Red Scar on America – August 24, 2011 — Dean Henderson
The budding genre of left-wing conspiracy research, intuitively attractive as a unifying force to many, attempts to break imposed philosophical paradigms and to deprogram minds in a world traumatized and confused by the Illuminati’s biggest psyops program ever – the Cold War. This delicate task requires a historically-grounded progressive political framework which, while taking a backseat to realpolitik, remains pertinent.
While the mainstream left refuses to acknowledge any hint of conspiracy, no matter the number of footnotes; the Alex Jones “right/left paradigm is dead” crowd, while open to deep politics, leans right ideologically, enabling the banker cabal in its quest for global hegemony via 18th century mercantilism – the purest form of capitalism ever practiced.
It is incredibly naïve to believe that the Illuminati bankers wish to usher in communism as their economic model. The real world tells us that wealth is not being redistributed. It is being concentrated in the hands of the few at historic levels.
The left’s problem lies in naiveté and cowardice, and in its inability to deconstruct the brutal state capitalism imposed via the Soviet Union. The libertarian conspiracy crowd lacks a background in political theory – their Cato Institute is funded by the same corporations that fund the two major political parties. They too have been brainwashed since birth by the mysterious events that culminated in the Soviet Union.
An analysis of these events is key to understanding the Red Scare, which haunts an increasingly extreme right-wing American political landscape and hinders our ability to formulate practical economic solutions that incorporate both capitalistic and socialistic economic tenants. It also goes a long way in explaining the incredible naiveté of the American mainstream “left”.
In 1822 Russia’s Czar Alexander banned Freemasonry from his country. When Czar Nicholas took the throne he renewed the ban, but the secret society went underground and survived. Karl Marx was a member of the League of the Just which later became the Communist League. The group was an off-shoot of the Society of Seasons, which had close ties to the Grand Orient Freemason Lodge of Paris. Frederick Engel was a wealthy German industrialist. 
Marx and Engel were driven by the philosophies of Freidrich Hegel, whose now infamous Hegelian dialectic put forth a process whereby opposites thesis and antithesis are reconciled into synthesis.
Though Hegel’s philosophy was adopted by Marx, it was equally attractive to Adolf Hitler and the Rothschild Business Roundtable that sponsored him. The Roundtable saw in the dialectic a boon to their monopolies by presenting phony communism (antithesis) as bogeyman to capitalism (thesis). The ensuing conflict – the Cold War – produced a huge market for arms and oil which their trusts manufactured.
Genuine revolutionary struggle in the Third World could be labeled as a “Soviet communist conspiracy” and more arms could then be sent to depopulate the undesirable poor, dispensing of agitators who threatened Roundtable interests. The pure application of communism, which indigenous peoples practiced for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Annunaki invaders in Sumeria, was the real threat to the “special bloodline” international bankers.
By upholding Soviet state capitalism to all the world as an example of “failed Communism”, the bankers could discredit this dangerous idea while producing their desired synthesis – a New World Order ruled by the Illuminati banking families and Black Nobility monarchs, with laissez-faire monopoly capitalism as their economic paradigm.
The Russian Hohenzollern family monarchy to which the czars belonged wasn’t playing ball. They grew suspicious of the Freemasons, who they knew to be agents of the international bankers. In 1915 the American International Corporation (AIC) was formed to finance a Russian revolution aimed at deposing the Hohenzollerns and launching the banker’s grand Hegelian experiment. AIC directors included Frank Vanderlip, who two years prior had attended the secret Jekyll Island meetings that formulated the private Federal Reserve; and George Herbert Walker, grandfather of George Bush Sr. The families of Rockefeller, Rothschild, Du Pont, Kuhn, Loeb, Schiff and Harriman were represented on AIC’s board. 
WWI was looming and the Allied powers needed to open a diversionary front against the Germans. Russian Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky left New York by ship on March 27, 1917, just days before the US entered WWI. He had with him a US passport, 300 revolutionaries and a wad of cash supplied by the Wall Street banker crowd. Twelve days earlier Czar Nicholas II had stepped down amidst an uprising launched by genuine anarchist revolutionaries, inspired by the writings of the Russian philosopher Kropotkin, who preached revolution followed by immediate decentralization of power, a sharp contrast to the iron-fisted state capitalist control under which Russia was about to fall. The anarchists struck fear into the heart of Wall Street, so they dispatched Trotsky to derail their Menshevik plans.
As Trotsky and his Reds sailed east, Vladimir Lenin left Switzerland in a sealed train with 150 more “revolutionaries” and $5 million in cash. The train passed through Germany without inspection thanks to banker Max Warburg’s intervention. Meanwhile, fifteen international bankers under Red Cross cover traveled to Petrograd to provide additional financing to the Bolsheviks and to make off with Russia’s gold reserves, just as they would later make off with German gold reserves following WWII and Chinese gold reserves after the 1949 Revolution. Prince Lvov, who replaced the deposed Czar Nicholas II, and his successor Alexander Kerensky both publicly denounced Trotsky and Lenin as German intelligence agents.
The war between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks lasted until 1922. Some 28 million Russians died. The unruly anarchists were eventually disposed of and the Roundtable crowd launched its “antithesis” in Moscow. Trotsky and Lenin were likely unaware they were being used by the bankers. Trotsky fled to Mexico City, where he was murdered by Stalin’s agents in 1940. Lenin died in 1924. He had by then identified the powerful forces behind his ascent as “monopoly finance capitalists”. Towards the end of his life he wrote, “The state does not function as we desired. A man is at the wheel and seems to lead it, but the car does not drive in the desired direction. It moves as another force wishes.”
John D. Rockefeller, Nathan Rothschild, Max Warburg, Jacob Schiff and J. Pierpont Morgan seized the new Soviet opportunity. Their Four Horsemen always had interests in Russia. The Rothschild and Nobel families discovered oil in Baku in 1898 with their Far East Trading Company, but anarchist oilfield revolutionaries burned their newly renamed Royal Dutch/Shell installations to the ground.
By 1922 Rockefeller’s Chase National Bank launched the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce. In 1925 Chase negotiated a deal with Soviet Prombank to market Russia’s raw materials to the West, while helping the Bolsheviks import cotton and machinery. Chase and its sister insurance conglomerate Equitable Trust led the way in providing credit to the Soviets, selling Bolshevik bonds in the US by 1928 with help from Morgan Guaranty.
Rep. Louis McFadden (D-NY), chair of the House Banking Committee, remarked, “The Soviet government has been given US Treasury funds by the Federal Reserve Banks acting through Chase Bank and Guaranty Trust Company…Find out what business has been transacted for the State Bank of the Soviet Union by its correspondent bank, Chase Bank of New York.”
The chaos caused by the Bolshevik Revolution had been a boon to Rockefeller oil interests by eliminating much of Standard Oil’s competition in Russia. In 1926 Standard Oil of New York (Mobil) loaned $75 million to the Bolsheviks in exchange for exclusive rights to market Soviet oil in Europe. Mobil built a refinery in Russia.
In 1969 Rockefeller’s International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) – which later gave birth to the draconian Caribbean Basin Initiative – formed a partnership with N.M. Rothschild & Sons of London. Rockefeller’s partner in IBEC was Cleveland financier and industrialist Cyrus Eaton. The Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Eatons made huge profits facilitating Soviet trade with the West. In 1976 they signed an exclusive licensing and patent deal with Licensintorg, giving them a monopoly on technology transfer to the Soviets.
President Nixon forged detente with the Soviets and Chinese following the Vietnam War in 1973. That year also brought the Arab oil embargo, the pegging of oil to the US dollar, the launch of oil futures markets and the advent of a burgeoning Eurodollar market in London. Soon after Nixon held the detente summits with his counterparts Leonid Brezhnev and Zhou En-lai, Chase Manhattan opened a branch in Moscow and started a correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of China. 
Nixon appointed William Casey to head the Export-Import Bank. Casey was a CFR insider and leading Knight of Malta. He later managed Ronald Reagan’s 1980 October Surprise Presidential Campaign and was appointed CIA Director. At ExIm Bank Casey financed one of the grandest industrial schemes in history, the world’s largest truck factory at the Kama River in the Soviet Union. The factory was built by Pullman Corporation and was financed 10% by the Soviets, 45% by ExIm Bank and 45% by Chase Manhattan, where David Rockefeller was now chairman.
Chase risked nothing since its money was guaranteed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Foreign Credit Insurance Association. If the Russians failed to pay the loans back, US taxpayers were on the hook for 90% of the Kama money. George Schultz – CFR, Bechtel and Chevron Texaco director who was Reagan’s Secretary of State – was key to the Kama River deal. Casey provided an ExIm Bank loan for Schultz’ Bechtel to build a Permindex-affiliated International Trade Center in Moscow in a deal arranged by Occidental Petroleum scion and Tennessee Gore political dynasty sponsor Armand Hammer. Other Casey ExIm Bank loans funded oil and gas pipelines and petrochemical and fertilizer plants. 
The US detente with the Soviets and China had more to do with a thirst for new energy supplies by the Four Horsemen than it did with grandiose statements of “promoting world peace”. China has huge oil deposits off its Senkaka Island in the East China Sea. Just northeast of Senkaka lie the Soviet Sakhalin Islands, an area that contains massive oil and gas deposits. The Soviet regions of Siberia and the Caspian Sea were even bigger oil prizes. As Chase Manhattan Senior Vice-President Albert Wentworth put it, “The Soviet Union is the last great undeveloped market for the US.”
Columnist Paul Scott hit the nail more squarely on the head when he wrote in 1976, “It is Kissinger’s belief that by controlling food one can control people, and by controlling energy – especially oil – one can control nations and their financial systems. By placing food and oil under international control along with the world’s monetary system, Kissinger is convinced a loosely knit world government can become a reality by 1980.”
Nixon Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz once bragged that through USAID’s P.L. 480 program the US employed “food as a weapon”, doling out food to nations who agree to follow IMF mandates, while withholding food from those who don’t. Just as Kissinger’s IAE benefits the Four Horsemen of Oil – Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, BP Amoco and Royal Dutch/Shell; P. L. 480 enriches the Four Horsemen of Grain – Cargill Continental, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Andre. As Chilean Minister of Agriculture Jacques Chonchol said, “Whoever controls food exports controls the world.”
The Soviet Union was an artificial construct cooked up by the Illuminati bankers to create profitable conflict and, more importantly, to confuse the world’s population in the arena of political economy. The Red Scare they manufactured has become a Red Scar on the American psyche.
 The Robot’s Rebellion: The Story of the Spiritual Renaissance. David Icke. Gateway Books. Bath, UK. 1994. p.160
 Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.195
 Icke. p.163
 Marrs. p.196
 The Rockefeller File. Gary Allen. ’76 Press. Seal Beach, CA. 1973. p.101
 The World’s Money: International Banking from Bretton Woods to the Brink of Insolvency. Michael Moffitt. Simon & Schuster. New York. 1983 p65
 Allen. p.114
 Merchants of Grain. Dan Morgan. Viking Press. New York. 1979. p.398
Selected Commentator Comments :
@Freeborn Says: September 13, 2011 at 3:41 am
You say Lenin and Trotsky weren’t cognizant of how they were instruments of finance capitalists until it was too late.
Surely Trotsky had played chess with Baron Rothschild in Viennae, been cultivated by Schiff in NY-he even joined B’nai B’rith there-and finally married into these circles.
How could he not have known.
Lenin had conspired with Parvus in Zurich. Parvus pioneered the permanent revolution tactic during the Young Turk Revolution in 1908. According to Solzhenitsyn Parvus had “fathered a an anonymous resolution in the Soviet, its Financial Manifesto. What looked like a set of uncouth and primitive demands from the illiterate masses was really a programme of a clever and experienced financier striking at the foundations of the hated Russian state, to bring it down in ruins at a single blow.”
It was Parvus who’d persuaded the Germans to send the Sealed Train into Russia with Lenin and co. on it!
How could Lenin not have known of the plans of the Warburg financiers?
Isn’t there also evidence that Stalin was a Tavistock-trained instrument of the Rockefeller/Fabian nexus. He was at the Russian S.D. conference in London in 1907.
Who paid for Tavistock?
Interested in your thoughts on this………
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Subsistence food farming AFTER land distribution, AND growing and processing of fuel at the micro level (every family grows their own biofuel crop). The wealth distribution issue can be easily handled by ‘Counter-Agents’. So imagine every family with stockpiles of food and biofuel perhaps dating generations back enough to last decades while solar power further prevents grid overload as well as prevent oligarch contractor crony progfiteering off electicity via fat cat bonuses for executives.
