsible for X percent of the increase in temperatures...

To which I responded, yes, but that is not what I was talking about. I asked if anyone in the audience had heard the report of the Chilean jet that had almost been hit my a meteorite that day. Murmers in the audience. I then referred to a scene in the film when Gore is explain the conveyor belt of the ocean's currents, how the warm and cold water circulates keeping Europe warm. He shows an image of North America 12,000 years ago with the glaciers of the last ice age. He explains how a large quantity of fresh water from the glaciers broke through an ice dam and flooded the North Atlantic with water, cutting off the conveyor belt and plunging Europe into an ice age. Gore didn't explain how the water was created or why the ice damn broke.

We know from the research by Richard Firestone and others, as discussed in their book "The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization", that the glacier melted because of a cometary impact in Hudson Bay. I mentioned this overlooked fact of Gore's film, and the nature of the nuclear winter we would undergo, those of us left alive, should such a meteor or comet hit the planet in the near future. I wanted to go on and further explain the nature of the cyclic catastrophes, but I only got as far as mentioning that if we are all still here in ten years to continue our activism, we'll be very lucky. Activists want problems about which they can be active, can do their busy work to find solutions, and their attitude was that if we are struck by a meteor, there isn't anything we can do about it, so let's concentrate on recycling and riding our bikes.

So I sat down. The people behind me started asking me questions about what I was discussing, and I explained about the binary star system, the sun's dark companion, and the increasing moons of Jupiter, Saturn, etc, as explained in our article Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!. They asked for the URL of the Signs page, which I happily gave them.

Four out of 150 ain't bad, all things considered.

After the discussion, we moved out to the sidewalk in front of the theatre. I was feeling really depressed. I had done what I had come to do, raise an issue that is extremely important, and, as usual, the crowd didn't want to hear the message. I was talking to one of the Attac organizers and said I thought it was because what I had to say was too depressing.

He said that, no, it wasn't that it was depressing, but that there was nothing that we could do against a meteor.

I said that the point is that all of this is known by the powers that be. They are building themselves their underground cities where they are going to hide, and they are creating chaos on the planet in order to reduce the population by at least 80% with disease, war, and starvation, and they are sowing disinformation by explaining the obvious fact that the Earth's ecology is getting more and more screwed up by saying it is our fault, thereby diverting our attention from the real issue: the pathocracy and their plans to exterminate the rest of us.

His response was that by working for a decentralized power, with power on the local level, we could get the power away from the psychopaths in the centre.

He really needs to read Political Ponerology on how social movements get infiltrated by pathological types!

Well, by then I could see his eyes glazing over, and behind his polite attitude, I could tell he was thinking, "This guy is a nutter!"

He said that psychopaths have always been in power, an easy way to dismiss the problem... or so I think.

On the way home, spewing carbon into the atmosphere from the car, it seemed hopeless. Will it really take a first or second or third meteor impact to break these people out of their sleep? And, by then, will it be too late?

Getting Started: Signs Of The Times Blog!

Over the past few days the SOTT team and I have been discussing the bizarre story about the airliner that had a close encounter with a meteorite. (See: Airliner Almost Hit: It was a meteorite, not a satellite, says Russia ). Coming so soon after the publication of my article Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction! it struck us almost as a "sign of the times" that we really needed to pay closer attention to this phenomenon. Odds are increasing daily that the ideas presented in that piece are on the money: Humanity is facing a global cataclysm of Atlantean proportions in the near future from which very little of our modern world will emerge intact - if anything at all.

I mulled it over for a few days, considering all the angles, including the fact that most of the masses are truly blissfully asleep and unaware of the danger. Sure, I know that a lot of people - if you brought it to their attention - would just shrug and say "Well, there's nothing I can do about it, so just let me live my life as I see fit until it happens and when it does, I'll be happy that I did what I wanted." But then, there are other people who feel a sort of responsibility to the future of humanity and it is those people we are concerned about.

It is very likely that the PTB ARE thinking about their future and the future of humanity in terms of them surviving and coming out on top and making slaves of anyone else who might happen to have survived, and for some reason, that idea really irks me. If someone I loved were to survive some terrible cataclysm on earth, I certainly wouldn't want them to survive only to be made into a slave. (If you want a good idea of what such a life might be like, just read The Thrall's Tale!) If you can consider your children and your children's children living such a life and it doesn't bother you, then you obviously aren't SOTT reader material, so move along and go back to sleep!

So, thinking about it and the many difficulties we often face keeping the site online, dealing with defamers and attackers and so on (who are also frequently involved in maneuvers to force our site off the net), it occurred to me that we need to have some additional back-up systems for the information. I decided to create a new blog just for that purpose: to collect and present the data that we have been accumulating in our database for a number of years now. So, I created it and we are getting the material formatted to upload it there and soon I will announce it. It will consist of most of the material from the News Category on SOTT: Our Haunted Planet. (No, I'm not crazy about that heading, but that's the most "open" and comprehensive title I could come up with at the time. If you have a better idea, let us know.)

BUT, while I was creating the blog to host the "Signs of the Coming Apocalypse" (not trying to be dramatic here, but that does seem to fit!), it occurred to me that I could also create a SOTT blog where readers could go for information in the event that SOTT is down, where we can announce important news that really deserves focus, new features of SOTT, and also where those of us who work on SOTT can post our occasional thoughts about this Service that we perform and how we deal with it on a day to day basis. I can give you a hint: it isn't easy to observe that humanity swims in a sea of lies daily and that nowhere on the planet does there seem to be a place where Truth is actually valued as a social or cultural precept!

And so, the SOTT Blog has been born.