Saturday, November 18, 2017
This project is major of course. It creates the equivalent of the Great valley agriculture. Even that will be a beginning. The irrigation will produce an increase in humidity in the Gobi basin and that will allow atmospheric irrigation as well.
The whole rain shadow of the Himalayas is prime agricultural and forest lands and much larger than China itself. thus this will be a great beginning.
Likely a lot more water can be diverted as well. They need to make India a co development partner in this as they also have the necessary manpower..
Wow. Read that last gag though. Sue and settle is a complete one stop tactic allowing the rule makers to step outside all the legislative protections. And of course it was naturally corrupt.
This will do more than all the laws to change the culture.
It surely needed to be done.
Lawrence Solomon: The corruption of environmental regulation goes down the swamp drain
This will do more than all the laws to change the culture.
It surely needed to be done.
Lawrence Solomon: The corruption of environmental regulation goes down the swamp drain
EPA board members have for years been pocketing jaw-dropping grants from the very agency they’ve been advising U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
November 3, 2017
11:29 AM EDT
Hardly a week goes by without Donald Trump finding new ways to drain the swamp. This week is no exception, with a cleanup announced for the Environmental Protection Agency that will especially target the global warming gravy train.
Here’s how the gravy train operated until now: The EPA has 22 advisory committees. Many of these committee’s board members — charged with providing independent, unbiased scientific advice for the EPA — have themselves been conducting the research they determined was needed. But they don’t do it as volunteers: Instead, these board members have for years been pocketing jaw-dropping grants from the very agency they’ve been advising. Of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s 26 members, for example, 24 were grantees, collectively receiving US$220 million in EPA grants. This conflict of interest has been especially egregious in the field of global warming, according to the new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, where members have the greatest financial incentives and sometimes obtained EPA grants “to the tune of literally tens of millions of dollars.”
The EPA’s past administrators were not being bilked, however — they were buying the research results they wanted. When President Obama assumed office eight years ago, he cleaned house at the EPA of those who might question the environmental orthodoxy. Staff and board positions were stocked with true believers or those who feigned true belief, to secure their positions. The sweetener of lucrative grants to compromised advisers helped assuage any guilt the members might have felt in skewing their research to provide the Obama administration with the “science-based evidence” it needed to justify its global warming agenda.
Hardly a week goes by without Donald Trump finding new ways to drain the swamp
The cronyism at the EPA may have deepened under Obama, but by no means did he begin it. “For decades, EPA’s assorted advisory boards have been packed with people who could be relied upon to rubber-stamp EPA’s regulatory actions,” states the National Center for Public Policy Research. That view was echoed by an EPA reformer in The Wall Street Journal in July: “In effect, EPA-funded researchers are empowered to review and approve their own work in order to rubber-stamp the EPA’s regulatory agenda. This is all done under the guise of ‘independence.’”
The Trump administration has ended this corrupt system through several reforms. First, it’s banning any self-dealing — in future, no sitting member of any EPA advisory board can be awarded a contract for EPA work. “You have to choose either grant or serve on the board. You can’t do both,” declared Pruitt, thus eliminating a financial incentive that researchers in future would have to pander to ideologues — of the left or the right — at his agency.
Next, the Trump administration will seek a diversity of scientific views — the 22 committees are now required to follow the express intent of the law and be “fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented.” In part, they will do this by drawing on experts from across the country in order to bring different experiences and perspectives into the mix. The old EPA had not only excluded scientists who challenged the global warming orthodoxy, it had also been excluding scientists from Middle America whose regional perspectives would have challenged the coastal-culture groupthink. And to make sure that fresh perspectives were always on offer, and that advisers don’t see themselves as having a sinecure from which they can wield ongoing bureaucratic power, the advisory committees will regularly rotate members to allow fresh faces with fresh ideas to surface.
These reforms come on the heels of others
These reforms come on the heels of others in October to end what has become known as a “sue and settle policy,” a mechanism used by the EPA in league with special interests to exclude the public and affected parties from the normal rulemaking process set by Congress. Under this mechanism, which the Obama administration used 137 times, the Sierra Club, for example, would sue the EPA over some claim relating to the global warming agenda that would require new rules difficult if not impossible to achieve through Congress. The EPA would then settle the case through closed-door negotiations by agreeing to impose regulations.
