Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A democratic theory of disarmament

From Kennette Benedict, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

In a recent editorial, The New York Times proposed that "All Americans need to be part of [the] discussion" to reassess "where nuclear weapons fit in today's world" and went on to suggest cuts to the US nuclear weapons budget. The proposed reductions make good sense, but it will take more than looking at numbers on a spreadsheet for "all Americans" to be able to take part in a reassessment of nuclear weapons policy. At a minimum, it will take an end to government secrecy about nuclear forces; an honest account of the effects of nuclear bombs if used "by accident, miscalculation, or madness"; and recognition by government officials and experts alike that ordinary citizens can know enough about nuclear weapons to make intelligent decisions based on their own interests.

All but a small group of experts have been kept out of nuclear decision-making on the grounds of national security. Even so, citizens have found effective strategies over the years to influence these decisions. They protested nuclear testing in the 1950s, publicly criticized the build-up of nuclear arsenals in the 1980s, and took to the streets against the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. These protests, in turn, spurred leaders to negotiate an end to atmospheric nuclear testing in 1963, a halt to the US weapons build-up of the early 1980s, and, finally, an end to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

These successes have led to a safer world, yet they have been achieved within a framework of deterrence and strategic games, where nuclear weapons often are treated as bargaining chips. This old framework of deterrence, balancing, and arms control may not be sufficient to bring about irreversible change. And, as important as they are, we may need more than treaties and budget reductions to deal with weapons of mass destruction. Pushing back the hand of the Doomsday Clock for good will depend on our ability to develop new habits of thought and what I call a "democratic theory of disarmament."

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Mobile Tactics for Participants in Peaceful Assemblies

If you are participating in a peaceful assembly as a journalists, rights defender, or activists, your
mobile phone is an invaluable asset. It allows you to communicate with allies, to document the
event, and bear witness to what is happening around you. At the same time, you should take certain precautions in your mobile use and communications. The following Guide can help you to utilize your mobile phone during peaceful assemblies effectively and, at the same time, better protect yourself.

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Message To The World - NOW IS THE TIME!

What are you waiting for? Now is the time to STAND UP for yourself, to be BOLD, be CREATIVE, be RADICAL To Dream BIG, IMAGINE, Feel the fear but DO IT! Anyway its time to Question Expert Authority, ASK hard questions, PROPOSE and DEMAND solutions. To Participate and AGITATE. DISOBEY if you must. To VISUALISE and Organise. To KILL the fear spreading Media - EDUCATE and INFORM yourself and Others. NOW is the time to invest in HOPE.

To cultivate LOVE To Give Thanks for what we have and to help those that Haven't. We Must DANCE, PLAY, ENJOY ourselves. TRANSFORM your situation no matter how bad it is. It can be done, EAT WELL, REST, MEDITATE. PROTECT yourself. BECOME a SOUL WARRIOR. Don't Apoligise for being a DREAMER - we need MORE DREAMERS. PERSIST Resist and ignore the begrudgers, hold firm to your vision. Don't make up excuses or get caught up in Blame. In the Game of them and Us RESPECT Everyone, even if you dont like them. Enemies are Great Teachers. TRANSCEND, RISE, Reach for the STARS.

Don't take yourself too seriously. LAUGH at yourself. LOVE YOURSELF. You are WONDERFUL if you let yourself BE. ABANDON JUDGEMENT, Age, Roles, Stereotypes. Take RISKS. Drop LEFT RIGHT and RELIGIOUS Dogma. THINK FOR YOURSELF. Take control of your Diet, Money, Home, Family, Work Spend Time in NATURE. Listen to your Gut, Instinct, Intuition, Heart. Go offline to get ONLINE. Take QUIET TIME for you, to WRITE, DRAW. EXPERIMENT. Learn a SONG, Call a Meeting, Start a Petition. BUILD COMMUNITY. See what happens. SHARE. Take your time. Slow Down - Small and Slow are POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL. Wake up to REALITY. It's not that bad. If it is THEN CHANGE IT. Don't wait for others to do it. TELL OTHERS, JOIN them, ASK for HELP.

