Friday, December 31, 2010

In Case You Have Forgotten - How to Recognize Fascism...

Since knowing the signs of Fascism in all of its forms seems to be a major problem in the USA, I post these guidelines...


14 POINTS OF FASCISM

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

5. Rampant sexism

Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

6. A controlled mass media

Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

7. Obsession with national security

Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

9. Power of corporations protected

Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment

Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

14. Fraudulent elections

Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

As freedom loving Americans, we should take a look around and see which groups match these descriptions. It may not be who you think!

Many thanks to Ellen...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Really Like This Statement...

How we educate our young is nothing short of a disaster. We don’t educate most kids – we ‘store’ them when parents are off working off debts.
from this article: http://khanneasuntzu.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/response/

The rest of the post is dead on too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quantum Experiments Appear to Disprove Objective Reality

The mysterious world of Quantum Physics has gotten even more mysterious. A series of experiments, called the EPR Experiments, have been underway to test the boundaries of our percieved reality. Specifically, an item called "Bell's Theorem", which deals with the underlying "connectedness" of of all particles of matter in our universe.

If Isaac Newton and Einstein were correct, particles of matter should not be able to influence each other without being in contact, however the observed results of these experiments has shown this not to be the case. Time and time again the experiments have the same result; each experiment being consecutively larger and taking on a significantly bigger chunk of our reality. What this means is that there is either some unusual and mysterious force acting across Space/Time, forcing the experiments to have the same result, or our concepts objective of reality are totally wrong. Maybe they have found the "Quantum Waveform" on which it is theorized everything rides?

Here is a link to a scientific paper on this subject.

And another just released about the latest experiment.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Type of Political structure Really Makes Up the large Corporations?

Found this on-line at http://laughingfish.blogspot.com/

Considering the largest corporations as analogous to a nation state reveals the following properties:

1. The right to vote does not exist except for share holders (analogous to land owners) and even there voting power is in proportion to ownership.
2. All power issues from a central committee.
3. There is no balancing division of power. There is no fourth estate. There are no juries and innocence is not presumed.
4. Failure to submit to any order may result in instant exile.
5. There is no freedom of speech.
6. There is no right of association. Even romance between men and women is often forbidden without approval.
7. The economy is centrally planned.
8. There is pervasive surveillance of movement and electronic communication.
9. The society is heavily regulated, to the degree many employees are told when, where and how many times a day they can go to the toilet.
10. There is little transparency and something like the Freedom of Information Act is unimaginable.
11. Internal opposition groups, such as unions, are blackbanned, surveilled and/or marginalized whenever and wherever possible.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Point to be Remembered...

The democratization of knowledge is essential to the advancement of any civilization.  Without it, certain portions of the society may advance, those with the access to the knowledge, but, for that civilization to truly achieve extreme sophistication, it cannot abandon any of its members to a second class status.

-Author unknown

Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 Steps to Zen

Here are ten steps you can take to achieve inner peace and happiness; and you don't even have to be a Buddhist to do it...

1. Slow down, take it easy

2. Breathe right; deep into your diaphram

3. Less materialism, more spiritualism; get rid of the clutter and live simple

4. Less TV, more doing; reading, writing, singing or dancing

5. Less work more play (perhaps the hardest step of all)

6. Don't worry about things you can't change or the future; live more in the here and now

7. Less effort, more focus; do what is needed to be done, not what you feel like doing

8. Less driving; do more walking, jogging or cycling

9. Less intake, more output; less consuming, more creating, inventing and doing

10. Eat right; less garbage more nourish

Re-printed from Daily Zen in a Nut-shell

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ten Ways We can Starve the Wall Street Beast and Prosper...

In this age of Wealth Hoarding by the upper 5% percent of our society, here are a few things you can do to fight back and still prosper in-spite of increasing corporate domination of our civilization's asset's. Don't be a pawn in their game...

1. Shorten Your Home Mortgage: Less of your income will flow into their financially engineered Interest machine.

2. Think Local: Support the local economy, not Wall Street and the Mega-Corps.

3. Start a Business: A small side business like U-Pick fruits and veggies, or cheap child-care, just in case the Pink Slip comes...

4. Invest Wisely: Thoroughly research your 401K and Retirement accounts.

5. Check Out Credit Union Membership: Dump the banks, they are not on your side...

6. Don’t Use Credit Cards from Corporations That Abuse You: All of the following have one thing in common: Home Depot, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Macy’s, Sears, Zales. They all extend credit to their customers on a Citigroup credit card. Forty million customers are helping to prop up Citigroup and its anti-consumer, anti-citizen practices by using these cards

7. Brand Attacks: Chances are high that your local storeowners don’t have a PAC and lobbyists on K Street working against your interests? Reward them with your business and starve the S&P 500 firms until they get the message.

8. Return the Courts to Workers: Many of the largest corporations force workers to sign away their rights to the Nation’s courts as a condition of employment. It’s called mandatory arbitration and it’s an unfair process that is rigged to favor the corporation. If you interview for a new job, ask if the company has such a policy and walk away if they do.

9. Complain: Don’t let shady practices go undetected. Write a detailed report and file it with the appropriate body: local district attorney, state attorney general’s office, consumer protection groups; and write a letter to the editor to the local paper.

10. Just Say No: To frontal nudity photographs/skin radiation/genitalia groping; all just to board a plane. Don’t fly. You will be standing up for civil rights and starving Wall Street. Body scanner companies trade on Wall Street and the banksters are hoping domestic surveillance is their new cash cow.

And above all, realize that ALL current political party's are tainted by corporate control.

If everyone followed these steps, we can change our system on an individual basis. Just be prepared, if you do, because you will soon be assualted by hordes of well meaning but deluded people telling you how un-American you are for standing up for your rights. Have faith, and be persistent... Don't let the drones wear you down.

This article is a summary of the info contained at AlterNet

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten Rules for Dealing with Police.

Your Constitutional Rights only apply if you know and assert them.

The ten rules are...

1. Always be calm and cool: a bad attitude guarantees a bad outcome.
2. Remain silent: what you don't say can't hurt you.
3. You have the right to refuse searches: saying no to searches can't be held against you.
4. Don't get tricked: remember, police are allowed to lie to you.
5. Determine if you're free to go: police need evidence to detain you.
6. Don't expose yourself: doing dumb stuff in public makes you an easy target.
7. Don't run: they'll catch you and make you regret it.
8. Never touch a cop: aggressive actions will only earn you a more aggressive response.
9. Report misconduct: be a good witness.
10. You don't have to let them in: police need a warrant to enter your home.

Portions of post reprinted from the following...
http://www.alternet.org/rights/148860/10_ways_to_outfox_cops_that_are_abusing_their_powers_to_trick_you/?page=2

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quote of the Day...

I am God, and all other gods are my imagery. I gave birth to myself. I am millions of forms ex-creating; eternal; and nothing exists except through me; yet I am not them— they serve me.
- A.O. Spare

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How "Harvest" Festivals are More Pagan than Halloween...

It is time again for the Great American Tradition of Halloween. Unknown to most, many of our customs from this popular holiday are actually very modern in origin. The parties, Trick or Treating, and outlandish costumes are a wholly modern invention, created to keep children off the streets and out of trouble.

