Friday, October 29, 2010

After Wall Street II Oliver Stone should do JFK II The last key witness has finally been found

By Roland Michel Tremblay,

The last key witness that Oliver Stone mentioned in the film "JFK" (1991), the one who could have solved and proved the conspiracy surrounding JFK's assassination, has finally been found. Her name is Judyth Vary Baker and her 606 page testimony titled "Me & Lee, How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald" has just been published at Trine Day Press. Jim Marrs, the long-time investigator and author of the New York Times bestseller "Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy", upon which the "JFK" film was based, asked in the afterword of Baker's book how she can still be alive today. Good question.

It has not been easy. Baker decided to talk after 36 years of frightened silence, but after being confronted with death threats she had to leave the United States. She returned to the US twice, only to flee overseas due to ongoing stalking, harassment and several hospitalizations caused by what Marrs termed "freak accidents." In 2007 she was accepted as a political asylum seeker in Europe, the first ever non-combatant American woman to succeed in gaining asylum seeker status in the world. She is still struggling with character assassination over the Internet by people intent on destroying her as a credible witness, but her book is out now, and it changes everything. So much so that Oliver Stone could finally do a final and less static version of his film. Instead of telling us about what might have happened, he could now show us what really happened in 1963 in New Orleans and Dallas.

What happened is far more impressive and sinister than anyone could have imagined. Beyond the facts that the death of JFK opened the way to more wars, such as in Vietnam, ostensibly to fight communism while enriching the war industry, with the Mafia free of Bobby Kennedy's pesky presence countering corruption, we now know there is now a whole new angle to the story. And it is perhaps more important and worrying than even the assassination of a beloved President. Behind it all was the development of a biological weapon capable of killing anyone by injecting virulent cancer cells. Any such murder would, of course, look like a natural death.

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India's 'untouchables' to build temple to 'Goddess of the English language'

Dean Nelson reports for The Daily Telegraph:

Leaders of India's low-caste Dalits are to celebrate the opening of a temple shaped like a desktop computer to inspire "untouchable" children to improve their prospects in life by learning English.

They believe learning English will open up new opportunities for India's 160 million Dalits in higher education and high-status government careers.

Dalits are India's most persecuted caste and its members suffer violence and discrimination throughout the country. There are regular reports of Dalit boys being murdered for illicit relationships with higher caste girls.

Leaders of the influential Dalit movement in Uttar Pradesh state, where the pro-dalit Bahujan Samaj Party is in power, believe more could escape the worst aspects of "untouchability" if they master the English language.

A foundation stone was laid in April and a 30 inch brass statue of the 'goddess' was dispatched from New Delhi to Lakimpuri Kheri village in Uttar Pradesh where campaigners are hoping to open the temple formally in honour of Lord Macauley, the 19th Century colonial official who sought to create an English-speaking Indian middle-class elite.

"The idea is to make English a matter of faith among Dalits because we believe it is an empowering language. If a Dalit woman starts worshipping English as a goddess, there is no way her kids would escape the 'ABC' from their childhood," said Chandra Bhan Prasad, the Dalit author behind the plan.

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Iceland turns from banks to freedom of speech

Iceland wants companies from around the world to set up their servers there and publish material online without the fear of ruinous lawsuits or censorship. Stephen Beard reports [for Marketplace].

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Iceland has a bold new international money-making plan. But after its last foray into the global marketplace, a financial system that went haywire, should the world be worried?

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: Iceland does not intend getting into banking again. Just as well. Those banks wound up owing about ten times more than the whole Icelandic economy. No, the country now wants to turn itself into a haven for the digital age.

    BIRGITTA JONSDOTTIR: A haven for freedom of information, freedom of expression and of speech.

Lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir.

    JONSDOTTIR: What we're doing is putting together all the best laws so that one country can set the standard for how we in the future strengthen these rights.

Iceland wants people from around the world to set up their servers there and publish material online without the fear of ruinous lawsuits or censorship. Icelanders see this as a noble aim and a business opportunity.

    SMARI McCARTHY: A lot of companies will just want internet hosting services.

Smari McCarthy is also involved in the project.

    McCARTHY: Other organizations might have greater needs such as operating offices from here to protect their employees.

He says the plan could turn Iceland into a refuge for whistle blowers and anyone who wants to expose corporate or official abuses. But Alistair Mullis, Professor of Law at the University of East Anlgia says it'll more likely turn Iceland into a hotbed of libel and intrusiveness.

    ALISTAIR MULLIS: It will make it very difficult to sue people who are publishing defamatory material or material that's private when they are based in Iceland.

Another critic claims that Iceland will prove as reckless with reputations and with state secrets as it was with other people's money. But Smari McCarthy says Iceland merely wants to learn and profit from the disaster of its banking boom and bust.

    McARTHY: This is a country that was badly burned by a strong urge by those that are in power and those who own everything to keep the general public un-informed about what they are up to.

Iceland's information haven could be up and running in a year. This is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

~ Source: Marketplace ~

Wesley J. Smith: Is the Dutch Gronningen Infanticide Protocol Akin to The Nazi Doctors?

From Free Republic:

There is an interesting discussion underway in the thread from a previous post between two valued SHS commenters, as to whether the Dutch infanticide that has flowed illegally, but generally undisturbed. from the country's euthanasia permissiveness, can be fairly compared to the infanticide of disabled infants during the medical Holocaust in Germany during World War II.  One commenter said, appropriately, that we should be very careful before drawing such analogies. The other, who is reading Robert Jay Lifton's magnificently researched The Nazi Doctors, sees striking similarities and is disturbed.

I think both are right.  There are some similarities between what is happening in the Netherlands now, and what happened in Germany then. But there are also pronounced differences.

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The Good Consumer

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Katie Makkai - Pretty

Katie Makkai, a veteran poetry slammer - defining the word "pretty".

Arresting Impunity

"Arresting Impunity" is a documentary about the attempts of citizens in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to uphold the rule of law when faced with a culture of impunity. After the attempted citizen's arrest by Splitting the Sky on George W. Bush in Calgary on March 17, 2009, Calgary became the focus of a citizens movement to hold Canadian law enforcement officials to account for their failure to arrest Bush when he visited Calgary, in his first visit without diplomatic immunity to a foreign country. Ramsey Clark, Cynthia McKinney, Anthony Hall and Splitting the Sky feature prominently in the film. Such figures sought to draw attention to the international organized crime which has arisen since the fraudulent events of 9/11.

This documentary also hones in on the Conservative minority government of Canada which was asked by various legal analysts to arrest Bush when he came to Canada invoking the laws enshrined in Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000).

This film is produced and edited by Joshua Blakeney.