Through this mechanism the Obama administration pushed through sweeping changes, including its Clean Power Plan, which enabled the Paris Climate Agreement to occur, and the MACT rule, which forced utilities to adopt overly stringent pollution controls on coal- and oil-fired electric power plants at a cost approaching US$10 billion per year. For good measure, the EPA would pay fat fees to the environmental groups’ lawyers.
“Sue and settle” effectively gave special interests and the EPA the ability to make rules outside the EPA’s authority, sidestepping Congress and state governments and denying the public and industries affected by regulations the opportunity to make their case. That ended last month, with reforms requiring open hearings, publication of proceedings, public participation, timely notifications to states and affected parties, and an end to the attorney fees and litigation costs that made suing a profitable activity in its own right.
The swamp is deep and murky, the better to hide from public view the obscure methods through which sordid backroom deals were done. As it’s drained, more and more rot becomes exposed; as it’s drained, transparency and accountability comes to government.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com
This maps out what has to be the first truly global fraud. The science was bought and all other voices of sanity were silenced. They still pretend they are right.
The whole premise was actually scientifically silly from the get go. We live in the 10,000 year Holocene with a one degree variance. Any such theory needs a plus one degree shift for at least a century. Not possible.
So here we are with the invested still singing. Soon enough we will see a full counter movement build up steam. .
Peter Foster: How Trump saved freedom and democracy from the Climate Industrial Complex
Donald Trump as saviour not just of American democracy but global freedom? One can imagine tall foreheads exploding everywhere at such a thought. Although he doesn’t express it quite that strongly, this is one inevitable conclusion from Rupert Darwall’s tremendous new book, Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex. That’s because Trump, by abandoning the Paris climate agreement, and reversing his predecessor’s attempts to bypass Congress on environmental matters, has heaved a mighty wrench into the European-based thrust to impose global bureaucratic “governance” under the pretext of saving the world from climate catastrophe.
Beyond all the blather about Trump’s presidency representing the triumph of redneck ignorance and deplorable racism — and whatever Trump’s personal shortcomings — Darwall notes that one of the main reasons for his victory was that the American left had abandoned working people in pursuit of identity politics and radical environmentalism. “From being the voice of working people,” writes Darwall, “the Democratic Party has become the political arm of the Climate Industrial Complex,” an unholy alliance of bureaucrats, NGOs, green corporate rent-seekers and Silicon Valley “oligarchs.” With additional funding (as they like to say on PBS) from a raft of mega-billion-dollar foundations built on capitalist success but seemingly dedicated to destroying capitalism.
Darwall wrote Green Tyranny as a sequel to his similarly incisive 2013 book, The Age of Global Warming, specifically to expand on the critical roots of environmental ideology and power-seeking in Europe — in particular Sweden and Germany. He also records how the issues of acid rain and “nuclear winter” were in many ways political trial runs for the great assault on freedom in the name of saving the world from climate change. In each case, a critical factor was the corruption of science by politicized scientists.
The contributions of Sweden and Germany are complex but fascinating
The contributions of Sweden and Germany are complex but fascinating, since they originated in seemingly incompatible thrusts. “The politics of global warming originated in Sweden as a tool to promote nuclear power. Using wind and solar power to combat global warming originated in Germany, where the Greens had become a political force, thanks to popular opposition to nuclear power.”
Soon, however, all the Eurolefties wound up on the same page. Their key strategy was, to paraphrase Leonard Cohen, first we take Berlin — and Bonn, and Stockholm, and Paris and London — then we’ll take Manhattan, and Sacramento, and Washington.
The U.S. was the overwhelming problem for the global governors because of its picky constitutional concerns about the separation of powers (significantly to counter potential tyranny) and the First Amendment (which is under attack in more areas than climate).
Canada does not play a major role in the book
Canada doesn’t play a major role in the book, but one can certainly see all the elements of the Climate Industrial Complex at work here, from U.S. foundation-funded NGO campaigns against the oil sands, pipelines and the NEB to the fact that three senior members of the federal cabinet, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have executive assistants who formerly headed environmental NGOs. All part of what Darwall calls “a dense network of people defined by the same outlook, committed to the same goal, and, crucially, agreeing on the means of achieving it that operates as a monopoly provider of advice and expertise to governments.”