But this needs the people to vote in a manner that distributes unused state land, preferably under ALLODIAL TITLE and after abolishing EMINENT DOMAIN POWERS, as well as removal of the Army (see José Figueres Ferrer), through selection of candidates that will ratify the above.
If there are no candidates, the people must offer themselves or if rich enough (the regular rich worth a handful of millions is quite grassroots still unlike the billionaire types), at least fund proxies to run on the above issues. Kissinger’s plan will fail entirely. Food and fuel security will be guaranteed and independent of all middlemen, there will be no militaries to order around.
US ‘is running a two-party, fascist regime’
Mon Oct 8, 2012 5:19AM
The United States “is running a two-party, fascist regime” where “corporations and the bankers run the country”, says the chief investment strategist of AVA Investment Analytics.
In an interview with the U.S. Desk on Sunday, Mike Stathis said, “It doesn’t matter who wins the elections. First of all, all U.S. presidents are puppets. They’re puppets of the establishment. The guys that make the decisions are in the shadows”.
According to a study by Gallup, a growing number of Americans believe there is an urgent need for a third major party in the country.
The desire for a third party is fairly similar across ideological groups, with 61% of liberals, 60% of moderates, and 54% of conservatives believing a third major party is needed. The mainstream Democratic and Republican parties agree on most crucial issues that affect American lives most directly.
“They are going to send jobs to countries that have cheap labor… in order to boost the profits of corporate America. When it comes to health care, both parties– Democrats and Republicans– are going to continue to allow the health care system to be run by Wall Street,” Stathis said.
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Quite easy to find out if a real Third Force man, or a liferaft party in formation if any term limitless types or GLC types or plutocrats are included in the party.
The unholy Quran ADMITS JESUS is GOD
Nanny state or smart tourism? Rome bans public snacking – Put that pizza away. A new law prohibits tourists from munching, camping near some of the city’s most famous monuments – by CNNGo staff 4 October, 2012
Contrary to popular belief, this fountain in front of the Pantheon wasn’t built for tourists in need of a place to wash their greasy pizza fingers.
Rome might be one of the world’s best destinations for foodies, but thanks to a new city council ordinance tourists will have to keep their delicious slices of pizza away from certain historical monuments.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, anyone caught snacking around key locations in the city’s historic center will face fines of up to €500 (US$645).
The move follows similar bans in Venice and Florence.
Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno said the order was issued as part of urgent measures to ensure the protection of the historic center. Because we all know the harmful impact panini crumbs can have on ancient architecture.
Snack-free zones include the marble fountains of Piazza Navona, the stone walls around the Pantheon and Via dei Fori Imperiali near the Colosseum.
More on CNN: Insider Guide — Best of Rome
And just in case you were planning to spend the night, bear in mind that camping for the night at any of these sites is now forbidden too.
Leave your padlocks in the bedroom, lovebirds
Last month authorities took bolt cutters to Rome’s famed Ponte Milvio on the river Tiber to slice off thousands of padlocks placed there by couples inspired by novelist Federico Moccia’s “Ho voglia di te” (I Want You), in which two lovers place a bicycle lock around a lamppost and throw the key into the Tiber, symbolizing the eternal locking of their hearts.
The city council, which officially banned the practice in 2007, said the rusting locks were damaging the ancient bridge.
Maybe smart preservation. Or maybe the Eternal City is fast becoming the kiljoy city.
Do you think such bans are justified? Leave your thoughts in the comments box below.
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While the Vatican is already a materialist enmired failure, these moves are quite appropriate. Eating and drinking (gluttony) are as unspiritual or plebian ( . . . sh1t happens . . . ) as anyone can get. And a place like the Vatican should be focused on fasting and discipline (also sexual discipline especially more so for paedophile priests) and not earthly issues.
Or maybe the Christian Eternal City is fast becoming the killjoy city?
Joy is not about food for foodies. Eternity far less so. Sleeping allows ‘travel’ and camping means one’s spirit ‘wanders’ at night (presumably some priests get to enjoy their ‘purity carnale‘ from travellers as well too much. Good rules! How about the Pope address 3rd world Malaysia about BUMIPUTRA APARTHEID with the Ayatollah as well? So much theft of consultation at least deserves this much in payment, bring civilisation to the Oompa-loompas of 3rd world nations . . .
POLITICS-U.S.: Wolfowitz Defenders Double Their Standards – Analysis by Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Apr 17 2007 (IPS) – Some of the same neoconservative institutions that are defending World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz against charges that he unethically promoted the career and compensation of his romantic partner were among the most aggressive in attacking former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for alleged nepotism on behalf of his son.
The editorial writers of the Wall Street Journal, contributors to the National Review, and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative group whose journalist-in-residence, Claudia Rosett, led the campaign against Annan and his son, Kojo, have all rallied behind the beleaguered Bank president, blaming his problems on an entrenched officialdom determined to resist his corruption-fighting reforms.
“The only way this fiasco could get any worse would be for Mr. Wolfowitz to resign in the teeth of so much dishonesty and cravenness,” according to the lead editorial in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, which offered a detailed justification for the former deputy defence secretary under U.S. President George W. Bush.
“We’re glad the Bush administration isn’t falling for this Euro-bureaucracy-media putsch,” it added in what was the second of two consecutive columns on Wolfowitz’s plight.
“Paul Wolfowitz is my friend, and one of the most decent, upright people it has ever been my privilege to know,” wrote FDD senior fellow and anti-terrorism specialist Andrew McCarthy in the National Review Online (NRO).
“If it were up to me, there would be no World Bank. But if we’re going to have one, we should be grateful that Paul Wolfowitz is running it, rooting out corruption and trying to change the culture so that helping the poor, rather than pushing loans out the door, is the criterion by which it is judged,” McCarthy concluded.
POLITICS: Wolfowitz’s Allies Regroup but Leave Questions Unanswered POLITICS: Top Wolfowitz Postings Went to Iraq War Backers
The approach toward Wolfowitz’s current difficulties by both the Journal and the FDD, as well as by NRO and Fox News, contrasts strongly with their attacks on the former UN chief and his son, who was first accused in an article by FDD’s Rosett in the National Review three years ago of having working for a Swiss company, Cotecna, that was awarded a 10-million-dollar UN contract in 1998 to inspect “Oil-for-Food” imports into Iraq.
That was the first story of more than 30 published over the next two and a half years by the Review and the NRO on Kojo Annan’s business deals and what it considered a case of blatant nepotism and conflict of interest on the UN chief’s part – emblematic in the neoconservatives’ view of the corruption of the world body itself.
The Review-FDD campaign was bolstered by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, which itself published more than a dozen editorials and columns, including several by Rosett, citing Kojo in connection with alleged UN corruption and the multi-billion-dollar oil-for-food scandal between 2004 and the end of Kofi Annan’s term in office Dec. 31, 2006.
Indeed, when Rosett reported in another neoconservative publication, the New York Sun, in late November 2004, that Cotecna had continued paying Kojo Annan 2,500 dollars a month for four years after he left the company in early 2000 – which Cotecna described as a standard non-compete deal – neo-conservatives stepped up their calls for the UN chief to resign.
“Annan should either resign, if he is honourable, or be removed, if he is not,” wrote the National Review at the time, while the Journal featured an editorial page column entitled “Kofi Annan Must Go” by Republican Senator Norm Coleman who, noting Rosett’s latest revelation, as well as other allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food scandal, declared that “(I)f this widespread corruption had occurred in any legitimate organisation around the world, its CEO would have been ousted long ago, in disgrace.”
In the event, the independent commission headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker determined in its final report published in September 2005 that, while Annan should have been more aggressive about looking into his son’s relationship with Cotecna once his ties were disclosed, he had not influenced the awarding of the contract to the company or known how Kojo had traded on his name to further his business interests.
The neoconservative role in vigorously pressing the campaign to discredit Annan for his presumed nepotism and force his resignation stands in sharp contrast to its efforts to protect Wolfowitz from similar charges in connection with his role in personally arranging an exceptional promotion and salary increase for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a senior World Bank communications officer when Wolfowitz took over in June 2005, as part of a package by which she was seconded to the State Department.
According to the New York Times on Tuesday, Wolfowitz may also have played a role in getting her a short-term consultancy with a major defence contractor, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), in 2003, when he was serving at the Pentagon.
In its two editorials, the Journal has argued at length that Wolfowitz had tried to recuse himself from any decision regarding her career when he was first hired, but that he was subsequently forced to make the secondment arrangements himself after the Bank’s executive board and ethics committee allegedly instructed him to do so.
Consistent with a Fox News investigative report published online and aired over the weekend, the Journal wrote Monday that the ethics committee chairman, Ad Melkert, had effectively approved the secondment package and went on to suggest that Wolfowitz may have fallen into a trap set by the board to manoeuvre him into a conflict of interest.
Documents released Friday by the Bank make “us wonder if some bank officials weren’t trying to ambush Mr. Wolfowitz from the start,” it said, adding that “it’s clear that his enemies – especially Europeans who want the bank presidency to go to one of their own – are now using this to force him out of the bank.”
Michael Rubin, a Middle East specialist at the American Enterprise Institute who worked for Wolfowitz’s former Pentagon boss, Donald Rumsfeld, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, informed NRO readers that the Wall Street Journal editorial was a “must-read”.
The Journal and other supporters also tried to downplay the significance of what Wolfowitz had done. The Journal called it a “mini-flap” involving “ethical minutiae”, while Jonah Goldberg, a regular contributor to the NRO, referred favourably to a Los Angeles Times column by neo-conservative legal scholar Ruth Wedgwood, entitled “The Wolfowitz Non-Story”.
Wolfowitz and Shaha, she argued, are victims of a “mob mentality”, echoing charges by Victor Davis Hanson, yet another neoconservative at NRO, that Wolfowitz is “facing a lynch mob over perhaps a… one-time lapse of judgment in regard to compensation of a companion – nothing, however, ranking with the various scandals surrounding Kofi Annan, whose son profited by United Nations exemptions given through his family ties.”
What the scandal is really about is “payback for Iraq”, according to Hanson, whose views often reflect those of Vice President Dick Cheney, reportedly Wolfowitz’s main supporter within the Bush administration.
Ironically, the same was said by Annan’s supporters during the Kojo scandal. “The reality is that the current calls for Annan’s head are provoked by his opposition to America’s pre-emptive war in Iraq,” noted Ian Williams, the UN correspondent for The Nation weekly in late 2004 after Coleman called for Annan’s resignation.
Indeed, as the neoconservative campaign against the secretary-general gathered steam in the fall of 2004, James Traub, in a Los Angeles Times article entitled “Lynch Mob’s Real Target is the U.N., Not Annan,” wrote: “(W)hat conservatives cannot accept, at bottom, is the premise that an international body, even one over which the United States exercises enormous sway, should be allowed to pass on the legitimacy or legality of American actions.”
(NOTE: The reference to Michael Rubin of American Enterprise Institute has been corrected.)
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That tears the UN, making UN all about nepotism. And such a pity that NAM is all about Muslims who obviously do not understand that secular people exist and have rights too. BRICS ready to take over where UN and NAM appear to be failing? Russia and China are too sharp witted for this to do them in are they? Socialism would expect at least this much – to prohibit the plague of nepotism as in Russia’s and China’s Iron Curtain style Laws against nepotism! The world is counting on BRICS and any Red Coats left in USA now! Live up to the name Wolfowictz, to the level where Wolves are, this is not about ‘WW3 Preppers’ or cool couples that live with actual Wolves, this is about Remus and Romulus, the Kittim Throne of the Archonic Planetary Intelligences that non-monotheistic Zoroaster knew well!
Nuclear operators must act now on safety: EU – by Barbara Lewis – Posted 2012/10/04 at 1:32 pm EDT
BRUSSELS, Oct. 4, 2012 (Reuters) — Regulators and operators should act now to improve safety at nuclear power plants, the EU energy commissioner said on Thursday, following inspections across the European Union.
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger speaks at a news conference on the EU Nuclear Stress Tests in Brussels October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Yves Herman
The stress tests, carried out in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, found safety improvements costing between 10 billion ($12.90 billion) and 25 billion euros were necessary in European plants, a draft seen by Reuters showed this week.
“Nearly everywhere there is major potential for improvement,” Energy Commission Guenther Oettinger told reporters.
“We therefore think that we should talk together with operators and regulatory authorities to act rapidly so that the highest possible standards can be guaranteed very soon.”
One of the lessons of Fukushima was that two natural disasters could strike at the same time and knock out the electrical supply system of a plant completely, so it could not be cooled down.
