Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Land Of The Fleeced And The Home Of The Slave

Citizens of the United States are living under a system of laws and jurisprudence that is no longer valid. Now, why would I say such a thing? There's a simple answer. The social contract with which the government operates along with the permission of the citizenry has been effectively ignored for a number of years. If the government does not obey the law, citizens are under no obligation to obey the law, either. Let's do a quick review of what the heck I'm talking about.

The 1st Amendment is supposed to protect speech, religion, assembly and the press.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The Supreme Court has also interpreted the First Amendment as protecting freedom of association. However, the government will arrest those who speak out and use paramilitary police forces against those who desire to petition the government for redress.

A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a “chilling effect” on free speech. Can you believe we even have a law that allows indefinite detention of Americans without due process?

There are other laws that allow the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks. Wouldn't want to upset the elites with displays of dissatisfaction.

"They" are watching us. My native paranoia is justified! Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association. The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government uses the laws it has passed to crush dissent, despite what the Constitution has to say about individual liberty.

For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:

Taking any steps to protect your privacy.
Being a hippy.
Complaining about the taste of your tap water.
Being young (if you live near a battle zone, you are fair game).
Acting like a kid.
Using social media.
Reporting or doing journalism.
Having “strange odors” or “bright colored stains on clothes” (is that mustard or ketchup?).
Speaking out against government policies.
Protesting anything (such as participating in the “Occupy” or “Tea Party” movements). For example, Department of Defense training manuals classify all protest as “low-level terrorism”.
Questioning war (even though war reduces our national security).
Criticizing the government’s targeting of innocent civilians with drones (although killing innocent civilians with drones is one of the main things which increases terrorism.).
Asking questions about pollution (even at a public Congressional hearing?).
Paying cash at an Internet cafe.
Asking questions about Wall Street shenanigans.
Holding gold.
Creating alternative currencies.
Stocking up on more than 7 days of food (even though all Mormons are taught to stockpile food, and most Hawaiians store up on extra food).
Having bumper stickers saying things like “Know Your Rights Or Lose Them”.
Investigating factory farming.
Infringing a copyright.
Taking pictures or videos.
Talking to police officers.
Wearing a hoodie.
Driving a van.
Writing on a piece of paper.

(Not having a Facebook account may soon be added).

And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:

Being frustrated with “mainstream ideologies”.
Being a libertarian.
Liking the Founding Fathers.
Being a Christian.
Being anti-tax, anti-regulation or for the gold standard.
Being “reverent of individual liberty”.
Being “anti-nuclear”.
Believe in conspiracy theories.
A belief that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack.
Impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists).
Insert religion into the political sphere.
Those who seek to politicize religion.
Supported political movements for autonomy.
Being “anti-abortion”.
Being “anti-Catholic”.
Being “anti-global”.
“Suspicious of centralized federal authority”.
“Fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”.
“A belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in… survivalism”.
Opposing genetically engineered food.
Opposing surveillance.

1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power becomes so centralized that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.

Despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms defined therein are under constant assault. Increasingly, Americans are being arrested and charged with bogus “contempt of cop” charges such as “disrupting the peace” or “resisting arrest” for daring to film police officers engaged in harassment or abusive practices. Journalists are being prosecuted for reporting on whistleblowers. States are passing legislation to muzzle reporting on cruel and abusive corporate practices. Religious ministries are being fined for attempting to feed and house the homeless. Protesters are being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and forced into “free speech zones.” Under the guise of “government speech,” the courts have reasoned that the government can discriminate freely against any First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum.

The 2nd Amendment states:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.

More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.

None of this is easy for mind-numbed voters who believe the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. That cadre of liberal mindset is not going to be swayed by logic or emotion. Fortunately, gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and the language used must be contorted in order to derive any other reading.

The bottom line is do citizens have a right to self-defense anymore? It's actually an absurd question, but in light of other present-day absurdities, it is still a legitimate question.

The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux… My belief is that it will soon become "inconvenient" for most people to own a firearm because of the onerous amount of laws, rules, and regulations concerning ownership, registration, training, storage, maintenance, ad nauseum. If you pay attention to the news, having a firearm makes you more likely to be shot by the police, accidentally or otherwise. Soon, only the authorities will have "legal" firearms.

Whether they are armed or not, Americans remain powerless to defend themselves against SWAT team raids and government agents armed to the teeth with military weapons better suited for the battlefield than for a country founded on freedom. Police shootings of unarmed citizens continue to outrage communities, while little is being done to demilitarize law enforcement agencies. Indeed, just recently, North Dakota became the first state to legalize law enforcement use of drones armed with weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers.

The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government from forcing people to house soldiers:

"No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

With the police increasingly training like the military, acting like the military, and posing as military forces — complete with military weapons, assault vehicles, etc. — it is clear that we now have what the founders feared mos — a standing army on American soil. Moreover, as a result of SWAT team raids (more than 80,000 a year) where police invade homes, often without warrants, and injure and even kill unarmed citizens, the barrier between public and private property has been done away with, leaving us with armed government agents who act as if they own our property.

In America, journalists are considered terrorists yet the 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

But the government is spying on everything we do… without any real benefit or justification. Indeed, experts say that the type of spying being carried out by the NSA and other agencies is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists… which led to the Revolutionary War.

Most Constitutional experts think the police went too far reacting to the Boston Marathon Bombings (was it real or staged?) with lockdowns and involuntary door-to-door searches.

In reality, the Fourth Amendment has suffered the greatest damage in recent years and been all but eviscerated by an unwarranted expansion of police powers that include strip searches and even anal and vaginal searches of citizens, surveillance and intrusions justified in the name of fighting terrorism, as well as the outsourcing of otherwise illegal activities to private contractors.

