Monday, March 23, 2009

Rolling Stone Magazine: 'It's over --- we're officially, royally f*cked'

From The Big Takeover -- The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution by Matt Taibbi

It's over — we're officially, royally fucked. no empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.

The latest bailout came as AIG admitted to having just posted the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history — some $61.7 billion. In the final three months of last year, the company lost more than $27 million every hour. That's $465,000 a minute, a yearly income for a median American household every six seconds, roughly $7,750 a second. And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society and was unable to spot holes in the national economy the size of Libya (whose entire GDP last year was smaller than AIG's 2008 losses).

So it's time to admit it: We're fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we're still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream. When Geithner announced the new $30 billion bailout, the party line was that poor AIG was just a victim of a lot of shitty luck — bad year for business, you know, what with the financial crisis and all. Edward Liddy, the company's CEO, actually compared it to catching a cold: "The marketplace is a pretty crummy place to be right now," he said. "When the world catches pneumonia, we get it too." In a pathetic attempt at name-dropping, he even whined that AIG was being "consumed by the same issues that are driving house prices down and 401K statements down and Warren Buffet's investment portfolio down."

Liddy made AIG sound like an orphan begging in a soup line, hungry and sick from being left out in someone else's financial weather. He conveniently forgot to mention that AIG had spent more than a decade systematically scheming to evade U.S. and international regulators, or that one of the causes of its "pneumonia" was making colossal, world-sinking $500 billion bets with money it didn't have, in a toxic and completely unregulated derivatives market.

Nor did anyone mention that when AIG finally got up from its seat at the Wall Street casino, broke and busted in the afterdawn light, it owed money all over town — and that a huge chunk of your taxpayer dollars in this particular bailout scam will be going to pay off the other high rollers at its table. Or that this was a casino unique among all casinos, one where middle-class taxpayers cover the bets of billionaires.

People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.

The crisis was the coup de grâce: Given virtually free rein over the economy, these same insiders first wrecked the financial world, then cunningly granted themselves nearly unlimited emergency powers to clean up their own mess. And so the gambling-addict leaders of companies like AIG end up not penniless and in jail, but with an Alien-style death grip on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve — "our partners in the government," as Liddy put it with a shockingly casual matter-of-factness after the most recent bailout.

The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers.

~ more... ~

Prison activist's death sparks uprising in women's prison of Thebes, Greece

Submitted by taxikipali on Mar 22 2009

The second uprising in the Greek prisons in only two days was sparked by the death of Katerina Goulioni, inmate activist against vaginal inspection in jail. Clashes have erupted outside the prison between riot police and solidarity protesters. Koridalos Athens prisons also in turmoil.

The death of Katerina Goulioni, a female prison activist known for her struggle against vaginal inspection of inmates sparked a violent uprising in the Women's Prison of Thebes on Sunday 22/3. Inmates have refused to return to their cells, and are setting fires and smashing the jail premises, while a protest march in solidarity to Goulioni clashed with riot police forces outside the prison. One section of the prison is said to be seriously burned.

Tension is also evident in the central Athens prison of Koridallos where 200 inmates are staging a protest in solidarity to the Theban uprising. The Minister of Justice, Dendias, notorious for his recent police-state legislations, has refused to allow the Initiative for Prisoner's Rights to visit the rebel inmates, saying he will not tolerate "left wing threats".

Katerina Goulioni's last letter to the Initiative for Prisoners' Rights published in the Communist Newspaper Epoxi is revealing of the activist's struggle with the prison authorities: "I hit the chief-screw because besides everything he had me locked in isolation in Koridallos Prison and I had to pee in a bottle". Besides her struggle against vaginal inspection which she has termed "informal rape", in letters past, Katerina has denounced the conditions of prison transfer, a process during which many inmates lose their life under suspicious conditions, the lack of facilities for prisoners with special mobility needs.

Goulioni's co-inmates have sent the press the following goodbye note to their comrade:

"All your life was full of thirst. Thirst for struggle and justice. You fought for all and for everything without care for the consequences. And at the end the consequences of your struggles rewarded you in the worse of manners, with a violent, unexpected sudden death. But we are still here, Katerina, and we shall remember you and continue the struggle you began. You are everywhere. We sense you and we thank you for taking care of us. For us, you will live for ever. Have a great journey!"