The stress tests sought to avert any repeat of that series of events by establishing whether nuclear plants can withstand natural disasters, aircraft crashes and management failures, as well as whether adequate systems are in place to deal with power disruptions.
Among the findings were that on-site seismic instruments should be installed or improved in 121 reactors.
In addition, 24 reactors did not have a back-up emergency room in case the main control room became uninhabitable.
LIMITS OF EU POWER
Because EU authorities do not have power to determine the energy mix of member states, the stress tests were voluntary, but Oettinger said they would not just be “put in a drawer”.
“We are at the beginning of a new European safety dynamic,” he said.
He confirmed the Commission would follow up with legislative proposals early next year to enhance safety.
The proposals would include insurance and liability, but Oettinger said it was not yet clear what that might mean for electricity bills.
Austria, which banned nuclear plants in 1974, said the stress tests were “good, but not good enough”.
“Our demand is very clear: retrofit nuclear plants or shut them down,” Austrian Environment Minister Niki Berlakovich told reporters in Vienna, referring to the possibility of adding safety measures.
Rebecca Harms, a Green member of the European Parliament, told Reuters Television the stress tests report had dodged the tough questions, but said they had still served to highlight the problems.
“Mr Oettinger has done the debate on lacking security standards a great favor,” she said.
She added that the tests had “produced a handsome list of deficiencies, showing that there is a large deficit of security standards in every country that runs nuclear power plants”.
ASN, the nuclear regulator in France, which relies on atomic energy for about 75 percent of its power, was highly critical of the report, saying “some important recommendations had been ignored”.
It has already said France needs to invest billions of euros.
The chief inspector of Britain’s nuclear plants, Mike Weightman, who also made recommendations for improvements after Fukushima, said: The stress test process was a valuable exercise, reinforcing the conclusions we had reached here in the UK”.
($1 = 0.7751 euros)
(Additional reporting by Oliver Denzer; Michael Shields in Vienna; Marion Douet in Paris; editing by William Hardy and Jason Neely)
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EU no power? Rubbish. Charlemagne would turn in his grave, though EU has been particularly parsimonious for a power that wants to control Europe. If a nuclear plant in some 3rd world trash heap or corrupted 1st world colluding cut corner type nation is going to irradiate the world, destroying ecosystems and humanity eventually, the UN should send peacekeepers to dismantle the nuclear plant and bury all nuclear parts and place bans on that nation. Hear that peacekeepers? When that nuke plant blows, nothing on the planet will be left unirradiated, INCLUDING the UN peacekeepers’ families. Nuclear is too messy and likely spiritually wrong. Switch to solar or fusion instead.
Duma council to be manned with popular bloggers – MP – Published: 09 October, 2012, 15:58 (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)
The newly formed parliament committee for the mass media will include a public council of expert bloggers with audiences of several thousand users, the head of the new body has said.
The committee made the creation of the expert council of bloggers a separate issue in its program, LDPR MP Aleksei Mitrofanov said in an interview, promising to disclose the details of the plan in the near future.
So far, the politician announced that he wanted to include “popular bloggers of the Runet (a colloquial name for the Russian-language segment of the Internet)” in this group. He added that the bloggers’ sex or age will not matter only the popularity of the candidates. The consultative council will comprise those who have tens of thousands of regular readers, Mitrofanov promised.
Another author of the project, LDPR MP Vadim Dengin disclosed more details. He said the bloggers will take part in the discussion of all bills that concern the internet so that no one could accuse the MPs that they adopt bills without prior discussion with experts.
Dengin added that it was possible the council will include not only bloggers but also professional systems administrators and owners of social networks, both from Russia and from abroad.
The MP also said that he had personal ambitions connected with the plans – “I want to fight crime in social networks. I want punishment for the creeps who use social networks to corrupt our children, who fill the internet with pornography, who write mean things about people or publish unverified reports,” the politician noted.
The initiative caused little enthusiasm among bloggers. Dmitry Ternovsky, who was among the first candidates Dengin proposed for the council, told reporters that “he had other things to do”. Web guru and a top executive in the blogging platform Livejournal, Anton Nosik, said that he could not figure out the objectives of even the mass media committee within the parliament, to say nothing about the consultative body within the committee.
The news came as Russian authorities are struggling to introduce more regulations on the internet. In late August the leading parliamentary party United Russia suggested to amend the new law that reintroduced criminal responsibility for libel with an article that would prosecute anonymous internet users.
In November a new law will come into force in Russia that will allow government agencies to block access to sites with hazardous or dangerous information. Providers can contest this decision in court. Previously, a court had to agree the text or other material was extremist so a ban could be put in place.
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These bloggers will end up as proxy oligarchs on VVIP payrolls via manufactured hits. This problem could scuttle the logic behind this without a ready platform of access to telecoms records which again can be manufactured even if expertise of this panel is not bribed or threatened or of such companies will asset to or even be required by colluding MPs who would not ratify such requirements/vetting councils. Who watches the watchers watching the MPs?
Then see below Article 6.
Rights Council members to be selected via internet voting – Published: 22 June, 2012, 16:51
Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alekseyeva (RIA Novosti/Alexander Utkin)
A new mechanism for forming the residential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights has been suggested after over a dozen of members quit the body. Now candidates will be selected through internet voting.
“A conference was called at the presidential administration yesterday, at which a new practice was proposed, and we will turn to the public, since the Council deals with civil society development,” said the head of the institution, Mikhail Fedotov.
A discussion of new candidates for council members will be opened on the organization’s website from July 1 till August 1. Within that month, any public organizations will be able to propose their nominees for the 13 now vacant positions.
Following that, internet voting will be launched, Fedotov said, adding that any citizen will have a chance to participate in it. A list of 39 candidates will be formed as a result of the internet poll and the president will pick 13 out of them.
“As for my personal attitude towards this new order: why not try that? Let’s do that. But to me it seems questionable, because in this situation the entire team of the Council should be changed,” Fedotov observed.
According to the rights activist, there is a danger that the organization might become unworkable.
Meanwhile, one more Rights Council member has announced their decision to quit:the head of Russia’s oldest human rights organization, the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseeva. However, she said she could reconsider her position in case the new mechanism is not approved.
“I’m ready to work in the Council if there won’t be this new supposedly democratic [formation] method, which in fact is sly and is aimed at the elimination of the Council,” Alekseeva told Interfax.
The Council – the presidential advisory body on human rights – originally consisted of 40 members. Its current team was formed back in 2009. However, over a dozen quit it after the December State Duma poll and then Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.
‘Putin illegitimate president’ – rights activist – Published: 02 May, 2012, 14:59
Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. Gorki residence. (RIA Novosti / Ekaterina Shtukina)
Several members of the Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights are planning to quit the body after Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.
Political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin made the decision to leave the council after his report on election violations was removed from the agenda of the body’s final meeting with the outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday. The official pretext for the move was Medvedev’s tight schedule, Oreshkin told Vedomosti daily.
The rights activist, citing data provided by vote observers, stated that Putin got 50-52 per cent of votes as opposed to the official 63 per cent.
“I consider Putin an illegitimate president and I won’t be able to work in his council,” Oreshkin told the paper.
The head of Transparency International Russia, Elena Panfilova announced her decision to quit during the Saturday meeting with the president. She said she remained the council member only because she promised the mother of Sergey Magnitsky – Hermitage Capital lawyer who died in a Moscow detention centre in 2009 – to investigate his death.
“Now I think I’ll do a lot more with my civil activity in my current job,” Panfilova told Kommersant daily on Wednesday.
Another Council member, Svetlana Gannushkina – the chairwoman of the Civic Assistance organization that helps refugees – also said earlier she would leave her post in the body.
In December last year, rights activist Irina Yasina and journalist Svetlana Sorokina left the HR Council in protest against alleged violations during the State Duma poll.
Under the law, after the new head of state takes office, he is entitled to form all his councils from a scratch.
The chairman of the Kremlin council, Mikhail Fedotov said he was ready to continue his work with Putin if he is invited to. He stressed though that if “outstanding people” – current members of the organization – “are replaced with some kind of ceremonial bystanders or those who attack human rights, it would be a completely different council.”
“And I wouldn’t want to be its chairman,” Fedotov told a media conference on Wednesday, cites RIA Novosti.
Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alekseeva underlined that human rights activists’ work involves close cooperation with the state authorities. For that reason the veteran rights activist in Russia intends to remain the member of the council.
Current members of the body who will not be included in the newly formed one will form a public organization for the development of civil society, Alekseeva told journalists.
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Quitting (much like refusing to vote) is for cowards or pro-establishment creeps. File suit or legal action. I’d expect Putin to prefer to stay out of the limelight after the 2nd term so as to better ‘re-KGB-tise’ Russia. One does not have to be President to control a place like Russia! Not very Iron Curtain-like . . . who are the real men in the shadows then if Putin is the frontman? Much like Ai Weiwei the Nudist in China, Russia need not even fear silly kids like these, but does need to have more venues for this sort of ‘steam letting’ behaviour . . .
Student midwife turned away from breastfeed class – because he’s male – by Martyn Halle – PUBLISHED: 00:51 GMT, 7 October 2012 | UPDATED: 00:51 GMT, 7 October 2012
Chris Butt, 30, has been refused entry to sessions because women are ‘sensitive to men being present
He is one of only 132 male midwives out of 20,000 in the UK
A student training to be one of the country’s few male midwives has been prevented from attending breastfeeding classes – because he is a man.
Chris Butt, 30, who is in the second year of a three-year training course, tried to attend breastfeeding classes run by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) near his university.
But since last summer he has been rebuffed several times by local branches that have refused to allow him to attend certain sessions after claiming some women are ‘sensitive’ to men being present.
Rebuffed: Chris Butt has been turned away from breastfeeding classes
Mr Butt, who is studying at Bournemouth University, has had the backing of his course tutor and the head of midwifery at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, where he is doing his on-the-job training and has delivered five babies on his own.
The Department of Health encourages women to breastfeed because of the health benefits, and midwives play a key role in educating new mothers.
Britain has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
Even so, members of the NCT in Southampton objected to Mr Butt’s presence at the women-only class despite the fact he is a health professional – but said they would have no problem with a female midwife.
The NCT said he was invited to attend more open classes in which the male partners of new mothers also attend.
But Mr Butt – one of only 132 male midwives out of 20,000 in the UK – has criticised the situation in an article for Midwives, the magazine of the Royal College of Midwives.
‘I didn’t believe for one minute that I would be turned away from breastfeeding groups,’ he wrote.
‘Do the facilitators of such clinics think I practise midwifery in some magical way where I don’t see intimate parts of women’s bodies?
Do they think I stand behind a screen as a baby’s head is crowning, shouting out advice on when to breathe?’
Training: The Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, Hampshire, where the student is training
Mr Butt originally agreed to expand on his comments in Midwives but said he had come ‘under pressure’ not to say anything further.
The NCT denied it was against men attending breastfeeding groups.
A spokesman said: ‘He wanted to attend a women-only session, where there were no break-out rooms available if the women attending felt uncomfortable with a male presence.
‘We also offered him the opportunity to attend an antenatal breastfeeding workshop.’
One breastfeeding counsellor in Southampton said: ‘Chris has to understand that some women are sensitive to a man’s presence.’
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One breastfeeding counsellor in Southampton said: ‘Chris has to understand that some women are sensitive to a man’s presence.’
There are men everywhere and men also have nipples that can actually produce milk for breast feeding as well (though not naturally). While many men might want to learn at a breastfeeding class, almost all men do not want to breast feed from their own nipples, though likely a small number do enjoy and engage in obviously male (though not male looking at all) ‘sexual oriented breast augmentation culture as ‘shemales’, while a fair sized number do enjoy shemale subculture (males with augmented breasts) in private clubs etc..
This sensitivity must not be turned into disenfranchisement by EDUCATING women who have these psychological problems. Political Correctness swings both ways. The same way women want to breast feed in public places without issue, nudists want to use parks or ‘doggers’ want to have sex in the open (preferably in designated areas or at least booths much like milk-nursing booths) have a right as well – while wearing kibbutz or hijab. To merely attend a breast feeding class in a non-sexualised class should not be an issue ESPECIALLY if the man in question is not being covertly (or overtly in the obviously disenfranchisable cases) sexual or participating for titillation purposes rather than educational. This is a HUMAN lesson, not a male or female lesson.
