TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Showing posts with label War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War. Show all posts

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Epstein's Games without Frontiers


Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers (original video version 1) (16 April 2015). Games without Frontiers (1980) © Peter Gabriel/Charisma. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

There is more to the story of Jeffrey Epstein's Games-without-Frontiers lifestyle and demise than meets the eye. The mainstream and Underground are coming at this story from many angles, but they all conclude that Epstein was a spy. Did he work for the UK? For the USA? For Israel? For Russia?

Epstein's Butler Tells All About Prince Andrew, Bill Gates and Steve Bannon (28 September 2019). Video Source: Youtube.

Epstein's Parisian butler has started talking about Epstein's high-powered connections. Given the status of the perpetrators, most victims are too scared to talk. It is hard to tell where the espionage ends and the debauchery and corruption start.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Intermediate Range



Yesterday, the US Department of Defense tested a 500 km+ cruise missile in California (click the above image to play video). According to Defense One, this marks the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty (signed 1987) and the beginning of a cruise missile arms race, with the United States eyeing China and Russia:
"'China poses a much larger and more sophisticated long-term military threat than Russia,' says Elbridge Colby, director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security. 'Washington would benefit from having the ability to deploy survivable land-based ballistic and cruise missile systems.'

Colby and others cite China’s growing missile arsenal, most of which is conventional and falls within ranges covered by the INF Treaty. 'The fact that Beijing has such missiles,' writes Marc Thiessen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, 'puts the United States at a strategic disadvantage in any conflict with Beijing…our only possible response would be to strike China with intercontinental ballistic missiles—an unacceptable escalation.'

Their solution: toss out the INF Treaty, develop an American arsenal of ground-launched intermediate-range missiles, and deploy them to allied territory in the western Pacific. This highly visible and survivable strike option would deter China, they argue, or provide the needed flexibility to hit targets in mainland China should conflict erupt (most likely over Taiwan)."

Friday, August 16, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein: You'll Find a God in Every Golden Cloister


Notice that in this cross-dressing portrait, Bill Clinton has six fingers on his right hand (close up). Parsing Bill by Australian-American artist, Petrina Ryan-Kleid. The painting sits in Epstein's Manhattan mansion. Image Source: Daily Mail.

Coverage of Jeffrey Epstein's demise reminds me of the disappearance of Flight MH370 (see my posts here and here). This is a moment, as I put it, when everyday reality "goes off script" and we begin to perceive a gross drama, a terrible, epic story that serves as a backdrop to, and drives, our little lives.

Which of these stories contains the real truth? One is the mundane truth of small individuals. Voltaire celebrated this reality at the end of Candide (1759). You could venture out into the tempestuous world and encounter imperial intrigues, the fall of princes, natural disasters. But at the end, you would be lucky to sit at your front door, grow flowers and eat strawberries, candied citron and pistachios:
"You are perfectly right, said Pangloss; for when man was put into the garden of Eden, he was put there ut operaretur eum [to serve him], so that he should work it; this proves that man was not born to take his ease. —Let’s work without speculating, said Martin; it’s the only way of rendering life bearable. The whole little group entered into this laudable scheme; each one began to exercise his talents. The little plot yielded fine crops . . . and Pangloss sometimes used to say to Candide: —All events are linked together in the best of possible worlds; for, after all, if you had not been driven from a fine castle by being kicked in the backside for love of Miss Cunégonde, if you hadn’t been sent before the Inquisition, if you hadn’t traveled across America on foot, if you hadn’t given a good sword thrust to the baron, if you hadn’t lost all your sheep from the good land of Eldorado, you wouldn’t be sitting here eating candied citron and pistachios. —That is very well put, said Candide, but we must go and work our garden."

Night (7 August 2019). Video Source: Youtube. See other videos of Epstein's islands by Rusty Shackleford, here. See Epstein's fake ambulance, revealed in drone footage, here; possibly related to trafficking.

