And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
(2 Corinthians 11:14)

Angel Of Light

Dear Friends,

Greetings! Most are familiar with the following Bible passages out of the book of Genesis.

(God said,) “...of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

(Lucifer said,) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 2:17 and 3:5-6

So Eve believed the serpent, Lucifer, and didn't believe God and consequently sin entered the world and man, whom God had created to be an immortal being, became mortal and lost his immortality except through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by which immortality can be regained.

There is no doubt that Lucifer is the impetus behind the transhumanist movement which is gaining in strength and popularity with each passing day. This is something that is even openly expressed by some of the leaders of the transhumanist movement as illustrated by the following quote by Max More.

Another leading transhumanist, Max More cut in: “I’m not the spawn of Satan, I’m the spawn of Lucifer!” This comment evoked some laughter, but More was serious. Mr. More wrote in 1991 that, “Lucifer is the embodiment of reason, of intelligence, of critical thought. He stands against the dogma of God and all other dogmas. He stands for the exploration of new ideas… Join me, join Lucifer, and join Extropy (the pseudoscientific principle that life will expand indefinitely and in an orderly, progressive way throughout the entire universe by the means of human intelligence) and technology in fighting God and his entropic forces with our minds, our wills and our courage. God’s army is strong, but they are backed by ignorance, fear and cowardice. Reality is fundamentally on our side. Forward into the light!” (And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14)

Another leader in the transhumanist field, Mark Pesce, does not mince words when he acknowledges he is more than ready to partake “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” offered by the serpent in Genesis 3:5.

He even goes to this extreme and openly states that he believes that transhumanism will allow us “to become as gods”…

Transhumanist Dr. Richard Seed wants the fruit so badly he has issued a warning to anyone who will try and stop him that it will mean war.

And what transhumanist Dr. Richard Seed has to say about all of this is quite frightening. He warns of “warfare” if anyone tries to prevent him from becoming a god…

Isn't it amazing that in the second decade of the 21st-century that nothing has really changed since the dawn of creation!

Here are men, and an entire movement, who want immortality but want to obtain it by other means than the plan that God has set forth.

Jesus said; “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved. He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” John 10:9,1

So here we have, supposedly, some of the most brilliant minds on the planet barking up the wrong tree, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” 1 Corinthians 3:19

Questions arise from the video below, Globel Future 2045 International Congress, which accompanies the article “Transhumanists: Superhuman Powers & Life Extension Tech Will Allow Us To Become Like God.

It seems the transhumanists believe that by the year 2045 man will have achieved immortality. Why 2045?

The video lays out in quite a lot of detail the step by step process and the means by which this will be realized.

Even Time magazine had a cover indicating 2045 would be the year man becomes immortal.

One of the questions that arises is: how can they be so sure?

We don't believe they can be so sure. These type of projections or predictions have been made in the past and not come to fruition.

Another question is why it would take until 2045? It would seem the way technology is advancing it would be a much shorter time and possibly already available.

Another question that comes to mind is why 2045, thirty-one years from now? Who would benefit from this advancement in science. Anyone of the older generation may not make to their scheduled date with immortality.

No, this lie of the Devil is aimed at the young of the world who are already surrounded and many obsessed and indoctrinated with todays electronic wizardry.

Satan is after everyone but in this issue particularly the young. Many of the individuals involved in this movement are even too old to benefit from what is supposed to be the eventual outcome.

It would not surprise us to see this movement linked to the coming “mark of the beast”.

Lucifer is not the angel of light, he is the angel of death.

Also included here in the introduction this week are excerpts from a class given by David Brandt Berg in April 1981 THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST!--Revelation 13. What is uncanny is how he was able to see thirty-three years ago things that have only fairly recently become important in the world today. This class goes along with the articles below involving transhumanism. You may want to keep this in mind as you read them.

Have a great week ahead.

+++

Excerpts from: THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST!--Revelation 13

28/4/81

Man will have finally created his own god that can actually talk and speak and make decisions, etc.--the Image of the Beast, Revelation 13!--And it's coming out more all the time. The amazing thing about it is that some of these new cybernetics inventions such as the latest robots are so sensitive that they can even be controlled by human thoughts, so that your thoughts can turn the television on or off or change channels!

If they make them that sensitive to human thought control, they will be able to be controlled by demons, demon power, to power them! And this is no doubt what will happen with the Image of the Beast!

We know, of course, it will be under the control of the antichrist, Satan, but undoubtedly under the inspiration of evil spirits!

They're going to combine the computers with the robots, so that the robots will be computer-controlled to the ultimate end of being literally robots that can think and move and talk and make decisions and take actions etc. That's what the Lord says in the Bible, Revelation 13, of the Image!

We haven't gotten to this yet in our study but here it is. I've always thought that the False Prophet and the Antichrist and his priests will be scientists, they will worship science, which means the creation of man's own hands, such as cybernetics and computers and robots etc. It's just a whole new series of human idols.

Man has always had his idols throughout the years, and now these idols of wood and stone and metal etc. are supposedly debunked. But science is now going to create idols which can think and act and move and make decisions, and this one is going to rule the world!

Revelation 13:14 is talking about the false prophet, that he had power to do these miracles in the sight of the Beast--miracles of science no doubt. "Saying to them that dwell on the Earth that they should make an Image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live"--the Beast did. "And he had power to give life unto the Image of the Beast"--the False Prophet had the power.

You see the one thing these computers lack is, in a sense, a soul, a conscious spirit. But these devils will have the power to give these computer robots spirits who will then control them. The Spirit World is limited, God has limited it to a certain realm and they have to operate under certain rules. They have only so much power and only so much power of communication with human beings, and only so much power over human actions, etc.

They at this time require vehicles, flesh and blood vehicles, as a rule. They need to possess human beings to be able to do things and take actions and cause damage etc. through demon possession. Even sometimes possess animals! They need vehicles in order to express their desire and their needs and through whom they can act. Well, man is now creating machinery which will be versatile enough and sensitive enough that it can be controlled by evil spirits.

"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the Image of the Beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast shall be killed." Listen to what this Image does! It speaks of it just like he is a personality: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads".

It's just as though the government will be turned over to this thing to run the world, under, of course, the control of the Antichrist. "That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the Beast or the number of his name." It'll be either a mark or his name or his number. "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six"--666!

They will finally make themselves a new idol, a scientific idol they can worship, smarter than man himself!--The ultimate of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, all the combined knowledge of mankind and history and science and all in one super-computer Robot!

This image of the beast will be programmed, computerized so as to know everything that man knows in one idol, one Image! In other words, smarter than any man on Earth, think of that!--And so smart that man will turn right around and actually worship it!

In fact, the image will be so smart, you heard what he's going to do, he'll command that people be killed that don't worship him! Of course it's going to be demonically-possessed, really, and operated. But that's what man's waiting for, a Superman and a Super Image, Image of the Beast!

It's really shocking to see how they're really working in that direction. In fact, some of them are getting to the point where they're almost bragging about it and flaunting the number! It's like the Devil is already bragging about what he's going to do and the power he's going to have and the system it's going to have, and so he wants you to know.

What they're trying to do now is claim that this is the final ultimate goal of the evolutionary system, that this particular step of evolution from man to the superior intelligence does not have to be created by his physical body, but by his mind, a creature of his consciousness and of his intelligence rather than a mere descendant of his physical anatomy or his biology. So this fellow goes on to say:

(Quoting from a news article:) "These new super computers, the UIMS, will be machines capable of conscious thought, or what man today calls spirit or soul. Problems of other complex computer systems will be completely solved by these Super Computers." He says here that it's likely to lead to greater affluence of man.

His final paragraph in his article says he believes that computers will become seen as deities, in other words, worshipped as gods by man.

Man glories in these idols that he has created, creations of his own hands already, and he will undoubtedly not hesitate to fall down and worship his ultimate creation, the ultimate Intelligence Machine, as the new super computers are known,, UIMs, ultra Intelligence Machines, becoming the Ultimate Intelligence Machines.

Here of course then we see the fulfillment of the passage we just read out of Revelation, that he will cause this Image of the Beast to live and to speak and to command that all who will not worship him must be killed, and all men must receive his mark or his number or his name or be killed.

They will really be made to live, to have spirits, consciousness, souls, the souls of devils and demons and the consciousness of evil spirits, and be run by these demonic spirits to the Devil's own ends to accomplish their work for the Antichrist! And man will fall down and worship these images.

Man will have created a creature more intelligent than himself and more powerful with greater knowledge. They can program this Image of the Beast with all the knowledge known to man and all the history and the ultimate of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Man will have finally attained that state where although he himself could not attain it, he creates a creature which has all of his combined intelligence of all history and all the world and all science!

Imagine, one mind, one giant super computer which knows everything, and he makes that his god! One Super Computer which knows everything that man knows or has ever known, they'll be able to combine in one Super Computer which will be the greatest Intelligence ever known to man outside of God or the Devil!

It will have everything man knows and everything the Devil knows, and it will be so superior to man's intelligence that he will fall down and worship this Creature of his own hands and worship it as his god!--The ultimate idol!--The Image of the Beast!

This has always been true of the priesthood of Satan. They've always created some kind of an image or an idol to command the people to worship, to be the symbol of their power, or Satan's power, demonic power, made of wood or stone or gold or silver or whatever.--And this one undoubtedly will be made of silicon chips, microchips, supercomputers, cybernetics.

The ultimate outgrowth of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil!

David Brandt Berg

***

Arutz Sheva

Report: Netanyahu Promises Talmud Will Be Israeli Law

Netanyahu tells Likud hareidi leader Hebrew calendar will be official calendar of state in new Basic Law, Jewish law basis of legal system.

By Ari Yashar

First Publish: 5/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly revealed at a Likud conference on Wednesday some remarkable facets of the Basic Law he submitted last Thursday, which would enshrine Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Netanyahu told the head of Likud's hareidi division Yaakov Vider at the conference that he intends to make the Hebrew calendar, which is based on Jewish law, the official calendar of Israel, reports Kikar Hashabat.

The new law also would establish the Talmud, the core work of Jewish law, as an official basis for Israeli state law.

"I'm going to personally be involved in the law defining the state of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people," Netanyahu reportedly told Vider. "It's a very important law that will influence how Israel will look in the future."

"I want to anchor in this law, that it will be a Basic Law that the state of Israel arose and exists on the basis of the Torah and the Jewish tradition," Netanyahu explained, promising to define the Hebrew calendar as the official state calendar.

Netanyahu also promised that "we will define in the law the Gemara as a basis for the Israeli legal system," referencing the Jewish legal text analyzing the Mishnah, a legal work of the Jewish sages, which together form the Talmud.

Discussing the new Basic Law on Sunday in a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu stated "the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state does not actualize itself enough in our Basic Laws, which is what the proposed law aims to fix."

Netanyahu stressed the law would not restrict the rights of non-Jewish citizens of Israel. He further dismissed opposition to the law by leftist MKs, foremost among them Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who pledged to block the law.

"They want a Palestinian national state to be built beside us, and to turn the State of Israel, meanwhile, into a bi-national state, Jewish-Arab, within our restricted borders," Netanyahu argued, saying the new Basic Law would prevent such a situation.

Israeli Army Radio

Justice Minister and chief negotiator (with the Palestinians) Tzipi Livni.

On 9 May she said on Army Radio that Israeli settlements were to blame for the failure of peace talks.

“The settlers want to prevent us from living a normal life and do not accept the authority of the law… Settlers are preventing us from reaching a resolution… Settlement construction makes it impossible to defend Israel around the world.”

WND

Lives changed by message in 'Rabbi Who Found Messiah'

'KADURI REVIVAL' CONTINUES IN ORTHDOX ENCLAVEPublished: May 11, 2014

Haim and Shoshe (left), Jonathan (right) shocked by "The Rabbi Who Found Messiah"

In one of the most Orthodox cities in Israel, a Messianic Jewish leader continues his mission to bring Jews to Christianity.

Zev Porat, using the work of an American pastor as his tool for evangelism, ventured into Bnei Brak to preach the story of Rabbi Kaduri to the Orthodox community.

“The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” by Carl Gallups has become Porat’s tool in what he has dubbed the “Kaduri Revival.”

Porat, the founder of Messiah of Israel Ministries, was captivated by Gallups’ story of Israel’s most venerated spiritual leader, Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri, who died at the age of 108 in 2006 and left behind a letter with instructions to open it one year after his death. In the letter, he proclaimed the name of the Messiah was Yehoshua – the formal name for Yeshua, or Jesus in Greek. Porat said he then received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that he was to minister to non-Christians and help lead them to salvation.

Porat told WND: “At the core of Jewish objections is that Yeshua is not for the Jews. Our religion is Judaism, not Christianity. No true Jew would ever believe in Yeshua. The root of this lie originates from Satan and is implanted in the rabbinic laws that even the secular Jews are locked into. To a great extent answering these objections is a matter of correcting misconceptions, as well as getting people to stop and think about the emotional and sometimes irrational nature of what they are saying.”

Using “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” to start conversations on Kaduri and his revelation about the Messiah, Porat said, “It is extremely dangerous in this ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to talk about the Messiah Yeshua.”

One Orthodox couple asked Porat what book was he showing to everyone, and he told them it was about Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri. They got excited, telling Porat he was their mentor.

“Is the book about his teachings?” they asked.

