Thursday, July 12, 2012

Would you like an order of fries with your fascism?

From: Higgs Boson/Nature’s Bosom/US Bozos at Consortium News

The people of the U.S. need independence from the demonstrably false notion, held by so many that within their debt-enslaved, corporate interest-beholden lives, they possess any degree of meaningful independence.

[ ... ]

News of the Boson particle — the so-called God Particle — into public consciousness arrives, as well, at a time, when as Carl Jung aptly posited, “the gods have become diseases.” In short, estranged gods (i.e., patterns of the human psyche that are analogs of terrestrial and cosmic patterns) invade the ego and reside therein as pathologies, i.e., compulsions, depression, anxiety, addiction, because their purpose has been discarded and forgotten, e.g., the recognition of the sacred quality of life and the evocation of the numinous through ritual.

And mainly to bring to humankind the recognition that we, most definitely, are not gods ourselves … to the understanding that our mastery of fire and machine should not infect us with the hubris to believe we are the masters of the universe.

[ ... ]

Yet, give Americans the choice between freedom, art and science or all-you-can-eat buffets and the viewing of “Jersey Shore,” and, well … they have already made their choice clear. Hence, we find ourselves, as a people, stranded in a howling wasteland of destiny deferred.

In a banana republic, there exists a vast stratification of wealth, wherein the middle and merchant classes have been conditioned to harbor little identification with the poor, but feel affinity, thus side with, an economic and military elite. In these societal structures, militarized police are used to quell dissent. The military is glorified and intellectuals are scorned. The function of the political class is to serve the status quo, and they are generally well rewarded for their efforts in behalf of their economic betters.

Any of this sound familiar? Rather than bananas, we have fast food burgers (grass-fed, free-range variety, of course, for the minority endowed with economic privilege). Would you like an order of fries (or, in the case of the latter class, an arugula salad) with your fascism?


Finance industry's multimillion-pound lobbying budget revealed

Nick Mathiason and Melanie Newman report for the Guardian:

The British financial services industry spent £92m last year lobbying ­politicians and regulators in an "economic war of attrition" that has secured a string of policy victories.

As the industry prepares to fight off renewed calls for root-and-branch reform in response to the Barclays rate-fixing scandal, an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed the firepower of the City's lobbying machine, prompting concern that its scale and influence puts the interests of the wider economy in the shade.

Documents show how finance lobbyists won a host of important policy changes in Whitehall and Westminster. These include:

• The slashing of UK corporation tax and taxes on banks' overseas subsidiaries after a lobbying barrage by the City of London corporation, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and the Association of British Insurers. The reform will save the finance industry billions.

• The neutering of a national not-for-profit pension scheme launching in October that was supposed to benefit millions of low-paid and temporary workers.

• The killing of government plans for a new corporate super-watchdog to police quoted companies.

An extensive trawl of registries, consultations and hundreds of interviews has identified 129 organisations engaging in some form of lobbying for the finance ­sector, with 800 people employed directly. Lobbyists include in-house bank staff, public affairs consultancies, industry body representatives, law firms, and management consultants.


Mainstream media censor striking miners' 'Black March' to Madrid

Spanish miners in the northwestern provinces of Asturias and Leon, armed with homemade rockets and slingshots, have been battling police in protest against government cuts, including a slashing of subsidies in their industry. (July 9)

Associated Press:

A Spanish miner's message from the flaming barricades of Pola de Lena in Asturias, Spain.

Approximate translation in English:

"What I'm saying is that the wages of the ministers in the government, that bunch of thieves, should be reduced by 64%. In this way there would be money for the health care system, for education, for transportation, for miners and for many more things. Those sons of bitches are increasing their wages and have a full stomach while other people are starving. Workers should go out and occupy the streets and send these bastards to the cemetery".

Timbuktu tomb destroyers pulverise Islam’s history

Over the last three days, Islamists of the Ansar Dine rebel group which in April seized Mali’s north along with Tuareg separatists destroyed at least eight Timbuktu mausoleums and several tombs, centuries-old shrines reflecting the local Sufi version of Islam in what is known as the “City of 333 Saints”.

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters who have used pick-axes, shovels and hammers to shatter earthen tombs and shrines of local saints in Mali’s fabled desert city of Timbuktu say they are defending the purity of their faith against idol worship.

But historians say their campaign of destruction in the UNESCO-listed city is pulverising part of the history of Islam in Africa, which includes a centuries-old message of tolerance.