SING IT LOUD. BE Proud you're not a Zombie caught up on the harsh production line of Commuting, Work, Shopping, Consumption and SLEEP. You're MUCH MORE ALIVE This is not a PRACTICE RUN, THIS IS YOUR REVOLUTION TO MAKE IT HAPPEN THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE POSSIBLITIES THAT YOU THINK! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Full Credits:

[ ]

John Farnham - You're The Voice

We're all someone's son
How long can we look at each other
down the barrel of a gun?
You're the voice, try and understand it

War Toys by Brian McCarty

A Photography project in Jerusalem, Israel by Brian McCarty.

"This shows exactly how we are feeling...but where is Barbie?"

-Critique from two young Palestinian girls, East Jerusalem

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Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the gripping account of a group of brave women who demanded peace for Liberia, a nation torn to shreds by a decades-long civil war.

The women's historic achievement finds its voice in a narrative that intersperses interviews, archival images, and scenes of present-day Liberia together to recount the memories of a few of the women who were there.

In 2003, Liberia was a country devastated by decades of political dislocation, humanitarian crisis, and street-to-street urban warfare. Charles Taylor, then President of Liberia, had emptied the country's pockets as creatively as any dictator in memory. His ascent to power led to the deaths of thousands of people and a nation in complete ruin.

Out of the wreckage, more than 2000 Christian and Muslim women throughout the country began to organize and banded together in an effort to bring an end to the fighting. At great person risk, they protested creatively and persistently for peace in the worst days of brutal and protracted civil conflict.

Watch on Video Detective

Take a look at this training in Urban warfare

Iranian Taboo - Official Trailer - 2011 Reza Allamehzadeh

Iranian Taboo (2011) 78 minutes
Language: Persian / English with sub-title
This film is not yet rated. For production notes, poster artwork, stills & captions please visit:

Reza Allamehzadeh, an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker banned from entering his homeland, enlisted the aid of friends who clandestinely filmed inside Iran in order to explore this century old taboo.
IRANIAN TABOO tells the story of an Iranian Baha'i woman, Nadereh and her 14-year-old daughter who decide to sell all of their belongings and leave their homeland, to take refuge in the West.
IRANIAN TABOO takes us across continents from Turkey to Israel, and from the U.S. to Iran and gives us a unique insights into the persecution of Baha'is of Iran -from the underground Baha'i University (BIHE) to the oppressed Baha'i peasants of the Eival village in the northern province of Mazandaran. The film includes never seen before interviews with some of the most respected Iranian scholars, authors and politicians, speaking about the history of Baha'i Faith and its followers in Iran.

I have made several challenging documentaries during my long career as a filmmaker. Films like "Speak out Turkmen!" on the bloody war between well organized army of the newly established Islamic regime of Iran (1979) and poorly organized Turkmen tribe in the northern Iran. "Holy Crime" on state terrorism of the Islamic government in Europe, which resulted in assassination of more than 80 well-known dissidents, in just one decade. But none of them was as difficult to make as the "Iranian Taboo". In spite of the fact that I'm banned to enter my homeland, I managed to film deep inside Iran, with the help of devoted friends who risked their lives to film the footage that I needed for this film. Organizing and obtaining access to the vast range of the interviewees in this film, from Shirin Ebadi to Abolhassan Banisadr was another challenging point that I managed to overcome.
"Iranian Taboo" is the most personal documentary that I have ever made!
Reza Allamehzadeh -- August 2011

The man comes around - War & Riot Montage

The man comes around, performed by the legendary Johnny Cash with a montage of war and riots around the world. From 1WW all the way to Modern Warfare.