Non-believers simply don’t get invited to “join the conversation.”
One can also see that Ontario’s ever-mounting wind and solar disaster is merely a mirror of the very mother — or should we say “mutti” — of policy perversity: Germany’s Energiewende. “Germany was going to export wind turbines and solar PV panels around the globe,” notes Darwall. “Instead the 2000… renewable energy law spawned 100,000 profiteers and a gigantic solar industry in China.” Similarly, Ontario policy was great for South Korea.
Darwall details how California leads the U.S. in terms of destructive Europeanization with its “German energy policies, French labor regulation, Italian public debts, and a Scandinavian cost of living premium.” Makes one wonder why Ontario and Quebec have yoked themselves to the fast-deindustrializing state’s cap-and-trade system.
The conundrum is how the climate crusade continues despite the failure of climate models
The ever-growing conundrum is how the climate crusade continues despite the failure of climate models and the cratering of climate policies. Surely the most telling and ironic statistic is that over the period 1999–2012, German power-station emissions increased by 17.2-million metric tons, while their American counterparts cut their emissions by 10 times that amount. The main factor was fracking technology, which has absolutely nothing to do with green energy policy.
Darwall castigates German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, as a scientist, must be well aware of the inevitable unreliability of wind and solar. Yet she has increasingly made policy via opinion poll, thus denting German competitiveness.
Sweden is important for more than punching far above its weight in promoting lousy policies based on dodgy science. It is, suggests Darwall, an extreme example of social democracy. The “social” swamps the “democracy” and dissent is asphyxiated, a phenomenon known as the “spiral of silence.”
But then, in 2015, the U.S. electorate spoke up, refusing to kowtow to the social democratic Bourbons and their plans to deindustrialize America. That is one big reason why Donald Trump — the anti-tyrant! the voice of economic sanity! (at least in this case) — sits in the White House, and why Canadian climate policy looks even more ridiculous.
An interesting modality worth applying for self work. Actual worth is hard to determine in an age when quality diet is the exception.
The source of this knowledge is empirical from an age in which uniformity of diet was the norm. Diet was rarely a variable.
In our age that is the source of variability.
Learn How Your Face Can Reveal What Part of Your Body Is Sick, and What to Do About It
by Core Spirit
Ancient Chinese healers didn’t rely on sophisticated machines in order to detect diseases – in fact, they learned how to read the face and recognize the signs of any disease and condition. For example, they believed that any kind of skin problem (redness, dry skin, acne) is directly caused by some kind of problem in your organs, as all organs in the body are interconnected. Although it has been lost at some point throughout history, face mapping was an important “tool” for detection of numerous health problems in ancient times.
Face mapping is a technique which relies on the position of acne on the face to detect health problems in the body. It’s a safe and non-invasive method that can identify diseases and help you treat them accordingly. The technique works on the premise that all organs are interconnected in the body, and that a thorough look at the face can help the doctor diagnose anything.
Diet and lifestyle face mapping
The face can show any kind of problem you might be facing. Here’s what the location of acne signifies:
Acne on the cheeks
- Touching your face frequently
Acne on the T-zone
- Alcohol abuse
- Too much coffee
- Poor circulation
Acne on the chin, jaw or neckline
- Excessive consumption of starch
- Candida infection
- Hormonal problems
- Excessive consumption of processed sugar
Face mapping by organ
Although this list is helpful for determining the broad causes for acne, their exact location is the better way of detecting a disease. Locate the specific organ related to a specific zone on your face and you will easily discover what you’re suffering from.
Liver – the area between the eyebrows
If you consume a lot of meat, the stomach will work overtime to digest it. This will leave the organ without rest and overworked, which will result in skin problems such as acne. In order to resolve the problem, start eating a healthy diet focused on raw fruit and vegetables, and make sure to spend more time outside in the fresh air as well.
Bladder and small intestine – forehead
If you have acne on your forehead, you’re probably consuming far too much processed and fatty food as well as foods low in fiber. Alcohol abuse and stress can also be the reason which leads to poor digestion, toxic buildup and dehydration. To resolve the problem, you need to drink 10-12 glasses of water every day and stay away from alcohol and processed food.
