Thursday, March 17, 2011
If you can bear the excitement, here's a great post by Oliver Miller at Faster Times:
Nothing to be done. Nothing to be done about relentless internet memes, that is. It was only a few days ago that we welcomed the arrival of ‘The Great Gatsby: The Nintendo Game.’ And at the time, we chuckled about translating other great works of literature into 16-bit arcade games. Well, our random literary-game prayers have been answered, and so we present you with… ‘WAITING FOR GODOT: The Video Game,” which we absolutely guarantee is a real thing and not something that we made up at all, and you can play it by clicking right… here.
Yes, yes, yes, it’s an actual working game version of . Whoot! Taste the excitement! Now, you can play as Didi or Gogo, and get started on your endless exciting quest of… waiting for Godot.
Filmed as the third installment of the Discoveries Lecture Series, hosted on behalf of the Boston University Alumni Association, on 17 February 2011.
Nicholas Kramer writes at Antiwar.com:
By Henry Crapo, Truthout
The Secret Pact: its complete text, here presented as obtained by the European Deputy Patrick Le Hyaric.
"Improved Coordination of Economic Policies in the Euro Zone" 
Danger! It contains the program of social regression that the states of the Euro Zone intend to implement in order to satisfy the voracious appetites of the financial markets.
Introduction by the journalist of l’Humanité
This document, dated 25 February and prepared by the president of the Commission, José-Manuel Barroso and the Council president Herman Van Rompuy, is the most recent avatar of a series of texts aiming to make the people pay for the debts contracted by the states in relation to the financial markets, ... debts contracted in order to save those markets. This test was presented last week to the countries of the Euro Zone, in order to prepare the extraordinary summit meeting on Friday.
At the end of that meeting the heads of state and of governments announced the dawn of a new era, that of coordination of the economic policies of the member states.
In fact, this is a headlong rush to implement ineffective policies.
As proof, the financial rating of Greek debt was lowered on Monday. As a result, Athens had to borrow money yesterday at an interest rate higher than that of a month ago. For the moment, the response of the European Union has been to create a European Fund for Financial Stability . This fund borrows on the financial markets, with guarantee of payment by the states of the Euro Zone. The money thus raised is then loaned at 5 to 5.5% to states strangled by the markets. Up to now, Greece and Ireland have benefited from this type of arrangement.
But to provide for a continuing existence of such loans, Germany demands of its partners an iron-clad budgetary discipline, and an application of recipes it has prepared: moderation of salaries, increasing of the age of retirement, etc.
On 12 January, in a communication, the Commission made propositions in this sense. They were recycled and worked over the beginning of February, in the form of a "Pact for Competition"  agreed to by the German chancellor Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy.
This is the most recent draft, which we present to you. It was concocted without consulting either the European Parliament or the national assemblies. This secret text is worse that the Treaty of Lisbon, in that it intervenes in domains heretofore of national competence, such as training of workers and systems for retirement.
By James Scurlock, The Hill
For three and a half decades financial executives have ruled like sultans, increasing their share of the economy’s profits from a sliver to a majority of the pie. Greed was the fuel; corruption and entitlement were both major by-products. So successful have the industry’s attorneys and lobbyists been at emasculating regulators that interest rates once outlawed as usurious have become the norm.
The masses have mostly suffered in silence. Byzantine phone trees and tiny print and fees for talking to unhelpful call-center representatives wore down the resolve of the masses to resist what they suspected were unfair charges and excessive interest. Oblivious to their anger, the financial system rotted from within as banks’ balance sheets became untethered from the well-being of the vast majority of their customers. The cash machine erupted in the headlines of The Wall Street Journal. Financial CEOs were celebrated by young, tanned heralds on CNBC.
Less discussed was the concurrent explosion of bankruptcies, foreclosures and defaults. A business model that swallowed its own customers should have been seen for what it was: ill-advised and untenable. Instead, it was branded “innovation” and defended by bank lobbyists with a zeal that might make Moammar Gadhafi blush. Suggestions that the financial industry’s excesses be restrained were ridiculed as anti-market, anti-freedom and anti-capitalism. What was good for Citibank was good for America.
J. E. Dyer writes for the Hot Air Green Room ~
Its content is worth being aware of; Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have both spoken publicly in the last three years of the need to prepare for the Mahdi-related events predicted in the video. Yet the documentary is simultaneously eerie and unimpressive. The video, with subtitles, is available to readers courtesy of Yid with Lid. It’s about 28 minutes. I have three observations on it:
1. The subject matter isn’t a joke, and the video certainly isn’t intended to be funny – but it is. It begs for an Onion satire. For one thing, the production values are basically PBS ca. 1970. But more importantly, the case made in the video draws on the symbols and spooky cachet of Freemasonry, which, for Americans who weren’t aware of this theme in contemporary interpretations of Hojjatieh Mahdism (see the Yid link above), will be variously illuminating, hilarious, and tiresome.
