Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Saint in the Terre Cabade

Folk Saints, also known as "popular saints", are saints which though immensely popular and venerated for their miraculous powers, are not officially recognized as such by the Catholic church.

Laws of Silence has already discussed two such Latin American saints. The first, Jesus Malverde, has become so popular among drug traffickers and hitmen that the Mexican government has taken to bulldozing shrines erected in his honor. A second, Gauchito Gil, is another Robin Hood-like character sharing many Malverdian attributes. His shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims annually.

Cut over to Toulouse, France. Hélène Soutade (d. August 11, 1885, 48 or 50 years old) a teacher about whom little is known, has become one of these folk saints: Santa Héléna. Her tomb in the Terre Cabade cemetery is covered with flowers and ex-votos. There is also a photo of her corpse and a small relic--a framed fragment of clothing. It is by far the most colorful place in an already remarkable Necropolis.

Known for being a tender and kind teacher, she is said to have become part of a religious community late in life. Her sanctity comes from two miracles: the first is that two white doves (some sources say 4) followed her funeral procession all the way to the cemetery after her funeral. The second is that after a votive candle set her then-wooden tomb on fire, her casket had to be reinterred. At this occasion, after a pickaxe blow gone awry, it was discovered that her body had not decomposed, years after her death. In fact, curators of the cemetery say no such reinterrment took place and that there may be some confusion with the saint's father, whose body was transferred here after her death. True or not, the legend stuck.

As a teacher, she has become a patron of children. Parents with sick kids pray to her. Students pray to her for help in their studies. Children are her specialty, but people pray for everything else too: love, money, health, etc.

We propose that this may be a reflection of Toulouse's other most popular pilgrimage site:
Our Lady of the Daurade. Located in the Daurade Basilica across town, this Virgin is especially noted for her intercession on behalf of sick children and for women in labor. At one time, the Virgin's belt could be "rented" so that it could be laid across a woman's belly as she gave birth, ensuring a smooth delivery, so to speak.

In Santa Héléna one can see echoes of the pre-Christian past. Everyone knows the major gods--Jupiter, Apollo, Aphrodite--the heavy hitters--but there were literally thousands of local tutelary deities--every city and town had its protectors, trades had their patron. The Romans even had household gods. This plethora of spiritual intercessors finds expression today in the saints. In some cases, such as that of San Gennaro, it’s not even certain they existed as historical personages. In an example of a highly local saint (also perhaps only a legend), consider the case of St. Fris, practically unknown outside of Bassoues, a small town of a few hundred souls set deep within the Gers.

The reason for the popularity of these local “folk saints” is not so difficult to understand. It’s clear that with one god and so many believers, it’s hard to catch his ear; it helps to have someone on the inside. If this is someone from your town, part of the family so to speak, this might be a little more helpful than asking for the assistance of a total stranger. The church may be leery of these popular saints, but the canonization of new saints has not stopped and it stands to reason that more and more of these saints will be recent, historical figures. Not being lost in the mists of time, they have to be especially careful of who is recognized and who is not. A legend is easier to manipulate than a life with more concrete, verifiable traces. One can also discern a clear political component to the process, as with the canonization of Pope John Paul II. Perhaps the politics in the case of Santa Héléna simply boil down to a case of control, authority and religious obedience to the established process of canonization.

In any case, it’s safe to say that for the faithful, the revelation is ongoing and saintliness is not contingent upon antiquity; the faith is a living, evolving thing....

Note: For those who read French, I recommend the following article: Héléna, la sainte du cimitère
(Elisabeth Blanc) from the ethnological journal terrain. Normally I'd summarize the artice but I've contacted the editor about posting a translation of it in its entirety, with a favorable response. If all goes well and my formal request is approved, I can post a full translation of the article on LoS within a few weeks.
Update: March 1. My request has been approved. This may take some time but I'll post it when ready and reviewed.

Do Believers Breed More?

Daurade recently raised an interesting question during a conversation with me via blog comments: Are atheist couples more likely to be childless? Daurade quoted extensively from "Childfree" in Wikipedia.

Not long after reading Daurade's comments, I happened, independently, upon two relevantly related websites. There's an old axiom that anecdotes ain't data, but I'm working hard at being mindful of synchronicity, so ... let's see what can be gleaned from these two offerings.

First, I happened, independently of my conversation with Daurade, upon The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. These folks don't outright state that they don't believe in God. They also don't outright state that they don't believe in humor. But it's not hard to read between the lines. Here's their fun loving uncle: Nonbreeder.