Zev replied: “It’s his most important revelation, and he revealed the name of the Messiah.”

Zev then began to read the book with Haim as his wife Shoshe was listening. After reading, they were both in shock and kept on saying: “This cannot be. That is destruction for the Jewish people.”

At that moment, an Orthodox man named Jonathan got into the conversation and asked: “If this is true, why is this the first time I have ever heard it since I have been around rabbis every day?”

Porat told WND he responded to the question with this statement: “The truth is rabbis don’t want everyone to know about it. They shot down the media story about it. Otherwise you will see the truth and they are afraid to lose their power.”

The “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” is available now at the WND Superstore

In a copy of the “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” Porat had with him, he showed Jonathan the contents of Rabbi Kaduri’s note.

Forgetting they were both in the heart of one of the Orthodox community’s most sacred cities, they delved deeper and deeper into the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus, with Porat telling Jonathan it was the Holy Spirit who revealed to Kaduri the name of the Messiah.

Porat said the Holy Spirit came upon Jonathan in the middle of Bnei Brak as he repented his sins and received Yeshua as his personal savior.

Gallups, when he found out about Porats latest evangelism outreach, was stunned.

“Zev is absolutely fearless,” he said. “His prolific ministry in and among the Jews of Israel is of a prophetic proportion. This is the stuff of biblical endtime prophecy!”

Jonathan fascinated by Rabbi Kaduri's note that Yeshua is Messiah

Gallups continued: “Zev told me that he was going to an exclusively Orthodox city, Bnei Brak (pronounced – Beney Barak). He told me that he had never been able to win a Jew to Jesus there in the entirety of his ministry. Yet, on the first day there with my book and movie – he spent hours in witnessing to several orthodox Jews and actually led one of them, Jonathan, to the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation! I believe this was confirmation from the Lord to Zev that he was following the Holy Spirit’s leading.

“Zev calls this entire phenomenon a ‘Kaduri Revival.’ He thoroughly understands the importance of getting Rabbi Kaduri’s ‘Jesus revelation’ out and to the Jewish people living in Israel. Once he had the materials in his hands to prove to his fellow Jews that the story was true – there was no holding him back! Zev has ‘gone forth’ and the Lord is bringing in the harvest in these last days!”

Porat previously has taken the message in the book to Muslims in a mosque in Haifa, Israel, to Jews in Tel Aviv and at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

***

The Times Of Israel

Church defaced in Jerusalem in suspected ‘price tag’ hate attack

Words ‘Jesus [is] garbage’ spray-painted on wall; ‘Death to Arabs’ graffiti also found on another street in the city

BY ILAN BEN ZION AND TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF May 9, 2014, 9:42 am 11

Anti-Christian graffiti reading "Price tag, David the king, Jesus Junk for the Jews" spray painted on the Romanian Church in Jerusalem on May 9, 2014. (Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Rumanian Orthodox Church on Hahoma Hashlishit street in Jerusalem was defaced overnight Thursday-Friday, in yet another suspected “price tag” hate crime attack, police said Friday,in the latest incident in a wave of both anti-Christian and anti-Arab graffiti and vandalism that has swept the country in recent weeks.

The words “price tag,” “Jesus is garbage” and “King David for the Jews,” were found spray-painted on the site’s walls.

Church members returned from a trip to Ben Gurion Airport around 1 a.m. to find the graffiti written on the side of the St. George’s church facing Hahoma Hashlishit street, a Rumanian nun who preferred anonymity said.

She added that relations with their neighbors in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox neighborhood were usually good. Alongside the Rumanian church are also a small community of Polish Catholic and Armenian Christians.

“It is an act of extremists,” the nun said.

The offensive graffiti was covered up shortly after the discovery.

Two years ago, in October 2012, the Rumanian Orthodox building was attacked in a similar fashion, prompting condemnation from Foreign Minister Avidgor Liberman.

On another street in Jerusalem, “Death to Arabs” graffiti was found written in a marker on an electrical box, Israel Radio reported Friday

An investigation was opened into the incidents, according to police, and units were searching for suspects.

“Price tag” refers to vandalism and other hate crimes usually carried out by Jewish ultra-nationalists in retaliation for government policies against the settler movement. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by nationalist vandals in recent years. The acts have been condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday morning blasted the recent spate of attacks, saying: “There is a hardcore, ideological group, based in Judea and Samaria, in certain settlements, who want to prevent us from living here in any reasonable way.”

Earlier this week, Livni and other senior lawmakers convened an emergency meeting on price tag vandalism, following the arrests of a female settler from Yitzhar for debating the legality of killing soldiers under Jewish law in a local email list, and after a 25-year-old Yokne’am resident was caught red-handed slashing tires.

Livni, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri and police, IDF, and Shin Bet officials attended the discussion on combating the wave of violence and extremism.

“As justice minister, in the meeting I will have today with the public security minister on the price tag crimes, we will ensure that the violence against the law and against the IDF will be dealt with forcefully and severely,” Livni wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning in response to the arrest in Yitzhar.

“What began as the love of the land turned into a Wild West sown with hatred against the Arabs and against the rule of law and its representatives, and it doesn’t matter what they’re wearing: a judge’s robes, a police uniform, or an IDF uniform,” she wrote.

On Thursday, vehicles and a dumpster in the central Israeli town of Lod were found to have been spray-painted with swastikas.

Police said they were opening an investigation into the Lod incident. According to a law enforcement source cited by the Walla website, authorities believe that the swastikas may have been painted as a prank by a group of children, but gave no further details.

On Wednesday, police said they were investigating an act of racist vandalism in the city of Yokne’am after a Druze dentist reported that the walls of his office had been spray-painted with racist slogans.

The graffiti read “Death to Arabs” and “price tag.” The police did not initially identify any suspects.

It was the second attack in three weeks targeting the office of Dr. Khatem Hatar, who hails from the Mas’ade village in the Golan Heights. In the previous incident, vandals spray-painted the words “price tag” and a Star of David on the walls. Police have not made any arrests or identified any suspects in connection with the first attack.

Also on Wednesday, the Roman Catholic Church demanded Israeli action after suspected Jewish extremists daubed hate graffiti on Vatican-owned offices in East Jerusalem just two weeks before a papal visit.

Hebrew-language graffiti, reading “Death to Arabs and Christians and those who hate Israel,” was daubed over offices of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame center, a Vatican-owned complex opposite the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, on Monday, the Roman Catholic Church said.

On Tuesday, the gravesite of a 2nd-century rabbi was vandalized in northern Israel with swastikas spray-painted onto its dome, police said, in an apparent reprisal for recent hate crimes against Muslim places of worship.

The words “Tag will pay a price” were found on the defaced grace of Rabbi Abba Halafta, seemingly in reference to the perpetrators of recent price tag attacks against Muslims in the north.

On Saturday, a memorial garden for 16 soldiers at a high school in Beersheba was vandalized ahead of Israel’s Memorial Day. Police were investigating the incident.

AFP contributed to this report.

***

The Washington Post

Catholic leaders in Israel call for crackdown on attacks targeting Christian, Muslim property

Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images - Arab Israeli men stand next to graffiti reading in Hebrew, “Arabs Out,” on the wall of a mosque in the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Faham on April 18.

By Ruth Eglash, Published: May 9

JERUSALEM — Catholic leaders in Jerusalem are increasingly concerned that an apparent uptick in nationalistic hate crimes by Jewish extremists against Christians and Muslims could mar the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

On Friday, for the second time this week, anti-Christian graffiti was discovered on a church in Jerusalem. It follows a similar incident Monday at the Notre Dame Center, a complex in Jerusalem owned by the Vatican. The defacements come after more than 20 major hate crimes in the past few months have targeted Christian and Muslim communities here.

While such crimes are not unusual — a monitoring group found that 32 religious buildings have been vandalized or subjected to arson attempts in the past four years — the frequency of such incidents appears to have increased in recent weeks.

When they first started in 2011, these so-called “price tag” attacks were part of a campaign to extract retribution for actions against Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The idea was that anytime the Israeli army removed an illegal outpost or Palestinian militants attacked settlers, somebody would pay a price. Today, these attacks have spread into Israel proper and don’t always follow actions against Jewish settlements.

“We are very concerned about the repeated acts of hatred against Christians by the price-tag groups,” the Rev. Jamal Khader, rector of Latin Patriarchate Seminary, said Friday.

“They are creating an atmosphere of hatred that is bad for everyone,” Khader said. “The pope is about to visit and we need to promote coexistence. I am not worried about his safety; Israel is an expert at security. But I am talking about creating the proper atmosphere to welcome the pope.”

On Thursday, the Catholic Church called on authorities to take action against the attacks. While most acts have focused on property, there is fear they could pave the way for more violent hate crimes.

Opinions vary about who is behind the crimes and whether it is a coordinated effort. Some point to radical settlers from the West Bank community of Yitzhar. A 2009 book by rabbis there proclaimed that in some situations, killing non-Jews is permissible under Jewish law. Others believe it is more likely bored youths sporadically carrying out acts of nationalistic vandalism.

Either way, Israeli law enforcement officials said this week patrols were being stepped up in Jerusalem and in the country’s north, where Muslims have been targeted.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said arrests have been made, including a 22-year-old from the town of Yokneam who admitted to carrying out 10 acts of vandalism against Arabs.

On Wednesday, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch met with Israel’s attorney general to discuss legislation to label such hate crimes as terrorism.

But activists — Jewish and non-Jewish — say that’s not enough.

A coalition of 40 rights groups known as Tag Meir (“spreading the light”) plan to demonstrate Sunday outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem. Their message: Wake up — it’s time for the Jewish state to deal with this.

“Netanyahu keeps calling on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Well, we want Netanyahu to recognize a Jewish state too, and we believe that a Jewish state does not act like this,” said Tag Meir Chairman Gadi Gvaryahu.

***

American Dream

Transhumanists: Superhuman Powers & Life Extension Tech Will Allow Us To Become Like God

Michael Snyder


May 14, 2014

If you could merge your current mind and body with technology that would give you superhuman powers and would allow you to live forever, would you do it? This is essentially what the transhumanism movement is seeking to accomplish.

Transhumanists envision a day when technology will allow humanity to become so advanced that sickness, disease, poverty and war will essentially be eradicated. They believe that merging with machines will permit us to become trillions of times more intelligent than we are today, and they also believe that radical life extension technologies will make it possible for humanity to actually achieve immortality. Many transhumanists are convinced that such a world can be achieved within their lifetimes. They point to Moore’s Law and to the fact that technology already appears to be growing at an exponential rate. As the technology curve continues to steepen, transhumanists believe that our world will rapidly become transformed into a place that would be unrecognizable to us today. Just a few decades from now, transhumanists believe that superhuman powers and extremely advanced life extension technologies will allow them to essentially become like gods.

The key moment that most transhumanists are looking forward to is known as “the Singularity”. That is the moment when artificial intelligence will actually surpass human intelligence and a massive technological chain reaction will be triggered. At that time, most transhumanists believe that biological intelligence will merge with non-biological intelligence and humanity will become vastly more intelligent than it is today. During this transition, society will be fundamentally transformed…

After the Singularity occurs, it is predicted that vast changes will sweep through society; changes so drastic that they are nearly inconceivable at the present time. Experts in the movement say that after the Singularity, indefinite human life extension will rapidly become the norm. Many scientists working in this field are particularly interested in the concept of achieving immortality.

To most people, the idea of achieving immortality in our decaying physical bodies would sound absolutely ridiculous.

But transhumanists are very serious about this.

One way they are seeking to accomplish this is by searching for a method that will enable them to store the human mind on a computer. If your entire consciousness could be “uploaded” into a computer, it could conceivably later be downloaded into a futuristic avatar of some sort once that technology has been developed.

But that is not the only life extension technology that transhumanists are working on. Some other examples include embedding nanobots in our bodies and brains and eliminating diseases through the process of “genetic reprogramming”…

Other futurists and transhumanists are working toward improving longevity through more biological means, such as growing new organs from stems cells, replacing worn out parts of the body with high-tech updated models, and curing diseases through genetic reprogramming. A third method of achieving a transhuman state of being may come through merging the biological and non biological in equal measure, such as embedding nano robots into the bloodstream and brain; and replacing atoms with nano computers to solve the degeneration that comes with aging.

According to transhumanists, not only will we be able to live much longer, but our quality of life will also be so much better in the future. The following is how one transhumanist envisions what life will be like in the 2050s…

Robots have become an important family acquisition. Ability to replicate self-assembling robot parts in nanofactories, make these machines easily available and affordable. By 2050, technologies advancing at “Moore’s Law” speeds have produced an android-like creature nearly indiscernible from a human.

Programmed with Internet-downloaded software, 2050s household robots cater to our every whim. They also manage the nanorobots that whiz through our veins keeping us healthy 24/7, and monitor our safety when we connect to simulation events that whisk us away in a Star Trek Holodeck-like adventure.

That sounds wonderful doesn’t it?

But how will we earn the money to pay for all of those things?

If robots are so advanced at that point, why would companies even need human workers?

Or will we have to “enhance” ourselves with technology just to be useful in the workforce?

In a recent article by Andrew Smart, he suggests that these “enhancements” could just turn us into “better slaves”…

Could it be that we’ve been tricked into pouring our innovative energy into making ourselves better slaves? If the digital elite achieves its dream of a perfect union with machines, what becomes of the rest of us who either can’t afford cyborgification or who actually enjoy life as a regular human being? Would one Singularitized human be expected to handle the workload of 100 unenhanced workers? Robots will have of course taken the rest of the jobs.

