The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade
Now, for the first time ever, the hidden prophecies of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic epic, The Lord of the Rings, are decoded in this accurate re-edit of Peter Jackson's blockbuster motion picture. Unknownst to many readers, The Lord of the Rings - once thought to be merely a story of archetypal struggle between good and evil - has been found to contain astute prophetic messages about the impending crisis of capitalist modernity.
Numerous scholars and linguists have already deciphered the main theme of The Lord of the Rings as being the freedom of ordinary people to be left alone from the ruling elites. However, Tolkien's hidden messages about the disasters of capitalism and the insightful predictions about the current political climate have not been made public until now. The Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade includes subtitles of the decoded dialogues in painstaking detail and the true identities that the story's characters represent within the prophecy.
Hado i philinn!
"Mordor is in our midst." - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers
This sequel to The Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade explores post-911 issues within Mordor (aka United States).
Coming soon: "Rejecting the King"
Monday, July 27, 2009
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring of Free Trade
The trial of Myanmar’s prominent human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi is nearing its final moments as her lawyer delivered closing statements at Yangon’s Insein Prison today.
Suu Kyi, 64, is charged with opposing the terms of her house arrest after an American male swam to her home and took up residence for several days. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 14 of the past 20 years, and if convicted of this offence, faces five years in jail.
John Williams Yettaw, 53, swam across a lake to Suu Kyi’s home on May 3, 2009. He was uninvited and Suu Kyi has thus been held in the Insein Prison since.
According to CNN, the government has denied requests by the United Nations to visit her, though she is able to speak with her lawyers.
Though some diplomats have been allowed to monitor the ongoing court proceedings, media outlets and other acting bodies are currently barred from covering the event. Some analysts are claiming that the court proceedings and jailing are a ploy to keep Suu Kyi – a pro-democracy leader - out of the upcoming elections.
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The following news comes from Mytilini, where a NoBorders Camp is set to take place on August 25-31. In the bosses’ world, we are all foreigners.
A participant’s account, from Athens IMC
At the Thursday’s dawn, at around 2am, the ferry from Mytilini to Kavala had been planned to deport 62 migrants-refugees from the Detention Centre in Pagani. Their destination was other detention centres in mainland Northern Greece with their likely immediate deportation from there to their countries of origin, countries at war and with non-existent respect of elementary, given for us, human rights. The transfer was attempted with a municipal bus, in which the migrants were “loaded up” handcuffed, accompanied by police cars and undercover cops.
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Arturo Brachetti, the greatest quick change artist in the world, plays his own quick-change version of the most famous surrealist masterpieces.
"Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects anonymous testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada." They recount experiences that deeply affected them, including abusing Palestinians, looting, destroying property, and other practices "excused as military necessities, or explained as extreme and unique cases."
They believe otherwise in describing "the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military" to which Israeli society and most Western observers turn a blind eye. "Breaking the Silence" was established to force an uncomfortable reality into the open to "demand accountability regarding Israel's military actions in the Occupied Territories perpetrated by us in our name."
Its new booklet features 54 damning testimonies from 30 Israeli soldiers on their experiences in Operation Cast Lead. They recount what official media and government sources suppressed with comments like:
"You feel like an infantile little kid with a magnifying glass looking at ants, burning them."
Another referred to "not much said about the issue of innocent civilians." Anyone and anything were fair game, and laws of war went out the window.
They explained wanton destruction, crops uprooted, human slaughter, women and children killed in cold blood, illegal weapons used, free-fire orders to shoot to kill anywhere at anything that moved, and using civilians as human shields.
Israeli commanders refuted their accounts as groundless, but B'Tselem reported that the military "refused to open serious, impartial investigations," even when provided with detailed information, including victims' names, exact dates, and precise locations of incidents.
On its own, B'Tselem collected testimonies from Gaza residents in which 70 Palestinian civilians were killed, over half of them children. Israeli military sources were unresponsive, except to acknowledge receipt of some information, nothing more or that a serious investigation would be conducted. It never was.