~ libcom.org ~


Greek prisoner activist found dead during prisoner transfer

20 March 2009
Early on Wednesday morning, a Greek prisoner actively engaged in defending prisoners’ rights was found dead. Katerina Goulioni and other prisoners were being transferred on a ferry from Thiva women’s prison in Greece to Neapoli prison on Crete.

It is alleged that, during the transport, she was seated at a distance from other prisoners and that her hands were tied behind her back. Other prisoners are reported to have said that she looked as if she had been hit in the face.

Katerina Goulioni contacted Amnesty International on several occasions to report on the inhuman treatment of prisoners and prison conditions for women, including at Thiva prison, near Athens, and at Diavata prison, Thessaloniki.

She informed Amnesty International that she had lodged complaints with the Greek Ombudsperson, including one in February 2009, and the prison governor of Thiva prison. She also appeared in a television documentary just before her death.

Katerina Goulioni had also been actively involved in Amnesty International’s campaigns by collecting petition signatures from Thiva prisoners. She told members of Amnesty International Greece on 17 March 2009 that the organization’s campaigning materials had recently been removed from her cell together with other human rights documents and that some materials had not been delivered at all.

According to information provided by the Greek Ministry of Justice, Katerina Goulioni died of a heart attack. The official coroner’s report is expected next week.

Amnesty International is calling on the Greek authorities to carry out a full, prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the full circumstances of the death of Katerina Goulioni; and into the complaints that she had lodged about the treatment of women prisoners.

~ Amnesty International ~

Requiem for lost comrades

Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas - 'Water down the Ganges'


Blank.tv

Oren Lavie - "Her Morning Elegance" A Quarter Past Wonderful


BlankTV.com is the Net's largest, d.i.y., free, uncensored punk, ska, hardcore and indie music video site, featuring 3,000 kickass music videos and live clips spanning the past twenty-five years of punk, hardcore, ska, oi, psychobilly, indie and underground music.
http://www.BlankTV.com

Rahim Samad - "John Horse" VaultClassic Records


Waterdown - "Round 2"


Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls - "Anarchist Girl"


Death squads flower in hard times

From Death squad leader 'was top CIA agent' (Serbia)

The late President Milosevic's secret police chief and organiser of Serb death squads during the genocidal ethnic cleansing of disintegrating Yugoslavia was the United States' top CIA agent in Belgrade, according to the independent Belgrade Radio B92.

The claim that from 1992 until the end of the decade, Jovica Stanisic, head of Serbia's murderous DB Secret Police, was regularly informing his CIA handlers of the thinking in Milosevic's inner circle has shocked the region.

Stanisic is said to have loyally served his two masters for eight years. He is facing war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
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In the terrifying years of Yugoslavia's internecine wars, he acted as the willing "muscle" behind Milosevic's genocidal campaigns in Croatia, Kosovo and Bosnia, including Sebrenica.

According to the charges he faces, Stanisic was "part of a joint criminal enterprise that included former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic and other Serbian politicians".


From Historical Archives Lead to Arrest of Police Officers in Guatemalan Disappearance

Following a stunning breakthrough in a 25-year-old case of political terror in Guatemala, the National Security Archive today [March 17,2008] is posting declassified U.S. documents about the disappearance of Edgar Fernando García, a student leader and trade union activist captured by Guatemalan security forces in 1984. The documents show that García's capture was an organized political abduction orchestrated at the highest levels of the Guatemalan government.

Guatemalan authorities made the first arrest ever in the long-dormant kidnapping case when they detained Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos, a senior police officer in Quezaltenango, on March 5th and retired policeman Abraham Lancerio Gómez on March 6th as a result of an investigation into García's abduction by Guatemala's Human Rights Prosecutor (Procurador de Derechos Humanos—PDH). Arrest warrants have been issued for two more suspects, Hugo Rolando Gómez Osorio and Alfonso Guillermo de León Marroquín. The two are former officers with the notorious Special Operations Brigade (BROE) of the National Police, a unit linked to death squad activities during the 1980s by human rights groups.


From Panel looks into Davao killings

The Commission on Human Rights will look into the series of unexplained killings attributed to the “Davao Death Squad” and unmask those behind the vigilante group.

CHR Chairman Leila de Lima told a news forum in Quezon City that she and other agency officials will fly to Davao City on March 30 in an effort to gather witnesses against the group said to be responsible for a series of killings in the city.

