religion

A clue in Fellini's La Dolce Vita about that old Mithraic esotericism: To live outside of time, detached...

This is a random thing but it caught my attention. At almost the exact middle of Fellini's La Dolce Vita there is a somber discussion as Marcello, the tabloid journalist protagonist, tells Steiner the intellectual he wishes he had such a nice & accomplished life.

But Steiner looks out the window and fears for the life his children will face. He says he wishes he could "live outside of time, detached" in English subtitles, anyway. He's one of the more distinctly anti-fascist characters in the film & he seems to also be lamenting what appear to be persistent spotlights of the spectacle outside his windows.

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Sometimes at night this darkness, this silence, weighs on me. Peace frightens me. I'm afraid of peace more than anything else. To me it seems that it's only an outer shell and that hell is hiding behind it. I think of what my children will see tomorrow. "The world will be wonderful," they say. From what point of view? When a phone call can announce the end of the world. One should live outside of passions, beyond emotions, in that harmony you find in completed artworks in that enchanted order. We should learn to love each other so much, to live outside of time, detached. Detached.

Thus ends the middle segment of the film divided into seven days and nights.

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Only a couple days earlier, thanks to @daviDNAlexander I ran into a funny essay, "The Entheogen Theory of Religion and Ego Death" by Michael Hoffman which dives into the idea that ancient mystery religions sought a very similar sort of avenue to enlightenment.

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The idea is explored by associating the various snakes and orphic egg iconography with the sort of wiggly path that a person's life takes, as if it were seen from a five-dimensional or timeless perspective, a "frozen universe". Likewise the notions of fixed fates & destinies were always so big in ancient western mythology. Connections are made to the ancient Mithra cult, an important underlying source of symbolism for Roman Catholicism. No surprise, then, that the idea would have wiggled its way into a film so closely linked to Italy & Catholicism as Vita.

Side note: The floppy red Phrygian cap worn by Mithra turns up later in a lot of revolutionary and Freemasonry-friendly artwork in the time of the French Revolution, as well as within the Romanesque iconography of America's "civic religion". I posted a whole bunch of related art including the symbolic caps, see images posted previously: June 2011: Dashing Wartime Philosopher Bernard Henri Lévy ties Libyan rebels & Netanyahu, lolz at teh Bilderberg conspiracy - and your French Revolution Freemason delirium too! | HongPong.com

And of course, Hoffman writes about the notion that entheogenic drugs allow the 'ego death' so that one can finally see a glimpse of that weird little fixed place in the cosmos, before you shake it off and resume weaving forward on your linear life path…

I'm sure there are other interesting symbols stuffed into Dolce Vita that I've only barely begun to find, but I definitely dig how this particular moment is right at the very middle of the film.

Special Analysis :-P The interstellar/local energy vortex Minneapolis-Pleiadian Situation - Alien Spirit Telepathy meets Occult Magic?

In July you’ll be launching another three-day Pleiadian event in Minneapolis. How many have you done so far?

Christine Day, Pleiadian Ambassador!: We’ve done three in the United States and this will be our fourth one in the last 12 months. We are building one in September in Brazil and one in Germany in September 2012. The Pleiadians told me I had to move here five years ago, and they wanted this to be where the energy anchored. They said that Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of the vortex energies within America and the most important one to really assist us in these changes. The Pleiadian Ambassador: An interview with Christine Day

*FULL FEATURE* on the Pleiadians-Minneapolis Alien Exopolitics! :-D

Special Analysis - The interstellar/local energy vortex Minneapolis-Pleiadian Situation -

Alien Spirit Telepathy meets Occult Magic?

We have to get a really weird here -- in fact probably one of the weirdest posts to yet appear on this site! How to decode exopolitical claims? Let's try using a casual occult magic framework to speculate about a woman who's claiming a role as a telepathic ambassador to aliens. Let's roll!

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Calling upon Pleiadians: Who knew the ambassador to the alien telepathic Pleiadian civilization lives in, where else, South Minneapolis? (Here's one typical Pleiadian video) Once in a while I like checking Edge Magazine for the Twin Cities esoteric industry take on reality and its many vibes.

Christine Day is a mysterious figure I will have to keep an eye out for. The Pleiadian Ambassador: An interview with Christine Day – Part Two... what can I say, I can't resist a weird blockquote. Anyone who says that invisible alien spirits visited their seminar at a Bloomington conference center a few days ago has to be reckoned with. This Interview with Edge Magazine was most impressive:

What is your role with the Pleiadians? Are you Pleiadian yourself?

Christine Day: Yes, I have a Pleiadian aspect. I have absolutely come here to have a human experience, but on top of that I have a very strong Pleiadian aspect and connection. The Pleiadians see me as an ambassador for them on this planet at this time, representing them and acting as a bridge between, educating humans that the Pleiadians exist and they are here to support and making human beings aware that that support is available.

But also I act as a bridge another way. Through my experiences in this body, the Pleiadians have learned more about human beings and how they can design these energies, what they call light initiations, to support the human being; how it can be user-friendly for the human being to be able to utilize what they have to bring us. So, that has been part of my contract here.

Are there other ambassadors for Pleiadians here on Earth?

CD: I’m sure there are, Tim, but I don’t know of any. I haven’t connected to them, but it makes sense that I haven’t because I think we’re all pretty busy. There’s a lot of work going on and I know I’m not the only one. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Would you say the same response to the question about other star brethren who may be in contact with humans providing other assistance, aside from what the Pleiadians are offering?

CD: Oh, yes. The Pleiadians are working in alignment with a lot of other star system energy people who are coming in, too. You see, the whole universe has focused its attention on planet Earth right now because of this incredible shift we are going through. The Pleiadians see themselves as part of a collective team of extraterrestrial energies that are here to support what we are going through here. [............]

For people who are going through the process consciously, what are the signs that they may be moving out of the third dimension, moving into fourth- and fifth-dimensional consciousness?

CD: There are a number of things that can be happening, and one of them may be a sense that time seems to be changing. One moment things seem to be moving really fast, and at other times it feels like time has stopped, so the illusion of time is changing. It’s becomes apparent when you get up in the morning that time is going to go fast or slow. You look at the clock and half an hour has gone by and it feels like a couple of minutes. Or, you can look at the clock and it’s almost like it doesn’t seem to be moving at all. That’s part of the new dawning energy, this third dimensional breakdown. Time isn’t something we can depend on anymore.

You also may feel lightheaded or disorientated on some level. Because the third dimension is almost melting away, you can’t hang on to the ego-mind stories quite as easily. Your memory of your past may become kind of blurry, because as the third dimension leaves, our stories leave. We hang onto notions that this is who I am, but it’s really not who we are. The third dimension is starting to blur, and our stories may be blurring, as well.