The other truth is one of murderous and hungry golden gods. It is an inconvenient truth about the world's politicians, celebrities, academics, scientists, and philanthropists, best described in the lyrics from One Night in Bangkok, sung in 1984 by Murray Head, written by Tim Rice and Björn Ulvaeus:

Time flies doesn't seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change don't you know that when you
Play at this level there's no ordinary venue

It's Iceland or the Philippines or Hastings or
Or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me ...

Tea, girls, warm, sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite ...

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam's gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha
And thank God I'm only watching the game controlling it

I don't see you guys rating
The kind of mate I'm contemplating
I'd let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you

So you better go back to your bars, your temples
Your massage parlours

One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me







Arthur Shapiro homicide investigation (1985-1990). Image Source: 4chan. Click to enlarge.

Epstein was set up as a billionaire. He got much of his money managing the fortune of Leslie Wexner (owner of Victoria's Secret, among other companies and foundations, also a noted philanthropist), who is connected to the 1985 murder of attorney Arthur Shapiro. Online bloggers and reporters now suspect Epstein's involvement in the 1997 murder of Wexner's attorney. Epstein was rumoured to be an intelligence agent, whether for the CIA, MI6 or Mossad (see here, here and here). He lured state leaders and societies' leading lights into compromising positions with trafficked underaged sex workers. He then blackmailed his associates. He also cleared their financial debts.

Image Source: 4chan.

Jeffrey Epstein - Palm Beach House Raid Police Video (10-20-2005) (14 August 2019). Video Source: Youtube.

The Epstein case reveals how whole societies can be manipulated through the exploitation of their leaders' shadow sides. These are the burdens of power: sadistic sex, drug addictions, cult fetishes, secret obsessions. We know that there is still decency left, because these people fear exposure, and have blind spots, although they probably believe that decency is for the suckers on Main Street. Everything depends on deceit. The whole MSM is tasked with convincing the public that their top stratum is sane.

Epstein May Be Just One Part of an Intricate Network of Sex and Power (15 August 2019). Video Source: Youtube. For journalist Whitney Webb's research on this network, go here; her Epstein series: part 1, part 2, part 3.

QTR #139 - Whitney Webb Goes Deep: Blowing Open The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal (15 August 2019). Video Source: Youtube.





This week, Epstein's friend, associate and co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in Los Angeles while reading a book about CIA agents, implying that Epstein was part of the system that supposedly protects us. In other words, we are the sheep who need herding and we - not they - are unknowing hypocrites when we draw a line between our leaders and ourselves.

Image Source: 4chan.

Maxwell seemed to be saying: Jeffrey was Everyman. He was Everyone. He was 'one of us.' This is a fallacy which helps murderers sleep at night. Contrary to what our leaders think, they are not indispensable, nor is the order they have created. Their corruption, hidden by compromised individuals, ruined institutions, proxies, shell companies, and a theatre of philanthropic (or terraforming) virtue, are not necessary conditions for our collective survival.

Not fiction, not fake news: Keyser Soze is real, and 'committed suicide' last week. Keyser Soze (The Story) (24 July 2007). From The Usual Suspects (1995) © Gramercy Films/Spelling Films. Directed by Bryan Singer, who has been accused several times of underage sexual assault in Hollywood. Reproduced non-commercially under Fair Use for educational purposes. Video Source: Youtube.

This is a world of pleasure, exploitation, corruption, private islands, tax evasion and silenced victims. Obsessed with protecting their positive reputations, these Pinhead Hellraisers have a strange sense of regret and sadness. They lament over their debts and the constant need to maintain fake public personas. You can hear it in songs like Adele's Skyfall.


Their twisted dream is dying, although they feel like they are on the verge of victory. Their narcissistic lies have begun to dissolve. Their rotten materialism is failing them; fewer and fewer people want to buy into their illusions. Karma and Justice are coming for them. They are living on borrowed money and borrowed time.

How Jeffrey Epstein became the richest pedophile in the world | CDAN Ep. 284 (9 July 2019). Video Source: Youtube.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

World War III Projections 3: Venezuela, The First Caribbean Domino?