In the past, especially the 19th Century, it was customary for delinquents to go out and cause havoc by burning down buildings and performing a whole host of other frowned upon activities. It finally reached a point where it could not be tolerated any longer, and the custom of Trick or Treating, and throwing lavish Halloween and Costume Parties began, to keep the children out of trouble. It was also a plan to teach new Halloween traditions to the littlest ones and prevent future generations of delinquency.

This Holiday does fall upon the same date as the old European, (mostly Irish) festival of  the end of the harvest season called Samhain. In the Dark Ages, The Roman Catholic Church aimed to replace Samhain with a succession of church approved holidays falling on roughly the same date. It was all part of a plan by the church to gradually integrate the past pagan practices into the new order of things the church brought about after the fall of Rome.

This has been carried on, into modern times, though this time by mostly Protestant religious organizations, the Catholic Church having long ago won the battle when most of Europe was converted to Christianity. Many of these more modern organizations have taken aim at what they believe to be ancient traditions, but which in reality are actually very modern inventions aimed at correcting social problems. They typically hold "Harvest" festivals, seeking to rid the season of it's supposedly pagan image.

The irony of this comes from the fact that the "Harvest" festival is actually more in line with the pagan Samhain holiday than the modern inventions of trick or treating, and spooky costumes. The old holiday was a celebration of the final harvest and the coming of Winter, the season when all the farm plants die off. The farm animals were also slaughtered for winter food supplies. It also marked the end of the old Irish year, who followed a different cycle than our current Romanic system. So in a way, the new alternative to Halloween, the Harvest Festival, is actually much closer to the original than the current modern practices of spooks and hobgoblins.

The irony. The more you try to escape from it, the more it is the same. My advice...

Just have fun and enjoy it! It is the best holiday around!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Should not be Happening...

Socialist Europe appears to be winning the personal wealth game as we slip into a Mexican style economy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Humanity's Dangerous Delusion of It's Own Importance

"Evolution progresses to complexity and intelligence, and Homo Sapien's are the star on the Christmas Tree of life". Unfortunately, the facts point in a different direction.

Humanity has long labored under the mystical delusion that life developed from simple mindless organisms and evolved into complex, intelligent, and spiritual forms. This anthropocentric view of the Universe, while it justifies much of Mankind's actions, behavior patterns and cultural identities, is not supported when the origin of life is looked at in a scientific and objective manner.

Much of Humanity believes that we are the reason the Universe exists at all, paying no heed to the facts of the matter whatsoever. This "identity" being the remnants of a cultural meme spread many generations ago during the domain of religious dominance, before the development of true and accurate scientific methods.

There are several crucial facts that this hierarchical "Christmas tree" view of our own self-importance ignores. All life consists of reproducing cells driven by a simple chemical code representing genetic material, and has arisen from a common bacterial ancestor. In essence, all life is of bacterial origin, as recent developments in exo-biology has shown us.

Life is a process by which bacterial based lifeforms have deviated from their original bacterial base to gain access to untapped resources. When viewed objectively, it does not represent a progression upwards towards more complexity and intelligence. It is simply a deviation sideways, away from the bacterial base. Instead of a "Christmas Tree" we are left with the shape of a tree growing against the wall in the shade.

As the center or base becomes overshadowed and dark, the limbs must spread further to reach the light. Instead of a pyramid shaped tree where we Humans are the utmost pinnacle, we are left with a flat-topped tree sprouting from a wall, where humans are on tip of the longest, thinnest branch furthest from the shaded trunk.

All life is driven by the simple needs to reproduce genetic materials, and to tap new resources for survival. This new view of the tree of life is a reflection of this; everything else being extras in the grand scheme of things, created by the complexities of tapping the resources needed to spread the genetic code.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Truly a Most Amazing Evil...

The creepily amazing world of Walter Potter and his grotesque taxidermy collection. This 19th century Taxidermist is the man who invented the original card-playing dogs on velvet, only he didn't paint them.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/oct/08/walter-potter-exhibition-museum-everything

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Potter

One is left wondering where he got all those kittens?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Look out below!

Yes, those are nets for falling bodies. It seems these Chinese workers can't stop flinging themselves out of the windows.

Monday, September 27, 2010

El Museo de las Momias

Here is another stop on my vacation list - The Museum of the Mummies, in Guanajuato, MX. How come so many places I would like to see are in Mexico? Maybe it is simply because that is where all the creepy stuff goes to hide from the rest of the planet.

It seems they had a cholera epidemic way back in 1833, and the residents - who were mostly poor, could not afford to pay the grave tax. Instead of burying them, the state put them in this museum. So not only is it a creepy place, it is also a monument to man's inherrent inhumanity.

Truly a place of nightmares...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The POW Who Sneaked into Auschwitz

One of the more obscure stories from the Holocaust era remains the unusual case of British airman Denis Avey. His story did not surface until 2003, when he was invited to speak on a BBC program about War pensions. It was on this show that he decided to let out his long guarded secret, having finally come to terms with what he saw.

His remarkable tale began early in the war, in North Africa operating behind the German front lines as an SOE commando. He was captured and put on a ship, which was torpedoed as it transported him to his POW camp. He escaped the sinking and survived a nearby depth charge attack, eventually landing on the shores of Greece only to be captured again many months later.  Just the story of his evasion, capture, escape, and re-capture place him in the category of an extraordinary soldier, but his actions after he became a POW are truly outstanding.

He was taken to a very small POW camp adjoining the infamous Nazi Death Camp known as Auschwitz. His barracks was near a work camp where the Jewish prisoners were used as slave labor building the I. G. Farbin Buna plant, as their life was slowly and methodically drained away by the industrialized death machine. Being POW's, they were protected from the evils of the Hitler's Final Solution by the Geneva Convention regulations. Their conditions, while not good, were much better than the conditions the Jewish prisoners faced. These POW's enjoyed a sideline seat for events that were largely unknown to the rest of the world until the war's end.

Being an outstanding Commando, Denis Avey naturally wanted to know more about what he saw than what his small window on the Holocaust showed him. Having heard tales of atrocities, he resolved himself to find out what was really happening in the sprawling Death Camp beside them. He befriended a Jewish man, named Mr. Lobethall, who passed them daily on his trip to work at the factory site. Eventually, he convinced the man to change uniforms with him, and take his place among the British POW's. Avey then sneaked back into Auschwitz with the Jewish workers as they returned from their daily labor. His Wehrmacht guards did not pay much attention; they did not expect anyone to actually try and sneak into the larger SS Death Camp.

The fact that he did this is remarkable in itself. What is outstanding is that he did it more than once, his ultimate goal to work his way deeper and find the rumoured gas chambers. Living a double life, he lived and worked amongst the condemmed Jews, facing summary execution or gassing if caught. He was determined find the truth and bring it to the rest of the world's attention.

He never did find the gas chambers, but he did manage to help save the life of Mr. Lobethal, whose time with the POW's allowed him to recover from the tortures of the Auschwitz. Avey also gave him better shoes and food, which helped him survive and escape during the final death march as the Russians over-ran the region in the last days of the war.

Denis Avey saw many thing which haunted him for the rest of his life. He saw daily executions and beatings. He saw mass starvation, epidemics, and endured the screams of Jewish prisoners as they lay dying in their barracks at night. He watched as three million people were slowly worked to their graves in the factories surrounding Auschwitz. He described his experience as walking into a "Hell on Earth". 