There are other things. You may have a very strong connection to the natural forces. You’ll be outside and all of a sudden it feels like you’re just part of something, that it’s like you’ve moved into nature and you can feel how the natural energy is coming into you, that there’s no separation, like a wall has dissolved between you and the natural forces, perhaps just for a moment of time.

Physical changes are taking place in the body. Your body might shake at times, or you might feel really like vulnerable at times, and that is because we’re moving back into a fluid state. Our natural state is more fluid, more fourth and fifth dimensional where we’re not solid objects. We know we’re not, but we start to experience our fluidity, and feel a little more vulnerable in that, and that may happen just for a moment and then more often. You may sit in a room and suddenly everything seems to be fluid around you. That’s that fourth- and fifth-dimensional energy birthing, but it’s you moving towards it. The veils are lifting and you’re starting to become more of that fourth- and fifth-dimensional energy of yourself.

It’s important that we drink a lot of water. We may not feel like eating as much. A lot of people say to me that they feel like they are going a little crazy, that things just don’t seem like they have in the past. That’s just the shift of dimensional energy. The electrical circuits in our brains are changing and our electrical energy is changing right through the cells. That transmitter activating through our cells with this change is creating a new electrical energy through our bodies.

A lot of people are experiencing physical symptoms. They go to the doctor and nothing can be diagnosed. Many people are just feeling strange. There are a lot of different experiences in our physical body, in the way we can think, the way we see things. Just take a conscious breath and breathe and just let go and open up consciously to the birthing, for that creates a really much smoother navigation through this time.

Do you get questions about how long this is going to take place, this feeling of disorientation? Will it take place for years?

CD: Yes, I get that question a lot because some people want it to go away. A lot of people do not want this to happen. They just want to go along in life like they always have, and that’s just not going to happen. That time is over.

I encourage people to breathe into their hearts. Drink water and just open up consciously to the change. It’s about getting used to feeling differently, rather than going back to the old. There’s no going back. We’re already going through a tunnel and the doors are closing behind us. We may as well just go forward as quickly as we can, as far as I’m concerned. It’s about just accepting where we are and knowing we are on a really grand adventure.

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I wish all the fluoride wasn't jamming my damn pineal gland in these galactic situations. I don't really get it, but it reminds me of a lot of stuff about magic you hear.

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Four different ways to speculate about the whole idea here: 1) the Pleiadians are actually weird shady spirits pretending to be benevolent aliens. David Icke was sort of right!!!! 0R s0mething weird & ready for cable TV like that....

2) Even if all this wild stuff is nonsense, sure, however the power of ritual magic can actually affect people so deeply that we can hallucinate we're communicating with aliens -- or anything else! (partly because reality springs from our Third Eye anyway)

3) It is a little concerning when people support Spirit Familiars, given that such classic grimoire tomes as the Lesser Keys of Solomon enjoin us to be extremely cautious and containment-minded with invisible spirits! Check this bit from the Ambassador:

The Pleiadians emphasize that the spiritual forces, the angels and the light beings and the Masters, are here to support all of us right now in this transition. They work very closely with the Pleiadians and the other alien forces. All we have to do is call them in and ask for their support. They can’t come in without permission, because we have free will. They cannot enter our energetic field without our permission. But if you call them in, the energetic and practical support you can receive from the spiritual energies is amazing. That is a really key piece.

4) Sounds a bit like Blavatsky & Luciferians to me! Take note, intrepid Pleiadian fans: the Lesser Key of Solomon Goetia (full PDF) enjoins the magician to stay within the circle and keep the spirit in the triangle. Christians and Muslims are supposed to spiritually block entities like Jinns & Demons. etc :)

Are there aliens operating in classic 'demonic' ways or is it all imaginary? And why do religions teach wariness towards invisible spirits? A skeptic could argue that this 'anti-demonic' view helps reinforce independent thinking against weird vibes in group settings. For example, these beliefs could have helped individuals Christians resist Nazism, adding resistance to the influence of fascist occult symbolism which took control of German psyches en masse.

The demons are all available in the mind – and the magicians (and the advertisers) know this. This is part of why the Frankfurt School, Marcuse & Reich are interesting, as they try to look at how the authoritarian symbols create psychological control (with some occult-style subliminal logic).

From such dangerous realms as Psyops and Journalism to downright risky ventures like channeling 'aliens', it's long been well-known y'all need to try to keep the weirdness contained. Look at the mess initiated by the likes of Parsons, Crowley & The Babalon Working. :P

[I'm starting to think a Minneapolis esoteric/apocalyptic spoof short film could mesh well with our various Pagan & ceremonial scenes like Mayday, about a mysterious local energy vortex.... :-]

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Magic is "Real," even for Atheists: That edition of Lesser Key of Solomon's recently written introduction has a handy tip about the reason ceremonial magic becomes real... It's all got to do with your third eye... the Operations of ceremonial magic. Even the most cynical political campaigner should check this out:

Now, this fact is our base. What is the cause of my illusion of seeing a spirit in the triangle of Art? Every smatterer, every expert in psychology, will answer: “That cause lies in your brain.”

English children (pace the Education Act) are taught that the Universe lies in infinite Space; Hindu children, in the Akasa, which is the same thing.

Those Europeans who go a little deeper learn from Fichte, that the phenomenal Universe is the creation of the Ego; Hindus, or Europeans studying under Hindu Gurus, are told, that by Akasa is meant the Chitakasa. The Chitakasa is situated in the “Third Eye,” i.e., in the brain. By assuming higher dimensions of space, we can assimilate this fact to Realism; but we have no need to take so much trouble.

This being true for the ordinary Universe, that all sense-impressions are dependent on changes in the brain we must include illusions, which are after all sense-impressions as much as “realities” are, in the class of “phenomena dependent on brain-changes.”

Magical phenomena, however, come under a special sub-class, since they are willed, and their cause is the series of “real” phenomena, called the operations of ceremonial Magic.

Thus the power of magic & its ever popular political friend, magical thinking, can 'trip' you into perceiving Pleiadians - or a harmless debt ceiling political stunt.

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Fanciful political notions and invisible alien spirits can certainly influence people these days. Why not? The door has been opened to influence and loyalty to all sorts of symbols, any synthetic reality. We live saturated in the weird imagery of pop TV, which is as "magical" as anything else – and the professionalized alternative world with alien ambassadors and authoritative Yoga Gurus.

I suspect the vortex may be somewhere around here, I'll grant that. But anyone claiming answers on things this weird has more to tell us...

This post about telepathic aliens & magic is winding out a little heavy -- lets catch some shit talking from Bob Dylan to TIME Magazine!

Man really he sounds like every quick youngster I know from the Range.... "too much to lose from printing the truth" :) You know I might be his 4th or 5th cousin, I can certainly believe it with a clip like this....

