Whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”
(Luke 10:35)

I Will Repay Thee

Dear Friends,

Greetings! We thought we would start off this week with a talk by Doctor Timothy Keller, called

The Upside Down Kingdom

We hope you find this interesting and thought provoking.

It is followed by the conclusion of Tom Horn's paper to the American Academy of Religion concerning "Transhumanism and Religion".

God bless and keep you in the week ahead.

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conclusion

Thomas R. Horn's Paper To

The American Academy of Religion

"Transhumanism and Religion" Consultation

(continued)

2: Transhumanism as Fulfillment of Revelation 13:16 - 17--the Mark of the Beast

There are those who believe the biblical mark of the Beast will evolve as an abstract of transhumanist aspirations and could be a conspiracy employing biotechnology in the form of a manufactured virus or bioweapon.

For example, as a mental exercise, we imagine that an occult elite operating behind the U.S. government devises a virus that is a crossover between human and animal disease--let's say an entirely new and highly contagious influenza mutation--and intentionally releases it into the public. A pandemic ensues, and the period between when a person contracts the virus and death is something like ten days. With tens of thousands dead in a few weeks and the rate of death increasing hourly around the globe, a universal cry for a cure goes out. Seemingly miraculously, the government then steps forward with a vaccine. The only catch, they explain, is that, given the nature of the animal-human strain, the "cure" rewrites one's genetics, so that the person is no longer entirely human. The point is that those who receive this antidote would become part "beast," and thus the title, "mark of the Beast."

No longer "entirely human" would also mean--according to this outline--that the individual could no longer be "saved" or go to heaven, explaining why the book of Revelation says "whosoever receiveth the mark" is damned forever while also explaining why the nephilim similarly could not be redeemed. If one imagines the global chaos of such a pandemic, the concept of how the Antichrist "causes all," both small and great, to receive this mark becomes clearer. When looking into the eyes of dying children, parents, or a spouse, it would be incredibly difficult to allow oneself to die or to encourage others to do the same. Lastly, this scenario would mean that nobody is allowed to "buy or sell" in the marketplace without the mark-cure, due to the need to quarantine all but the inoculated, thus fulfilling all aspects of the mark of the Beast prophecy.

To find out if the science behind this abstract is reasonable as an eschatological possibility, I contacted Sharon Gilbert whose background includes theology and molecular biology. Her response was of a day when true humans may unknowingly receive transhuman instructions via an implant or injection. A seemingly innocuous vaccine or identification "chip" can initiate intracellular changes, not only in somatic or "body" cells, but also in germline cells such as ova and sperm. The former alters the recipient only; the latter alters the recipient's doomed descendents as well.

In her second novel, The Armageddon Strain Sharon presented a device called the "BioStrain Chip" that employs nanotechnology to induce genetic changes inside the carrier's body. This miracle chip is advertised as a cure for the H5N1/ebola chimera that is released in the prologue to the book. On reading the novel, one learns how the BioStrain chip does far more than "cure"--it also kills.


Though a work of fiction, The Armageddon Strain raises a chilling question: What limitations lie within the payload of a biochip? Can such a tiny device do more than carry digitized information? Could it actually serve as the mark of the Beast?

The answer is yes.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) has become the darling of researchers who specialize in synthetic constructs. The "sticky-end" design of the DNA double-helix makes it ideal for use in computing. Though an infinite number of polyhedra are possible, the most robust and stable of these "building blocks" is called the double crossover (DX). An intriguing name, is it not? The double-cross.

Picture an injectible chip comprised of DNA-DX, containing instructions for a super-soldier. Picture, too, how this DNA framework, if transcribed, might also serve a second, sinister, purpose--not only to instruct, but also to alter.

Mankind has come perilously far in his search for perfection through chemistry. Although millennia passed with little progress beyond roots, herbs, and alchemical quests for gold from lead, the twentieth century ushered science into the rosy dawn of breathless discovery. Electricity, lighter-than-air travel, wireless communication, and computing transformed the ponderous pace of the scientific method into a light speed race toward self-destruction.

