Saturday, March 20, 2010
Who cleans up the mess when ignorant, greedy bankers rack up massive debt then go broke? The people of Iceland made a strong statement Saturday. The sins of big bankers and government regulators shouldn't fall on the citizens. By a 93% to 2% margin, they voted down a proposal requiring them to cover bad debt incurred by one of the nation's oldest and largest banks. Covering the debt would have cost Iceland's 317,000 citizens around $17,000 each.
Iceland's national referendum was the first opportunity for the people of any nation to vote directly on who pays when the financial elite fail.
Icelanders are struggling with a collapsed economy. Businesses are failing at a startling rate, unemployment is soaring, and the prospects for the future are simply not there. Yet the British and Dutch governments demand that their swindled citizens receive compensation from beleaguered Icelanders. Where were the British and Dutch central banks and politicians while their citizens were being fleeced? Aren't the rulers of these countries aware that the failed Icelandic bank was owned by wealth investors, not the citizens?
Iceland's size and the very dire circumstances offer a focused preview for citizens around the world. The banks make bad deal after bad deal. When they're about to fail, the government steps in with a taxpayer bailout. It doesn't matter which faction of the narrow political spectrum is in charge. The message is starkly clear — when the banks fail, you pay. The solution is presented to citizens as a fait accompli, a mandatory submission to indefinite financial slavery for the benefit of the failed financial elite. The will of the people doesn't matter even when there's a direct vote.
The failed financial enterprises that control global commerce are opening their new show on the road in Iceland. Greek citizens are next in line for indentured servitude, thanks to their lying leaders and Wall Street's Goldman Sachs.
Citizens in the United States remain overwhelmingly opposed to bailouts for Wall Street and big banks. Like Iceland's Prime Minister, members of Congress and the president don't care. Big banks have now received at least $12 trillion in credit and cash from the US Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank. The 17 million citizens out of work, their families, and the eight million forced to work reduced hours are barely mentioned and get just a pittance compared to the ultra wealthy bankers.
How did the financial elite and their political minions do it in Iceland? The lesson is instructive.
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What can make tens of millions of people – who are in their daily lives peaceful and compassionate and caring – suddenly want to physically dismember a man for drawing a cartoon, or make excuses for an international criminal conspiracy to protect child-rapists? Not reason. Not evidence. No. But it can happen when people choose their polar opposite – religion. In the past week we have seen two examples of how people can begin to behave in bizarre ways when they decide it is a good thing to abandon any commitment to fact and instead act on faith. It has led some to regard people accused of the attempted murders of the Mohamed cartoonists as victims, and to demand "respect" for the Pope, when he should be in a police station being quizzed about his role in covering up and thereby enabling the rape of children.
In 2005, 12 men in a small secular European democracy decided to draw a quasi-mythical figure who has been dead for 1400 years. They were trying to make a point. They knew that in many Muslim cultures, it is considered offensive to draw Mohamed. But they have a culture too – a European culture that believes it is important to be allowed to mock and tease and ridicule religion. It is because Europeans have been doing this for centuries now that we can no longer be tyrannised into feeling bad about perfectly natural impulses, like masturbation, or pre-marital sex, or homosexuality. When priests offer those old arguments, we now laugh in their faces – a great liberating moment. It will be a shining day for Muslims when they can do the same.
Some of the cartoons were witty. Some were stupid. One seemed to suggest Muslims are inherently violent – an obnoxious and false idea. If you disagree with the drawings, you should write a letter, or draw a better cartoon, this time mocking the cartoonists. But some people did not react this way. Instead, Islamist plots to hunt the artists down and slaughter them began. Earlier this year, a man with an axe smashed into one of their houses, and very nearly killed the cartoonist in front of his small grand-daughter.
This week, another plot to murder them seems to have been exposed, this time allegedly spanning Ireland and the United States, and many people who consider themselves humanitarians or liberals have rushed forward to offer condemnation – of the cartoonists. One otherwise liberal newspaper ran an article saying that since the cartoonists had engaged in an "aggressive act" and shown "prejudice... against religion per se", so it stated menacingly that no doubt "someone else is out there waiting for an opportunity to strike again".