Anonymous Testimonies to Protect Soldiers from Recriminations - First From Earlier Operations
A Nachal unit first sergeant recounted Israeli tanks entering a West Bank village and crushing a car beneath the treads. "Yes, I saw it from the APC we were in. I peeped out. Suddenly we heard a car being crushed....I can't understand why a tank should run over a car when the road's open." It wasn't an isolated incident. It happens often, wanton destruction for its own sake.
He also said that "When we got back from that operation, we had loot so to speak. There were IDs confiscated, uniforms, Kalachnikovs. For army intelligence."
A Nachal elite unit first sergeant said missions were explicitly intended to harass people. Homes were entered, arrests made. "At various points while closing in on a house there are varying open-fire instructions. When the whole house is surrounded, crews placed all around it, the guy who runs out of the house is considered an 'escaper' and must be stopped. If he exits running in a suspect manner (he) must be shot (and) kill(ed). Shot to be stopped: in other words, shoot to kill."
When entering villages, armed Palestinian policemen "at certain points in time....were considered enemy troops (so) we had to shoot to kill if we saw any." Orders were to shoot when in doubt. In describing the atmosphere and command orders, they were "Kill, kill, kill, kill. We want to see bodies."
He explained his anti-terrorism training saying: "Terrorist in sight, that's what it's called, when you run into them. It's some sort of code. It used to be 'hostages.' So you reach the terrorist, you confirm the kill. You don't confirm the kill, you confirm the guy has been 'neutralized,' no chance of his getting back to you because he's been shot in the head. That's confirming he's neutralized."
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By Dan Eggen - The Washington Post
21 Jul, 2009
As liberal protesters marched outside, Sen. Max Baucus sat down inside a San Francisco mansion for a dinner of chicken cordon bleu and a discussion of landmark health-care legislation under consideration by his Senate Finance Committee.
At the table on May 26 were about 20 donors willing to fork over $10,000 or more to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, including executives of major insurance companies, hospitals and other health-care firms.
"Most people there had an agenda; they wanted the ear of a senator, and they got it," said Aaron Roland, a San Francisco health-care activist who paid half price to attend the gathering. "Money gets you in the door. The only thing the other side can do is march around and protest outside."
As his committee has taken center stage in the battle over health-care reform, Chairman Baucus (D-Mont.) has emerged as a leading recipient of Senate campaign contributions from the hospitals, insurers and other medical interest groups hoping to shape the legislation to their advantage. Health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008, when he began holding hearings and making preparations for this year's reform debate.
Top health executives and lobbyists have continued to flock to the senator's often extravagant fundraising events in recent months. During a Senate break in late June, for example, Baucus held his 10th annual fly-fishing and golfing weekend in Big Sky, Mont., for a minimum donation of $2,500. Later this month comes "Camp Baucus," a "trip for the whole family" that adds horseback riding and hiking to the list of activities.
To avoid any appearance of favoritism, his aides say, Baucus quietly began refusing contributions from health-care political action committees after June 1. But the policy does not apply to lobbyists or corporate executives, who continued to make donations, disclosure records show.
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God is a Concept by which
we measure our pain
I'll say it again
God is a Concept by which
we measure our pain
I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in Tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in Mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in Yoga
I don't believe in Kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me...and that reality
The dream is over
What can I say?
the Dream is Over
I was the Dreamweaver
But now I'm reborn
I was the Walrus
But now I'm John
and so dear friends
you'll just have to carry on
The Dream is over
The folly of pretence
By Daniel Dennett - The Guardian
16 Jul, 2009
As I explain in the chapter by that title in Breaking the Spell, "belief in belief" is a common phenomenon not restricted to religions. Economists realise that a sound currency depends on people believing that the currency is sound, and scientists recognise that the actual objectivity of scientific studies on global warming is politically impotent unless people believe in that objectivity, so economists and scientists (among others) take steps to foster and protect such beliefs that they think are benign. That's acting on belief in belief.