The use of civil asset forfeiture schemes to swell the coffers of police forces has also continued to grow in popularity among cash-strapped states. The federal government continues to strong-arm corporations into providing it with access to Americans’ private affairs, from emails and online transactions to banking and web surfing. Coming in the wake of massive leaks about the inner workings of the NSA and the massive secretive surveillance state, it was revealed that the government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 every day for failing to comply with the NSA’s mass data collection program known as PRISM. Meanwhile, AT&T has enjoyed a profitable and “extraordinary, decades-long” relationship with the NSA.

The technological future appears to pose even greater threats to what’s left of our Fourth Amendment rights, with advances in biometric identification and microchip implants on the horizon making it that much easier for the government to track not only our movements and cyber activities but our very cellular beings. Barclays has already begun using a finger-scanner as a form of two-step authentication to give select customers access to their accounts. Similarly, Motorola has been developing thin “digital tattoos” that will ensure that a phone’s owner is the only person who may unlock it. Not to be overlooked are the aerial spies — surveillance drones — about to take to the skies in coming years, as well as the Drive Smart programs that will spy on you (your speed, movements, passengers, etc.) while you travel the nation’s highways and byways.

The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detention and taking away our due process rights.

The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. For example, if you haven't heard, American citizens are being detained in Guantanamo-like conditions in Chicago… including:

Brutal beatings.
Being held in secret.
No legal representation.

As such, the government is depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for private purposes. And the right to remain silent is gone. The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials. Who knows what the government is up to behind closed doors.

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury in the location where the crime allegedly occurred, to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."

Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a speedy and public jury trial. In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving any trial at all… let alone a speedy or public one. In neither case do they get a jury, a defense lawyer, or the right to call their own witnesses. And they often never even hear the charges against them.

Indefinite detentions usually don’t occur where the alleged crime occurred, but at a black site.

More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant… or sometimes even the judge hearing the case. The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people. Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.

Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret. And it’s about to get a lot worse.

Moreover, government is “laundering” information gained through mass surveillance through other agencies, with an agreement that the agencies will “recreate” the evidence in a “parallel construction”… so they don’t have to admit that the evidence came from unconstitutional spying. A former top NSA official says that this is the opposite of following the Fourth Amendment, but is a “totalitarian process” which shows that we’re in a police state.

There are two systems of justice in America: one for the big banks and other fat cats, and one for everyone else. The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is the main business model adopted by Wall Street. Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, the largest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.

On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.

Some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence and are in bed with the powers-that-be. Constitutional lawyer John Whitehead explains:

"The Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment work in tandem. These amendments supposedly ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without the right to an attorney and a fair trial before a civilian judge. However, in the new suspect society in which we live, where surveillance is the norm, these fundamental principles have been upended. Certainly, if the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights. That’s the crux of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the government’s use of asset forfeiture to strip American citizens of the funds needed to hire a defense attorney of their choosing."

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

"In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

A broken system.
But there are two systems of justice in America… one for those with deep pockets and one for everyone else. So good luck going after those who sit on high.

And the World Justice Project – a bipartisan, independent group with honorary chairs including numerous current and former Supreme Court Justices – released a report saying that Americans have less access to justice than most wealthy countries… and many developing nations. The report finds that Americans have less access to justice than Botswanans, and that only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system.

For example, Germans sue equally whether they are rich or poor, but in America, only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system.

Federal judges have also recently decided that they can pre-judge cases before the plaintiff even has the chance to conduct discovery and throw cases out if they don’t like a plaintiff’s case. How convenient for them.

The thing is, the populace has no idea of what’s in the Constitution — civic education has virtually disappeared from most school curriculums — that inevitably translates to an ignorant jury incapable of distinguishing justice and the law from their own preconceived notions and fears. However, as a growing number of citizens are coming to realize, the power of the jury to nullify the government’s actions — and thereby help balance the scales of justice — is not to be underestimated. Jury nullification reminds the government that it’s “we the people” who can and should be determining what laws are just, what activities are criminal and who can be jailed for what crimes.

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment. The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countries – violates the 8th Amendment. Many want to bring it back or at least justify its past use. While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong. It’s not only cruel and unusual… it is technically a form of terrorism.

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
Government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out. Do you care? What if it happened to you?

The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

We can debate what our inherent rights as human beings are. I believe they include the right to "pursue life, liberty, and happiness" and access to non-toxic food and water. You may disagree.

But everyone can agree that the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. However, the government – through its malignant, symbiotic relation with big corporations – is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedom, safe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), freedom from undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and the freedom to pursue a livelihood.

By working hand-in-glove with giant corporations to defraud us into paying for a lower quality of life, the government is trampling our basic rights as human beings.

The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are that (1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people; and (2) Separation of powers.

However, the majority of tax-paying, legal Americans believe that the government is opposed to individual freedoms. For years, “conservative” pollsters have said that Americans are furious at the government:

Who runs the show?
"Rasmussen noted in 2010 that only a small minority of the American people think that the government has the consent of the governed, and that the sentiment was “pre-revolutionary”."

Gallup noted in 2011 that a higher percentage of Americans liked King George during the colonial days than currently like Congress. And last year, Gallup noted that trust was plummeting in virtually all institutions. These sentiments have recently been repeated in the media.

Liberals may be tempted to think this is a slanted perspective, but non-partisan and liberal pollsters say the same thing:

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from 2011 found that 76% of Americans believe that the country’s current financial and political structures favor the rich over the rest of the country.

The Washington Post reported in 2011 that Congress was less popular than communism, BP during the Gulf oil spill or Nixon during Watergate.

Public Policy Polling added last month that Congress is also less popular than cockroaches, lice, root canals, colonoscopies, traffic jams, used car salesman and Genghis Khan.

And the liberal Pew Charitable Trusts noted last week that – for the first time – a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13 among 1,502 adults, finds that 53% think that the federal government threatens their own personal rights and freedoms while 43% disagree.

In March 2010, opinions were divided over whether the government represented a threat to personal freedom; 47% said it did while 50% disagreed. In surveys between 1995 and 2003, majorities rejected the idea that the government threatened people’s rights and freedoms.

