- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
Jesus 'Healed Using Cannabis'
By Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
The Guardian - UK
Jesus as almost certainly a cannabis user and an early proponent of
the medicinal properties of the drug, according to a study of
scriptural texts published this month. The study suggests that Jesus
and his disciples used the drug to carry out miraculous healings.
The anointing oil used by Jesus and his disciples contained an
ingredient called kaneh-bosem which has since been identified as
cannabis extract, according to an article by Chris Bennett in the
drugs magazine, High Times, entitled Was Jesus a Stoner? The incense
used by Jesus in ceremonies also contained a cannabis extract,
suggests Mr Bennett, who quotes scholars to back his claims.
"There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic
religion," Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston
Referring to the existence of cannabis in anointing oils used in
ceremonies, he added: "Obviously the easy availability and long-
established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism _ would
inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures."
Mr Bennett suggests those anointed with the oils used by Jesus
were "literally drenched in this potent mixture _ Although most
modern people choose to smoke or eat pot, when its active
ingredients are transferred into an oil-based carrier, it can also
be absorbed through the skin".
Quoting the New Testament, Mr Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his
disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other
followers. This could have been responsible for healing eye and skin
diseases referred to in the Gospels.
"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient
anointing oil _ and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ
and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use
cannabis could be considered anti-Christ," Mr Bennett concludes.
Gates, Buffett, China 'run from dollar'
Expert sees development as sharp warning to Americans
WorldNetDaily | February 3, 2005
Decisions by the world's two wealthiest men to bet on a further
weakening of the U.S. dollar, coupled with China's lack of
confidence in American currency should grab the attention of every
working person, says Craig Smith, CEO of Swiss America Trading.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is following the example of Berkshire
Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett, who made a pretax gain of $412
million in the fourth quarter of 2004 by buying foreign currencies.
Citing widening U.S. trade and budget deficits and a federal debt of
$7.62 trillion, Gates said in a TV interview at the World Economic
Forum in Switzerland last weekend he expects the dollar to extend
its three-year decline.
"I'm short the dollar," Gates said, according to Bloomberg
News. "The ol' dollar, it's gonna go down."
Smith, whose company specializes in tangible assets, told
WorldNetDaily he can't believe this news is not the big headline
across the nation.
"When I saw this quote, literally I had to catch my breath," Smith
said. "This is a clear-cut signal that the people who know money are
running -- they are not walking -- in my opinion, they are running
from the dollar."
Smith said the actions of Buffett, worth more than $42.9 billion,
and Gates, $46.6 billion, are significant in light of the lack of
confidence recently expressed by leaders of the world's fastest
growing economy, China, which has its currency pegged to the dollar.
Fan Gang, director of the National Economic Research Institute in
Beijing, said last week at the World Economic Forum that "the U.S.
dollar is no longer -- in our opinion -- a stable currency and is
devaluing all the time."
Chinese Central Bank adviser Yu Yongding also has chastised U.S.
policy makers, saying, "The U.S. should take the lead in putting its
own house in order."
Hedging your bet
Since the beginning of 2002, the dollar has dropped 26 percent
against a basket of six major currencies, and the trade deficit grew
to a record $609 billion. In addition, the Bush administration
expects the budget deficit this year to hit an all-time high of $427
Smith notes that big investors such as Buffett, Gates and the Bank
of China can hedge their portfolios by shorting the dollar -- making
a profit off of its decline -- but the average person must turn to
tangible assets such as gold.
"That's why this [news] is music to our business," he said.
Dollar-denominated investments such as retirement, 401K, college and
savings accounts are in jeopardy with the currency's slide, Smith
"An average American has to ask himself this question, 'If the two
richest men in the world are abandoning the dollar, why should I
stay in it?'"
Stephen Moore, senior fellow in economics at the Cato Institute in
Washington, told WorldNetDaily, he still believes it's anybody's
guess which way the dollar will head.
"These guys have been famously wrong in the past," Moore said,
referring to Gates and Buffett, who are partners in investment
deals. "I don't think there are any gurus who know what is going to
Moore says he has faith in the Bush administration and Federal
Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose announcement today of a
quarter-percent interest-rate hike led to a rise in the dollar.
"I think the dollar has fallen about as much as it should," Moore
said, "and the fact that the White House and Greenspan have made it
clear that the dollar's decline is not good for the consumer makes
it more likely it will be addressed."
Smith points out, however, that when the dollar began sliding in
2000, then-Treasury Secretary John O'Neill said the Bush
administration would maintain a strong dollar policy. When O'Neill
was replaced with John Snow, the new secretary said the same thing.
"It still kept falling," Smith said. "We can't depend on the dollar,
with the debt, the twin deficits and the trade gap."
Smith points out the silver lining that usually accompanies a drop
in the dollar -- an increase in exports because U.S. products become
cheaper for foreigners -- has not materialized.
In fact, the November report was predicted to show a trade deficit
of some $50 billion, but instead turned out to be $60.3 billion.
Losing our place?