Kidneys – eye area and eyebrows
Acne in this part of the face are probably caused by malnutrition and dehydration. Alcohol abuse, smoking, poor circulation and weakened heart can also be the cause. The solution is to avoid caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water every day.
Kidneys and lungs – cheeks
Poor dental hygiene is the most frequent reason for acne on the cheeks. In order to treat the problem, floss and brush your teeth regularly, and avoid foods and drinks rich in sugar.
Lungs – upper part of the cheeks
Acne in the upper part of the cheeks is a sign of increased air pollution. Avoid going outside when the air is polluted and stop smoking as soon as possible to improve your condition.
Heart – nose
The nose is directly related to the heart – if you have acne on it, avoid consuming too much salt, eat a healthier diet and start exercising more often.
Stomach – mouth and chin
Acne on the mouth and chin are usually caused by alcohol abuse and consumption of fatty and sugary foods. Avoid consuming these foods and add some fermented foods in your diet to treat the problem.
Hormones – neck and jaw
Acne on these areas are usually caused by hormonal imbalance. In order to regulate your hormones, control your salt and caffeine intake and eat a healthy diet.
Friday, November 17, 2017
Do we really have to have a 70% collapse in food production brought about by excessive use of insecticides before the whole industry comes to its senses? We are certainly trying hard enough.
Perhaps it is time to charge back all costs until we prove it is true.
We do know better. Reporters dancing around the obvious is becoming tiresome. .
“Decimated”: Germany’s birds disappear as insect abundance plummets 76 percent
By Morgan Erickson-Davis
27 October 2017
(Mongabay) – A new study in PLOS ONE reveals a 76 percent reduction in Germany’s flying insect biomass over the past 27 years while another reports the country’s bird abundance has declined 15 percent in just over a decade.
While the causes behind the insect decline haven’t yet been conclusively studied, the PLOS ONE study suggests agricultural intensification like increased pesticide use may be contributing to the decline.
Neonicotinoid pesticides have been blamed for bee declines, and studies also link them to declines in aquatic insect communities. Many flying insects have aquatic life stages.
More research is underway to better understand the causes and ramifications of such a big decline in flying insect biomass.
Germany’s flying insect biomass has dropped 76 percent in the past 27 years, according to a study published last week in PLOS ONE. The findings have stunned biologists around the world and are prompting concern about potentially disastrous ecological consequences as another study finds the country lost 15 percent of its birds in just over a decade. […]
The drop-off in Germany’s insect abundance isn’t just concerning to entomologists. Flying insects are important for other wildlife and ecological processes: they are a critical food source for many bird species, and countless plants depend on them for pollination. These effects also translate to benefits for humanity, with the total economic value of pollination estimated to be around $177 billion in 2009. As bees decline, farmers report it’s getting harder for them to grow crops that depend on bees for pollination.
Scientists think bird populations may already be declining in response to reductions in insects. A recent study of government data by German environmental organization Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) estimates that more than 25 million birds disappeared from Germany over the past 12 years. That’s about 15 percent of the country’s total bird population.
The authors of the NABU study say that a direct relationship between Germany’s insect and bird declines is very likely. The study also found the bird drop-off correlated to shifts in agricultural land use from pasture and fallow land to more intensively managed corn and rapeseed crops.
Bird disappearances aren’t limited to Germany. On the other side of the Atlantic in North America, barn swallows have declined around 95 percent in the past 40 years. Other swallow species also seem to be dropping off. Since swallows are heavily dependent on flying insects (they catch their food on the wing), scientists think insect decline may be to blame here, too. [more]
Shortly after former FBI Director Robert Mueller was announced as the special counsel for the Russia investigation, the screeching hordes of America’s “always wrong about everything” punditry class cheered in near unison, lauding the man as some sort of second coming. This sort of thing should always be seen as a red flag, and thanks to an excellent article written by retired FBI special agent Coleen Rowley, everyone can now know exactly why.
But first, who is Coleen Rowley?
Coleen Rowley, a retired FBI special agent and division legal counsel whose May 2002 memo to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. Her 2003 letter to Robert Mueller in opposition to launching the Iraq War is archived in full text on the NYT and her 2013 op-ed entitled “Questions for the FBI Nominee” was published on the day of James Comey’s confirmation hearing.