The survey finds continued widespread distrust in government. About a quarter of Americans (26%) trust the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time; 73% say they can trust the government only some of the time or volunteer that they can never trust the government.

Majorities across all partisan and demographic groups express little or no trust in government. Obviously, Democrats are currently more trusting in government than Republicans. For example:

The Pew Research Center’s 2010 study of attitudes toward government found that, since the 1950s, the party in control of the White House has expressed more trust in government than the so-called “out party.” But given that even a growing percentage of Dems believe that government is a threat to their freedom, things are indeed getting interesting…

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pendulum Waves


Europe’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (also know as CERN) and is perhaps most famous for its discovery in 2012 of the elusive Higgs Boson [named after British physicist Peter Higgs who predicted its existence in 1964], the so-called ‘God particle,’ which allows other particles to build up mass as they pass through the Higgs field.

Today, however, CERN is more famous – or perhaps infamous is the better word – for an upcoming experiment in which scientists will play God in an effort to recreate the conditions immediately following the ‘Big Bang’ event that gave birth to the Universe millions of years ago.

For those who are in the dark about CERN and the controversial objectives it hopes to achieve, here is a quick primer.

10. CERN is the world’s biggest machine

Straddling the French-Swiss border, the $9 billion CERN collider complex is buried at a depth of up to 575 feet (175 meters). The tunnel complex runs along a 17-mile (27-kilometer) circuit. Scientists involved in the project say the laboratory was built underground because the Earth’s crust provides protection against radiation. They also say it was buried out of respect for the natural landscape, which sounds slightly ironic considering the massive damage the collider could possibly cause down the road.

9. Massive gravitational pull

The CERN collider is composed of some 9,600 super magnets – which are 100,000 times more powerful than the gravitational pull of Earth – that fire protons around a circular track at mindboggling speeds. A beam might rotate for up to 10 hours, travelling a distance of more than 10 billion kilometers, enough to make it to the far reaches of our Solar System and back again. Travelling just below light-speed, a proton in the LHC will make 11,245 circuits every second.

No less amazing are the magnet’s coils, which are made up of 36 twisted 15mm strands, each strand comprised in turn of 6000-9000 single filaments, each filament possessing a diameter as small as 7 micrometers. The 27km length of the LHC demands some 7,600 km (4,100 miles) of cable, which amounts to about 270,000 km (145,000 miles) of strand — more than enough to circle the Earth six times at the Equator. According to the CERN website, if the filaments were unraveled, they would “stretch to the Sun and back five times with enough left over for a few trips to the Moon.”

8. CERN generates extreme temperatures

There may be another reason for the CERN super collider being buried hundreds of feet underground: The unbelievable hot temperatures it can reach. How hot you ask? Well, about as hot as conditions in the Universe after the Big Bang, or more than 100,000-times the temperature at the center of the Sun. This will be achieved, CERN says, by accelerating and colliding together two beams of heavy ions, an epic scientific event that will take place next month.

7. But Stephen Hawking is worried

Although it may require some mental gymnastics to wrap one’s brain around exactly what the CERN scientists are attempting to achieve in their underground lab, the average layman may instinctively understand that such an experiment may be wrought with unforeseeable pitfalls. Stephen Hawking, the eminent physicist, seems to agree. “The God particle found by CERN could destroy the universe,” Hawking wrote in the preface to a book, Starmus, a collection of lectures by scientists. The Higgs Boson could become unstable at very high energy levels and have the potential to trigger a “catastrophic vacuum decay which would cause space and time to collapse and… we would not have any warning to the dangers,” he continued.

Hawking is not the only voice in the scientific wilderness predicting possible catastrophe if CERN continues in the atomic fast lane. Astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson told Eugene Mirman on his Star Talk radio program that the experiment could literally cause the planet to “explode.” “Ask yourself: How much energy is keeping it together? Then you put more than that amount of energy into the object.”Tyson was confident of the result: “It will explode.”

In late 2008, when CERN was first firing up the engines on its atom-smashing machine, Otto Rossler, a German professor at the University of Tubingen, filed a lawsuit against CERN with the European Court of Human Rights, on the grounds that the facility could trigger a mini black hole that could get out of control and annihilate the planet. The Court tossed out Rossler’s request, but he nevertheless succeeded in generating heated discussion on the possible dark side of the experiment.

6. Opening the door to other dimensions

One year after CERN’s grand opening, Sergio Bertolucci, former Director for Research and Scientific Computing of the facility, grabbed headlines when he told a British tabloid the super collider could open otherworldly doors to another dimension for “a very tiny lapse of time,” mere fractions of a second. However, that may be just enough time “to peer into this open door, either by getting something out of it or sending something into it.” “Of course,” added Bertolucci, “after this tiny moment the door would again shut; bringing us back to our ‘normal’ four-dimensional world … It would be a major leap in our vision of nature… And of course [there would be] no risk to the stability of our world.”

Naturally, this comment has triggered fears that the CERN collider could unwittingly invite unwanted visitors from other time-space dimensions. Anybody for dinosaurs strolling along the Champs-Élysées, or alien life forms seizing the entire planet? Such scenarios – at least for some scientists – are no longer confined to the fictional world of Isaac Asimov novels; with the ongoing work at CERN, there is even talk of opening up a portal for time travel.

Simply postulating such futuristic scenarios shows how far mankind has traveled in a relatively short expanse of time, and our dystopic future predicted in books like “Brave New World” and “1984” may already be here. Will man be able to control the technology he has created, or will the technology destroy him, his works, and with it the entire planet?

5. CERN’s curious choice of geographic location

Now on top of all the speculation as to what CERN scientists are really attempting to do with their Large Hadron Collider, many observers could not help but notice that the town in France where CERN is partially situated is called “Saint-Genus-Poilly.” The name Pouilly comes from the Latin “Appolliacum” and it is believed that in Roman times a temple existed in honor of Apollo, and the people who lived there believed that it is a gateway to the underworld. It is interesting to note that CERN is built on the same spot.