Epic European Royalty Water-Stealin 'World Society' with Saint Lazare Foundation & Saint Lazare Investment aspires to become biggest global water owner - Feelin Thirsty?

The World Society - Definitely not a New World Order Water Corporation?
or - All yr water are belong to
Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus!

http://www.theworldsociety.org/privilege2.html

[Update: Hi Rense.com visitors - plz also checkout my exposure {Video } of Northcom's main plan for emergency domestic military control, CONPLAN 3502, busted wide open! (as seen on cryptome, people dig it)] and video of locally FBI raided peace activists in criminal intel cmte this week]
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I wonder if these people are having a conspiracy against Lake Superior!!

Apparently Jesse Ventura has really knocked around a horrible situation - Nestle plant exporting tons of water from Michigan's aquifer. T Boone Pickens to be exposed grabbing the critical Ogallala Aquifer. West Bank settlements are oftentimes over aquifers (lookin at you Ariel). As Ventura I think will address, Bush family's giant South American 'ranch' is not only excellent for staging border drug ops, but apparently it's on another crucial giant aquifer!

The episode this weekend also looks at radioactive crud in Texas water supply (uranium hexafluoride -> U ore // fluoride tailing -> flouridated water) Probably. Shocking!

So there is a huge conquest for water due probably about 15 years after Peak Oil tail gets 'bumpy' and probably a ton more water would be needed for agriculture? We also had in Minnesota an extensive shady PR operation to keep the movie about Mississippi pollution off the air.

...Anyway Ventura's producer Michael Braverman was on ye ol Alex Jones show and dropped that they couldn't post on the air about the 'Saint Lazare Foundation' (not lazard) which is apparently running a foundation, an investment branch with a maniacal goal of capturing all water resources. There is also a bizarre chintzy website for The World Society which I think will get scrubbed here as some of the other material has. Some things are still on Bing that have disappeared off Google.

This is *hilarious* - this operation is officially the smallest remaining 11th-century based order descended from Christian Crusaders. It's like the Order of the Garter kind of... So in theory the usual suspects could buy up all the rest of the damn water once the world has been spoilt with nanites and GMO beetlecorn or whatever.

The World Society has a patently crazy and wonderful website going on, don't miss it!!! There are Three Levels of the World Society, like any neoplatonists, Gold, Silver and Bronze, and at the gold level you obtain "A shareholding in Saint Lazare Investment" which is apparently the Water Company of the New World Order. Nice!

http://theworldsociety.org/gold2.html
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SILVER beyotch! http://theworldsociety.org/silver2.html

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Bronze http://www.theworldsociety.org/bronze1.html

It is reserved for an international elite who are aware of the issues for the future concerning water.

I like this idea: "Entry fee and Subscription according to the circle". Do they mean Le Cercle, the postwar neo-Gaulist European/Atlantic intrigue network? Just kidding.

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Secure portal! http://www.theworldsociety.org/secure/Bronze

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You cannot make this stuff up!! http://www.theworldsociety.org/object.html

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So What is the Saint Lazare Foundation? It seems to be a spinoff related to the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus, who are in fact the Knights Of Malta Like Cubed or something. Descended from the Crusaders!

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This is Deputy Commander Geoff Fosberry, appointed Grand Chancellor Emeritus of the Order of St Lazarus. I swear I am not making this up. http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/military-and-hospitaller-order-of-st-lazarus-initiates-new-grand-master/

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Now this looks like a guy that can get things done with Berlusconi's P2 freemason buddies. Straight up Grand Prior of England & Wales: The Rt. Hon. the Earl Ferrers PC GCLJ GCrLJ DL . Nice!

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THis is Charles Philippe Duke of Anjou who is going to get all the water. If I were to guess what is going on with the takedowns/ web content changes, the old URL of funny material now goes to this guy's flashy personal page. Say what you will about America but we do not have people like this around.

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Wiki sez he's actually a French prince. They exist? Damn... here's the deets.

Order of St. Lazarus

In 2004, Prince Charles-Philippe was elected Grand Master of a branch of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, an Order of Chivalry that claims to date back to the 11th century Crusades. Prince Charles-Philippe’s acceptance of this role placed the Order under the sanction of a dynastic prince of the House of Orléans, in what is to be a continuation of a tradition established since the 13th century when The Order of St. Lazarus came under the protection of King Philippe le Bel. This affiliation continued over the ensuing centuries ended with the deposition of King Charles X, when a decree of King Louis-Philippe revoked royal protection of the diminishing remnant of the Order and made it illegal to wear the Order's decorations.

Prince Charles-Philippe's designation as "Grand Master of the Order of Saint Lazarus" is disputed by those Knights who remained loyal to his distant cousins, Francisco de Borbón y Escasany, Duke of Seville, and subsequently to Don Carlos Gereda de Borbón, Marquis de Almazàn, and the Melchite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, protector of the Order.

There is also a self-styled Order based in England that makes no claim to antiquity.

Charles-Philippe recently founded the St. Lazare Foundation, which has been financed by the World Society, an international think tank whose mission, inspired by the Count of Paris, is to explore solutions to the planet's future needs for potable water.

For personal reasons, Prince Charles-Phillippe has decided in March 2010 to step down from his position as Grand Master but to maintain his participation in the Order’s activities in the capacity of Grand Master Emeritus.

http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=The+World+Society+is+one+of+the+world%e2%80%99s+most+exclusive+societies.+&d=4707602131585590&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=e731fae7,deba786d

this mofo redirects to a 404 on the guy's own site. Probably the same IPs.

http://www.ducdanjou.com/world.html

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On the other hand he only has 19 twitter followers. The Rabble has the upper hand here, Water Prince!

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This is just too much -- Nice work Ventura & Braverman! Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu-EuLng25M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-T051bpTx0

I have a feeling that the World Society is not all it's cracked up to be. But it has such aspirations!

The compass points the wrong way

Ah shit: Sarkozy calls for UN-led 'new world order':

The United Nations should avail itself as an instrument for a "new world order of the 21st century," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday in his first address to the General Assembly. Sarkozy, who won the presidency this year on a strong reform platform to modernize France, urged the world body to embark on programmes ranging from equal wealth distribution to fighting corruption in his speech full of references to France's past revolutionary ideals.

Jacobin Commie! Yikes!! The Neo Con New World Order etc. w00000!!11!!!

An ugly scenario: World War III: What World War III May Look Like - by Philip Giraldi - a former Intelligence officer:

The United States uses a neutron-type bomb against the main Iranian nuclear research center at Natanz, which it had already bombed conventionally and destroyed. It vows to bomb again if Iran continues to resist. Iran is defiant and fires another wave of Silkworms at U.S. ships, sinking one. Suicide bombers hit U.S. targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China place their nuclear forces on high alert. Pakistani militants take over parliament, aided by radical elements in the army and the intelligence service. India launches a preemptive strike against the main Pakistani nuclear centers at Wah and Multan, where the country's arsenal is believed to be concentrated. Pakistan has hidden some of its nukes elsewhere, however, and is able to strike back by bombing New Delhi. World War III has begun.