After he was freed and returned to his regiment, he attempted to tell his Lieutenant, who reacted with indifference. Disgusted by the reaction, he decided not to speak about it again and told no one, not even his family.

At least, not until that fateful interview on BBC 65 years later.

Here is his Wikipedia page.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Stop on My Vacation List... Overtoun Bridge

This mysterious Scottish bridge is famous for it's strange effect on the canine species. It seems they want to jump off of it to their deaths on the rocks below, for some unknown reason.

At least 50 dogs are known to have done this. It is also said that a man once tossed his baby off of it after claiming it was the Anti-Christ. Later, he threw himself as well.

At any rate, it makes a fine stop on my little vacation plan.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mysterious Spirit of the Past Haunts the Dalai Lama

In 1976, the current Dalai Lama made a startling announcement banning his followers from seeking propitiation of a certain Buddhist deity, namely the one called Dorjé Shukden. While relatively unknown to Westerners, this has created a rift in the Tibetan community, most of whom are in exile around the world as a result of the Chinese take-over of Tibet many years ago. The reasoning behind this announcement was to prevent the very thing it seems to have created, Sectarian division within the ranks of his Tibetan community at large. While most of this does not play on the radar of most Americans, there is an interesting and mysterious story behind it that spans centuries and reaches far into the last vestiges of the Mongol Empire.

This story started in Tibet during the chaos and upheaval of early 1600's Tibet, during a civil war in which the Mongols ended up winning. The 4th Dalai Lama had died shortly before and a search for a successor had been outlawed by the winning side. This search was undertaken in secret, and two small boys were located who seemed to fit the requirements to serve as the re-incarnated leader.

One of these boys, Drakpa Gyeltsen, seemed to encompass more of the previous leader's nature than the other. However, he was not picked, but later he did assume the role of another famous individual within the monastic world, but held no leadership authority. The other child became the famous Fifth Dalai Lama, known for uniting the Buddhist Monasteries, and driving the Mongol Empire out of Tibet.

In time, Drakpa Gyeltsen proved himself a much more capable and charismatic leader, rivalling the fame and power of the Dalai Lama, who eventually saw him as a threat. Many of Drakpa Gyeltsen's followers believed him to be the true Dalai Lama, and tensions rose accordingly. As tensions rose, so did the threats and harrassment.

Drakpa Gyeltsen challenged the Dalai Lama to a verbal debate one day, and walked away the winner, taking with him a small ceremonial cloth he won as a wager in the debate. He was later found dead with this cloth stuffed down his throat. Several different stories exist, and nobody really knows what truly happened.

A few of these stories involve a combination of political intrigue, jealousy, and a link to a large family inheritance. Most of the other's imply that the monk, sick of constant harrassment and assassination attempts, killed himself as part of a strange revenge ritual he perpetrated upon his enemies. The real truth will probably never be known, having been lost to the winds of history.

What is known is that soon after his death, the Dalai Lama and his court began to complain of visitations by an aggressive spirit or ghost. They believed it to be the spirit of the deceased monk, returned to exact revenge from beyond the grave. Several exorcisms were attempted, including one where the exorcist allowed himself to be possessed by the spirit and threw himself into a bonfire. As none of the these attempts were sucessful, the Dalai Lama assumed the spirit he was dealing with was no mere ghost. He later proclaimed that he had made peace with the spirit and identified it as Dorjé Shukden, saying it was to be the new protector deity of their sect.

In the intervening years, this spirit became a central figure in the "Yellowhat" sect that the Dalai Lama is a part of, eventually becoming one of the "wrathful" deities that protects the Dharma and keeps the teachings pure. In fact, stories abound of the violent end met by many of those within the Yellowhat's when their Dharmic practices became tainted by teachings from other sects. As a "worldly" deity, Dorje Shukden is said to be able to influence events and possess individuals to enable his intentions to see fruition, and to protect the Gelugpa(Yellowhat) sect. He seems a rather dangerous entity for such a peaceful and pacifist religious order.

Now, jump ahead to the early 21st Century, if you will. In Dharmasala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile, at least three ritualistic murders have taken place involving individuals with a high standing in the Buddhist Gelugpa "Yellowhats" organization. Who commited these crimes has never been solved. Many within the sect speculate that this entity was involved in some way, and the true killers will never be found.

While this story embodies much myth and legend, it also leaves a lot of mystery in the process. The future of the Tibetan Government in exile, and even that of the Dalai Lama himself reads like a Shakesperean curse. Even the Dalai Lama himself admits he will probably be the last of his line. Is it possible that this monk from the 1600's is still exacting his revenge upon the descendants of those who killed him?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Original Commandments of Ancient Egypt

Unknown to most people, the biblical commandments were in existence long before Moses came around.

I love posting about forgotten ancient knowledge, so here are the original 42 Commandments of Ma'at. These were later shortened to 10 commandments, I guess we don't have to worry about the other 32 anymore. They must have gotten in the way...

THE 42 COMMANDMENTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

I. Thou shalt not kill, nor bid anyone kill.
II. Thou shalt not commit adultery or rape.
III. Thou shalt not avenge thyself nor burn with rage.
IV.Thou shalt not cause terror.
V. Thou shalt not assault anyone nor cause anyone pain.
VI. Thou shalt not cause misery.
VII. Thou shalt not do any harm to man or to animals.
VIII. Thou shalt not cause the shedding of tears.
IX. Thou shalt not wrong the people nor bear them any evil intent.
X. Thou shalt not steal nor take that which does not belong to you.
XI. Thou shalt not take more than thy fair share of food.
XII. Thou shalt not damage the crops, the fields, or the trees.
XIII. Thou shalt not deprive anyone of what is rightfully theirs.
XIV. Thou shalt not bear false witness, nor support false allegations.
XV. Thou shalt not lie, nor speak falsely to the hurt of another.
XVI. Thou shalt not use fiery words nor stir up any strife.
XVII. Thou shalt not speak or act deceitfully to the hurt of another.
XVIII. Thou shalt not speak scornfully against others.
XIX. Thou shalt not eavesdrop.
XX. Thou shalt not ignore the truth or words of righteousness.
XXI. Thou shalt not judge anyone hastily or harshly.
XXII. Thou shalt not disrespect sacred places.
XXIII. Thou shalt cause no wrong to be done to any workers or prisoners.
XXIV. Thou shalt not be angry without good reason.
XXV. Thou shalt not hinder the flow of running water.
XXVI. Thou shalt not waste the running water.
XXVII. Thou shalt not pollute the water or the land.
XXVIII. Thou shalt not take God's name in vain.
XXIX. Thou shalt not despise nor anger God.
XXX. Thou shalt not steal from God.
XXXI. Thou shalt not give excessive offerings nor less than what is due.
XXXII. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
XXXIII. Thou shalt not steal from nor disrespect the dead.
XXXIV. Thou shalt remember and observe the appointed holy days.
XXXV. Thou shalt not hold back the offerings due God.
XXXVI. Thou shalt not interfere with sacred rites.
XXXVII. Thou shalt not slaughter with evil intent any sacred animals.
XXXVIII. Thou shalt not act with guile or insolence.
XXXIX. Thou shalt not be unduly proud nor act with arrogance.
XXXX. Thou shalt not magnify your condition beyond what is appropriate.
XXXXI. Thou shalt do no less than your daily obligations require.
XXXXII. Thou shalt obey the law and commit no treason.