In fact, robots are already taking our jobs at a staggering pace. This is even happening in low wage countries such as China…

Chinese company Hon Hai, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, has announced it intends to build a robot-making factory and replace 500,000 workers with robots over the next three years.

But transhumanists are not really concerned with such matters. They insist that we will become so intelligent that we will easily figure out the solutions to such social issues.

Yes, most transhumanists concede that there will be bumps on the road to utopia, but they argue that it would be foolish not to “take control of our own evolution”. They believe that we can use science and technology to guide the evolution of society and that this will create a far better world than we have today. The following is what one participant stated at a recent conference about transhumanism and religion…

Transhumanism is a thrust toward transcendence. It is not classical mysticism but seeks a temporal transcendence The driving force behind this is evolution…

What is reality? Reality is evolution. It has a direction from the simple to the complex; the most complex [outcome] is intelligence. Thus evolution is aimed at intelligence.

We should thus have a will to evolve. We have a moral responsibility to increase evolution and do so by continually striving to expand our abilities throughout life by acting in harmony with the evolutionary process…

Science and technology move us toward Utopia. One of the most exciting things about transhumanism is that all will be fixed.

That all sounds so alluring.

After all, who wouldn’t want to live in a “utopia” where everything that is currently wrong with our planet has been “fixed”?

But transhumanists don’t just stop there. They believe that eventually we will possess such superhuman powers and will enjoy such radical life extension technologies that we will essentially be like God.

The most famous transhumanist on the globe, Ray Kurzweil, takes 150 vitamin supplements a day in an attempt to extend his life until more advanced life extension technologies can be developed. In chapter 7 of “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology”, he expresses his belief that evolution and technology are systematically moving us in the direction of becoming more like God…

“Evolution moves toward greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love. In every monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities, only without any limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably toward this conception of God, although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking.”

Transhumanist Mark Pesce is even more extreme. He openly states that he believes that transhumanism will allow us “to become as gods”…

“Men die, planets die, even stars die. We know all this. Because we know it, we seek something more—a transcendence of transience, translation to incorruptible form. An escape if you will, a stop to the wheel. We seek, therefore, to bless ourselves with perfect knowledge and perfect will; To become as gods, take the universe in hand, and transform it in our image—for our own delight. As it is on Earth, so it shall be in the heavens. The inevitable result of incredible improbability, the arrow of evolution is lipping us into the transhuman – an apotheosis to reason, salvation – attained by good works.”

And what transhumanist Dr. Richard Seed has to say about all of this is quite frightening. He warns of “warfare” if anyone tries to prevent him from becoming a god…

If you want to get an idea of where transhumanists want to take us, just check out the YouTube video posted below. It was produced by “the 2045 Initiative”, and as you can see, they believe that the world will be infinitely superior in the year 2045 than it is today…

***

TRANSHUMANISM: FROM MK-ULTRA TO GOOGLE

Submitted by David Livingstone on Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:17

Despite Google’s dictum of “Don’t Be Evil,” the company has suspiciously aligned itself with the grand ambitions of American imperialism, with its executive chairman Eric Schmidt  attending the infamous Bilderberg conference in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Schmidt  also has a listed membership with the Trilateral Commission.

Far more disturbing, however, is Google participation in what appears to be a totalitarian ambition to create a New World Order under a superconscious computer likened to God. While it may sound like science fiction, Google execs have been advancing the cause of “technological singularity,” and the advent of superhuman intelligence, known as “transhumanism.”

These delusional ambitions have their origin in the CIA-sponsored Cybernetics Group, formed about the Macy Conferences of the 40s and 50s. They were inheritors of the mad scientists of the Frankfurt School, a group of neo-Freudians who manufactured the foundations of American popular culture. Beginning with the 60s counterculture, it fostered the rise of the “personal computer,” which grew out of the CIA”s MK-Ultra program for the proliferation of LSD.

It would be through the aid of powerful psychedelics that the transhumanists would be aided in developing a delusional wonderment with this completely implausible scenario of a conscious computer. Henry Makow provides a revealing account from his meeting with the aging MK-Ultra evangelist, Timothy Leary, in 1990. As Makow reports:

Unfortunately, Leary was fixated on the benefits of what was then called the ‘information superhighway.’ Pioneer of LSD, his pantry table was crammed with bottles of alcohol.

He told me his "vision of God" was depicted in the last scene in William Gibson's book "Neuromancer."

At the end of the world, all the information stored in all the computers will rise up into Cyberspace and mingle together." he said. "That's God."

These aspirations are outgrowths of the Kabbalah, according to which human intellectual history is that of man evolving to become God. From its origins with Isaac Luria in the sixteenth century, the idea has now evolved so that it is proposed that humans will become gods, by achieving the ultimate divine feat, creating intelligent life, in the form of a supercomputer.

The technological singularity, or simply the singularity, is a hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature. Because the capabilities of such an intelligence may be difficult for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is often seen as an occurrence beyond which the future course of human history is unpredictable or even unfathomable.

The use of the term "transhuman" goes back to Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin., the "Catholic Darwin," who through his postulation that man would create the Noosphere, a supreme consciousness, is often regarded as the patron saint of the internet.

Teilhard applied the scientific concept of evolution to the Christian notion of spiritual rapture, believing that technology would bring about the ultimate spiritual evolution of mankind. According to him, this is the work of Christ. Teilhard's beliefs also reconciled panpsychism, the idea that all matter is intelligent. He developed the Omega Point Theory, which posits that all the organisms on Earth will reach a higher evolutionary point by merging into one "planetized spirit."

However, humans would have to merge their collective intelligence into one super-mind through computer technology, as a necessary first step in the collective evolution of the universe. Teilhard was unapologetic about the eugenic basis of his theory:

So far we have certainly allowed our race to develop at random, and we have given too little thought to the question of what medical and moral factors must replace the crude forces of natural selection should we suppress them. In the course of the coming centuries it is indispensable that a nobly human form of eugenics, on a standard worthy of our personalities, should be discovered and developed.  Eugenics applied to individuals leads to eugenics applied to society.[1]

The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann, one of the leaders of the Cybernetics Group. According to Jeffrey Steinberg, in From Cybernetics to Littleton,

For John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener, the core of the Cybernetics Group project was the development of computers, and the prospect of combining high-speed computers with so-called Artificial Intelligence, to literally "program" the human race. Underlying all of these efforts was the unshakable, albeit preposterous conviction, most avidly presented by von Neumann, that there was nothing sacred about the human mind, and that the human brain was a machine, whose functioning could be replicated, and eventually surpassed, by computers.

The biologist and eugenicist Julian Huxley, who was once head of UNESCO and whose brother Aldous was one of the leading architects of MK-Ultra, popularizing the use of psychedelics, is generally regarded as the founder of "transhumanism." Julian also wrote the introduction to Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man. In 1957 he wrote:

Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, ‘nasty, brutish and short’; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery… we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted… The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself —- not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity.[2]

Computer scientist Marvin Minsky wrote on relationships between human and artificial intelligence beginning in the 1960s. Over the succeeding decades, this field continued to generate influential thinkers, such as Hans Moravec and Raymond Kurzweil. The coalescence of an identifiable transhumanist movement began in the last decades of the 20th century. In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly F.M. Esfandiary), a futurist who taught “new concepts of the Human” at The New School in New York, began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to "posthumanity" as "transhuman."

The New School had become affiliated with the Frankfurt School when, following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, its members left Germany for Geneva before moving to New York in 1935. There, they became affiliated with the University in Exile, which the New School had founded in 1933, with financial contributions from the Rockefeller Foundation, to be a haven for scholars dismissed from teaching positions by the Italian fascists or Nazi Germany.

These ideas were glamorized in Hollywood, such as Kubrik's version of 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, the Terminator series, Blade Runner based on LSD-influenced author Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Dick was also inspired by Teilhard de Chardin. Philip K Dick was also associated with Ira Einhorn, known as “The Unicorn,” a prominent figure in the New Age counterculture of the late sixties and seventies. through The Whole Earth Review, a by-product of Stewart Brand's Catalogue, where they initiated discussion of Soviet psychotronics and mind control. Shortly afterwards, Einhorn's girlfriend’s body parts were discovered in a trunk in his Philadelphia apartment, and Einhorn charged with her murder.

Other movies following the transhumanist trends have been the anime classic The Ghost in the Shell, The Matrix, the remake of Robocop, and more recently Her with Joachin Phoenix, and Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp.

Ray Kurzweil, now a director of engineering at Google, cited von Neumann's use of the term “singularity” in a foreword to von Neumann's classic The Computer and the Brain. Kurzweil received the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office. He has received nineteen honorary doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents. Kurzweil has been described as a "restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes. PBS included Kurzweil as one of 16 "revolutionaries who made America" along with other inventors of the past two centuries. Inc. magazine ranked him 8 among the "most fascinating" entrepreneurs in the United States and called him “Edison's rightful heir."

Kurzweil has authored seven books, five of which have been national bestsellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines, about artificial intelligence and the future course of humanity, has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in science. Kurzweil believes evolution provides evidence that humans will one day create machines more intelligent than they are. Kurzweil predicts the machines "will appear to have their own free will" and even "spiritual experiences".

Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near was a New York Times bestseller, says this will lead to a technological singularity in the year 2045, a point where progress is so rapid it outstrips humans' ability to comprehend it. Once the Singularity has been reached, Kurzweil predicts machine intelligence will be infinitely more powerful than all human intelligence combined. Afterwards, Kurzweil says, intelligence will radiate outward from the planet until it saturates the universe.

Kurzweil's standing as a futurist and transhumanist has led to his involvement in several singularity-themed organizations. Kurzweil is also among the founders of the Singularity Summit, the annual conference of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, in 2006 at Stanford University. SIAI was founded to "help humanity prepare for the moment when machine intelligence exceeded human intelligence."

A leading evangelist for Kurweil’s ideas is Jason Silva, is a television personality and “performance philosopher,” who quotes Teilhard de Chardin to substantiate his pronostications. Silva started out as a presenter on Al Gore’s cable channel, Current TV. In September 2012, he appeared at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, where he presented a speech entitled "We Are The Gods Now."

Silva also promotes the ideas of David Pearce, a leading figure in the Transhumanism movement. Pearce owns a series of websites that feature biographies and information about MK-Ultra personalities like Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo and Aldous Huxley. In The Hedonistic Imperative, Pearce calls for liberation from our natural biochemistry, what he refers to as the “sick psycho-chemical ghetto bequeathed by our genetic past" and the beginning of an era of “paradise engineering.” With the help of psychedelics, he writes, we´ll be able to chemically enhance our dopaminergic systems so that “undiluted existential happiness will infuse every second of waking and dreaming existence.”[3]

The Atlantic describes Silva as "A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age."[4] Silva, who is also described as "a part-time filmmaker and full-time walking, talking TEDTalk," is completely giddy with wild possibilities about transcendence. Continuing the MK-Ultra tradition of drugs and computers, Silva says of himself that he is “fascinated by the relationship between psychedelics and technology…”[5]

[1] Aaron Franz, “The Jesuit Priest who influenced Transhumanism,” The Age of Transitions, Friday May 1, 2009

[2] Huxley, Julian (1957). Transhumanism. Retrieved 2006-02-24

[3] James Vlahos, “Will Drugs Make Us Smarter and Happier?” Popular Science, July 31, 2005.

[4] "A Timothy Leary for the Viral Video Age". The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 August 2012.

[5] Futurology forum, Reddit.com.

***

The Jerusalem Post

For artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky, computers have soul

By NIV ELIS

05/13/2014 05:24

Things are going to change, MIT professor and Dan David award-winner says of societal repercussions to AI.

Marvin Minsky Photo: Wikimedia Commons

There’s no reason a computer couldn’t have a soul, so says Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, who is to receive a $1 million Dan David award at Tel Aviv University this Sunday.

The 86-year-old New York-born MIT professor has for decades pushed the idea that intelligence is nothing more than the sum of many non-intelligent parts, and sees no reason why computers could not eventually replicate even the most human aspects of humanity.

Could a computer have a soul? Why not? What humans have is a more complex and larger brain than any other animal (maybe a whale’s brain is physically large, but it’s not structurally more complex than ours). If you left a computer by itself, or a community of them together, they would try to figure out where they came from and what they are. If they came across a book about computer science they would laugh and say “that can’t be right.” And then you’d have different groups of computers with different ideas.

things are going to change alright, and the more people think about it, the better chance that the changes will be good.

I don’t know what good is, but it’s nice to have such a word.

***

DVICE

Scientists engineer mutant DNA into living creatures

Colin Druce-McFadden

Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 3:54pm

Credit: 20th Century Fox

The DNA of all life on Earth is made up of different combination of the same two DNA base pairs — all life, that is, except for the new mutants living in one lab at an institute in Southern California. The project is even being lead by a bald professor. Contrary to what you might be thinking, however, the man's name is Floyd E. Romesberg, and the work that he's dedicated his life to just might be the sort that would more attract the attention of Magneto than it would Charles Xavier.

