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Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 26, 2007, 05:26 PM
Number of posts: 3,746
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 26, 2007, 05:26 PM
Number of posts: 3,746
WASHINGTON -- Don't worry, the strange object seen just outside the nation's capital Wednesday night wasn't a UFO. It was a drone.
A strangely-shaped saucer-like aircraft was seen in D.C.'s Maryland suburbs around 11 p.m., causing traffic backups and speculation about government coverups. Photos, like like this one widely circulated on Twitter, show the mysterious object being driven along the Capitol Beltway near College Park on the back of a truck.
Officials identified the flying machine to WTOP:
Maryland State Police at the McHenry Barrack have confirmed the aircraft seen on the Beltway was a military airplane being moved from West Virginia to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Southern Maryland.
The plane is 82 feet long, 32 feet wide and 14 feet high. The X-46B is the same type of military vehicle that crashed earlier this week near Salisbury, Md.
Article with picture at:
The HuffPo may have totally lost edgy and is just weird. So is life.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Fri Jun 15, 2012, 05:18 AM (1 replies)
June 13, 2012
Controversial Trade Pact Text Leaked, Shows U.S. Trade Officials Have Agreed to Terms That Undermine Obama Domestic Agenda
PUBLIC CITIZEN PRESS RELEASE
After Two Years of Closed-Door Negotiations, Trans-Pacific Partnership Text Replicates Alarming Bush Trade Pact Terms That Obama Opposed as Candidate, and Worse
WASHINGTON, D.C.– A leak today of one of the most controversial chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) reveals that extreme provisions have been agreed to by U.S. officials, providing a stark warning about the dangers of “trade” negotiations occurring under conditions of extreme secrecy without press, public or policymaker oversight, Public Citizen said.
“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of TPP negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Via closed-door negotiations, U.S. officials are rewriting swaths of U.S. law that have nothing to do with trade and in a move that will infuriate left and right alike have agreed to submit the U.S. government to the jurisdiction of foreign tribunals that can order unlimited payments of our tax dollars to foreign corporations that don’t want to comply with the same laws our domestic firms do.”
Although the TPP has been branded a “trade” agreement, the leaked text of the pact’s Investment Chapter shows that the TPP would:
•limit how U.S. federal and state officials could regulate foreign firms operating within U.S. boundaries, with requirements to provide them greater rights than domestic firms;
•extend the incentives for U.S. firms to offshore investment and jobs to lower-wage countries;
•establish a two-track legal system that gives foreign firms new rights to skirt U.S. courts and laws, directly sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for financial, health, environmental, land use and other laws they claim undermine their TPP privileges; and
•allow foreign firms to demand compensation for the costs of complying with U.S. financial or environmental regulations that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms.
The document in PDF:
Posted by PufPuf23 | Wed Jun 13, 2012, 01:06 PM (3 replies)
Alert statistics have not yet been programmed but have always been "coming soon" at DU3.
Jury statistics do not include a category statistic for % of times that a juror has been on the prevailing side of a jury.
These statistics may be informative or rational reason for various exclusion or ignore options (including free will regardless of written standards).
For my transparency, I do not alert nor ignore but serve on juries (although for a time my setting was unwilling and also have opted out of jury duty in the process).
I read much more than post at DU but 2012 is my 40th year as a registered and voting Democratic Party member.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Thu Jun 7, 2012, 08:51 AM (16 replies)
The fact that Mitt Romney is a presumed candidate for POTUS is chilling.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 08:31 PM (0 replies)
Frustrating as counts down from 100 page by page for us rural folk with slow connection.
quote,"To celebrate the new generation of shredders profiled in our May/June "Loud Issue," the SPIN staff decided to find some wheedle in a haystack, taking on the impossible task of ranking our favorite guitar players of all time. Traditionally, the "greatest guitarist" timeline begins with Robert Johnson magically conjuring the blues, nears perfection with Eric Clapton mutating it beatifically, and then ultimately reaches a boomer-baiting Rock and Roll Hall of Fame apotheosis with the free-spirited Jimi Hendrix shooting it into space like feedback-laden fireworks. For this list, we veer toward the alternative canon that kicks in with the Velvet Underground trying to erase that form entirely, making guitar solos gauche and using instruments as sadomasochistic tools for hammering out sheets of white heat.