Let's state some principles that – if religion wasn't involved – would be so obvious it would seem ludicrous to have to say them out loud. Drawing a cartoon is not an act of aggression. Trying to kill somebody with an axe is. There is no moral equivalence between peacefully expressing your disagreement with an idea – any idea – and trying to kill somebody for it. Yet we have to say this because we have allowed religious people to claim their ideas belong to a different, exalted category, and it is abusive or violent merely to verbally question them. Nobody says I should "respect" conservatism or communism and keep my opposition to them to myself – but that's exactly what is routinely said about Islam or Christianity or Buddhism. What's the difference?
This enforced "respect" is a creeping vine. It soon extends beyond religious ideas to religious institutions – even when they commit the worst crimes imaginable. It is now an indisputable fact that the Catholic Church systematically covered up the rape of children across the globe, and knowingly, consciously put paedophiles in charge of more kids. Joseph Ratzinger – who claims to be "infallible" – was at the heart of this policy for decades.
Here's what we are sure of. By 1962, it was becoming clear to the Vatican that a significant number of its priests were raping children. Rather than root it out, they issued a secret order called "Crimen Sollicitationis"' ordering bishops to swear the victims to secrecy and move the offending priest on to another parish. This of course meant they raped more children there, and on and on, in parish after parish. Yes, these were different times, but the Vatican knew then that what it was doing was terribly wrong: that's why it was done in the utmost secrecy.
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From Treason in America Conference: organizing the painfully obvious to save America:
If evidence of treason by American political “leadership” was obvious, do you have the integrity and courage to follow your heart and mind’s most virtuous expression of what you should do about it as an American citizen?
- Evidence that the government’s version of what happened on 9/11 is provably false.
- US wars are unlawful and based on provable lies.
- The US Constitution, the heart of this nation and the Oath of Enlistment and Office for US military and government officials to support and defend, is being destroyed before our eyes with torture, indefinite detention, and escalating legislation to imprison any American without evidence and without legal recourse to challenge.
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At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids -- got built this way.
Astrophysicist, cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner George Smoot studies the cosmic microwave background radiation -- the afterglow of the Big Bang. His pioneering research into deep space and time is uncovering the structure of the universe itself.
Comment: If the war on drugs did not exist, you would not be reading this article!
WASHINGTON — Suspected drug cartel “hit teams” gunned down an American consular employee and her husband in a Mexican border city and killed a co-worker's Mexican husband in a separate attack, a US official said Sunday.
The victims — two Americans and a Mexican — came under fire in separate locations as they were driving Saturday through Ciudad Juarez after earlier attending the same social event, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The killings marked an ominous turn in the drug violence wracking northern Mexico, and prompted the State Department to announce that Americans working at six US consulates in the border area could send their families away.
President Barack Obama said he was “deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders,” said National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer.
The victims came under fire in separate locations after attending the same social event earlier in the day, the US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Suspected drug cartel hit teams fired on locally employed staff, Consulate General Juarez, in their privately owned vehicles,” the official said.
“The attacks resulted in three fatalities — two American citizens and one Mexican citizen,” he said.
The victims included a US woman employed by the consulate's American citizens services section who was with her American husband and infant daughter when they came under fire, the official said.
The infant, who was in the back seat, survived the attack unharmed, but the woman and her husband were killed, he said.
In the second attack, a Mexican employee of the consulate was following her husband and two children in a separate car, when her husband's vehicle came under fire, killing him and wounding the two children, the official said.
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Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant.
Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them.
They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot.
They said the informant chose the targets, supplied fake bombs for the synagogues and a fake missile to shoot down planes. The motion said he also offered to pay the defendants, who attorneys alleged weren't inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.