Today, Venezuela's government is being forced to change through a strange internal and external consensus. While the anti-Maduro parts of the Venezuelan population are justifiably happy, there is a larger dimension of these events to consider.

Image Source: Growthlines.

The alt-media conspiracist outlet, Abel Danger, predicted earlier this month that Venezuela would be the first domino to fall in a new American- and British-led initiative, which will decimate Latin America and the Caribbean Basin in a long-term series of large wars. This supposed effort follows the same model as was used to devastate the Middle East over the past several decades. From 8 January 2019, The Terrible Forthcoming Destruction of the Caribbean Basin:
"President Trump has announced the withdrawal of US combat troops from the 'Greater Middle East', but the Pentagon is still pursuing the implementation of the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski plan. This time the aim is to destroy the States of the 'Caribbean Basin'. This is nothing like the overthrow of pro-Soviet regimes, as in the 1970’s, but the destruction of all regional state structures, without consideration for friends or political enemies. ...

In a series of previous articles, we presented the SouthCom plan to provoke wars between the Latin-American nations in order to destroy the structures of all the States in the 'Caribbean Basin'.

Preparations for wars of this magnitude, intended to follow on from the conflicts in the 'Greater Middle East' according to the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski strategy, requires a decade.

After the period of economic destabilisation and that of military preparation, the actual operation should begin in the years to come by an attack on Venezuela by Brazil (supported by [Israel]), Colombia (an ally of the United States) and Guyana (in other words, the United Kingdom). It will be followed by others, beginning with Cuba and Nicaragua (the 'troïka of tyranny' according to John Bolton).

However, the original plan may be modified, particularly because of the return of the imperial ambitions of the United Kingdom which may influence the Pentagon."
The same article was reposted at Information Clearing House. It originally appeared on the Voltaire Network Website and was penned there by Thierry Meyssan. Meyssan is a left-wing French journalist and 9/11 truther who has investigated far-right movements. He has also worked for Russia Today and Odnako (Однако) and is apparently now based in Damascus, Syria. To me, it looks like he's a spy.

10 December 2018: Russia provided two nuclear-capable 'Blackjack' aka 'White Swan' bombers to Maduro's régime. Image Source: Federico Parra / AFP / Getty Images via The Guardian.

Meyssan is convinced that the European Union project will be dropped, or perhaps left to the Germans to sort out. The European powers will return to their old plans of imperial colonization abroad in competition with, and sometimes in cooperation with, the United States. Venezuela is the first domino to fall. On 15 January 2019, he wrote:
"[O]ne of the consequences of the successive ends of the bipolar and unipolar world is the re-establishment of colonial projects. One after the other, the French, Turkish and English have publicly declared the return of their colonial ambitions. We still need to know what form they will adopt in the 21st century."
While from a dubious source, if it is correct, it is terrible news for everybody. This larger context may explain Trump's plan to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. The wall construction may anticipate a widespread southern conflict and block the flow of soldiers and refugees. The Russians have provided nuclear-capable bombers and a Kalashnikov manufacturing plant to the Maduro administration. The latter has led to a spread of guns all over the Caribbean. Freelance journalist Colin Freeman has begun covering this story.

Note also that the 8 January report suggests that the Caribbean and Latin American conflict is believed to have been laid out over the past decade, prior to Donald Trump's election. This would mean that the planning for the conflict occurred under the Obama administration. If this is even partly true, it means that the 2016 American election, Brexit, the debate over the wall in the United States, the fierce political fights between liberals and conservatives, the Democrats' moves to impeach Trump, and the US government shutdown have been a big puppet show. Perhaps the puppet show kept eyes off the actual theatre of operations while pieces were moved into place.

Other small outlets made similar reports in the first half of January. As the Trade Union and Worker News in Africa put it, with yet another article by Meyssan, Goodbye Middle East, Hello Latin America. Whatever the evolution of the Venezuelan régime, nothing can justify what is being prepared against its population.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Anniversaries: End of the Great War


"A soldier of Company K, 110th Regt. Infantry (formerly 3rd and 10th Inf., Pennsylvania National Guard), just wounded, receiving first-aid treatment from a comrade. Varennes-en-Argonne, France, on September 26, 1918. (U.S. Army/U.S. National Archives)" Image Source: The Atlantic.

The hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I just passed on 11 November 2018. Normally, I watch the coverage of remembrance ceremonies, but this year, I was working on a writing project at a microbrewery, where everyone observed a minute of silence to remember the fallen soldiers, while the town's church bell tolled outside.

As memory fades of the 20th century world wars, I appreciate more and more the need to remember these conflicts, in order to avoid another century of bloodshed and particularly a third world war. The two world wars were both terrible and unprecedented in their own ways. If the Great War brought about the death of innocence, World War II led to the death of humanity, the death of the modern conscience.

My 2014 post on the anniversary of the start of the Great War is here. All my related posts on World War I are here.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Fascism at a Hairpin Turn


The undercut was an Edwardian haircut which remained popular through the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. It became the iconic male haircut of Nazi fascism. It did not become widely popular again until the 2010s. Today, it is sported in different variations by hipster urbanites on the left and the right, with only some individuals aware of the hairstyle's political message. Image Source: The Bold Italic.

Social control. Censorship. Totalitarianism. They won't arrive in the 20th century varieties we expect. Nouveau Nazis have appeared in dozens of movies, including Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984); V for Vendetta (2005); The Man in the High Castle (2015-present); The Handmaid's Tale (2017-present), and Fahrenheit 451 (2018).

Greater Germanic Reich | Man in the High Castle (5 March 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

An alt-historical adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle (1962), produced by Ridley Scott, considers what America would be like if the Axis Powers won World War II. The new adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (1985) depicts fascists as rigid, hypocritical, psycho-Christians, who impose a violent, patriarchal and puritanical monoculture, viciously suppress women's rights, and divide American society into uniformed, hierarchical, militaristic-gender castes.

The Handmaid’s Tale Trailer (Official) (26 April 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Elisabeth Moss Describes A 'Fictional' Totalitarian, Right-Wing Regime (21 April 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Because of these cultural representations, we expect totalitarianism to dress itself in brownshirts and jack boots. The subtext in liberal adaptations is that Donald Trump's America is an alt-right neo-Nazi régime.

Neo-Nazis have certainly reemerged during Trump's administration more boldly than they have in the previous sixty years. Yet fascism is also exploding into the mainstream from other political quarters. It must be combated at all costs, but to do that, you have to understand what fascism is and how it works. That requires recognizing the menace you can't see coming, as much as the threat you're sure you know.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Artificial Intelligence Nemesis


Image Source: thebodhitrees.

The creation of AI is a story of humanity. It will end where it begins, with a nemesis that will test humankind. This is because human beings grapple with inner knowing on ever more profound levels, driven by self-engineered crises.

Artificial Intelligence: The Nemesis in the Mirror

Anonymous - This Shocking Footage Should Worry You! (2018-2019) (13 January 2018). Video Source: Youtube.

AI is a big mirror. As Google's Cloud Lead Dr. Fei-Fei Li stated, AI began with the question, "Can machines think?" Engineers began building machines to mimic human thinking, to reason, see, hear, think, move around, manipulate. That was AI's foundational dream. In the 1980s, machine learning was born, followed by deep learning, which is rooted in neuroscience. This young discipline is set to explode, due to the exploitation of big data, harvested from around the globe. Thus, no matter how the machines end up evolving, it is worth asking now what we are doing with AI and why we doing it. There are unconscious human impulses that are informing AI design.

Find your museum Doppelgänger: some people have found themselves in paintings at art museums. Image Source: Kottke / My Modern Met / Davidurbon.

This mirror will test a psychological mode which human beings have used to build, change, create: the obsession with the nemesis, the other, the twin, the Doppelgänger.

The nemesis psychological complex works by externalizing something we cannot manage inside our own natures. Once the thing is externalized, we interact with it to create new ways of understanding and operating in the world. One of my posts, I Will Teach You Infinities, described how the nemesis complex informed the structure of language, because language progressively builds away from the starting point of selfhood, or 'I.'