The dollar’s “eye in the pyramid” makes an early appearance, in a series of fleeting images set to a portentous sound track; the Magen David is compared – inevitably, perfunctorily – to the Masonic hexagram; a parade of photos depicts various Western leaders (including, in a touch of awe-inspiring artistry, Laura Bush) giving the fabled Freemasons’ hand signal. The warning is clear: the Masons are coming! Save all your data! Shore up the sandbag berm!
Of course, if you’ve ever done more than a half hour’s worth of web research, you probably know that Ahmadinejad himself has been pronounced a Mason by inveterate Mason spotters. We may take it that the clerics in Qom would disagree, however, since they clearly regard Masonry as inimical to Islam and the return of the Mahdi.
The Maryland company that hired American development worker Alan Gross won more than $2.7 billion in USAID contracts from 2000 to the third quarter of 2009, statistics show.
By Mandy De Waal, The Daily Maverick
“First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then Mr and Mrs with a baby in a carriage.” The sing-song playground taunt children mockingly belt out to one another is very telling in terms of the expectations society has of relationships. If you’re in a serious courtship then the natural progression is towards the nuclear family where husband and wife are supposed to only have eyes for each other.
That’s not because it is what is best for you, but the progression is driven by what is best for capitalist society, say Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, who have written a book said to be the most influential tome on why we copulate since Kinsey put pen to paper.
“Sex At Dawn” hardly hit the bookstores when it featured on The New York Times bestseller list and had rave reviews from Dan Savage, the newspaper’s sex-advice columnist who called it: “the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948".
In the book Ryan and his psychiatrist wife Jethá not only trash a lot of what Darwin had to say about sex, but posit that monogamy is in conflict with our very nature and that humans are libidinous, if not downright promiscuous.
“We are mistaken if we think that societies are meant to benefit us, and to make life wonderful. The way I look at societies is as a super-organism, it is a system that arises and follows its own norms and its own appetites and this could be in direct conflict with individuals in that society,” says Ryan, speaking to The Daily Maverick from the US. “Marriage is essentially an economic institution and the nuclear family is an economic institution. This is not about making us happy or satisfying our natural appetites.”
Posted on the Neuromarketing page ~
Late-night infomercials and commercials often promote subjects like buying real-estate with no money down and other get-rich quick schemes. While these promotions are broadcast in the wee hours because air time is cheaper and more readily available, it turns out there’s solid science behind this timing. In a new study, Duke university researchers found significant differences in the way sleep-deprived subjects evaluated risk:
A single night of sleep deprivation (SD) evoked a strategy shift during risky decision making such that healthy human volunteers moved from defending against losses to seeking increased gains… These results suggest that a night of total sleep deprivation affects the neural mechanisms underlying economic preferences independent of its effects on vigilant attention. [FromJournal of Neuroscience - Sleep Deprivation Biases the Neural Mechanisms Underlying Economic Preferences by Vinod Venkatraman, Scott A. Huettel, Lisa Y. M. Chuah, John W. Payne, and Michael W. L. Chee.]
In essence, this change in emphasizing gains and minimizing risk was found to be different than fatigue-induced lack of attention.
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An inquiry panel revealed on Tuesday that Berlusconi held parties at his villa near Milan which started with dinner and ended with Berlusconi's choice of a sex partner from 33 women, including Ruby, whose real name is Karima El Mahroug.
The Italian premier and El Mahroug have both denied all charges, AFP reported.
The panel is also conducting an inquiry into a suspected prostitution ring run by three Berlusconi associates. Prosecutors have made a formal request that the three be put on trial.
The prime minister's associates under investigation are celebrity agent Lele Mora, television anchor Emilio Fede, and Nicole Minetti, a former showgirl, who is now a local lawmaker for Berlusconi's People of Freedom party in Milan.
74-year-old Berlusconi faces a separate trial in Milan on April 6 on sex charges and using his influence to cover them up.
In Italy, sexual relations with minors are punishable by up to three years in prison, while the abuse of power carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in jail.
3/16/2011 8:27:23 PM
For anyone well versed in Freemasonry you have probably already seen the "insider" points of this article and made the connection yourself. Freemasons obsession with certain numbers is clearly shown throughout this article: Berlusconi has been accused of picking from 33 women (33 stages of freemasonry), and of conducting 13 sex crimes (13 = one of most important masonic/occultic numbers) against a girl names RUBY (the MKULTRA codename for a "sex slave" often used for these reasons).