Second, I happened upon the recent NY Times article "God Said Multiple, and Boy Did She", which tells the tale of the Yitta Schwartz, who:

"[When] she died last month at 93, she left behind 15 children, more than 200 grandchildren and so many great- and great-great-grandchildren that, by her family's count, she could claim perhaps 2,000 living descendants. Mrs. Schwartz was a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, whose couples have nine children on average."

And as if all this weren't synchronicity enough to recent LoS conversations, the second article went on to note that "Mrs. Schwartz's ... may have generated one of the largest clans of any survivor of the Holocaust -- a thumb in the eye of the Nazi's" (emp. mine).

Well, I don't think that this settles the matter one way or the other, but consider this fact. Humans appear to be hardwired to be religious (cf, here and here). If you're fundamentalist, you might accept this as proof of God having creating humans. If you're non-fundamentalist, religious or not, you might accept this as evidence that evolution has favored Believers--which is in-and-of-itself a suggestion that Believers may breed more.

Consider one more point. There are also prolific breeders who don't couple up. Mostly men. Genghis Khan was said to have fathered over 1,000 children; by some estimates, 8% of all Asian men (and, I would assume Asian women, too) are descended from his line. And rape's not the only way down this road. There are also tales of prolifically breeding sperm donors, and there are plenty of modern day Don Juans like Wilt Chamberlain who claims to have slept with 20,000 women.

So there we have it -- point & counter point. Perhaps in the end, the religious command to be fruitful and multiple is simply a necessary compensation for the religious restriction to breeding monogamously and magnanimously.

So what do you think? Who breeds more and why?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hidden in plain sight

We first brought the public monument known as the Temple de la Sagesse Suprême to your attention in April. It didn't generate much comment until an enterprising turd ripped us off and with admittedly superior feed wizardry got his take diffused widely on the internets. Many of the comments we saw in the wake of this focused on the map of the world laid out in mosaic under the pyramid.

Commenters saw this as a clear indication of a plan for global domination or perhaps the Illuminati pissing on the world. Haha.

We came across a comment recently which pointed out that the mosaic no longer exists, that it has been painted over.

As it just so happens, we were able to pass by the monument recently and verify that is has in fact been effectively whitewashed.

Maybe the mosaic floor was leaking and causing problems Maybe the symbolism was too over-the-top for our Illuminati overlords. (irony)

In any event, it's gone, which is kind of sad. The idea of a highly-detailed decorative element which no one actually saw was pleasing to us.

On a related note, we came across a video on Daily Motion whilst looking for Tom and Jerry episodes for the kids.

This was called "subliminal Illuminati proof". We see nothing "sub" about it at all. More like "superliminal satire".

Enjoy this freak-fest:

Tom et Jerry subliminal illuminati preuve
envoyé par alensois. - Regardez les vidéos des stars du web.

Tea for Two: American Years of Lead

In a recent post which uses Hitler next to Dr. Frank n' Furter, we were trying to make the point that as a cartoon villain, Hitler has essentially become meaningless. As such, he can serve as a useful foil for any cause because he and his Nazi chums, devoid of meaning, can be recast to have whatever meaning is desired. He is like one of those boards at carnivals where you can stand and poke your head through. Someone takes photo of a strongman or a mermaid, crudely painted on wood, with your face. Ho ho! Now that's fun.

Hitler is the board, anyone's head can be popped in. He has become a caricature, the Nazis something from a zillion films and comic books. The Nazis can be used to slander anyone, from Feminazis to Boy Scouts. In the book I cited in the same post, called The Pink Swastika, the Nazis were said to have as a gang of queer thugs who originally hung out in a gay bar. Indeed, the book goes far beyond the Nazis to implicate the gay rights movement as a kind of cabal bent on infiltrating America. Easy-peasy. Want to denigrate your political opponents? Liken them to Nazis.

This is the kind of attitude that worries me about elements within the Tea Party. I believe the movement is a genuine outpouring of disaffected citizens and I must admit to sympathize with many of their concerns. But like many on the left who used the same metaphor to attack Bush, the Tea People have used the easy and essentially meaningless "Nazi" smear and laid everything at the feet of Obama. I would suggest these people are prone to believing the kind of tripe purveyed in books such as The Pink Swastika.

We want our country back! they say. Who exactly, is we?