Watch this film:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:
Part 7:

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Julian Assange to RT: WikiLeaks gives 'most accurate picture of war'

The shocking WikiLeaks release, which has revealed thousands of unreported civilian casualties in Iraq, is the most accurate picture of war ever made, and it is food for thought, says the website's editor-in-chief. The report, condemned by the Pentagon, claims that US commanders in Iraq ignored evidence of torture and the murder of civilians. "This material has revealed 15,000 previously unreported, undocumented civilian casualties. That's an extraordinary number of people who have never been spoken about before," Julian Assange said. "We also see that the cover up of torture by coalition forces well after Abu Ghraib was a concrete policy, a secret policy: to not intervene with torture conducted by the fledgling Iraqi government," he added. "This is the most accurate description of a war that has ever been released into the historic record. There is nothing comparable. It is the details of the deaths of 109,000 people, the wounding of 170,000 people, the detaining of nearly 200,000 people during a course of six years. Of course, that is only about a half the military action that went on during that period, because it is only the US view on things, but even so we see that there is nearly no street corner in Baghdad that did not have a body found that had been killed through violence in one form or another," he said. "We should start imagining it or stop supporting it. It is not good to support things that you do not understand," he pointed out. "We need to understand what the reality of war is, if we are going to choose to engage in it." Assange said that WikiLeaks was now expecting some kind of response from the Pentagon, a counter-attack that follows each of the website's releases. "Last time it was names appearing in the material, which the Pentagon managed to successfully fool the press into believing was going to be a great big assassination list for the Taliban. But in fact, nearly all of those names were right to appear; they were the names of governors who were taking bribes by the US military, or the names of the radio stations that were taking bribes to put on propaganda content... As recently as last week, NATO officials in Kabul said they could not find a single person that needed protecting or moving... And a letter has come out that was originally written on August 16th by Defense Secretary Gates stating that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods were revealed in that material, but of course, this was not the public line," he said.

U.S. commanders in Iraq ignored evidence of torture and often failed to investigate the killing of civilians. These are the major findings from the leak of 400,000 secret American military files from the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks. The data describes widespread brutal torture of detainees by Iraqi troops - with some documents showing American authorities often turned a blind eye. The files also reveal that 66,000 civilians were killed in Iraq since the U.S. invaded - even though Washington had denied it kept any such record. The Pentagon's condemned what is the largest-ever leak of classified documents - saying it will only serve to help America's enemies.

Colgate Accused of Stealing Thousand-Year-Old Toothpaste

A legal dispute between the U.S. and India over a herbal toothpaste was leaving a bitter aftertaste between the two countries Thursday, with Colgate Palmolive accused of filing a bogus patent.

Colgate, the world's largest producer of toothpaste, patented a toothcleaning powder in the hope that it would take the multibillion-dollar Indian oral hygiene market by storm.

However, Indian activists claim that the patent is bogus because the ingredients -- including clove oil, camphor, black pepper and spearmint -- have been used for the same purpose for hundreds, “if not thousands,” of years on the subcontinent.

The dispute is likely to become a test case for who owns India's folk medicines -- a repository potentially worth billions.

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Iraq War Veteran Returns His Medals in Protest

Army Specialist Mike Sanger unpinned his medals and stuck it to Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore not supporting the troops.

Supporting the troops and destroying the war at

This Aborted Earth: The Quest Begins

This Aborted Earth' immerses the viewer in a surreal retro-Gilliam world composed entirely of animated black and white engravings from the 19th & early 20th century. The result: an incredible misfit earth skewed violently from, yet oddly related to, our own reality. The Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution: all failures. Chaos, desolation and destruction abound. And so, from a tyrannical church-state, one of the only remaining bastions of "civilization," a sacred quest goes forth. A holy - albeit bloodthirsty - knight, General Thaddeus Twer, must seek the last good man on this ruined world (for reasons murky at best.) Accompanying him: Saint Gluestick, a sarcastic skinless horse, unwillingly canonized and drafted for the mission.

This video has been shortlisted for YouTube Play. See the shortlist at Official Selection of the 2010 LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival.

'It is unique in journalistic history'

From WikiLeaks expanded collaboration with media to 'maximise exposure' for Iraq War Logs sources by Rachel McAthy,

WikiLeaks expanded its media collaborations for the release of the Iraq War Logs in order to maximise the exposure of the documents' contents for the sources behind the leaks.

Almost 400,000 military documents were released to media outlets across the world in what WikiLeaks is claiming to be the biggest leak of military documents in history.

According to WikiLeaks, the 391,832 reports document the war and occupation in Iraq from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2009, excluding the months of May 2004 and March 2009, “as told by soldiers in the United States Army”.

“Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.”

Kristinn Hrafnsson, spokesman for the whistleblowing website, seen in interview in this video at the Frontline Club, said WikiLeaks worked with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to ensure maximum coverage.

“We thought and believed that we should expand this group to include more media in this process,” he said.

“Through the Bureau of Investigative Journalism we have achieved that. This is all in line with the promise made to sources to maximise the impact of the material that they leak to WikiLeaks.

“It is unique in journalistic history, I think, to have so many media outlets working on the same material at the same time. The media outlets are not used to these kinds of projects, they are not used to cooperating on a basis such as this one. We relied pretty much on the expertise and skill that was provided by the news outlets. There were probably 40 or 50 professional journalists working on the material and with researchers and additional people there were probably up to 100 people.”

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Musical Innerlube: Wandering Pixie Gypsy Life V2 (original by Green of Avalon Roots) - The Shaken Oak Sessions

Pixie Gypsy Life - Inspired by Green and Avalon Roots original version, title and concept by Green, lyrics by KP.

The Hang melody is based on Basra, a Russian folk song. Daniel Waples on PanART Hang Drum, KP Kev the Poet on vocals, Rainbo Ninjah on percussion, Meinl Ibo and Menl Cahon and backing vocals, Mike Stanton on high vibration (and guitar!)

Potential footage for the forthcoming Synchroflow TV Show...

Will The Riots Spread To England?

October 21, 2010 BBC World News

And a video from France:

Will the Federal Reserve Cause a Civil War?

Stephen Gandel comments on TIME magazine's The curious Capitalist Blog:

Usually, there is generally a consensus about what the Federal Reserve should do. When the economy is weak, the Fed cuts short-term interest rates to spur borrowing and economic activity. When the economy is strong and inflation is rising, it does the opposite. But nearly two years after the Fed cut short-term interest rates to basically zero, more and more economists are questioning whether the US central bank is making the right moves. The economy is still very weak and unemployment seems stubbornly stuck near 10%.