It’s important to be aware of that background as you read the following excerpts from the excellent post published at CounterPunch titled, Comey and Mueller: Russiagate’s Mythical Heroes:
Mainstream commentators display amnesia when they describe former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey as stellar and credible law enforcement figures. Perhaps if they included J. Edgar Hoover, such fulsome praise could be put into proper perspective.
Although these Hoover successors, now occupying center stage in the investigation of President Trump, have been hailed for their impeccable character by much of Official Washington, the truth is, as top law enforcement officials of the George W. Bush Administration (Mueller as FBI Director and James Comey as Deputy Attorney General), both presided over post-9/11 cover-ups and secret abuses of the Constitution, enabled Bush-Cheney fabrications used to launch wrongful wars, and exhibited plain vanilla incompetence.
Well of course, that’s how you get promoted in America.
TIME Magazine would probably have not called my own disclosures a “bombshell memo” to the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry in May 2002 if it had not been for Mueller’s having so misled everyone after 9/11. Although he bore no personal responsibility for intelligence failures before the attack, since he only became FBI Director a week before, Mueller denied or downplayed the significance of warnings that had poured in yet were all ignored or mishandled during the Spring and Summer of 2001.
I wanted to believe Director Mueller when he expressed some regret in our personal meeting the night before we both testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He told me he was seeking improvements and that I should not hesitate to contact him if I ever witnessed a similar situation to what was behind the FBI’s pre 9/11 failures.
A few months later, when it appeared he was acceding to Bush-Cheney’s ginning up intelligence to launch the unjustified, counterproductive and illegal war on Iraq, I took Mueller up on his offer, emailing him my concerns in late February 2003. Mueller knew, for instance, that Vice President Dick Cheney’s claims connecting 9/11 to Iraq were bogus yet he remained quiet. He also never responded to my email.
Beyond ignoring politicized intelligence, Mueller bent to other political pressures. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mueller directed the “post 9/11 round-up” of about 1,000 immigrants who mostly happened to be in the wrong place (the New York City area) at the wrong time. FBI Headquarters encouraged more and more detentions for what seemed to be essentially P.R. purposes. Field offices were required to report daily the number of detentions in order to supply grist for FBI press releases about FBI “progress” in fighting terrorism. Consequently, some of the detainees were brutalized and jailed for up to a year despite the fact that none turned out to be terrorists.
For his part, Deputy Attorney General James Comey, too, went along with the abuses of Bush and Cheney after 9/11 and signed off on a number of highly illegal programs including warrantless surveillance of Americans and torture of captives. Comey also defended the Bush Administration’s three-year-long detention of an American citizen without charges or right to counsel.
What’s not well understood is that Comey’s and Mueller’s joint intervention to stop Bush’s men from forcing the sick Attorney General to sign the certification that night was a short-lived moment. A few days later, they all simply went back to the drawing board to draft new legal loopholes to continue the same (unconstitutional) surveillance of Americans.
The mythology of this episode, repeated endlessly throughout the press, is that Comey and Mueller did something significant and lasting in that hospital room. They didn’t. Only the legal rationale for their unconstitutional actions was tweaked.
Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any “war crimes files” were made to disappear. Not only did “collect it all” surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller’s (and then Comey’s) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities.
Neither Comey nor Mueller — who are reported to be “joined at the hip” — deserve their current lionization among politicians and mainstream media. Instead of Jimmy Stewart-like “G-men” with reputations for principled integrity, the two close confidants and collaborators merely proved themselves, along with former CIA Director George “Slam Dunk” Tenet, reliably politicized sycophants, enmeshing themselves in a series of wrongful abuses of power along with official incompetence.
It seems clear that based on his history and close “partnership” with Comey, called “one of the closest working relationships the top ranks of the Justice Department have ever seen,” Mueller was chosen as Special Counsel not because he has integrity but because he will do what the powerful want him to do.
Mueller didn’t speak the truth about a war he knew to be unjustified. He didn’t speak out against torture. He didn’t speak out against unconstitutional surveillance. And he didn’t tell the truth about 9/11. He is just “their man.”
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That our culture still accepts the doctrines supporting Marxism at all tells us more of the perniciousness of our Academia where brainwashed professors who cannot think in any other manner continue to teach the rubbish they were themselves taught.