By the mid-1950s, Watson and Crick had solved the structure of the DNA molecule and the double helix became all the rage. Early gene splicing, and thus transgenics, began in 1952 as a crude, cut-and-paste sort of science cooked up in kitchen blenders and petri dishes--as much accident as inspiration. As knowledge has increased (Daniel 12:4), genetic scientists learned to utilize microbiological "vectors" and sophisticated methods to insert animal or plant genes from one specie into another. It's the ultimate "Mr. Potato Head" game, where interchangeable plastic pieces give rise to an infinite number of combinations; only, in genetic splicing, humanity is the unhappy potato.

Vectors provide the means of transport and integration for this brave new science. Think of these vectors as biological trucks that carry genetic building materials and workers into your body's cells. Such "trucks" could be a microsyringe, a bacterium, or a virion (a virus particle). Any entity that can carry genetic information (the larger the load capacity, the better) and then surreptitiously gain entry into the cell is a potential vector. Viruses, for example, can be stripped of certain innate genes that might harm the cell. Not only does this (supposedly) render the viral delivery truck "harmless," it also clears out space for the cargo.

Once inside the cell, the "workers" take over. Some of these "workers" are enzymes that cut human genes at specific sites, while others integrate--or load--the "cargo" into appropriate reading frames--like microscopic librarians. Once the payload is stored in the cell's nuclear "library stacks," the new genes can be translated, copied, and "read" to produce altered or brand-new, "alien" polymers and proteins.

The resulting hybrid cell is no longer purely human. If a hybridized skin cell, it may now glow, or perhaps form scales rather than hair, claws rather than fingernails. If a brain cell, the new genetic instructions could produce an altered neurotransmitter that reduces or even eliminates the body's need for sleep. Muscle cells may grow larger and more efficient at using low levels of calcium and oxygen. Retina cells may encode for receptors that enable the "posthuman being" to perceive infrared or ultraviolet light frequencies. The hybrid ears may now sense a wider range of sounds, taste buds a greater range of chemicals. Altered brains might even attune to metaphysics and "unseen" gateways, allowing communication with supernatural realms.

Germline alterations, mentioned earlier, form a terrifying picture of generational development and may very well already be a reality. Genetic "enhancement" of sperm-producing cells would change human sperm into tiny infiltrators, and any fertilized ovum a living chimera. Science routinely conducts experiments with transgenic mice, rats, chickens, pigs, cows, horses, and many other species. It is naïve to believe humans have been left out of this transgenic equation.

Humans constantly battle mutagenic assaults from external and internal pressures. Externally, our cells endure daily bombardment by pollution, waveform radiation, and chemicals that can alter the molecular structure of nucleotides (guanine, cytosine, thymine, adenine). Internally, our systems work overtime to filter genetically altered food, impure water, and pharmaceuticals. Our bodies are changing. To paraphrase Shakespeare, humanity "alters when it alteration finds" (Sonnet 116).

If so many scientists (funded by government entities) believe in the "promise" of genetic alteration and transgenic "enhancement," how then can humanity remain human? We cannot. We will not. Perhaps, some have not.

Spiritually, Sharon says, the enemy has ever sought to corrupt God's plan. Originally, fallen angels altered human DNA to corrupt the original base pair arrangements. Our genome is filled with "junk DNA" that seemingly encodes for nothing. These "introns" may be the remains of the corrupted genes, and God, Himself, may have switched them off when fallen angels continued their program, post-Flood. If so, today's scientists might need only to "switch them back on" to resurrect old forms such as gibborim and nephilim.