The problem is the Fed only directly sets short-term interest rates. And they are already about as close to zero as you can go. That's why Ben Bernanke has been recently talking about something called "quantitative easing." That's when the Fed basically creates money to buy the long-term bonds that it doesn't directly control, and drive down those interest rates as well. That should further reduce the cost of borrowing for large companies and homeowners. Some people are calling this "QE2" because the Fed made a similar move during the height of the financial crisis when it bought mortgage bonds. (See photos of the Tea Party movement)

Not everyone agrees this is a good move. In fact, a number of presidents of regional Fed banks, not all of which get to vote at Fed policy meetings, have recently come out against Bernanke's plans. Some say it sets bad policy. Others think it will stoke inflation, which might be the point. Few, though, have warned of armed conflict. Here's how Zerohedge justifies its prediction of why the Fed's Nov. 3rd meeting will lead to violence:

In a very real sense, Bernanke is throwing Granny and Grandpa down the stairs - on purpose. He is literally threatening those at the lower end of the economic strata, along with all who are retired, with starvation and death, and in a just nation where the rule of law controlled instead of being abused by the kleptocrats he would be facing charges of Seditious Conspiracy, as his policies will inevitably lead to the destruction of our republic.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

The New French Revolution

Predicted early last year by Max Keiser:

Sexuality, Spirituality, and Orgasm

Nut Tmu-Ankh Butterfly, a Nubian-Khamite priestess, presents her views. From the documentary 'The Sacred Prostitute.'

Kevin Kelly on The Technium

From the FreedomLab Future Studies series, Penny For Your Thoughts

Do No Evil Google & US Taxes

Google, which encourages employees to “Do No Evil”, managed this past quarter to reduce its international tax rate to 2.4% of net income, despite earning most of its revenue in countries like the US, the UK, Germany, and Japan that have corporate tax rates of at least 25%. In comparison, the average recent effective US tax rate for 2,000 companies was 28.3%.

In a report published today in Bloomberg, Google was described as using tax techniques known as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” to avoid paying taxes in the countries in which it earns most of its revenue. Google uses a Dublin subsidiary and declares that 88% of its overseas sales are generated by this office which employs 2,000 people. Ireland maintains a very low tax rate to encourage foreign investment, but it then adds an important benefit: it allows companies to shift revenues to low-tax countries using transfer pricing. Google shifts its Ireland revenues to The Netherlands (Irish law requires using an EU country for the first leg of this shift). The revenue is then transferred to Bermuda, which has a minimal tax rate. In the meantime, Google uses transfer pricing to shift its expenses to high-tax countries in order to declare tax write-offs.

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Riotbot - Coming Soon To Your Neighborhood

The Spanish company TechnoRobot has introduced here the RiotBot – a new class of unmanned platform designed for intervention in riots, prison disturbances, or other civil disorders, where neutralization of specific elements is required by law enforcement agents, avoiding direct contact with the crowd. By operating with effective non lethal means to suppress, or deactivate a target without the presence of personnel, RiotBot can eliminate potential threats while minimizing escalation typically caused by police intervention.

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Vatican Banking Fraud Probe Widens: Church 'Astonished' It Must Adhere to Money Laundering Laws

Activist Post

The Associated Press reported today that the Vatican expressed "astonishment" when an Italian court rejected the release of Vatican bank funds seized by authorities for failing to comply with international money laundering laws.

Prosecutors claim that the $30 million seizure that occurred last month is due to non-disclosure of the transfer destination of large sums of money. Although the Vatican bank -- Institute for Works of Religion -- vows that it is working within international banking rules, the prosecutor found "exactly the opposite" was true. The AP reported:

Under the investigation, financial police seized the money Sept. 21 from a Vatican bank account at the Rome branch of Credito Artigiano Spa, after the bank informed the Bank of Italy about possible violations of anti-money laundering norms. The bulk of the money, euro20 million ($26 million), was destined for JP Morgan in Frankfurt, with the remainder going to Banca del Fucino.

The prosecutors' document suggests confirmation of Italian press reports that the probe was widening, looking into possible violations in earlier years linked to Italian corruption, in addition to the two most recent cases.

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Top 50 Psychiatrists Paid by Pharmaceutical Companies

Who were the top 50 psychiatrists in the U.S. paid by the top seven pharmaceutical companies?

This past week, ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, recently decided to answer that question by compiling a list of 384 physicians and health care providers who earned more than $100,000 total from one or more of the seven companies that have disclosed payments in 2009 and early 2010. Click here for the full list of 384 physicians.

We combed that list and found the top 50 psychiatry earners for the past two years (2009-2010). You can click on any name below to learn more about the physician.

According to an accompanying article to this data, ProPublic notes that “[p]ayments to doctors for promotional work are not illegal and can be beneficial. Strong relationships between pharmaceutical companies and physicians are critical to developing new and better treatments.” Perhaps, but for far too long, companies have used physicians as empty-headed mouthpieces for their marketing propaganda.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Big Brother WILL snoop on your calls and clicks: Ministers resurrect plan to log all communications

James Slack reports for The Daily Mail:

Hugely controversial 'Big Brother' plans to store details of every internet click, email and telephone call that we make are being revived by the Coalition, it emerged last night.

Police, security services and other public bodies would be able to find out which websites a person had visited, and when, where and to whom a text or call was made.

Security officials insist that monitoring communications data is vital in the fight against terrorism and serious organised crime.

But the plan – which was kicked into the long grass by Labour amid a public outcry – will put the Government on a collision course with civil liberties groups.

They argue it is a 'snooper's charter' which will allow the state to spy on millions of innocent citizens.

So far ministers have insisted they want to provide a 'correction in favour of liberty' when it comes to the powers required to protect the public.

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'Something bad may happen to me soon'

From Landslide - Rebecca Gould interviews the descendants of Titsian Tabidze, Guernica Magazine

The Soviets were a menace to Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze's generation. As his daughter and granddaughter recount, the legacy continues.

[ ... ]

Like every poet with a conscience in Russia at that time, Esenin had been infected with enthusiasm for the revolution. Propelled to despair, Esenin had killed himself shortly after returning to Moscow from a sojourn in the Caucasus. Although they died twelve years apart, the reasons for Esenin's and Titsian's deaths are hardly unrelated. Titsian could not have known for certain that his head was destined to roll “into a deep pit,” as were those of his fellow poets, Paolo Iashvili and novelist Mikhail Javaxishvili. But already in 1925 he could detect signs boding disaster.

Luckily for us, fear did not keep Titsian from writing. If anything, fear emboldened him with greater clarity and courage. If he was going to die anyway, Titsian knew he had little to lose by honesty.

In the poem “Gunib,” Titsian protested a double treachery: first the Russian colonization of the Caucasus, which resulted in the brutal subjection of Chechens, Daghestanis, and other indigenous mountain peoples, the effects of which are still felt today. Titsian and his people were directly implicated in the second, the aid that Georgians, including poets such as Grigol Orbeliani, provided by serving in the Tsarist army, participating in conquest, and helping subdue the mountaineers. “Gunib,” named after the site where the colonial war was officially decided in Russia's favor, reads, in part:

But this battle moves even me to ecstasy.
I don't want to be a poet drunk on blood.
Let this day be my penitence.
Let my poems wash away your treachery.