Religious leaders – always suspicious of the aims of the scientific world – drew a connection to a verse straight out of Revelations (9:1-2, 11), which makes reference to the name ‘Apollyon.’ The verse states: “To him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit… And they had a kind over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

Now try telling a spiritual leader that the Bible is conspiracy theory.

4. Tapping into ‘Dark Matter’

Astonishingly, astrophysical observations have demonstrated that all visible physical matter accounts for only four percent of the Universe. Now the race is on at CERN to find those elusive particles or phenomena responsible for dark matter (23 percent) and dark energy (73 percent). Essentially what the CERN experiment hopes to achieve is to separate – by way of the atom smasher – the invisible dark matter, which has been described as the very glue that holds together, from the visible. There’s just one problem with this experiment: Nobody has any idea what the consequences will be if that goal is achieved. So once again, this ‘dark versus visible’ paradigm has generated a battle that transcends the scientific world, becoming a question involving philosophy and spirituality.

3. CERN logo

I will leave it up to the imagination of the reader to determine if the public relations team at CERN opened up the door to massive conjecture – not to mention a huge amount of ‘conspiracy theory’ – by opting for the particular logo design that they did.

2. Deity of destruction as corporate mascot

Although most corporations shun any connection with religion and the spiritual world, CERN has chosen as its mascot a Hindu goddess. But not just any Hindu goddess. Just outside of its headquarters building sits an ancient statue to Shiva, ancient Apollyon, the goddess of destruction. Strange?

1. No Democratic debate

CERN is presently ramping up the largest atom collider in the world (it takes months for the magnets to get the particles to reach near light-speed) in preparation for their next atomic collision which is scheduled to take place next month – with barely a mention in the media of the risks involved. Since some critics say this scientific experiment poses greater risks than even the tests prior to the introduction of the atomic bomb, it would stand to reason that there should be much more discussion on this ‘dark matter.’ Sadly, and not a little ironically, CERN – which essentially governs itself as its own fiefdom – is operating just as invisibly as the particles they are attempting to study.

However, CERN has been the trailblazer on a number of other highly credible projects, which may tempt people to give them the benefit of the doubt regarding CERN, which certainly ranks as one of the most comprehensive and expensive scientific experiments in history.

In 1989, under the guidance of Tim Berners-Lee, CERN began the World Wide Web project, which led to the first webpage in history. On April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Doublethink is the act of ordinary people simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Somewhat related but almost the opposite is cognitive dissonance, where contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one's mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance — thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.

George Orwell created the word doublethink in his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949); doublethink is part of newspeak. In the novel, its origin within the typical citizen is unclear; while it could be partly a product of Big Brother's formal brainwashing programmes, the novel explicitly shows people learning Doublethink and newspeak due to peer pressure and a desire to "fit in", or gain status within the Party — to be seen as a loyal Party Member. In the novel, for someone to even recognize – let alone mention – any contradiction within the context of the Party line was akin to blasphemy, and could subject that someone to possible disciplinary action and to the instant social disapproval of fellow Party Members.

According to the novel, doublethink is:

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.”

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”

Orwell explains that the Party could not protect its iron power without degrading its people with constant propaganda. Yet knowledge of this brutal deception, even within the Inner Party itself, could lead to the implosion of the State. Although Nineteen Eighty-Four is most famous for the Party's pervasive surveillance of everyday life, this control means that the population of Oceania – all of it and including the ruling elite – could be controlled and manipulated merely through the alteration of everyday thought and language. Newspeak is the method for controlling thought through language; doublethink is the method of directly controlling thought.

Earlier in the book, doublethink is explained as being able to control your memories, to be able to manually forget something, then to forget about forgetting. This is demonstrated by O'Brien, during the time when Winston Smith is being tortured toward the end of the book.

Newspeak incorporates doublethink, as it contains many words that create assumed associations between contradictory meanings, especially true of fundamentally important words such as good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood, and justice and injustice.

In the case of workers at the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth, doublethink means being able to falsify public records, and then believe in the new history that they themselves have just rewritten. As revealed in Goldstein's Book, the Ministry's name is itself an example of doublethink: the Ministry of Truth is really concerned with lies. The other ministries of Airstrip One are similarly named: the Ministry of Peace is concerned with war, the Ministry of Love is concerned with torture, and the Ministry of Plenty is concerned with starvation. The three slogans of the Party – War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength – are also examples.

Moreover, doublethink's self-deception allows the Party to maintain huge goals and realistic expectations:

"If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality. For the secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes."

Thus each Party member could be a credulous pawn but would never lack relevant information, the Party being both fanatical and well informed and thus unlikely either to "ossify" or "grow soft" and collapse. Doublethink would avoid a "killing the messenger" attitude that could disturb the Command structure. Thus doublethink is the key tool of self-discipline for the Party, complementing the state-imposed discipline of propaganda and the police state. These tools together hide the government's evil not just from the people but from the government itself – but without the confusion and misinformation associated with primitive totalitarian regimes.

Doublethink is critical in allowing the Party to know what its true goals are without recoiling from them, avoiding the conflation of a regime's egalitarian propaganda with its true purpose.

Paradoxically, during the long and harrowing process in which the protagonist Winston Smith is systematically tortured and broken, he contemplates using doublethink as the ultimate recourse in his rebellion – to let himself become consciously a loyal party member while letting his hatred of the party remain an unconscious presence deep in his mind and let it surface again at the very moment of his execution so that "the bullet would enter a free mind" which the Thought Police would not have a chance to tamper with again.

Since 1949 (when Nineteen Eighty-Four was published) the word doublethink has become synonymous with relieving cognitive dissonance by ignoring the contradiction between two world views – or even of deliberately seeking to relieve cognitive dissonance. Some schools of psychotherapy such as cognitive therapy encourage people to alter their own thoughts as a way of treating different psychological maladies (see cognitive distortions).