“They are striking at the heart of what Timbuktu stands for … Mali and the world are losing a lot,” said Souleymane Bachir Diagne, a professor at New York’s Columbia University and an expert on Islamic philosophy in Africa.


Peru Declares State of Emergency As 5 Die in Protest Against Gold Mine Owned by U.S. Firm, Newmont

The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in the mountain region of Cajamarca where thousands have gathered in recent days to protest the expansion of a gold mine owned by the U.S.-based Newmont Mining that has already the largest in South America. Using live ammunition against the protesters, police have killed five people this week alone. In a dramatic video broadcast nationally on Peruvian television, police severely beat Marco Arana, a former Roman Catholic priest, who had rallied protesters despite emergency measures restricting freedom of assembly. We speak to journalist Bill Weinberg, who was recently in Cajamarca. "Every time the company Yanacocha proposes an expansion of the mine, the local people there get organized and they block the roads and they shut down the businesses," Weinberg says.

America Moves Closer To Martial Law: New Army Manual Outlines Plan to Kill Demonstrators

A 115 page U.S. army training manual was recently leaked to the press, making clear intentions to kill and disarm civilian protesters in the case of riots, violent or any kind of mass . The manual, titled “Civil Disturbance Operations,” was written in 2006 and has explicit instructions for crowd control including both lethal and non-lethal ways to end domestic uprisings, a seemingly imminent threat discussed in the report. As the number and size of armed militias continues to grow, it appears that the report may take on increasing importance should there be any kind of uprising. However, rights groups of the liberal and conservative ilk have expressed opposition to the plan which many say usurps citizen rights.


See also:

"Warning shot will not be fired" by MPs trained in Martial Law in America: Military Police training: heavily patrolled domestic detention facilities, dissident/sniper warrantless searches - CONPLAN 3502 Civil Disturbance Operations training @ Ft McClellan

'Rightful heir' to British monarchy dies in Australia

An Australian forklift driver who some historians argued was the true heir to the British throne has died in the small New South Wales town he called home, his local newspaper reported Thursday.

Mike Hastings, 71, was a real-life aristocrat, born the 14th earl of Loudoun, who moved to Australia in 1960 in search of adventure.

He made international headlines in 2004 when a documentary team from Britain's Channel Four conducted extensive research into the monarchy and concluded his ancestors were cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

Hastings, an avowed republican, died on June 30 and was buried Thursday in Jerilderie, about 750 kilometres (465 miles) southwest of Sydney, the local Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser reported.

Hastings was a descendant of England's House of York, whose dynastic struggle with the House of Lancaster became known as the Wars of the Roses and was dramatised by William Shakespeare.


Vigilantes Are Targeting Immigrants In Greece, Human Rights Watch Says

Mark Memmott reports for NPR:

A "wave of xenophobic violence" is rising in Greece, where vigilante gangs are targeting immigrants for beatings, Human Rights Watch reported today.

According to the international watchdog group:

"Most attacks take place at night, on or near town squares. Attackers work in groups, and are often dressed in dark clothing with their faces obscured by cloth or helmets. Some of them arrive and flee on motorcycles. Bare-fisted attacks are not uncommon, but attackers also often wield clubs or beer bottles as weapons. Most attacks are accompanied by insults and exhortations to leave Greece, and in some cases the attackers also rob the victims."


Militancy: A progressive voice for tribal women silenced in targeted attack

PESHAWAR: In Farida Afridi’s death, women from the tribal belt have lost a fierce fighter.

Farida, belonging to the Afridi subtribe Kokikhel, was targeted on Wednesday morning at 6.30am when she left her house in Tehsil Jamrud Ghundi Kali for her office in Hayatabad.

“She was cornered by motorcyclists who shot her and she died on the way to Jamrud hospital,” said witness Abid Ali. Farida was 25.

Along with her sister Noor Zia, Farida was committed to social change and economic emancipation for women from the platform of a welfare organisation called the Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA). Both women were among the founding members of the NGO and had a Masters degree in Gender Studies.

Due to tribal customs and traditions, women in the area remain mostly restricted and unable to achieve their true potential, but Farida broke all barriers and relentlessly worked for women’s development. “We have lost a great member of our team,” said Lal Jan, the technical advisor of the organisation.


Propaganda & Protest Art

See also:

‘Are We Not Men?’ The Devo Documentary

From: Dangerous Minds

It looks like director Tony Pemberton’s Kickstarter drive for post-production funding for his three-years in the making film, Are We Not Men? The Devo Documentary, has reached its goal and then some with about a month to go. ...