Georgian literary modernity was liquidated by the Soviet state from the nineteen thirties onwards. The first casualty was Titsian's close friend Paolo Iashvili. Knowing he was doomed to be executed, Paolo brought a hunting gun with him to a meeting in the Writer's Union in downtown Tbilisi and shot himself. Even more than Esenin's, Paolo's suicide was a statement. If he had to die, Paolo decided, let it not be silently, in forced labor camps or prison, cursed by the state.

Those who survived Stalin's regime, like Titsian's cousin Galaktion Tabidze, were no less wracked by despair; Galaktion ended his life at the age of sixty-nine by jumping out the window of a Tbilisi psychiatric hospital. Only one Georgian fully escaped the despair that enveloped the times: novelist Konstantin Gamsakhurdia, Titsian's one-time rival for the love of his wife Nina. Gamsakhurdia, however, had to write novels glorifying Stalin, never producing poetry comparable to the other modernists.

Russia's Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak had been so taken by Titsian's poems that he translated many into Russian, garnering fame for his friend. One of the poems Pasternak helped make famous in Russian runs:

I don't write poems; poetry writes me.
This poem walks with my life.
A poem is a landslide which carries me away
and buries me alive.

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Void Network and Free Art Zone presents OKUPA - a short film dedicated to the legacy of the Global Squatting Movement.

Kaleidoskop -Trailer 2 min.

A collection of short documentaries about the squatting movement in Germany, Holland and Spain from the 70s, 80s till now.

EU Dictators Plan Fresh Looting Of Tax Slaves

By Paul Joseph Watson, Prison

The sprawling, blood-sucking, dictatorial, EU is trying to fill its coffers at a time when everyone else is being told they must tighten their belts and accept draconian austerity measures, by preparing to impose a new direct tax on European citizens already financially destitute as a result of the economic collapse.

If you want a taste of how the global tax to fund the expansion of world government will be implemented, look no further than the European Commission, which has laid out no less than eight different forms of direct taxation that it wants to impose on citizens of all 27 member states, despite the fact that the majority of people in all of these countries would rather their governments cease all financial commitments to the EU entirely.

Not content with national governments from every member country already sending taxpayer money to the bloated, anti-democratic EU bureaucracy, globalists in Brussels are now desperate to sink their teeth in further, in an effort to increase their budget by 6 per cent even in the midst of a national debt crisis which affects the majority of European nations.

The unelected bastards in Brussels are set to once again display their “insatiable appetite for power and taxpayers' money,” as MP Douglas Carswell warns, by flexing the muscles of their completely illegitimate and autocratic voting system to loot taxpayers of whatever meager amounts of disposable income they have left.

“Options expected to be proposed in an EU report today include levies on carbon emissions, air transport, financial transactions or bank profits. There could even be extra taxes on petrol,” reports the Express.

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Nine stories the press is underreporting -- fraud, fraud and more fraud

By Dan Froomkin, Nieman Watchdog

If it wasn't already blindingly obvious that pervasive fraud was at the heart of the financial crisis and the ensuing foreclosure catastrophe, you would think that the latest news -- that banks have routinely been lying their heads off in the rush to kick homeowners off the properties they fraudulently induced them to buy in the first place -- would pretty much clinch it.

And yet the mainstream media still by and large hasn't connected the dots.
What we are seeing all around us are the continued effects of a vast criminal enterprise that has never been brought to account,  employing a process that, as University of Texas economist James Galbraith explains, involved the equivalent of counterfeiting, laundering and fencing.
So the person with the right expertise to lead us here is a criminologist -- in particular William K. Black, one of the few effective regulators in recent history (during the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s), a notorious knocker of heads, and currently professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the book, "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One".
I first interviewed Black in April, and recently checked back in and asked him about this ongoing problem of the mainstream media's inability to properly cover this story.

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Federal scientists go public in face of restrictive media rules

Gloria Galloway reports for The Globe and Mail :

The union that represents federal government scientists has created a website – – to give a voice to the work of its members.

The move comes weeks after it was revealed that new restrictive rules have been placed on scientists at the Natural Resources department requiring them to clear a number of hoops, including approval from the minister's director of communications, before they may speak with the press about their work.

While Natural Resources was singled out, reporters and scientists across a wide range of departments are well aware that the government frowns upon direct communication between its employees and the media without prior approval.

The website launched by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the national union that includes 23,000 who work in scientific research and testing says: “Public scientists and researchers use their skills and expertise to benefit all Canadians. Their job is to work in the public interest as independent experts protecting the health and welfare of Canadians and their communities.”

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Global Warming Anticipated To Cause Future Food Shortages

Lesser summer stream  flows, the outburst of various epidemics, the extinction of many genes in organisms, and the increased spread of mosquitoes and other harmful insects and pests are also related to the ill effects of rising temperatures.

Marine life is very sensitive to rising temperatures; many species of fish and other marine life will die as the water temperature changes. Perhaps the most disturbing change is expected in the coral reefs which are expected to die off completely due to the effects of global warming.

One of the major events of Global Warming will be a food shortage.

Researchers from the University of Leeds, the Met Office and the University of Exeter said the wheat crisis in Russia and reduced crop production in Pakistan, India, and Indonesia due to the current floods brought on by climate changes will push food prices up.

Besides producing physical damage to the crops, rising temperatures also have been creating an early maturity of crops, which could reduce their yield. Intense monsoon rains and severe droughts could be very frequent and also prove very harmful for the crops, as suggested by the researchers in a Journal for Environmental Research.

The main author of the study, Dr Andy Challinor from the University of Leeds, said, “Due to the significance of international trade, crop failure is an issue that affects everyone on the planet, not just those in crop-growing regions.”

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Over 17,000 US Doctors Paid By Drug Companies To Spread Their Message

Although 74% of Americans take a dim view of doctors receiving payments from pharmaceutical companies, over 17,000 physicians are doing just that, and some of them are receiving huge quantities, a new investigation from ProPublica reveals. The investigation was a joint venture with ProPublica, a not-for-profit independent newsroom, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Chicago Tribune, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe and NPR.

According to ProPublica, over 17,000 health care professionals, the majority of them doctors, have been identified as having received money from drug companies since the beginning of 2009. Some of the health care professionals include dietitians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

In a communiqué, ProPublica inform:

We compiled data from seven companies, covering $257.8 million in payouts since 2009 for speaking, consulting and other duties.

384 of them received over $100,000 since the beginning of 2009, 43 of them over 200,000 and two doctors were given over $300,000.

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Rethink Afghanistan - Election Fraud

Women Step Up to Bring Security to Teetering Kyrgyzstan

From Kyrgyzstan: First We Cry Togethery by Nurgul Djanaeva, World Pulse

Some of us had lost our houses; others had lost family members. We had witnessed violence; we had been the victims of violence. We were angry. Before June, we had been neighbors. Now, many of us were shouting at each other.