Orwell's "doublethink" is also credited with having inspired the commonly used term "doublespeak", which itself does not appear in the book. Comparisons have been made between doublespeak and Orwell's descriptions on political speech from his essays Politics and the English Language, in which "unscrupulous politicians, advertisers, religionists, and other doublespeakers of whatever stripe continue to abuse language for manipulative purposes".

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Zeno of Citium
Do you keep your feelings hidden? Are you stoic by nature? Suffer in silence much?

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection", would not suffer such emotions.

Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how that person behaved.

Later Stoics—such as Seneca and Epictetus—emphasized that, because "virtue is sufficient for happiness", a sage was immune to misfortune. This belief is similar to the meaning of the phrase "stoic calm", though the phrase does not include the "radical ethical" Stoic views that only a sage can be considered truly free, and that all moral corruptions are equally vicious.

From its founding, Stoic doctrine was popular with a following in Roman Greece and throughout the Roman Empire — including the Emperor Marcus Aurelius — until the closing of all pagan philosophy schools in 529 AD by order of the Emperor Justinian I, who perceived them as being at odds with Christian faith. Neostoicism was a syncretic philosophical movement, joining Stoicism and Christianity, influenced by Justus Lipsius.

Want to be a stoic? Okay, here's what you have to do:

1. Immediately Recognize What Is Out Of Your Control.

A stoic realizes that only his thoughts and intentions are truly within his sphere of control; everything else is ultimately uncontrollable.

Students of ancient stoicism tended to be sons from wealthy, cosmopolitan families. Many went on to rule empires or advise great leaders in commerce and war.

A stoic is like an archer who diligently and confidently notches his arrow and draws his bow but must accept that once his arrow has flown it could be blown off course or its target could move.

2. Fear, Anger And Other Emotions Are Personal Choices, Regardless Of Outer Circumstances.

3. Live A Life Centered On Principles, Not Wealth, Awards, Family or Power.

The ends do not justify the means. Stoics hunger build their lives around four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice.

It’s difficult to practice these values in rough-and-tumble marketplaces like Wall Street and Silicon Valley. But a stoic businessman recognizes that if his ambition is tethered to anything but the cardinal virtues, he’s in the words of stoic Cleanthes, “like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes.”

This doesn’t mean that stoics don’t enjoy pleasurable things like acclaim, love and monetary success; it means that they “prefer” them, but they don’t “require” them to be happy. A true philosopher, in the words of Crates of Thebes, is one who’s “looking on generals and donkey-drivers in the same light.”

The journey of life is more important than any material goal because the journey is life. If you feel trapped in a work environment that demands unethical behavior, a stoic guru would advise, it’s better to quit than stay in a place that erodes your commitment to principle.

A stoic leader does everything in his power to succeed but will not compromise his principles in pursuit of fleeting success.

4. People Who Misbehave Do Not Deserve An Emotional Reaction From You.

In today’s lexicon, say the word “stoic” and you’ll conjure up images of a cold, harsh Scrooge-like figure. But ironically, stoicism can lead to even greater empathy for others who aren’t stoic because they’re not fortunate enough to live a principle-centered life. Someone who treats a stoic unkindly or deviously is merely demonstrating that he or she is behaving like one of Cleanthes’ tethered creatures. And since a stoic has complete control over his response to a negative stimulus, he chooses to emotionally disengage when someone picks a fight.

Television stoic
“The challenge for stoics has always been to live in a society full of people who ultimately suffer because they value material things or social status, without seeming unsympathetic to their plight,” says Robertson, who’s written on the connection between modern cognitive behavioral therapy and stoicism. “Most modern therapists see a great deal of self-inflicted human suffering but have to maintain an attitude of empathetic understanding, even when their clients appear to be their own worst enemies.”

Stoicism is a deterministic philosophy, which means its practitioners believe that every external action is the uncontrollable result of circumstances leading up to that action. So if a person behaves rudely it’s because of something dysfunctional inside them that triggers that behavior; this is out of the stoic’s control. However, things get dicey in questions of crime and punishment.

“A criminal justice system should treat criminals as if they’re foolishly mistaken about the most important things in life,” Robertson says. “It should seek mainly to rehabilitate and educate them, or perhaps to deter them, but not to punish for the sake of retribution, which the Stoics would see as a foolish and vicious response to those who commit wrongs. It makes us as bad as them.”

A stoic leader remains unflappable in the face of others’ irrational misdeeds. He does not overreact, and if it’s his job, any punitive action he takes against a perpetrator seeks to remedy dysfunction behind the misdeed rather than meting out blind punishment.

5. Meditate Daily To Revive Your Commitment To A Principle-Centered Life

Each day’s a fresh start, and a stoic clears his mind through reading or pondering stoic thought, a process that some call “cognitive hygiene,” or catharsis. Each morning this rejuvenates and reminds him of stoic principles. Each night it helps him identify mistakes and feel healthy pride in worthy accomplishments.

What’s fascinating about this new push to revive stoicism from the dusts of antiquity is that it wrenches stoicism from theoretical realms into the real world. It’s by design, since Epictetus and other stoic sages taught that philosophy is a way of life, not just an academic exercise.

In his book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, British writer Julian Evans compiled interviews with prominent modern-day stoics that add flesh and blood to these lofty ideals. And organizers of Stoic Week, including Evans and professors at the University of Exeter, some three hours southwest of London, encouraged their more than 2,000 participants “to live like a Stoic for a week.” They created recordings of meditations and a 38-page handbook on how to do this.

Emperor Aurelius visualized a stoic “as boxer, not fencer. The fencer’s weapon is picked up and put down again. The boxer’s is part of him. All he has to do is clench his fist.”

Stoicism doesn’t require pomp and circumstance, so it can be practiced quickly and simply. Through daily practice it develops men and women whose mental defenses are self-sufficient and instinctual.

The word "stoic" commonly refers to someone indifferent to pain, pleasure, grief, or joy. The modern usage as "person who represses feelings or endures patiently" was first cited in 1579 as a noun, and 1596 as an adjective. In contrast to the term "Epicurean", the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Stoicism notes, "the sense of the English adjective 'stoical' is not utterly misleading with regard to its philosophical origins."


"Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them."
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone.
"I am formed by nature for my own good: I am not formed for my own evil."

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Meantime

n. the moment of realization that your quintessential future self isn’t ever going to show up, which forces the role to fall upon the understudy, the gawky kid for whom nothing is easy, who spent years mouthing their lines in the wings before being shoved into the glare of your life, which is already well into its second third act.

-- fm The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Incident On Walsh Street

Like conspiracy theories? Carter Smith does and he's got an opportunity to get the answers for himself, if he survives. A quirky story about corruption, political correctness, and personal growth. Something to offend everyone. Incident on Walsh Street is a novella that contains adult themes and is sold here in ebook format only.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Jet Engine

The jet engine was invented by a couple of engineers, Sir Frank Whittle, who was a Royal Air Force Pilot and Hans von Ohain who developed the turbojet engine in the 1930s. In 1791, a patent was filed by John Barber in England for his stationary turbine. The first gas turbine was built in 1903 by Norwegian engineer, Aegidius Elling. Due to limitations in design and and some metals that were not yet discovered such engines were prevented from reaching the manufacturing stage.

Jet engines can be dated back to the first century AD when the aeolipile was invented. A practical working model had to wait until Hans von Ohain's jet engine got patented in 1936 and flew in 1939.He later developed the axial flow engine, which is now the standard for gas turbine engines. While, Whittle got his patent for the jet engine in 1930, his jet did not fly until the year 1941. His engine featured a multistage compressor, a combustion chamber, a single stage turbine and a nozzle. Jet engines received much funding during the World War II and the cold war. As a result, many improvements were made in a short period of time.

Rockets work on the same principle as jet engines except they do not require atmospheric oxygen as they carry all their propellants unlike a jet engine which uses atmospheric oxygen and cannot be used in space. Airplanes are designed to move through a cushion of air when thrust is produced by a propulsion system. The early gas turbine engines worked similar to the rocket engine by creating a hot exhaust gas which was directed through a nozzle in order to produce thrust. The modern passenger and military planes are powered by gas turbine engines, or jet engines. Jet engines come in a variety of shapes and sizes but all jet engines have certain parts in common.

Click to enlarge.
A gas turbine engine has a burner, compressor and a turbine. These three together are called the core of the engine. At the front of the engine, on the left hand side is the inlet. At the exit of the inlet is the compressor. The compressor is connected by a shaft to the turbine. The compressor and the turbine are composed of many rows of small air foil shaped blades. Some rows are connected to the inner shaft and rotate at high speed called the spinning rotors, while other rows called rotors, remain stationary. The shaft, compressor and turbine together make the turbo machinery. Between the compressor and the turbine flow path is the burner. In the burner the fuel and air are mixed and burned. The hot exhaust then passes through the turbine and out through the nozzle. The nozzle performs two tasks. One to to accelerate the hot exhaust gas so as to produce thrust. And the second, nozzle sets the mass flow through the engine.

Depending on the requirements of the plane, they are fitted with different types of jet engines.

Fighter jets need to fly at supersonic speed to escape their enemies. So need a lot of thrust to propel them against air drag. These jets are provided with an afterburner jet to increase its thrust. In a basic jet some of the energy from the exhaust is used to turn the turbine. The afterburner is used to put fuel back into the hot exhaust. What this does is create more thrust for the fighter. That means it also increases the temperature of the exhaust and the flow area of the nozzle has to be increased to let the same amount of mass flow. Afterburners are much more complex in design and used only in fighters and supersonic planes such as the Concorde.

Most modern airliners use turbofan engines because of their high thrust and good fuel efficiency. The incoming air is captured by the engine inlet. While some of the incoming air, passes through the fan and continues into the core compressor and the burner, the hot exhaust passes through the core, fan turbines and out the nozzle. This airflow is called the core airflow. The rest of the incoming air passes through the fan goes around the engine, and is called the fan flow. A turbofan therefore gets some of its thrust from both the core flow and fan flow. The fuel flow rate is not changed very much and so the turbofan provides more thrust for almost the same amount of fuel. They have a high bypass ratio and are very fuel efficient. This is why turbofans are used on high speed transport.

The turboprop engine has a core and a propeller. The core is the similar to the basic jet engine. But the exhaust from the nozzle is used here to turn the turbines instead of providing thrust. Here there is an additional turbine which is connected to the drive shaft and the drive shaft in turn to the gear box. The gear box is connected to the propeller which provides the thrust. The exhaust velocity of turboprops is low as little thrust is produced and most of the core exhaust is used in turning the drive shaft. They become less efficient when used in high speed and so are used in low speed cargo carriers.

In the turbo shaft engine the drive shaft is not connected to a gear box like in the turboprop but to another driver device and are mostly used in helicopters and tanks. They are also the Ram jet engines, Scram jet engine, or Propfan engines.

Applications and uses of Jet Engines:
Jet engines are used in almost all of the aircraft flying today.
Jet engines are also used in missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Used in high speed cars and industrial gas turbines to generate electricity.
Jet engines provide propulsion systems in ships.

Fastest ship in the world? Check it out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Climate Change Is Bogus

So. You always go along with the party dictates, especially the one that says we need to do something about climate change. You've heard people are causing the weather to change and have some control over it via carbon emissions. Therefore, so the logic goes, we must restructure notions of freedom and the world economy so we can tax everyone based on their carbon footprint. That's it in a nutshell, right? I almost hate to burst your bubble, but I'm afraid someone has to do it. It's a scam, a collectivist scam, another ruse designed for the misinformed to continue to vote for bigger government and to spend more money on a quixotic quest.

Don't believe me? Of course, you don't. Because you're in the bag for the socialists, the progressives. By the way, a socialist is little more than a patient communist. But I digress. Every prediction of dire consequences has proven to be wrong. The polar icecaps melting? Nope. Oceans rising? Nope. Mega-hurricanes sweeping the globe clean? Hardly. A new Ice Age? Still waiting. And on it goes with more and more drivel from the state-sponsored media. The fact is, there is no evidence that man-made activities contribute to climate change. It’s all conjecture and wishful thinking -- more smoke and mirrors.