Prison nurse who had sex with rapist in his cell while colleagues stood guard outside is jailed for three years – by Emma Clark – PUBLISHED: 20:36 GMT, 8 October 2012 | UPDATED: 06:48 GMT, 9 October 2012
Karen Cosford, 47, told violent rapist Brian McBride she loved him and couldn’t wait for their future together
Three of her colleagues knew about the relationship but kept quiet in return for promised money
All four were jailed for misconduct while at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire
Cosford’s prison negotiator husband Derrie Cosford found out about the affair when he was called to investigate McBride
Karen Cosford, 47, arriving at Bradford Crown Court, was jailed for three years over the sexual relationship
A prison nurse who had sex with a violent rapist in his cell while her colleagues stood guard has been jailed for three years.
A team of Karen Cosford’s colleagues were also jailed for misconduct after keeping her relationship with ‘evil’ lifer Brian McBride a secret – believing their discretion would be financially rewarded.
Married Cosford, 47, whose husband also worked in the prison service, sent the serial rapist a catalogue of texts telling him ‘you are my world’, ‘miss you so much’ and ‘can’t wait for you to get out’.
By chance her unwitting husband Derrie Cosford, a prison negotiator, became part of the investigation into McBride – who hinted of his wife’s lies and deceit.
The shamed nurse’s claims that she had been forced into the relationship were dismissed by a jury at Bradford Crown Court, who found her guilty of misconduct in a public office for the sexual relationship, failing to notify authorities that McBride had a phone and purchasing top-ups for him.
Carolyn Falloon, 50, and Jacqueline Flynn, 46, who both worked with Cosford on the healthcare wing at the high-security Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire, were also convicted of failing to notify authorities about the affair and mobile phone.
A third colleague Kevin Wilson, 57, admitted misconduct in a public office at a previous hearing.
Prosecutors said the guilty officers were motivated by ‘greed’ and were duped by McBride’s claims of wealth on the outside.
Sentencing the group today Judge David Hatton QC said: ‘It’s a sad business indeed when four people with previous good character, public servants who have devoted years of their lives to their vocation, should find themselves being sentenced for having abused their
positions of trust.’
Speaking to Cosford, the judge said: ‘You believed him to be a man of means and planned on continuing your relationship with him on the outside until you reached the conclusion that you had been strung along.’
During the four-week trial the court was told how Flynn admitted during police interviews that she stood guard outside McBride’s cell while the pair were inside and had heard them having sex.
The court heard that McBride, who was serving a life sentence for multiple offences of rape and violence, was in the healthcare centre as an in-patient and worked as a cleaner while he was there.
The affair came to light when a search of McBride on September 25, 2009 uncovered a mobile phone charger.
McBride was put in his cell while a thorough search of the wing was carried out and four mobile phones were subsequently discovered.
In the prison kitchen investigators found a photograph of a nurse, who was identified as Cosford, and an unsigned love letter hidden inside a bag of sugar.
The jury heard that McBride became agitated during the search, prompting a number of negotiators working in the Prison Service to visit him – one of whom was Mr Cosford.
High-security Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire, pictured, where Brian McBride was serving a life sentence for rape
One of the wings in the prison which holds 570 inmates, 70 per cent of which are serving life
During a negotiation McBride hinted to Mr Cosford that he had been having a relationship with his wife.
Mrs Cosford, of Altofts, West Yorkshire, later reported to prison authorities that McBride had raped and threatened to kill her family if she reported him.
She said she was forced to text the convict and write the love letter which read: ‘I didn’t realise how much I do miss you until I went on holiday.
‘You understand me more than anyone, we can have a wonderful future together, everything we talked about will happen, just give it time…
‘I can’t wait for us to continue our relationship outside of the confines of this place…’
Referring to him as her ‘knight in shining armour’, she added: ‘You are the most understanding, patient, manly, kind man that I have ever known.’
Wilson and Flynn were sentenced to 15 months in jail. Falloon was given a 21-month prison sentence.
Prison officer David Sunderland, 49, of Wakefield, was cleared of failing to notify the authorities about McBride’s phone.
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Suspend the prison nurse for unprofessional behaviour for 3 years or fire the prison nurse. Not jail at tax payer’s expense! The nurse had sex with the prisoner which is not criminal though the nurse was unprofessional and needed to be at most suspended! As for commentary on the sex issue, this is a private issue except for the during working hours issue.
THRONGS of men pack court house to catch glimpse of IT exec in sex-for-business case – Tuesday, 09 October 2012 16:08
SINGAPORE – ‘Star witness’ in sex-for-contracts case has throngs of men waiting outside court building hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
Each time she steps out of the car or out of the Subordinate Court building, you’d definitely hear the word “pretty”.
Inevitably, there’d be someone among the hordes of male gawkers asking another: “So how ah? Is she
The men, who were generally in their mid-40s or 50s, admitted that they turned up at Havelock Road for one reason: Ms Cecilia Sue Siew
Ms Sue, 36, was the prosecution’s “star witness” in the corruption trial of former Central Narcotics Bureau chief Ng Boon
The first part of the trial ended on Tuesday and it will resume on Oct 31. Ng, 46, faces four charges of corruptly obtaining oral sex from Ms Sue between June and December last year.
But it isn’t just the case itself that attracted the men who turn up at court during the trial.
Mr Lau Huat Chai, 55, confessed that he was there mainly to gawk at the star witness. He was waiting outside the court at around noon on Monday.
The part-time security guard said in Mandarin: “I’ve been following the case since the woman witness (Ms Sue) took the stand.
“She looks quite pretty in the newspaper reports and I was just curious. I wanted to see her in person.”
He had just ended his night shift at an industrial building in Lower Delta Road and decided to head over to the court.
Mr Lau added: “Once I see her, I’d go home to sleep. The court case? I can read about it in the newspapers later.”
Across the building, salesman Ivan Koh was waiting inside his Honda Civic.
He was stealing time off from work “since I happened to be in the area” to see if he can catch a glimpse of Ms Sue.
Mr Koh, 48, wanted to know if she was making an appearance soon.
He said: “I’ve been driving in and out of this carpark so I don’t have to put a parking coupon.”
Pointing to different groups of waiting men just like him, Mr Koh laughed and added: “Aiyah, you must think I am a ‘lao ti ko’ (old lusty man)… but eh, what about all the other men there?”
Mr Dickson Tan, who was there on Tuesday, was offended at the suggestion.
The 46-year-old tutor said in a mix of English and Mandarin: “Look, I’m here only because my wife told me it’s Cecilia Sue’s last day in court.
“And seriously, I don’t see what’s wrong in wanting to catch sight of a pretty face.”
Mr Tan added: “It’s like going to a publicity event and waiting to see a star, maybe like (MediaCorp artistes) Zoe Tay or Fann Wong.”
But others in the heartland that this columnist spoke to on Thursday and Friday were amused by the pictures of male gawkers and “kaypohs” (Hokkien for busybodies).
Madam Wong Siew Fen, 67, who sells eggs at a wet market in Tampines, said in Cantonese: “Terrible lah. If my husband did that (waiting outside the court), I’d be really angry.”
Her husband, Mr Au Teck Keong, 69, was amused. He said in Cantonese: “I can’t be bothered to go all the way there… but eh, is she really very pretty in person?
“I wish she’d taken off her shades, then we can see her eyes.”
And Ms Sue’s eyes were “so bewitching”, declared a man in his early 40s outside Court 5 on Tuesday morning.
Neatly dressed in a red polo shirt and jeans, he said: “A woman’s eyes are the windows to her soul.” He was upset that he came too late to be let into the packed courtroom.
Peering through the doors into the courtroom, he added: “All I want is to see my Cecilia.”
He refused to give his full name, but tried to get the media to talk to him. He finally gave up, saying: “Never mind. I just came here for my Cecilia.”
Businessman Joe Quek, 60, who was happily snapping pictures with his iPhone outside the building, summed it up: “The case is interesting. The details are so juicy.
“But it’d probably be less exciting if the witness is nothing to look at.”
He added: “Ms Cecilia Sue is different. She’s well-dressed, carries herself with style and struts like a model.
“She’s just like a star.”
-The New Paper
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Plenty of escorts prettier that can be hired and actually be accessible after being trained to strut or learning to dress, and who might even be loyal enough. Why even bother with this already attached woman? Make your own star of an escort much younger and ‘durable’ of your choice silly gawkers. This is media b.s. only beneficial to the ones who get to f— this woman, everyone else gets their energy sucked in by merely being there. Open your own IT business and get your own exec to have sex with, not be a hanger-on excited over people that have nothing to do with your business much less contracts that harm society. BTW those who mix work with pleasure are idiots and those who post false articles more so for selfish and undeserving reasons, will be the rubbish of society.
NO JOKE! Taiwan showgirls strip for the DEAD – Tuesday, 09 October 2012 16:07
TAOYUAN, Taiwan: Dressed in mini skirts barely covering their hips, the two girls took to the neon-lit stage and moved vigorously to the loud pumping pop music. Their job: to appease the wandering spirits.
As the temple facade in the background changed colour from the fireworks lighting up the Taiwanese night sky, the show climaxed with pole-dancing and striptease in front of an audience consisting of men, women and children.
“This is hard work but I need to make a living,” said 18 year-old En En, out of breath after stripping for the crowd during the recent religious festival.
En En had just earned NT$3,000 ($100) for her act, which began on stage, but ended as she mingled with the audience, letting men touch her for tips.
Folk religion in Taiwan is a unique mixture of the spiritual and the earthly, and one of its most remarkable manifestations is the practice of hiring showgirls to perform at festivals, weddings, and even funerals.
The girls work on “electronic flower cars” — specially designed trucks equipped with light and sound equipment that can become a stage, allowing them to travel to performances often held in smaller cities and rural areas.
“The groups attract crowds to our events and they perform for the gods and the spirits to seek blessings,” said Chen Chung-hsien, an official at Wu Fu Temple, a Taoist landmark in north Taiwan’s Taoyuan county.
“They have become part of our religion and folk culture.”
At 26, Chiang Pei-ying is already a veteran performer with nearly 20 years of experience, travelling across Taiwan with her father and two sisters for their family business to entertain audiences — both alive and dead.
Chiang made her debut when she was in kindergarten because she liked singing and dancing on stage and has become a celebrity performer with her sisters, charging up to NT$80,000 for a 20-minute show.
She said she enjoys her line of work, even if she has to deal with some odd requests from customers such as walking around coffins and singing for the deceased at funerals.
“I’ve watched this since I was little so it’s nothing peculiar for me. Performing for the dead is just like performing for the living people,” she said.
“They liked to sing when they were alive and their relatives thought they would have liked to have somebody sing for them in the end. For me, I get good tips and I hope I am accumulating good karma too.”
Other performers, however, make much less money and tend to be more discreet about their job, especially those who still do striptease despite risking arrest.
Stripping nude is rarely seen in public now because it is a criminal offence, but partial stripping is still performed at festivals, private parties and funerals, people in the business say.
“Some people like going to hostess clubs, so when they pass away their relatives arrange striptease to reflect their interests while they were alive,” said Chiang Wan-yuan, Pei-ying’s father and a 30-year veteran in the business.
It is difficult to imagine a similar show going on outside a European village church, and some local critics have dismissed the practice, which emerged in the 1970s, as shocking and vulgar.
Others, however, see it as a natural extension of a traditional folk culture lacking in the sharp separation of sex and religion often seen in other parts of the world.
Marc Moskowitz, an anthropologist at the University of South Carolina, said the practice evolved out of the special Chinese concept of “hot and noisy”, which brims with positive connotations.
“In traditional Chinese and contemporary Taiwanese culture this signifies that for an event to be fun or noteworthy it must be full of noise and crowds,” said Moskowitz, who shot a documentary “Dancing for the Dead” in 2011.
He added most people who watched his work appeared to enjoy it and recognise this practice as an “interesting and unique cultural phenomenon,” which to his knowledge is only found in Taiwan.
“As I watched these performances, I came to appreciate the idea of celebrating someone’s life to help assuage the feelings of grief,” he said.
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But no such sexual rights for the LIVING in fundo countries!
Britain ends 10-year boycott of Indian politician – Thursday, October 11, 2012 – 20:22 – AHMEDABAD
BRITAIN said Thursday it would end a 10-year boycott of the leader of India’s western Gujarat state imposed over deadly religious riots there in 2002 that left three Britons dead.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, came to power shortly before the riots triggered by the deaths of nearly 60 Hindu pilgrims in a train fire that was initially blamed on a mob of Muslims.
He is accused of doing too little to prevent the blood-letting, which left more than 2,000 mainly Muslims dead in an orgy of violence and arson, according to rights groups. The government figures put the death toll at about 1,000.