When the violence happened, I felt how deeply women had been affected. As the president of the Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan, I also knew that women could take on a critical peacebuilding role after conflict. As women leaders from different ethnic groups, I knew we needed to meet each other to begin peace talks. But I was nervous. Our country had never before been through a conflict on this scale, and I had no experience in organizing peace and mediation talks.

Growing up, I lived amongst Kyrgyz, Germans, Russians, Roma, Uyghur, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, and many other ethnic groups. In Kyrgyzstan, there are over 100 ethnic groups who have lived together, mostly peacefully, for centuries. But we're not strangers to ethnic violence—we had ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan ten years ago. Still, I never imagined that violence on the scale of what we saw in June would take place in my country.

The violence of June 10th presented itself as ethnic violence, but tension between Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups was not the only cause. Political turmoil, unemployment, growing migration, criminal activity, and the rising influence of fundamentalist Islamic groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir are other likely factors. Under these conditions, simmering ethnic tensions were easily ignited and the conflict was fueled by disinformation and rumors.

I first visited Osh less than two weeks after the violence began and the city was shut down. Police were enforcing a curfew. Markets and businesses were closed, and public transportation wasn't running. There was still sporadic fighting in parts of the country. My Kyrgyz taxi driver was afraid to take me into Uzbek neighborhoods because he had heard about ethnic Kyrgyz who had been shot there. Before I left, I called my family to speak with them—just in case anything happened to me.

Now, over a month later, curfews were still in place, rumors were still swirling, and Uzbeks and Kyrgyz were still blaming each other for what happened. There were some NGOs talking to each other, but on the community level there was a kind of silence. By starting a process of face to face meetings in the affected regions, we hoped to break the silence.

Our first meeting began in anger, but as the women took turns speaking out and expressing their pain, we found ourselves crying together. Slowly we began to talk, and by the end of the meeting we had made the decision to go forward and continue peace talks.

We discovered that we needed to let our anger out while we were in one room, looking at each others' faces. Only then were we able to cry together about what we have lost. Meeting with these women was an emotional experience that reminded us that pain has no ethnicity.

~ more... ~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Middle Eastern Milk Drinkers Conquered Europe

By Matthias Schulz, Der Spiegel

New research has revealed that agriculture came to Europe amid a wave of immigration from the Middle East during the Neolithic period. The newcomers won out over the locals because of their sophisticated culture, mastery of agriculture -- and their miracle food, milk.

Wedged in between dump trucks and excavators, archeologist Birgit Srock is drawing the outline of a 7,200-year-old posthole. A concrete mixing plant is visible on the horizon. She is here because, during the construction of a high-speed rail line between the German cities of Nuremberg and Berlin, workers happened upon a large Neolithic settlement in the Upper Franconia region of northern Bavaria.

The remains of more than 40 houses were unearthed, as well as skeletons, a spinning wheel, bulbous clay vessels, cows' teeth and broken sieves for cheese production -- a typical settlement of the so-called Linear Pottery culture (named after the patterns on their pottery).

[ ... ]

The new settlers also had something of a miracle food at their disposal. They produced fresh milk, which, as a result of a genetic mutation, they were soon able to drink in large quantities. The result was that the population of farmers grew and grew.

These striking insights come from biologists and chemists. In a barrage of articles in professional journals like Nature and BMC Evolutionary Biology, they have turned many of the prevailing views upside down over the course of the last three years.

The most important group is working on the "Leche" project (the name is inspired by the Spanish word for milk), an association of 13 research institutes in seven European Union countries. The goal of the project is to genetically probe the beginnings of butter, milk and cheese.

An unusual circumstance has made this research possible in the first place. Homo sapiens was originally unable to digest raw milk. Generally, the human body only produces an enzyme that can break down lactose in the small intestine during the first few years of life. Indeed, most adults in Asia and Africa react to cow's milk with nausea, flatulence and diarrhea.

But the situation is different in Europe, where many people carry a minute modification of chromosome 2 that enables them to digest lactose throughout their life without experiencing intestinal problems. The percentage of people with this modification is the highest among Britons and Scandinavians.

It has long been known that these differences are based on Europeans' primeval origins. But where did the first milk drinker live? Which early man was the first to feast on cow's milk without suffering the consequences?

~ more... ~

Case dropped against soldier-author

The Danish military has decided to drop a case against a soldier who wrote a book the military tried to stop.

The Judge Advocate has decided not to prosecute Thomas Rathsack, a Danish commando who wrote a controversial book that the military attempted to prevent being published.

Rathsack tells that he was contacted this morning by the Judge Advocate's office to tell him that he is not to be prosecuted.

“But I cannot say any more, among other reasons because I don't know what else is involved in the auditor's decision – for example whether there could be other consequences for me,” Rathsack says.

The auditor charged Rathsack last year under criminal and military law for allegedly having communicated information encompassed under laws preventing the dissemination of military secrets.

People's Press, who published Rathsack's book 'Jæger i krig med eliten' [Ranger at war with the elite] says the decision not to prosecute Rathsack is gratifying.

~ more... ~

Small spot for the Special Forces - Thomas Rathsack Shot on Canon 7D.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Emma Goldman: A Thoroughly Modern Anarchist

Ally Fogg comments for The Guardian:

The best political comment tumbles through the ages like a snowball, gathering mass and momentum with each new appreciation. Whatever our politics, most of us can still find validation or inspiration in the works of Paine or Burke, Mill or Marx. So when invited to write in praise of my own ideological idol, the pioneering anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman, I was not surprised to find her words still rang true and clear. But as we approach the 100th anniversary of Anarchism and Other Essays, her first and best book, what is astonishing is the continuing relevance of her subject matter. Rereading the book today, one could easily be browsing any given week on Comment is free.

Could there be a better riposte than this to the New Labour stalwart and scourge of sex traffickers, Denis McShane:

"What is really the cause of the trade in women? Exploitation, of course; the merciless Moloch of capitalism that fattens on underpaid labour, thus driving thousands of women and girls into prostitution ... Naturally our reformers say nothing about this cause. They know it well enough, but it doesn't pay to say anything about it. It is much more profitable to play the Pharisee, to pretend an outraged morality, than to go to the bottom of things."

In the aftermath of the papal visit, how is this for a defence of aggressive atheism:

"Religion! How it dominates man's mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began."

~ more... ~

Serbia: Fake Revolutions, Real Struggles

A tremendous amount of attention has focused on Greece lately. Looking at the successful anarchist movement there, we can nurture utopian visions to strengthen our resolve; but if we only consider apparent success stories, we will not be prepared for the challenges ahead.