In January, we had an example of this. Predictions of the worst blizzard ever recorded for New York City caused panic because the models called for a storm that never materialized.

Hey! I welcome harnessing wind, solar and tidal energy if it is practical, but we can’t be forced to abandon proven energy sources that drive the engines of civilization.

If you care to look at what evidence we do have ( and not that massaged by government agencies and scientists on the government payroll), historically, Earth has had large temperature swings and unusual weather patterns. What we know for certain is that the Earth has its own self-correcting system. Whatever people do, the earth manages to adjust. Have you heard the one about cattle flatulence contributing too much methane gas into the atmosphere? I kid you not, comrade.

It seems that we are always made to feel guilty about how we spend our own money. While the government approves abortion services and promotes illegal immigration, our normal lifestyles are condemned by elitist pseudo-experts. The truth is we cannot change the climate, for better or for worse. We do not have the means to do so.

All the hype and name calling will not change what we know. Man made climate change is a theory. Those who back this ridiculous effort to control the climate (nay -- it's really a method to tax the bejesus out of you) say that we can do so by controlling the amount of Greenhouse gases (CO2) in the atmosphere. Like refusing to allow cattle to fart, I suppose.

Climate does change. It's been changing since the beginning of time, but now the collectivists want to make it stay the way it is. Aww, like I said, that argument is actually a ruse anyway. It's not about the weather, or even about the possibility of another Ice Age, or a drought in Africa. It's actually about the money in your bank account and your personal freedom.

Schumann Resonances

The Schumann Resonances are a set of spectrum peaks in the extremely low frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth's electromagnetic field spectrum. Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth's surface and the ionosphere.

Since life began, the Earth has surrounded and protected all living things with a natural frequency pulsation of 7.83 HZ—the ancient Indian Rishis called OM. "Schumann Resonance" refers to the frequency of the electromagnetic field of the earth. Whether by coincidence or not, it also happens to be a very powerful frequency to use with brainwave entrainment. The discovery, from 1954, has spurred much research.

Isochronic tones are regular beats of a single tone used for brainwave entrainment. Similar to monaural beats, the interference pattern that produces the beat is outside the brain so headphones are not required for entrainment to be effective. They differ from monaural beats, which are constant sine wave pulses rather than entirely separate pulses of a single tone. As the contrast between noise and silence is more pronounced than the constant pulses of monaural beats, the stimulus is stronger and has a greater effect on brain entrainment.

This frequency has been associated with high levels of hypnotizability, meditation, increased HGH levels and cerebral blood flow levels seem to be much higher while this frequency is being stimulated. OM mantra was uttered by the Vedic sages who stayed on the banks of the river Saraswati in 9000 BC. Vedic civilization of Saraswati flourished till 4000 BC, till the river became non-perennial due to tectonic shifts blocking the Himalayan Glacier mouth. The elite then migrated all over including Western coast of India, Mesopotamia, Europe and Russia.

Mankind depends on two subtle environmental signals, the Yin from below and the Yang from above. The Schumann wave surrounding our planet being YANG and the weaker geomagnetic waves coming from below, from within the planet, being the YIN signal. Alpha brain Frequency of 7.83 HZ on the EEG, is also known popularly as Schumann's Resonance . These frequencies start at 7.8 Hz and progress by approximately 5.9 Hz. (7.8, 13.7, 19.6, 25.5, 31.4, 37.3, and 43.2 Hz.).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Joan d'Arc

Joan of Arc, a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. With no military training, Joan convinced the embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead a French army to the besieged city of Orléans, where it achieved a momentous victory over the English and their French allies, the Burgundians. After seeing the prince crowned King Charles VII, Joan was captured by Anglo-Burgundian forces, tried for witchcraft and heresy and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. By the time she was officially canonized in 1920, the Maid of Orléans (as she was known) had long been considered one of history’s greatest saints, and an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism.
At the tender age of nineteen years, the Maid of Orleans, Joan d'Arc was condemned to death for heresy and sentenced to die on 30 May 1431 by burning at the stake.

Her executioner, Geoffroy Therage, later stated that he “greatly feared to be damned” because of his part in the death of Joan of Arc.

She was tied to a tall pillar in the Vieux-Marche in Rouen, where she begged two priests, Father Martin Ladvenu and Father Isambart de la Pierre, to hold a crucifix before her so that she could see Jesus Christ. Feeling pity, a peasant made a small cross that Joan of Arc put in the front of her dress. Witnesses said she met her fate with composure and bravery, causing many to feel there was a horrible injustice being committed.

Click to enlarge.
After Joan of Arc died, the English raked the coals and ashes to expose her charred body to show that she had not escaped alive. They needed Joan of Arc's death to be proven beyond a doubt to keep her from becoming Joan of Arc the Martyr.

The English burned the body twice more to ashes to prevent the collection of ashes from the death of Joan of Arc. After Joan was burned at the stake two times, they took the ashes and threw them into the Seine as a final injustice against this woman who had attempted to free her people.

Heresy was the charge during the trial of Joan of Arc and although many people believed she had actually spoken to God, the politics of the day eventually won out and Joan d'Arc was humiliated in prison and executed without regard to religious mercy.

The executioner had three methods of easing the death of those who were to be burned. The executioner could either slit the victim's throat or strangle the victim with a rope or place green wood around the feet of the victim to cause them to die of asphyxiation from smoke inhalation. According to the Chief of the Fire Department, death by smoke inhalation occurs within 10 minutes or less.