Someone said recently that this stuff with total NSA surveillance and paramilitary Blackwater insanity looks like Baron Hausmann's reorganization of Paris: the creation of new forms and institutions that aren't really helpful against Islamic terrorists, but quite useful against violent domestic insurrections. Haussmann built those big Parisian avenues so that revolt organizers couldn't blockade parts of the city. Saddam took a page from this when rebuilding Baghdad...

Seems too true. And all the damn compasses keep pointing that way. The fascist shift, the real deal.......

Classic colonial powers in Iraq:

Here is the legal framework on that. More from Prof. Juan Cole:

A big feature of the literature on decolonization is the delight leaders such as Gamal Abdul Nasser and Ruhollah Khomeini took in abrogating laws bestowing 'extra-territoriality' on colonial personnel and even just civilians from the metropole, while in the subject country. Now extra-territoriality is back with a vengeance; and, of course, no colonial enterprise can be run without it. One can't have persons of the superior race hauled before a native judge; bad show, old boy, to let the wily oriental gentlemen get the upper hand that way.

The argument about whether Cheney/Bush went into Iraq over petroleum is not interesting. Of course they did, one way or another. The question is what exactly they thought they were doing about Iraq's petroleum. I would argue that they threw public resources (perhaps as much as two trillion dollars worth when all is said and done) to secure profits for private companies.

Fake terror threat manipulates Congress to further spy powers: The insanity continues as Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) claims that "bogus" intelligence claims were bandied about by the White House in order to get the extension of spy powers. Here you have a legislative example of the classic fear "staged war on terror" dynamic. It's all right here.

When did the dissing of generals start? Right wing noxious fumers like Jonah Goldberg have been ripping on generals since quite a while ago: VAPAHS!!!

Hence, in any case, conventional wisdom will always be happy if Republicans More Happy With the "Democratic" Congress than Democrats.

Dan Rather: the video producer, Mary Mapes, who got nailed by some kind of repackaged info bomb, thinks Dan Rather's big lawsuit is courageous. Mary Mapes: Courage for Dan Rather.

The Drugging of our children: Someone made a video, mainly about ADHD and pumping the kids' heads full of psychotropic social control agents. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's by someone named Gary Null (Google Video), who seems to have some other weird offbeat medical videos on Google Video.

AT&T going to tap the Internet & scan to catch your bad movies: Slashdot carried the story that:

Save the Internet writes "Ars Technica is reporting that the MPAA is trying to convince major ISPs to do content filtering. Now, merely wanting it is one thing, but the more important point is that 'AT&T has agreed to start filtering content at some mysterious point in the future.' We're left to wonder about the legal implications of that, but given that AT&T already has the ability to wiretap everything for the NSA, it was only a matter of time before they found a way to profit from it, too."

The chic TASER police state: Andrew Meyer was that kid at the Kerry rally tagged for no particular reason (though of course it's not safe to suggest elections are rigged in Florida, let alone mention secret societies!) Creepy embrace of tasers by the establishment media. Bill O'Reilly was really creepy about the whole thing. Emil Steiner in the WaPo says creepy stuff too. Protest for Tasered Student Continues. More creeps - a connection between ominous neocons and violence-loving O'Reilly: A marriage made in Hell. Media Matters - Beck said he "enjoy[s] watching" Taser videos; O'Reilly rolled out "Don't Taze me, bro!" bumper stickers. Stunning future ahead for Taser.

We have our own police state issues around here. PrisonPlanet has a new web page devoted to classic police brutality incidents. The new Pain Ray Gun "Silent Guardian" which basically is a microwave weapon that hurts a lot. Let me share a bit of probably-classified wisdom about microwave weapons: they are perfectly defeated by aluminum foil. Tinfoil hats at the ready!!! (Apparently, ISBN numbers are intellectual property nowadays too - no sneeking into your university bookstore to steal those serials and order 'em online! Yikes) Police Culture In the US. America’s Police Brutality Pandemic by Paul Craig Roberts. Veterans Disarmament Act To Bar Vets From Owning Guns if anyone says they have PTSD. Underground militia here we come, before the blue helmets sez ya crazy!

Great moments in Homeland Security: Because if you're not a terrorist, no problem (via here):

Zakariya Reed, a Toledo firefighter, said in an interview that he has been detained at least seven times at the Michigan border since fall 2006. Twice, he said, he was questioned by border officials about "politically charged" opinion pieces he had published in his local newspaper. The essays were critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East, he said. Once, during a secondary interview, he said, "they had them printed out on the table in front of me."

Better yet: Alex Jones guys discover the horrible! Denver Sheriff's Office Helps Private Companies Take Blood And Saliva At Checkpoints. Nice! Ex-FEMA Leader Says Feds May Overreact. Michael Brown expects crazy feds. Shit!

Blackwater looks like the TASER International Comintern: At least those shady bastards are on the map right now. They're gonna get pegged by their own Zapruder film, hopefully. Here's an overview video from Jeremy Scahill, who was really good recently on MSNBC Countdown:

Bad economic news & views: "Greenspan Working To Destroy US Economy", at least suddenly talking down with great shock the excesses of Wall Street. Greenspan's Oil Claim in Context - by Dilip Hiro and Tom Engelhardt. Really helpful.

Financial Times reported:

Fresh economic shocks on the scale of the current credit squeeze will occur if US house prices continue to fall, one of the country’s leading housing experts warned on Wednesday. Robert Shiller, a Yale university economist, told a US congressional panel that he feared “the collapse of home prices might turn out to be the most severe since the Great Depression”.

Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright. The Saudis Call Bernanke's Bluff. Foreign reserve currencies quietly getting ditched. Krugman asked if this is the Wile E. Coyote moment (where he looks down and falls through the air). (On a side note, the NY Times has made its editorial stuff free again - and the old article archives going back many years. They want to sell more ads now. Sweet!)

Why the dollar is taking another beating now. First World Government junk bonds on the way. Suddenly, the British pound looks vulnerable. West ‘complicit’ in Third World corruption. How the Bush economy worked.

Looks like a good book: Naomi Klein's The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

On a more funny note: Chinese buy into conspiracy theory. yes the hokey tale of the Rothschilds has become a hit Chinese book, read by all apparatchiks, nomenclatura and bureaucrats of note!

If it's all coming down, the operative question might be: If Humans Are a Virus, Then What Is the End Game? Worth considering I suppose.

Discrediting the North American Union: Reason Magazine calls NAU agenda "a Xenophobic Fantasy". I wish. I found these weird MnDOT documents, there is a real something big out there. Of that much I am certain, and it has Minnesota manifestations.