As you will see, our list embraces outsiders, trailblazers, outliers, and Eugene Chadbourne playing a rake. We don't worship "guitar gods," but prefer our axe-wielders to be resourceful, egalitarian, flawed, and human. We're not drawn to Olympic feats of fleet-fingered athletics, unless they're used for unique and exploratory ends. We see the mewling histrionics of Jeff Beck as tyranny instead of catharsis. The name Derek Trucks is practically alien to us."
Frank Zappa is #16. (edit:left out the 1, not #6 but #16)
The rock and blues music of My Generation rules.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Wed May 30, 2012, 02:26 AM (0 replies)
OBL and Mullah Omar, head of Taliban, were GWB's stated targets for invading Afghanistan.
Now we never hear of Mullah Omar.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Tue May 29, 2012, 12:21 PM (0 replies)
Wicca is a modern construct born of the Golden Dawn and Crowley's OTO and romanticism. Adler in "Drawing Down the Moon", Doreen Valiente, and academics have documented Crowley's influence (to the degree of perhaps ghost writing for or plagerism by) on Gerald Gardner. Gerald Gardner was a frequent visitor to Crowley in his last years, was initiated by Crowley into OTO, paid Crowley $$$, and received a Charter for an OTO Lodge from Crowley who expected Gardner to continue his work in England as OTO.
"My bottom line is that Wicca is not related historically in any way other than literary inspiration to any aboriginal pagan religion. It is, in fact, a product of the 1930s and '40s, hugely influenced by the rituals of Freemasonry, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). It, in fact, is a errant direct descendent of an OTO encampment in London chartered by Aleister Crowley, then the OTO Grand Master General, and under direction of Crowley's student and would-be successor, Gerald Gardner. It is interesting to observe that Crowley's Acting Master of Agape Lodge OTO in America in the same period also wrote extensively a few years later on a "revival of witchcraft".
The present revision includes newer insights into the early claims concerning Gerald Gardner relative to his status in the OTO. Several letters published by Bill Heidrick, International Grand Treasurer General of the OTO, exchanged between Lady Frieda Harris and both Karl Germer and Frederic Mellinger, immediately after Aleister Crowley's death, add new insight. Br. Heidrick was kind enough to provide me with copies of these letters in my preparations for the previous revision of this essay. There is also an important letter by Gerald Gardner to Vernon Symmonds, written during the same period. A copy of the latter was kindly provided by Sabazius X°, the present U.S. Grand Master General of the OTO. I have also carefully examined the correspondence between Crowley and the Gnostic Bishop W.B. Crow, in which Crowley explicitly refers to Gardner's encampment, indicating it had a future as an OTO Lodge and urging Crow to work with it.
I have additionally had occasion to closely examine the aforementioned writings of John Whiteside Parsons on the subject of modern witchcraft, written during at the end of the same period. It is of more than passing interest that Ye Book of Ye Arte Magical, the OTO Charter granted to Gerald Gardner by Aleister Crowley, the writings by Parsons on witchcraft, the publication of High Magic's Aid and the public emergence of Wicca all date from the same period, circa 1945-1950."
Two authors I would recommend as intelligent and extremely accessible for the topic of magick are Dion Fortune and Lon Milo DuQuette.
"Violet Mary Firth Evans (6 December 1890 – 8 January 1946), better known as Dion Fortune, was a British occultist and author. Her pseudonym was inspired by her family motto "Deo, non fortuna" (Latin for "by God, not fate"), originally the ancient motto of the Barons & Earls Digby.
From 1919 she began writing a number of novels and short stories that explored various aspects of magic and mysticism, including The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, The Goat-Foot God, and The Secrets of Dr. Taverner. This latter is a collection of short stories based on her experiences with Theodore Moriarty. Two of her novels, The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic, became influential within the religion of Wicca, especially upon Doreen Valiente.
Of her works on magical subjects, the best remembered of her books are; The Cosmic Doctrine, a summation of her basic teachings on mysticism, Psychic Self-Defense, a manual on how to protect oneself from psychic attacks and The Mystical Qabalah, an introduction to Hermetic Qabalah which was first published in England in 1935, and is regarded by many occultists as one of the best books on magic ever written. Though some of her writings may seem dated to contemporary readers, they have the virtue of lucidity and avoid the deliberate obscurity that characterised many of her forerunners and contemporaries.
Fortune fell out with Moina Mathers, head of the Alpha et Omega, and claimed she was coming under magical attack. In 1922, with Moina's consent, Dion Fortune left the Alpha et Omega and with her husband, Penry Evans formed the Fraternity of the Inner Light as an offshoot of the Alpha et Omega. This brought new members to the Alpha et Omega. Fortune's group was later renamed "The Fraternity of the Inner Light", and was, later still, renamed "The Society of the Inner Light". This society was to be the focus of her work for the rest of her life. The work that is considered her masterpiece by occultists and occult sympathizers is The Mystical Qabalah, first published in England in 1935."