We should point out that not all "trucks" (vectors) deliver their payload immediately. Some operate on a time delay. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common infective agent resident in the cells of many humans today. It "sleeps" in our systems, waiting for a window of opportunity to strike. Recently, genetic specialists began utilizing CMV vectors in transgenic experiments. In 1997, the Fox television program Millennium featured an episode in the second season called "Sense and Antisense" (referring to the two sides of the DNA molecule). In this chilling story, a scientist named Lacuna reveals a genetic truth to Frank Black: "They have the map, the map, they can make us go down any street they want to. Streets that we would never even dream of going down. They flip a switch, we go east. They flip another switch, we go north. And we never know we have been flipped, let alone know how."[i]

In the final days of this current age, some believe humanity may indeed "flip." Paul tells us that Christians will be transformed in a moment (1 Corinthians 15:51 - 53). Is it possible that the enemy also plans an instantaneous "flip"? Are genetic sleeper agents (idling "trucks") already at work in humanity's DNA, waiting and ready to deploy at the appropriate moment?

"Science is ready," Sharon finished. "Knowledge has been increased. The spiritual players have taken the stage.

"All we need is the signal. The sign. The injection. The mark. The moment.

"We shall ALL be changed. Some to incorruptible bodies ready to meet the Lord. Others to corrupted genomes ready to serve the Beast."

3: Transhumanism as Fulfillment of 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 4:3--End-times Doctrines of Demons

Perhaps related to the rise of Antichrist and his human-transforming "mark of the Beast" technology is an intriguing aspect of transhumanism that is only now developing into what could be an end-times universalist religion (recently referred to on such sites as Ray Kurzweil's blog as Cosmism, an emerging "religion 2.0" that is part of a "radical futurist conception of the future development of humanity"). Is it a coincidence that this comes during the same time in which the Claremont School of Theology analyzing the future of American religion concluded at its Theology After Google Conference that "technology must be embraced" for Christianity to survive?

Although most transhumanists, especially early on, were secular atheists and would have had little resemblance to prototypical "people of faith," in the last few years, the exclusion of supernaturalism in favor of rational empiricism has softened as the movement's exponential popularity has swelled to include a growing number of Gnostic Christians, Buddhists, Mormons, Islam, Raelianism, and other religious traditions among its devotees. From among these groups, new tentative "churches" arose--the Church of Virus, the Society for Universal Immortalism, Transtopianism, the Church of Mez, the Society for Venturism, the Church of the Fulfillment, Singularitarianism, and others. Today, with somewhere between 25 - 30 percent of transhumanists considering themselves religious, these separate sects or early "denominations" within transhumanism are coalescing their various religious worldviews around generally fixed creeds involving spiritual transcendence as a result of human enhancement or technocracy. Leaders within the movement, whom we refer to here as transevangelists, have been providing religion-specific lectures during conferences to guide these disciples toward a collective (hive) understanding of the mystical compatibility between faith and transhumanism. At Trinity College in Toronto, Canada, for instance, transhumanist Peter Addy lectured on the fantastic "Mutant Religious Impulses of the Future" during the Faith, Transhumanism, and Hope symposium. At the same meeting, Prof. Mark Walker spoke on "Becoming Godlike," James Hughes offered "Buddhism and Transhumanism: The Technologies of Self-Perfection," Michael LaTorra gave a "Trans-Spirit" speech, nanotechnologist and lay Catholic Tihamer Toth-Fejel presented "Is Catholic Transhumanism Possible?" and Nick Bostrom spoke on "Transhumanism and Religion."[ii]

Not long ago, the New York Times picked up this meme (contagious idea) in its June 11, 2010, feature titled "Merely Human? That's So Yesterday," speaking of transhumanism and the Singularity as offering "a modern-day, quasi-religious answer to the Fountain of Youth by affirming the notion that, yes indeed, humans--or at least something derived from them--can have it all."[iii]  In commenting on the New York Times article at his blog, bioethicist, Wesley J. Smith, observed the following:

Here's an interesting irony: Most transhumanists are materialists. But they desire eternal life as much as the religionists that so many materialists disdain. So they invent a material substitute that offers the benefits of faith, without the burden of sin, as they forge a new eschatology that allows them to maintain their über-rationalist credentials as they try to escape the nihilistic despair that raw materialism often engenders. So they tout a corporeal New Jerusalem and prophesy the coming of the Singularity--roughly equivalent of the Second Coming for Christians--that will begin a New Age of peace, harmony, and eternal life right here on Terra firma.[iv]