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Little Meteorite Earthquakes


Image Source: Sky News.

The heavens are visiting. This eerie photo was taken from a dashcam in Michigan on 16 January 2018 at 8:08 p.m. The impact of the one-tonne space rock caused a 2.0 earthquake. The USGS report on the meteorite is here.

Never wary, the Internet quickly plunged into Steven Spielberg territory, with rumours about the Hawaii and Japanese missile scares, Chinese laser weapons, spy satellite launches (Elon Musk's Falcon 9 launch of the mysterious Zuma being only the most prominent of these), space junk, and most outlandishly, secret alien space wars.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Coups



Since October, the Internet has been gripped by fevered speculation boiling up from 4chan and 8chan. A mysterious leaker going by the handle 'QAnon' has been releasing cryptic messages about American political drama behind the scenes. The tweet above, and another from the US Navy, resemble Q's posts on 8chan made before Christmas, hinting that Q is connected to the military or intelligence. Even Trump himself appears to have made tweets which connect to Q's posts. This implies that the military supports Trump's administration and current consolidation of power. If you are curious, all of Q's messages have been archived here.

Screenshot Source: The Daily Rabbit Hole.

Among other things, the speculation around Q refers to: American domestic politics; photos taken from Air Force One; Julian Assange and a break-in at the WikiLeaks' lawyers' offices Baltasar Garzon in Madrid on 18 December 2017; UFO rumours (for mainstream coverage, go here, here and here); and the Koreas.

An alt-media summary: Who is Q Anon An overview (24 December 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

The discussion about QAnon is a huge interactive experience, largely ignored Trump's critics, who would not search for, or watch, this information. But they should pay attention: this covert underground extravaganza is a lesson on how Trump dominates the Internet and derives his support from it, no matter how much the tech giants censor his supporters. Q prompts netizens to embark on a crowd-sourced information treasure hunt to decode his or her posts. Some of them have tabulated their answers to Q's hints and questions here. You can see the impact of the campaign on Twitter here and Reddit here. For example, the tweet below asks whether the CIA is arming North Korea in response to Q's Matrix prompt, Follow the White Rabbit.


One Youtube commenter felt that Q's posts are not leaks so much as the next generation of mass manipulation. That is, leaks carry an aura of legitimacy and righteousness, a scourge on the corrupt den of politics. But really, that righteousness is a smokescreen for what is effectively a military coup. Or so the chatter maintains:
"Consider that Q is a psy op. Yes, it does seem to be coming from high up. But we should be questioning the narrative that says lay down and let the police state (martial law?) drain the swamp. How long will it take before we realize the horror of what this rollout really is? (Speculating. A possibility. Think Standing Rock) OR, when Trump's term is up and the swamp hasn't been drained anywhere near the extent that this narrative claims is currently happening, will we start to question the validity of Q (as well as the whole Trump savior narrative)? Notice how Hillary supporters wait with baited breath at Trumps demise the same as Trump's supporters wait for Hillary/Obama/etc. demise. How long will we wait and keep buying the bs that justice is currently underway so we should be patient. There are multiple narratives. Some are partly true. So, irresistible. What's the endgame Q? Or Tyler, or whoever the fuck you are."
Whatever Q is or is not, his or her underground posts show a superb grasp of Internet dynamics and underground mass media communication - and of managing an intended outcome from that communication. That intended outcome is not yet determined.

Some people think QAnon is NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake because Drake often wears a 'Q' pin on his suit jacket lapel in interviews. Image Source: Open Canada.

(Hat tip: Jordan Sather, whom I have previously mentioned here; his Christmas video on this subject reached #42 in trending videos on Youtube today.)

ADDENDUM: For a 27 December 2017 discussion with the 8chan board owners on the significance of QAnon and the meaning of Leutze's painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, circulated in this context first by Q, then by the US Department of Defense, go here. Warning: some people may find the discussion to be questionable and offensive.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Prepare for the Saudi Singularity



I have published a new post (here) at Vocal Media, which argues that the upheavals in Saudi Arabia are symptomatic of a massive shift from economies based on oil, to economies based on the next stage of technology.