Without diving too far into the specifics of it all, what Professor Romesburg has done in his lab at The Scripps Research Institute is to create third, synthetic base pair of DNA markers. These markers, not found anywhere in nature, were then added to the genetic makeup of an E. coli bacterium. The newly-mutant bacterium can replicate given the proper lab conditions, and be turned on and off by way of a 'base transporter' protein made from microalgae.

Romesberg's endgame is straight out of the comics: a world where humans can design and breed whole new organisms with DNA that we've tailored to give us specific results. The Scripps professor imagines a world where everything from nanotechnology to medicines can actually be programmed on the genetic level. Of course, once this new mutant DNA exits the lab, it will move beyond the total control that Romesberg exerts over it now. At that point, for better or worse, humanity may truly reap what we have sewn. Let's just hope it's not a zombie-spawning plague the likes of which nothing in nature can possibly have a resistance to, but we're reasonably certain that you shouldn't worry about that. Reasonably.

Via Scripps

***

***

Sheol: The Abode Of The Dead

Modern Christians are often confused by the Old Testament afterlife paradigm. They think Samuel should have been in heaven, not coming up out of a pit.[x] Actually, the idea of the dead going to heaven is not taught in the Old Testament. The ancient Hebrews believed that the deceased, good and bad, went to the underworld called “sheol.” Upon death, they descended to “the pit” (Isaiah 14:15), the place of the spirits of the dead. Job described God’s mastery of the extreme ends of creation in these terms: “The spirits of the dead tremble below the waters and their inhabitants. Sheol is naked before him, and there is no covering for Abaddon” (Job 26:5–6, LEB).

Scholars derive that sheol was divided into two sections, one known as Abraham’s Bosom and the other Abaddon, the realm of the damned, separated by a great chasm. Jesus’ parable about Lazarus and the rich man seems to reflect this ancient underworld geography. Jesus indicated that the rich man being punished in Hades could still see Lazarus and Abraham: “And in Hades he lifted up his eyes as he was in torment and saw Abraham from a distance, and Lazarus at his side” (Luke 16:23). For this to be possible, Abraham must be in Hades too but in a cooler climate. However, the paradigm changes after the Gospels conclude. It was Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross that made it possible for sinful humans to enter God’s presence.

His death, burial, and resurrection marked the afterlife turning point. Peter wrote that Jesus, after dying on the cross, went down and preached in Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4), the deepest part of Hades, to the angels who sinned during the days of Noah:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, in order that he could bring you to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, who were formerly disobedient, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, while an ark was being constructed, in which a few—that is, eight souls—were rescued through water. (1 Peter 3:18–20)

After this, Christ ascended, leading the believers to heaven. A cryptic reference by Paul in Ephesians 4:8–9 (citing Psalm 68:18) could speak to their release from the underworld: “Therefore it says, ‘Ascending on high he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men.’ Now ‘he ascended,’ what is it, except that he also descended to the lower regions of the earth?” (Ephesians 4:8–9, LEB).

It seems that today, the realm of the wicked dead is the same as in the Old Testament sheol, but the cross changed everything—allowing believers to enter God’s presence—if they put their faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection (Romans 10:9).

[x] Jack Zavada, “What Does the Bible Say About Ghosts?” About.com Christianity, http://christianity.about.com/od/whatdoesthebiblesay/a/
Ghosts-In-The-Bible.htm (accessed 10/16/13).

Excerpted from: THE SUPERNATURAL WORLDVIEW

Examining Paranormal, PSI, and the ApocalypticPosted: May 11, 2014
8:00 am Eastern

by Cris Putnam

PART 13 - Are the ’Ob Human Ghosts?

***

The Washington Post

A modern pope gets old school on the Devil

By Anthony Faiola, Published: May 10 2014


VATICAN CITY — A darling of liberal Catholics and an advocate of inclusion and forgiveness, Pope Francis is hardly known for fire and brimstone.

Yet, in his words and deeds, the new pope is locked in an epic battle with the oldest enemy of God and creation: The Devil.

After his little more than a year atop the Throne of St. Peter, Francis’s teachings on Satan are already regarded as the most old school of any pope since at least Paul VI, whose papacy in the 1960s and 1970s fully embraced the notion of hellish forces plotting to deliver mankind unto damnation.

Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call.

Last year, for instance, Francis laid hands on a man in a wheelchair who claimed to be possessed by demons, in what many saw as an impromptu act of cleansing. A few months later, he praised a group long viewed by some as the crazy uncles of the Roman Catholic Church — the International Association of Exorcists — for “helping people who suffer and are in need of liberation.”

“ ‘But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century,’ ” Francis, quoting those who have noted his frequent mentions of the Devil, said last month while presiding over Mass at the Vatican’s chapel in St. Martha’s House. He warned those gathered on that chilly morning to be vigilant and not be fooled by the hidden face of Satan in the modern world. “Look out because the Devil is present,” he said.

Since its foundation, the church has taught the existence of the Devil. But in recent decades, progressive priests and bishops, particularly in the United States and Western Europe, have tended to couch Satan in more allegorical terms. Evil became less the wicked plan of the master of hell than the nasty byproduct of humanity’s free will. Even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a lofty German theologian, often painted evil with a broad brush.

Enter the plain-talking first pope from Latin America, where mystical views of Satan still hold sway in broad areas of the region. During his time as cardinal of Buenos Aires before rising to the papacy, Francis was known for stark warnings against “the tempter” and “the father of lies.” Now, his focus on the Devil is raising eyebrows even within the normally unquestioning walls of Vatican City.

“Pope Francis never stops talking about the Devil; it’s constant,” said one senior bishop in Vatican City who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely. “Had Pope Benedict done this, the media would have clobbered him.”

Yet, as with so many of his actions, Francis may simply be correctly reading the winds of the Catholic Church.

Rising demand for exorcists

Although it is difficult to measure, Vatican officials talk about a resurgence of mystical rites in the church, including exorcism — or the alleged act of evicting demons from a living host. Cardinals in Milan; Turin, Italy; and Madrid, for instance, recently moved to expand the number of exorcists in their dioceses to cope with what they have categorized as surging demand.

But by focusing on old-school interpretations of the Devil, some progressive theologians complain, the pope is undermining his reputation as a leader who in so many other ways appears to be more in step with modern society than his predecessor.

“He is opening the door to superstition,” said Vito Mancuso, a Catholic theologian and writer.

Among the things lurking behind that door is the alleged gateway to hell guarded by the small cluster of officially anointed exorcists of the Roman Catholic Church.

By most accounts, the ranks of official exorcists number between 500 and 600 in a global church of more than 1 billion Catholics, with the vast majority operating in Latin America and Eastern Europe. This week, at the ninth and largest Vatican-sanctioned convention on exorcism, attendees gushed about the fresh recognition being afforded the field.

Almost 200 delegates — most of them priests and nuns — from more than two dozen nations talked about how Satanic cults are spreading like wildfire in the age of the Internet.

The new pope, exorcists say, has become their champion in the face of modern skeptics, many of them within the Catholic faith. Officially, those claiming to be possessed must first undergo psychiatric evaluations. But exorcists say that liberal Catholic bishops have often rejected their services even after such due diligence.

“The sad truth is that there are many bishops and priests in our church who do not really believe in the Devil,” said the Rev. Gabriele Amorth, the 89-year-old priest who is perhaps the closest thing the church has to a Hollywood-style exorcist. “I believe Pope Francis is speaking to them. Because when you don’t believe, the Devil wins.”

During the conference, the Rev. Cesar Truqui, an exorcist based in Switzerland, recounted one experience he had aboard a Swissair flight. “Two lesbians,” he said, had sat behind him on the plane. Soon afterward, he said, he felt Satan’s presence. As he silently sought to repel the evil spirit through prayer, one of the women, he said, began growling demonically and threw chocolates at his head.

Asked how he knew the woman was possessed, he said that “once you hear a Satanic growl, you never forget it. It’s like smelling Margherita pizza for the first time. It’s something you never forget.”

From his small room in a south Rome rectory fitted with a hospital bed, Amorth praised Francis for so fully embracing the biblical notion of the Devil as the personified overlord of hell.

Unlike in the movies, he said, the process of driving demons out typically takes multiple sessions over many years.

An exorcist in action

In a rare glimpse of an official exorcism last week, in a white-tiled room outfitted with images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, Amorth wrapped his purple sash around a Neapolitan housewife in her 40s who said she was afflicted by multiple demons. He then began chanting in Latin, commanding the devils inside her to reveal themselves.

“Tell me your name!” he demanded.

“No, no,” hissed the woman, shaking her head and speaking in an altered voice as her eyes rolled to the back of her head. “I will not!”

“Tell me your name!” he kept repeating, until finally she spat out, “Asmodeus,” the name of an ancient demon and hellish spokesman.

“How many are you?” he yelled, repeating the question as she grunted and shook her head violently.

Finally, she defiantly said, “We are five!”

After his bout with the demons, the diminutive Amorth simply shrugged.

“That,” he said, “was a light one.”

Following the session, the woman and her husband, who gave their names only as Antonella and Michele, said they had been going through a living hell for years. They had begged bishops to authorize an exorcism when Antonella began having uncontrollable fits after receiving Holy Communion and became violent around religious prayers. But they were repeatedly denied.

It was only after they were referred to Amorth and began sessions four years ago, Antonella said, that her condition finally began to improve.

“The Devil exists, and thanks to this treatment, I have gotten back my faith,” she said. “I think Pope Francis is telling us it’s okay to believe.”

Stefano Pitrelli contributed to this report.

***

The Harvard Crimson

Even as Harvard Group Drops Sponsorship, Black Mass Underway at Hong Kong

By THEODORE R. DELWICHE and ALEXANDER H. PATEL, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS


Even as the Extension School Cultural Studies Club dropped its sponsorship of the event, members of the Satanic Temple held what appeared to be a black mass ceremony at the Hong Kong restaurant and lounge Monday night. MADELINE R. LEAR

UPDATED: May 12, 2014, at 11:58 p.m.

Although the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club dropped its sponsorship of a reenactment of a satanic “black mass” ritual earlier in the night, members of the New York-based Satanic Temple gathered for what appeared to be a black mass on the second floor of the Hong Kong restaurant and lounge shortly after 10 p.m. Monday.

About 50 people, mostly dressed in black and some wearing face makeup, were present for the ceremony. A consecrated host, believed by Catholics to be the body of Christ, was not used in the ritual.

Four individuals in hoods and one man in a white suit, a cape, and a horned mask were active in the proceedings, as well as a woman revealed to be wearing only lingerie. The ceremony began with a narration on the history underlying Satanism and the black mass ritual.

The restaurant’s owner, Paul Lee, said in a phone interview around 11 p.m. that he was unaware of the incident. The Hong Kong is located on Massachusetts Avenue, directly across the street from Harvard Yard.

The ritual came after the cancellation of a black mass reenactment organized by the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club, which had the event scheduled for Monday evening in Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in Memorial Hall. Shortly before the planned starting time, the club said that it was moving to an off-campus site, citing in an email that “misinterpretations about the nature of the event were harming perceptions about Harvard and adversely impacting the student community.”

The club wrote in its email around 5 p.m. that they planned for the event to be held at The Middle East nightclub in Central Square at 9 p.m. But Clay S. Fernald, the general manager of The Middle East, said Monday evening that the nightclub would not host the event, and that negotiations with the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club had fallen through.

Fernald declined to comment on why negotiations had ended.

Around 7 p.m., the Cultural Studies Club sent an email saying that they had been unable to find another location and would no longer sponsor the black mass, and individuals who intended to attend decided to migrate to the Hong Kong, at which the ceremony was revived.

Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said in an interview with The Crimson earlier in the afternoon that although the Cultural Studies Club cancelled the event, he still hoped to host a black mass in the future.

After learning of the event that occurred at Hong Kong, Terrence Donilon, secretary of communications for the Archdiocese of Boston, said in an interview around 11:00 p.m. that the Diocese's position is the same. He said the event is disgraceful and despicable.

The Archdiocese followed through with its plans to host a Eucharistic procession to St. Paul Church, where a “holy hour” will be conducted. Donilon said that he was grateful for the community presence at the event and the presence of University President Drew G. Faust.

CONTROVERSY AT HARVARD

The club emphasized in the 5 p.m. email that Harvard had not asked them to move the event from its previous location, the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub in the basement of Memorial Hall, and commended the University for affirming its members’ rights to free speech and assembly.

“Harvard always demonstrated that it understood its responsibility to defend protected student speech. That was always made clear to us,” the club wrote in a second email.

Extension School Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs Robert H. Neugeboren '83 also said in a statement after the relocation announcement but before the postponement that the Extension School “is grateful the student group has recognized the strong concerns expressed by members of the Harvard community and beyond.”

Hundreds gather in St. Paul Catholic Church for a holy hour Monday night in response to a planned reenactment of a Satanic black mass. MADELINE R. LEAR

The proposed reenactment had received sharp condemnation by the Archdiocese of Boston, the Harvard Chaplains, a group of religious and spiritual leaders on campus, and several student groups.

In a statement released online on Monday, Faust affirmed the University’s commitment to free expression, noting that the club would be afforded the decision to proceed with the re-enactment, although she did deplore the event as offensive.

The Cultural Studies Club still said it was dismayed by harsh and widespread criticism of the event.

“While it is unfortunate that many people took personal offense at rituals for which they have little or no understanding of their context, what we find most disturbing have been the demands that the rituals and beliefs of marginalized members of society be silenced,” the club wrote in the emailed statement. “It is gravely upsetting to us that some people feel vindicated on the basis that they have disingenuously mischaracterized our invited guests as being part of a hate group.”