Sometimes the maintenance of a belief is deemed so important that impressive systems of propaganda are erected and vigorously defended by people who do not in fact share the belief that they think is so important for society to endorse. For instance, imbecile monarchs have been kept on their thrones by widespread conspiracies of oblivion and deception when it has been deemed too socially disruptive to confirm to the populace what everybody suspects: the king is an idiot.
Religion offers an extreme case of this. Today one of the most insistent forces arrayed in opposition to us vocal atheists is the "I'm an atheist but" crowd, who publicly deplore our "hostility", our "rudeness" (which is actually just candour), while privately admitting that we're right. They don't themselves believe in God, but they certainly do believe in belief in God.
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Britain has quietly become the most spied-upon nation in Europe. How? Why? And does it matter? Charles Nevin goes to Manchester, London, Berlin and Bucharest to compare, contrast and discuss ...
From INTELLIGENT LIFE Magazine, Summer 2009
Spring sunshine in Bucharest’s Piata Revolutiei is tempered by the chill. It is not a day to linger. No one is musing over the memorials, or pondering the balcony where, 20 years ago, a camera caught, for the first time, the exact moment when fear flashed across the face of a dictator as he realised the jig was up.
The years since the fall and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu have not been easy for Romania. The years before under that autarkic megalomaniac left much catching up to do. There has been some success, notably achieving membership of the European Union. And the sight of neatly parked cars in Piata Revolutiei rather than 80,000 chanting protesters proclaims that most cherished human state, normality. Romania, however, still lags behind its western friends in one important growth area of European activity: state surveillance. And it is way behind Britain, whose people are now judged the most intruded upon in Europe.
The Palatul Parlamentului was built by Ceausescu, when it was known by the people as Casa Nebunului (the Madman’s House). With 1,100 rooms, it is the world’s biggest government building, after the Pentagon; one day in March some students from the London School of Economics were being shown round. The Palatul, built in a style best described as Corinthian-Wimpey-Tyrannical, now houses the Romanian parliament, and is still half-empty. The LSE group, recovering afterwards from marble and chandelier exposure, treated the comparison between Romania and Britain with the rigour expected of their institution, requesting the methodology used to arrive at the findings, which, by a fine coincidence, were researched by Privacy International, an independent surveillance watchdog run by an LSE academic, Simon Davies. The measures used are based on protection and enforcement of privacy. Romania gained credit for its safeguards; Britain had the worst result in Europe, falling into the category of “endemic surveillance societies” alongside Russia and China.
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By Gautam Naik - The Wall Street Journal
14 Jul, 2009
For the last four years, Henry Markram has been building a biologically accurate artificial brain. Powered by a supercomputer, his software model closely mimics the activity of a vital section of a rat's gray matter.
Dubbed Blue Brain, the simulation shows some strange behavior. The artificial "cells" respond to stimuli and suddenly pulse and flash in spooky unison, a pattern that isn't programmed but emerges spontaneously.
"It's the neuronal equivalent of a Mexican wave," says Dr. Markram, referring to what happens when successive clusters of stadium spectators briefly stand and raise their arms, creating a ripple effect. Such synchronized behavior is common in flesh-and-blood brains, where it's believed to be a basic step necessary for decision making. But when it arises in an artificial system, it's more surprising.
Blue Brain is based at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. The project hopes to tackle one of the most perplexing mysteries of neuroscience: How does human intelligence emerge? The Blue Brain scientists hope their computer model can shed light on the puzzle, and possibly even replicate intelligence in some way.
"We're building the brain from the bottom up, but in silicon," says Dr. Markram, the leader of Blue Brain, which is powered by a supercomputer provided by International Business Machines Corp. "We want to understand how the brain learns, how it perceives things, how intelligence emerges."
Blue Brain is controversial, and its success is far from assured. Christof Koch of the California Institute of Technology, a scientist who studies consciousness, says the Swiss project provides vital data about how part of the brain works. But he says that Dr. Markram's approach is still missing algorithms, the biological programming that yields higher-level functions.