Thursday November 17th International Day of Action

International Day Of Action Nov. 17th 2011. Mass Non-Violent Direct Action.
Resist Austerity. Reclaim The Economy. Recreate Our Democracy.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.” -Frederick Douglass

November 17th

International Day of Action

- Also in the works:

More info

Teenage Riot: Athens (Full Length)

An extremely interesting documentary from VICE network about the recent riots last month in Athens: On the eve of the biggest Greek strike since the right-wing junta was overthrown almost three decades ago, VICE travels to Athens to meet up with the people behind it. Students, anarchists, trade unionists, and communists discuss about the current government and why it must burn.

The Class War Has Begun

Frank Rich reports for New York Magazine:

...What’s as intriguing as Occupy Wall Street itself is that once again our Establishment, left, right, and center, did notLink see the wave coming or understand what it meant as it broke. Maybe it’s just human nature and the power of denial, or maybe it’s a stubborn strain of all-­American optimism, but at each aftershock since the fall of Lehman Brothers, those at the top have preferred not to see what they didn’t want to see. And so for the first three weeks, the protests were alternately ignored, patronized, dismissed, and insulted by politicians and the mainstream news media as a neo-Woodstock for wannabe collegiate rebels without a cause—and not just in Fox-land. CNN’s new prime-time hopeful, Erin Burnett, ridiculed the protesters as bongo-playing know-nothings; a dispatch in The New Republic called them “an unfocused rabble of ragtag discontents.” Those who did express sympathy for Occupy Wall Street tended to pat it on the head before going on to fault it for being leaderless, disorganized, and inchoate in its agenda.

Despite such dismissals, the movement, abetted by made-for-YouTube confrontations with police, started to connect with the mass public much as the Bonus Army did with a newsreel audience. The week after a Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that “no one seems to care very much” about the “collection of ne’er-do-wells” congregating in Zuccotti Park, the paper released its own poll, in collaboration with NBC News, finding that 37 percent of Americans supported the protesters, 25 percent had no opinion, and just 18 percent opposed them. The approval numbers for Occupy Wall Street published in Time and Reuters were even higher—hitting 54 percent in Time. Apparently some of those dopey kids, staggering under student loans and bereft of job prospects, have lots of parents and friends of all ages who understand exactly what they’re talking about...

In This Brokedown Country - Dick Destiny

Will Dick Cheney Be Arrested on Wednesday in Charlottesville, Va?

To: Charlottesville, Va., Mayor Dave Norris, Police Chief Timothy Longo
From: David Swanson

I hope you will consider this request from a deeply concerned citizen on its legal merits rather than its acceptability in certain social circles or how it might be received by certain television talking heads.

Conspiracy to torture has long been a felony in the U.S. Code, in both Title 18, Section 2340, and Title 18, Section 2441. The United States is also a party to the Convention Against Torture, which requires the criminal prosecution of complicity in torture, and which -- under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution -- is part of the supreme Law of the Land.

Were a local resident credibly accused of torture, I sincerely doubt you would hesitate to seek his or her immediate arrest and indictment.

Waterboarding was universally recognized as torture until its acceptance by the U.S. government between 2001 and 2009. The United States hung Japanese soldiers for it following World War II, and U.S. citizens have been convicted for it in U.S. courts.

Former U.S. Vice President Richard B. Cheney has repeatedly admitted to authorizing waterboarding. He has made this confession in writing and on video, repeatedly.

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Occupy Phoenix with AR-15's

Same guy, below:

Some Very Recent Forms of "The Dialectic" (?)

Sometime around the early 18th century, in or near present-day Germany, the term dialectic began to be discussed in terms of contradictions and disputes not only in discussions but in "reality." I will not go into an excursion of the term in Kant, Hegel, and Marx. I am using the term in this particular blog post in a rather grandiose way that persnickety scholars might call debased, but aside from that I mean something like: clashes of political ideas in late 2011 Unistat between what I consider people in what one George W. Bush official told journalist Ronald Suskind was the "reality-based community,"(Suskind's) and...whatever the Birthers and right wing billionaires/Americans For Prosperity and Heritage Foundation and Tea Party rank-and-file and John Birch Society, call their "reality."