How about those loose nukes: Simple Error My Ass, says Larry Johnson, a former CIA guy.

Mideast tensions: Israeli rightwing Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu claimed some credit around the suspicious Israeli airstrikes on Syria. It's worth noting that this was certainly a kind of hegemonic shifting, a frame bump in the discourse of international politics. War strikes become the norm, and Netanyahu is positioning himself to bask in the glory. Syria’s Illusory Nukes: More Propaganda.

This stupid prancing shit with Ahmadinejad: Grow Up. Hell yeah. Newt Gingrich: Bush Should Blow Up Iran's Natural Gas Insfrastructure. A good point:

Gingrich said: "I can't imagine why they put up with this. I mean, either General Petraeus is wrong and the military spokesman's wrong or the current policies we have are stunningly ineffective. ... We should finance the students. We should finance a Radio Free Iran. We should covertly sabotage the only gasoline refinery in the country. We should be prepared, once the gasoline refinery's down, to stop all of the gasoline tankers and communicate to the Iranian government, that, if they want to move equipment into Iran - into Iraq - they're gonna have to walk."

What was legal beagle Greta's response to this bloodthirsty, illegal and immoral suggestion?

She said, "That actually seems rather simple and easy to do." The sheer insanity of this is mind-boggling.

Gingrich's open call for sabotage of Iran's gas industry lends more credence to my theory that Iran's natural gas infrastructure, including recent construction on a pipeline to India, is the real target of the Bush administration, not the nuclear plants.

That's why they've over-hyped the nuclear issue. Seek the money to find the hidden agenda. The target is gas, not the atom.

Better yet! Think Progress: Durbin: Lieberman-Kyl Amendment Is ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Puts Us On Record’ In Support Of Iran War. Fuck he's right!!! It's another batshit insane blank check thing. Iran promises missiles will fly if US attacks. UK Times throws out major neocon propaganda, but still: Secret US air force team to perfect plan for Iran strike.

Senate Neocons Provoke Iran. Dress Rehearsal for War. For more,Informed Comment always good. Michael Scheuer, formerly known as CIA's "Anonymous," has one on Why Does Norman Podhoretz Hate America? about the "Islamofascist" bullshit. Quite good.

Iran's Ahmadinejad, public enemy No. 1? shorter: "Demonizing the Iranian president and making his visit to New York seem controversial are all part of the neoconservative push for yet another war" by Juan Cole.

The Russian oil company LUKoil gets West Qurna oilfield development. Good thing American soldiers liberated the contracts to such field by fiat of the gun. What it may cost to stay in Iraq (to secure Russian oil contracts, which may or may not become petrodollars).

Michael Ledeen vs Michael Ledeen: Sell arms to Iran vs. Iran is a warring enemy of America!! Neocons have all this evil innuendo about crushing the liberals, but they themselves are the treasonous bastards since they were selling weapons to Iran during the Iran-Contra Rockstar Geopolitical Party of All Time.

Old news: Greg Palast on Alex Jones in 2002 - old stuff but it mainly checked out. Venezuela, Florida elections, Saudis and Pakistanis in 9/11.

Last bits: The unmasking power of the freedom of speech and dialogue - on the Columbia academic situation. It's really ugly scene with Peter King on mosques, really bad: Extremism in religion is not against the law.

Interesting from dailykos: Hadrian's Forum: Catiline and Rome's "Housing Bubble"; Roman Progressives, Part 1.



A town uses social networking for the Edwards campaign. Sounds like Matt Bai wrote an interesting book on the blogger roots blasting against the Democratic Party establishment.

Some crazy freakin' conservatives have a song about how much God hates America right now. This kind of masochism is how they are starting debates now. WHY SHOULD GOD BLESS AMERICA?!? These people WANT to KNOW!

Ok. ok...

Activist-posted massive online list: "The Activist's Information Sources 2007"

I thought this was really a pretty good list of sources, all around. Bumped into the anonymous listing on Twin Cities Indymedia. I deleted the link to Anarchist's Cookbook because you can find it yourself and I don't feel like providing links to explosive recipes. (They say it contains mistakes designed to backfire on the would-be anarchist. Don't mess with those recipes...)

This is a really long list, that gets from everything from housing, to background checks, to activist databases, obligatory Mao quotations, thinktanks, the all-important UFO-oriented "ruling elite shadow government" and its secret detention centers, as well as 'fictitious business names', Gnostic scriptures and Polluters By Zip Code. Especially useful: search engines that "cheat". They index pages that are flagged NO-INDEX for Google and the rest.

If you went through every site on this whole list, yep, i think you would probably know everything! Hah.

Seek & Yee Shall Find! Welcome To The Best Activist's Information Source Of 2007!

Best 2007 Activist's Information Source

Religious-military complexes, mass psychotropic drugging in the water, and a Presence in the Sky: must be Nine Inch Nails' apocalyptic new Year Zero

 Wikipedia En 7 76 ResistanceavatarlogoA new concept album from Trent Reznor, "Year Zero," is an impressive 21st century take on dystopia, mechanization and the sense of the apocalypse. There's a story about a strange hand coming from the sky, monstrous militarization and so forth. The official site even has a GarageBand-compatible mix file for you to make your own remix of "Survivalism," which is a badass video of SWAT teams attacking a panopticon apartment building trying to kill the band. Nice! You can even listen to the whole album for free on the website! Here we see the Presence:

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Along with this they put up a series of orwellian and surreal websites that wikipedia has deemed the Year Zero alternate reality game (and more here). First of all, the Church of Plano - I like Plano's Faithful Civil Patrol!

church of plano

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Then there's a website of some crazed assassin at BeTheHammer.net:

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Paging General JT Ripper: For the X-files angle, IAmTryingToBelieve.com which has "Parepin information you need to know." In the future dystopia of bioterror attacks, Parepin is a government water additive that makes people dumb: Purity of Essence strikes again.....

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AnotherVersionOfTheTruth.com says America is Born Again, brought to us by the Bureau of Morality!

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Finally, the Price of Treason.net is a series of 1950s style admonishments updated into the near-future dystopia world.

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It's kinda like The Wall on Prozac I guess. The CD itself had a thermal color-changing finish, which turned from dark to light in the player. A binary code on the CD leads to another site, exterminal.net. I used a cold beer to press dark circles in it, then light fingerprints. Physically the sweetest CD ever, so it's a good thing NIN's trying to kill the format at the same time.

The album is much like NIN's others, harsh and weird, with a lot of very interesting industrial sequences. If you're into NIN it's great, and if you can handle ominous industrial music you'll probably like it. Really well executed, and an impressive artistic turn that goes beyond the dead CD format.