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Going against the CGI effects of today, a group of artists and architects are in a remote Russian forest in the Kaluga region, some 200 kilometers south-west of Moscow, to literally take the 21st century back to nature.
The Land Art festival held in the remote Russian village of Nikola-Lenivets is all about objects made of wood and other natural materials, but this time artists decided to add a touch of techno to the exposition, pitting nature against technology. For instance, they have made an installation of an airport departures and arrivals board that even announces flights, though you cannot really board them in the middle of the woods!
“This is an artistic project of the highest quality,” said Tatyana Bokova, project coordinator from the European Commission.
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The first video from THE CREEPSHOW's debut album "Sell Your Soul".
Available on STEREO DYNAMITE RECORDINGS (www.stereodynamite.com)
In this outtake from a 1978 television interview, Cassavetes discusses his film Opening Night for a while, and builds into a terrific rant on movies and movie audiences.
By Nathaniel Hoffman - Boise Weekly
24 Jul, 2009
Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson, told BW this week that the officer's actions were "conduct unbecoming of an officer."
"It is one of the most serious charges that an officer can face," Masterson said. "It is an offense that is very likely to lead to termination."
But the officer was not charged with any crimes nor terminated in this case and is back on the street, Masterson said.
A few days after his arrest on charges that police refuse to release, citing a pending court case, the victim of the Tasing e-mailed Boise Community Ombudsman Pierce Murphy. He recounted the disturbing use of the Taser. Murphy met with the man 10 days later and within 24 hours had notified Masterson and the City Attorney's Office that he would be investigating the incident.
"I thought there was an indication of potential criminal activity, so that's when I notified the police department," Murphy said.
His notice initiated an internal investigation, assigned to the Idaho State Police. The State Police referred their investigation to the Ada County Prosecutor's Office, which declined to charge the officer.
On Wednesday, Murphy released his 51-page report, which describes in detail the Feb. 14 incident and its aftermath.
"At the time that he was Tased on the buttocks, the Complainant was handcuffed and lying face-down on the floor. Officer #1 was holding the Complainant's head and upper torso down with a knee across his shoulders. Officer #4 was positioned near the Complainant's waist preparing to search the Complainant, and Officer #3 was situated near the Complainant's legs and feet ... Based on what he observed, Officer #2 saw no need to assist Officer #1, Officer #3, and Officer #4 in controlling the Complainant. According to Officer #1, the Complainant "mellowed out" after being handcuffed," Murphy writes.
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By Bill Bonner - The Daily Reckoning
24 Jul, 2009
Those whom the gods would destroy are first granted stimulus. When a man wins the lottery, for example, it has a stimulating effect on everyone around him. He usually spends the money quickly – often even before he gets it. But no matter how much he wins, he is usually broke within a few years…often, even broker than he was before he bought the winning ticket.
A recent example from the British press: One of the first lottery millionaires punched a plumber and ended up in court, says The Telegraph. Michael Antonucci won 2.8 million pounds in 1995. But he “blew his entire fortune,” reported the paper last month. Now he’s reduced to stiffing tradesmen. The amount in dispute was just 400 pounds, what he was billed for a “gigantic ceiling mirror fitted above a whirlpool Jacuzzi.” He had the mirror installed when he was still flush. Now that he’s broke, he can’t pay…hence the altercation.
The phenomenon is little different when it happens on a national or even imperial scale. Any money that you don’t earn is stimulus. Without the sweat of honest toil on it, money seems to play a pernicious role in history. There are no examples – none – where it produced genuine prosperity. Instead, when a nation suddenly runs into some easy cash, it is soon spending more than it can afford…and getting into trouble.
The Roman Empire is in some measure a stimulus story. It conquered. It grew. Each conquest brought more booty…gold, silver, land and slaves. And each led to more conquests, which brought forth more booty. But the stimulus of this booty stimulated only the need for more stimulus. It did not stimulate real prosperity. Instead, it undermined it. First, slaves bought by rich landowners destroyed the free labor market and ruined small farmers. And then, imported wheat from the provinces – paid as tribute – put the large-scale farmers out of business too. Italy was then dependent on foreigners for its food.