When we see photos of the Tea Party or read accounts of those who have walked among them, we see a portrait of white, older, mainly Christian social convservatives, which is telling. These people were born into a world where Christian and white hegemony over American culture was a given.

As the demographics of our country change, these people are becoming nervous. The gays they expected to stay hidden under rocks are everywhere, on TV, in the cinema, in government. Latinos seem to be everywhere. Ominous predictions crop up every year or so: whites a minority by 2050! There's now a man in the White House with a funny name and who isn't white! They could have never envisioned such a radical transformation of the demographic and moral landscape.

Let's not be naiive. Racism, or at least race uneasiness, lies behind a lot of the anger directed towards Obama, not a disagreement over political abstractions such as "socialism." Are the Birthers really concerned over Constitutional proscriptions? Even if race is not at the heart of the matter, doesn't their near-hysterical anger at least indicate a case of xenophobia? We want our country back!

Does my foreign-born mother, who became a citizen when I was four, count as less an American than you? Does it matter that she was from England and not El Salvador? Am I less American because my wife is not, and my children have funny names?

I do not want to suggest that all Tea Partiers are bigots and conspiracy theorists. But in the articles I've previously linked to, there are serious currents of this kind of thinking within the movement. This is not a liberal elitist smear. This is not malicious condescension. And the comparison of Obama with Hitler is for real.

Take for example a part of the Tea Party coalition, called Oath Keepers, who intend to recruit soldiers and policemen into its ranks. While its goals are noble, they seem to have the impression that the US is gearing up to be a giant police state. Check out the list of orders they will not obey. Again, noble aims. But they seems to think at any moment Obama is going round up dissidents and put them into giant camps. Two of the ten points:

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

This last point is nicely illustrated by a Nazi shooting a prisoner in the head at the edge of a corpse-filled pit.

Kudos to the cops and military officers who assert these anti-fascist principles. But is it really necessary? Are people getting a little carried away with the paranoia? Does this shed some light on why we at LoS get a little pissed off at knee-jerk conspiracy theory? Are we at LoS thus deluded sheeple?

Hitler has served as a good tool for the Tea Party protesters. People jump on the "S" word in "National Socialism" and then use it to slam Obama's "socialist" agenda. Never mind that he is to the right of genuine European socialism, or that Hitler's NSDAP was merely socialist in name. It was an authoritarian, fascist movement. Control of industry remained firmly in the hands of private capitalists. Ever see Schindler's List? That factory he used for saving Jewish lives? Privately-owned, folks. Many behemoth German companies in existence today amassed large amounts of wealth during the Nazi period. They were and remain privately-owned. Naziism was no more a socialist phenomenon than is was a capitalist one. It shared elements with both, but it was its own animal.

Remember those Hitler comparisons and photos. They are instructive. First, it's so over the top to compare Obama to Hitler that it loses any sense of proportion whatsoever. Secondly, this kind of popular outpouring never happened under Bush, and the fascist qualities of his tenure were equally, if not more alarming. This period of constitutinal travesty was even kicked off by our very own version of the Reichstag Fire. Finally, we reiterate our warning (from the last post) against taking angry displays at face value. Like we said before, the Tea Party may be built to last and the heady idealism of newbie revolutionaries and tricornered would-be militiamen could signal a new phase of popular democratic engagement (if not serious social strife).

Or it could become simply another well-rehearsed and staged event which make a few empty vessels like $arah Palin into political forces to be reckoned with, without of course neglecting to collect large sums of money along the way. They call a false "grass-roots" campaign astroturfing; it is clear the Tea Party is not made of astroturf. But elements of it, such as the Republican attempt to coopt the movement, are fraudulent, and I am filled with a mixture of inquietude and wonder whenever they cross my radar.

As for Palin, you may recall her attacking government healthcare as "evil" and citing "death panels" that would threaten her baby Trig. She must be terribly worried about grandson Tripp, seeing that his healthcare is funded through the Indian Health Service. One can reasonably ask what this says about her commitment to her principle
$. Does something so inherently evil become acceptable when one's own dollars are at stake?

Whatever the case, what are we to make of this guy Joeseph Stack, who recently flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin? Fox News refers to him as a "protestor" in this article, but at which point does protest become terrorism? The article reports that fan pages set up in his honor have attracted thousands of hits, with comments ranging from lauding him as a hero to portraying him as a victim. Were these the same people slamming Obama for associating with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers? Is right-wing violence protest, left-wing violence terrorism? Was the original Tea Party a terrorist act? Were the rum-runners and landed gentry we call the Founding Fathers terrorists?