Another day in the Empire: Palestine is still Palestine, yep; so let's get some internal analysis, huh

"It is not among the duties of resistance movements to court popularity from outside powers..."

--Azmi Bishara

It has been a while since I really made much note of the Palestinian situation, which is too bad because obviously it's a big deal. These photos were posted by Nizam on Flickr. I kinda stole em...

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A Palestinian demonstrator hurls a stone at Israeli soldiers during clashes after the weekly Friday prayers in the village of Beit Omar village near the West Bank town of Hebron, 16 February 2007.

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A young Palestinian stone thrower is dragged away 16 February 2007 by Israeli border policemen during scuffles in the eastern district of Jerusalem.

A friend just pointed me to a new blog, American Palestinian New Generation, where in turn I found some more interesting material.

A subtle irony: since of course the American media never discusses anything about Palestine in broad or realistic terms, in one mere post on this site we can easily outpace the entirety of months of the U.S. media with just a couple blockquotes. These two pieces are lengthy, but they are definitely a useful internal social and military analysis - that applies everywhere from Iraq and Lebanon to Los Angeles.

I'm going to cross post some material from a couple Palestinian websites. One is al-falasteenyia:

The Psychosocial causes for the Palestinian Factional War

By: Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj 14 February 2007

(comment from the blog operator: ) excellent article by Dr. El-Sarraj...he's done some great work in the past. He argues that this ongoing violence is a natural consquence of the imposed Israeli 'diet', among other things...

Many questions even after Mecca meeting remain … what has become of us? Our people have suffered for 59 years from displacement, homelessness, discrimination, impoverishment and expatriation, but they withstood that suffering and never killed each other; so what happened to us? The late Arafat rejected a plan to kill Abu Nidal, who had already killed a number of Palestinian leaders, and said, “If we start this series of killings, we will never stop.” So what happened? I have heard stories about new forms of cold-blooded and callous murder, and about Palestinians denigrating and holding as infidel other Palestinians or accusing them of heresy and bigotry as a prelude to ostracizing or murdering them. I have also heard numerous stories about children who have been horrified and traumatized and have fallen victims to nightmares, loss of appetite, insomnia and fear of street-walking. What is happening to us? How could things amount to assaulting homes, mosques and universities?

Politics and political difference alone do not provide the answer. There are several additional social and psychological factors for what is befalling this society. A safe and stable environment is one that produces normal children, while the environment we have been living in since the occupation is one in which violence proliferates and becomes rampant.

I- Torture

After the 1967 Israeli occupation, a legitimate national armed resistance movement emerged involving multitudes of freedom fighters. I can recall that, while I was working at Al-Shifa hospital in the early seventies, we received several murdered and injured freedom fighters every day. Reacting to that resistance and in order to contain and destroy it, Israeli forces arrested tens of thousands of Palestinians and subjected them to systematic and various forms of torture as documented by research teams of both Palestinian and Israeli institutions acting in the area of defending human rights.

The effects of torture extend from the individual to his community. Research has found that a high percentage of torture victims become prey of mental illness which transform victims into problems for their own selves as well as for their own families. The commonest problem arising from torture is the violence which the victim directs to women and children, which in its turn makes the home a battlefield. The reason for such phenomenon is that the torture a young man is subjected to makes him harbor a desire for revenge by violent means and subsequently he unconsciously resorts to identify with the Israeli torturer. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the methods of torture used in Palestinian prisons are the same as those used in Israeli prisons; they have at times even been more atrocious and resulted in deaths among several prisoners in the early years of the PNA takeover. Indeed, in many instances, the Palestinian investigator was an ex-victim of Israeli torture. This phenomenon has created a cycle of internal violence. We note here that many Hamas members were tortured in Palestinian prisons. Feelings of immense hatred and desire for revenge started to build up and heighten culminating in accusations of infidelity leveled at leaders of security organs. All of these factors led to a state of polarization and division which has aggravated by Hamas coming to power. Now it seemed that some were willing to retaliate and take revenge from those who tortured them, a desire which was intensified by the fact that Hamas government was besieged and there spread a feeling that it was targeted and conspired against and that some Fatah leaders were accomplices in such conspiracy.

II- The First Intifada

Despite the glorification we attribute to the “children of the stone” whom we hold as examples of heroism, we cannot ignore the fact that they are flesh and blood and that they have been victims of various forms of violence. In our work at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program we conducted a research on three thousand Gaza children. The study has found that those children were subjected to several traumatic and violent experiences including beating, bone-breaking, injury, tear gas and acts of killing and injury, all of which experiences have left indelible effects on their psych. Yet, to many, the most excruciating experience was seeing their fathers beaten helpless by Israeli soldiers without resistance. Such an experience will ultimately transform a whole generation into something different as the second intifada showed; for the children of the first intifada are themselves the men of the second intifada. Those young men who are pursuing revenge and killing and are at times seeking even their own death are the selfsame children who cherished so many dreams of a better life but saw them fade away and fall apart the moment they saw their fathers fall helpless and defenseless victims of arrogant force incarnated in the Israeli soldier. No wonder then that the Palestinian child will see his model in that Israeli soldier and that his language will be the language of force and his toys and games will be the toys and games of death.

III- The Effects of Ongoing Violence

Israel systematically assaulted the Palestinian people in all aspects of their lives and it even escalated its aggressions during the second intifada as it resorted to a policy of house demolition; infrastructure, farm and facilities destruction; extrajudicial killing and mass detention of activists and systematic torture. Psychological research worldwide has shown that ongoing armed conflicts result in what is known as chronic social toxication which makes people and children less sensitive and more ruthless, less rational and more impulsive, less conversant and more violent. More significantly, new groups are formed of individuals who are alien to the family system and to the social fabric and who are powerful and violent enough to be capable of heinous killing. Ultimately, those individuals are viewed as untouchable masters and examples to be followed by the disadvantaged and vulnerable. The outcome of this is that brute force, not morality, emerge is the example to be followed.

Another effect of such social toxication is the phenomenon of social disintegration and disunity which is manifest in the decline of the father’s authority with all the moral values it embodies; and in the young men’s tendency to search for a new identity which they seek to be assertive and different from that of their vulnerable and downtrodden parents. There emerged the new form of identity provided by Islamic organizations and armed militias which in many cases supplanted national and filial belonging and rendered many persons alienated from their community.

IV- The PNA Performance [Palestinian National Authority --Dan]

The PNA performance has had a tremendous psychological impact on the Palestinians. Throughout its term of office, the PNA regime has been characterized by absence of law and justice, violation of human and individual rights, contravention against public lands, disrespect for reason, disregard of accountability and penalty amounting to rewarding of offenders, spread of favoritism and nepotism which created heightened feelings of bitterness, exasperation and hatred among the disadvantaged and destitute. All of these factors made the Palestinian citizen feel that only force in its different forms is the only resort.