I argue that events in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton suggest that the Singularity is coming, but not the way we expected. The Singularity will be commandeered by the Saudis, meaning that the dominant cultural tone of the Singularity will not be California Silicon Valley culture, or Asian culture, or German Tech-Kultur, or even Silicon Britain - or other global cultures you might expect.

Rather, the Singularity will be dominated by Wahhabist Islam.

The situation is far more complex than I have outlined in that Vocal piece; for more details, see James Corbett's summaries below. I don't always agree with Corbett's interpretations and opinions, but he has put together a decent overview of the situation, albeit from an alt-media perspective. He includes reasons why the Crown Prince may not succeed in commandeering the Singularity, much less Saudi Arabia.

Regardless, Corbett recognizes the basic new truth of our lives: Data is the New Oil. Erected before us like an unavoidable totem, this truth is not just economic or technological. Despite the scientific bent of technology, I maintain that the primary impact of this truth will be cultural and especially religious. We are at the exact moment that will determine which culture dominates and shapes the post-carbon era of the Singularity, related technocratic governments, and their official religions.

The Saudi Purge is a Global Crisis (17 November 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Why Big Oil Conquered The World (6 October 2017). Video Source: Youtube

How Big Oil Conquered the World (27 December 2015). Video Source: Youtube.

Data is the New Oil (24 November 2017). Video Source: Youtube



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Luther's Hallowe'en


"A statue of 16th-century theologian Martin Luther stands on Marktplatz square on Oct. 20, 2016 in Wittenberg, Germany." Image Source: Time / Sean Gallup—Getty Images.

This Hallowe'en is very special, because it marks the 500th anniversary of the day when Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany. You can read the Theses in English, here.

Although Luther followed in the footsteps of other late medieval religious reformers such as John Wycliffe (c. 1320s-1384) and Jan Hus (1369-1415), Luther's act is considered the central moment in the start of the Protestant Reformation.

Woodcut of indulgence selling in a church from title page of On Aplas von Rom kan man wol selig werden [One Can Be Saved Without the Indulgence of Rome]. From a 1521 pamphlet. Image Source: Wiki.

The catalyst of Luther's protest was the sale of indulgences by a Dominican friar named Johann Tetzel (1465-1519). The reason Luther acted on Hallowe'en was not because of the significance of October 31st, but because he was anticipating the day that follows: November 1st, All Saints' Day. On 1 November 1517, Tetzel planned to start selling indulgences near Wittenberg, and he was famous for his abuse of the practice. The following rhyme is attributed to Tetzel:

"As soon as a coin in the coffer rings
the soul from purgatory springs."

Indulgences were chits, authorized by the pope to draw upon the virtuous power of the saints to reduce God's punishments for sins. Indulgences were believed to absolve sins of those still alive, and of souls trapped Purgatory, a No Man's Land between heaven and hell where souls worked and waited to be purified.

Through papal relations with local princes, the sale of indulgences proved a way of gathering money quickly and efficiently from poor people in Europe. Indulgence monies funded wars and big infrastructure projects. The sale of indulgences provided the money to build the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, which tourists still visit today. The same sales also supported roads, bridges, and other important construction work.

This practice was an arcane precursor to our modern system, which still conveys private funds into semi-public foundations or governmental public coffers, all in the name of humanitarianism and the public good. Behind those slogans, there remains an enduring tension between the individual citizen and the growth of violent and powerful statecraft and its satellite entities.

Thus, the issues driving Luther and his protest were more complicated than indulgences. Luther's act was part of the evolution of the modern conscience (or lack of it). Unravel the discussions on faith, and the subsequent schism inside the Roman Catholic Church helped to herald the values driving our Millennial  political and economic systems.

First page of the 1517 Basel printing of the Theses as a pamphlet. Image Source: Wiki.