(Excerpted from:)

SATANIC BLACK MASS AT HARVARD, SATANIC MONUMENT IN OKLAHOMA

By Paul McGuire
May 12, 2014
NewsWithViews.com

It should be noted that beginning with the children of Israel and the accounts of Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, King David and Solomon that the people of the Biblical God were intended to have supernatural insights, science and technology superior to the powers of those who have embraced “Mystery Babylon.” However, whenever those that serve the living God have rejected the Word of God and have worshipped idols they have been severed from what can be called an ongoing spiritual download of cosmic apps from the Personal Living God of the Universe. This was illustrated in the contrast between the mighty warriors of Israel under King Saul, who were terrified to fight the Nephilim giant Goliath, a product of interspecies breeding between fallen angels and human women. David accessed the “cosmic apps” by downloading them through faith in God. This was manifested in an anointing from the Spirit of God which supernaturally enabled him to slay Goliath.

Satanism and the occult rushed in to fill a spiritual vacuum in society created by the philosophy of secular humanism and what was been called scientific materialism. This vacuum was also created by the Christian Church which rejected the supernatural and the supernatural understanding of the Old and New Testament. For example, the Bible when read properly deals with fallen angel technology and the Flood of Noah as a DNA-digital-holographic event. The Tower of Babel is about technology and the creation of a Stargate and an interdimensional portal. The contemporary Christian Church arbitrarily fragmented reality into spiritual parts and non-spiritual parts. Thus, Church and Bible study is viewed as spiritual, and science, economics, genetics, interdimensional portals, etc. are viewed as non-spiritual. This is a false understanding of what the Bible is all about. When Christianity began to reject a supernatural, multidimensional, and scientific understanding of the Scripture and developed the non-biblical mindset of retreating from the culture, Satanism and the occult moved in. The theological term for this retreat from the mainstream culture, encouraged especially by some of the evangelical churches, is “Retreatism.” Meanwhile Satanists and other occultists are aggressively moving forward to reach the youth and the world because they believe they can and must, for Lucifer, or for whatever concept they have for a New Age.

As I document extensively in my book A Prophecy of the Future of America, this has happened many times before in human history, such as in Nazi Germany. While the leaders of what could be called the Evangelical Church in Germany began to reject the supernatural authority of the Bible, miracles, a literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and the supernatural power of the Gospel, the German occult secret societies and Satanists embraced and practiced the supernatural power of the occult and Satanism. In addition, they accessed occult technology as in the case of the Nazi rocket scientists and their advances in the space program. In other words the Satanists and occultists believed the words of their master and lord Lucifer and the Christians stopped believing the words of their Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Ironically, the German Schools of Theological Higher Criticism deconstructed the Bible and indoctrinated Christian religious leaders into accepting a powerless Gospel devoid of miracles and supernatural power while at the same time secret occult societies and Satanic groups in Germany were openly conducting Satanic rites and rituals.

The theology of “Retreatism” and “unbelief” by the Christian Church made it possible for occultists and Satanists to seize control of a nation. As the Christian Church continues to retreat intellectually and scientifically, America by default will be dominated by powerful forces of darkness which history shows us have a specific endgame: death and destruction. The modern Christian Church denies the existence of the power of evil and the power of God, as did its German counterpart. It even denies the Apostle Paul’s warning that we are in a spiritual war with “unseen powers of wickedness.” The Evangelical church does not seek the approval of the God it claims to worship, but the approval of the secular society around it. Like an insecure teenager, the Evangelical church is trying to dress, act, believe, and behave in a way that will earn it the acceptance of its so-called peers. It is embarrassed by any words or terms that might define itself differently than the culture around it, and Church leaders seem to have a desperate fear of rejection. Although Christians in previous generations sang songs with lyrics like “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war…” the modern Church is offended by the militaristic theme, forgetting the teaching of the Bible that there is a great spiritual war going on; this modern Church prefers to think it is on a picnic. It throws away the spiritual armor it has been given to become “Seeker Friendly” and “Emergent” and engages in contemplative prayer instead of the prayer of spiritual warfare.

The modern Church does not believe in and underestimates the enormous power in the spiritual, intellectual, and scientific dimensions.

While Christians “celebrate Jesus” in their sensitivity workshops once called churches, Satanists and those who serve Lucifer are conducting rituals and ceremonies that enable them to open portals in another dimension that allow the entrance of supernatural power and armies of demons onto the Earth.

Due to a reductionist theological platform, contemporary Christianity has reduced “the mind of Christ” to simply a spiritual definition. Certainly the “mind of Christ” is spiritual. But Jesus Christ is not simply Lord of the spiritual world; He is Lord of all of life. Thus, the “mind of Christ” must be understood to encompass the full spectrum of reality. The result of this understanding or belief system in synchronization with the Personal Living God of the Universe is the ability to access the “mind of Christ” and a kind of cosmic software that is not only supernatural, but personal because Christ is a Personal God.

Thus, this is not non-personal technology. It is the ability to access the mind of God, to a limited degree on Earth, in what could be termed a partial restoration of the rulership God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden before the Fall. It is partial restoration because the realization of the full implications of the “mind of Christ” cannot happen until the new and glorified body.

But the software of God, which is the downloading of cosmic apps, should be understood as nothing more than a contemporary parable to explain in understandable terms the gifts and abilities that the Living God gives people on a natural and supernatural level, the gifts of the Spirit.

The Jim Bakker Show

Louisiana Governor Says Accepting Christ “Most Important Moment”

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal believes the most important moment in his life is the moment he accepted Christ as his Savior.

The governor is scheduled to speak at Liberty University this weekend and released an advanced copy of his speech where he openly and boldly speaks of the importance of Christ in his life.

This is from the text of the governor’s address:

The short story is this, I read the words of Jesus Christ and I realized that they were true. I used to think that I had found God, but I believe it is more accurate to say that He found me. And it happened because people were brave enough to plant seeds of the Gospel in my life.

Many years later, when I became a candidate for political office, in one of my first debates, I got the question– “What is the single most important moment in your life?”

I had just endured countless hours of debate prep sessions with my political consultants and staff. That’s where you sit around and get savagely grilled by people you pay – your political consultants and staffers. I knew exactly what they hoped I would say – they would argue that I should try to appeal to female voters by offering a touching story about when I asked my wife Supriya for her hand in marriage, or about the birth of my first child. And yes, those were great moments.

But instead, I decided to do something new in politics, I told the audience the truth — that the most significant moment of my life was when I turned it over to Jesus Christ and acknowledged Him as my Savior.

My political consultants then began shifting uncomfortably in their seats…and I have to admit I enjoyed that.

Jindal goes on to talk about how despite what many in the liberal academic community claim about followers of Christ, it is not a faith that is followed by those with a lack of intelligence. Jindal is a Rhodes scholar.

***

The Independent

Conchita Wurst: How Eurovision 2014's bearded drag ‘pervert’ reviled by Russia became the toast of Europe

Austria’s drag act won Eurovision with overwhelming public vote

LOULLA-MAE ELEFTHERIOU-SMITH

Sunday 11 May 2014


Eurovision is over and this year’s queen has been crowned: Conchita Wurst, Austria’s drag act who has been attacked by transphobic and homophobic slurs for weeks, has won the song contest with her ballad “Rise Like a Phoenix”.

Despite a barrage of offensive slurs against the 25-year-old performer, Ms Wurst was the overwhelmingly popular choice in the competition with 290 points last night.

Ms Wurst, who was branded a “pervert” by a Russian politician Vitaly Milonov before the final, was named the winner after only 34 of the 37 countries had revealed their scores.

Taking to the stage to receive her trophy, Ms Wurst said: “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are – we are unity and we are unstoppable.”

Ms Wurst, whose real name is Tom Neuwirth, has been accused of creating a “hotbed of sodomy” at Eurovision by homophobic Russian protesters, while Milonov, the politician who was instrumental in passing Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, accused Ms Wurst of turning the competition into the “Sodom show”.

Petitions in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus unsuccessfully attempted to get Austria banned from their national broadcasts, and Armenia’s performer Aram MP3 claimed that Ms Wurst needed to “eventually decide whether she is a woman or a man”.

After Ms Wurst shot back with “I told him I don’t want to be a woman. I am just a working queen and a very lazy boy at home,” Aram MP3 apologised and claimed he had meant his comments to be taken as a joke.

But Ms Wurst has taken the recent criticism in her stride, insisting that she has a “very thick skin,” adding: “If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it. I’m just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard”. She has received strong support online, too, and Twitter was alight with praise for her last night.

Neuwirth first appeared on national television when he reached the final of the Austrian TV show "Stamani" in 2007. He reappeared on television four years later as Conchita, a persona he said he created in repsonse to previous experences.

The song “Rise Like a Phoenix” is a Bond-esque power ballad that Ms Wurst has said is a defiant metaphor for her journey from a rural boyhood to her successful career as a bearded drag queen. Coincidentally, Neuwirth performed 'Gold Finger' on the final of Starmania, demonstrating incredible vocal ability.

“The beard is a statement to say that you can achieve anything, no matter who you are or how you look,” she said

Speaking of growing up in conservative Austria, Ms Wurst said: “Being a teenager, a gay teenager, in such a small village is not that much fun. I am part of the gay community and most gays have a similar story to mine.”

**

Zero Hedge

The Beginning Of The End Of Precious Metals Manipulation: The London Silver Fix Is Officially Dead

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/14/2014 14:56 -0400

Following a crackdown on precious metal manipulation by various European regulators (mostly Germany's BaFin, recall "Precious Metals Manipulation Worse Than Libor Scandal, German Regulator Says"), which led to the shocking outcome that Deutsche Bank would pull out of the London gold and silver fixing committees, the London Silver Market Fixing company ended up with a most curious outcome: it would have just two members: HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia. And, as an even more shocking result, overnight the London Silver Fix announced that after August 14, 2014 it will no longer exist - the first of many victories for all those who have fought for fair and unmanipulated precious metal markets.

From the press release:

The London Silver Market Fixing Limited (the 'Company') announces that it will cease to administer the London Silver Fixing with effect from close of business on 14 August 2014. Until then, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA N.A. and The Bank of Nova Scotia will remain members of the Company and the Company will administer the London Silver Fixing and continue to liaise with the FCA and other stakeholders.

The period to 14 August 2014 will provide an opportunity for market-led adjustment with consultation between clients and market participants.

The London Bullion Market Association has expressed its willingness to assist with discussions among market participants with a view to exploring whether the market wishes to develop an alternative to the London Silver Fixing.

Q&A

1. What will happen after 14 August 2014? Will the Silver Fixing cease to exist?

With effect from the close of business on 14 August 2014, the Company will cease to administer a Silver Fixing, and a daily Silver Fixing Price will no longer be published by the Company.

2. What will happen in the period up to that date?

The Company intends to continue to administer the daily Silver Fixing and publish Silver Fixing Prices throughout that period.

3. Why a three month notice period?

Although members of the Company may resign on seven clear days' notice, the members have confirmed that they stand ready to continue the Company's operations until (and including) 14 August 2014.

4. What happens after 14 August 2014 for market participants with contracts referencing the Silver Fix?

The Company is not in a position to comment on such matters, but market participants can speak to their contractual counterparties.

5. What does this mean for the gold, and platinum and palladium fixing companies?

This decision relates only to the London Silver Fixing administered by the Company. The Company is not in a position to comment on other fixings

* *

This huge loss for precious metal manipulators fixers was amusingly "explained" by the FT's John Dizard as follows: "The field may be more level, but there are not enough players left for a game." Mocking those who prefer unmanipulated markets, he said:

... once that satisfying self-righteous feeling passes, the dwellers on BaFin Island might want to consider whether they have helped create a level playing field without enough players for the game. So far, it would appear the significant beneficiaries of BaFin’s persuasion have been the less-than-systemically important dealers in international silver markets. While there will still be four participants in the London gold fix, the similarly structured 12pm London silver fix will now have only two participants, which common sense tells us means no real market at all.

Actually, it will mean no manipulated market by a handful of participants. It will also mean that going forward a much more transparent pricing mechanism will have to be adopted: once which relies on, gasp, the entire market, not just legacy firms that operated for decades out of Rothschild's wood-panelled London basement.

Of course, for Gizard, there is no manipulation:

Deutsche Bank will have withdrawn from participating in the ritual of setting a standard price for physical gold. While no wrongdoing by any of the gold-fixing participants has been proven legally, or even, I believe, convincingly demonstrated in econometric modelling, Deutsche apparently came under intense social pressure from its home regulator to withdraw.

Correct, because banks withdraw from lucrative operations due to "social pressure", not because they know full well some legal arm is about to crush an existing arrangement with elements of criminality. While we are delighted that Mr. Gizard will disagree, we are confident that after August 14 the price discovery model, while certainly not free from manipulation, most certainly originating from the BIS' Basel Offices, will be a far better one.

One can only hope that in the future all vestiges of gold and silver manipulation will eventually disappear resulting in what may be the first real price discovery of precious metals, absent central and commercial bank manipulation.

It is the same FT that we go to for some additional color on today's stunning outcome:

It was born in the late 19th century when a handful of London bullion dealers agreed to meet daily under a cloud of cigar smoke to set the price for the “devil’s metal”. But now, after 117 years of operation, the London silver fix – the global benchmark for the metal – is on its deathbed.