The PNA added insult to injury as its security organs penetrated families. This reciprocally allowed families to penetrate security organs which became controlled by Fatah leaders as well as by heads of a large Gaza family. This resulted in gross security violations and social disorder, and culminated in numerous instances of law-breaking and aggressions against public and individual rights and property. In all circumstances, aggressors were backed either by their faction, family or a security organ and sometimes by all of them, which made power concentrated in the hands of influential individuals in the large authority apparatus. This eventually resulted in more disunity and division among those same families, and new armed and rival groups emerged by virtue of the official authority support; only to turn against that authority one day and dauntlessly assault some of its major symbols.

In this regard, it is noticeable that the Palestinian people’s performance in the first intifada was characterized by an overwhelming sense of solidarity, resilience and commitment to moral values, all of which seemed to be nonexistent in the second intifada which has been dominated by chaos, disintegration and division. Some observers attribute such change to the presence of the PNA and to its inability to assume a leading role, as well as to its acting as a barrier between the resistance and occupation. Its corruption and weakness made it easy for both parties to beat it.

V- Absence of a common enemy and uncontrolled arms

The actual non-presence of a common enemy in Gaza diverted the furious and enraged feelings of revenge from their natural path and redirected them into the Palestinian community among individuals, families and the factions contending for power and their militias. Under deteriorating social, economic, political and psychological conditions, it is only natural, as we have already warned that violence will prevail in the Palestinian society and among its individuals and groups. This situation further worsened with the proliferation of arms and plenitude of funds in the hands of contending parties and militias. Those factors on their own, however, cannot account for those bizarre acts of revenge, torture and killing committed in the recent clashes between Fatah and Hamas and which reflect inveterate grudge and hatred. Therefore, there is need to consider the other reasons.

Conclusion

The systematized repression and torture that the Palestinian people was subjected to under the Israeli occupation, the poor performance of the PNA as embodied in the absence of law and justice and maladministration all led the youth to seek and cling to a new identity which is different from that of their helpless parents and which holds that naked force is the only means to avenge themselves over the suppression they have long been subjected to.

The formation of those political, partisan and religious identities and the view that ultimate force is the model of heroism are the major cause of the status quo of Palestinian armed conflict which finds its fuel in many causes such as division, hatred, and vindictiveness of a generation that rebels against the declining family system and the chaotic PNA.

Fascinating stuff. Clearly a worthy subject to reflect on. Also reminds me a bit of typical American gangster social situations.

In place of appeasement: It is not among the duties of resistance movements to court popularity from outside powers, writes Azmi Bishara

For a people either rootless or under occupation, the Palestinians have made more than their share of diplomatic initiatives. The norm, one would think, would be for an occupied people to fight for liberation until they win or else maintain resistance, compelling the international community or the occupying power to come up with solutions to situations that are no longer tenable. The norm, then, is for the resistance to either accept the proposals and throw down its arms, or to reject them and keep on fighting until it is presented with more reasonable ones. The actions of the resistance, moreover, are presumed to be guided throughout by a central aim: liberation and the realisation of self-determination.

In the Palestinian case we see the reverse: they have come up with so many initiatives and proposals that the Palestinians, themselves, find it difficult to recall the aims of their struggle; not only the original aim but the latest one too. In the process they have lost the distinction between strategies and tactics, between tactics and self-deception, and between tactical goals and pleasing others. Not that their attempts to please others have been very successful; rather, they have whetted the appetite of others, who believe such attempts that are a sign of weakness, to up their demands. Israel will never agree to Palestinian ideas because it finds them pleasing; it will agree only if implementing these ideas suits its interests or if it is forced to agree. For example, when suicide bombings reached their height during the second Intifada, Israeli capital and big business forced their government to choose between resuming the peace process until a settlement could be reached or building the separating wall. The government chose the wall.

The Palestinians and Arabs have put forward more than enough initiatives and proposals for settlements and interim phases. Israel has consistently refused to take them up; clearly, it is waiting for more, undoubtedly out of the conviction that with every new proposal the ceiling of demands will lower. Surely it is about time for the Arabs to wait for Israel to come to them with proposals or initiatives that they can either accept or reject, as opposed to letting themselves be pushed around by the logic of unilateralism and the construction of separating walls. In the meantime, if they need some kind of unifying inspiration, they can always draw on the Palestinian national consensus document, which represents the broadest common ground, as well as the resolutions adopted by the PLO in successive National Council sessions. Since neither Israel or the US are about to produce an acceptable proposal for a solution in the foreseeable future, the Palestinians, especially following the agreement between Hamas and Fatah, should drive home the message that they, too, have no further proposals to make and that it is not their job to make proposals but rather to fight against the occupation, against the separating wall, against the Judaisation of Jerusalem and other national objectives.

Jerusalem, for example, does not exist in a vacuum. Its representatives in the Palestinian National Assembly were arrested and there has arisen no properly organised and financed leadership to take the place of Orient House and the neighbourhood people's committees. What happened? Somewhere down the line people stopped thinking in terms of the national rights of Jerusalem as a Palestinian Arab city and in terms of its inhabitants as a part of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian national project, and began to think in terms of Israeli civil rights. Sixty per cent of the children in Jerusalem go to schools that fall under the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem. The brutality of the circumstances they face inevitably force us to demand their rights -- by which we mean their Israeli rights -- from the Israeli Ministry of Education. However, as necessary as this process is, because it is taking place outside the framework and compass of the Palestinian national project it has merged into the process of the Israelification and annexation of Jerusalem and its people. I suppose, therefore, that I should not have been all that surprised, recently, to see a group of 12 school children from East Jerusalem on a visit to the Knesset as part of their civics programme, as if they were Arab students from inside the Green Line.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, as an architectural structure, is in danger, but Palestinian and Arab Islamic sovereignty over it is in greater peril; it has been virtually non- existent for some time. The people who are presumed to exercise this sovereignty -- the Palestinian people inclusive of Palestinian society of Jerusalem -- are also imperiled. The Arabs inside the Green Line pray there regularly and do their best to maintain it as a mosque but they are Israeli citizens and cannot exercise the rights of sovereignty. As admirable as their efforts are, they are not a state, nor even a state in the making. They are citizens of the occupying power itself. The transformation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, through closure and through the absence of an Arab challenge, into a mosque for Arabs inside the Green Line is hardly a bulwark against the peril. Is world opinion aware that Israel refuses to allow Muslims from the West Bank and Gaza access to one of Islam's most holy shrines, thereby violating their fundamental rights of worship? Yet the liberation of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque and the exercise of Arab and Muslim sovereignty over the sanctuary are curiously absent from all the Arabs' political and diplomatic moves connected with the "peace process". So, too, for that matter, is the protection of Arab society in Jerusalem, of the sanctity of their persons and of the Arab identity of Jerusalem, inclusive of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