This was the earliest glimmer of a democratic age. Several medieval critics had condemned venality in the Church prior to October 1517, but Luther's Theses sparked a shift in popular awareness.

Luther meant his complaints to launch a debate with Tetzel. He did not intend for his Theses to become a public manifesto, a rallying cry for the common people, and he wrote the Theses in Latin. However, they were translated into German and printed through a radical new technology - the printing press. The press had been invented in 1440 and spread thereafter through the German lands. This was how Luther's Theses were shared across Central Europe and sparked revolts by the peasants against their royal and ecclesiastical masters.

Luther, with his intent of taking worship back to the holy texts, also made the Christian faith more democratic. He translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into German, by-passing Rome's official Latin Vulgate. He wrote important hymns, such as Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God), based on Psalm 46. And - in defiance of the Roman Catholic insistence on celibate priests - he got married.

This blog will discuss these issues, with an eye to showing how Luther's ideas still shape our world. I will be interviewing Andrew Wilson, who wrote Here I Walk: A Thousand Miles on Foot to Rome with Martin Luther. The book chronicles a fascinating effort by Andrew and his wife Sarah to retrace Luther's footsteps in 2010.

Andrew hypothesized that the real breach with Rome began when Luther actually visited that city in 1511. Sent on business on behalf of his order, Luther walked to Italy, starting in October 1510 from the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt.

It is obviously essential to know what Luther saw in Rome and what he thought of it, because it led to him being the Catholic Church's biggest critic in history, a mere six years later. The conventional interpretation has assumed that Luther found a cynical, corrupt and bellicose papacy, Rome as Babylon.

However, Andrew found that the documents about Luther's pilgrimage gave little solid evidence. He decided to retrace Luther's steps - in today's landscape - to find a story in the environment along Luther's pilgrim's path.

Andrew and Sarah Wilson with a statue of St. James at the Lutheran church in Oettingen-in-Bayern. Image Source: Andrew Wilson.

Together, Andrew and his wife walked over one thousand miles and documented their travels on their Website, here. Andrew explained what he discovered about Martin Luther in his book, published in 2016. That discovery, and how it relates to us now, will be the subject of upcoming posts in December.


For the whole Luther interview and all related posts, go here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2017: Operation Wandering Soul


"Fair Use dissemination of documentary clip about 'Wandering Soul,' aka 'Ghost Tape Number 10' - an audio harassment theme recorded by the US Army Psychological Operations Battalion for loudspeaker broadcast during the Vietnam War. 'Wandering Soul' attempted to demoralise Vietcong opposition by engaging with traditional Vietnamese superstition and folk-lore." Video Source: Youtube.

During the Vietnam War, the Americans exploited a local Vietnamese superstition that a person must be buried in the soil of their homeland, or be doomed to wander through hell forever. The US Army developed a psyop called Operation Wandering Soul, in which they created funeral dirges and dead Vietnamese soldiers' lost souls, warning Viet Cong soldiers to retreat. They played this tape into the jungle at night. You can read more about Operation Wandering Soul, here and here.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Remembering September Tenth


9/10 The Final Hours (2014). Video Source: Youtube.

9/10 The Final Hours is a 2014 documentary which shows footage from and interviews with people who were active around the Twin Towers on 10 September 2001. From the tourists who visited the World Trade Center on 10 September, to the DJ and artists who left the towers in the early hours before the planes hit in on 11 September, this National Geographic special recalls the last day of pre-9/11 New York. The film conveys the before and after, a movement around a pivot in history.

Sunset on 10 September 2001. Image Source: Studd Blog.

September 11th 2001 In Real Time (FAA/NORAD Audio). Full transcript at Rutgers Law Review. Video Source: Youtube.

CNN Live Coverage - (08:48am-10:53am) - 11 September 2001. Video Source: CNN via Youtube.

Rescue workers at Ground Zero (13 September 2001). Image Source: Evanshine.

ADDENDUM (11 September 2017):



Thursday, June 22, 2017

New UK Export: Police State Tools


How BAE sold cyber-surveillance tools to Arab states - BBC News (20 June 2017). Video Source: BBC via Youtube.

