by Kristin Bricker (Narco News - 20Jun, 2009)
US Government Trained the Police Department that Participated in the Operation and Invested "Heavily" in the Killer Helicopters
On June 5, the Peruvian National Police (PNP) massacred up to fifty unarmed Awajún and Wampi indigenous people in Bagua who had blockaded roads in protest of land reforms related to a recently implemented US-Peru free trade agreement. Witnesses report that the PNP shot live ammunition from the ground, rooftops, and police helicopters. Anywhere between 61-400 people are reported missing following the attack.
Narco News has discovered that US drug war money is all over the massacre. The US government has not only spent the past two decades funding the helicopters used in the massacre, it also trained the PNP in "riot control."
The Peruvian National Police
The Peruvian National Police is a militarized police force and Peru's only national police force, meaning that Peru lacks a civilian federal police force. For this reason, the militarized PNP carries out regular policing functions in Peru, such as maintaining the peace and providing public security. Furthermore, "Counternarcotics operations in Peru are implemented primarily through the Ministry of the Interior by the Peruvian National Police," according to the US Government Accounting Office (GOA, now known as the Government Accountability Office). For this reason, the PNP receives a significant chunk of US drug war aid to Peru.
Basic details of the Bagua massacre such as exactly which police departments participated and how many indigenous protesters died remain unavailable two weeks after the massacre. Peru's La Primera newspaper--the only news outlet to provide information on specific police departments that participated in the massacre--writes, "The police operation was carried out by about 600 armed police from the Dinoes [Special Operations Department] and from the Anti-Drugs Department (DINANDRO), who shot head-on at protesters' bodies." Dinoes and DINANDRO are two forces within the Peruvian National Police.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009
by Kristin Bricker (Narco News - 20Jun, 2009)
From A virtuoso muse:
She was Beethoven's inspiration, Goethe's companion and caught the eye of Napoleon. But many still regard Bettina Brentano as a fraud, says Jan Swafford (The Guardian - 23 Aug, 2003)
"Who," asked Napoleon Bonaparte, "is that fuzzy young person?" She was Elisabeth Brentano, known simply as Bettina. Actually, Napoleon was not among her conquests, nor was he her type.
She did not jump into his lap, as she did with Goethe, or croon her name into his ear, as with Beethoven, or go for intimate walks, as with Karl Marx. Napoleon did not dedicate a battle to her, as Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms dedicated songs and the Grimms an edition of their fairy tales. But, even at a distance, Bettina Brentano drew comment.
She was sister to one famous poet, wife to another and inspiration to others, but declined to write poetry. What she did write has outraged and fascinated people ever since. She was a supreme muse, a one-woman literary movement, at once among the singular and most representative figures of the Romantic century.
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She became a muse to beleaguered progressives; she was branded a communist before the Communist Manifesto; she campaigned against antisemitism. She got away with two extraordinary and dangerous political books entreating the Prussian throne to liberalise because she was a woman, and because the Prussian king was an admirer.
In her strange last book, Conversations with Demons, she imagines herself as a spirit whispering of reform to the king as he sleeps. She nearly went bankrupt publishing it and nobody read it.
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Editorial Preface to the English translation of Goethe's correspondence with a child by Bettina von Arnim - 1837 by Bruce G. Charlton
Goethe's Correspondence with a Child – English Translation – e-text edition by Bettine von Arnim
US Hypocrisy Toward Iran By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org
The world's biggest hypocrite and meddlesome nosy parker, the United States, has outdone itself with its reaction to the post-election events in Iran. At least five glaring 'grand hypocrisy' categories have emerged, with more likely on the way. What other country -- having just endured eight years of dictatorship as the result of two stolen elections -- could actually spew outrage over... another nation's 'stolen election?' Gag me with a green chainsaw.
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In the course of writing my woman-only commuter coaches post, I read an interesting Village Voice piece entitled The Politics of Groping by Richard Goldstein written in the context of the revelations of Arnold Schwarzenegger's groping history. It's an interesting article with interesting observations, particularly around how women's feeling of humiliation cause them to keep silent when they are groped, even women like Sen. Patty Murray, who was groped by Strom Thurmond in an elevator. I think Goldstein's proposed solution to groping is interesting to think about in light of the disagreements around how society ought to address groping which are illuminated in the woman-only commuter car phenomena; i.e., should separate spaces for women be created, or should the focus be on forcing men to stop groping.
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From Men-only train cars sought in groping fears:
TOKYO (Reuters) - Many women taking the crowded train in Tokyo opt for women-only carriages during the rush hour to avoid gropers.
Now, for fear of being accused of groping, some are asking for carriages reserved for men as well.
Ten shareholders of Seibu Holdings, which runs trains in the Tokyo area, have petitioned for carriages reserved for men.