In the peer-reviewed Journal of Evolution and Technology published by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (founded in 2004 by transhumansists Nick Bostrom and James Hughes), the "Apologia for Transhumanist Religion" by Prof. Gregory Jordan lists the many ways transhumanism is emerging as either a new form of religion or a mirror of fundamental human ambitions, desires, longings, shared hopes, and dreams that traditional religions hold in common. In spite of denial by some of its advocates, Jordan concludes that transhumanism may be considered a rising religion because of its numerous parallels to religious themes and values involving godlike beings, the plan for eternal life, the religious sense of awe surrounding its promises, symbolic rituals among its members, an inspirational worldview based on faith, and technology that promises to heal the wounded, restore sight to the blind, and give hearing back to the deaf.

Of the technological Singularity in particular, Jordan writes how some transhumanists especially view the Singularity as a religious event, "a time when human consciousness will expand beyond itself and throughout the universe." Quoting Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology," Jordan provides:

The matter and energy in our vicinity will become infused with the intelligence, knowledge, creativity, beauty, and emotional intelligence (the ability to love, for example) of our human-machine civilization. Our civilization will expand outward, turning all the dumb matter [normal humans] and energy we encounter into sublimely intelligent--transcendent--matter and energy. So in a sense, we can say that the Singularity will ultimately infuse the world with spirit.

According to these Singularitarians, this expansion of consciousness after the Singularity will also be an approach to the divine:

"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. So evolution moves inexorably toward this conception of God. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking."[v]

Yet while development of a loosely-knit universalist religion appears to be forming among members of transhumanism's enlightenment, conservative scholars will taste the ancient origin of its heresy as the incarnation of Gnosticism and its disdain for the human body as basically an evil design that is far inferior to what we can make it. "Despite all their rhetoric about enhancing the performance of bodily functions," says Brent Waters, director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values, "the posthuman project is nevertheless driven by a hatred and loathing of the body."[vi] Transhumanist Prof. Kevin Warwick once put it this way: "I was born human. But this was an accident of fate--a condition merely of time and place."[vii]

Conversely, in Judeo-Christian faith, the human body is not an ill-designed "meat sack," as transhumans so often deride. We were made in God's image to be temples of His Holy Spirit. The incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection are the centerpieces of the Gospel and attest to this magnificent fact. While in our fallen condition human suffering is reality, most traditional Christians believe this struggle makes us stronger and that healing and improvements to the human condition are also to be desired. Throughout history, the Church has therefore been at the forefront of disease-treatment discovery, institutions for health care, hospitals, and other medical schools and research centers. In other words, most conservative Christians do not champion techno-dystopianism. Indeed, what a day it will be when cancer is cured and we all shout "Hallelujah!"

But in the soulless posthuman, where DNA is recombined in mockery of the Creator and no man is made in God's image, "there are no essential differences, or absolute demarcations, between bodily existence and computer simulation, cybernetic mechanism and biological organism, robot technology and human goals,"[viii] says Katherine Hayles, professor of English at the University of California, in her book, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. "Humans can either go gently into that good night, joining the dinosaurs as a species that once ruled the earth but is now obsolete, or hang on for a while longer by becoming machines themselves. In either case...the age of the human is drawing to a close."[ix]

Thus, those who were created "in His image" will either adapt and be assimilated to posthuman, or be replaced by Nephilim 2.0 and the revival of their ancient mystery religion. In either case, this solidifies for some how, the more one probes into the ramifications of merging unnatural creations and nonbiological inventions according to the transhumanist scheme of seamlessly recalibrating humanity, a deeper malaise emerges, one that suggests those startling "parallels" between modern technology and ancient Watchers activity may be no coincidence at all--that, in fact, a dark and prophetic conspiracy is truly unfolding as it did "in the days of Noah."