The 42 Principles of Ma'at, the Goddess who personified the ideals of Truth and Righteousness, were known to all the ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians believed that when they died, their souls would be judged by these principles. Moses and the Israelites, who were originally Egyptians, would have been familiar with these principles, but after wandering for forty years they seem to have only remembered 8 of them.

Moses added three new non-secular commandments; the one about not honoring the other gods, the honoring of their parents, and the one that included their neighbor's wives and slaves as coveted chattel. It is also interesting which commandmentments they chose to keep and which they discarded (for example, Rape).

The remarkable thing about the principles of Ma'at is not only how much more advanced they are in comparison with the Hebrew Commandments, but how most of them are strikingly relevant to this day.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Global UN Conspiracy or How the Anti-Christ Gave Me a Schwinn...

Back in the old days (read; Reagan Era), most Americans knew very little about conspiracies and conspiracy theory. They were freaky stories promulgated by the militantly anti-government Right or religious Fundies you saw on classic UHF TV with names like the "700 Club". Most dealt with the rise of a single world government, founded mostly upon mis-interpretations from various unrelated Bible verses. Much of it was not even reliable enough to even be used the great journalistic bastions of integrity, such as "The National Enquirer, or "Weekly World News".

In those days, It was largely limited to the guys in the wooden shotgun shacks and the people dancin' with snakes.

After the rise of the internet and immediate mass media, many of these crazy and unprovable theories have been embraced by the left as well. All of this has led to the rise of a conspiracy culture within our society, which is currently being played up by various political groups. We have seen an unprecedented rise of a period where large segments of the population are actively preparing for the "end of the world" in a nearly Cold War fashion. Political scientists warn this public hysteria could have severe effects upon our culture and political landscape. It can have such dire effects as increased instances of Domestic Terrorism, or the sparking of a Third Political Party which can upset the existing poltical structure and destabilize our existing government, allowing for a political coup de' tat.

Here is a small selection of some of these theories, which mostly originated from a small series of books written by a relatively obscure American religious fundamentalist author at the beginning of the Reagan Era, having been pushed on the American public by such esteemed groups as the John Birch Society, and notable figures such as Pat Robertson, and Senator McCarthy. What started out as a mostly Biblical armageddon fantasy now includes such apolitical oddities as UFO's, and Bigfoot all combined in one big globalist UN plot...

1. The Moon Landing was a hoax.


2. All scientists are trying to foist the false theory of Evolution on the public at the behest of Satan.


3. AIDS was created by the CIA and deliberately spread by the WHO via polio inoculations in Africa, to reduce the world population.


4. Global warming is a hoax created by the UN and politically funded scientists/environmentalists, aided by Al Gore and many others to put cap and trade in place for monetary gain.


5. 9/11 was staged by the US Government.


6. The Pentagon was not hit by an aircraft on 9/11, but a US missile.


7. Bush et al. knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance. and let them happen.


8. The leaders of the US, Mexico, and Canada are conspiring to merge all three countries into the North American Union and adopt the Amero as a common currency, for... some reason.


9. FEMA is on the brink of dissolving the US government and shipping all of the country's undesireables to concentration camps for slaughter or deprogramming.


10. The United Nations is secretly bringing white UN military vehicles into the USA to overthrow the Government.


11. The swine flu outbreak of 2009 was engineered by the American government, with the eventual aim of declaring martial law, herding everyone into FEMA concentration camps, and forcibly vaccinating people with the virus in order to deliberately depopulate the Earth so that the masterminds of the New World Order can take control.


12. A vast number of American institutions are working together to "turn America into an amoral, humanist country, ripe for merger into a one-world socialist state". At least according to the book Mind Siege.


13. Jesus was actually married to Mary Magdalene...


14. The Masons secretly run everything.


15. The Royal Family of England, along with the Bushes, the Clintons, and many other rich, prestigious families, are actually man-eating shapeshifting lizard-people from the fourth dimension.


16. Barack Obama is a secret closet Muslim from Hawaii who was synthesized in Kenya for the purpose of ______ (fill in the blank).


17. Holocaust denial.


18. The Capitol Of Nebraska building is the ritual center for Satanic rites, the proof for this including the number of penises that can be discovered in the art work.


19. The Jews secretly run everything (the international Jewish conspiracy).


20. That all modern secret societies are branches of a single, ancient society called the "Brotherhood of the Snake."

I could go on, but it would literally fill this blog from end to end. And I haven't even mentioned the Communist bicycles being supplied by the UN to Colorado to corrupt American Values and make us a Socialist nation.

Many thanks to Rationalwiki.org for the itemized list of conspiracies.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CancerGate and the Controversy of Medical Marijauna

I am normally not interested in a story relating to things such as cannabis rights, but the idea that our government, in collusion with the multinational pharmaceutical industry is suppressing life saving drugs is revolting to me. Rumors have been spreading amongst underground circles of the discovery in Madrid, Spain, that THC kills cancer cells.

In fact, a Canadian named Rick Simpson has been teaching people how to extract the oil from hemp to use as a medicine specifically for cancer treatment. What he advocates is not the wanton use of it to smoke and space out, but a controlled use in a manner in which the hallucinatory effects are mostly not present. Likewise, it has been found to have very little physical effects.

The only reason it seems for the government to deny this use to the general public is to force people to buy expensive and mostly counter-productive drugs from the big drug companies. However, I am no expert in this subject, so judge what you will at your own risk. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and that in fact, information has been suppressed from the public due to political posturing, fear, and capitalistic exploitation.

His story is posted here on Youtube. (Be warned, it is 58 minutes long).

Here is a link to a story of an older study about the possible positive effects of hemp on lung cancer.

Here is a re-print of the story that started CancerGate, many years ago.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blackmarket Human Organs

With the rise in witchcraft persecutions in Africa comes word of something else just as troubling. A growing black market in human organs has appeared. These organs are harvested, not for their value as transplants, but for their value in traditional "folk" remedies.

Genitals and Heads Removed While Alive

The Mozambique Human Rights League states that the problem is widespread across Southern Africa, with ritual killings and disappearances commonplace. Border-crossers are found with alarming regularity to be carrying bags containing human organs and body parts; genitals and heads being preferred items. It is said many of those who are killed have the organs cut-off while they are still living. An even more alarming trend, is that much of it comes from children. Matshidisho Ntsiuoa, a researcher for Child Welfare in Bloemfontein, South Africa, tells a story of a woman who was given a belt of children's fingers and penises to wear in order to help ease her pregnancy. She paid a very high fee to the Witch Doctor for this "treatment".

The true numbers may never be known, as Africa harbors vast quantities of orphans from the twin plagues of constant warfare, and AIDS. Many of these children end their very short existence far away from the watchful eyes of the local authorities, who in many cases, may actually be complicit in this vile trade.

Law is no Help

The strange thing about this problem is that in many African countries, the possession of body parts alone is not a crime. Unless the law can prove that the person possessing the body parts is also the killer, no law has been broken. Prosecutions are very rare in this most unusual crime.

On a side note, many of the legitimate traditional African folk healers are trying to distance themselves from this growing trend. The core of the problem is the outrageous profits this trade can bring to the charlatans while they prey on the ignorance of others.

You can see some case histories here: Trafficking Body Parts

Friday, July 23, 2010

Old is New Again... in Space?