“We will investigate for two days from March 30 and on the third day we will also investigate the abduction, rape and murder of Rebelyn Pitao,” De Lima told the weekly Usapang Daungan Forum at Danarra Hotel.

She said it was alarming to note that some people in Davao have found the killings acceptable. “We cannot accept reasons that there were no witnesses and we will ask the local police and military to explain if they have acted on these killings.”


From 'Death squad' cops charged

Nine members of Sao Paulo's Motorised Police were charged today with being in a death squad dubbed "The Highlanders" that last year killed at least 12 people, five by decapitation, authorities said.

The nine allegedly rogue cops were arrested after a passerby witnessed the murder of a mentally handicapped 31-year-old, whose head and hands were severed, and took down the licence plate number of the killers' car.

Civil Police began investigating the group known as The Highlanders in October after a series of grisly murders of presumed criminals and delinquents in the Sao Paulo area. At one point police said they believed they were dealing with a serial killer.


From Chechens fear "Russian death squad team" in Turkey

A new debate has been surfaced after 3 Chechen murders in Istanbul.

3 Chechens were killed in Istanbul in five months. While all doubts are on the Russian intelligence, Muslum C, an aide of Ali Osaev, killed last week, says, " a team of 30 Russian intelligence agents walks freely in Turkey now. After every murder, we ask ourselves "who is next". Turkey should take precautions."

In Istanbul, Edilsultanov Gazi who fought against Russian army in Chechnya as 'Colonel' on September 6, Islam Canibekov on December 9 and Islam Ali last week were assasinated.

Way and used weapons of these attacks raise doubts over the role of Russian FSB intelligence.


From Suspected death squad claims another victim in Kidapawan

KIDAPAWAN, Philippines — Members of a suspected death squad killed another victim here in this southern city, police said on Tuesday.

Police identified the latest victim as Percy Bacus, 38, a farmer from Barangay Linao, in Matalam, North Cotabato.

He sustained multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body.

[ ... ]

Tuesday's shooting incident was the 14th since October 2008 and Bacus became the 16th victim. Of the 16 victims, 13 died.

Bacus' killing came five days after a shooting incident along a commercial district here that killed two and injured one.

The suspect was identified as Police Officer 1 Marvin Contayoso, a member of the intelligence unit of the Kidapawan City police.


From Colombian paramilitary tells how he financed his own Murder Inc.: bananas

 ITAGU, Colombia --  For a guy who brags about killing hundreds of his countrymen, Raúl Hasbún lives high on the government's dime. He sits in a plush cell outside Medellín where he enjoys cable TV, raids his own fridge, can order out for fast food and has his cat to keep him company.

Hasbún, a former banana grower and paramilitary involved in Colombia's right-wing counterinsurgency, was able to score such a cushy arrangement because his words are in demand. Everyone wants to hear how he allegedly devised a method for putting the squeeze on international companies to raise the money to arm the death squads that carried out the gruesome massacres that kept Colombia in a constant state of turmoil.

In other words, he monetized the murder of Colombians, including many civilians.

''I am the one who established the system,'' Hasbún, also known by his nom de guerre Pedro the Pretty One, told The Miami Herald in an exclusive interview in his cell.

It was pretty simple, according to Hasbún. Companies paid three cents for every crate of bananas exported. The proceeds kept the private armies flush with cash and stocked with weapons.


From 4 Soldiers Suspended for Killing Civilian in Kashmir

Srinagar, March 19: After the killing of a 38-year old carpenter by Indian paramilitary soldiers in South Kashmir yesterday evening, four Indian para-military soldiers including an officer were suspended till inquiry is completed.

38-year old carpenter, Gulam Mohiuddin Malik was killed by paramilitary CRPF personnel at Kheegam village in south Kashmir on Wednesday evening. The villagers have said that the carpenter was killed in an unprovoked firing by the paramilitary personnel.

A paramilitary CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Prabhakar Tripathi said, "A CRPF patrol party had gone to the village for searches on specific information about the presence of militants. The patrol party was fired upon by militants and the soldiers returned the fire. Later, during searches of the area, body of a carpenter was recovered from the haystack."

He said that they have ordered an inquiry into the incident. "It has been established during the preliminary investigations that there were some flaws in the operation. Four of the soldiers including an Assistant Commandant have been suspended till the inquiry is completed," he said.