I predict this guy flying his plane into the IRS building will become a rallying point for the extremists of the Tea People, and its meaning much debated. Conservatives will decry linking it with the Tea Party as a smear, and the left will hammer away at it. Remember when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report saying that the time was ripe for a rise in right-wing extremism among disaffected veterans? How it was attacked and the DHS was forced to make an apology? The left-wing Wall Street Journal reports that there is a "steady, upward trend" of threats against IRS workers. At what point does the lone nut become a movement?

The Tea Protestors will attack anything that comes out of the current administration as a reflex when fact is, militia movements are gaining numbers, as well as mainstream defenders. The anti-tax movement is on the rise. The last time so many average Joes cried for revolution was in the sixties. Trouble is, those freaky folks were more into smoking dope and fucking than fighting. The only ones who put their money where their mouths were, the Weather Underground, the SLA, the Black Panthers, are the most likely to be derided by Tea People today. Bill Ayers, terrorist. Remember him? He wanted revolution too, and for many of the same reasons as the Tea Party. Thing is, Tea Protestors are less likely to be dope-smoking group gropers than they are proficient in firearms.

Meanwhile, over at Fox, some commentators are calling posts such as this part of an "internet frenzy" to discredite the Tea Party:

We recommend Fox stop disingenuously using fucking blog comments (!) as editorial points to discredit liberals uneasy with the Tea Party and begin examining the violent rhetoric, the wearing of firearms to political rallies, the talk of revolution and secession, instead. Let's stop pretending there's not a potential for more of this kind of "protest" to be stoked by Tea Party theater. If the right can emphasize over an over that a disturbed individual who turns a gun on her colleagues over a tenure dispute is a "far-left radical" enamored of Obama, perhaps it's not so heinous to link Joe Stack with Tea Party rhetoric and imagery.

Thing is, last time I checked, revolution and secession usually involve large amounts of terrible violence, always justifiable by those who perpetrate it. 9-11 changed America. Now we have a 9-12 Project. And their talking points are echoed in a suicide note by another guy willing to fly a plane into a building to make his point.

Wild and woolly times ahead.
Be Prepared for the Years of Lead!

Spiritual Acessorary

I stumbled across a curious product the other night that reminded me of the rifle sights encoded with biblical references.

Now we try hard to avoid plugging products, literally beating off would-be pluggers left and right, but you've just gotta check out the online ad for the "Prayer Cross" -- a "spiritual accessory" which dangles from a necklace and is made out of "genuine, brilliant crystals" and features "a secret center stone". According to their ad:

"When [the secret stone at the center of the cross is] held up to the light, the entire Lord's prayer becomes instantly and almost miraculously visible".

Available in English and Spanish in both children and adult sizes.

This whole "secret stone" business really set off my radar alarms since I'm totally obsessed with the "fallen stone mythology" and since "secret stone" as a phrase immediately makes me think of Free Masons since they are a secretive group of stone workers (right?).

But setting aside this rich topic that I hope Daurade will pick back up, one of my first ignorant thotz wuz, well, when they say the "entire Lord's prayer" -- are they talking the shorty Catholic version or the longer Protestant jingle? Because obviously, cramming the longer version would somehow be even more almost miraculous!

As it turns out, the "secret center stone ... when held up to the light" displays the shorty version of the prayer -- i.e., no doxology included.**

So, if you're looking for your million dollar product, and you can write really, really tiny, here's your money maker: an even more almost miraculous display of the entire Lord's Prayer including the doxology on a secret stone in a genuine crystalline cross.

It would be an even more "perfect way to say 'Happy Easter'!".

And if that doesn't grab you -- here's another idea. Why not mount two of these puppies in a line on the top of your rifle. Peer through them until the text in the two secret stones lines up perfectly. The drop-dead center of the text is upper-left branch of the "V" in "forgive". Get that V on your target's forehead, slowly exhale while squeezing the trigger -- and the Lord's judgment will be realized.

For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

** It seems weird that the Protestants tag a doxology onto the end of the Catholic's Lord's Prayer -- weird because the Protestants mostly drop the Catholic's ritualistically-repeated doxologies, yet here on the Lord's Prayer, they added one. I've no insight to offer on this point, but it sure is curious.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adolf Hitler: Master Thespian

In a recent post I included a picture of Hitler to illustrate the understatement of the tagline "Man playing ukelele" in a YouTube video of a man, well, playing the ukelele. But really, really well.