Lately NASA has been reviving some very old concepts to get us back in the space race, along with a few new ones, like privatization. What portents does this seeming step backward show for the future of our space program?

A core concept is a return to expendable launch vehicles, similar to what was used in the 1960's, only run by private industry. Private industry, while fully capable, has not got a track record of "going out on a limb" for new concepts. They tend to use tried and true methods, leaving the more experimental stuff to others. What the result of this will be is anyone's guess.

Our space program has been stymied for nearly 25 years with a system (the shuttle) that was massively expensive and overly complex. This system was owned by the government, yes, but it was operated by contractors (private industry). The end result was a lack of innovation and no development of advanced programs to replace it, as it basically became a corporate money funnel and drained the life out of other research projects that could have replaced it.

I have posted a link to a very interesting document that shows some of the alternative concepts we could be developing, several of which the technology exists today and are far cheaper than orbital multi-staged rockets. They just need some development, much of which has been sadly lacking.

Some of these concepts are very interesting and show great promise, such as laser-powered lightships, and blast-wave accelerators. The laser lightship concept has actually flown, though on a small scale. With a little development, we could be in business on a far cheaper level than we currently see. However, I would not expect private industry to sink much into these new concepts, as they are unproven money-makers.

Anyway, if you don't mind a little technical reading in places, this document is very interesting and outlines many very strangely exotic systems actually envisioned by NASA and the US Air Force. Everything from magnetic railguns to cascading orbital launch fountains are detailed, some more exotic than the wildest sci-fi authors dreams. One common element pervades, however; They are all very close to our technological level to accomplish, and quite possibly achievable if the money and resources can be found to support them.

UFO nuts take heed; the section about RF powered lenticular craft is very interesting and they are well within our current tech levels to build - makes one wonder now doesn't it...


Here is the link - You must have Adobe Reader to open it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Does Evolution Have in Store for us?

Scientists the world over say we have reached the tipping point in climate change. This means that the climate has reached a self-generating feedback cycle, and change cannot be stopped. It is doubtful that the affects can be lessened by mankind either. We are locked in the rollercoaster and it is about to take-off. However, there are other things afoot for humanity too. Things less well known.

As the climate changes, so does man's technology. We are quickly reaching a point in bio-engineering where we can create and change things on a DNA level., and will soon be able to literally grow custom designed organic parts and life forms. As our bio engineering advances, so to does our knowledge of computers and artficial intelligence. Recent advances in light manipulation have opened the door to Quantum Computing, a technology that was unheard of 20 years ago.

Inevitably, these technologies will mesh. When this occurs, what is to become of simple humanity? Is this our fate, to redesign ourselves to stay a step ahead of our changing climate and worsening conditions on Earth?

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Strangeness of Bees...

For thousands of years, man has held a very close relationship with the honeybee. It is the only known insect that can be "tamed" or domesticated by man. Over the years, many strange beliefs and customs have developed due to this close relationship.

It was believed, in order to maximize their output and keep the bees happy and productive, they had to be included as part of the family. Any event, no matter how large or small, must be "told to the bees". Anything traumatic that might disrupt the harmony of the hive, like a birth, or death in the family, required special measures to be taken. A funeral called for the placement of a piece of Funeral Cake and wine in the hive after they were informed of the sad news. This event also called for giving the bees a formal handwritten invitation to the funeral, lest they take offense and decide to stop making honey, or die out completely.

The bees themself, were seen as the epitomy of a harmonious family relationship, and served as role models for mankind. They have been seen by many cultures as being the reincarnated spirits of past ancestors, and the vessels of long dead souls as they travel to re-birth. They have mystical ties to a plethora of ancient deities, one of the oldest being the ancient Egyptian goddess Ma'at, who symbolised universal harmony and justice. She is often portrayed wearing a necklace shaped like a honeybee. The honey was also used in the Egyptian Embalming rituals. In ancient Greece, the meade from their honey was called the "Nectar of the Gods" and used in strange rituals to the god Dionysis. And in Rome, the goddess Mellona was said to be the incarnation of the hive spirit.

Whatever they may be to us, they have become an integral part of our survival. In these days of "gassing the hive" honey production, where the entire hive is killed off at the end of the production cycle, is it any wonder that we have been affected by such niceties as Colony Collapse Disorder and that bee numbers are now dwindling.

Man's relationship with this insect has shown that we both share the same fate. As they go, so do we.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Prescott Bush and The Plot to Overthrow FDR

Some little historical gems just don't want to stay hidden, as much as those in high places want them to. These same stories also have a tendency to be relevant to current events, even though they happened many, many years ago. This myth about the Bush family is one of them.

Here is how it goes...

The great Bush family, an icon in American politics, had a bit of a problem at one time. Back in the early 1930's, shortly after the Stock Market crash and resulting depression, Capitalist America was struggling to survive (in those days Capitalism was not a done deal for the US). Around the world, the Earth was witnessing the rise of Fascism, while it seemed that Capitalism was going broke.

As the story goes, the mega-capitalists of the era got together for a solution. Some of the names involved are familiar to Americans today; Maxwell House, Bird's Eye, Heinz, Goodtea, and George Bush's grandfather - Prescott Bush. Seeing the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, they imagined a partnership of their grand corporations and and government working together in a Fascist syndicate to secure their profits. They saw the resulting loss of freedoms and the American Way of Life as a nescessary evil to survive and prosper and as a way to end the Great Depression. It is said they were financed in this great venture by the same folks who put Hitler into power.

One thing stood in their way - Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was a firm believer that government should be taking care of it's people, and would never stand for the changes these corporations intended to usher in. With his ideas and policies (such as "the New Deal"), he had to be eliminated.

Retired Marine General Smedley Butler, was allegedly enlisted to stir-up veterans and the American Legion to influence them to rise up against Washington. This is not such a big deal nowadays, but in 1932 The American Legion was a much different organization. They had a history of being used to strong-arm strikers and various other groups which stood against the corporate power brokers of the time, and were prone to start riots. In 1932, that is exactly what they did. Douglas MacArthur used his calvary troops to quell the riot.

Butler's reward for these activities - he would lead the resulting Fascist dictatorship. The leader of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, James Van Zandt, was also asked to participate, but to his credit he declined.

Eventually, Congress caught wind of all these going's on, and Butler was called to testify. Everyone else involved seems to have escaped completely unscathed. Part of the myth says this is because Roosevelt, wishing for his New Deal to be passed, made a deal with Butler's corporate backers.

Did any of this really happen?

All we know for sure is that Butler had to testify in Congress about his activities. The American Legion was never the same again. Butler was discredited and dropped from public view. Prescott Bush has proven ties with the Nazis during this era, and there are records of him laundering their money. We can also see the results in our economic world, with the rise of the mega-corporations - entities with no limit to their actions in the name of profit with the backing of the Federal government. Maybe the Coup de Tat actually took place, but it occurred in the back rooms of Washington and the halls of Wall Street. We will never know.

The US Ambassador to Germany during this period, William Dodd, had this to say about the whole situation:

"A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime.... A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare. We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions."

Here is another, albeit, better written article on this subject...

And one more article, just for good reference...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lunar Power Plant in the Works...