Britain’s junior foreign minister minister Hugo Swire has asked the ambassador to India to visit Gujarat and meet Modi to discuss a “wide range of issues of mutual interests”, the British foreign office said in a statement.
“We want to secure justice for the families of the British nationals who were killed in 2002 (riots), we want to support human rights and good governance in the state,” the statement quoted Swire as saying.
Three British nationals – Saeed Dawood, Mohammed Aswat Nallabhai and Shakil Dawood – were burnt to death in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, a state that is governed by India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Previously, British officials were forbidden from dealing directly with Modi, but there were contacts with senior bureaucrats in Gujarat, where British companies have invested, an embassy source in New Delhi said.
Britain’s effort to resume links with Modi’s regime came less than two months after a Gujarat court sentenced a former member of his government to 28 years in jail for her role in instigating the 2002 riots.
The August 31 sentencing of Maya Kodnani, who served as minister from 2007-2009, was seen as a setback for Modi who is thought to have prime ministerial ambitions.
Despite the scars of the sectarian violence, Gujarat in recent years has lured foreign firms to its soil with reliable power supply, good infrastructure by Indian standards, and the availability of educated but cheap labour. -AFP
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All Malaysian VIPs, MPs who fight for Bumiputra Apartheid (raison d’etre style), support Bumiputra Apartheid, tacitly approve via silence Bumiputra Apartheid, or allow Bumiputra Apartheid for financial gains, or discriminate against LGBT or practice Hudud or extreme religion, need a lifetime boycott immediately by England which should extend to UN as well. Can’t have such pariahs running about polluting the 1st world with fundo mindedness or apartheid now can we?
Gay abandon: Orthodox activists want Moscow free of ‘temptation’ – Published: 08 October, 2012, 14:11 – RIA Novosti / Ilya Pitalev
Orthodox Christian activists demand Moscow lawmakers prohibit the propaganda of homosexuality and shut down gay clubs in the Russian capital. That is in addition to a recent hundred-year ban on gay pride marches in the city.
The Narodny Sobor (People’s Council) movement has started collecting signatures under an appeal to the Moscow parliament asking legislators to work out a bill that outlaws the promotion of homosexuality. Similar bans have been introduced in St. Petersburg and several other Russian cities.
“We conducted a study earlier and found that such a law would not contradict international law. Homosexuality as well as its propaganda is a grave sin,” Oleg Kassin, co-chairman of the group told Izvestia daily.
First of all, “it’s necessary to close gay clubs” in Moscow since they “directly entice immature souls” into the LGBT community, he stated.
According to the paper, several city legislators vowed to support the move.
“We are ready to discuss the initiative with Narodny Sobor and to draft the legislation,” Mikhail Antontsev, a United Russia MP, told the daily. The bill could help to protect minors from “unnecessary information,” he believes. The deputy also insists that it is time to consider the adoption of a nationwide ban on the propaganda of “unhealthy relations.”
Another City Duma member, Vera Stepanenko is confident that the gay propaganda ban would help to solve the demographic problem in Moscow.
The Russian Orthodox Church also favors the idea.
“We have every right to maintain the purity of the society and to protect our children from all sorts of sinful manifestations. Both the Church and the majority of the community agree that homosexuality is far from being a normal thing,” says senior Church official Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin.
In February this year, St. Petersburg’s city legislature approved a ban on spreading homosexual and pedophilia propaganda among minors. The law – which was initiated and promoted by United Russia Deputy Vitaly Milonov – provides for fines of up to about US$16,000 for individuals and $160,000 for organizations committing such offences.
The move triggered a wave of criticism from the LGBT community as well as from human rights organizations in Russia and abroad.
However, Russia’s Supreme Court confirmed last week the legitimacy of the St. Petersburg gay propaganda bill and rejected a complaint filed by rights activists.
Earlier, the St. Petersburg City Court also refused to review gay activists’ complaints over the law. The opponents of the ban stated that the text of the document uses the terms “propaganda”, “bisexuality”, “transgender”, “traditional and non-traditional marriage,” all of which have no legal definitions, reported Interfax.
Russian gay rights activists are set to continue fighting and filed complaints against the St. Petersburg ban as well as similar laws in several other cities to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
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This is not fair to the MATURED souls. Perhaps if the Church wants to, how about stationing a priest at the entrance of the Gay clubs to make sure that any immatured souls could be barred entry bouncer style.
Common sense dictates that this sort of blanket disenfranchisement is obviously unfair and that fundamentalism should be dropped for common sense methods of ensuring everyone wins.
Russia is not going to be a great or democratic power if 10%-30% of the world’s LGBT population (approx?) is to be treated as criminals because the Church deemed some souls as immatured and decided to end all entertainment to all LGBTs including the matured.
Why is the Orthodox Church behaving like the Ayatollah? Next we know Russia will be in the Dark Ages and the KGB will be running every state enterprise and business. Want to see Russia never regain footing in the Soviet Union or become an Iran? Christian fundos should not be featured at all in media. Frightfully uncivilised and heartrending statements.
Not another naked rambler! Naturist vows to continue his walks after judge overturns conviction for causing distress to woman dog walker – By Emily Allen – PUBLISHED: 11:51 GMT, 9 October 2012 | UPDATED: 13:45 GMT, 9 October 2012
Nigel Keer was arrested by PC Mark Buxton who said he saw a woman appear ‘distressed’ when she saw Mr Keer rambling naked
A judge dismissed the charge because a panel considered it unlikely that he had caused any alarm
He said the rambling wasn’t near a school or a street in a town centre but took place on moorland in broad daylight
Conviction is overturned just two days after The Naked Rambler was released from his latest prison sentence
A naked rambler has won a long battle to overturn his conviction for causing distress to a female dog walker who said she saw his genitals.
Naturist Nigel Keer, 42, will now be continuing his nude hiking – once the weather warms up – after a panel of judges gave a list of reasons to quash his conviction.
Mr Keer appealed after magistrates found him guilty of the public order offence of causing distress to the woman as she walked her dog at a beauty spot called Otley Chevin, West Yorkshire, last October.
Naked rambler Nigel Keer
Overturned: Naturist Nigel Keer, 42, will now be continuing his nude hiking – once the weather warms up – after a panel of judges gave a list of reasons to quash his conviction for causing distress to a female dog walker
The decision comes just two days after a man known as The Naked Rambler was released from serving his latest prison sentence.
Stephen Gough celebrated his freedom by taking a hike in his birthday suit through nearby Peebles.
He’s out… and they’re off. Naked Rambler freed from jail and back to his old tricks
The 53-year-old was jailed for five months after he was arrested in July for being naked near a play-park in Dunfermline.
Meanwhile, a judge at Leeds Crown Court told Mr Keer that his charge would be dismissed because the panel considered it unlikely that Mr Keer’s naked walk had caused any alarm.
The court had heard that Mr Keer was arrested by off-duty police officer PC Mark Buxton, who said he saw a woman appear ‘distressed’ when she had noticed Mr Keer rambling in just his hiking boots on October 2 last year.
Naked rambler Nigel Keer
Relieved: Bus driver Mr Keer, of Leeds, West Yorkshire, had denied the distress claims, and said naturism ‘is about body freedom’
Sitting with two justices on Monday, Judge Guy Kearl said PC Buxton, who said he had been shocked by the incident, would not have been able to determine if the woman was distressed.
Dismissing the charges, he added: ‘This behaviour was not carried out in front of a school or in the street in a town centre. It took place on moorland in broad daylight.
‘In view of the location of this incident, the time of day and the reaction of others as we have found it to be, we do not consider that anyone was likely to be harassed by this behaviour or intimidated or distressed.’
The judge said there were no sexual motives behind the incident, adding: ‘He was not deliberately flaunting himself or seeking attention or jumping out and doing what is colloquially called flashing.’
He said that the police officer’s reaction to seeing Mr Keer could also be considered ‘extreme given his experience.’
Bus driver Mr Keer, of Leeds, West Yorkshire, had denied the claims, and said naturism ‘is about body freedom and in a way it is a mild protest against the expected social norms of wearing clothes every day’.
Speaking after the case, Mr Keer said that he was delighted to have finally fought off the charge, which had kept him out of work for a number of months.
He added: ‘I’ve kept up the naturism, but I’ve been a bit more careful now. It’s a bit cold to be doing anything at the moment, but once the weather warms up, I’ll be back out there.’
Mr Keer has previously taken part in three naked world bike rides alongside other naturists.
He had first become interested after being sent a letter from British Naturism in 2004.
He initially thought it was a prank but he went on a naked swim anyway, leading to his love affair. He has even put it on his CV as an interest.
Rambling again: Stephen Gough, known as the Naked Rambler, was back doing what he loves yesterday – hiking with nothing but a pair of boots and a hat on
Naked: Stephen Gough was jailed for five months after he was arrested in July for being naked near a play park
When the case first came to court last October, he said: ‘I must admit that I was surprised when it came to court.
‘I don’t feel I have committed an offence or distressed anyone. People are a lot more accepting now than they were five or six years ago. On the whole, most people are quite happy with it.
‘I love walking about naked. It’s the feeling of being at one with nature and a feeling of liberation. If you are free of clothes you are free of worries.’
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Suitable areas should be gazetted via maps which can be distributed to ramblers or ramblers on their ‘first offence’. Note that there really aren’t enough rambler friendly zones, especially in the central city areas. A nudist district in every international city seems about right . . .
Lady Gaga visits Julian Assange as celebrity backers who acted as bail sureties for WikiLeaks founder are ordered by court to pay almost £100,000 – by Daily Mail Reporter – PUBLISHED: 19:29 GMT, 8 October 2012 | UPDATED: 07:42 GMT, 9 October 2012
Pop diva spent five hours with Assange and had dinner with 41-year-old
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said they had to pay cash by November 6
Assange has been staying in Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June
Wants to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over rape allegations
Pop star Lady Gaga visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy as nine people who acted as his bail sureties were ordered to hand over a total of £93,500.
The singer emerged yesterday morning after spending five hours in Assange’s refuge in west London. She had arrived at 7pm and it’s believed she had dinner with the 41-year-old.
Assange, 41, has been staying in the embassy in Knightsbridge since June after going there to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women.
Meeting: The world’s biggest pop star Lady Gaga met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London last night
Lady Gaga leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy at midnight, having spent five hours inside visiting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
He fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, he will be sent to the US to face interrogation over the whistle-blowing website, which has published secret military files and diplomatic cables.
Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but faces arrest if he leaves the embassy after breaking bail conditions.
Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle has ruled his nine backers have to pay the cash by November 6.
Vaughan Smith, a friend who is one of the sureties, addressed Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week on behalf of the nine, who put up £140,000 between them.
HOW MUCH ASSANGE HAS COST HIS CELEBRITY BACKERS
Scientist: Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Sulston was ordered to pay £15,000
Sir John Sulston (Nobel prize-winning biologist, pictured) – £15,000
Lady Evans (the literary agent Caroline Michel) – £15,000
Phillip Knightley (journalist) – £15,000
Vaughan Smith (journalist) – £12,000
Sarah Saunders – £12,000
Tricia David (retired professor) – £10,000
The Marchioness of Worcester (the former actress Tracy Ward) – £7,500
Joseph Farrell – £3,500
Sarah Harrison – £3,500
He said all those who offered sureties of varying amounts are ‘convinced that they have done and are doing the right thing’.
At the court yesterday, the Chief Magistrate said he accepted that they had all acted in good faith.
‘I accept that they trusted Mr Assange to surrender himself as required,’ he said. ‘However, they failed in their basic duty, to ensure his surrender. They must have understood the risk and the concerns of the courts.’
He ruled that each of the sureties had to pay part of the sum originally pledged, as follows: retired professor Tricia David £10,000, Lady Evans (the literary agent Caroline Michel) £15,000, Joseph Farrell £3,500, Sarah Harrison £3,500 and journalist Phillip Knightley £15,000.
Also having to pay money were Sarah Saunders £12,000, journalist Vaughan Smith £12,000, Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Sulston £15,000, and the Marchioness of Worcester (the former actress Tracy Ward) £7,500.
It was revealed last week that the police bill for staking out the Ecuadorian embassy has reached more than £1million.
Scotland Yard confirmed it is costing £11,000 every day to ensure the Australian does not flee his bolthole at the Ecuadorean Embassy.
The final bill could be much more as the 41-year-old continues to defy extradition to Sweden.
Officers have been watching the property in Knightsbridge, west London, since Mr Assange breached his bail and claimed asylum in June. They have been told to arrest him if he puts ‘one toe’ outside.
Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Pinto has warned Mr Assange he could be in the embassy for a decade if he is not allowed to leave Britain.
Lady Gaga arrived at 7pm and had dinner with Assange before leaving just after midnight
Lady Gaga seen at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London visiting the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Lady Gaga arrived at the embassy at 7pm and had dinner with Assange before leaving just after midnight
WikiLeaks founder: Julian Assange has been in Ecuador’s London embassy since June as part of his bid to avoid extradition to Sweden
Critics have called on the Metropolitan Police to end the costly stakeout.
Last week, Foreign Secretary William Hague admitted there is ‘no sign of any breakthrough’ after meeting Mr Pinto at the United Nations in New York.
The comments came after the hacking activist accused the U.S. of persecuting WikiLeaks and torturing Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified documents.
At least four Met officers guard the embassy, on the second floor of a block of flats behind Harrods in Knightsbridge, West London, around the clock.
They have set up a £250,000 mobile command station on the doorstep of the building and occupy positions outside and in surrounding properties.
Officers from every London borough, specialist police units and undercover squads have been brought in to join the open-ended stake out.
One colleague said: ‘The officers are being moved around every three or four days to stop the boredom setting in.
‘There are certainly plenty of other things these officers could be doing than standing there around the clock.’
Holed up: The Ecuadorian Embassy in London where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been staying at the embassy since June 19
Interviews: Vaughan Smith, a friend who is one of the sureties, addressed Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week on behalf of the nine, who put up £140,000 between them
The Marchioness of Worcester, formerly actress Tracy Ward
Involved: Vaughan Smith (left), a friend who is one of the sureties, addressed a court last week on behalf of the nine. The Marchioness of Worcester (right), the former actress Tracy Ward, was also a backer
London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed the policing bill between June 20 and September 10 was £905,000.
If the costs continued at the average of £11,000 a day the total would now be over £1.1million.
Critics called on the Met to end the stand-off but sources said the force cannot step back from its responsibilities to arrest Mr Assange for breaching his bail.
Jenny Jones, a Green politician in the capital who sits on a committee that oversees the Met’s work, called for the officers to go back on the beat.
She said: ‘It is ridiculous at a time when the Met is stretched as never before that so many officers are waiting around the Ecuadorian Embassy for Assange to attempt an escape.’
Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon, who also sits on the London Assembly, added: ‘For 100 days Assange has been evading an arrest warrant for the alleged offence of rape and trying to escape the fair judicial process of Sweden.
‘At a time when police counters are closing across London his actions are a gross waste of valuable resources.’
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Good show but as always more media frenzy oriented than concrete action. In a nasty scenario, the po-po could intentionally storm in AFTER Gaga visits, then we’d have an ‘Unidentified Woman Arrested along with Assange, Both Taken Under Rendition Laws To Timbuktu For Interrogation” (one can imagine the about of fun the FBI would have . . . ahem . . . ) headline while the US media will be going on about how Gaga disappeared or cynically black out on news on Gaga posting some fake news and manufactured articles that make it seem Gaga pulled a MJ . . . maybe they will feature a 7 foot + tall male entertainer/rapper wearing glittery 9 inch heels featuring similar cosplay/fetish/art-deco clothing called Gargarensis instead . . . maybe someone in Asia will throw a dice that will determine if either make out of there in one piece, or pieces of mind . . . or if that dice is not thrown, yet more people may yet become ‘unstuck in time’, courtesy and expense of you-know-who, so pay up as appropos or Apophis will propose against the posers poseuring . . . as someone else would say – Mr. Apocalypse goes into overdrive even as Apophis is not finished with the woody hollows . . . ‘pumpkin’ . . .
Dutch architect dreams of future floating cities – October 09, 2012
A street scene in Amsterdam is seen in this file photo. When Koen Olthuis landed his first job in Amsterdam after graduating as an architect, his new firm wouldn’t let him work on the most historic or prestigious accounts. He only got houseboats. Today, Olthuis, who along with building partner Dutch Docklands, designed a section of floating islands for Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands development project, has also created a patent which scales up the technology used for a houseboat to floating structures big enough to hold cars, roads and houses. – Reuters pic
AMSTERDAM, Oct 9 – When Koen Olthuis finally landed his first job after graduating as an architect, his new firm wouldn’t let him work on the most historic or prestigious accounts in Amsterdam’s 17th century centre. He got houseboats. Floating boxes.
But the young Dutchman, who stems from boat building and architecture stock, dove right into his new job, and it wasn’t long before he started making connections between the principles of a floating house, and the battle the Dutch have been waging against the sea to reclaim land and stay dry for 500 years.
He thought, if a house can float, why not an office complex or a structure big enough to hold a whole city?
Olthuis, who along with building partner Dutch Docklands, designed a section of floating islands for Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands development project, has also created a patent which scales up the technology used for a houseboat to floating structures big enough to hold cars, roads and houses.
“Water is a workable building layer or a floating foundation and if you turn water into space, which is a dramatic change of mindset, there’s a whole new world of possibilities,” Olthuis said.
He said the basis for his design isn’t any different than the normal Dutch floating technology used for houseboats.
“It is just a floating foundation, mostly made of concrete and foam which is quite stable, heavy, and goes up and down with waves and up and down with the sea level,” he said.
The floating city of the future is still a dream, but Olthuis’s firm, WaterStudio, which he started a decade ago, designs buildings and floating structures which try to combat the challenges posed by rising sea levels.
“Because of urbanisation and climate change, all the big cities have space limitations. We can create space with water, space that others have never even seen,” he said.
He said he wants to create space where land is under threat from rising sea levels and compares the methods for building floating structures to the invention of the elevator.
“If the elevator were never invented, then cities wouldn’t have buildings with more than three or four levels, because nobody wants to walk up more than that. But with elevators, we can climb 20, 30 even 40 flights.”
Olthuis’s firm has designed plenty of floating homes in The Netherlands and is laying plans to start building an entirely new floating neighbourhood with 1,200 homes.
It has projects in India and China and has begun preparing the lagoons for a holiday resort project in the Maldives, a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean that is one of the world’s most endangered nations due to flooding from climate change.
“We started thinking seriously about designing a whole floating island when we got a request from the Maldives, which are threatened in the long-term by rising sea levels, and they are looking for new development opportunities.”
In response, Olthuis’s team and building partner Dutch Docklands designed an estate of 185 luxury floating villas, called The Ocean Flower, part of a larger development across five lagoons, including a conference centre and a golf course.
The islands are designed to move with the waves and sea levels but because they are so stable, Olthuis said being on one of his artificial islands is like being on normal land.
“You do not feel any waves.”
The islands will be connected to the seabed with the same sort of cables used in offshore technology, for oil rigs, which lets them stay in one location and not drift away.
“The development in the Maldives is for a happy few who can afford to buy their own floating holiday home,” Olthuis said.
But he said that building luxury resorts for the rich helps to refine a technology that can in turn be used to benefit the poor in places such as Bangladesh, where flooding regularly destroys lives and livelihoods.
“So we let the rich pay for the innovation for the poor,” he said.
Olthuis said future designs could see floating structures detached and moved to new locations, or new cities, put together like a puzzle, responding to particular urban needs.
For a man who was told as a young trainee to “forget about houseboats,” Olthius’s focus on water has had a resounding impact on the way he looks at space and the environment.
“I am a Dutchman, and for me, Holland is an artificial country. It is all fake. We live below sea level and it takes too much effort and money to keep the pumps working 24 hours a day,” he said.
Olthuis said that within 50 years, it won’t even be possible to pump all the water back to the sea and reckons it is time for the Dutch to forge a new relationship with water.
“We need to learn to live with it rather than fight it. We should let the water come back, and then build on it.” – Reuters
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Require that all buildings be built on foundations 30 feet high (with consideration for settling of buildings in waterlogged conditions) or more in anticipation of rising sea levels. Valuable or historical buildings can be raised as of now. Hi-rises can be modified starting from the lowest lying buildings. When all buildings are raised or modified, the pumps can be turned off. When the sea levels finally rise, Holland would become a canal city rather than a road city and instead of cars they could have boats and gondollas! Very charming! Time and the tide always winning . . .
Is the afterlife full of fluffy clouds and angels? – What does the neuroscientist Colin Blakemore make of an American neurosurgeon’s account of the afterlife? – By Colin Blakemore – 8:47PM BST 10 Oct 2012
Dr Eben Alexander’s conscious self journeyed into another world. There was wonderful music and light. There were clouds, “big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky”. Photo: ALAMY
Have you ever noticed that more people come back from Heaven than from Hell? We have all read those astonishing reports of near-death experiences (NDEs, as the aficionados call them) – the things that people say have happened to them when they almost, but don’t quite, shuffle off the coil.
They are nearly always pleasant and deeply reassuring in a saccharin-soaked way. Lots of spinning down warm, dark tunnels to the sound of celestial music; lots of trips along country lanes lined with hedges, towards the light of a welcoming cottage at the end of the road; lots of tumbling down Alice-in-Wonderland rabbit holes, but without the damaging effects of gravity.
True, Dr Maurice S Rawlings Jr, MD, heart surgeon in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and author of To Hell and Back, did have patients who reported very nasty NDEs after they came back on his operating table. Booming noises; licking flames and all that Mephistophelian stuff. But perhaps that tells us more about the challenges of living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, than about the metaphysics of life after death.
Predictably, the amazingly consistent, remarkably heaven-like experiences recounted by the majority of NDE-ers (yes, that really is what the experts call them) have been summarily dismissed by materialist sceptics – like me. Of course the brain does funny things when it’s running out of oxygen. The odd perceptions are just the consequences of confused activity in the temporal lobes.
But NDEs have taken on a new cloak of respectability with a book by a Harvard doctor. Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander, will make your toes wiggle or curl, depending on your prejudices. What’s special about his account of being dead is that he’s a neurosurgeon. At least that’s what the publicity is telling us. It’s a cover story in Newsweek magazine, with a screaming headline: “Heaven is Real: a doctor’s account of the afterlife”.
Just as you’d expect from a doctor, his account is precise and detailed. In the autumn of 2008, he contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that he says made his brain “shut down” and put his “higher-order brain functions totally offline”. The soup-like state of Dr Alexander’s brain was, he writes, “documented by CT scans” (although CT scans don’t say anything about the activity of the brain) and “neurological examinations”.
Although the neurons of his cortex were “stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria”, his conscious self journeyed into another world. There was wonderful music and light. There were clouds, “big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky”. And there were angels (well, perhaps birds): “flocks of transparent, shimmering beings”.
But then it gets really weird. It turns out that he wasn’t alone. “For most of my journey, someone was with me. A woman.” She had a lovely face and golden brown tresses, and she was dressed appropriately for a Cecil B DeMille movie, in peasant costume, in subtle shades of “powder blue, indigo, and pastel orange-peach”. She was quite a stunner. She looked at Dr Alexander “with a look that, if you saw it for five seconds, would make your whole life up to that point worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far”. It was a look “beyond all the different compartments of love we have down here on earth”.
Well, many of us, after a couple of pints in the pub with our chums, might say that we’ve had that kind of experience; but not with a woman flying on a butterfly wing, as Dr Alexander’s companion was. Although he “still had little language function” he was able to chat with the peasant lady, asking (understandably) where he was and why he was there. He was overwhelmed by the answers, which “came instantly in an explosion of light, colour, love, and beauty that blew through me like a crashing wave”.
After the clouds and the angels and the peasant lady, Dr Alexander went on to a “pitch-black” void, “brimming with light” from a “brilliant orb” that acted as an interpreter, explaining that the “universe itself was like a giant cosmic womb”.
You might have sensed a subtle hint of scepticism in my account. As Eben Alexander says, he considers himself a faithful Christian, and it’s therefore not surprising that he interpreted the chaos in his brain when he was almost dying in terms of his model of the afterlife.
His, and the multitude of other memories reported by people who have been close to death, have to be seen first through the prism of hard science. The crucial question is not whether such astounding experiences should lead us to abandon materialist accounts of brain function, but whether materialist accounts can possibly explain them.
Dr Peter Fenwick, senior lecturer at King’s College, London, consultant at the Institute of Psychiatry, and president of the British branch of The International Association for Near Death Studies, acknowledges that there are deep problems in interpreting first-person memories of experiences that are supposed to have happened when the brain was out of action. Since the lucky survivor can only tell you about them after the event, how can we be sure that these things were perceived and felt at the time that their brains were messed up, rather than being invented afterwards?
The same problem applies to dreams, indeed to any memory. Memory is notoriously fallible, and is treacherously easily misled by expectation. The cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has done brilliant experiments showing how the recall of real experiences can be transformed by what people think should have happened, and by what they are told might have happened.