The entire Balkan peninsula is a sort of laboratory of crisis. Studying it, we can discern some of the possible futures that may await us now that North America seems to be entering an era of crisis as well. The vibrant anarchist movement in Greece represents one possible future, in which a powerful social movement establishes hubs of resistance. But only a few hundred kilometers north Serbia shows another: a nightmare of ethnic conflict, nationalist war, and false resistance movements in which the anarchist alternative has sunk almost as deep as Atlantis.

The roots of the differences between these countries are hundreds of years old, but we can identify some recent factors. Only a generation ago, both were ruled by dictatorships: Greece by a US-based fascist dictatorship that collapsed under pressure from rebellious students, winning youth revolt the respect of the general population to this day; Yugoslavia by a socialist dictatorship, in which Tito maintained power by playing various groups off against each other. When the Berlin Wall came down and the socialist government collapsed, the country was torn apart by ethnic strife. By the end of the 1990s, Serbia was reduced to a much smaller nation ruled by a nationalistic communist, Slobodan Milošević.

On paper, what happened next reads like an anarchist fairy tale. An ostensibly decentralized and nonhierarchical underground youth group named Otpor (“Resistance”) carried out a propaganda campaign aimed at rousing popular revolt, despite aggressive repression from the authorities. After a rigged election, hundreds of thousands of people converged on the capital and intense streetfighting ensued. An unemployed vehicle operator, nicknamed “Joe” by his colleagues, drove his bulldozer through a hail of bullets into the headquarters of the state television station at the head of a furious crowd. Other protesters set the Parliament on fire and violently wrested control of the streets from police. The authorities surrendered, the government toppled, and soon a former anarchist was prime minister.

In fact, organizers at the center of Otpor were directed by organizations affiliated with the US government, from whom they received millions of dollars. By ostensibly limiting itself to attacking the established order, Otpor drew participants of all ideological persuasions, while preparing the way for the implementation of capitalist democracy. The entire event was carefully choreographed to smooth Serbia's transition into the neoliberal market. Afterwards, the same model was exported almost anywhere a regime was not cooperating with the US agenda; Otpor was followed by Kmara in Georgia, Pora in Ukraine, Zubr in Belarus, MJAFT! in Albania, Oborona in Russia, KelKel in Kyrgyzstan, Bolga in Uzbekistan, and Nabad-al-Horriye in Lebanon. In each of these cases genuine local unrest was channeled into a proxy war serving the interests of powerful outsiders. Yet most of the participants must have felt that they were genuinely fighting for liberation.

Ljubisav Đokić, the man who drove his bulldozer into the state television headquarters, declared shortly afterwards that the uprising had made no difference. Today Serbia is no closer to meaningful social change. Nationalism and fascism are still rampant, the population is more discouraged and apathetic than ever, and local anarchists are still struggling to gain traction in an unfavorable social terrain.

~ more... ~

Death and Taxes vs. Life and War Tax Resistance

A recent study shows that more than 40 percent of every income tax dollar in 2007 went towards military spending. We speak with Pat and John Schwiebert, a Portland couple who have refused to pay their taxes for the past thirty years to protest military spending.

Meet 28 people who offer their motivations for and methods of resisting the war machine.

She sat 2 years in an ancient redwood and now fights taxation that funds war. Julia Butterfly HIll is a heroine for all times. War Resistors League event. Camera: Paula Gloria.

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) is an activist group that promotes tax resistance as a way to protest against and/or disassociate from war and militarism. (Christopher Dimitrov, Jared Ingster, Antonella Lentini)

These Kinds of Discoveries Validate Mystical Interpretations of Reality

From Theoretical Trends and their Promise of Societal Change: Part II by Craig Bowman, Ph.D.

Traditionally the most material of disciplines, new science is now advancing such considerations as the existence of parallel universes  (that alternative and possible futures are all real) and interconnected fields of energy within a universal web. Importantly, scientific observations consistently show that consciousness inter-relates with matter in ways that transcend the the limits of rigid space and constant time.

In other words, both the most reduced and the most absolute act in accord with conscious energy—possibly one of the most universal and fundamental components of existence.  Many argue that these kinds of discoveries validate mystical interpretations of reality, which suggest that consciousness may be supreme and precede, not result from, the formation or evolution of material existence.  This is a 180 degree flip from the philosophy of materialism that has dominated scientific theory the past few hundred years.

Progressive Psychology

Meanwhile, in the field of psychology, similar events are occurring.  Traditional schools of psychology (e.g., Developmental, Behavioral, Neuro, and Cognitive), limited by the modern story, have assumed personality, functioning, and identity to be determined simply by genetics, environment, integration of early-life stages, and the result of material evolution of matter, life, and species.  We were taught that the height of human growth is reached at individuated ego formation.  Following such ideology, treatment is best achieved by reinforcing “rational” behavior or by isolating and manipulating brain chemistry. Again, these are practices heavily influenced by the modern material worldview, as was discussed in Part I of the series.

Alternative psychologists (e.g., humanistic, archetypal, transpersonal, Jungian, and integral) tend to believe that we are influenced by many more factors, and have considerable levels of potential.  By expanding methodological approaches, some of these theorists conclude that human actualization is best expressed when we are beyond the developmental stage of ego manifestation. As “trans-egoic” stages are integrated, some theorists argue, the human develops higher values and levels of functioning.  This is theoretically possible if higher, deeper, or more sophisticated levels of the human Self and of the cosmos interconnect at more universal and subtle energetic vibrations, as is assumed by some alternative paradigms.

The idea of human empowerment is shifting as well.  More people are claiming an ability to “create” and take responsibility over their life situations.  They believe this is best achieved by accessing the inherent power of elevated intentions and thoughts, as well as by deeply tuning into the present moment.  All of these so-called deep or elevated qualities of experience seem to allow the individual to transcend ego and the limitations of three-dimensional time and space.  Many of these “new” and increasingly popular teachings suggest that when we operate primarily from ego, our mundane life experiences are more prone to be bogged down by fear, negativity, and illusions of separation. Operating from greater depth and inclusion (ego and higher levels of Self), one can experience greater achievements of peace, awareness, and empowerment.

In addition, popular and psychologically minded scientific studies show that our intentions and emotions impact matter and other forms of life outside of ourselves.  Meditating groups of individuals, for instance, can significantly reduce city crime, as was suggested by controlled studies.  Similarly, the research of Masuru Emoto shows that individuals focusing on elevated emotions, such as love and joy, easily shift water to make it visibly more beautiful at a molecular level.

~ more... ~

~ Paths of Truth and Progress Part I: Two Ailing and Discordant Worldviews ~

'Our bankers? Our CEOs? Our statesmen? Bought. All of them.'

From John le Carre's Our Kind of Traitor Is About Money Laundering, But It May Be His Scariest Novel by Jesse Kornbluth, The Huffington Post

Spies used to operate on the margins, at checkpoints, in lonely towns with names you can't pronounce. Then they were soldiers in the Cold War. Now, le Carré tells us, they exist for much darker purposes.