Greenspan has expressed concern that the deficits poses the risk
that investors may stop buying U.S. assets, propelling the dollar
In that situation, Smith said, interest rates will have to rise in
order to encourage people to hold on to the dollar. But
consequently, he warns, the "stock market goes in the toilet."
Smith said his big concern is that ultimately the U.S. may lose its
place as the reserve currency of the world.
He speculates that this possibility may be behind the investment
strategies of Gates and Buffet.
"We are first world reserve currency issued by a debtor nation,"
Smith said. "How long will the rest of the world accept that?"
Axis of Fanatics: Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 06 January 2006
With Ariel Sharon out of the picture, Benjamin Netanyahu has a
better chance to become prime minister of Israel.
He's media savvy. He knows how to spin on American television.
And he's very dangerous.
Netanyahu spent a lot of his early years in the United States.
Later, during the 1980s, he worked at the Israeli Embassy in
Washington and then became Israel's ambassador to the United
Nations. By the time he moved up to deputy foreign minister in 1988,
he was a star on US networks.
The guy is smooth - fluent in American idioms, telegenic to many
eyes - and good at lying on camera. So, when Israeli police killed
17 Palestinians at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque in October 1990,
Netanyahu led a disinformation blitz asserting that the Palestinians
were killed after they'd rioted and pelted Jewish worshipers from
above the Wailing Wall with huge stones. At the time, his fable
dominated much of the US media. Later, even the official Israeli
inquiry debunked Netanyahu's account and blamed police for starting
Now, with Netanyahu campaigning to win the Israeli election for
prime minister in late March, he's cranking up rhetoric against
Iran. His outlook seems to be 180 degrees from the world view of
Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet in tangible political
ways, they're well-positioned to feed off each other's fanaticism.
The election that gave the presidency of Iran to Ahmadinejad
last summer was a victory for repressive fundamentalism. Results
have included a negative trend for human rights in the country and a
more bellicose foreign policy.
When Ahmadinejad declared in late October that "Israel must be
wiped off the map," he did a big favor to the most militaristic of
Israel's major politicians - Benjamin Netanyahu - who demanded that
Prime Minster Sharon take forceful action against Iran. Otherwise,
Netanyahu said in December, "when I form the new Israeli government,
we'll do what we did in the past against Saddam's reactor, which
gave us 20 years of tranquillity."
Netanyahu was referring to Israel's air attack on the Osirak
reactor in June 1981 to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear
weapons. But now the idea of bombing Iran is nonsensical even to
many analysts who are enthusiastic about Israel's large nuclear
arsenal, estimated at 200 warheads.
"Preemptive military attack is not a strategy for stopping the
spread of nuclear weapons anymore; the changes in technology have
made it obsolete." That's the current assessment from Larry Derfner,
who often writes about Israeli politics for the Jerusalem
Post. "Concealing a nuclear start-up is so much easier now than it
was in 1981 and it's only going to get easier yet. Throwing fighter
jets, commandos and whatnot at Iran is more than risky; it's almost
certainly futile if not altogether impossible. Better for Israel and
Israelis to forget about it and instead meet the Iranian threat by
making this country's deterrent power even more intimidating than it
Derfner added: "A nuclear Iran isn't a cause for indifference
but neither is it a cause for dread and certainly not for
recklessness. A nuclear Iran is actually acceptable. We can live
with it. The truth is we've been living here with threats very much
like it all along."
But Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that he wants to launch
a military strike on Iran. "This is the Israeli government's primary
obligation," he said. "If it is not done by the current government,
I plan to lead the next government to stop the Iranians."
The specter of Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad fueling each other's
madness as heads of state is frightening. In such a circumstance,
the primary danger of conflagration would come from nuclear-armed
Israel, not nuclear-unarmed Iran.
Candidate Netanyahu is a standard bearer for nuclear insanity.
He's also an implacable enemy of basic Palestinian human rights.
Many Israelis understand that Netanyahu is an extremist, and polls
published on January 6 indicate that the post-Sharon era may not be
as hospitable to Netanyahu as initially assumed.
For that matter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not serve out his full
four-year term as Iran's president. Evidently the hardline clerics
who dominate the Iranian government got more than they bargained for
when they threw their weight behind the Ahmadinejad campaign last
June. In recent months, Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has
shifted more power to the governmental Expediency Council headed by
the shady magnate Hashemi Rafsanjani, a relatively moderate
political hack who lost in the presidential runoff last year.
Ahmadinejad is good at making statements that cause
international uproars, but he's having a difficult time exercising
presidential leverage. "Even in Iran's mostly conservative
parliament, the hard-line president has found himself unable to get
traction," the Los Angeles Times noted on January 2. "In a first for
the Islamic Republic, lawmakers turned down four of the ministers
Ahmadinejad asked them to approve. It took him three months and four
candidates to seat an oil minister. Some reformist legislators even
agitated for hearings on the president's 'lack of political
Using religious claims to bolster their quests for power,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benjamin Netanyahu each stand to gain by
pointing to the menacing fanaticism of the other. Yet many Iranians
and Israelis recognize the grave dangers of such posturing.