(I'm guessing they'd call their "reality" the One True Reality, but that's only a guess, and I am being unfair in lumping all those people together, as no doubt we will find at times substantial differences among all those who'd self-identify with one of more of those groups. They all seem to hate Obama, though.)

First up: A wonderful post from earlier today by a Maryland-based blogger-colleague of mine, Annabel Lee, denizen of the reality-based community, who tells us of her surprising experience at a Tea Party rally in Durham, North Carolina very recently. There's also something not-very-surprising. In the context of dialectic this speaks to a down-and-dirty overall story about the current state of beastly mundane and debased political discourse in Unistat, late 2011:
When a Liberal Visits a Tea Party Rally,What Happens? from Annabel Lee's razor-sharp blog Double Dip Politics. Of all the dialectical clashes in this post, this one contains a kernel of hope for something truly revolutionary: Occupyers and Tea Partiers (and those cheering for either group, from the sidelines) making common cause. (Note I said a "kernel.")

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Yannis Behrakis: In the eye of the Greek storm

So how do you cover a story like this? A story that affects you and your family, a story that left some of your friends and colleagues and members of your family without a job and hope for the future? A colleague who has worked as a photojournalist for over 25 years at one of the top Greek dailies was marching along with several thousands of press people towards the parliament in protest against recent layoffs and pension reductions and other tough measures said to me: “Yannis, I walked from home today. I have no money to put petrol in my motorbike.” and “My last payment was 450 Euros and it’s the first payment after July!!” It was a sunny Tuesday, October 18, 2011.

Our new office in Athens is in the very spot where everything happens; on Athens’ Syntagma square (Constitution square) next to the Greek parliament where all the demonstrations and protests conclude almost every day. It is also the place where “the Indignant” occupied for more than a month last spring and where some of the most extreme violent clashes have taken place in Greece. Our building, as with all other buildings on Syntagma square, remains shut when riots break out. My team of photographers, Yiorgos Karahalis and John Kolesidis, and I climb the seven floors of our building from an external emergency staircase several times a day carrying all our photo gear and safety gear of helmet and gas mask. On those days we skip the gym! But this is the easy part of the job.

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'The US Has Gone Mad' - John le Carré

Amy Goodman - Democracy Now!
While John le Carré is famous for his spy novels, he wrote a widely read antiwar essay in 2003 titled "The United States of America Has Gone Mad." He reads an excerpt.

Arundhati Roy: Occupy Wall Street is "So Important Because it is in the Heart of Empire"

Occupy Azeroth: World of Warcraft and the Gold Economy

did this before the eviction of OWS in NYC and the subsequent fury; however, it's still a bit poignant to discuss how wealth distribution works in MMOs and how virtual currency gains value in externality.

Much of the dollar value of WoW currency was blackmarket; now with the addition of the Winged Guardian companion, it can also be seen as value-in rather than just a blackmarket value-out from gold farmers and their ilk.


An open letter to mayors, city councils and to the Occupy movement

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2011) - On behalf of 230,000 CUPE members in every community all across Ontario, we write this letter as an open and clear declaration of support for the Occupy Movement across the globe and right here in many communities in our Province.

Today, Toronto's city manager handed out eviction notices to the protesters in St. James Park. This follows the actions of some other mayors across Canada who have recently chosen to work against public interest by interfering with the Occupy movement and forced peaceful protestors out of public parks. By doing so, they are stepping on our collective right to free expression, but more importantly, they are ignoring both the international importance of the movement and its huge accomplishments.

For some, there seems to be confusion about that last element: the accomplishments. But they are both real and tangible.