Thus we were foisted with the likes of one Barack Obama who could not help but be who he was made into. I am truly more impressed by how resilient the political system is than by anything he was. That it has then thrown up the most powerful counter revolution in history is astonishing to watch.
Perhaps now we can have a true intellect revolution as well.
The Staggering Toll of the Russian Revolution
Never has there been such an insidious and deadly ideology as Marxism-Leninism.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would like to ignore the Bolshevik Revolution, which marks its 100th anniversary this month. Putin reportedly told his advisers that it would be unnecessary to commemorate the occasion. He knows better—it is nothing to be proud of.
It Began with the Revolution of 1917
Lenin’s coup on November 7, 1917, opened a new stage in human history.
The horrors of twentieth-century socialism—of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, and Pol Pot—were the offspring of 1917. Seventy years earlier, Marx and Engels predicted the overthrow of bourgeois rule would require violence and “a dictatorship of the proletariat . . . to weed out remaining capitalist elements.” Lenin conducted this “weeding out” using indiscriminate terror, as Russian socialists before him had done and others would continue to do after his death. The late Rudolph Rummel, the demographer of government mass murder, estimated the human toll of twentieth-century socialism to be about 61 million in the Soviet Union, 78 million in China, and roughly 200 million worldwide. These victims perished during state-organized famines, collectivization, cultural revolutions, purges, campaigns against “unearned” income, and other devilish experiments in social engineering.
In its monstrosity, this terror is unrivaled in the course of human history.
Lenin’s coup on November 7, 1917, the day Kerensky’s provisional government fell to Bolshevik forces, opened a new stage in human history: a regime of public slavery. Collectivist economic planning led to coercion, violence, and mass murder. Marx and Engels had defined socialism as “the abolition of private property.” The most fundamental component of private property, self-ownership, was abolished first.
Stalin introduced Article 12, which permitted that children age twelve and older be sentenced to death or imprisonment as adults
The Marxists’ biggest targets have always been the family, religion, and civil society
—institutional obstacles to the imposition of the omnipotent state. With the Bolsheviks in power, Lenin set out to destroy them.
Murder of children became a norm after he ordered the extermination of Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their five children. Millions of families were rounded up and forcibly relocated to remote and uninhabited regions in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Hundreds of thousands of children died of starvation or disease during their journey into exile and were buried in mass unmarked graves.
In 1935, Stalin introduced Article 12 of the USSR Criminal Code, which permitted that children age twelve and older be sentenced to death or imprisonment as adults. This “law” was directed at the orphans of victims of the regime, based on the belief that an apple never falls far from the tree. Many of these kids, whose parents had been jailed or executed, were commonly known as bezprizorni, street children. They found themselves living in bare, dirty cells in a savagely violent gulag, where they were mixed with dangerous criminals and were brutalized and raped by guards and common criminals.
The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological and practical objective the elimination of religion or, in other words, physical extermination of religious people. With Lenin’s decree of January 20, 1918, nationalization of the church’s property began: cathedrals, churches, church grounds, and all buildings owned by churches were looted, and valuables (gold, silver, platinum, paintings, icons, historical artifacts) were either stolen by Communist atheists or sold to the West via government agents, communist sympathizers, and fellow travelers such as American business tycoon Armand Hammer, who met Lenin in 1921.
To be religious often meant a death sentence. The goal was the state’s absolute monopoly over thought by means of a secular religion, socialism. Almost all clergy and millions of believers of all (traditional) religions were shot or sent to labor camps. Seminaries were closed, and religious publications were prohibited.
Marxism-Leninism pretended to be “scientific socialism,” the universal explanation of nature, life, and society. However, deviation from its ideology, especially traditional “bourgeois” science, was punishable by death. The scope of the persecution of scientists was a real genocide.
An Abject Failure
After seventy-four years of mayhem and misery, the Bolshevik Revolution failed. The biggest country on Earth, with abundant natural resources of all kinds, could not meet the basic needs of its citizenry. The system had no means to rationally allocate resources in the absence of property rights and the market institutions that rely on them.
Ideas have consequences.