Musical Innerlube: Dr. John - Revolution, Chickenfoot - No Change


Then just as suddenly, this brave and handsome protest dog that had eagerly participated in all the Greek riots, suddenly vanished . After many months of trying to locate Loukanikos, I finally received a comment on my blog. Loukanikos is safe and well.


PFG Is Now MFG(lobal) Part 2 As $220 Million In Segregated Client Money Has Just Vaporized

Remember when the entire segregated account fiasco was supposedly fixed in the aftermath of the November 2011 MF Global bankruptcy, and where regulators: the CFTC, the SEC, the CME, and anyone you asked, swore up and down this would never happen again? Turns out that 7 months later, the spirit of MFG has struck again, only this time with one letter switched: it is now known as PFG, as we suggested first 3 hours ago when we broke the story. From the just filed affidavit by Lauren Brinati who is working with the National Futures Association, which in turn has just filed notice prohibiting PFGBest from operating further, and freezing all of its accounts:

  • On or about June 29, 2012 PFG reported to NFA that it had approximately $400 million in segregated funds, of which more than $225 million were purportedly on deposit at U.S. Bank
  • On or about July 9, 2012, NFA received information indicating that PFG's Chairman may have falsified bank records
  • On July 9, 2012, NFA made inquiry with US Bank and learned that rather than the $225 million that PFG had reported as being on deposit at US Bank just days earlier, PFG had only approximately $5 million on deposit at U.S. Bank.

Obama gives himself control of all communication systems in America

US President Barack Obama quietly signed his name to an Executive Order on Friday, allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security.

President Obama released his latest Executive Order on Friday, July 6, a 2,205-word statement offered as the “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.” And although the president chose not to commemorate the signing with much fanfare, the powers he provides to himself and the federal government under the latest order are among the most far-reaching yet of any of his executive decisions.

“The Federal Government must have the ability to communicate at all times and under all circumstances to carry out its most critical and time sensitive missions,” the president begins the order. “Survivable, resilient, enduring and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies and other nations.”

President Obama adds that it is necessary for the government to be able to reach anyone in the country during situations it considers critical, writing, “Such communications must be possible under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies and improve national resilience.” Later the president explains that such could be done by establishing a “joint industry-Government center that is capable of assisting in the initiation, coordination, restoration and reconstitution of NS/EP [national security and emergency preparedness] communications services or facilities under all conditions of emerging threats, crisis or emergency.”


First Terrorist: Review of Maia Ramnath’s Haj to Utopia

Article by Hussein Omar appearing in Chapati Mystery:

On the 15th of June, 1914, an obscure Egyptian newspaper based in Geneva printed a rousing call-to-arms:

To you, my fellow men and fellow Orientals, I address these few words of advice and appeal… The western races of the world… have made a religion of color. They fancy that all other races must serve them… Europe has subjugated India… she casts long eyes on other lands. She is slowly strangling Muslim Asia and Africa… Teach imperialist to stay at home and be happy, like the Swiss and the Scandinavious [sic], instead of roaming about the whole earth like wolves and hyenas… Read the history of European Nationalist movements in the 19th century. The Orient is destined to follow the same path in the twentieth century… Make common cause with all who are undermining and combating the British Empire.

Its author was a mysterious, and by all accounts brilliant, Indian student of Sanskrit at Oxford. He wore a dhoti and a homespun shirt that shocked his prim Edwardian professors. Just months before graduation, he bewildered them further by dropping out. He defended his decision in a letter condemning the English government and denouncing its presence in India as illegal. Disgusted by Europe, he moved to Algeria to live the life of an ascetic but soon found himself drawn to Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii. There, Japanese fishermen mistook him for a Buddhist sage, fed him, and awaited his teachings. Yet his mind was filled — though his disciples could not know it — not with the sermons of the Enlightened Prince, but with Kant, Hegel, and Marx.

The barefooted scholar’s name was Har Dayal. Sometime later, he reappeared in California, where he landed a teaching job at Stanford and joined an ashram of Sikh farmers, Berkeley students, and Hindu laborers. On a rickety press, he printed a small newspaper that would become a beacon not just for Indians, but for Persians, Turks, Russians, Egyptians and Irishmen the world over. He called it Ghadar, “Mutiny.” Its aims, inscribed on the page by an amateurish lithographer, were unapologetic:

Pay: death! ; Price: martyrdom! ; Pension: liberty! ; Field of battle: India!