CONCLUSION [OF THIS PAPER]

Not long ago, it was brought to my attention that my name had been raised again by transhumanist advocate Prof. James Hughes (IEET) during his lecture and Q&A sessions at the 2010 Transhumanism and Spirituality Conference in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah. The commentary was not pleasant, as reported by Carl Teichrib in the feature article, "The Rise of Techno-Gods: The Merging of Transhumanism and Spirituality."[x] Mr. Teichrib, who attended the event, wrote:

Tom Horn, a Christian researcher who writes and lectures on the dangers of Transhumanism, was mocked as a "Christian whack-job." These remarks by Mr. Hughes acted as feedstock for the closing Q&A panel. It started with a question from an online viewer: "Should we seek dialogue with paranoid Christian fundamentalists who rant against H+, or should we seek more than dialogue, maybe even mock them?"

Hughes responded that he has interviewed Tom Horn, and that Horn has interviewed himself: "I think it's good to hold our enemies as close as we possibly can." Then Hughes dropped a bombshell:

"Because apocalyptic and millennial energies very frequently inspire violence...so if reaching out across the aisle to someone who thinks I'm a spawn of Satan, and establishing a relationship so that he doesn't come after me with gun is something I have to do, I'm willing to do it. Right? And it's the ones who haven't reached out yet that I'm worried about."

Max More [another well-known transhumanist] cut in: "I'm not the spawn of Satan, I'm the spawn of Lucifer." This comment evoked some laughter, but More was serious--albeit with a smile on his face. 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 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!"

As probably the most publically-recognized figure among conservative Christian eschatologists who speak on the subject of transhumanism and end times prophecy, I have grown accustomed to such responses. James Hughes and Max More are two in a long line of leading transhumanist academics that have taken issue with my thesis concerning aspects of transhumanism potentially reflecting ancient apocalyptic prophecy. Patrick Lin, co-author of the National Science Foundation report "Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions and Answers" (here), and Michael Anissimov, Media Director for the Singularity Institute and Co-Organizer of the Singularity Summit (which they have since edited down to delete comments from their members / bloggers calling for my death here) are among others that have done likewise. Obviously opinions run strong on both sides of this ideological contest. To keep from fulfilling Professor Hugo de Garis' nightmarish "Artilect War," objective consideration of end-times prophetic beliefs held by so many Christians should be considered by people of opposing views. To fail in this respect will only lead to deeper suspicions and provocations. This is not desirable by people of good will on either side and is one of the reasons I have taken opportunity to provide summary information from a conservative eschatologist's worldview and am thankful to the American Academy of Religion for the opportunity to submit this paper and proposal that such beliefs be included in future summary information or publications on the subject of Transhumanism and Religion.

Respectably submitted,

Thomas R. Horn, D.D. (honorary)

[i] Eric Bland, "Part-Human, Part-Machine Transistor Devised," Discovery News, June 2, 2010, http://news.discovery.com/tech/transistor-cell-membrane-machine.html.

[ii] To view the program schedule of this convention event, see: http://www.transhumanism.org/tv/2004/program.shtml.

[iii] Ashlee Vance, "Merely Human? That's So Yesterday," New York Times, June 12, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/business/13sing.html.

[iv] Wesley J. Smith, "Pitching the New Transhumanism Religion in the NYT," First Things, June 14, 2010, http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2010/06/14/ - pitching-the-new-transhumanism-religion-in-the-nyt/.

[v] Gregory Jordan , "Apologia for Transhumanist Religion," Journal of Evolution and Technology, Published by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (2005), http://jetpress.org/volume15/jordan2.html.

[vi] Brent Waters, "The Future of the Human Species (Part 1)," http://cbhd.org/content/future-human-species.

[vii] Kevin Warick, "Cyborg 1.0," Wired Magazine, February 1, 2000, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.02/warwick.html.

[viii] N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1999), 3.

[ix] Ibid, 283.

[x] Carl Teichrib, "The Rise of Techno-Gods: The Merging of Transhumanism and Spirituality," Forcing Change Magazine, November 30, 2010, http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview- - times/article.php?articleid=6693.