Japanese firm wants to transform the Moon into a giant solar power plant
(PhysOrg.com) -- The Shimizu Corporation, a Japanese construction firm, has recently proposed a plan to harness solar energy on a larger scale than almost any previously proposed concept. Their ambitious plan involves building a belt of solar cells around the Moon’s 6,800-mile (11,000-kilometer) equator, converting the electricity to powerful microwaves and lasers to be beamed at Earth, and finally converting the beams back to electricity at terrestrial power stations. The Luna Ring concept, the company says, could meet the entire world's energy needs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Intelligent Design Does Exist and God Has Nothing to do with it...

Several days ago, largely un-noticed by the world in general due the the massive oil fuck-up by corporations gone wild (sounds like a video idea, does it not), an announcement was made which could change life on Earth forever. What portents it heralds, we know not.

The announcement to which I refer is the creation of a totally new scientific field, ushered in by an important achievement that gives us unheard of new abilities. This new field is the field of Synthetic Biology, and the achievement to which I refer is the creation of a synthetic life form. Much like a micro-sized Frankenstein, a couple of scientists inserted a completely man-made DNA sequence into a hollowed-out cell membrane, which then began to reproduce becoming the first human-created life form.

This is groundbreaking in many ways. Quite shockingly, the impact of this has been missed by many who should be concerned about the future it foretells, and what it means to many longstanding cultural and religious dogmas. In an era when many religious people are concerned about protecting unborn fetuses, what does this mean to their arguments? Is a synthetic life form somehow not alive? Can synthetic life, taken to it's highest form, have a soul? How come man can create life when only God should be able to do this? Does that mean there is no God?

I am truly shocked the religious zealots in our midst have not latched onto this. In 50 years, this is going to be huge and will completely invalidate much of their belief paradigm. Man will have taken the role of creator.

Before we start worrying about Tyrell Corporation taking over our little anarcho-capitalist dystopia, let's discuss a little about what this little scientific achievement can develop into. That future we all imagined with big clanking metal robots... It's all gone. Nope. No Star Wars. In the future, the real robots will be grown in a test tube using designer DNA. Biologically designed custom life-forms for every task. Computers and digital electronics not needed.

If you need a worker that is 3 feet tall with long fingers to get into that hard to get spot, now you are in luck, because Wal-Mart will have them. If you need workers who can perform back-breaking labor in extreme heat, well, they will sell them too. And when you have this ability, where does it end? When does life end and robot slave begin? The comparisons with Blade Runner and Gattaca have already begun, and rightly so.

Very soon, humans will be living in a far different world than we can currently imagine. With the rise of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, coupled with the ability to create designer life at will, how will humanity retain it's humanity? Imagine if you will, a post-climate change world, where humans have redesigned life to survive the hostile conditions.When this day comes, will we still be true humans? What about this new world filled with synthetic creatures, created by us, the new human gods?

Reference: Scientific Abstract about Synthetic Biology

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Live at the Napa Insane Asylum, It's the Cramps...



The has to be the coolest thing to ever happen in Rock and Roll. Screw the Beatles! The most insane band ever, actually played at a real funny farm. It is a wonder the doctor's let them leave when they finished playing. To my knowledge, this is the only time Punk Rock has been used by doctors for therapeutic purposes. The doc's actually invited them to play. How cool is that for 1978!

The Cramps have always been my all time favorite band, this just seals the deal. With the death of Lux Interior, last year, Rock and Roll truly died. With any luck, he will rise from the grave and slay the evil Jonas Brothers and all that other crap that infects the radio in these sad times.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Uncanny Dragon's Blood Tree

Most of you have probably seen the little packs of incense sold in shops under the name Dragon's Blood. I have always wondered what exactly it was.

This stuff comes from the Dragon's Blood tree, found in the Socotra Archipelago. It is a tree that is surrounded by many myths, that has the unique quality of bleeding red sap. It has been used medicinally for centuries, mostly for respiratory disorders and diarrhea. For a short while, it was also used as a toothpaste, though I imagine it made quite a sight, as it is also a very potent dye.

It is most widely known as being one of the ritualistic plants used for magical purposes, mostly in American Southern Hoodoo, and New Orleans Voodoo. It was used to make Dragon's Blood Ink, a special type of ink used for drawing seals and talisman's. It is also a traditional component of the famous Mojo Hand.

The unique island from which it comes, is classed as a UN World Heritage Site, and the biodiversity found there is largely untouched by man. Lately, an influx of tourists has caused a bit of a decline in this unusual plant, and scientists fear for it's future when climate change really hits, as it is found nowhere else in the world.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Last American Witch Hunts...

We have all heard of the history of the Salem Witch Trials, but unknown to most Americans, witch hunts took place in other regions of our country. In 1756, during a period far later than the Salem Hunts, the Spanish Inquistition conducted a little known witch hunt in the New Mexico town of Abiquiu. It is unusual in the fact that it occurred during a period in which the power of the Spanish Inquisition was starting to decline, and was largely unconcerned with trivialities such as Witchcraft.

The Abiquiu area was due a new priest, and shortly Franciscan Juan Jose Toledo arrived from Spain to fill the duties. When he arrived, he was aghast to find the local indians still practicing their native dances and traditions. He felt it to be a form of Devil Worship, and questioned how well they had been converted to Catholicism. The Priest then ordered an end to their festivals and pagan dances.

He then claimed someone, or something was attacking him magically, causing him illness and duress. These claims prompted investigation by local government officials. It was not long before the local residents and indians were accusing each other of various witchcraft related crimes. These officials decided to eliminate all cultural traces, and destroyed rock art and pictographs in the area that had been there for centuries, along with forbidding many traditional customs practiced by the locals.

Shortly after the accusations, several local women claimed to become possessed by demons. Father Toledo carried out excorisms on these women hoping to eliminate the problem. Instead, it spiraled hopelessly out of control as more claims of demon posession, and accusations of witchcraft came pouring in. Eventually, the Regional Governor, caught wind of the affair. Growing tired of the whole sordid ordeal, he sent many of those involved to face the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico City.

Several of the accused languished and died in jail. Many others faced punishments ranging from public humiliation, to flogging, but no one was executed for the crime of using witchcraft. Contrary to public opinion, it was actually very rare for an accused witch to be executed by the Spanish Inquisition. To their credit, claims of witchcraft were normally considered to be flights of fancy or mere superstition without much merit, though the Inquisition persecuted Jews and Muslims without mercy.

This was the last known case of Witch Hysteria in the continental US.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dr. Wertham and the Seduction of the Innocent

Many years ago, American morality was challenged by a great evil. This great immorality threatened to destroy and corrupt the values of an entire generation, and the generations after them. What was this evil so foul that the US government tried to abolish it in order to save our youth from it's immoral influence?

Comic books. They were scared of Comic Books.

In 1954, Dr. Fredric Wertham published a heavily skewed research paper about the corrupting influence of comic books on American youth. It was named "The Seduction of the Innocent", and in the days of pre-Rock-n-Roll America - it was earth shattering.

Dr. Wertham thought all comic books were the root of delinquency and sexual perversion. He also thought that those who produced and sold them were undermining our society. He propagated this all the way to the US Senate, where the proceedings became another McCarthy Era witch hunt, ending with many comic book producers being blacklisted as Communists, and many comic companies going bankrupt.

The industry was required to regulate itself from corrupting influences, or face abolishment entirely. They created an organiztion called the Comic Code Authority, sort of like an early form of rating system used in the movie industry. Every comic sold had to carry a stamp indicating it met the approval of this organization, called the CCA, and did not convey any content deemed morally objectionable.