From Paramilitary forces to hire 1.35 lakh personnel by 2010

NEW DELHI: Even as economic slowdown forces private companies to put fresh recruitments on hold, central paramilitary forces — CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB — have emerged as one of the largest recruiters with plans to hire over 1.35 lakh personnel by next year.

All these forces will together raise 123 new battalions, raising the total strength of the central forces to nearly 10 lakh personnel by 2010.

Sources in the home ministry said CRPF - the country's largest paramilitary force — and CISF, which has recently been given the mandate to provide security cover to private companies as well in the wake of Mumbai attacks, will see maximum recruitments with BSF, ITBP and SSB also augmenting their strength.


From Trinco Varsha killing; Tamil paramilitary groups blame each other

Two paramilitary groups, Tamil Makal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) led by Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan and other by Karuna Amman alias Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, who resigned from the TMVP and joined the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), are blaming each other for the abduction and killing of six-year-old girl student, Varsha Jude Reggie, according to Colombo media reports.

She was abducted on March 11 morning by another person who came in a three-wheeler when she was waiting for her routine trishaw to return home. Later her body was put in an empty fertilizer bag and dumped in a drain in the heart of Trincomalee on 13th Friday afternoon.

TMVP led by Pillaiyan alleges that cadres of Karuna group might be involved in the crime. TMVP spokesman Azad Moulana said Karuna group has been using the TMVP offices with TMVP name board though he joined the SLFP and became a minister in the President Mahinda Rajapakse's government.

But Karuna group spokesman Iniya Barathi denied the allegation and directly blamed the TMVP group led by Pillaiyan responsible for the crime. Iniya Barathi said Pillaiayan's TMVP group cadres are directly responsible for many more killings and abductions including Varsha's, according to media reports published from Colombo.

Trincomalee police arrested six suspects in connection with Varsha's murder. Two of them died in police custody. One was shot dead by the police when he attempted to escape from police custody and the other took cyanide and committed suicide when he was being taken to a place for further inquiry.

Greece: Police state gears up for clampdown




Police state rehearsed in Athens
Submitted by taxikipali on Mar 17 2009

New repressive and legislative measures aim to create state of siege for the Greek capital.

After holding meetings with the Scotland Yard as well as American security advisers, the frail Greek government with only one MP majority has announced the imposition of draconian measures aimed to halt the rising social antagonistic movement across the country. With the support of the corporate media, the government has announced it will not tolerate any more political violence on the streets, giving a carte blanche to the regime’s praetorian guard, as the ex-Minister of Public Order, Byron Polidoras, has called the riot police, to exercise unlimited force on demonstrators. In addition, the government has announced the formation of a rapid reaction force of 300 armed policemen mounted on fast motorbikes to patrol the heart of the Athens and the introduction of police dogs in pedestrian patrols. The Minister of Justice has also announced the introduction of a new law that will severely punish hoods, masks and other feature distorting clothing in protest marches. The corporate press has been ahistorically using the term “koukouloforos”, i.e. hooded man, to refer to anarchists and other radicals, trying to identify the social movement with the hooded Nazi collaborators of the German occupation in the 1940s, a tactic of psychological warfare endorsed by the Communist Party [KKE]. The corporate media, which are fanning the fears of conservative sections of the population with talk of an impeding civil war, have also been supporting the government and its allies to the far-right in their attempt to open up the issue of the university asylum, a clause in Greece’s Constitution. Earlier attempts to that cause were thwarted by the huge student movement in 2006-2007.

Left wing and independent media as well as a wide spectrum of the social movement have condemned the measures as a police state rehearsal aimed to impose a stage of siege in Athens and to repress social and labour struggles, pointing out that the State’s priority should be the dissolution of the neonazi parastate, the immediate release of the imprisoned insurgents of December, and that policemen should be disarmed (several thousands of them were estimated yesterday as unfit for carrying weapons) and be forced to wear numbers indicating their identity, something that does not happen today.

The new measures are expected to rise rather than dampen social tension, especially as the government has lately proved its propensity towards totalitarianism, amongst other things by appointing the old propaganda chief of the colonels’ junta as director of the state archives, thus placing the future of both academic and independent research at the hands of one of the darkest figures of recent Greek history. The current government is run by the Nea Dimokratia Party, the immediate successor of the junta and a transformation of the post civil war royalist party that filled the islands with concentration camps for communists in the 1950s.



[ Waterdown - 'Cut the cord' ]

14.05: Prisoner Katerina Goulioni dies in police custody under mysterious circumstances; new government law against hoodies

According to various newssite reports,prisoner Katerina Goulioni, prisoner and militant prisoners’ rights activist, has died in police custody this morning.