In 150 years the science of perception has taught us that the way we appreciate the world around us is as much dependent on our expectations, our experiences, our inferences, as it is on the hard evidence of images on our retinas or vibrations in our ears. Remember the occasions when you have seen a face in the flickering flames of a fire, or been certain that you saw a person in the distance as you walked along at night – only to discover that the face in the fire disappears with the next burst of flame and the person in the dark is just a letterbox.
Is it not significant that the NDEs of Christians are full of Biblical metaphor? Either this confirms the correctness of their particular faith or it says that NDEs, like normal perception and memory, are redolent of culture, personal prejudice and past experience. Perhaps if Eben Alexander were a Muslim, there would have been the mythical 72 virgins on the butterfly wing, rather than the bucolic one. If he were a Buddhist he would be called a de-lok, a person who has seemingly died, but who travels into bardo – an afterlife state – guided by a Buddhist deity.
What Dr Alexander and his PR people claim is that his description of the afterlife is more authentic because he is a neurosurgeon. But when there is no evidence except the word of the beholder, a scientist’s accounts are no more reliable than those of anyone else. Would we literally believe the contents of a scientist’s dream because he or she has a PhD? If a scientist sees the lines of a visual illusion as wonky, should we believe that they really are wonky?
Science has progressed by challenge and disagreement. But what is needed to consider seriously the kinds of claims made by Dr Alexander is not flowery prose and hyperbolic headlines. It’s hard evidence.
But I am trying (not very convincingly, I know) to keep an open mind. I remember the story of the nobleman who asked the Zen Master Hakuin, “What happens to the enlightened man at death?”
“Why ask me?” said Hakuin.
“Because you’re a Zen master.”
“Yes, but not a dead one.”
Colin Blakemore is Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Theory on Spirit and Eternal Soul
Inculpated imagery and studies will reflect in what a person experiences during a NDE. Speed of memory and recall also probably changes during NDE, allowing a person to experience LIFETIMES in the process. Actual death is of the body and the mind which allow perception. the SOUL however remains as so many philisophers say eternal and likely based on the EARTH’s magnetic and ionospheric field. All life and consciousness stems from the Earth though on the non-physical levels we may also exist but not in awareness of ourselves. Perhaps we ALL have a mirror image in Ethereal, Astral, Infernal and Celestial regions as well. When the body dies after experiencing the ‘visions of afterlife’, these portions of ourselves will instruct some living human-or animal bodies to have sex, and hence the immortal soul is reborn again . . . refutes or arguments welcome.
Columbia classmate: Obama using IRS to punish me – Outspoken 2008 VP candidate claims president trying to ‘silence critics’
Art Moore entered the media world as a public relations assistant for the Seattle Mariners and a correspondent covering pro and college sports for Associated Press Radio. After graduating from Seattle Pacific University, he served with a Christian ministry during the “Iron Curtain” era in Eastern Europe for 10 years. His return to media included two years as senior news writer for Christianity Today before joining WND shortly after 9/11. He met his wife of more than 20 years at Wheaton College Graduate School, where he earned a Master’s Degree in communications. They have three children and a new son-in-law.More ?
The former Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate who has claimed Barack Obama was unknown to him and his fellow Columbia University classmates charges the president is using the Internal Revenue Service to punish and silence him.
Wayne Allyn Root – a pre-law and political science major in the class of 1983, like the president – told WND that despite a spotless tax record, he became the target of an audit in January 2011 when he received an “unsettling” call from an IRS agent who called himself a fan of his and considered it “an honor” to audit him.
Root won a complete victory three months ago in tax court, which found no taxes owed in his 2007 and 2008 filings. But then, he said, something shocking happened – something his tax attorney has never heard of in his entire career. Root was hit with a new audit just five days later, for 2009 and 2010.
“That order had to come from the highest levels of government,” he asserted.
“Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics,” Root charged.
Root has been a relentless critic of Obama in more than 4,000 appearances on political talk shows on TV and radio over the past four years, focusing on what he calls the president’s anti-business and anti-capitalist policies. He also writes columns and commentaries for many of the most popular conservative websites.
Root is now calling for congressional hearings “to determine if the Obama administration is misusing its power to damage or ruin the lives, drain the finances, or just distract Obama’s critics and political opposition.”
“It is time to demand an end to government witch hunts ordered by powerful politicians,” he told WND. “It is time to shine the light of day on government attempts to intimidate and silence political opponents. This just isn’t right, but especially to a small businessman who happens to have a media megaphone. I have a wife and four young children. This is just so wrong on so many levels.”
The IRS national media office told WND that Section 6103 of the tax code prohibits the agency from discussing matters relating to any taxpayer. An IRS media officer said she also would not be able to comment, in general terms, on accusations that the agency is being used by the administration to punish political enemies.
Purchase a copy of “Fool Me Twice” by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott and receive a FREE copy of their New York Times bestseller “The Manchurian President.”
Root began his career as network oddsmaker for CNBC, then called Financial News Network. He’s one of only 60 people to have a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.
He believes he’s not alone, contending there is a pattern of abuse by Obama, targeting foes with IRS audits and government investigations.
He’s had numerous conversations with high-profile friends who contribute to the Republican Party or are GOP bundlers and also have been audited by the IRS.
Root cited, as an example, billionaire Frank VanderSloot, who became the target of investigations by both the IRS and the Labor Department after he gave $1 million to a super PAC that supports Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
VanderSloot, 63, told the Wall Street Journal in July that he has been working since his teens, and neither he nor his accountants recall his being previously subject to a federal tax audit.
The GOP’s biggest donor, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, believes a federal criminal investigation into his company’s business practices is politically motivated. Another casino giant, Steve Wynn, also is being investigated.
The D.C. watchdog Judicial Watch obtained IRS documents in 1999 that showed an audit of the non-profit Western Journalism Center – the parent of WND, which now has no affiliation – originated with a complaint forwarded to the IRS by the Bill Clinton White House.
The complaint had been faxed by a California resident directly to Clinton, Judicial Watch found. Once the audit began, an IRS agent told representatives of the Western Journalism Center that the audit was “political” and that decisions on the audit were being made out of the “national office.”
The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio reported in the 1990s that under the Clinton IRS, an unusually large number of organizations critical of the Clinton administration had been audited, while no liberal organizations had been examined. A White House document, created by then-White House lawyer Jane Sherburne, showed that the Western Journalism Center was a concern as far back as 1994.
No sign of Obama at Columbia
Root noted he drew wide attention as the Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate in 2008 when he contended that although he and Obama were both pre-law and political science majors in Columbia’s class of 1983, he never even heard of Obama during his time at the university. None of the classmates with whom he’s spoken, knew of him either, he claimed. A 2008 Wall Street Journal article cited a Fox News survey of 400 people who were Columbia students from 1981 to 1983 and found no one who remembered him.
On the campaign trail, Root predicted Obama would follow the radical, collectivist strategy of former Columbia professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven to overwhelm the welfare system for the purpose of collapsing it and replacing it with a system of guaranteed annual income.
Columbia University in New York City
Root declared in 2008 that Obama “is going to try to badly damage the economy and bankrupt the business community,” sowing doubts about capitalism, by “overwhelming the system with spending, addicting a record number of Americans to entitlements, exploding the debt, demonizing business owners, and then trying to convince the masses to redistribute wealth (with massive tax increases).”
After the election, he published more predictions that Obama would carry out a purposeful plan to overwhelm the system, including a commentary, “The Real Obama Economic Plan: Overwhelming the System to Destroy Capitalism,” that ranked No. two for many months in 2010 on Snopes.com’s list of the most popular stories circulating the Internet. Another Root commentary, “Obama The Great Jobs Killer,” was quoted by Time magazine.
He has made frequent appearances on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, debated a former Clinton White House press secretary on CNBC and appeared on left-leaning media outlets, such as MSNBC and CNN, including “Larry King Live.”
On an NBC special, “Inside the Obama White House,” he pointed out, NBC’s cameras showed the entire Obama staff in crisis mode over political pundits criticizing the controversial comments of Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayer. The scene in the special happened to feature a shot of Root criticizing Sotomayer in an appearance on the Fox News Channel.
In a commentary just two months ago, Root repeated his charge that Obama was unknown at Columbia, issuing a call for the president to release his college records. Calling himself “one of the most accurate Las Vegas oddsmakers and prognosticators,” Root wrote that it’s his “gut instinct” that “Obama has a secret hidden at Columbia.” He discussed the column on Fox News, dozens of national radio shows and in numerous commentaries on the Web. Talk host Rush Limbaugh read Root’s column on the air.
Last month, Root announced that he was stepping down from his positions in the Libertarian Party to focus on helping elect Republicans to office who share his small-government values. He reasoned that it’s not enough to have a “philosophical foundation rooted in liberty” if you can’t win as a third-party candidate. He made the formal announcement on the Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends.”
Root told WND he believes the audits were a direct attack from Obama, because “the odds are zero” that the IRS “would be hounding and harassing a small businessman … not a jet setter, not a Fortune 500 CEO, not a billionaire … just a small-businessman who happens to be an outspoken critic of Obama.”
“I have a perfect tax history,” he emphasized. “Not a single blemish. Thirty years of filing taxes without a problem.”
Prior to the January 2011 audit, he said he had been chosen at random for an audit only twice in his life and came away both times owing “not a single dollar.”
“I’ve never been late with a tax bill in my life,” he argued. “I’ve never owed money on a payment plan to the IRS. Nothing. I’m a model citizen and taxpayer for 30 years. And now this?”
His ordeal began in January 2011, he said, with an “unsettling” call from an IRS agent that became “a highly unusual and intimidating situation.”
The IRS agent called his home and left a message, Root said, then, without waiting for a response, immediately called his accountant.
“We were both shocked at how eager and excited he sounded to get started,” Root said.
The accountant told the agent to never call Root again, because the accountant had power of attorney. Nevertheless, according to Root, the agent called Root minutes later at his home to tell him he was a big fan, had requested to do the audit and was “honored” to be auditing him.
“He said he read my political columns in the Las Vegas newspaper, listened to me often on the radio, often went to my website,” Root said.
The agent said he loved Root’s libertarian-conservative politics and agreed with most everything he said.
“I found that very strange, actually chilling,” Root told WND. “It did not feel right. I got a sick feeling in pit of my stomach. Why would an IRS agent say such personal things? Why would he disclose that he’s a fan of mine and agrees with my politics? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?”
Root said his accountant remarked that in 30 years of dealing with IRS audits, he had never heard of an IRS agent starting an investigation with a phone call to the taxpayer. All audits begin with a letter from the IRS through the mail. The next steps, Root said, were even stranger, as the agent immediately called the accountant then called Root again to tell him he liked his politics and was “honored” to be auditing him? Root’s accountant said he found the agent’s actions highly unusual.
“That was the tipoff something was out of the ordinary, something just wasn’t right,” said Root.
Root said the only conclusion he could draw was that the agent was imitating “Columbo,” the famous TV detective from the 1970s, “and trying to throw me off the truth.
The agent, he said may have been “ordered to make my life very difficult, distract me or destroy me, and he decided to play ‘Columbo’ to try, first, to befriend me and get my guard down.”
“I knew then this was no ordinary audit,” Root said.
Root’s accountant called back a few weeks later, after dealing with the IRS agent, to inform him that it was unlike any audit he had ever experienced. The accountant advised Root to immediately get a tax lawyer to protect himself.
“I knew at that moment that all my gut instincts were correct,” Root said.
“This agent clearly had an agenda,” Root continued. “He was acting unreasonably. He disregarded facts. He simply disallowed virtually all of my legal deductions. There was even a debate over my mortgage deduction. Something was very wrong here. This was a classic case of government persecution. Soon the agent was auditing a second year. It got worse with each conversation.”
Just weeks later, Root said, his accountant, himself, received his own IRS audit notice.
Root researched and interviewed the top tax attorneys in the country, emphasizing he hired “the best.” His tax attorney reviewed the audit and concluded that the IRS agent was “taking an unusually aggressive stance,” and Root owed no taxes.
The attorney appealed the case to the IRS tax court in California. Root said that after nearly 18 months of “sleepless nights, lawyer bills I could not afford, accounting bills I could not afford, and damage to my marriage,” he won “a full and complete victory.”
He added: “Who knows how many years off my life I lost due to stress?”
The tax court, he said, ruled that I did not owe one cent.”
“All of the IRS agent’s unreasonable assertions were thrown out,” he said. “Case closed. One-hundred-percent vindication. Complete victory.”