NSA in a box: on 20 June 2017, BBC reported that a UK firm, BAE systems, exported nation-wide surveillance and decryption tools to Arab states, notably the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Morocco. The BBC reporter found that this exported technology will potentially be used against the UK. Takeaway quote: "You'd be able to intercept any Internet traffic. If you wanted to do a whole country - go ahead!"

Image Source: BAE Systems.

The 52nd International Paris Air Show is on now from 19 to 25 June 2017, with reps talking about everything from commercial jets to quantum entanglement. The aerospace industry increasingly considers military applications in space. Jane's reported that BAE is there, seeking to expand its custom for fighter jets in Belgium and Finland. Despite political tensions between Trump's America and a liberal Europe, on 18 June 2017 Defense News stated that US military industry reps were sanguine: it's "full speed ahead" between Europe and the USA when it comes to aerospace and arms deals. While the event is on, you can watch a livestream from the Paris Air Show here.

Le Bourget roundup Day 1 (20 June 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Crisis in a Box


This image circulates on truther sites. I have not confirmed its origin or supposed associated terror event. Image Sources: here and here.

This summer's blog posts assess how weaponized propaganda in the media and on the Internet is affecting behaviour and perception. I have never seen so much chaotic, dangerous and disturbing information and disinformation.

The problem has arisen in an already uncertain environment. The Internet is culturally anti-statist, an attitude reinforced by leaks, hacks and whistle-blowing. Although leaks and whistle-blowing were and are intended to make the establishment more transparent and less corrupt, revelations also destabilize society. Some quarters now exploit the credibility of whistle-blown information, so that 'real truths' become vectors of disinformation. As a result, no one knows what to believe.

In a climate of disillusionment, everything, including real facts, is disbelieved. On the Internet, all authorities are suspect. Truth in international affairs has become a question of atomized subjective belief, confirmation bias, and personal preference. Trust, rather than rationalism, drives the information sphere. The mainstream and alt-media compete for credibility and dominance in the fight to win the public's trust.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

North Korea: Rand Corp Discussions



Bruce W. Bennett, Senior International Defense Researcher with the Rand Corporation, is discussing North Korea's military build-up of 20 to 50 nuclear weapons today. There is a one-hour podcast at the Rand Corporation's Website, here. Other tweets today refer to the Japanese need for military operational experience, and officially ending the Korean War to transform the diplomatic picture in the region.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Stargate Tweets, Mysteries and Rumours


A Stargate? Image Source: Twitter / iReport/CNN.

At present, there is a very strange dis/information eruption on Twitter, coming from a single account, KibBitzLaw. Whoever is running this account is mingling a giant conspiracy theory with current affairs at breakneck pace (hat tip: The Outer Light). This person is threatening top level officials with information leaks of the most outlandish kind. WikiLeaks is mentioned, as is Chelsea / Bradley Manning. The Tweeter also apparently visited 4chan today, archived here, and stated: "This is not a joke." Tonight's tweets were dedicated to Seth Rich, the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer.


There are weirdos all over the Internet, so one more ranting conspiracy theorist should not matter. The only problem is that this account - which was created in March, 2009 - for some time had, as its first and only follower, former president Barack Obama. The account was previously followed by members of the mainstream media and Democrats running for Congress. It lay quiet for some time, with some tweets during the US election in 2016, and suddenly exploded with activity this month. The account was mentioned today (14 May 2017) on Reddit, here.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nuclear Leaks 37: Citizen Journalists, Plutonium, and the Hanford Tunnel Collapse



On 9 May 2017, a 20-foot-long section of a nuclear waste storage tunnel collapsed at the Hanford Site in Washington State, USA. The collapse occurred at the 20-foot-wide join of two tunnels, possibly exposing the contents to the open air, although Hanford denied this. Hanford is famous for producing plutonium for nuclear weapons during the Cold War. It is also famous for its contamination and leaking tanks of waste, making it one of the most toxic sites in the United States.