The Paris Commune came out of the Franco-Prussian war (July 1870-January 1871).
After the defeat of the French forces by the Prussian army at Sedan on 1 September 1870 the French Emperor, Napoleon III resigned and a Republic was set up after mass demonstrations in Paris, calling for the Third Republic.
With the Prussians marching upon Paris, a newly established “Government of National Defence” was organised.
On 20 September 1870, the Prussians began a siege of Paris which would last for four months. When, in October, the French government began negotiations with the Prussians, the Parisian workers rose up and established a revolutionary government which was suppressed a month later
At the end of January 1871 Paris was surrendered to the Prussians. But the population remained armed and only a small section of the capital was actually surrendered.
On 8 February rigged elections to a National Assembly were held. The Assembly was meant to ratify the terms of “peace”. An enormous clerical and monarchical majority was the result.
The “National Assembly”, with Adolphe Thiers as the chief executive — scared of the revolutionary mood in Paris — wanted to overthrow the Republic and disarm the armed workers. It deposed Paris as capital of France and transfered the government to Versailles.
Meanwhile in Paris a Central Committee of the National Guard was created — to resist reaction. On 18 March Thiers attempted to disarm Paris and sent the regular army into the city. After fraternisation with Paris workers, led by working-class women, they refused to carry out their orders.
Elections were held on 26 March and a Paris Commune was proclaimed, taking over from the Central Committee. The Commune was to be both the legislature (law maker) and executive, responsible for carrying out the new laws.
The majority of representatives were working class and were socialists of one sort or another — insurrectionary left Republicans who were followers of Louis Auguste Blanqui; as well as members of the International Working Men’s Association (the First Interntional) who in France were mainly influenced by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and many were (out of line with Proudhon’s views) trade unionists. A small number of bourgeois Liberals and Radicals were also elected.
One of the first acts of the Commune was to grant a complete release from all rent from October, 1870, to July, 1871. There were to be many other acts in the interests of proletarian Paris. But there was never one clear manifesto.
Meanwhile the Assembly consolidated its army, strengthened by several regiments of released prisoners of war from Germany.
By the end of March all the “moderate” members of the Commune had resigned and the “respectable” population had left Paris.
On 1 April Thiers officially declared war on Paris. His attacks on Paris culminated in the mass slaughter of a “bloody week” in May. On 28 May the Commune fell.
By Irina Ivanova, Reuters
A Bulgarian monk is reopening an age-old debate in the Balkan country between Orthodox authorities and psychics.
In a new book, Monk Visarion denounced internationally respected healer Vanga and spiritual leader Petar Danov and attributed Bulgarians' interest in fortune-tellers and mysticism to decades of atheist communist rule.
Although the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has never explicitly condemned Vanga and Danov, the announcement on its official website says the monk will present his book in two lectures on the "pseudo-icons Vanga and Danov."
Visarion, who serves in a monastery in the all-male Orthodox monastic community of the Mount Athos peninsula in Greece, told the local 24 Chasa daily the book -- "Petar Danov and Vanga - prophets and precursors of the antichrist" -- aims to show the difference between occultism and authentic Christianity.
A recent poll showed some 30 percent of Bulgarians have at least once turned to alternative medicine, most often healers and herbalists, to solve a medical problem. According to another survey, some 47 percent approve of the Orthodox Church while 37 percent do not have an opinion.
By Lisa Guerriero, WickedLocalSalem.com
STOCKHOLM (AFP) - India has been the world's biggest weapons importer over the last five years, Swedish think-tank SIPRI reported Monday, naming four Asian countries among the top five arms importers. The report also highlighted how the world's major arms supplying countries had in recent years competed for trade in Libya, and in other Arab countries gripped by the recent wave of pro-democracy uprisings. "India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on trends in the international arms trade. "India received nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said. Its arms imports jumped 21 percent from the previous five-year-period with 71 percent of its orders being for aircraft. ~ more... ~
STOCKHOLM (AFP) - India has been the world's biggest weapons importer over the last five years, Swedish think-tank SIPRI reported Monday, naming four Asian countries among the top five arms importers.
The report also highlighted how the world's major arms supplying countries had in recent years competed for trade in Libya, and in other Arab countries gripped by the recent wave of pro-democracy uprisings.
"India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on trends in the international arms trade.
"India received nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said.
Its arms imports jumped 21 percent from the previous five-year-period with 71 percent of its orders being for aircraft.