Many comic enthusiasts believe that this was the death of the golden age of American comic books. Prior to this period, it was possible to find comics about everything from romance, to politics, and even graphic horror. After this code came about, all there was to be found was sanitized comic superheroes, and funny animals, like Daffy Duck. The young adult market share, who had been the primary purchasers (not children) was gone, never to return. Most of the creativity and glamour of the early comics were gone too. The genre of Horror comics, which had been very large before the code was instituted, almost disappeared completely.

The survivors of this onslaught found a new way to get around these rules. If they released their comic as a magazine, then they were not bound by the restrictions placed on comic books. This is the origin of such American classics as Mad Magazine, and other similar publications.

It is ironic that several years after this occurred, American morals were challenged and changed forever by the Rock and Roll revolution. By that time, change was unstoppable.

.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meteoras - Another stop on my travel list.


In medieval Greece, the monks of the ancient Byzantine Empire found themselves under attack by pirates and other undesirables. They built the monastaries of Meteoras to counter this threat. They are a series of fortified monastaries built on the tops of mountains and rocks, some thousands of feet up with no way to reach them but rope or ladder. These monks have lived in the cracks, caves, and hollows of these rocky abodes for hundreds of years, outlasting the Empire that created them. They are still occupied to this day.

Photo by IHarsten.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mr. Peuckert's Flying Ointment

"...Folklorist Will-Erich Peuckert of Göttingen, for example, mixed an ointment made up of belladonna, henbane and Datura from a seventeenth-century formula and rubbed it on his forehead and armpits, bidding his colleagues to do likewise. They all fell into a twenty-four sleep. "We had wild dreams. Faces danced before my eyes which were at first terrible. Then I suddenly had the sensation of flying for miles through the air. The flight was repeatedly interrupted by great falls. Finally, in the last phase, an image of an orgiastic feast with grotesque sensual excess," Peuckert reported. Harner emphasises the importance of the greased broomstick or similar flying implement, which he suggests served as "an applicator for the atropine-containing plant to the sensitive vaginal membranes as well as providing the suggestion of riding on a steed, a typical illusion of the witches' ride to the Sabbat."

- excerpt from The Long Trip: A Pre-history of Psychedelia by Paul Devereux.

Will-Erich Peuckert was an unusual man. He lived in Germany during the rise of Adolph Hitler, rising to fame for his books on the lore of European superstitions, magic, and long forgotten folk knowledge. Not very well known in America, he is something of a legend across the big pond. He biggest claim to fame is the extreme detail he paid to the subject matter he dwelled upon.

His literary work and his personality were intertwined to a point not normally seen in the literary world. He knew his subject matter so well, it is said it was almost as if he were writing about himself. His true specialty was the little known realm of herbs and ancient magical formulas. So much so, that he famously tried a few out upon himself, as most notably the ancient Witches' Flying Ointment. Supposedly, he was one of the first to propose the idea that early witches used a psychedelic concoction on their broomstick for the famed flights to the Devil's Sabbat mentioned in the histories of the old European witch trials.

Alas, Mr. Peuckert had a rough time with the Nazis. He wrote books denouncing Nazism, and cleverly masqueraded them within literary works seemingly about other subjects. His books were eventually banned and subjected to burning by the ruling Nazi order. His vast collection of over 35,000 historical and rare manuscripts were destroyed, a loss of staggering proportions to the understanding of ancient history and customs. He ended up fleeing Germany in 1945, with his wife and young son.

His troubles were not over by a long shot. He lost his wife and son, both in separate accidents, and eventually lost his ability to read and write too. In the end, he could only use one finger on his aged and useless hands. A sad end for such a literary, political, and historical genius.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Rise of Conspiracy Culture

This is probably going to anger a few of you out there...

A strange thing is taking place in modern American culture. What used to be considered opposing fringe beliefs are now becoming one mainstream subculture. Grand theories of UFO's, Illuminati conspiracies, and Apocalyptic Christian visions of our doom are are combining into a giant stew brought on by the rise of our information society. Nothing appears to be too outlandish, or beyond belief, no matter how unusual or wild it sounds.

The Perfect Media to Spread the Meme

A culture has developed, seeking to profit from the linking of all these theories into one great Conspiracy Subculture. Whether these myths and legends are propagated for political reasons, or simply to sell the latest book, conspiracies are for sale. It is sold to the masses who yearn for something unusual or different, or who need to believe in something other than the little slice of the world they have been given. The public loves gossip, and that is exactly what much of it is.

There are real conspiracies in this world, that is true, but most of these are overshadowed by the craziness. For example, much is made of shadowy organizations like the "Illuminati", shaping our world, but very little thought is put into the real organizations or corporations who, in the name of profit, have designed the very world and lifestyle most of us live. It is easy to talk about a conspiracy to make us all slaves, when by some accounts, we already fit the definition. Nor does this wild conspiracy talk threaten the existing industrial/economic structure, which is the true law of the land, politics simply being the entertainment division.

The rise of this culture has culminated in a strange mixing of these beliefs into something that almost resembles a pseudo religion, which is starting to be ingrained in mainstream culture. You are more likely to find someone that believes in a UFO conspiracy, a Magic Bullet, or a Satanic plot to enslave us all, than someone who does not these days. Part of this observed effect is the passing on of these wild theories from one generation to the next, and amplifying it with the instant media culture found on the Internet. Our mass media culture starves for sensationalistic and unusual content. The Internet, 24 hour news, and Radio Talk shows are the perfect media to spread these viral views, as no opposing viewpoints are normally presented. A general lack of skepticism prevails according to which cultural filter the media is directed from.

Undermining Science and Education

This subculture has the potential to undermine true efforts to understand what is truly going on in our world. It is quickly reaching the point where true scientific knowledge is being lumped into this new subculture. This can be seen with the ongoing arguments against evolution vs Christian Creationists, or with subjects such as climate change. We are seeing right wing fears of Secret Societies and Apocalypse, blending with belief the paranormal, and the end result is a degradation of true education and scientific knowledge.

Anyone or anything that does not fit the accepted norm has the potential to be lumped into this fringe; in this case, healthy skepticism appears to be the casualty. Viral Ideas and Memes are at play in our culture beyond what has ever been seen before in human culture, all amplified by the continual evolution of our information technology and media.

Don't get me wrong, If you are into this sort of thing I hold nothing against you. I like a good conspiracy or UFO story as much as anyone else, but we are quickly reaching reaching some sort of tipping point and it is starting to affect our cultural history and collective beliefs. How this will affect the world 50 years from now is anyone's guess. (unless you are a 2012'er in which case you probably believe we will all be dead anyway).

Some of the content of this blog smacks of this conspiracy culture, but I try to ground it in somewhat of a scientific background. It is mostly just creepy, dark, or strange. I avoid the truly outlandish or unproveable stuff.

Maybe it is all just a big conspiracy to discredit all of us freaks and mutants...

Does the US Military Have a Shuttle Replacement?

With the recent changes announced by our president, many in this country are worried about the future of America's involvement in space. Unknown to much of the public, the US Military has a space program that is alive and well. While NASA re-organizes and concentrates on the CEV, the military has silently developed it's own line of space vehicles. These vehicles differ wildly from the traditional shuttle, being mostly unmanned, and for the most part, sort of mysterious. No experts in the aerospace field can currently agree on what they are truly intended to do or what function they are to perform.