For years, corporate leaders, many columnists and media outlets, and right-wing politicians have tried to hoodwink the public. They have used past and current fiscal crises, every one of which they created, to enforce a climate in which public services, responsible democratic government, fair wages and supporting the economic well-being of the majority of people have been made into things to attack.

In a few short weeks, the Occupy movement has successfully changed the public debate. Corporate attacks on the majority of people continue, aided by Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty, who continue to blindly insist that corporations and the rich must get tax breaks in order for our economy to recover. This is simply untrue. The truth is our current economic system is broken and needs to be fixed. And now people are talking about the real problems of a society that empowers only a rich and powerful one percent, and leaves everyone else behind.

This change in public debate is necessary, healthy, and long overdue. It is one we at CUPE must support and encourage. A healthy democracy is one in which all citizens participate on a level playing field. It is not one in which a handful of billionaires have exclusive, back-room access to power. It's more clear everyday that our democracy is also broken and needs to be fixed.

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Building a Better World: ultimate mission and brand value. Motivational Leadership keynote speaker

Megadeth - TH1RT3EN - 04 - We The People

Track 4 from new album TH1RT3EN (2011)

Secret bureaucracy, it's just a lie
The devil's henchmen, in suit and tie
A sacred brotherhood; an ancient rite
Politicians and the double lives they hide

Violate your rights, no more equality
Surrender freedom, your Social Security
We, the people face unconstitutional lies
In greed we trust, in revolution we die

Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves
The land of liberty needs a regime change
Until you no longer know right from wrong
The constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on

Screams from the future, warn of calamity
The coming plagues of the new disease
The illuminati, one world currency
One world religion, one World everything

God help us... the revolution runs on Windows!

Milena Popova laments the lack of open, free-to-use software endorsed by the Occupy LSX protest movement.

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Occupy and anarchism's gift of democracy

As the history of past movements all make clear, nothing terrifies those running America more than the danger of true democracy breaking out. As we see in Chicago, Portland, Oakland, and right now in New York City, the immediate response to even a modest spark of democratically organised civil disobedience is a panicked combination of concessions and brutality. Our rulers, anyway, seem to labor under a lingering fear that if any significant number of Americans do find out what anarchism really is, they may well decide that rulers of any sort are unnecessary.

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This Is What Revolution Looks Like

Chris Hedges writes in Common Dreams:

Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.

Occupy Denver

Our decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke.

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Anonymous Unleashes Facebook Worm, 'Fawkes Virus'

Anonymous' buzzworthy threat to take down Facebook on November 5th (Guy Fawkes Day) came and went without a hitch. But did the hacktivist group really just drop its mission to take down the social network?

It appears not. Yesterday, Anonymous released a video (see below) saying its programmers have uploaded a "highly sophisticated worm" that takes control of your Facebook account and spreads to your friends' accounts without you being logged in.

According to the video, which you can see below, the so-called "Fawkes Virus" has advanced network self-replication and remote abilities. Once it seizes your account, it spreads itself by making friend requests, sending private messages, and posting malicious links to your friends' walls—all without your knowledge. Anonymous also said the Fawkes Virus resembles 2008's Koobface worm which attacked Facebook and MySpace, however the Fawkes virus also receives commands from a remote attacker so it acts like a botnet too.

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Lessons from Iceland: the people can have the power

As early progress in Iceland shows since the banking collapse, the 21st century will be the century of the common people, of us...

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Mic Check! This is what democracy looks like! - Occupy Song for Occupy Wall St. & Occupy Boston

"1%, Your money's spent to circumvent the People's intent...
You jacked the rent, caused this descent 'cuz you broke our sacred covenant.
I'll pop a tent and we'll pound cement. We won't back down, no we won't relent
till we unfuck, to the full extent, what you did to corrupt to our government..."

Wyoming Sheriffs Told Federal BATF & IRS Agents To Abide By The Constitution Or Face Immediate Arrest. UPDATED!