The three banks that run the auction announced on Wednesday that silver prices would be “fixed” for the final time at noon on August 14. The move follows increased scrutiny by European and US regulators into precious metals price-setting following the Libor scandal and probe into possible forex market abuse.

Deutsche Bank last month resigned its seats on the silver and gold fixes, after failing to find buyers. That left just two members on the silver fix, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia.

Market participants said the benchmark process, which occurs via teleconference and allows miners, financial institutions and jewellers to trade silver and value their stocks and contracts, could not function properly with fewer than three members. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority asked Deutsche Bank to stay on for an extra three months to allow for the benchmark to be wound down smoothly.

“Deutsche Bank has postponed its resignation from the London Silver Market Fixing from 29 April 2014 to 14 August 2014, at which point the benchmark will terminate,” the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

In other words, the FCA - undoubtedly in conjunction with the Bank of England - pushed hard to keep the existing manipulation structure in place for three months, effectively against the will of the German regulator, and of Deutsche Bank itself which wanted to get out as soon as possible.

As for what happens after August 14, when the London Silver fix is officially gone, we can't wait to find out.

***

Economic Collapse (Edited from a longer article. Ed)

De-Dollarization: Russia Is On The Verge Of Dealing A Massive Blow To The Petrodollar

Michael Snyder



May 14, 2014

Is the petrodollar monopoly about to be shattered? When U.S. politicians started slapping economic sanctions on Russia, they probably never even imagined that there might be serious consequences for the United States.

Image: U.S. Dollar (Wiki Commons).

But now the Russian media is reporting that the Russian Ministry of Finance is getting ready to pull the trigger on a “de-dollarization” plan. For decades, virtually all oil and natural gas around the world has been bought and sold for U.S. dollars.

In recent years, there have been rumblings by nations such as Russia and China about the need to change to a new system, but nobody has really had a big reason to upset the status quo. However, that has now changed. The struggle over Ukraine has caused Russia to completely reevaluate the financial relationship that it has with the United States. If it starts trading a lot of oil and natural gas for currencies other than the U.S. dollar, that will be a massive blow for the petrodollar, and it could end up dramatically changing the global economic landscape.

The fact that the Russian government has held a meeting to discuss “getting rid of the US dollar in Russian export operations” should be front page news on every mainstream news website in the United States. That is how big this is. But instead, we have heard nothing from the big mainstream news networks about this so far. Instead, we have only heard about this from Russian news sources such as the Voice of Russia…

Russian press reports that the country’s Ministry of Finance is ready to greenlight a plan to radically increase the role of the Russian ruble in export operations while reducing the share of dollar-denominated transactions. Governmental sources believe that the Russian banking sector is “ready to handle the increased number of ruble-denominated transactions”.

According to the Prime news agency, on April 24th the government organized a special meeting dedicated to finding a solution for getting rid of the US dollar in Russian export operations. Top level experts from the energy sector, banks and governmental agencies were summoned and a number of measures were proposed as a response for American sanctions against Russia.

The “de-dollarization meeting” was chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Shuvalov, proving that Moscow is very serious in its intention to stop using the dollar.

So will Russia go through with this?

After all, this wouldn’t just be a slap in the face. This would essentially be like slamming an economic fist into our nose.

You see, Russia is not just a small player when it comes to trading oil and natural gas. The truth is that Russia is the largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of oil in the world.

If Russia starts asking for payment in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, that will essentially end the monopoly of the petrodollar.

In order to do this, Russia will need trading partners willing to go along. In the article quoted above, the Voice of Russia listed Iran and China as two nations that would potentially be willing to make the switch…

Of course, the success of Moscow’s campaign to switch its trading to rubles or other regional currencies will depend on the willingness of its trading partners to get rid of the dollar. Sources cited by Politonline.ru mentioned two countries who would be willing to support Russia: Iran and China. Given that Vladimir Putin will visit Beijing on May 20, it can be speculated that the gas and oil contracts that are going to be signed between Russia and China will be denominated in rubles and yuan, not dollars.

And the reality of the matter is that China has seemed ready to move away from the U.S. dollar for quite some time.

In order for our current standard of living to continue, it is absolutely imperative that everyone else around the globe continues to use our currency.

So if Russia really does pull the trigger on a “de-dollarization” strategy, that would be huge – especially if the rest of the planet started following their lead.

The U.S. economy is already teetering on the brink of another major downturn, and there are a whole host of indications that big trouble is on the horizon.

Just about the last thing that we need right now is for our petrodollar monopoly to be threatened.

It would be nice if things would calm down in Ukraine and the relationship between the United States and Russia could go back to normal.

Sadly, that does not appear likely any time soon.

In fact, the Ukrainian government has already admitted that “we are essentially at war“, and on Tuesday six Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight were wounded in a convoy attack in eastern Ukraine.

The regions in eastern Ukraine that have just declared independence have given the government in Kiev until Wednesday to pull their forces out of eastern Ukraine or else face war.

If a full blown civil war does erupt in Ukraine, it is going to take this crisis to a completely new level.

Unfortunately, most Americans are incredibly apathetic at this point and know very little about what is going on.

But in the end, this could have dramatic implications for all of us.

***

theguardian

Break the silence: a world war is beckoning

John Pilger

13 May 2014

Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a "brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis", as if the truth "never happened even while it was happening".

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his "updated summary of the record of US foreign policy" which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world's most advanced communications and nominally freest journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism - "our" terrorism - are Muslims, is unsayable. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the US state department noted that, following Nato's campaign in 2011, "Libya has become a terrorist safe haven".

The name of "our" enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory. The leaders of these obstructive nations are usually violently shoved aside, such as the democrats Muhammad Mossedeq in Iran and Salvador Allende in Chile, or they are murdered like Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. All are subjected to a western media campaign of caricature and vilification - think Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, now Vladimir Putin.

Washington's role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans now military outposts of Nato, the last "buffer state" bordering Russia is being torn apart. We in the west are backing neo-Nazis in a country where Ukrainian Nazis backed Hitler. Having masterminded the coup in February against the democratically elected government in Kiev, Washington's planned seizure of Russia's historic, legitimate warm-water naval base in Crimea failed. The Russians defended themselves, as they have done against every threat and invasion from the west for almost a century.

But Nato's military encirclement has accelerated, along with US-orchestrated attacks on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained "pariah" role will justify a Nato-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself.

Instead, Putin has confounded the war party by seeking an accommodation with Washington and the EU, by withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border and urging ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon the weekend's provocative referendum. These Russian-speaking and bilingual people - a third of Ukraine's population - have long sought a democratic federation that reflects the country's ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are neither "separatists" nor "rebels" but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland.

Like the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has been turned into a CIA theme park - run by CIA director John Brennan in Kiev, with "special units" from the CIA and FBI setting up a "security structure" that oversees savage attacks on those who opposed the February coup. Watch the videos, read the eye-witness reports from the massacre in Odessa this month. Bussed fascist thugs burned the trade union headquarters, killing 41 people trapped inside. Watch the police standing by. A doctor described trying to rescue people, "but I was stopped by pro-Ukrainian Nazi radicals. One of them pushed me away rudely, promising that soon me and other Jews of Odessa are going to meet the same fate... I wonder, why the whole world is keeping silent."

Russian-speaking Ukrainians are fighting for survival. When Putin announced the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border, the Kiev junta's defence secretary - a founding member of the fascist Svoboda party - boasted that the attacks on "insurgents" would continue. In Orwellian style, propaganda in the west has inverted this to Moscow "trying to orchestrate conflict and provocation", according to William Hague. His cynicism is matched by Obama's grotesque congratulations to the coup junta on its "remarkable restraint" following the Odessa massacre. Illegal and fascist-dominated, the junta is described by Obama as "duly elected". What matters is not truth, Henry Kissinger once said, but "but what is perceived to be true."

In the US media the Odessa atrocity has been played down as "murky" and a "tragedy" in which "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) attacked "separatists" (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal damned the victims - "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says". Propaganda in Germany has been pure cold war, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warning its readers of Russia's "undeclared war". For Germans, it is an invidious irony that Putin is the only leader to condemn the rise of fascism in 21st-century Europe.

A popular truism is that "the world changed" following 9/11. But what has changed? According to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules. The Pentagon currently runs "special operations" - secret wars - in 124 countries. At home, rising poverty and hemorrhaging liberty are the historic corollary of a perpetual war state. Add the risk of nuclear war, and the question begs: why do we tolerate this?

***

WND

EU LEADER: WE IGNORED PUTIN'S 'MEIN KAMPF'

Admits Europe missed signals, 'not laughing anymore'

Published: May 13, 2014

F. MICHAEL MALOOF

Russian President Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON – Like Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled his expansionist intentions long before taking action but was wasn’t taken seriously, according to a European Union leader.

Stefan Fuele, EU commissioner-in-charge of enlargement and neighborhood policy, acknowledged in recent comments that the EU didn’t grasp Putin’s intentions.

Fuele was referring to a comment Putin made in 2005 that “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century was the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In his annual state of the nation address at the time, Putin said the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 “became a real drama” for ethnic Russians.

“Tens of millions of our citizens,” he said, “found themselves outside the Russian Federation,” which was the largest of the 15 ethnically based republics that comprised the Soviet Union.

In remarks aimed principally at the United States at the time, Putin said that Russia would develop democracy but at its own pace and wouldn’t tolerate any outside interference.

Russia, he said, “will decide for itself the pace, terms and conditions of moving towards democracy.”

No longer laughing

Fuele is in charge of implementing plans to expand the EU to Russia’s neighborhood, which Putin sees as a provocation, prompting him to put some 30,000 troops opposite Ukraine.

Putin’s comments in 2005 followed “velvet revolutions,” or non-violent transfers of power, that had occurred some 18 months earlier in Ukraine and Georgia, both of which had been part of the Soviet Union.

Fuele said he was present at the 2008 Bucharest NATO-Russian summit when Putin said Ukraine was an “artificial country.”

“Half of us laughed, half of us didn’t understand. But we do understand now,” he said.

“We’re not laughing anymore.”

Russia has reclaimed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and is backing armed separatists in eastern Ukraine which held a referendum over the weekend that the West considers illegal and invalid.

Turning away from Europe

Fuele’s concerns about overlooking Putin’s comments regarding the fall of the Soviet Union and his outlook on Ukraine are reminiscent of how Hitler similarly was ignored.

Written in 1923 while Hitler was in a Munich jail for attempting a putsch, “Mein Kampf” is an autobiographical manifesto that outlined his political ideology and served as a blueprint for his plans for Europe.

Fuele lamented that Brussels, which is the headquarters of the 28-nation EU, had failed to convince Russia to look at closer ties with Europe as a “win-win.”

Analysts have told WND that Putin has decided to focus less on closer ties with Europe and use Moscow’s energy resources to make new friends in the East, particularly China. Putin wants to help develop energy and strategic resources in Africa and Latin America to increase Russia’s influence and limit U.S. power.

Fuele said it is apparent that Putin now is disregarding a number of international conventions, including the 1994 Budapest Memorandum that guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“The most worrisome development in Europe since the Second World War is the fact that international law agreements like the Helsinki principles of 1975 do not have relevance anymore,” he said.

The Helsinki principles served as the basis for upholding territorial integrity and non-intervention in countries of Europe.

“We had a two-polar world before, with containment and the Iron Curtain,” Fuele said. “We have a multi-polar world now. What Putin has introduced is a zero-polar world, where the only rule is that there are no rules. This is terrible.”

Fuele cautioned that Europe needs to put up a united front against Russia, but economic interests make that difficult. He singled out Germany, the Mediterranean states, Hungary and Finland as putting economic ties with Russia ahead of a unified EU front.

“If we don’t stand clear and firm and united, the implication for our own countries is clear,” Fuele said. “Is it in the interest of Putin to have a strong European Union, expressing itself with one voice? No, it is not.”

New information reveals that Russia not only supplies more than 30 percent of Germany’s energy needs, but now Russian entrepreneurs have bought a fifth of Germany’s natural gas production and a quarter of its oil production.

The resultant dependency has made it difficult for Germany to press too hard for biting EU sanctions.

***

theguardian

Russia demands $3.8bn security deposit from Visa and Mastercard

Kremlin imposes unprecedented requirements on global payment systems operating in Russia in response to US sanctions

Tuesday 6 May 2014 15.02 EDT

The law, signed by Vladimir Putin, was spurred by Visa and Mastercard’s decision on 21 March to stop servicing payments for clients of Rossiya Bank. Photograph: Ria Novosti/Reuters

International credit card companies face a "severe impact" on their operations in Russia following a strict new law Moscow has adopted in response to Visa and Mastercard freezing service to banks under US sanctions.

Visa described the regulations as "unprecedented" and Mastercard said it could experience difficulties, the Russian magazine Snob reported, after Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday to create a rival national payment system.

The law stipulates the creation of a homegrown system to facilitate cashless transactions by 1 July, but also imposes stiff new requirements on international payment systems operating in Russia.

The legislation was spurred on by Visa and Mastercard's decision on 21 March to stop servicing payments for clients of Rossiya Bank, as well as its daughter company Sobinbank. Rossiya Bank was included in the first round of US sanctions over the Ukraine crisis because it is owned by Putin associate Yury Kovalchuk and is the "personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation," the US Treasury said when announcing the sanctions.