From my own life in the Soviet Union, which ended the same year that Vladimir Putin reported on the collapsing Berlin Wall for his KGB bosses, I can attest to the truth of Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises’s statement that socialism amounts to a “revolt against economics.” Yet, socialism still has sympathizers in the West. Many Americans believe that socialism is good, whereas communism, fascism, and Nazism (National Socialism) are violent and anti-democratic. A public-opinion survey published last year proved that general assumption: 43 percent of respondents younger than thirty had a favorable view of socialism; only 32 percent had a favorable view of capitalism. This is a powerful warning. The anti-capitalistic mentality has brought suffering and mass murder in all socialist countries and has reduced standards of living and the quality of life in mixed economies.
The Soviet Union is now gone, as are the huge statues of Marx and Lenin that littered the East, but ideas have consequences, and no body of ideas attracted a greater following than Marxism-Leninism. A Russian aphorism says, “The only lesson of history is that it teaches us nothing.” For too many people this is as true as ever.
Of course the history books do not understand just how deliberate the whole process was and how psychologically clever. It was all really meant to force the guilty to confess through extreme presentation.
obviously the priest would soon be pretty sure that the prisoner was innocent or not in this process and he had ample opportunity to fake the final test. This would generally work well enough in the small communities to which it was applied.
Just as obviously even this could go wrong, but then so does what we do as well. I cannot say that we are less blood thirsty.
This Barbaric Form of Medieval Justice Actually Worked
This Barbaric Form of Medieval Justice Actually Worked
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Today, we might not approve of their methods but the result back then was improved criminal justice.
by Peter T. Leeson
The quest for criminal justice is fraught with uncertainty. Did the defendant commit the crime, or is he a victim of incriminating circumstances? Is he guilty as charged, or has he been charged guilty by an overzealous prosecutor? Unsure about the truth, we o
The only ones who know for sure whether a defendant is guilty or innocent are the defendant himself and God above. Asking the defendant to tell us the truth of the matter is usually useless: spontaneous confessions by the guilty are rare. But what if we could ask God to tell us instead? And what if we did? And what if it worked?
For more than 400 years, between the ninth and the early 13th centuries, that’s exactly what Europeans did. In difficult criminal cases, when ‘ordinary’ evidence was lacking, their legal systems asked God to inform them about defendants’ criminal status. The method of their request: judicial ordeals.
Judgments of God
Judicial ordeals took several forms, from dunking the defendant in a pool of holy water to walking him barefoot across burning plowshares. Among the most popular, however, was the ordeal of boiling water and the ordeal of burning iron. In the former, the defendant plunged his hand into a cauldron of boiling water and fished out a ring. In the latter, he carried a piece of burning iron several paces. A few days later, the defendant’s hand was inspected: if it was burned, he was guilty; if not, he was innocent.
If God says you’re guilty, you have to pay a large fine. If He says you’re innocent, you’re cleared of the charge and pay nothing.
Judicial ordeals were administrated and adjudged by priests, in churches, as part of special masses. During such a mass, the priest requested God to reveal to the court the defendant’s guilt or innocence through the ordeal – letting boiling water or burning iron burn the defendant if he were guilty, performing a miracle that prevented the defendant’s hand from being burned if he were innocent. The idea that God would respond to a priest’s request in this way reflected a popular medieval belief according to which ordeals were iudicium Dei – ‘judgments of God’.
Getting God to judge the guilt or innocence of criminal defendants is a pretty nifty trick if you could pull it off. But how could medieval European courts accomplish this?
Rather easily, it turns out. Suppose you’re a medieval European who’s been accused of stealing your neighbour’s cat. The court thinks you might have committed the theft, but it’s not sure, so it orders you to undergo the ordeal of boiling water. Like other medieval Europeans, you believe in iudicium Dei – that a priest, through the appropriate rituals, can call on God to reveal the truth by performing a miracle that prevents the water from burning you if you’re innocent, letting you burn if you’re not.
If you undergo the ordeal and God says you’re guilty, you have to pay a large fine. If He says you’re innocent, you’re cleared of the charge and pay nothing. Alternatively, you can avoid undergoing the ordeal by confessing to having stolen the cat, in which case you pay the fine, a bit reduced for having admitted your guilt.
What Will You Do?
Suppose you’re guilty: you know you stole your neighbour’s cat, and so does God. In this case, you expect that if you undergo the ordeal, God will let the boiling water burn you, evidencing your guilt. Thus, you’ll have to pay the large fine – and your hand will be boiled to rags to boot. In contrast, if you confess, you’ll save a bit of money, not to mention your hand. So, if you’re guilty, you’ll confess.