According to PhysOrg, one is due to be launched in late April...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bolivian Death Road

Another stop on my places to see list, though I am not sure I really want to travel on it, is the Yungas Highway in Bolivia. This 10 foot wide, one lane highway is rated as the most dangerous in the world. It traverses the side of the Andes on it's way to La Paz, Bolivia. It has a 3000 foot drop on one side and no guardrails, plus it is extrememly steep in places. All of these factors combine to give this highway a very high death toll, as cars and trucks routinely careen off the edge into the jungles below.

I would love to go and see this just for it's sheer scale and the danger it represents, but getting me to drive on it might be a hard proposition. This is man against nature at it's most basic a raw level.

By the way, it has become fashionable to mountain bike down this road, and a cottage industry that caters to foreign mountain bikers has sprung up. It is not in any means safe, as many of these same mountain bikers have plunged to their screaming death from the sheer face of the cliffs as they have overshot turns, or fallen down unseen holes hidden by jungle foliage.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Lightning Field


Continuing my list of places I would really like to visit, the next entry is the "Lightning Field" located near Quemado, NM.

The Lightning Field, 1977, by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles -- two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height -- are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time.

The have a cabin available, and vistors are welcome with reservations. New Mexico, if not the lightning capital of the world, is very high up on the list. The effects of lightning can be much more spectacular due to the dryness and elevation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Lost Island of Dolls

There is a place in Mexico, the likes of which is not seen anyplace else in the world. It is named Isla De Las Munecas. It is a small island, near Mexico City, which is totally populated by creepy children's dolls and doll parts. These dolls were placed there 50 years ago by a hermit named Don Julian, who lived on the island.

Don Julian created this spooky place as a shrine to a little girl who is said to have drowned in a near-by canal. The locals say her ghost haunts the island, and he collected the dolls to calm her unquiet soul. For over 50 years he collected them, placing them in spooky little shrines, and stringing their parts from trees.

Here is the really weird part...

He later died by drowning in the same canal as the little girl.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Like This Girls' Attitude...

Why knit little mittens and baby socks when you can knit a Dissected frog? But wait, there's more! She also knits rat's and other sundry creatures showing you their inside parts.

Go see her Etsy site if you are twisted...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Mysterious Dark Flow

Cosmologists researching microwave background radiation have stumbled upon a mystery. Their observations have detected a mysterious flow drawing all of our surrounding galaxies and galaxy clusters towards a single region of space. It almost appears as if a massive unseen object is slowly pulling everything towards it. It has long been suspected, but the super-massive scale has made studying it very complicated.

As usual, astro-physicists are at a loss to explain it. There is a growing faction that believes the recently discovered void or hole observed in the universe, has something to do with it. This "Dark Flow" has also created a stir amongst Cosmologists, since it appears to throw the suppositions of many accepted theories into doubt.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Anti-Matter Found in Lightning Bolts

I love lightning. It is one of the coolest things nature does...

While studying flashes of Gamma Rays in earth's atmospheric storms, the Fermi Space Telescope has detected the telltale signature of Anti-Matter in lightning. This is puzzling to most physicists, who are at a loss to explain the process which creates it. Most suspect it has to do with a new view of quantum storm dynamics being proposed, that basically implies that thunderstorms are a giant natural Linear Accelerator.

They also say, that with every flash, the anti-matter slowly nibbles away the Earth's atmosphere.



Monday, March 1, 2010

The Mystery of Candido Godoi

In the South American country of Brazil, near the Argentinian border, there lies a small town with a deep mystery. This small town, known for it German inhabitants, is famous for it's mysteriously high numbers of twins. The rate of twin birth is twice what is found elsewhere, and half of these births result in an identical pair.

There are many theories as to why this occurs. One of the more common is that it is the result of "Founder's Effect" due to the small, not very diverse human population encountered there. Most of the people are descendants of people who cam from the same localized region of Germany. However, there is another more sinister theory at play.

Another competing theory proposes that the "Angel of Death" Joseph Mengele once plied his trade here while hiding after the war. Mengele was obsessed with twins and their genetics while performing his twisted experimentation in the Nazi Death Camps. It is possible, and even likely that he continued his genetic research to create a master race while in hiding, though in a much more restricted manner than was done in the Camps. It is known that while on the run from prosecution, Mengele hid in these remote regions of South America.

What is the true cause may never be truly known, as nothing can be totally ruled out. Scientists are a bit skeptical of the Mengele theory, as some have claimed the records indicate a higher than normal twin birth rate before he visited this area. Other historians, most notably, Jorge Camarasa have noted a distinct rise in the birth rate of twins from this area cooinciding with the year 1963 when Mengele arrived in this area.

At any rate, the whole premise of a remote town full of pasty faced identical twins is a bit disturbing, whatever the reason.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Red Queen Theory

It has long been assumed that changes in evolution take place due environmental factors. That is, when environmental conditions change, evolution will adapt an organism to allow it to survive. Researchers at the University of Liverpool have announced this may not be the case at all. They point to results from their genetic research that seem to indicate that inter-species competition plays a much stronger role.

The theory, first proposed as the "Red Queen Theory", formulates that most evolutionary changes are a result of a sort of "tit for tat" result of combative interactions with other organisms. Small but relatively rapid changes occur due to competition for survival in their environment. It suggests that all creatures are in a constant race for survival, evolving new ways to counter threats to their existence over time.

The "Red Queen Theory" is named after a passage in the Lewis Carrol story, Through the Looking Glass in which the Red Queen tells Alice "it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place".

This theory plays more into our currently accepted notions of Chaos Theory than the earlier view of Evolutionary Change, and can also be applied to other evolutionary systems as well, for example international arms races.

I will let you Google this one yourself if you want to know more...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Child Beaten to Death By Religious Kooks...

Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz adopted six children from poverty struck Liberia, so they could have a better life in the US. Too bad that better life included being beaten to death for something as minor as mis-pronouncing a word.

These children had the misfortune of being adopted by a family of followers of Tennessee evangelist Micheal Pearl. A basic tenet of his church is to beat your children to make them more obedient and faithful servants of God. They are so serious about it, his church published a written guide to doing it, and even recommends using a particular 1/4 inch plastic plumbing supply line.

Allegedly, these two held their children down, in the name of God, and beat them with a plastic pipe for hours causing massive injuries. Their 7 year old died. Another child of theirs, age 11, is in critical condition for the same reason. All of this started over a word the Liberian children could not pronounce...

It's God's will they say.

Here is the story on True Crime Report...

Here is a horrid story about their "Child Training" methods...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Climate Change Caused Mass Extinctions, not Asteroids?

A group of Climate Scientists and Earth Scientists are now proposing a theory that sudden climatic change, not asteroid collision, has been responsible for most of the mas extinction events which have occured throughout history. They are basing this off the partly off the geological record, and what is known to have occurred during the early periods of life on Earth.

Whether right or wrong, it is a fact that mass extinctions have occurred due to climate change. The extinction event at the end of the Permian period is a prime example, where a combination of glacial melt and volcanism is thought to have initiated the climatic change.

So, the question is, are we next? Are we condemned to repeat the past?

Read more about Earth's extinction events here...

More about Climate Change and the Extinction cycle can be found here...