But five days later, the tax attorney called with bad news.
“Are you sitting down?” Root recalled the attorney saying. “I don’t know what to say, but the IRS just contacted me. You’re being audited again.”
Root noted that just five days before he had won a complete victory for the years 2007 and 2008 and now was being audited for the 2009 and 2010 tax years.
His tax attorney said that he had never heard of such a case in all his years practicing law.
Root said the new IRS agent handling the new audit treated his attorney with disdain and, like the previous agent, simply ignored the facts and denied every legal deduction on Root’s tax return.
“It was the same treatment all over again,” Root said. “Even though we had just won a complete, 100-percent victory only five days before.”
Root said that “as a man who makes his living making predictions and beating the odds,” he is betting 1-million-to-1 that the audits were ordered “by Obama or his henchmen.”
Root insists he is not angry with the IRS but blames Obama and “his Chicago style of politics – to persecute, intimidate and destroy the opposition.”
“The IRS is filled with good people,” he said. “They are just like you and me. They are just trying to do their jobs, as best they can.”
However, he said, when “they get a call from high above, perhaps from the office of the president of the United States, then they are fearful for their job.”
“My outrage is towards President Obama and his henchmen,” Root said.
“This is so wrong on so many levels. Whoever ordered this against me and against many other Obama critics across this country – and against GOP donors across this country and against so many tea parties – should be held accountable.”
He said it’s “time for congressional hearings.”
“The president of the United States has no right to target his political opposition, or to try to freeze free speech,” he said. “Our Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves.”
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Spiritual Theory Based Around Synchronicity
Someone ‘that was’ Root cheated elsewhere, so Obama knowing the esoterica on synchronicity (for certain all greek alphabet society illuminati types do), had to act. The game company was to be blamed. The only way for evil to end is for EQUALITY to rule and those who follow rules to win. Any attempt to cheat in the system results in ‘Unfortunate Series of Events”, with any protagonists in the right, even if their actions were wrong. This is the start of wisdom and this is the only evil tolerable, without which Good cannot exist. Obama does system based spiritual housekeeping. Root is not directly to blame, being affected by the players of the “game”.
A lowest caste ‘labourer’ becomes VP of a political party, little wonder Heavens fall and Lands break when the ethereal characters at the top of simple hierarchies intended for fun are depicted act . . . a serious study of spiritual effects and links to online games must be carried out and INCLUDED IN EDUCATIONAL SYLLABUS, so that people can enjoy games and yet not destroy themselves and the world or the natural system and order of reality as we know it. Meanwhile though note that ‘games’ will have as much effect as the uncorrected Crony-Prison Supplier-Contractor Complex, Financier Student Debt Complex and those who neglected to amend laws or abolosh abusive laws liek Forced Military Conscriptions, Road Tolls ending freedom of movement and laws that impinge on the sovereignty of all individuals like Eminent Domain or lack of Allodial titles . . . refutes or arguments welcome.
New speech-jamming gun hints at dystopian Big Brother future | ExtremeTech – Mar. 07, 2012
A speech-jamming gun by Japanese researchers. They say the gun can be useful for “facilitate discussion” or “mobile speech-jamming”.
New speech-jamming gun hints at dystopian Big Brother future – by Sebastian Anthony on March 1, 2012 at 6:37 am
Japanese researchers have created a hand-held gun (pictured above) that can jam the words of speakers who are more than 30 meters (100ft) away. The gun has two purposes, according to the researchers: At its most basic, this gun could be used in libraries and other quiet spaces to stop people from speaking — but its second application is a lot more chilling.
The researchers were looking for a way to stop “louder, stronger” voices from saying more than their fair share in conversation. The paper reads: “We have to establish and obey rules for proper turn-taking when speaking. However, some people tend to lengthen their turns or deliberately interrupt other people when it is their turn in order to establish their presence rather than achieve more fruitful discussions. Furthermore, some people tend to jeer at speakers to invalidate their speech.” In other words, this speech-jamming gun was built to enforce “proper” conversations.
The gun works by listening in with a directional microphone, and then, after a short delay of around 0.2 seconds, playing it back with a directional speaker. This triggers an effect that psychologists call Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), which has long been known to interrupt your speech (you might’ve experienced the same effect if you’ve ever heard your own voice echoing through Skype or another voice comms program). According to the researchers, DAF doesn’t cause physical discomfort, but the fact that you’re unable to talk is obviously quite stressful.
Speech jammer, in a library. Suffice it to say, if you’re a firm believer in free speech, you should now be experiencing a deafening cacophony of alarm bells. Let me illustrate a few examples of how this speech-jamming gun could be used.
At a political rally, an audience member could completely lock down Santorum, Romney, Paul, or Obama from speaking. On the flip side, a totalitarian state could point the speech jammers at the audience to shut them up. Likewise, when a celebrity or public figure appears on a live TV show, his contract could read “the audience must be silenced with speech jammers.”
Then there’s Harrison Bergeron, one of my favorite short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. In the story’s dystopian universe, everyone wears “handicaps” to ensure perfect social equality. Strong people must lug around heavy weights, beautiful people must wear masks, and intelligent people must wear headphones that play a huge blast of sound every few seconds, interrupting your thoughts. The more intelligent you are, the more regular the blasts.
Back here in our universe, it’s not hard to imagine a future where we are outfitted with a variety of implanted electronics or full-blown bionic organs. Just last week we wrote about Google’s upcoming augmented-reality glasses, which will obviously have built-in earbuds. Late last year we covered bionic eyes that can communicate directly with the brain, and bionic ears and noses can’t be far off.
In short, imagine if a runaway mega-corporation or government gains control of these earbuds. Not only could the intelligence-destroying blasts from Harrison Bergeron come to pass, but with Delayed Auditory Feedback it would be possible to render the entire population mute. Well, actually, that’s a lie: Apparently DAF doesn’t work with utterances like “ahhh!” or “boooo!” or other non-wordy constructs. So, basically, we’d all be reduced to communicating with grunts and gestures.
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This is how incriminating thoughts can even be inserted into unsuspecting mind. Remember that the mind’s signals etc. are all probably replicable via neurotech. So when a brain is repeatedly inculpated with certain patterns of thought, we end up with no autonomy at all. While the bottom 70% are busy working, the top 30% no-working classes are busy ‘molding’ those working class minds into the form they want. To accept bad laws, to ignore nepotism, to ignore oligarchy, to be bribable, corrupt etc. and the top 1% will print all the fiat and bribe, while destroying the finance system and controlling those bought with wealth as well as poisoning the food via food manufactuers putting all kinds of colourings and flavourings and GMOs in food that destroy critical thought by weakening the blood brain barrier, flouridating the pineal etc..
Causing ‘grunts and gestures’ by the ‘Speech Gun’ will then be used by the colluding psychiatric establishment to label potential challengers of the insane system ‘insane’, even getting political party members whop happen to be neighbours or to move into the neighbourhood to harrass, and disturb, provoke into retaliating (preferably with enforcement actionable actions – the foul minded creeps know who they are) . . . then justify drugging the dissenters with dangerous mind destroying psychiatric drugs etc. if killing such persons is too obvious to further render them incapable of being a viable challenge. I know I have been there and that was for promoting things as responded to in this blog. And this is not even the spiritual dimension of the matter as well which goes deep into the nature of society, the caste system, and those of ‘dirty spirituality’ which is not the same as physical dirt or even jobs considered disresepectable.
Meanwhile though, the financial system will indeed collapse, then riots and war can break out etc.. and when every last clear thinking or critical thinking person is bought up or killed, destroyed, rendered politically non-viable, the oligarchs will place their sons and daughters in political positions while fawning political members in the respective political parties fearfull do not speak up due to ‘Supremos’ and Oligarchs, use neurotech against all dissentors, use NLP articles in news/radio, use neurotech to identify dissenting minds which are critical to democracy etc..
DO NOT VOTE FOR FIAT PROTECTING, GLC PROXY LINKED, MORE THAN 2 TERM, PLUTOCRAT, ALLODIAL REFUSING, FORCED CONSCRIPTION PURVEYING, STATE LAND/NATIONAL WEALTH SEQUESTERING MPs or candidates. They only care about themselves and will never protect the people will end the people’s free will with technology the instance such technolgies are sufficiently proliferated! Vote carefully and don’t care about who’s likable but who will protect democracy and diversity than anything else!
TV Reporters Speaking Gibberish on Live TV…Why Is it Happening …
A bionic prosthetic eye that speaks the language of your brain – by Sebastian Anthony on December 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In the grand scale of things, we know so very little about the brain. Our thick-headedness isn’t quite cosmological in scale — we really do know almost nothing about the universe beyond Earth — but, when it comes down to it, the brain is virtually a black box. We know that stimuli goes in, usually through one of our senses, and motor neurons come out, but that’s about it. One thing you can do with a black box, however, is derive some semblance of a working model through brute force testing.
Take prosthetic arms, for example: We don’t have a clue about the calculations that occur in the brain to trigger arm muscle motor neurons, but that doesn’t stop us from slapping some electrodes onto a subject’s bicep muscles and measuring the electric pulses that occur when you tell him to “think about moving your arm.” By the same logic, a brain-computer interface can measure what our general cranial activity looks like when we’re thinking something and react accordingly, but it can only do this through training; it can’t actually understand our thoughts. Taking this one step further, though, Sheila Nirenberg of Cornell University has been trying to work out how the retina in your eye communicates with your brain — and judging by a recent talk at TEDMED (embedded below), it seems like she’s actually cracked it.
Now, reading the brain’s output (as in a prosthetic arm) is one thing, but feeding data into the brain is something else entirely — and understanding the signals that travel from the retina, through the optic nerve, to the brain is really about as bleeding edge as it gets. Nirenberg still used a brute force technique, though: By taking a complete animal eye and attaching electrodes to the optic nerve, she measured the electric pulses — the coded signal — that a viewed image makes. You might not know what the code means, but if a retina always generates the same electric code when looking at a lion, and a different code when looking at a bookcase, you can then work backwards to derive the retina’s actual encoding technique.
Nirenberg did this until she produced mathematical equations that, with startling accuracy, encode images into neuron pulses that can be understood by an animal brain. In the image below, the far left picture represents the pre-Nirenberg state of the art prosthetic eye, and the mid two images are what her prosthetic are capable of. Not quite as good as the real thing, but when you imagine that this is a silicon chip being implanted into the eye of a blind animal and then wired into the optic nerve, you really ought to be awestruck. In case you’re wondering, the “transducer” that the image references is a piece of hardware that converts the output from the silicon chip into signals that are ready to travel along the optic nerve to the brain.
Comparison of various prosthetic eye/retina technologies
You’ll note that we’ve used the word “animal” throughout, and not “human.” So far, Nirenberg seems to have carried out most of her experiments on mice — but as far as we know, the eye, optic nerve, and visual cortex in mice and humans are fairly similar. The next step must surely be working out the mathematical equations that simulate the human retina, and then full-blown human trials. Personally, as someone who is short-sighted but not blind, I would rather go down the wireless contact lens display route — but imagine, just for a second, if one day a prosthetic retina with a higher resolution than its flesh-and-blood counterpart is made. Imagine if you could hit a button to digitally zoom in with your eyes — or, more likely, just think about zooming in.
Perhaps even cooler, though, Nirenberg insists that this same technique — wiring up electrodes to our sense organs and brute forcing the encoding technique — could also be used to produce prosthetic ears, or noses, or limbs that can actually feel. Presumably, at some point, with enough data points under our belt, we might begin to unravel the human brain’s overarching communication codecs, too. The age of bionics is almost here!
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Citizens, vote properly, the next thing we know, voting ‘suggestion bombardments’ will be subtly broadcast via Wiifi directly into your brains. When that happens, dictators and oligarchs will end all freedom and all democracy. There must be white zones which are gazetted in ALL public places including private residences. This could be allowed in certain ‘Techno-pubs’ or whatever districts, but nowhere else.
Technofascism and mind control are already here, and with the advances state of cell phone satellite technology, not inconceivable that voting patterns and ignorance of term limitless dictators’ abusive policies will end up ending democracy or even creating the Suicidal rich people, Columbines and Suicide Bombers that can be enhanced under exstacy or chemical druggings of psychiatric drugs that the bottom 70% civilians in a democracy will not want, but the 1% types, a Dictator or Ayatollah led theocracy would love. Bring on the Luddites. Demand white zones, or laws against use of such technologies or begin seeking only candidates for politics aware of and willing to ratify such laws or start tearing down telecoms structures.