In the first century AD, Roman conquests reached the point of diminishing returns; the stimulus came to an end. But borders still had to be protected. And Roman mobs, made up of displaced small landowners and out-of-work laborers, needed bread and circuses which drained the Treasury.
The first financial crisis of the imperial period came early. Caesar Augustus tried to solve it…with more stimulus. Neither paper money nor the printing press had yet been invented. So, Augustus increased the money supply in the only way he could; he ordered slaves in the silver mines in Spain and France to work around the clock! This extra money did not bring prosperity; it caused price inflation. In a period of about three decades, Rome’s consumer price index almost doubled. Then, when output from the mines could be increased no further, Augustus’s great nephew, Nero, found a new source of stimulus; he reduced the silver content of the coins. This source of stimulus proved ineffective, but enduring. By the time barbarians took over, the silver denarius contained almost no silver at all. Of course, Rome itself was played out too.
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'Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn't give you what you desire - it tells you how to desire' - Slavoj Zizek
THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA takes the viewer on an exhilarating ride through some of the greatest movies ever made. Serving as presenter and guide is the charismatic Slavoj Zizek, the Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst. With his engaging and passionate approach to thinking, Zizek delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves.
THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA offers an introduction into some of Zizek's most exciting ideas on fantasy, reality, sexuality, subjectivity, desire, materiality and cinematic form. Whether he is untangling the famously baffling films of David Lynch, or overturning everything you thought you knew about Hitchcock, Zizek illuminates the screen with his passion, intellect, and unfailing sense of humour. THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA applies Zizek's ideas to the cinematic canon, in what The Times calls 'an extraordinary reassessment of cinema.'
The film cuts its cloth from the very world of the movies it discusses; by shooting at original locations and on replica sets, it creates the uncanny illusion that Zizek is speaking from within the films themselves. Described by The Times as 'the woman helming this Freudian inquest,' director Sophie Fiennes' collaboration with Slavoj Zizek illustrates the immediacy with which film and television can communicate genuinely complex ideas. Says Zizek: "My big obsession is to make things clear. I can really explain a line of thought if I can somehow illustrate it in a scene from a film. THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA is really about what psychoanalysis can tell us about cinema."
About Slavoj Zizek:
Slavoj Zizek is a professor at the Institute for Sociology, Ljubljana and at the European Graduate School EGS who uses popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and the theory of Jacques Lacan to explain politics and popular culture. He was born in 1949 in Ljubljana, Slovenia where he lives to this day but he has lectured at universities around the world. He was analysed by Jacques Alain Miller, Jacques Lacan's son in law, and is probably the most successful and prolific post-Lacanian having published over fifty books including translations into a dozen languages. He is a leftist and, aside from Lacan he was strongly influenced by Marx, Hegel and Schelling. In temperament, he resembles a revolutionist more than a theoretician. He was politically active in Slovenia during the 80s, a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Slovenia in 1990; most of his works are moral and political rather than purely theoretical. He has considerable energy and charisma and is a spellbinding lecturer in the tradition of Lacan and Kojeve.
Zizek has cast a very long shadow in what can only be termed "cultural studies" (though he would despise the characterization). He is an effective purveyor of Lacanian mischief, and, as a follower of the French "liberator" of Freud, Zizek's Lacan is almost exclusively transcribed in mesmerizing language games or intellectual parables. That he has an encyclopedic grasp of political, philosophical, literary, artistic, cinematic, and pop cultural currents — and that he has no qualms about throwing all of them into the stockpot of his imagination — is the prime reason he has dazzled his peers and confounded his critics for over ten years.