Moina Mathers was the wife of S.L. MacGregor-Mathers who was the dominant personality, original initiator of Crowley, and one of the founders of the Golden Dawn. I love Dion Fortune's novels, esp. the two mentioned as influential on Valiente and her Mystical Qabalah is a most accessible book on western Qabalah still.
I recommend Angels, Demons & Gods of the New Millennium by Lon Milo DuQuette as an easy entertaining introduction to the western hermetic tradition and then any of his other books pertaining to specific topics. I have not read them all but have not read a bad book by an author who is also warm and funny in person, should you get the chance.
From a review by Sam Webster, GNOSIS MAGAZINE at Amazon:
DuQuette writes with a different voice from those of the greater lights of early in this century. His style has the personal qualities of Israel Regardie's but in the '90s it is just not possible to speak with such certainty. Instead DuQuette writes from experience, from successes and failures. He digests all this down to what he feels is important, even if the outcome doesn't fit the usual interpretations. For example, DuQuette plays with both conceptions of the AA (Argenteum Astrum): the group of people who worked with Aleister Crowley and his students on the one hand, and, on the other, the body of initiates that has been guiding humanity towards enlightenment since time immemorial. DuQuette raises the logical point that if this organization has been present "since the dawn of consciousness" and has been embodied in such great souls as Lao-Tse, the Buddha, and Pythagoras, then how can access to it be limited to those with pieces of paper signed by Crowley and his heirs? DuQuette moves the AA to a more immediate plane, where any student with right aspiration can find herself in the great chain of initiates.
DuQuette's chapter on the Kabbalah is more basic than most others in this book, but it is pithy enough to give anyone a leg up on the study and practice of the discipline. He avoids the usual formulaic definitions of the sefirot and other components of this tradition by speaking from the distilled essence of his experience. One excellent display of his skill is his presentation of the Shem ha-Mephorash, the 72-fold divided Name of God from which a series of spirit names are generated. DuQuette boils down the abundance of turgid writing on this subject to a few pages accompanied by a chart, which Weiser obligingly prints in color in a foldout sheet. This, combined with the methodology presented in the later chapter "Demons Are Our Friends," provides a sufficient, though sparse, basis for sorcery, the practice of spirit conjuring.
A practice more common in theology than in magick is textual exegesis. DuQuette engages this discipline by explicating the Emerald Tablet of Hermes in light of the doctrine of the Holy Guardian Angel, the practice of seeking contact with the divine through a personal source, one's own angel. In his analysis DuQuette interprets the alchemical process of the Tablet as a way of attaining to knowledge and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel - a key component of Crowley's magick.
Such analyses are a necessary step in the evolution of magickal thought and practice. We can only improve on our methods by engaging with classical texts and practices in the light of our own experience; doing so illuminates the depths that we have intuited in these sources. Having no formal academy in which to share our insights, we are aided by DuQuette's book. He has moved our understanding of magick forward.
BTW I am a book collector and "accidental" scholar and not a practioner. Austin Osman Spare, Andrew Chumbley, Kenneth Grant, and some Crowley are quite entertaining for reading about modern western hermetic arts.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Fri May 25, 2012, 07:20 PM (0 replies)
I had never even heard of SCA before this thread but I knew about Edwina Rogers because of Ed Rogers.
I’ve sat out the Edwina Rogers fiasco since the Secular Coalition of America announced they’d chosen her as their new Executive Director, waiting to see if my initial revulsion would pass. It hasn’t. I read the transcript of the interview she did with Greta Christina, and the entirety of her Ask Me Anything on Reddit, hoping she could somehow allay our fears and prove she’s capable of representing us effectively, despite her sordid history in Republican politics. But I didn’t have high hopes. Put it this way: I’ve learnt over the last decade that when one trusts Cons not to kick them in the teeth, they’d best have an excellent oral surgeon on speed dial.
Edwina’s managed to meet expectations: she outright lies, she avoids the hardest questions, she babbles nonsense in reply to most of the questions she deigns respond to without bald-faced lies. She is exactly what I suspected she was when I heard some absolute morons had chosen a Republican operative neck-deep in the Bush administration, yammered on Faux News, and who has donated generously to Rick bleeding Perry, to become executive director of the Secular Coalition of America: an unmitigated disaster.