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SHTFplan.com

Report: Soros Unloads All Investments in Major Financial Stocks; Invests Over $130 Million In Gold

Mac Slavo


Aug 17, 2012

In a harbinger of what may be coming our way in the Fall of 2012, billionaire financier George Soros has sold all of his equity positions in major financial stocks according to a 13-F report filed with the SEC for the quarter ending June 30, 2012.

Soros, who manages funds through various accounts in the US and the Cayman Islands, has reportedly unloaded over one million shares of stock in financial companies and banks that include Citigroup (420,000 shares), JP Morgan (701,400 shares) and Goldman Sachs (120,000 shares). The total value of the stock sales amounts to nearly $50 million.

What’s equally as interesting as his sale of major financials is where Soros has shifted his money. At the same time he was selling bank stocks, he was acquiring some 884,000 shares (approx. $130 million) of Gold via the SPDR Gold Trust.

When a major global player with direct ties to the White House, Wall Street, and the banking system starts off-loading stocks and starts stacking gold, it suggests a very serious market move is set to happen.

While often lambasted for his calls to centralize global banking, increase government intervention in the economy and his support of what he has called an “emergence of the new world order,” if there’s anyone with an inside track of where things are headed next it’s Soros.

Soros, who has written extensively of a coming global paradigm shift  in his book The Crash of 2008 and What It Means, calling the current economic and political model ”an end of an era,” has recently suggested that the financial and economic situation across the world is so serious that Europe could soon descend into chaos and conflict. He also notes that the world is entering “one of the most dangerous periods in modern history”, and foresees violent riots in America and a brutal clamp-down by the government that will dramatically curtail civil liberties.

This is an individual who not only predicted the collapse of 2008 and took action to insulate himself, he also proposed the various fixes that governments in Europe and the US would eventually implement in order to stave off a deflationary depression. In his aforementioned book he suggested that central banks infuse the system with massive amounts of monetary expansion, but also warned that not injecting enough money would simply extend the onset of deflation and printing too much could lead to hyperinflationary currency collapse.

Based on recent activity in Soros’ US held accounts, it seems that governments and central banks have failed at those efforts to stabilize the system. As such, Soros is getting out of those companies which are most at risk should the financial system buckle like it did in 2008 and he’s shifting his assets into what may be the only asset class left standing when it’s all said and done.

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REUTERS

Venezuela plans a million strong 'guerrilla army' against US invasion

Venezuela is training a "guerrilla army" aiming to be a million strong by 2013 to fight off a possible US invasion, an opposition MP has said.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets supporters during a rally in Maracay Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins

13 Aug 2012

"Plan Sucre" - apparently crafted with input from close ally and fellow US foe Cuba - covers the legal, logistical and other angles necessary to "transform a professional army into a guerrilla army," Representative Maria Corina Machado told El Universal newspaper.

The former presidential candidate said she had obtained a copy of the plan, printed by an institution affiliated with the national army.

"The strategic objective is to build a new Bolivarian military doctrine" that would prepare Venezuela to be successful in a prolonged popular war against "the empire," or the United States, Machado said, citing the document.

"This is clearly a proposal with Cuban inspiration and advice."

She said the military plan also provides for strengthening the guerrilla force at the expense of the regular army.

The plan calls for "strengthening the territorial militias, in order to ensure the necessary strength for the overall defence of the nation, targeting recruitment levels of one million by 2013 and two million by 2019," Machado said, citing the document.

Venezuela's militia corps, described by firebrand leftist President Hugo Chavez as "an army of the public," was created in 2005 to protect the country against possible "imperialist" aggression. They are considered a part of the military but report directly to the president.

Chavez, 58, is a vocal critic of Washington. The United States and Venezuela have had troubled relations for years, and have not had ambassadors in each other's country since 2010.

The Venezuelan president, who took power in 1999, is seeking re-election in October after declaring himself free of the cancer he has battled for a year.