UPDATE, 15.48 Latest comments from IMC Athens reveal that Katerina was on the same boat to Crete with fascist prisoner “Periandros”. Periandros attacked anarchist prisoner Yannis Dimitrakis outside the boat (Yannis is in the hospital but is now ok in his health), only to be later attacked back by other prisoners in his own cell.

Katerina, who was held at the prison of Thiva in mainland Greece, was under transfer to Crete. In the boat from Pireaus to Crete, the guards forced her to sit alone, 15 seats behind the other prisoners, hands tied behind the back. At 6am this morning Katerina was found dead; according to testimonies by other prisoners, she was badly hit on the face.

The coroner refuses to give out any information before the official report, which is not expected before next week. Prisoners at the prison of Thiva already refuse their meals.

Katerina was one of the most active prisoners in defence of prisoners’ rights and was often put in isolation.

(This is breaking news, more will hopefully follow)

Meanwhile, the conservative government’s justice minister has announced a new law, echoing the often-repeated demand of LAOS, the extreme-right parliamentary party. According to the new law, those arrested and convicted of crimes while concealing their identity will be facing longer charges - ranging between 2 and 10 years more. This is not a german-style banning of hoodies all together (which has also been suggested by LAOS) and is virtually inneforcible.

Free energy labeled 'economic terrorism'

Melissa Cody writes in Examiner.com :

Free energy technology causes panic among governments and big corporations.  Dr. Steven Greer, known for the Disclosure Project, explains why:

"Implications of success... as the widespread adoption of these new, non-polluting energy and propulsion systems so that the use of oil, gas, coal, nuclear power and other earth damaging sources of energy are effectively replaced. It should be noted that such an undertaking will impact 4.5 trillion dollars a year in world economic activity, replace the current geo-political order with one based on decentralized abundance, and enable humanity to attain a long-term, environmentally sustainable civilization.

It is safe to say that the advent of such new energy systems will be the greatest technological, industrial, geopolitical and Cultural Revolution in known human history. No aspect of life on Earth will be unaffected by it - and this is precisely why such technologies have been suppressed."

The suppression has included such things as:

  • Acquisition of the technology by 'front' companies whose intent have been to 'shelve' the invention and prevent the device from coming to market.

  • Denial of patents and intellectual property protection by systematic action by the US and other patent offices.

  • Seizure or suppression of the technology by the illegal application of section 181 of the US Patent law or other illegal applications of national security provisions that result in the technology being classified or deemed "of significance to the national security".

  • Abuses by other regulatory or licensing entities, including but not limited to rogue elements within the Department of Defense, CIA, NSA, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Energy and others.

  • Targeting the inventor or company with financial scams, illegal financial arrangements that lead to the demise of the company, and similar traps.

  • Systematic interception of funds and essential financial support needed to develop and put into mass application such a fundamental new energy source.

  • A pattern of harassment, bomb-threats, theft and other shadowy actions that frighten, intimidate and demoralize those inventing, holding or developing such technologies; significant bodily harm and murder have also apparently occurred.

  • Inducements through significant financial buy-outs, offers of positions of power and prestige and other benefits to the owner of such technologies to secure their cooperation in suppressing such technologies.

  • Scientific establishment prejudice and rejection of the technology in light of unconventional electromagnetic effects thought to be not possible by current scientific conventional wisdom.

  • Corruption of scientific entities and leaders through clandestine liaisons with rogue classified or shadowy private projects that intend to suppress such devices.

  • Corruption of major media entities and key figures through clandestine liaisons with rogue classified or private shadowy projects that intend to suppress such devices.


~ more... ~

Yoga Fight Club

the first rule of fight club is...



" Yoga Fight Club “Unleash Your Inner Warrior” with Susan Holland

You never have to keep your inner warrior (one, two and three) inside again! In a fusion of yoga asana, cardiovascular training, strength conditioning and the age-old human instinct to fight, this class is a fun place to sweat, stretch and explore new ways to move your body and release all your cosmopolitan frustrations. Using boxing gloves, mitts and kick pads students can safely explore different fight techniques while moving through full body conditioning and vinyasa yoga circuits. This is an intense workout for the body and a great way to blow off some steam. All levels welcome, no yoga or fighting experience necessary! "

For more ... check out this video .