In light of another two recent posts which feature a Hitler photo (satire) and swastika cheesecake, I thought it might be useful to explain the context. Just in case you thought LoS was going Nazi. Hey, we admire the snappy uniforms as much as the next guy, but we haven't gone down that road. Relax.

The unexplained photo of Hitler wagging his fists comes from a series of shots Hitler had taken of himself practicing his gestures and movements for his speeches. The images at the beginnng of this post are more of the same. They may all come from the same session; I'm not sure. Suit looks the same. I'm sure this will offend, but I can't help but chuckle at this picture. The man who has become a reflex symbol for ultimate evil comes across as Dr. Doom.

If you're anything like us, you'll find this studied and rehearsed nature of seemingly spontaneous displays of anger and emotion something worth pondering. Outpourings of emotion are not always what they appear.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hayek v. Keynes

"Fear the Boom & Bust"!!!

This is the video that sparked the most intelligent debate *evah* held on YouTube.

I fully confess that I totally don't get this debate, but it does seem like the US government has lowered interest rates in order to make money cheap in order to encourage spending/investment -- but this has also had the effect of making savings' account interest-rates plunge, which discourages saving money, which is ironic because a key cause of the current US economic crisis is that people didn't save money; instead they borrowed and spent, borrowed and spent.

Help me out here, commenters: am I even close to getting at the source of the underlying tension that is driving this debate?

I mean, we've gotta solve this thang b4 Keynes pops a cap into Hayek's bald skull...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"If you are planning simultaneous teabagging all around the country, you're going to need a Dick Armey."

All apologies for being a bit lazy recently with the posts. I just got off a two-week frenzy of translation work and I still haven't recouped my energies. In that period I did come across two very good articles about the "Tea Party" movement. I'm not sure what to make of the TP crowd, but it's fascinating to watch this develop. It could either go the way of the Reform Party (oblivion) or turn out to be something more lasting and potent. It's worth keeping an eye on....

Why Widescreen?

So I was wondering ... why are screens wide? Why not tall-screen TV? Or round?

I came up with a simple explanation. Our eyes are side-by-side. Which means that our vision captures a wide field. You can imagine some alien species with one eye above the other. Their vision would be tall--can't you picture their corresponding HD 9:16 tall-screen TVs?

But to take this back a step, why on earth are our eyes side by side? I think that it's because of gravity. For the most part, from our perspective, we're operating on flat surface that spreads long to the left and right. We scan left and right -- so our eyes are side to side.

Of course this beggars the question: why don't flying things have eyes one above the other?

Well, if you consider insects, they sort of do. But let's ignore them. You're left with things of flight that evolved from walking, crawling things. Birds and bats have side-by-side eyes because they evolved from earth-bound creatures.

And that beggars the question, didn't all the walkers evolve from swimmers? Why do swimmers have side-by-side eyes instead of up and down?

Well, again, I have to guess. It seems like fish bodies are mostly symmetrical across the Y axis -- that is, the left half is pretty much the same as the right.

It's been pretty well established that symmetrical outputs are a function of gene coding efficiencies, but the relevant question to our inquiry here is -- why symmetry along the Y axis instead of the X?

It seems to me that this happened because gravity pulls the fish down, so a simple bladder mechanism allows for up and down movement. You know--add air to the bladder to rise, release air to sink. So up and down movement seems "easy" to conquer. Left and right, however, require powered thrusts -- so fish have fins to control motion on the Y axis. Once you've got this need for symmetry across the Y axis -- of course the eyes would follow.

So, I suggest: we have widescreen because gravity left our concerns on the horizon, which led to binocular vision working best (from a spot-the-prey or hunter perspective) when scanning the horizon instead of the ... there's no word for it? ... the "vertizon".

Now, imagine what spider TV would look like ...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Hints of Skulduggery in Hamas Killing

Two points.

First, we like the word skulduggery.

Second, "hints" is an understatement. Like "man playing ukelele" or "Hitler giving a talk." At least the last two are adequately descriptive. "Hints" of skulduggery? Please.

Wigs, fake beards, stolen passpoerts, 11-person team? I don't know the word for it, but "hints" seems a little off the mark.

OK, Gid, I'll bite: Ukelele Madness Part 2

The YouTube tagline is: "Man playing the ukelele." Kind of like describing a Hitler in action as "Man giving a speech." (Not really)

Jake 'n' Tim

Hot *d@mn* we're excited for TED 2010!