He has often denounced "American imperialism" and accused the United States of seeking to destabilise his government.

Machado was one of several candidates aiming to challenge Chavez in the forthcoming October vote, but she was defeated in February's primary by former Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles.

Most polls give Chavez leads of up to 35 per cent to win the election.

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Paul Craig Roberts

Ecuador President Rafael “We Are Not A Colony” Correa Stands Up To The Jackbooted British Gestapo

A coward dies many deaths; a brave man dies but once.

The once proud British government, now reduced to Washington’s servile whore, put on its Gestapo Jackboots and declared that if the Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, British storm troopers would invade the embassy with military force and drag Assange out. Ecuador stood its ground. “We want to be very clear, we are not a British colony,” declared Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Far from being intimidated the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, replied to the threat by granting Assange political asylum. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/americas/ecuador-to-let-assange-stay-in-its-embassy.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&emc=na

The once law-abiding British government had no shame in announcing that it would violate the Vienna Convention and assault the Ecuadorean Embassy, just as the Islamic students in the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Iran took over the US Embassy and held the diplomatic staff captive. Pushed by their Washington overlords, the Brits have resorted to the tactics of a pariah state. Maybe we should be worried about British nuclear weapons.

Let’s be clear, Assange is not a fugitive from justice. He has not been charged with any crime in any country. He has not raped any women. There are no indictments pending in any court, and as no charges have been brought against him, there is no validity to the Swedish extradition request. It is not normal for people to be extradited for questioning, especially when, as in Assange’s case, he expressed his complete cooperation with being questioned a second time by Swedish officials in London.

What is this all about? First, according to news reports, Assange was picked up by two celebrity-hunting Swedish women who took him home to their beds. Later for reasons unknown, one complained that he had not used a condom, and the other complained that she had offered one helping, but he had taken two. A Swedish prosecutor looked into the case, found that there was nothing to it, and dismissed the case.

Assange left for England. Then another Swedish prosecutor, a woman, claiming what authority I do not know, reopened the case and issued an extradition order for Assange. This is such an unusual procedure that it worked its way through the entire British court system to the Supreme Court and then back to the Supreme Court on appeal. In the end British “justice” did what the Washington overlord ordered and came down on the side of the strange extradition request.

Assange, realizing that the Swedish government was going to turn him over to Washington to be held in indefinite detention, tortured, and framed as a spy, sought protection from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. As corrupt as the British are, the UK government was unwilling to release Assange directly to Washington. By turning him over to Sweden, the British could feel that their hands were clean.

Sweden, formerly an honorable country like Canada once was where American war resisters could seek asylum, has been suborned and brought under Washington’s thumb. Recently, Swedish diplomats were expelled from Belarus where they seem to have been involved in helping Washington orchestrate a “color revolution” as Washington keeps attempting to extend its bases and puppet states deeper into traditional Russia.

The entire world, including Washington’s servile puppet states, understands that once Assange is in Swedish hands, Washington will deliver an extradition order, with which Sweden, unlike the British, would comply. Regardless, Ecuador understands this. The Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that Ecuador granted Assange asylum because “there are indications to presume that there could be political persecution.” In the US, Patino acknowledged, Assange would not get a fair trial and could face the death penalty in a trumped up case.

The US Puppet State of Great (sic) Britain announced that Assange would not be permitted to leave Britain. So much for the British government’s defense of law and human rights. If the British do not invade the Ecuadorean Embassy and drag Assange out dead or in chains, the British position is that Assange will live out his life inside the London Embassy of Ecuador. According to the New York Times, Assange’s asylum leaves him “with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory (which includes the embassy). To leave the embassy for Ecuador, he would need cooperation that Britain has said it will not offer.” When it comes to Washington’s money or behaving honorably in accordance with international law, the British government comes down on the side of money.

The Anglo-American world, which pretends to be the moral face of humanity has now revealed for all to see that under the mask is the face of the Gestapo.

About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.