Visa and Mastercard also blocked operations for cards issued by SMP Bank, which is owned by the brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who are old judo buddies of Putin's.

The new law forbids international payment systems from cutting off services to Russian clients and obliges them to base their processing centre in Russia. To ensure their good behaviour, international operators will have to place a security deposit in Russia's central bank equal to the average value of two days' worth of transactions.

Visa and Mastercard together processed $1.9bn (£1.12bn) in transactions per day last year – 90% of all cashless payments in Russia – equal to a $3.8bn security deposit, the Moscow Times reported.

The security deposit will be due in eight quarterly payments starting on 1 July. The law states that if a payment system unilaterally freezes operations for a Russian client, it is liable for a fee totalling 10% of its security deposit for each day without service.

Snob reported that Visa's representatives believed the security deposit to be too large. Visa did not comment on the report but said in a later statement that it was prepared to cooperate with Russia to solve issues related to the new law.

"Several provisions in the law are unprecedented and will have a severe impact on the payments market in Russia – particularly cardholders, financial institutions and merchants," the statement said. "We intend to work closely with the government in order to resolve these issues."

Vladimir Tikhonov, an analyst at Otkritie investment bank, said the creation of an internal payment system has been undertaken in Australia and will make Russia's financial system "more stable from outside threat" – not only sanctions, but also cyber-attacks. But even if Russia also creates its own replacement payment cards, agreements would need to be signed with foreign payment systems for these cards to work abroad, he added.

"The creation of a national payment system is not a replacement for Visa and Mastercard," Tikhonov said. "If Visa and Mastercard leave Russia, it will of course be a serious blow for both citizens and for businesses."

***

***

theguardian

Ukraine crisis: Donetsk region asks to join Russia

Request comes just two hours after referendum results show 90% voted for independence from Ukraine

Shaun Walker in Donetsk and Oksana Grytsenko in Luhansk

Monday 12 May 2014 13.05 EDT

Donetsk separatist leader, Denis Pushilin, said Moscow would be asked to consider absorbing the region. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

The "People's Republic of Donetsk" declared itself an independent country on Monday and, within two hours of doing so, had asked to join Russia. The separatist leader Denis Pushilin told journalists that the self-proclaimed republic would ask Moscow to consider absorbing the region, which borders Russia.

But it remains extremely doubtful whether Moscow will carry out a Crimea-style annexation of the region, which held a controversial referendum on independence on Sunday, together with neighbouring Luhansk.

According to results announced by the de facto authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk – which also declared independence from Ukraine on Monday – about 90% on a turnout of 70% and 96% on a turnout of nearly 75% respectively voted for state sovereignty. The referendums – which Kiev has dismissed as illegitimate – were hastily organised and marked by numerous violations.

The results were roundly condemned in the west, but Russia said it respected the results. However, instead of previous statements saying it would protect people in the regions with troops if need be, the Kremlin called for dialogue between the government in Kiev and the south-east regions of the country.

"In Moscow, we respect the will of the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and are counting on practical implementation of the outcome of the referendum in a civilised manner, without any repeat of violence and through dialogue," the Kremlin said.

In a press conference in Moscow, Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, read out the Kremlin statement and added that only Russian television channels were telling "the truth in real time" about the crisis, whereas western news outlets were hiding the real causes.

Lavrov made no mention of the controversy over the referendum, merely noting the "high voting activity" of the population despite attempts from Kiev to disrupt the vote. He said no new international talks were planned on Ukraine.

Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's acting president, told the country's parliament: "The farce which terrorists call the referendum will have no legal consequences except the criminal responsibility for its organisers."

The Kremlin has called the new government in Kiev "neo-fascist" and Kiev has accused Russia of organising the separatist movement by providing weapons and tactical advice. Nevertheless, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, last week asked the separatists to delay their referendum, which appeared to be an attempt to distance Russia from the vote, but was ignored.

There were a number of irregularities with the count and procedure, and it seems unlikely that the figures announced are an accurate reflection of views in the region, with most of those who disagreed with the proposition staying at home.

Nevertheless, there has been an increasing mood of defiance, especially as a Ukrainian army operation against the armed separatists resulted in multiple casualties. It is hard to judge how many people support the armed takeover of government buildings and attempts to separate from Ukraine, but feelings are running high.

The referendum question was worded ambiguously, appearing to offer state sovereignty for the Donetsk and Luhansk "people's republics". Roman Lyagin, head of the de facto central election committee in Donetsk, said before the vote that nothing would change in terms of state borders as a result of the vote.

He said that, in future, the region would be free to decide whether to stay within Ukraine, become independent or join Russia. In the end, it apparently took only two hours to make the decision, apparently making a mockery of what voters had been told in the runup.

In Luhansk, separatists announced that more than 96% of ballots had been cast in favour of the independence of the region from Ukraine.

"Congratulations on the birth of the Luhansk republic," said Vasily Nikitin, deputy head of the region's separatist movement. "We are now preparing an appeal to the UN and international community asking them to recognise us."

Nikitin said the constitution of the new "country" was almost ready, and added that its residents would not participate in Ukrainian presidential elections planned for 25 May. Donetsk's de facto authorities have also said they will not allow voting in the elections. A key demand of Moscow has been to postpone the elections.

In Luhansk, one resident, Anatoliy Sukharev, 80, approached Nikitin and asked whether there would be a second referendum on joining Russia.

"What is next? When are we going to have this referendum?" he asked. Nikitin said a second referendum would happen, but the republic needed to "organise as a country" first.

But for many Ukraine-oriented residents, recent events have been a tragedy.

"My father is a businessman, now he is trying to sell all his businesses here before moving away. Many people I know have already left," said Olesia, 20, who refused to give her last name fearing retribution.

"I can love Luhansk only if it is a Ukrainian Luhansk," she said.

The eastern regions are entering an uncertain situation, with tension and anger rising on both sides. Ukrainian army and affiliated paramilitary units killed unarmed civilians in Mariupol last week and in Krasnoarmeysk during the voting on Sunday. For their part, the rebels in Donetsk have taken hostages among pro-Ukraine activists and been accused of torture.

It is unclear whether either side is ready for talks. With a number of armed gangs in the region, there is every danger of conflict with Kiev forces and of events slipping into violent chaos.

A Kremlin-linked MP, Vyacheslav Nikonov, said the Ukrainian military operation in eastern Ukraine represented "genuine fascism" and said that the residents of Luhansk and Donetsk deserved no less support. "Indeed, they deserve much more support from us, than the residents of Crimea," he said.

However, he added that Moscow would have to weigh the "economic, political, and military risks" before deciding whether it should absorb the regions.

Gazprom, Russia's state energy company, also told Ukraine it had to settle a $3.5bn (£2bn) gas debt, and pay in advance for deliveries in June, or be cut off.

In Brussels, EU foreign ministers added 13 people and two firms to their visa ban and asset freeze list over Ukraine, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the measure had yet to be officially announced. The EU has targeted a number of officials but the sanctions have been far narrower than US sanctions over Ukraine.

***

Investment Watch

Joe Biden’s Son Appointed Director of Ukraine’s Largest Gas Company!

May 13th, 2014

Just WOW!

The rabbit hole of corruption goes deep!

Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings

Is it Joe Biden’s son?

Sure is!

Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, has been appointed to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, a privately-owned natural gas company operating in the Ukraine since the year 2002. Burisma Holdings has become a considerable player within the Ukrainian natural gas and oil industry, with licences covering the Dnieper-Donets, Carpathian and Azov-Kuban basins. The production capability has reached over 10,500 barrels of oil equivalent per

The Farce Is Complete: Joe Biden’s Son Joins Board Of Largest Ukraine Gas Producer

***

The Moscow Times

Rogozin Vows to Protect Russians in Transdnestr — Just Like in Crimea

By Ivan Nechepurenko

May. 11 2014 21:20

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Friday attended the Victory Day parade in Tiraspol, the capital of Moldova's self-proclaimed Transdnestr republic, and left with more than 30,000 signatures from locals demanding unification with Russia.

The visit coincided with President Vladimir Putin's appearance in Crimea — annexed to Russia after a similar collection of signatures — and came shortly before several referendums on secession from Kiev were held in various cities in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.

Rogozin's visit, perhaps a nod to members of the Transdnestr parliament who in March asked Russia's State Duma to annex the breakaway republic, was seen by some analysts as a sign of Russia trying to retain influence.

"What Putin wants to do is to create an additional source of tension in this area, which will preserve Russia's influence there," said Alexander Morozov, a Moscow-based political scientist.

"The same is true for Ukraine's east, so we should be aware of this scenario," he said in a phone interview.

Echoing comments made by Putin himself ahead of the annexation of Crimea, Rogozin spoke out on behalf of protecting the Transdnestrian population.

"Russia, as a guarantor of peace and stability on the Dnestr river, will do everything to prevent the isolation of Transdnestr," Rogozin said Friday.

"We are not only observing this situation — as things develop we can take necessary steps," he said, Itar-Tass reported.

Both governments in Kiev and Chisinau expressed their discontent with Rogozin's visit, with the former keeping him out of its airspace and the latter searching his plane.

On the way to Moldova, Rogozin had to fly via Bulgaria and Romania in order to avoid Ukraine's airspace, since he is included on the list of Russian officials blacklisted by the U.S. and the European Union over the Ukraine crisis.

"Thank God Ukraine is not Russia, or we would have to fly around for 20 hours," Rogozin joked on Twitter on Thursday.

On the way back, Romania closed its airspace to Rogozin's plane, prompting him to take a regular scheduled flight to Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.

Rogozin reacted to the move with a joke about using a bomber jet the next time around.

"Next time I will fly on a Tu-160 jet," he wrote on Twitter.

The comments only infuriated Romania's Foreign Affairs Ministry, which called Rogozin's remarks "a serious threat" and demanded that authorities in Moscow "provide public clarification on whether the statements made by Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin are the official position of the Russian Federation with regard to Romania as a member state of the EU and NATO."

The Moldovan police also searched the charter plane with Russian State Duma deputies who had been traveling with Rogozin.

State Duma deputy Alexei Zhuravlyov, a member of the Russian delegation, expressed indignation over the incident.

"They rushed into the aircraft and searched our belongings. It seems that the Moldovan republic is pushing Russia to act," Zhuravlyov told The Moscow Times by phone.

Despite Moldova's actions, Zhuravlyov said Russia has no plans to absorb Transdnestr, as there is no threat to the more than 200,000 Russian citizens there.

Gennady Konenko, head of the Moldova and Transdnestr department at the Moscow-based Institute for CIS Studies, echoed Zhuravlyov's comment.

"The problem is that we do not have a common border with Transdnestr, and we do not feel that our citizens there are under threat," Konenko said.

Zhuravlyov did not exclude the possibility of the situation in Transdnestr worsening in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, however.

"If Ukraine or Moldova will attempt to isolate Transdnestr though, they must have no doubt that Russia will use all necessary means to unblock this territory," said Zhuravlyov, who chairs the Eurasian Integration Organization, which offers Russian humanitarian aid to Transdnestr.

With the referendums in eastern Ukraine paving the way for the region to secede from the government in Kiev, Transdnestr may serve as an example for eastern Ukraine to follow, analysts said.

"If these regions will manage to defend their independence, then it is possible that they will model themselves after Transdnestr," Zhuravlyov said.

Transdnestr, officially a region of Moldova, declared its independence in 1990, though its sovereignty has not been recognized by any United Nations states, including Russia, and it has largely been considered to be engaged in a "frozen conflict" with Moldova ever since then.

Despite not officially recognizing the breakaway region, located on a narrow strip of land between the Dnestr river and Moldova's border with Ukraine, Russia has helped the region both financially and militarily, stationing 1,200 servicemen in the area.

Since 1999, Russia has also been distributing Russian passports among residents of Transdnestr. Today, more than a third of the population possesses dual citizenship.

Zhuravlyov said Russia had contributed 5 billion rubles for the construction of kindergartens, hospitals and other social infrastructure as part of its Eurasian Integration program in the region.

***

MainOnline

EU to bug every car in UK with tracker chips – and Ministers admit they are powerless to stop the Big Brother technology

  • Under EU plans, every new car sold in UK will have a 'black box' device

  • Gadget contains a phone-like SIM card which tracks drivers' movements

  • Designed to help emergency services find vehicles in the event of crash

  • Government believes the device will add at least £100 to the cost of cars

  • Officials also fear it could be used by police to monitor motorists' moves

  • Butministers admit they are powerless to stop Big Brother technology

  • All new car models will have to include 'eCall' device from October 2015

By MARTIN BECKFORD

PUBLISHED: 16:39 EST, 10 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:39 EST, 10 May 2014

Every new car sold in Britain will have to have a ‘black box’ device fitted to track drivers’ movements from next year, under plans being imposed by the European Union.

Despite serious concerns about privacy and cost, UK ministers admit they are powerless to stop the Big Brother technology being forced on motorists and car makers.

The Government believes the gadget, designed to help emergency services find crashed vehicles, will add at least £100 to the cost of vehicles without providing significant safety improvements.

New technology: Every new car sold in Britain will have to have a 'black box' device fitted to track drivers' movements from next year, under plans being imposed by the European Union. Above, how the device works

Officials also fear the scheme, known as eCall, could be used by police or insurance companies to monitor motorists’ every move.