Not all atheists are liberals, and I suppose it could be a good idea to get some secular conservatives on board at times – if they don’t end up compromising the values held by the vast majority of us. As several people have noted, a Republican lobbyist as part (not head) of the SCA isn’t such a horrible idea. And I rather think it would be nice to give the Rabid Right something to worry about from within its own ranks, so the idea of developing a coalition of secular Republicans and siccing them on the fundies actually tickles me. So no, I have no objection per se to having a Republican working with the SCA.
But surely, surely, the SCA could have chosen a better Executive Director than this Bushie. She can’t reach across the aisle to elected Republicans – the bunch currently in office here, there and everywhere are, overwhelmingly, theocratic freaks frantic to install god as our ruler. They’ve already demonstrated that they’ll abandon their own policies if a liberal expresses approval. And I cannot dismiss the fact that she actively supports some of the worst of them.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Tue May 15, 2012, 04:50 PM (0 replies)
Edwina Rogers is the wife (or now ex-wife??) of Ed Rogers. Ed Rogers is a founder of Barbour Griffith and Rogers. There has never been a wiki for Ed Rogers despite the fact that Ed rated a chapter and unresolved issues over the funding of Iran-Contra in Kerry's Senate BCCI Report, the prominance of BGR Group, and that he was WH staff under Reagan and GHWB. The couple were part owners of a private medjet company out of Birmingham, AL that also did CIA rendition flights out of the Middle East, Gitmo, etc. She is deep in the belly of the BFEE (as Octafish might say).
See WAPO: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2010/09/rs-_divorce.html
Another D.C. power couple is calling it quits: Republican lobbyists Ed and Edwina Rogers, who have filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage.
Ed Rogers, an Alabama native in his early 50s, was a young foot soldier in the Reagan revolution who came to prominence as Lee Atwater's top deputy on George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign. After working in the White House, he founded what became known as the lobbying giant BGR Group with Haley Barbour, now the governor of Mississippi. In 1989, he married Edwina, a fellow University of Alabama alum who worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the GOP takeover in 1994, and later for then-Majority Leader Trent Lott. She, too, transitioned into lobbying, most recently with the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative.
They did well for themselves professionally: The tricked-out seven-bedroom mansion they built in McLean several years ago -- site of charitable and political fundraisers -- drew joking comparisons to Versailles. ("In this house, you're never too far from a drink or a TV screen," Ed told our colleague Al Kamen in 2003.) Edwina, now in her mid-40s, turned heads last fall when she was trailed around town by TV cameras filming "Real Housewives of D.C."; though she was said to be in contention for a central role, she's only made guest appearances in the Bravo reality series.........
Edwina Rogers wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwina_Rogers
Edwina Rogers has served in public policy positions in the US Senate, White House, private, and international sectors for over twenty years. She served as the founding Executive Director of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) from 2006-11, a Washington DC trade association. The PCPCC is responsible for the national patient centered home movement and for implementing the model around the US.
Edwina served as Vice President, Health Policy for the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) in Washington, DC from May 2004 to January 2009. ERIC advocates the employee benefits and compensation interests of America’s major employers.
She was an Economic Advisor for President George W. Bush at the White House during 2001 and 2002 at the National Economic Council, focusing on health and social security policy. Ms. Rogers was General Counsel of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the Republican take-over of the Senate in 1994. She worked for Senator L ott while he was Majority Leader in 1999 and she handled health policy for Senator Sessions in 2003 and 2004. Edwina worked on International Trade matters for former President George H. W. Bush at the Department of Commerce from 1989 to 1991.
Ms. Rogers practiced law in the Washington office of Balch and Bingham from 1991 to 1994. She received her BS in Corporate Finance from the University of Alabama and a JD from Catholic University in Washington DC. Ms. Rogers was a Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard during 1996.
Edwina has written a conservative column for The Georgetowner newspaper in Washington, DC and is a regular strategist on cable news television. She served on the Board of Directors of Semco Energy, Inc. (NYSE: SEN) a natural gas distribution company until 2007.
In 2012, she was named Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America.
Posted by PufPuf23 | Wed May 9, 2012, 04:17 PM (1 replies)
Why I Wrote This Story
A tapeworm injects chemicals into a host that causes the host to crave what is good for the tapeworm. In America, we despair for our deterioration, but we crave the next injection of chemicals from the Tapeworm ...
Posted by PufPuf23 | Sat May 5, 2012, 03:23 PM (4 replies)