On any day in 1914 or 1915, at the height of the newspaper’s circulation, you could pick up a copy, if you knew the right people, in Astoria or Panama, in Bombay, Marseilles, even Rangoon. As it tapped into a generation of radical wanderers, or one might call them, progressive pilgrims, Ghadar counted over six thousand recruits, and innumerable allies. They were drawn from a seemingly incoherent mix of “isms”: pan-Islamism, Irish republicanism and Bolshevism. Yet what bound them was a single mission: the destruction of the British Empire, and the capitalist world system that it so violently upheld. (The imperialists, the newspaper reported, ate both pig and cow!)



US Veterans soldiers exposing the TRUTH of Iraq war !!!

BREAKING: Russia Sends 11 Warships To Syria With Marines!

Vladimir Putin Sends 11 warships to Syria Coast while Israel sends 5 warships to the area, and NATO also sends warships also

Video Of The Day: Rail Company Spreads Happiness Through Japan

To announce the launch of a new rail line, the Kyushu Rail Company loaded one of its bullet trains with cameras and sent it speeding through Japan. Onlookers came out in droves to catch sight of the train, which linked Japan's southernmost island to the mainland for the first time. They dressed in a rainbow of colors and waved, danced and smiled as the train went by (the Power Rangers even made an appearance; look for them in the video). The rail company had caught something special: an unscripted, bubbly video that showed varied landscape and happy people of Japan. But what the marketers at the rail company didn't realize was that the commercial was set to air the very day of the horrific 2011 earthquake in Japan.


Prince Phillip as Pela Bilong Missus Kwin

From: On Frobnication, Universal Grammers, and the Pela Bilong Missus Kwin - A review of The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker

...Lewis Caroll makes up all sorts of new verbs, nouns and adjectives. There's even an irregular verb in there---as you know the past tense for outgribe is not outgribed but outgrabe. But he doesn't touch the function words---prepositions, articles and so on. In fact, function words in a language are really resistant to change. That's why new gender-neutral pronouns just haven't worked in English. When we want a gender-neutral pronoun, we tend to commandeer an existing one and overload it. Like using they as a singular pronoun, which is quite standard now.

If it's that easy for new words to appear, what about new languages? New languages appear all the time too, and Pinker gives us several examples.

When a group of adults without a common language gets together they tend to pool words from different sources and make up a pidgin. That can happen among immigrants, as in Hawaii in the last century, or when long isolated communities meet, as in Papua New Guinea. Pidgins don't have much grammatical structure, and that leaves ambiguities in speech which have to be resolved from context or other cues. Children obviously don't like pidgins, because the moment they hear one they put a grammar on it and turn it into a creole. And here's the one blooper I spotted in the book. Pinker gives Papua New Guinean Pidgin as an example of a pidgin, where Prince Philip is known as `Pela bilong missus Kwin'. In fact, by his definition it's not a pidgin at all, but a creole. `Pela bilong missus Kwin' is no random collection of English words; it's a perfectly grammatical phrase which just happens to have English word roots. From other quotes I've seen, I'm pretty sure bilong is not a verb but a preposition. That's a giveaway that this really is a new language---remember we said prepositions are a closed club. And bilong's position tells us this is another subject-verb-object language. And I suspect missus is not a title but a noun classifier. English has only a few of those, like `a gaggle of geese', but some languages use many..

See also:

3 Little Pigs rendered into Papua New Guinea pidgin

I love it wen you Tok Pisin tu mi.

"Missus Kwin, and Pela Bilong Missus Kwin."

Cargo Cult Economics

In a chapter of Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman's book Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman! he discusses junk science and relates it to a tribal phenomena known as the cargo cult.

In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas--he's the controller--and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land.
In other words, rather than understanding and initiating the fundamental cause of some effect the cargo cult imitates the form of the causal process in the hope that it will bring them the actual effect. In this case, the islanders created an imitation airport in the hopes that it would result in actual goods being brought by airplanes. In the same way, Keynesian economists can be thought of as cargo cult economists.


“10 Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm”

Mary Roach, author of Bonk, gave a lecture at the TED Talks series in which she presented 10 offbeat facts about orgasm — found in obscure scientific research — from climaxing after death to pig pleasure.


See also:

Why women have sex
According to a new book, there are 237 reasons why women have sex. And most of them have little to do with romance or pleasure.


image from

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