Here’s one the mainstream media isn’t going to tell you: County sheriffs in Wyoming are demanding that federal agents actually abide by the Constitution, or face arrest. Even better, a U.S. Federal District Court agreed.
The court decision was the result of a suit against both the BATF and the IRS by Mattis and other members of the Wyoming Sheriff’s Association. The suit in the Wyoming federal court district sought restoration of the protections enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution.
Guess what? The District Court ruled in favor of the sheriffs. In fact, they stated, "Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official.” Go back and re-read this quote.

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U.S. Sheriffs Rise Up Against Federal Government: Sheriff Threatens Feds With SWAT Team ~ Grass Roots Take Charge!
As more people became dissatisfied with federal government controls and land grabs, it was inevitable that local law enforcement would eventually see the bigger picture. At the northern California fairgrounds of Yreka last month, seven California sheriffs and another from Oregon gathered with a large group of citizens to say that they are finally going to do something about it.
“A giant has been awakened,” said Plumas County, Calif. Sheriff Greg Hagwood, “and they didn’t count on that,” speaking of the federal bureaucracy.

Breaking new ground

Excerpt from We are an image from the future: the Greek revolt of December 2008 by Tasos Sagris:

Chronology: March-October 2009

March 7: In Exarchia, 4,000 people rip down the wall around a vacant lot destined to become a parking garage, tear up the asphalt with jackhammers, plant trees, and create a free park fifty meters away from the spot where Alexis was killed.

March 9: In separate incidents in Athens, a group of youths smash two banks in the middle of the afternoon, while early in the morning a homemade bomb explodes outside a Citibank branch, causing extensive damages and no injuries.

March 13: Fifty masked anarchists smash dozens of luxury shops in Kolonaki, the wealthy downtown district of Athens, in broad daylight, distributing flyers in solidarity with anarchist prisoner Yiorgos Voutsis-Votzatzis, and disappearing before police arrive.

Mid-March: Spectacularising the Kolonaki attacks, the media go into overdrive presenting the anarchists as a threat to order. The government announces several new security measures, including announced changes in the law to aid the criminalisation of protests, the arrival of police consultants from Scotland Yard, and the creation of Delta Force, a new police corps that will patrol on motorbikes and function as a rapid response force.

March 21: After hearing about the assassination of prisoner activist Katerina Goulioni, women prisoners in Chania and Thiva revolt and occupy their prisons.

March 30: The various squatted parks, social centres, and assemblies of Athens convoke thousands of people in a major protest march, starting at the new Navarinou Park in Exarchia and ending at City Hall.

March 31: Anarchists occupy the President’s Office of Athens University at Panepistimio, hanging a huge banner from the front of the building calling for solidarity with all squatted and self-organised spaces throughout the country on and off the universities, as well as for university asylum.

April 1: Kouzina Collective appears in Athens, serving free food in public. The same day in lraklion, three hundred people hold a demonstration in solidarity with those arrested in December.

Air Force Now Has the MOP

Rogue states with nascent nuclear weapon programs (cough, Iran, cough), consider yourselves on notice. The Air Force has started taking delivery of Massive Ordnance Penetrators. Yup, the 30,000-pound bunker busters, known as MOPs, designed to penetrate 30 stories of reinforced concrete.

(Oh, and the massive bomb’s name is almost as charged as the term, Pre-Dawn Vertical Insertion, if you get what I’m sayin.)


Story about the 2 boys murdered and left on rail tracks to be hit by a train.The boys had seen drugs dropped from a plane and went to investigate what was dropped and got murdered.There were very important people at the track that night.

Happy Birthday Terence Mckenna

Wherever you are.

Terence Mckenna - How to understand reality

Terence Mckenna - What is a Shaman

Taken from a lecture called "A few conclusions about life".

Terence Mckenna: Reclaim Your Mind

Terence McKenna - Talks About The Nature of Magic

An excerpt From Eros and the Eschaton by Terence McKenna answering a question about his views on magic.


image from

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