"The government well knew that their case had been a government-inspired creation from day one and that the defendants had not been independently seeking weapons or targets," the motion said.
Ffederal court spokesman Herb Hadad said the government would file its response next month.
The four men, who were arrested last May, face up to life in prison if convicted. They have been previously identified as James Cromitie, 55, David Williams, 28, Onta Williams, 32, and Laguerre Payen, 27, all of Newburgh in upstate New York, where authorities were conducting raids at their homes, sources said.
Authorities have said they had the plotters under surveillance since June of 2008 and there was "no chance" the alleged scheme could succeed. They credited the work of a long time informant with keeping tabs on the group.
The FBI has said the Muslim suspects were angry and full of hate for America.
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See also “The Reason For This Cover-Up Goes Right To The White House”
Investigate, but don't go too deep: According to new documents, that is the message the Bush Administration sent to the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks. Russ Baker says that the government doesnt wan't full disclosure on this issue and that people who investigate may be crossing the line.
From the second edition of Antonio Hopson's widely published short stories...
"The 'Vernal Equinox' is a collection that blows open our personal reference points. It is a finger pointing toward our false sense of reality, bringing us to wonder and question."
A snake clasped in the hand of England's Queen Elizabeth I has appeared in a painting from the 1580s or 90s lending credence to the link between reptilian aliens and the European royal families.
The painting by an unknown artist of the hideous dead queen has been unearthed from archives at the National Portrait Gallery in London to accompany the exhibit Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faced of Elizabeth I, on show from Mar. 13 to Sept. 26.
The snake was painted over by a bunch of roses, and the gallery stated in a press release that the removal of the snake may have been because of the ambiguity of the symbolism attached to the creature.
Snakes have sometimes been used to represent wisdom, reasoned judgement and prudence but also aliens, Satan and original sin.
A statement from the gallery said: “The snake is mainly black but has greenish blue scales and was almost certainly painted from imagination.”
The gallery also revealed X-ray technology uncovered the paining of the Tudor monarch covers a portrait of an unknown woman in a French hood with her head facing the opposite direction and in a higher position than the queen.
The mystery woman's eyes and nose are visible through chipped paint on Elizabeth's forehead.
Dr. Tarnya Cooper, of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project told BBC News, “The queen certainly owned jewellery and costume including emblems of serpents, which were probably understood as a symbol of wisdom. However no other portrait of Elizabeth appears to depict her holding a snake.”
The theory about the reptilian aliens is essentially that the aliens, such as the Anunnaki, visited Earth in intervals of 3,600 years when their planet Nibiru was closest in orbit to Earth.
The time-frame is supported by the Sumerian texts that document the ancient people that became the backbone for the Old Testament texts.
Also, the critical periods of development of humans occurred around every 3,600 years: the beginning of farming circa 11,000 B.C.; prehistoric culture circa 7,500 B.C.; civilization circa 3,800 B.C. according to research by Sitchen (Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy, p. 393).
During the time before the civilizations of Mesopotamia, as documented in Cuneiform, the aliens supposedly used the humans in the area as workers for building projects, such as dams and mining, and breed with some of the humans to create hybrids.
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Prospective judges will no longer have to declare if they are Freemasons, the government has announced .
For the past 11 years, anyone applying to be a judge or a magistrate for the first time had to declare on an application form whether they belong to the Freemasonry.
But Jack Straw, the justice secretary, said that as a review had shown no evidence of impropriety or malpractice as a result of a judge being a Freemason it would be "disproportionate" to continue with the practice, introduced in 1998.
There were "existing safeguards that help support the proper performance of judicial functions", including the judicial oath and an official complaints procedure, Straw said.
The United Grand Lodge of England made representations to ministers in May and indicated it may seek judicial review of the policy. This followed two cases at the European court of human rights where Italian Freemasons successfully argued it was discriminatory to be asked to declare membership of a non-secret society.
The Ministry of Justice said all levels of the judiciary were affected by the decision, but not coroners, who are appointed by local authorities.
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