Information Clearing House

America’s Vassal Acts Decisively and Illegally: Former UK Ambassador

By Craig Murray

August 16, 2012

I returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided – after immense pressure from the Obama administration – to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange.

This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

The government’s calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the “might is right” principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law.

The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it – which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide.

I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.

There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question – there appears to be no “liberal” impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

***

zengardner.com

The Lighter Side of Doom

The Power of Humor

I found this regarding the hidden power of humor from a psychological viewpoint:

"Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, "A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes." Despite the buffoonish imagery that comes to mind when one considers the joker, the clown or the pie-in-the-face comedian, humor is more than mere silliness. It is an advanced intellectual means of developing new perspectives and coping with extreme circumstances.

A maltreated animal has two potential responses to an abusive master: attack to stop the abuse, or cower/flee to avoid it. He cannot disarm the bully with a witty remark or ironically imitate his master behind his back for his own amusement. One of the first government actions in Nazi Germany was the establishment of a law against treacherous attacks on the state and party that made anti-Nazi humor an act of treason, and there was a reason for this. Research has shown that humor is the most effective means of preventing the indoctrination of brainwashing."

How's that?! It's a mind control deterrent! Laugh on, people...it's protecting you!

"Used as both a shield and a weapon, humor has the power to soothe the most wounded and threaten the most evil. These qualities speak to its inherent potential -- a potential that has not yet been entirely tapped or even recognized. Holocaust survivor Emil Fackenheim said, "We kept our morale through humor," and many other survivors of the Holocaust, POW camps, torture and abuse have shared his sentiment. The stories of these survivors and findings of modern medical research support the notion that humor is an extremely effective tool for managing our advanced awareness and for creating new perspectives to cope with otherwise unbearable environments or circumstances. [emphasis mine]

Evidence for the direct benefits of humor lie in studies of the body's chemical reaction to laughter. Among other things, laughter has been shown to reduce stress, boost the immune system and enhance brain chemistry through the release of serotonin and endorphins. Many popular antidepressants target the neurotransmitter serotonin by either blocking its reuptake or increasing production, but one can "self-medicate" using one's own serotonin supply by watching a funny movie, going to a comedy show or playing a fun game. For the rejected lover or laid off worker, this self-induced boost of serotonin activates a neurochemical reaction that enhances their ability to tolerate the stress response and think creatively of coping options. Humor is a very effective means of dealing with overwhelming emotion and taking control of a situation.

Hunter "Patch" Adams, the physician portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie bearing his name, continues to use laughter as a primary tool in his treatment of patients, to great success. He is just one example of many who have witnessed and reported first-hand accounts of how essential humor is to both physical and emotional health". Source

The Power of Knowing the Happy Ending...

Just making an obvious point here. And hopefully a good reminder for us all. We need to stay happy and on top of all this craziness. No, we can't minimize the dangers, but if we can't see beyond it all we're not seeing it right in the first place.

Humor is the perfect litmus test.

I have to admit, I'm that way. Super stiff and serious downers bum me out from the start, whatever facts or issues they bring to the table. One pass and I'm done. They can take their bummer elsewhere, no matter how true.

That type of approach is just not right. Your conscience tells you flat out. Of course, society is full of mechanisms to make you doubt your innate wisdom and understanding that would make you beware of such influences. That's what they try to do, so you'll be on a low-level vibration too. Don't fall for it.

Trust your heart.

Just watch out when humor and satire start getting outlawed. Already it's very close.

And no matter what, stay frikking happy! In spite of it all! If you've truly woken up, the realities of the eternal Truth and Love behind this illusion should be filling your soul daily. Reinforce that Truth if it wears thin.

Stay inspired. Sorry if too much heavy stuff gets dumped on you, but learn to deal with it while staying happy.

Humor is a great medicine. In fact, it's vital!

Much love,

Zen

***

Until next week...keep on believing.

Almondtree Productions

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."
(Proverbs 17:22)


Quote

When you claim the power of the keys, My light, love, energy, and force become a part of your very being.