If we add to this the erosion of the status of Jerusalem and the reduction of Palestinian refuges from a vital and primary component of the Palestinian cause to a collection of humanitarian causes of varying severity depending on the countries in which the refugees are living, we find that the Palestinian cause has been abbreviated to negotiation over a Palestinian state, as Bush and Olmert define it. The dependency on the "peace process" -- with the heaviest emphasis on "process" -- has left an enormous gap in Jerusalem, in the Palestinian Diaspora and in the Palestinian national project as a whole. "The process" has become an aim in itself: some politicians feel that their political careers and lives are not worth living if they don't meet an American official on a shuttle tour to the region, don't get themselves photographed with him or her, don't comment on the importance of their meeting and don't reprimand the US for its pro-Israeli bias at least once a negotiating season. The process similar to that of an extended family: it leaves stray waifs if it breaks down and plays Cupid for others until some calamity has the lovers bewailing their miserable lot in the coffeehouse. The process is everything, and those connected with it will be sure to tell you that America is in earnest this time; contrary to the general impression, they have detected a new sense of responsibility in whatever American official they have met. They will also tell you to be on guard against those who are working to give America an excuse to wash its hands of this region, and will be quick to remind you of Arab demagoguery and brinkmanship. The Arabs are the ones who lost Palestine, and while they are on the subject they'll open the whole historical record of black marks against Syria and Iran and against everyone who hasn't recognised Israel, and against the Arabs in general, those who are pressuring the Palestinians to sacrifice their national rights exempted.

Now that the Palestinians have made the transition from the chant, "Down with Zionism", to "Say no to internal warfare" two Palestinian delegations headed off to Mecca. They are under great pressure to come to an agreement over means to avert conflict, which both teams presume to be a form of crisis management. However, certain parties see this as a strategic opportunity to dictate the rules of the "game of nations" to Palestinians living under occupation, on the grounds that the agreement must be capable of securing the lifting of the blockade. The only interpretation of this stance is that the blockaders were right and the proof is that the blockaded party has "come to its senses" and changed its position. The inevitable corollary, of course, is that the politics of might works, that "might is right".

This will have important implications for the future of the "political process". Some members of the delegations have already threatened to call for early elections, which under the current state of tension is tantamount to a call for civil war.

Only a united front in standing up to the blockade can halt the blockade. The blockade loses its point if its architects can find no one in Palestine to capitalise on the blockade to build up an opposition powerbase and exploit the wretchedness of the people to foment anger against their elected government. [true! --dan]

Since the signing of the National Concord that was based on the Prisoners' Document the scramble to climb aboard the political dictates train has been the cause of each new clash that followed a truce. Under the circumstances of the blockade any agreement produced as the result of arm-twisting, blackmail, threats that the blockade will persist and calls for referendums and elections becomes the basis for yet further demands, triggering another bout of violence. If one's intentions are good there is nothing to be proud of in succeeding in bringing about new elections and quite a bit to be ashamed of in refusing to accept the results of legitimate elections. But establishing one's good intentions entails abandoning the logic of imposing conditions under the banner of the blockade and building upon a common political agenda of the nature of the National Concord. Indeed, this document is very suitable as a platform for a Palestinian government. That Hamas contributed to it and agreed to it represents nothing less than a revolution in its thinking and political outlook. Hamas had never been party to the drafting of the original National Charter, nor its subsequent amendments. The resolutions adopted by successive National Council assemblies, and the substance of the document itself, represents an enormous compromise on Hamas's own charter and, indeed, its electoral platform. That should be sufficient for the purpose of reaching an understanding internally.

If the purpose of some is to placate powers abroad, though, the path to the next round of domestic conflict is well marked: an agreement tailored to lift the blockade, authorisation of the PA president and his advisors to commence negotiations, agreements arrived at secretly with Israel, the announcement of these agreements accompanied by the threat that if Hamas refuses to accept them there will be a call for new elections or for a referendum, and so on. That there are pressures in this direction is clear from the announcement of a forthcoming meeting in Jerusalem between Olmert and Abbas, with Rice attending. If Olmert comes back from these, and subsequent talks with Israel and the US, with proposals that fall short of the minimum Palestinian demands and then threatens to put them to a referendum the Palestinians will be tearing at each others throats again. If, on the other hand, the Palestinian unification agreement rests on calls for a halt to the blockade and a halt to violations in Jerusalem and other such demands, it will strengthen the Palestinian people's ability to resist he occupation.

To produce and adhere to such an agreement requires that Palestinian leaders alter their way of thinking and acting. They must completely de-bug their operating platforms and eradicate the viruses that have programmed them into the tactics of dictating conditions in order to appease outside powers. If the agreement that resulted from the Mecca meeting is to succeed -- and there is no question that it must -- they need to learn to work together towards the fulfillment of common Palestinian objectives instead of playing to an audience outside.

In this regard it would be useful, and undoubtedly spare considerable acrimony, if they put the business of who receives what ministerial portfolio into proper perspective. It makes little difference, for example, whether the minister of foreign affairs belongs to Hamas or to Fatah as long as he is clearly subordinate to the president, as the ultimate foreign policy decision-maker. If, on the other hand, the decision-making process is a shared one between the government, the presidency and parliament, then it would be preferable if the foreign minister belonged to neither this faction nor that. Such independence would enhance his credibility and efficacy in implementing decisions that are the result of a balance and it will facilitate his reception abroad.

The same need not apply to the minister of interior. In all democratic countries, the minister of interior or security, as is the case of the minister of foreign affairs, is generally a member of some political party or other. Which party is of little consequence. Accepting the political affiliations of ministers is part and parcel of democratic life in which political parties form the primary identities involved in the political process. What is important is that the security apparatuses themselves are non-partisan. In the post-Oslo period Palestinian security services have been Fatah-based, in constitution, allegiance and lines-of-command. These services must be unified, neutralised politically and rehabilitated so as prevent partisan considerations from affecting internal appointments and operations. In this case there would be nothing wrong with a Hamas minister of interior, especially if such an appointment formed something of a counterweight to a Fatah president in his capacity as supreme commander of security forces. Conversely, it means nothing to have an "independent" as a minister of interior if the security forces themselves are not non-partisan and unless a distinct line has been drawn between security forces whose task it is to safeguard security and security forces as a surrogate army for the suppression of the resistance.

Well that wraps up that little problem, don't it? It's really a pity that the American establishment is so damn racist. Clearly Palestinians have a lot of interesting angles on political realities, and maybe they could finally help fish us out of the Iraqi clusterfuck and the general onrushing apocalypse...

Oh wait we gotta get some more West Bank settlements to setup the Rapture. I forgot about how important that is to Baby Boomers calling the shots these days.

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