"There have been many cases of groping, as well as false charges of groping, on Seibu Railway," the shareholders said in a notice seeking a vote at the company's annual meeting next Wednesday.
"While measures against groping, such as setting women-only carriages, have been effective to a certain extent, no measures have been taken against false charges of groping... In the spirit of gender-equality, a male-only carriage must be introduced."
Apparently it's a global epidemic:
By Paul Craig Roberts
A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of Terhan. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below) has somehow not contaminated unfolding events.
The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the preemptive declaration of victory and the announcement of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote. It is amazing that people don't see through this trick.
As for the grand ayatollah Montazeri's charge that the election was stolen, he was the initial choice to succeed Khomeini, but lost out to the current Supreme Leader. He sees in the protests an opportunity to settle the score with Khamenei. Montazeri has the incentive to challenge the election whether or not he is being manipulated by the CIA, which has a successful history of manipulating disgruntled politicians.
There is a power struggle among the ayatollahs. Many are aligned against Ahmadinejad because he accuses them of corruption, thus playing to the Iranian countryside where Iranians believe the ayatollahs' lifestyles indicate an excess of power and money. In my opinion, Ahmadinejad's attack on the ayatollahs is opportunistic. However, it does make it odd for his American detractors to say he is a conservative reactionary lined up with the ayatollahs.
Commentators are "explaining" the Iran elections based on their own illusions, delusions, emotions, and vested interests. Whether or not the poll results predicting Ahmadinejad's win are sound, there is, so far, no evidence beyond surmise that the election was stolen. However, there are credible reports that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.
On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: “The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black” operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News.”
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And some disturbing videos of people shot to death in the streets of Tehran (for mature audiences only) from the same source, here and here.
Sam Raimi's wonderfully disgusting Drag Me To Hell is all about a vengeful demon whose wrath is invoked over mortgage payments. And it's not the only class-conscious horror movie that will gnaw your socks off. We've got 15 more.
Like any decent horror movie, Drag Me To Hell had a not-so-subtle subtext about the kind of people who deserve to have demons barf up cats on them. In this case, it's a bank loan officer who comes from humble origins but aspires to join the upper middle class. To prove herself deserving of a promotion, she denies a poor all old woman an extension on her mortgage payment. Wrong move: the old woman calls down the wrath of an ancient demon on her. And the moral of the story is about as red as it gets. When the rich screw the poor out of their property, the poor will rise up (even from beyond the grave) and smash them.
Here are 15 other movies with ruddy moral centers for you to chew on as the banks suck you dry and your company gets downsized for the third time this year.
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The infamous trial of the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, has long been regarded as one of the first, most dramatic cases of a miscarriage of justice, ending in the death penalty for the founding father of Western thought.
Socrates was accused of "impiety" and "corrupting the young" in 399BC – charges many historians think were invented by his prejudiced fellow citizens – and was required to perform his own execution by consuming hemlock. But now a Cambridge University professor claims that Socrates' trial was legally just and that he was guilty as charged. What's more, Professor Paul Cartledge believes that Socrates actually invited his own death.
In his new book, Ancient Greek Political Thought In Practice, published today, Professor Cartledge says that while politicians and historians have used the trial to suggest that democracy can sometimes descend into mob rule, this was not one such example. "Everyone knows the Greeks invented democracy, but it was not democracy as we know it, and we have misread history as a result," he said. "The charges Socrates faced seem ridiculous to us but in ancient Athens they were genuinely felt to serve the communal good."
In his book, Professor Cartledge questions traditional arguments that Socrates was purely the victim of political infighting. Historians influenced by ancient writers, including Plato, have claimed that Socrates' open criticism of prominent Athenian politicians had made him many enemies, who then pinned the impiety and corruption charges on him to silence him. Other historian believe Socrates' teachings stirred political rebellion, and he was made an example at his trial by those seeking to quash dissidents in Athenian society.
Professor Cartledge said Socrates questioned the authority of many of the accepted gods and claimed to be guided by his inner "daimonon", a term which he may have intended to mean "intuition", but which could also be interpreted as a dark, supernatural influence, which would have outraged conventional believers.
[ ... ]
His most significant contribution to Western thought is the Socratic method of debate or Method of Elenchus, a dialectical method of questioning, testing and ultimately improving a hypothesis. Through asking a series of questions, the method sought to show contradictions in the beliefs of those who posed them, and systematically move towards a hypothesis free from contradiction. As such, it is a negative method, in that it seeks to identify and demarcate that which a person does not know, rather than which he does. Socrates applied this to the testing of moral concepts, such as justice. Plato produced 13 volumes of Socratic Dialogues, in which Socrates would question a prominent Athenian on moral and philosophical issues. So often cast as the questioner, it is hard to establish any of Socrates' own philosophical beliefs. He said his wisdom was an awareness of his own ignorance, and his statement, "I know that I know nothing" is often quoted.