Of all of le Carré's novels, this is the one that makes me feel like a child. I mean, I know we're all under surveillance now. Photographed often. Every keystroke, every e-mail, every Tweet saved -- illegally, but saved. At any moment, the President can declare an American citizen an enemy combatant, a threat to the security of the Republic, and without judicial review or formal charge, he can order that American to be killed. But although I know all that, I hadn't quite realized that when large amounts of money are involved, none of the old words -- honor, truth, empathy -- matter at all.

What le Carré is telling us here is that there is something that might be called the country of money. It has no boundaries. There are no "sides." The government of Russia has made a pact with the Russian Mafia -- or is it the other way around? -- so criminal fortunes are appropriately shared. (When things go wrong, blame the Chechens.) And the cash-starved West? Our bankers? Our CEOs? Our statesmen? Bought. All of them.

~ more... ~

James Madison - First U.S. President to Use Covert Operations to Overthrow a Foreign Government?

From Our views: Mr. Madison, spy master?

Participants in the recent Baton Rouge gathering honored the 200th anniversary of the West Florida Republic  and reflected on the wider history of independence movements in the Spanish colonies of the Western Hemisphere.

One such Spanish colony existed in what is now Louisiana. But in 1810, many area residents tired of the arrangement, captured a fort at Baton Rouge, and declared the area an independent state, the Republic of West Florida.

The fledgling republic included all of the Louisiana parishes from Slidell to Baton Rouge. Some residents were in favor of remaining independent, while others wanted annexation to the United States.

President James Madison resolved the dispute by proclaiming that the United States always had considered West Florida a part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. In December 1810, Gov. William C.C. Claiborne of the Orleans Territory took control of the fort at Baton Rouge by force.

~ more... ~

~ West Florida Bicentennial Celebration ~

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees?

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.

~ more... ~

Monday, October 18, 2010

We Love You

We Love You from Jonathan Kalafer on Vimeo.

We Love You documents the Rainbow Rainbow Family of Living Light. Every summer since 1972 thousands of people co-create a temporary city deep in the wilderness of our national forests to practice anarchy and hippy spirituality. This isn't a music festival; there is no charge for entry and the main event is an elaborate prayer for peace on July 4th. The Rainbows' peaceful ways are challenged when federal agents charged with monitoring them shoot pepper spray projectiles into the children's' area of the gathering.

'The average Joe knows nothing about thought manipulation'

From Survivors of Extreme Abuse The Awful Rowing Toward Social Emancipation:

So, how can truth telling be a transformative force?

On a personal level, telling your story is universally recognized as a crucial component of the healing process, but it's also important that our stories be heard. Contrary to the old axiom, ignorance is usually not bliss. Except possibly in the short term. Ignorance is helplessness.

The public needs to understand who's been doing what behind its metaphorical back so that people can protect and empower themselves and their loved ones. A population kept in the dark is a population vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation.

Survivors of extreme abuse have intimate knowledge of unspeakable treachery going on behind closed doors, including the deliberate, trauma-based dissociation of children, child, drug and arms trafficking, child pornography and murder. We can also identify the criminals committing these crimes, some of which are perpetrated by vast organized crime syndicates. In spite of great efforts by those in power in the last few years to normalize torture and state-sanctioned murder, the public would not abide these horrors if they had this information, if they knew what was going on.

I also want to put in a plug for imagination here, because after enlightenment, transformation requires creative dreamers. Imagine, for example, if all the personal histories in this room were published in one huge volume. Imagine if each one of us had the benefit of knowing what all of us know: All the hard earned wisdom of how to navigate this horrific mess, all the validation – it would be profoundly transformational. And imagine if that book were widely distributed and well read. What if there were a book right next to Howard Zinn's “A People's History of The United States” called “A People's History of Ritual Abuse-Torture and Mind Control?”

What if you could walk into your local police station, report ritual abuse crimes, and their first question were “Who's the leader of the cult?” instead of “Are you on any kind of medication?” What if you could tell your District Attorney that you'd been deliberately dissociated, and that one of your splits had been used to perpetrate a crime, and she said, “Do you have your handler's contact information?” Instead of “How did you get in here?”

If secret societies, from backwater covens to shadow governments, to transnational corporations, were exposed for what they are, radical reform would be possible, because a citizenry armed with the truth about who's really doing what can demand accountability. So we're all stewards of important insights, and what we chose to do, or are able to do with that knowledge does have an impact on other human beings. As Goethe said: “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.”

People need to wake up to the fact that the human mind is vulnerable to manipulation. The average Joe knows nothing about thought manipulation, let alone deliberate dissociation. We need to wake up Joe.

Cognitive scientist and political analyst George Lakoff wrote a book about the political ramifications of how the mind works called Don't Think of an Elephant. He talks about why we human folk are susceptible to unconscious manipulation, and why it's crucial in a democracy that people understand how and why. He writes: “Most of us think we know our own minds. This is because we engage in conscious thought, and it fills much of our waking life. But what most people are not aware of, and are sometimes shocked to discover, is that most of our thought – an estimated 98 percent – is not conscious.” He points out that “Deft politicians (as well as savvy marketers) take advantage of our ignorance of our own minds to appeal to the unconscious level.” 98 percent – that's a lot of real estate open to exploitation, and some of us have had a whole lot of that space commandeered against our will.

~ more... ~

Elvis Seance: Kerry Thornley's Erisian Mysteries

This is one of the Erisian Mysteries revealed to Sondra London by Kerry Thornley in 1997.

The text is:

Performance of the Elvis Seance requires one Elvis Presley impersonator and five gullible Discordians. Since he or she doesn't have to even be a GOOD impersonator, the real problem will be finding the gullible Discordians. We Discordians are not known for our gullibility. For example, we don't believe Elvis is still alive, as do many infidels.

"Dead and rotten but not forgotten," is not only our slogan on the Elvis question, it is the mantra for the Elvis Seance, which will be revealed in the ripening of time [three paragraphs below].

We, however, believe Elvis will rise from the dead and help Bob "J.R." Dobbs and The Fightin' Jesus destroy the Trilateral Commission on Judgment Day.

Moreover, every Discordian, without exception, must have a photograph of Elvis in Army uniform, as a reminder that no man is above the law; and for that reason, if no other, the law should be abolished.

Now for the seance.

One. All Discordians present lay hands on the head of the Elvis impersonator.

Two. Begin chanting "Dead and rotten but not forgotten," over & over until it gets boring.

Keep chanting "Dead and rotten but not forgotten," after it gets boring.

At some point the Elvis impersonator will fall on the floor and start jerking, twitching, convulsing. When the impersonator begins singing, "All Shook Up," know that the departed spirit of Elvis is among you.