Zizek was a visiting professor at the Department of Psychoanalysis, Universite Paris-VIII in 1982-3 and 1985-6, at the Centre for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Art, SUNY Buffalo, 1991-2, at the Department of Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1992, at the Tulane University, New Orleans, 1993, at the Cardozo Law School, New York, 1994, at the Columbia University, New York, 1995, at the Princeton University (1996), at the New School for Social Research, New York, 1997, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1998, and at the Georgetown University, Washington, 1999. He is a returning faculty member of the European Graduate School. In the last 20 years Zizek has participated in over 350 international philosophical, psychoanalytical and cultural-criticism symposiums in USA, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Netherland, Island, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Brasil, Mexico, Israel, Romania, Hungary and Japan. He is the founder and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, Ljubljana.
From the European Graduate School Biography
The beginnings of the Mystical 7, and most American college fraternities, can be traced to the influence of Freemasonry in early American society.
Freemasonic influence had peeked directly after the revolution, and a few Greek Letter societies, including Phi Beta Kappa at William and Mary in 1776, and Kappa Alpha at Union College in 1825, were formed in rough emulation of the Masonic structure.
Mystical 7: A History
by Benjamin Wyatt-Greene
The definitive “Cyclopaedia of Fraternities,” first published by Albert C. Stevens in 1907 contains a short, two-line entry: “The Mystical 7, which is now thought to be dead, was in some respects one of the most remarkable and most ambitious college societies in the country.”1 Confusion over whether the Mystical Seven Society is dead has continued for well over a century and controversy still exists as to what present-day organization represents its legitimate philosophical heir, with histories occasionally being re-interpreted and re-written to support competing claims. However the relevant fact that emerges from research is that the Mystical 7 played an active part in a number of the major philosophical and educational movements of the 19th century and spawned and influenced a number of organizations and societies, some of which continue to exist today. Records exist detailing the correspondences and inner workings of the society, but its larger historical and philosophical progression has never been objectively catalogued in any detail. It is this wider scope which I am trying to explore and I would therefore refer readers to my end notes, my bibliography, and the Wesleyan University Archives if they wish to research specific traditions and symbols within the normal functionings of the society.
The beginnings of the Mystical 7, and most American college fraternities, can be traced to the influence of Freemasonry in early American society. Freemasonic influence had peeked directly after the revolution, and a few Greek Letter societies, including Phi Beta Kappa at William and Mary in 1776, and Kappa Alpha at Union College in 1825, were formed in rough emulation of the Masonic structure.2 The pivotal Morgan incident of 1826, where a group of Freemasons were suspected of killing a member of their lodge who threatened to publish society secrets, lead to an outbreak of antimasonic propaganda and heralded in a decade of widespread suppression of masonic lodges. One of the results of this suppression was that many of the condemned masonic secrets, rituals, and structures were published for the first time in the mainstream press.3 The unintended consequence of this informational watershed was that a number of otherwise ignorant citizens became educated in and interested in exploring the traditions of Freemasonry. Chief among these interested parties were groups of students in the young and burgeoning American college system.4 The antimasonic suppression and exposition had been strongest in New York and New England, and it was accordingly in these areas that the first neo-masonic orders were founded once the ferocity of the antimasonic rhetoric began to cool in the mid 1830s.
The Mystical 7 was the first major college secret society to be formed after the Morgan Incident. It is nearly indisputable that the dearth of masonic information influenced the early formation of the Mystical 7. The writings of the early mystics make occasional reference to their “new form of masonry” and many of the early cauldron covers can be specifically matched to ritual etchings in published masonic texts.5 It is likely that the very idea of natural symbolism within the Mystic Star is derivative from masonic sources. Furthermore, it can be speculated that one major reason why Hebrew, as opposed to the more prevalent Greek, was used as the emblematic language of the society was the prevalence of Hebrew script in the higher rites of the masonic order. The masonic framework was undoubtedly a structure to which the mystics melded their philosophical and literary interests.
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By Jonathan Cook - ZMag
21 Jul, 2009
Nazareth. The passionate support for Israel expressed on talkback sections of websites, internet chat forums, blogs, Twitters and Facebook may not be all that it seems.