By asking God to out you, the legal system incentivises you to out yourself.
Now suppose you’re innocent: you know you didn’t steal your neighbour’s cat, and again so does God. In this case, you expect that if you undergo the ordeal, God will perform a miracle that prevents the boiling water from burning you, evidencing your innocence. Thus, you won’t have to pay any fine – and you’ll keep your hand intact. This is better than if you confess to stealing the cat, in which case you’d have to pay a fine for a theft you didn’t commit. So, if you’re innocent, you’ll undergo the ordeal.
Did you catch the trick? Because of your belief in iudicium Dei, the spectre of the ordeal leads you to choose one way if you’re guilty – confess – and another way if you’re innocent – undergo the ordeal – revealing the truth about your guilt or innocence to the court though the choice you make. By asking God to out you, the legal system incentivises you to out yourself. Pretty nifty indeed.
A Guaranteed Miracle
There’s just one hitch: while only an innocent defendant will choose to undergo the ordeal, which allows the court to learn that he’s in fact innocent, when he sticks his hand in the boiling water, it burns him, declaring his guilt! To deliver justice, however, the court needs to do more than simply learn that an innocent defendant is innocent – it needs to find him so.
How could an ordeal-administering priest make boiling water innocuous to an innocent defendant’s flesh? By making sure that it wasn’t actually boiling.
Nearly two-thirds of defendants were unscathed by the ‘red-hot’ irons they carried and were exonerated.
The ‘instruction manuals’ for administering ordeals that medieval European priests followed provided them ample opportunity to do just that. The fire used to heat the water was prepared by the priest in private, permitting him to cool the fire. The priest ‘sprinkled’ holy water over the water in the ordeal cauldron, permitting him to cool the water. The ordeal cauldron was removed from the fire at a point during the mass, and the defendant wasn’t tested until the priest was done praying, allowing him to cool the water some more by drawing out his prayers. And ordeal observers were placed at a respectable distance from the ordeal ‘stage’, enabling the priest to carry out his manipulations undetected. Did I mention that it was the priest who adjudged the ordeal’s final outcome – whether the defendant’s hand had indeed been burned?
A ‘miraculous’ result was thus practically assured. For example, in the early 13th century, 208 defendants in Várad in Hungary underwent hot-iron ordeals. Amazingly, nearly two-thirds of defendants were unscathed by the ‘red-hot’ irons they carried and hence exonerated. If the priests who administered these ordeals understood how to heat iron, as they surely did, that leaves only two explanations for the ‘miraculous’ results: either God really did intervene to reveal the defendants’ innocence, or the priests made sure that the iron they carried wasn’t hot.
In practice, it might not have mattered whether ordeals were truly God’s judgments or instead the judgments of clever legal systems that leveraged criminal defendants’ incentives to correctly find fact. For, in either case, the result was the same: improved criminal justice, thanks to God.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
This one is important. I had conjectured that the large black eyes of the greys were artificial. Here we receive an excellent report and they are certainly artificial. On the other hand we also get confirmation of the biological nature of these beings. One is younger while the other is clearly older.
No sense of a ship here but he himself reports that his focus was on the seated individuals. The craft was likely stealthed and he just got lucky with the angle since they were themselves distracted by the oncoming vehicle.
It is plausible that these are space modified humanity, but that is only because the body has been super slimmed down. Yet we also have reports of a variety of other aliens for which there is no evident reshaping. So maybe not so fast. However the greys are obviously using vision augmentation which can be understood..
Alien Encounter Near Nageezi, NM
Posted: 02 Nov 2017 07:34 AM PDT
My wife and I do not want to be public with our names and who we are. It seems since you already have my phone number, I would like to ask you to be discreet with the information you have already compiled. I do not have good health, and had a new heart valve put in last March. My wife and I are just a grandmother and grandfather. I’m a 100% disabled veteran since 2004. We are both 65 years of age. Please respect that?
NOTE: This location is approximately 25 north of Chaco Culture National Historical Park (Chaco Canyon - Four Corners region), the sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people (Anazasi culture). There have been numerous documented UFO and unknown being encounters here. It is considered an area of great power. Lon