Jake "uke-god" Shimabukaro's talk has been getting a lot of buzz (at least in my tiny internet world). Here's some snippets of an interview with Jake by Mark Frauenfelder at the conference:

If you liked this, you should listen to Jake play Let's Dance.

Of course for most of us non-Hawaiians (what would Obama think?), Tiny Tim's the man who comes to mind when you speak of the uke. I was fortunate enough to see Tim's 2nd to last performance at a private party at work.

While Tiny Tim may not have possessed Jake's virtuoso fingers, his dada-esque in-your-face-ness is admirable--and it's clear that Tim and Jake shared a certain zest for life:

God bless us, every one!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Regular readers of LoS will recall that in 2009 we went on a long synchromystic jag with a series of posts analyzing the names, dates and coincidences surrounding some notorious events. These were often more self-portraits than "objective" depictions of the events and people ostensibly portrayed in the posts, but they became meaningful, if only in the ongoing creation of an LoS mythology.

So please excuse me while I dust off my tinfoil hat and step into the story of Amy Bishop. Before she shot three colleagues dead and wounded three others, she had previously been investigated for the shooting death of her brother (declared an accident) and for an incident where pipe bombs had been sent to a colleague (cleared). This will do little to assuage the paranoid, however, who will immediately see these ignored signs as the tell-tale traces of a mind-controlled sleeper agent.

Just like that guy in "Killeen" Texas, here we have a woman whose life seemed to have been fraught with signs before exploding into violence in "Huntsville." A woman whose CV includes heavy research into Neuroengineering. Is there any sense in the fact that three years earlier to the day, another guy went on a shooting spree in Salt Lake City's Trolley Square Mall, killing five and wounded four? Probably not.

Synchromysticism, if you recall, seeks to decrypt twilight language in order to understand the triggers which set people off on violent paths. What then is twilight language if not a form of neuroengineering?

Indeed, in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bishop's husband James Anderson said he was searching for the “trigger” to his wife’s breakdown.

Look no further. The answer is obvious. Obama merely flicked the switch on his "socialist minion rampage activator" and then sat back to cackle, fondling and caressing an enormous globe.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell: Law of Silence

I don't think we need to tell you that a homosexual cabal is trying to infiltrate our sacred institutions and undermine our country. They, along with their third-culture kid enablers in the White House, have managed to put a transgendered activist in the Commerce Dept. and have strong-armed Charles Schumer into nominating a gay man for federal judge.

These people are the progeny of the Illuminist (gay Freemasonic) cabal undoubtedly behind the NSDAP, or National know, like Obama, like the Nazis. This protObama gay cult is brilliantly described in a fair and balanced manner in The Pink Swastika. Pick it up. The similarities to our own impending homo-fascist state are chilling. Wake up, sheeple!

Perhaps most odious of all is the attempt to destroy the military from within. You may have heard that gay activist Lt. Dan Choi was recalled after a week of shameless gay kowtowing from senior military brass.

Despite the fact that Choi is an Arab linguist, Iraq combat veteran and West Point graduate, he is not competent to serve in the military because he is, well....a faggot. And a chink to boot! Yeah, we know he claims to be Korean, but who can tell? In addition to homosexuals, we propose a blanket ban on all Asians. Never can tell who might be a Chinese spy.

We don't even need to explain why Muslims are out. Potential Jihadis all.

And Jews? Who knows if their loyalties lie with Israel or the Elders of Zion? Out.

Catholics? Don't these Papists bow down before Rome? Divided loyalties again. Out. In fact, all Christians are suspect. No King but Jesus? Out.

Pagans might be okay. They have the primitive brains and bloodlust that suits the military perfectly. We are happy to see that the the Air Force Academy has erected a set of sacred stones for campus druids to strut their stuff. Kudos!

We don't have much left to choose from here except the pagans, but with two wars one the go and some clamoring for more, we may have to make some hard choices. Either shut everyone out and drop the bomb already or just let our prejudices slide and open the door to every degenerate under the sun. We need all the cannon fodder we can get, people! Jeez!

How to iPod With Gloves On

What's worse than 10 below and you can't iPod because you're wearing gloves?

The Koreans have a solution, but it sounds, in translation, rather perverted:

IPhone (iPhone) CJ Corporation's mini-sausages in fever Max rods admire the 'iPhone Special' is a ride

Okay. You may stop masturbating now.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Banned in China

Whenever we check Google Analytics, there are never any vistors from China. Suspecting the reason why, we did a little test using WebSitePulse.