[ Source: Top 5 places to practise weird yoga ]

Earth slips past vernal equinox

From Vernal Equinox 2009: Facts on the First Day of Spring by John Roach for National Geographic News

The fall and spring equinoxes, for starters, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west, according to Alan MacRobert, a senior editor with Sky & Telescope magazine.

The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.

On the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight.

A person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, but it would signal the start of six months of darkness.



[source:
Mayan Equinox Serpent at Chichén Itzá, Mexico from Mitch Battros - Earth Changes Media]


From Lady Day: The Vernal Equinox by Mike Nichols

Now comes the vernal equinox, and the season of spring reaches its apex, halfway through its journey from Candlemas to Beltane. Once again, night and day stand in perfect balance, with the powers of light on the ascendancy. The God of Light now wins a victory over his twin, the God of Darkness. In The Mabinogion myth reconstruction that I have proposed, this is the day on which the restored Llew takes his vengeance on Goronwy by piercing him with the sunlight spear. For Llew was restored/reborn at the winter solstice and is now well/old enough to vanquish his rival/twin and mate with his lover/ mother. And the Great Mother Goddess, who has returned to her Virgin aspect at Candlemas, welcomes the young Sun God's embraces and conceives a child. The child will be born nine months from now, at the next winter solstice. And so the cycle closes at last.


From Michelle Obama Plants Witch's Herbs On Vernal Equinox (satire from The Spoof)

(Washington DC)-- Michelle Obama honored an old African tradition on the first day of Spring and planted an herbal garden at the White House. The First Lady's African roots include many powerful warlocks and witches, reaching back for thousands of years. She planted the magickal herbs to help her hold onto and increase her powers in the coming year.

Michelle first planted a row of foxglove for her garden. Foxglove dazzles the eyes of onlookers. Any witch wearing a leaf of the plant bewitches men and women. Even an old hag has a chance to pose for the cover of Vague magazine.

Michelle next planted a row of yarrow in her magickal little plot. Yarrow is used to sooth the voice. A tea from yarrow changes even the most sharp and hateful of voices into a smooth, silky contralto. Only the most fat and ugly of Republicans is immune from the charms of the yarrow.


and some overlooked news:


From Paganism returns to the Holy Land by Ofri Ilani (Haaretz)

Like many other soldiers who took part in the Gaza operation, Omer, 20, occasionally took a few moments to pray, but he did not pray to the Lord of Israel. Omer considers himself pagan, and has sworn allegiance to three ancient gods. During combat, he says they appeared before him, giving him strength during the most arduous moments.

Omer is still in the army, and therefore refused to be interviewed for this story. Yet he did say he belongs to a religion whose goal is to revive worship of ancient gods.

In an online Hebrew-language paganism forum, Omer's accounts of his Gaza experience are standard fare. Another user recalled how he prayed to Anat, the Canaanite god of war, while serving in an elite combat unit.

[ ... ]

Due to Jewish sensitivity to idol worship, which is perceived as a sin, most Israeli pagans reveal their beliefs only to those who share them. They usually keep religious gatherings, such as the "holiday of equality" (Vernal equinox) on March 21st, secret.

[ ... ]

Ruah-Midbar believes paganism has a bright future in Israeli culture.

"At the moment paganism is not a large-scale practice here, but I believe it has very big potential," she said. "Pagan religions are the fastest growing religions in the West, and it could succeed here too, because Hebrewism and Zionism could connect to paganism due to the emphasis on land and Hebrew holidays. Paganism is a close, unusual parallel of more common practices, like environmentalism or traveling to the East. In practice, it really is not very different."

A Perfect Circle - 'Annihilation'



From dehumanization to arms production,
For the benefit of the nation or its destruction
Power, power, the law of the land,
Those living for death will die by their own hand,

Life's no ordeal if you come to terms,
Reject the system dictating the norms

From dehumanization to arms production,
To hasten the nation towards its destruction
Power, power, the law of the land,
Those living for death will die by their own hand,

Life's no ordeal if you come to terms,
Reject the system dictating the norms

From dehumanization to arms production,
To hasten the nation towards its destruction
Power, power, the law of the land,
Those living for death will die by their own hand,

Life's no ordeal if you come to terms,
Reject the system dictating the norms

From dehumanization to arms production,
To hasten this nation towards its destruction,

It's your choice, your choice, your choice, your choice,
Peace or annihilation

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