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By Finian Cunningham, Dandelion Salad
They turned over the limp, lifeless body of the young man,. His back was riddled with bullet wounds. His skull flopped open revealing a bloody mess and a gaping hole where the brain used to be before it was blown out by a high-velocity weapon at point-blank range.
A surgeon at Salmaniya Hospital in Manama said helplessly: "We could do nothing to save him."
Ahmed Farhan was just one of several Bahrainis killed yesterday by state forces that went on a murderous rampage in mainly Shia towns and villages deemed to be supportive of the popular uprising against the autocratic US-backed regime headed by King Hamad al-Khalifa.
Another doctor said: "This is all-out war against civilians who are simply demanding democracy."
As hundreds of injured were ferried along the corridors of the hospital, there was an atmosphere of dread among medics that the Persian Gulf island regime had lost all restraint under international law.
This was less than 24 hours after a large convoy of Saudi-led troops arrived in Bahrain, with the ostensible aim of "restoring stability". At the same time, the Bahraini rulers declared: "The government will never tolerate any disruption of social peace."
Doctors said that the hospital at Salmaniya and elsewhere, such as Sitrah and Isa Town, have been labeled "disloyal" to the regime. They claimed that their personal details are being circulated on the internet and that they are now fearing for their lives.
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By Tufail Ahmad, MEMRI
Table of Contents
I. Brief Historical Background: The Jews and Pakistan
II. Main Characteristics of Antisemitism in Pakistan
a) Antisemitism in Pakistan is Interconnected with Pakistan's Other Perceived Enemies: The "Three Satans" – India, the U.S. and Israel (i.e. Hindus, Christians and Jews)
b) Antisemitism is Used Instrumentally by the Pakistani Military
c) Antisemitism is Used to Designate Threats to Pakistan, Such As the Taliban
III. Range of Motifs in Antisemitic Attacks
a) Sports – Jews and Indians Lobby against Pakistani Cricketers
b) Polio Vaccination Campaign – A Dangerous Jewish Conspiracy
c) Pakistan-India Water Dispute – Israel's Hand
d) The U.N. – A Jewish Conspiracy
e) Pakistani Interests Abroad Harmed by Jews/Israel
f) Valentine's Day and April's Fool Day – Used by Jews and Hindus against Muslims
g) Ahmadi Muslims – Agents of Israel/India
h) Video of Taliban Flogging Woman – Made by Jews to Smear Pakistan
i) Facebook – A Jewish/Israeli Conspiracy
j) Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons – Targeted by Jews/Israel
k) Faisal Shehzad's Times Square Attack – A CIA/Mossad Plot to Implicate Pakistan
IV. The Jews and the West Undermine the Identity of Pakistan
This paper examines: a) the history of Jews in Pakistan; b) violence against Jews and their synagogues following the creation of the Islamic nation of Pakistan in 1947; c) contemporary protests by Pakistani Muslims against Jews and Israel; and d) Pakistani political and religious leaders' penchant for blaming most problems facing Pakistan on a U.S.-India-Israel axis.
Looking at Pakistani media reports over the past few years, this paper outlines how Pakistani opinion makers – barring a small segment of liberal intelligentsia – are deepening the anti-Jewish mindset that is typical across the Islamic world. For the purposes of this analysis, this paper does not include statements, protests, editorials, cartoons or viewpoints of Pakistani leaders and the government that are deemed to be justified criticism of Israel over its policies regarding the Palestinian problem and the occupied territories.
This paper does discuss the narrative of antisemitism in Pakistani society, examining how Israel is seen by Islamic scholars and political leaders in Pakistan as representing the Jews rather than the state and government of Israel in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In the context of this paper, a definition of antisemitism means political/religious/cultural attacks on Jews and Israel that are not related to the Palestinian problem but over supposed Jewish-Israeli involvement in international conspiracies.
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By Sorcha Faal, What Does It Mean?
This report further warns that catastrophic earthquakes in Asia and the sub-continent are, also, “more than likely to occur” with the 7.3 magnitude quake in Japan today being “one of at least 4 of this intensity” to occur during this same time period.
Raising the concerns of a mega-quake occurring, this report says, are the increasing subtle electromagnetic signals that are being detected in the Earth’s upper atmosphere over many regions of the World, with the most intense being over the US Western coastal and
Important to note are that Russian and British scientists are at the forefront of predicting earthquakes based on these subtle electromagnetic signals and have joined in an effort to put satellites in space to detect more of them.
More ominously in this report are Russian scientists confirming the independent analysis of New Zealand mathematician and long-range weather forecaster, Ken Ring [photo 2nd left], who predicted the deadly Christchurch quake and this week issued another warning of a quake to hit on or about March 20th.
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