The European Commission has ruled that by October next year, all new cars and vans sold across Europe must be fitted with the technology, which contains a mobile phone-like SIM card designed to transmit the vehicle’s location to emergency services in the event of a crash.

But The Mail on Sunday has seen official correspondence from the Department of Transport showing the UK’s opposition to the policy, which could lead to the ‘constant tracking’ of vehicles.

In a letter to MPs, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill writes: ‘The basis for our opposition is that costs to the UK outweigh the benefits.

‘Unfortunately, there is very little support for the UK position and no possibility of blocking this legislation. We are working with other member states to minimise the potential burdens on manufacturers and the potential cost to consumers.

‘With regard to the rules on privacy and data protection, other member states have expressed similar concerns to us, about the potential for constant tracking of vehicles via the eCall system.’

Emma Carr, of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said last night: ‘Motorists will not be comfortable forcibly having a black box installed which is capable of recording and transmitting their exact location when they are driving.’

New model: Some car manufacturers, including BMW and Volvo, already include eCall devices in their latest models. However, voluntary take-up has been low across the industry. Above, the BMW i3

Some car manufacturers, including BMW and Volvo, already include eCall devices in their latest models.

An SOS button near the dashboard, linked to a SIM card, allows drivers to call 999 quickly. And if airbags are deployed it automatically sends a text message to emergency services with the car’s location – as well as its unique vehicle ID number.

Voluntary take-up has been low across the industry so the EU ruled all new car models must include eCall from October 1, 2015. Motorists will be unable to switch it off and it will be tested in MoT checks.

The EU Parliament voted it through last month and a draft of the law is due to be published next week before it is agreed by the EU Commission.

Britain is trying to push back the deadline by two years.

The UK also hopes the new text will include assurances on the privacy risks of eCall, which were highlighted in a European Parliament legal report earlier this year.

The study said manufacturers will want to include ‘value added services’ for the SOS devices, such as sharing the data with insurers and recovery firms.

A separate study by the EU Data Protection Supervisor warns of the ‘potential intrusiveness’ of eCall given that it operates on the same basis as mobile phones and ‘potentially enables the constant collection of the vehicle’s geolocation’. It urges ‘stricter safeguards’ against ‘unlawful’ use of personal data.Brussels insists eCall will save 2,500 lives a year by speeding up emergency services response times.

***

Global Research

Has America Lost its Proxy War on Syria? What Now?

By Dr. Ismail Salami


Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Iran and Russia, Syria is gradually recuperating a callous crisis wrought by Washington and its regional Arab puppets.

According to an agreement brokered by the UN, Russia and Iran, foreign-backed militants left the Syrian city of Homs on Thursday and the city is now fully under the full control of government forces.

Old Homs is totally clean of armed terrorist groups,” a banner on Syrian TV read.

“What has been achieved was a result of efforts that lasted for months starting through evacuating hundreds of civilians from the Old City and settling the cases of nearly 820 gunmen who have given up and handed over their weapons to authorities,” said the provincial governor, Talal al-Barazi.

A country hitherto reduced to desperation and dereliction, Syria has sustained wounds which will take years to heal. Barely is there now any hope whatsoever for removing President Bashar al-Assad from power and installing a US-friendly regime instead in the country.

That is a fact we can’t deny and nor can Washington.

The naked truth is that Washington has by now relinquished all hopes for putting this pernicious plot into a practical shape. In fact, the foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria will soon have to leave the country with their tails between their legs.

Interestingly, there is a mounting fear that the homegrown brainwashed European Takfiris in Syria many of whom hailed from Britain and France may now return to their countries with their overblown ambitions for inspiring terror and atrocity in their own lands. In other words, there is a great angst that chickens come home to roost.

In an Op-ed for the New York Post, John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, implicitly confessed to the manifest debacle of the West in handling the situation in Syria, their political ineptitude and gargantuan miscalculations on a systematic paradigm of regime change followed by Washington in different parts of the world.

An amusing character whose knowledge of events is chiefly culled from the figments of his imagination rather than from the realities on the ground, Bolton has blatantly accused Syria of trying to use chemical weapons for a second time.

By now, the entire world knows that the use of chemical weapons by Damascus is a threadbare lie and even the UN report pointed with all force to the absurdity of this claim by the West. However, Mr. Bolton does not bother to read or watch news and relies instead on his truncated perceptions. Or maybe he prefers to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the realities like his American compeers.

He states that

“chaos is growing, with increased fighting among the opposition groups … and fresh evidence that Bashar al-Assad is again using chemical weapons. But the chaos of US Syria policy is growing too, with the news that the administration is now supplying the rebels advanced weapons.”

In the end, Bolton who has come to a similar conclusion concerning Syria, comes up with a genius idea: i.e. Washington should focus on “the real threats, neither minimizing nor dismissing them, and not be distracted by Syria’s conflict… Iran’s unrelenting pursuit of nuclear weapons may yet awaken our president from dreamland.”

The question is: when the West in cahoots with the Arab puppet regimes participated in a dangerous game in Syria, destroyed the infrastructure of the country, demolished the dreams of a nation, and caused the deaths of over 150,000 people including innocent women and children, were they fundamentally propelling a popular uprising in Syria?

It is now more than naïve to presume that Washington entertains humanitarian objectives in Syria. Basically, the country was viewed as a definitive road to Tehran and a subsequent empowerment of Tel Aviv in the region much to the chagrin of resistance movements such as Hezbollah.

As for Iran there is almost a general consensus that the country’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ is a lie invented by the US government to foment Iranophobia on the one hand and vindicate an eventual invasion of the country in the eyes of the international community on the other hand.

This farcical notion has been recently rejected even by the Israelis. In a recent interview with Israel’s Ynet, Israeli Brigadier General Uzi Eilam berated Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies on Iran, saying he and “other politicians have inspired terrible and unnecessary fear into the hearts of the Israeli public.”

Eilam who headed the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) from 1976-1985 said, “The Iranian nuclear program will only be operational in another 10 years… Netanyahu is using the Iranian threat to achieve a variety of political objectives” and that he was pursuing his personal goals.

After all, Iran does not need an Israeli to prove that it is pursuing a civilian nuclear program and that it does not have the least intention of using the achieved nuclear technology to produce nuclear weapons as the idea runs counter to the very principles upon which the Islamic Republic has been built. Besides, it violates the binding fatwa issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Any Syria-style conceived plot by Washington against Iran is sure to end in failure– a more mortifying debacle indeed.

In the final analysis, Iran is apparently seen as a geopolitical thorn in Washington’s side and any desperate attempt to remove this thorn will only intensify the pain.

***

theguardian

Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures

Insiders say western strategy in Syria encouraged radicals and backfired, leading to threat to European security from returning jihadis

Simon Tisdall in Tehran

Sunday 11 May 2014

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. Senior Iranian officials say: 'The Americans wanted to replace Assad, but what was the alternative? All they have done is encourage radical groups and made the borders less safe.' Photograph: Uncredited/AP

Iran and its close ally President Bashar al-Assad have won the war in Syria, and the US-orchestrated campaign in support of the opposition's attempt to topple the Syrian regime has failed, senior Iranian officials have told the Guardian.

In a series of interviews in Tehran, top figures who shape Iranian foreign policy said the west's strategy in Syria had merely encouraged radicals, caused chaos and ultimately backfired, with government forces now on the front foot.

"We have won in Syria," said Alaeddin Borujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee and an influential government insider. "The regime will stay. The Americans have lost it."

Terrorism perpetrated by al-Qaida-linked jihadist groups and individuals armed and funded by Sunni Muslim Arab countries was now the main threat facing the Syrian people, Borujerdi said. Many foreign fighters who had travelled to Syria from Britain and other European countries could soon return. "We are worried about the future security of Europe," he said.

Amir Mohebbian, a conservative strategist and government adviser, said: "We won the game in Syria easily. The US does not understand Syria. The Americans wanted to replace Assad, but what was the alternative? All they have done is encourage radical groups and made the borders less safe.

"We accept the need for change in Syria – but gradually. Otherwise, there is chaos."

Shia Muslim Iran is Assad's main regional backer and has reportedly spent billions of dollars propping up the regime since the first revolt against the president broke out in March 2011. Along with Russia, the regime's principal arms supplier, it has consistently bolstered Assad in the teeth of attempts to force him to step down.

Western analysts say Iran is engaged in a region-wide power struggle or proxy war, extending beyond Syria, with the Sunni Arab states of the Gulf, principally Saudi Arabia.

Tehran thus has an obvious interest in claiming victory for the Alawite Syrian regime, which is fighting mostly Sunni rebels, they say. Iranian officials and regional experts deny that is their motive.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, deputy Iranian foreign minister, said the priority was to accept the rebellion had failed and to restore stability in Syria before next month's presidential elections. "Extremism and turmoil in Syria must be tackled seriously by the international community. Those countries that are supplying extremist forces must stop helping them," he said."Iran has good relations with the Syrian government, though that does not mean they listen to us," Ravanchi said. He denied Iran had supplied weapons and Revolutionary Guards combatants to help defeat the rebels, as western intelligence agencies have claimed. "Iran has a diplomatic presence there. There is no unusual presence. We have no need to arm the Syrian government," he said.

Despite its influence with Damascus and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia militia fighting alongside government forces, Iran has been largely excluded from international talks to forge a peace settlement owing to US and British objections that Tehran does not accept the need for Assad to quit .

But following last week's rebel retreat from the strategic city of Homs, the so-called capital of the revolution, some western politicians and commentators have also reached the conclusion that Assad has won.

The US and its Gulf Arab allies have supplied funding, equipment and arms to the Syrian rebels. Last year, the US president, Barack Obama, appeared on the point of launching air and missile attacks over the Assad government's use of chemical weapons, but Obama's last-minute decision to pull back was interpreted in Tehran and Damascus as a sign the US was having second thoughts and was not wholly committed to winning the war.

"I think the Americans made a big mistake in Syria and I think they know it, though they would never say so," said Mohammad Marandi, a Tehran university professor. "If they had accepted the Annan plan in 2012 [which would have left Assad in place pending a ceasefire and internationally monitored elections] we could have avoided all this."

"Iran sincerely believed it had no other option but to support the Assad government. Anything else would have resulted in the collapse of Syria and it falling into the hands of extremists," he said.

More than 150,000 people are believed to have died in the Syrian conflict and at least 9 million have been displaced.

***

PRESSTV

Saudi Arabia ready for negotiations with Iran: Al-Faisal

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

Tue May 13, 2014 4:26PM GMT

Saudi Arabia is ready to engage in negotiations with Iran on the improvement of bilateral relations, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal says.

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh on Tuesday, Faisal added that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had been invited to visit Riyadh.

"Iran is a neighbor, we have relations with them and we will negotiate with them," the Saudi minister said.

"We will talk with them in the hope that if there are any differences, they will be settled to the satisfaction of both countries," he added.

The Saudi minister noted that his Iranian counterpart had not responded to the invitation yet.

"Any time that he sees fit to come, we are willing to receive him," Faisal said.

In a meeting with the new Saudi Ambassador to Tehran Abdulrahman bin Gharman Al-Shihri on March 3, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani underlined the country’s determination to ameliorate ties with neighboring Muslim countries and said cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh would be vital for regional security.

“Interaction and cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia can undoubtedly be effective for the stability and security of the entire [Middle East] region,” the Iranian president said.

Also, addressing reporters in a panel at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in February, Iran’s foreign minister underscored the need for the enhancement of cooperation between Iran and Saudi Arabia with the aim of restoring security to the Middle East.

The Iranian minister added that Tehran and Riyadh both share a common goal which is the establishment of regional security.

Iran and Saudi Arabia remain split over several regional issues such as the situation in Syria and Bahrain.

Tehran has always been critical of Riyadh’s support for the heavy-handed crackdown of the Bahraini regime on peaceful protesters.

Riyadh also supports foreign-backed militants fighting the Syrian government, while Iran stresses the importance of resolving the crisis in Syria through political approaches.

Moreover, Saudi officials have on several occasions expressed their opposition to an interim deal reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany last November on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

SF/NN/SL

***

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan jeered, heckled, his car attacked as he visits scene of mine collapse


ENENEWS

Japan mother may be jailed for “tweet critical of nuclear lobbyist”

ENENEWS

CNN: “Problem from hell at Fukushima” — Tons of ‘highly radioactive’ liquid pouring out of Reactor 2 each day — Mysterious explosive bang “deep inside” — 3 areas at bottom may be ruptured — Caroline Kennedy at Plant: US will help with the leaks; 21 y/o son 3-hr Tepco tour

VICE, Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky, May 11, 2014: Mari Takenouchi [...] wrote a tweet critical of a nuclear lobbyist. Takenouchi may go to jail [...] Prosecutors confirmed they will be flying to Okinawa [...] to question her on May 13. Police have already traveled from Fukushima to Okinawa to interrogate her [...] [She] fled her hometown of Tokyo with her infant son days after the disaster, hoping to avoid fallout from Fukushima. [...] Takenouchi said police came to her apartment in Okinawa and examined her computer [...] The prosecutor’s office will decide by July whether to indict [...] she may be held without bail [...] without a right to see a lawyer or have one present during questioning.Lieutenant Tadashi Terashima, Fukushima police spokesman: “We only send police officers from one prefecture to another if the subject is really a potentially dangerous criminal.”

***

Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

(Revelation 22:20)


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