Israel's foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel.
Internet-savvy Israeli youngsters, mainly recent graduates and demobilised soldiers with language skills, are being recruited to pose as ordinary surfers while they provide the government's line on the Middle East conflict.
"To all intents and purposes the internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose," said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project.
The existence of an "internet warfare team" came to light when it was included in this year's foreign ministry budget. About $150,000 has been set aside for the first stage of development, with increased funding expected next year.
The team will fall under the authority of a large department already dealing with what Israelis term "hasbara", officially translated as "public explanation" but more usually meaning propaganda. That includes not only government public relations work but more secretive dealings the ministry has with a battery of private organisations and initiatives that promote Israel's image in print, on TV and online.
In an interview this month with the Calcalist, an Israeli business newspaper, Mr Shturman, the deputy director of the ministry's hasbara department, admitted his team would be working undercover.
"Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.' Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis," he said. "They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed."
Rona Kuperboim, a columnist for Ynet, Israel's most popular news website, denounced the initiative, saying it indicated that Israel had become a "thought-police state".
She added that "good PR cannot make the reality in the occupied territories prettier. Children are being killed, homes are being bombed, and families are starved."
Her column was greeted by several talkbackers asking how they could apply for a job with the foreign ministry's team.
The project is a formalisation of public relations practices the ministry developed specifically for Israel's assault on Gaza in December and January.
"During Operation Cast Lead we appealed to Jewish communities abroad and with their help we recruited a few thousand volunteers, who were joined by Israeli volunteers," Mr Shturman said.
"We gave them background material and hasbara material, and we sent them to represent the Israeli point of view on news websites and in polls on the internet."
The Israeli army also had one of the most popular sites on the video-sharing site YouTube and regularly uploaded clips, although it was criticised by human rights groups for misleading viewers about what was shown in its footage.
Mr Shturman said that during the war the ministry had concentrated its activities on European websites where audiences were more hostile to Israeli policy. High on its list of target sites for the new project would be BBC Online and Arabic websites, he added.
Elon Gilad, who heads the internet team, told Calcalist that many people had contacted the ministry offering their services during the Gaza attack. "People just asked for information, and afterwards we saw that the information was distributed all over the internet."
He suggested that there had been widespread government cooperation, with the ministry of absorption handing over contact details for hundreds of recent immigrants to Israel, who wrote pro-Israel material for websites in their native languages.
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Jane Burgermeister - Centre for Research on Globalization
21 Jul, 2009
The WHO has refused to release the Minutes of a key meeting of an advisory vaccine group – packed with executives from Baxter, Novartis and Sanofi – that recommended compulsory vaccinations in the USA, Europe and other countries against the artificial H1N1 “swine flu” virus this autumn.
In an email this morning, a WHO spokesperson claimed there are no Minutes of the meeting that took place on July 7th in which guidelines on the need for worldwide vaccinations that WH0 adopted this Monday were formulated and in which Baxter and other pharma executives participated.
Under the International Health Regulations, WHO guidelines have a binding character on all of WHO’s 194 signatory countries in the event of a pandemic emergency of the kind anticipated this autumn when the second more lethal wave of the H1N1 virus — which is bioengineered to resemble the Spanish flu virus — emerges.
In short: WHO has the authority to force everyone in those 194 countries to take a vaccine this fall at gunpoint, impose quarantines and restrict travel.
There is verifiable, clear and unambiguous proof that WHO supplied the live bird flu virus to Baxter’s subsidiary in Austria, which was used by Baxter to manufacture 72 kilos of vaccine material in Febuary.
Baxter subsequently sent this material out to 16 labs in four countries under a false label designating the contaminated product as vaccine material, so nearly triggering a global pandemic.
Because Baxter must adhere to strict biosafety level 3 regulations when handling a dangerus virus such as the bird flu virus, the production and distribution of so much pandemic material cannot have been an accident but must have been done by Baxter with criminal intent.