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The manufacturer of a hydrogen car unveiled in London on Tuesday will make its designs available online so the cars can be built and improved locally.
The Riversimple car can go 80km/hr (50mph) and travels 322km (200mi) per re-fuelling, with an efficiency equivalent to 300 miles to the gallon.
The cars will be leased with fuel and repair costs included, at an estimated £200 ($315) per month.
The company hopes to have the vehicles in production by 2013.
Next year, it aims to release 10 prototypes in a UK city which has yet to be confirmed.
Riversimple has partnered with gas supply company BOC to install hydrogen stations for the cars in the city where the prototypes are launched.
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The research, forthcoming in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, expands our understanding of the correlation between happiness and democracy — and whether economic concerns outweigh political reforms in their impact on subjective well-being.
"Although one might suppose these questions are of interest — some might even say fundamental interest, considering that they involve comparing capitalism and socialism — they have received little attention in the voluminous literature on transition economies," says Richard Easterlin, USC University Professor and professor of economics at USC.
Easterlin examines life satisfaction in thirteen countries in the so-called communist-bloc using self-reported data from a range of sources, particularly the World Values Survey. Communist-bloc countries first appeared in the large-scale Survey in 1989, when a representative population in each country was asked to rate "life these days, as a whole" on a scale of 1 (dissatisfied) to 10 (satisfied).
Other surveys before and after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 asked similar questions about specific aspects of life — such as work, health, and standard of living — and about "the way democracy works in (your country)."
"The dissolution of the police states and increase in political and civil rights in many of the transition countries might have been expected to increase life satisfaction," Easterlin says. "The sharp decline that initially occurred suggests that adverse economic and social conditions trumped the political in their impact on subjective well-being."
The study finds that the trend in overall satisfaction with democracy is actually slightly negatively correlated to the trend in reported happiness after the fall of the Iron Curtain. This correlation is not statistically significant, according to Easterlin, but undermines the assertion by some scholars that democratization in these countries significantly increased happiness.
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From Blood and treasure (The Economist, 4 June 2009):
Two of the oddest things about people are morality and culture. Neither is unique to humans, but Homo sapiens has both in an abundance missing from other species. Indeed, that abundance—of concern for the well-being of others, (even unrelated others), and of finely crafted material objects both useful and ornamental—is seen by many as the mark of man, as what distinguishes humanity from mere beasts.
How these human traits evolved is controversial. But two papers in this week's Science may throw light on the process. In one, Samuel Bowles of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico fleshes out his paradoxical theory that much of human virtue was forged in the crucible of war. Comrades in arms, he believes, become comrades in other things, too.
In the other paper, Mark Thomas and his colleagues at University College, London, suggest that cultural sophistication depends on more than just the evolution of intelligence. It also requires a dense population. If correct, this would explain some puzzling features of the archaeological record that have hitherto been put down to the arbitrary nature of what has survived to the present and what has not.
Dr Bowles's argument starts in an obscure cranny of evolutionary theory called group selection. This suggests that groups of collaborative individuals will often do better than groups of selfish ones, and thus prosper at their expense. It is therefore no surprise, according to group-selectionists, that individuals might be genetically predisposed to act in self-sacrificial ways.
This good-of-the-group argument was widely believed until the 1960s, when it was subject to rigorous scrutiny and found wanting. The new theory does not pitch groups against groups, or even individuals against individuals, but genes against genes. It does not disallow altruistic behaviour, but requires that this evolve in a way that promotes the interest of a particular gene—for example by helping close relatives who might also harbour the gene in question. The “selfish gene” analysis, so called after a book by Richard Dawkins, makes good-of-the-group outcomes almost impossible to achieve.
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In Night of the Living Dead, zombies are brought back from the dead by a "mysterious force" that allows their brains to continue functioning. But how exactly does a zombie brain function? Finally, a Harvard psychiatrist has the answers.
Through education Dr. Steven C. Schlozman is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a lecturer at the Harvard School of Education. He is also an avid sci-fi and horror fan - and, apparently, the world's leading authority on the neurobiology of the living dead. He has even drafted a fake medical journal article on the zombie plague, which he calls Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome, or ANSD (the article has five authors: one living, three "deceased" and one "humanoid infected").
Schlozman's foray into necro-diagnostics began when he volunteered to give a talk for the "Science on Screen" lecture series at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA. He conducted extensive research by talking with George Romero and immersing himself in genre literature and memorabilia - which is why the alternate title for his lecture is "A Way Cool Tax Deduction for a Bunch of Cool Books, Action Figures and a Movie."
So yes, Schlozman's lecture is actually quite funny, and liberally sprinkled with other pop culture references including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. But the underlying science is serious. His lecture is a tour of the human brain, using the living dead as a narrative theme.
According to Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, this is your brain on zombies: ...
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