If you went to all this trouble without preparing a list of questions, and you have Elvis rolling at your feet, and you cannot think of anything to say, don't ask for his autograph either, because he will be in no condition to sign anything.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Inviting us to bow down before the god of fortune

Frank Furedi spoke on fear, fate and freedom at the Philosophy Festival in Modena, Italy, on 18 September 2010. An edited version of his speech is published below.

Who decides our individual fates? How much of our future is influenced by our exercise of free will? Humanity’s destiny has been the subject of controversy since the beginning of history.

Back in ancient times, different gods were endowed with the ability to thwart our ambitions or to bless us with good fortune. The Romans worshipped the goddess Fortuna, giving her great power over human affairs. Nevertheless, they still believed that her influence could be contained and even overcome by men of true virtue. As the saying goes: ‘Fortune favours the brave.’ This belief that the power of fortune could be limited through human effort and will is one of the most important legacies of humanism.

The belief in people’s capacity to exercise their will and shape their future flourished during the Renaissance, creating a world in which people could dream about struggling against the tide of fortune. A new refusal to defer to fate was expressed through affirming the human potential. Later, during the period of Enlightenment, this sensibility developed further, giving rise to a belief that, in certain circumstances, mankind could gain the freedom necessary to influence its future.

In the twenty-first century, however, the optimistic belief in humanity’s ability to subdue the unknown and become the master of its fate has given way to a belief that we are powerless to deal with the perils that confront us. Today, the problems associated with risk and uncertainty are constantly being amplified and, courtesy of our own imaginations, are turned into existential threats. Consequently, it is rare for unexpected natural events to be treated as just that; rather, they are swiftly dramatised and transformed into a threat to human survival.

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Ghetto Physics - 'Will the Real Pimps and Ho's Please Stand Up'

Ghetto Physics: Will the Real Pimps and Ho's Please Stand Up! examines the interplay between Pimps and Ho's and how that dynamic is the simplest expression of how power is wielded in the world. Through examples culled from the Hood to Wall Street, the film shows how the same power dynamic repeats itself, be the players real-life pimps or corporate executives. It also demonstrates how this dynamic is so multilayered that it's hard to see "the game." Ghetto Physics initially takes us to the streets, where the literal pimps and ho's play out their game, and then expands outward. Only it's not just a movie, it's real life and this analysis is increasingly relevant in light of the struggling economy, the Gulf oil spill, global ecological threats, healthcare and wars. Between interviews, dramatic scenes and satire, themes of empowerment and hope emerge, creating awareness of "the game" and empowering individuals to chose the role they play in every situation.

Utilizing documentary technique and dramatization, Ghetto Physics details the street world of the Pimp and Ho, and then takes us to the classroom and the corporate boardroom, where the same game is being played, only at a much more subtle and globally consequential level. The film continues to illustrate the game by showing how awareness positively impacts one student's life. The film includes interviews with notable entertainers and thinkers, such as Dr. Cornel West, Ice-T, KRS-One, Too Short, John Perkins and Norman Lear. Of course it also includes a colorful contingent of street characters, with names such as Filmore Slim, Hook da Crook, Mac Breed and Lo Da Show.

Ghetto Physics uses principles from metaphysics. In metaphysics there is a direct relation between mind and matter -- in other words a person plays a major part in creating their own reality. Furthermore, the film explores the concept of microcosm and macrocosm that whatever happens on a street corner happens on a larger scale throughout the world. So we see how a pimp convinces a ho to work for him and for his reality. Then the film extrapolates how this hierarchical relationship is duplicated in capitalism where on average a CEO of a U.S based company makes 39 times the pay of his production workers.

It's about awareness of "the game" and letting people know it's up to them to choose the role they play in every situation. The film integrates the conversation of politics, global economics, and psychology with the goals of expanding the audience's world-view and creating breakthroughs. Power can be described with various terms, but they all refer to the same thing — someone has command over someone else in the power game. On their decision to utilize the Pimp and Ho metaphor for the film, Arntz and Brown explain, "We don't formally refer to power interaction in say politics or economics as a game. But this is exactly what is taking place — using Pimp and Ho terms is a very simplified way of describing such power dynamics." Brown continues, "Ghetto Physics" helps you become more aware of it and play it from a position of personal power.

Title: GhettoPhysics: Will the Real Pimps and Ho's Please Stand Up!
Distributor: Captured Light Films and Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director, Writer, and Producer: William H. Arntz & E. Raymond Brown

Music Composer: E. Raymond Brown

Featured Interviews with: Dr. Cornel West
John Perkins
Cynthia McKinney
Norman Lear
Ice T

Release Date: October 8
Release Date: October 22 (Nationally)
Running Time: 94 minutes

for more info please log onto

Obama Interrogation Official Linked to U.S. Mind Control Research

By Jeffrey Kaye, Public Record

A new article at Truthout I co-wrote with author and investigative journalist H.P. Albarelli describes how the CIA’s Artichoke Project* was the contemporaneous and operational side of the MK-ULTRA mind control research program. It was not superceded by MK-ULTRA in the 1950s, as often supposed.

Even more, Artichoke-derived methods of using drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation and overload, behavioral modification techniques and other methods of mind control have resurfaced as a primary component of U.S. interrogation practice.

The Truthout article includes some amazing revelations, including the largest description to date of the roles of then-Ford administration officials Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in working hand-in-glove with the CIA to suppress information on Artichoke from surfacing.

The article also references the November 2006 release of an “Instruction” from the Secretary of the Navy (3900.39D) regarding its “Human Research Protection Program.” While this memo specifically prohibits the use of research upon prisoners, including so-called “unlawful enemy combatants,” waivers of informed consent for research, or suspension of the protections enumerated in the memo can be made by the Secretary of the Navy under conditions of “operational contingency or during times of national emergency.” It is likely the latter rests upon the legislative language within the September 18, 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, where terrorist acts are said to “continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

The waivers allowed for normal human research testing gains further piquancy when one considers the kinds of research referenced in the Secretary of the Navy’s memo. Section 7(a)(2)(a) describes the Undersecretary of the Navy as the “approval authority” for research done upon prisoners, as well as “Severe or unusual intrusions, either physical or psychological, on human subjects (such as consciousness-altering drugs or mind-control techniques)” [emphasis added].

This referencing of “mind-control techniques” in a document specifically discussing human subjects protections by then Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, is not an anomaly, but a rare instance in which the actual activities of the government in this area are openly revealed. Some of these activities can be documented via publicly available materials. This article describes how some of the individuals involved in U.S. government mind control and torture activities can be tracked and identified.

~ more... ~

Paulo Coelho on Luck, Coincidence, and Faith

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. With two million copies sold in English and 22 million copies worldwide, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. This beautifully designed hardcover edition will be treasured by fans and newcomers alike -- it will include a slipcase, illustrations, a ribbon marker, deckled edges, colored endpapers, and a lovely to/from dedication page for gift-giving.

The Alchemist is the magical tale of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangier and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along lifes path, and above all, following our dreams.


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