If you are in Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou, The Golden Shield Project has you shielded you from our harmful content (in which case, addressing "you" is pointless!)

In Hong Kong, however, we are currently free to pollute minds, corrupt youth and otherwise make an irritating noise. Judging from the Analytics, however, Hong Kong isn't interested.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blood and Fire (v2)

Note from Gid: The following piece was previously published on LoS, but it was met with confusion. Based on reader feedback and a request from Daurade, I (Gid), edited the original work and republished it under Daurade's name. You spoke, and we listened. Any successes in this piece stem from Daurade's writing; any faults are my own. Let us know what you think. In the words of Robert Anton Wilson, intelligence is a function of feedback. So let us know: How are we doing?


The Haiti earthquake has led to some reflections upon my own earthquake experience.

As a young lad I was living in Parco Lagani, part of the commune of Castel Volturno, about 40 k north of Naples, Italy during the wild and woolly anni di piombo--the "years of lead." The many assassinations and kidnappings of those times were background noise for what was for me perhaps the most secure and idyllic period of my life.

Castel Volturno was a small city whose origins date back to before the Etruscans, but our housing development was then brand new and the construction sites of numerous new villas were our (forbidden) playgrounds. Soon after moving in I was given a tour of the sites, all of which had colorful names. The only one I remember was called the "wiggling worm" because of all the electrical sheaths hanging out of the walls. This was the Italian countryside; we could awake one morning to find sheep grazing in the field next to our house. On another day it might be water buffalo. No matter, I could leave the house in the morning and return in the evening and my parents never needed to worry.

Peace was shattered on November 23, 1980 when the Irpinia earthquake, measuring 6.89 on the Richter Scale, killed over 2900 people. Thousands were injured and as many as 300,000 left homeless.

It was a major catastrophe and fortunately, scared was all I got.

But catastrophes require blame, and earthquakes are long the stuff the gods. The Neopolitans turned toward their patron saint, San Gennaro, and they found a warning gone unheeded. San Gennaro performs an annual miracle; during San Gennaro's September feast day, the good citizens of Naples gather about a dried sample of the saint's blood and pray until it liquefies. Not surprisingly, if the blood fails to liquefy, it's interpreted as a bad omen and means bad luck until the next try.

As it turns out, the blood failed to liquefy on September 19, 1980. Then the quake struck two months later, and the earth beneath Naples liquefied; faith in the blessings and curses of the liquefaction miracle were confirmed.

Well, confirmed, perhaps for the faithful, but like many "miracles," there are non-supernatural theories; given that it hasn't been adequately researched, no conclusive scientific explanation has been offered, and skeptics are left lamenting that:

"Whether these simple tests will be allowed to go ahead wholly depends upon the Catholic Church. At present however, given that the phenomenon has been replicated, it would be rather too naive to consider it irreproducible or unexplainable."

Since science couldn't answer this mystery, we turned to etymology. The name Gennaro, it turns out, comes from the Roman god Janus, god of "gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings." LoS, for the attentive reader, has also over time become increasingly interested in the concept of gates and transitions (see "pillars" for example). Janus also left us with the name of January, or doorway to the new year.

Parco Lagani, my former home town, began to decline in the wake of the earthquake with the arrival of many IDP's--internal refugees from the quake zone, mostly poor. When these people went back to where they came from later in the 80's, the houses remained empty, often as a result of structural problems due to the quake. Instead of paying for expensive renovations, the owners began renting to the migrant workers who flocked to the area. This was the country, remember?

Over time, Lagani became a kind of free zone, anarchic, where the police never went. African immigrants set up illegal stores, it became a center of drug trafficking; prostitutes who plied their trade in Naples made it their home.

Meanwhile, across the highway, there are luxury resorts for the rich. Reminds me of those reports of the cruise ship docked on a private Haitian beach where tourists frolicked in the surf while people were still being pulled from the rubble a few kilometers away.

In 2008, tragedy touched Castel Volturno again, this time in the form of the murder of African immigrant (alleged) drug traffickers over turf and royalty disputes by members of the Casalesi clan of the Comorra. The massacre is also known as the Strage di San Gennaro because of the date, September 18, the day before San Gennaro's feast day. The day, you'll recall, that his blood failed to liquefy back in 1980. The Casalesi--this night excluded--generally keep a lower profile than most Comorra clans, focusing not so much on drug trafficking as on construction.