An article by Norman Boutin (JOAN OF ARC'S DEATH: From Heat Stroke) -- the title says it all -- claims Joan passed out from heat stroke before the fire reached her.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America

by John W. Whitehead

“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” — George Washington

The architects of the American police state must think we’re idiots.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

Long gone are the days when advocates of free speech could prevail in a case such as Tinker v. Des Moines. Indeed, it’s been 50 years since 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband to school in protest of the Vietnam War. In taking up her case, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Were Tinker to make its way through the courts today, it would have to overcome the many hurdles being placed in the path of those attempting to voice sentiments that may be construed as unpopular, offensive, conspiratorial, violent, threatening or anti-government.

Consider, if you will, that the U.S. Supreme Court, historically a champion of the First Amendment, has declared that citizens can exercise their right to free speech everywhere it’s lawful — online, in social media, on a public sidewalk, etc.—as long as they don’t do so in front of the Court itself.

What is the rationale for upholding this ban on expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza?

“Allowing demonstrations directed at the Court, on the Court’s own front terrace, would tend to yield the… impression… of a Court engaged with — and potentially vulnerable to — outside entreaties by the public.”

Translation: The appellate court that issued that particular ruling in Hodge v. Talkin actually wants us to believe that the Court is so impressionable that the justices could be swayed by the sight of a single man, civil rights activist Harold Hodge, standing alone and silent in the snow in a 20,000 square-foot space in front of the Supreme Court building wearing a small sign protesting the toll the police state is taking on the lives of black and Hispanic Americans.

My friends, we’re being played for fools.

The Supreme Court is not going to be swayed by you or me or Harold Hodge.

For that matter, the justices — all of whom hale from one of two Ivy League schools (Harvard or Yale) and most of whom are now millionaires and enjoy such rarefied privileges as lifetime employment, security details, ample vacations and travel perks — are anything but impartial.

If they are partial, it is to those with whom they are on intimate terms: with Corporate America and the governmental elite who answer to them, and they show their favor by investing in their businesses, socializing at their events, and generally marching in lockstep with their values and desires in and out of the courtroom.

To suggest that Harold Hodge, standing in front of the Supreme Court building on a day when the Court was not in session hearing arguments or issuing rulings, is a threat to the Court’s neutrality, while their dalliances with Corporate America is not, is utter hypocrisy.

Making matters worse, the Supreme Court has the effrontery to suggest that the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag because it was offensive.

If it were just the courts suppressing free speech, that would be one thing to worry about, but First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country.

The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

Officials at the University of Tennessee, for instance, recently introduced an Orwellian policy that would prohibit students from using gender specific pronouns and be more inclusive by using gender “neutral” pronouns such as ze, hir, zir, xe, xem and xyr, rather than he, she, him or her.

On many college campuses, declaring that “America is the land of opportunity” or asking someone “Where were you born?” are now considered microaggressions, “small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless.” Trigger warnings are also being used to alert students to any material or ideas they might read, see or hear that might upset them.

More than 50 percent of the nation’s colleges, including Boston University, Harvard University, Columbia University and Georgetown University, subscribe to “red light” speech policies that restrict or ban so-called offensive speech, or limit speakers to designated areas on campus. The campus climate has become so hypersensitive that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

What we are witnessing is an environment in which political correctness has given rise to “vindictive protectiveness,” a term coined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and educational First Amendment activist Greg Lukianoff. It refers to a society in which “everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression or worse.”

This is particularly evident in the public schools where students are insulated from anything—words, ideas and images—that might create unease or offense. For instance, the thought police at schools in Charleston, South Carolina, have instituted a ban on displaying the Confederate flag on clothing, jewelry and even cars on campus.

Added to this is a growing list of programs, policies, laws and cultural taboos that defy the First Amendment’s safeguards for expressive speech and activity. Yet as First Amendment scholar Robert Richards points out, “The categories of speech that fall outside of [the First Amendment’s] protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Even in those categories, there are tests that have to be met in order for the speech to be illegal. Beyond that, we are free to speak.”

Technically, Richards is correct. On paper, we are free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow.

Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms.

As a result, we are no longer a nation of constitutional purists for whom the Bill of Rights serves as the ultimate authority. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have litigated and legislated our way into a new governmental framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry.

It may seem trivial to be debating the merits of free speech at a time when unarmed citizens are being shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, challenge an order, or just breathe.

However, while the First Amendment provides no tangible protection against a gun wielded by a government agent, nor will it save you from being wrongly arrested or illegally searched, or having your property seized in order to fatten the wallets of government agencies, without the First Amendment, we are utterly helpless.

It’s not just about the right to speak freely, or pray freely, or assemble freely, or petition the government for a redress of grievances, or have a free press. The unspoken freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to think freely and openly debate issues without being muzzled or treated like a criminal.

Just as surveillance has been shown to “stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear,” government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance and makes independent thought all but impossible.

In the end, censorship and political correctness not only produce people that cannot speak for themselves but also people who cannot think for themselves. And a citizenry that can’t think for itself is a citizenry that will neither rebel against the government’s dictates nor revolt against the government’s tyranny.

The end result: a nation of sheep who willingly line up for the slaughterhouse.

The cluttered cultural American landscape today is one in which people are so distracted by the military-surveillance-entertainment complex that critical thinkers are in the minority and frank, unfiltered, uncensored speech is considered uncivil, uncouth and unacceptable.

That’s the point, of course.

The architects, engineers and lever-pullers who run the American police state want us to remain deaf, dumb and silent. They want our children raised on a vapid diet of utter nonsense, where common sense is in short supply and the only viewpoint that matters is the government’s.

We are becoming a nation of idiots, encouraged to spout political drivel and little else.

In so doing, we have adopted the lexicon of Newspeak, the official language of George Orwell’s fictional Oceania, which was “designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” As Orwell explained in 1984, “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc [the state ideology of Oceania], but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

If Orwell envisioned the future as a boot stamping on a human face, a fair representation of our present day might well be a muzzle on that same human face.

If we’re to have any hope for the future, it will rest with those ill-mannered, bad-tempered, uncivil, discourteous few who are disenchanted enough with the status quo to tell the government to go to hell using every nonviolent means available.

However, as Orwell warned, you cannot become conscious until you rebel.