The Austrian police are now investigating after I filed criminal charges in April.
It is increasingly clear that WHO and Baxter are just elements in a much bigger criminal organisation that is moving forward in a synchronised and coordinated way to fulfil the “elite” agenda of global population reduction in the coming months and years while putting in place a global government of which WHO will be an arm.
WHO, a UN agency, appears to play a key role in coordinating the activities of labs, vaccine companies and governments to achieve the goal of population reduction and political and economic take over of North America and Europe:
- First, WHO gives funds, support and cover to labs such as the CDC to bioprospect for pathogens, bioengineer them to make them more deadly, and also patent them.
- Second, WHO gives those same deadly bioengineered pathogens to companies such as Baxter in Austria, so that Baxter could use those viruses to deliberately, systematically contaminate vaccine material. If the contamination of the 72 kilos had not been detection on time by a lab technician in the Czech Republic, millions of people would have caught the “bird flu” from the injections.
- Third, in the event of a pandemic, WHO orders a compulsory vaccines for all 194 countries, following “recommendations” by an advisory vaccine group on which executives of Baxter also sit.
- Fourth, WHO awards Baxter, Novartis, Sanofi and other companies lucrative contracts to supply those vaccines.
Furthermore, WHO acquires new global authority on an unseen scale in the event of a pandemic.
Under special pandemic plans enacted around the world including the USA, in 2005, national governments are to be dissolved in the event of a pandemic emergency and replaced by special crisis committees, which take charge of the health and security infrastructure of a country, and which are answerable to the WHO and EU in Europe and to the WHO and UN in North America.
If the Model Emergency Health Powers Act is implemented on the instructions of WHI, it will be a criminal offence for Americans to refuse the vaccine. Police are allowed to use deadly force against “criminal” suspects.
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Jonathan Wynne-Jones - Daily Telegraph
25 Jul, 2009
A Church of England book published this week says they should be regarded as worshippers with "special needs" alongside the blind, the deaf, breast-feeding mothers, very short people and readers of tabloid newspapers.
The advice is part of an initiative launched this week to make churches more friendly and less intimidating to newcomers in an attempt to increase attendance at services.
Among those considered to warrant particular attention are people who are blind, deaf or in wheelchairs.
However, it also warns that bald people could be "in trouble from those overhead radiant heaters some churches have unwittingly installed" and that special arrangements may need to be made for people who are overweight.
"Some pew spaces and chairs are embarrassingly inadequate for what is known in church circles as 'the wider community'," the book says.
Consideration should be given to recovering alcoholics who want to receive communion wine, it suggests, and for those who "find loud noises from organs or music groups distressing".
The book, called Everybody Welcome, claims that only one in ten church visitors return because existing worshippers tend to be so unwelcoming.
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On July 8, DNA tests confirmed that a body found in a well in Cabañas department, El Salvador, on June 30 is that of prominent community activist Gustavo Marcelo Rivera. The body was found by community members who had organized a search for Rivera, missing since June 18. Witnesses reported that the body exhibited signs of torture techniques generally tied to targeted political assassinations. However, initial reports coming from the National Civilian Police (PNC) state that gang members were responsible for the murder.
The victim's brother, Miguel Rivera, dismissed the gang violence explanation. "Saying that my brother died at the hands of gang members is an unbelievable story and becomes a mockery for my family. My brother was tortured. He was alive for nine days after his disappearance. His trachea was broken by a nylon cord that strangled him, pushing his arm up to his face. This is not an act of gang members. It is torture."
Rivera was director of the Casa de Cultura in San Isidro, and was active in social justice and environmental struggles. Friends and family members report that he received many threats in response to his public denunciations of San Isidro Mayor Ignacio Bautista of the ARENA party. Rivera was vocal in his stance against attempted fraud in the municipal and legislative elections of Jan. 18, which led community members to shut down the town's voting centers, forcing a make-up election to be held the following week. Rivera was also active in the national movement against mining projects that threaten El Salvador's principal watersheds.
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