Interestingly, on the Italian Wikipedia, translated

"Castel Volturno is best known for building development insane, and in most cases illegal, due to development policies derived from the reconstruction after the earthquake of the eighties. The municipality is also notorious for high crime rate. Castel Volturno is in fact highly sensitive to the power of the clans. Camorra and its name can be made to refer to some facts of crime news."

One year later, in 2009, the town was touched again. A blog entry, from January 29, 2009, reports on the reaction of the enormous police raid on Lagani, in search of drugs and weapons. From what I gather it was a heavy-handed affair and is seen by advocates for the immigrants more as a form of harassment than anything else. "The police raid last Thursday was greeted almost with wonder by the locals, accustomed to living with widespread illegality."

Race, class, divine retribution, displaced people. Oh how it all ties together:

1. San Gennaro's blood fails to liquify, so he causes the earth to quake.

2. The earthquake led to a rash of substandard and illegal housing, most obviously connected to mafias specialized in the trade.

3. These places were unsellable and unrentable to most Italians, so they got stocked full of the illegal immigrants who came to the area for honest work and work not so honest.

4. Rivalries arose and, on a violent night in September, almost the feast day of San Gennaro, whose reticent blood indirectly brought them there, the Africans were gunned down.

Drawn by blood and destroyed by gun fire.

So, recent riots in Calabria by migrant workers have a bit of background. These migrants work in orchards and are paid as little as a dollar a day. Again, the mafia is involved in this exploitative setup.

Displaced Africans are exploited and as in Haiti 200 years ago, they rebel. In the end, not much changes.

And so we look back to an Italian earthquake in 1980 and we see echoic tremors today; consider the words of Pat Robertson, establishing blame for the cause of the earthquake in Haiti:

They were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.' "True story. And the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.

And the aftershocks echo through time: Authorities are already predicting that the widespread corruption in the wake of the Italian quake could reoccur in Haiti. Journalist Robert Saviano:

"What is a tragedy for this population," he wrote, "for someone else can become an opportunity, a bottomless mine, a paradise of profit."

The displaced poor are exploited and as everywhere else, are f*cked in the end. Not much changes.

Double-faced Janus looks to the future and to the past. God of transitions and namesake of San Gennaro, he who causes blood to run. Janus whistles an old refrain and relishes the truth found in a clichéd aphorism: the more things change, the more things stay the same. Is the Haitian earthquake a break from the past, or do the ley-lines hold steady, a Janus-faced toss: new side, same coin?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

One could be excused if, after waking up and looking bleary-eyed over a cup of coffee at the Washington Post online on the morning after the Grammy's, one murmured "what the...?" and for a moment wondered if a "cryptocracy" were in fact buttering us all up for the final act.

There's Beyoncé Knowles, bootylicious as hell, destiny's child, an object of worship by jack-booted militarized coppers. Clap your hands and say "yeah!" (Destiny's Child, Beyoncé's first claim to fame, took it's name from the Book of Isaiah: "A final thematic goal that Isaiah constantly leans toward throughout the writing is the establishment of Yahweh's kingdom on earth, with rulers and subjects who strive to live by his will." (Wicky-poo). Like, destiny.

Then there was this little article about how Haitians are clamoring for the US to "take over" the country.

The paranoid in us (for a blink) saw all this as not so subliminal propaganda. How we'd love the police and the miltary to simply take over, n'est-ce pas? The rationalist just said "whoa dad." Coincidence.

At the risk of getting a bollocking from Galactic Jello, we'd also point out that Haiti seems to be as inundated these days with evangelicals as it is with soldiers; some of the former accused of child trafficking (33 kids, mwah-ha-haa--but seriously, probably just a misunderstanding); others finding a good opportunity to increase their numbers while undermining Voudon. Getting new recruits, blocking food aid to Voudon practitioners....

"We want the world and we want it now." Kingdom Come. Smells like....Destiny!

We (Gid and Daurade) actually know a guy whose spent a lot of time in Haiti doing humanitarian work, one might even call him a missionary; he was born to missionaries and raised in Africa. But we emphasize the humanitarian because one would never know the guy was a Baptist and his respect for and interest in the culture of the Haitian people (including Voudon) has shone through in every conversation we've ever had about the subject. This despite nearly having been killed for being a werewolf! (True story) Just a quick note so as not to smear the people down there doing good work under terrible circumstances. Read the last link, though. If the Voudon high-priest in the article is right, the actions of these evangelicals merit nothing but our scorn....