As tensions mount and pressures intensify, the White House might
end up acceding to an Israeli air attack on Iran. Or the Bush
administration may prefer to launch its own air strike against Iran.
Iran. Israel. The United States. Each country has the very real
potential to move in a better direction - away from lethal
righteousness. But in every society, that will require more
effective grassroots efforts for peace and justice.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
PEW asks possibly the dumbest poll question ever
by John in DC
What is it with these people? It's like a massive cause of stupidity
has hit every reporter and every organization dealing with the issue
of Bush wiretapping Americans without a warrant.
To wit, PEW's latest poll:
Reports about President Bush authorizing wiretaps of Americans
suspected of having ties to terrorists has drawn far more attention
than the Abramoff case. But there is not an outcry or even consensus
opinion about the government's monitoring, without court permission,
the phone and email communications of Americans suspected of having
terrorist ties; 48% feel this is generally right while about the
same number (47%) think it is generally wrong. Public attitudes on
this issue are highly partisan, with 69% of Republicans saying the
government actions are generally right and nearly as many Democrats
(62%) saying they are generally wrong.
Ok, did you catch that? PEW's poll showed only 48% of Americans,
less than half, believe that the government should, without search
warrants, tap the phones of Americans suspected of having ties to
Again, did you get that?
Americans suspected of having ties to terrorists. And we STILL only
have less than 50% support tapping them without a warrant.
Now PEW actually did ask the REAL question in this debate, namely,
should the government be allowed to tap Americans' phone calls, but
they buried their result way down in the report. How do Americans
feel about having their phones tapped? 73% oppose. Hello? Kind of an
amazing result, and one that very clearly speaks to "outrage,"
But for PEW to say that the results from just the first question -
the one that includes terrorist ties - shows there isn't an outcry,
well excuse me. But fewer than half of all Americans think it's okay
to tap the phones, without a warrant, of people with suspected ties
to terrorists? That's a heck of a big deal. I'd have thought most
Americans would say "if you've got ties to terrorists, all bets are
I don't mean to knock PEW, but these kind of mistakes impact us all.
It's nice that they asked the real question later on, but Jesus
people, that's your headline, that's your outrage, 73% of the public
is opposed to what these people are doing.
Democrats Are Pussies and They're Getting Fucked:
The Rude Pundit's not nearly as old as Sammy Alito, but he remembers
the day a couple of hot Socialist college girls walked into the
university newspaper office and asked to talk to whoever would
listen about subscribing to The Militant, the Socialist Workers
Party newspaper. So the Rude Pundit and a male friend went out for
drinks with the hot Socialist college girls, who were touring
regional universities to drum up business for the Socialists. At the
end of an evening of teasing, pleasing, and free love, the Rude
Pundit, who not only flirted with socialists, but with socialism,
gladly signed up for a few months of The Militant. Someone told the
Rude Pundit that simply subscribing to the newspaper assured the
Rude Pundit a file with the FBI - it was the late Reagan era. Which
the Rude Pundit took as a badge of honor (and probably wasn't true).
After the months were up, the Rude Pundit had moved on to The Nation
and mainstream liberalism, and, well, the memory of the evening
dimmed when the re-subscribing bill came in the mail.
The point here ain't that the Rude Pundit was blown into socialism.
The point is that if someone asked him why he signed up for The
Militant, he'd fucking remember it and remember why he did it. So
when Sammy Alito says of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton that he
has "no specific recollection of that organization," but then says
why he may have joined it, he's a fuckin' weasel at best, a craven
liar at worst. In fact, why not follow up with, "Well, Judgey, since
you have no recollection of the CAP, a racist, sexist organization,
might it be possible that you have no recollection of other groups
you may have belonged to? Like the KKK? Or the White Aryan
Resistance? You are a skinhead, Judge Alito. What about forgotten
events? Like that ecstasy-fueled evening where you drove into
Philadelphia and pissed on the Liberty Bell after jacking off on
Independence Hall, screaming, 'Hey, Sam Adams, here's your beer
back'? I mean, c'mon, who'd recollect that?"
But that kind of interrogation would take more than the dull,
monotonous, barely comprehensible half-dribble of questions and
speechifying the Democrats engaged in yesterday. (Would someone
please tell Joe "Behold My Combover of Integrity" Biden to shut the
fuck up if he's not gonna ask a goddamn question?) What we got from
virtually every Democrat (and the allegedly "moderate" Republicans)
was the sight of generously lubricated orifices just begging for a
fucking from Republicans. Even Ted Kennedy was reduced to droning
sonorously about the cases he wanted to discuss with Alito. Only
Russ Feingold and Chuck Schumer got anything from Alito, with
Feingold causing Alito to back into a corner like every mob stoolie
Alito ever cut a plea deal with. Feingold got Alito to admit that he
was wrong when he said that a "computer glitch" caused him to take
on a case involving Vanguard companies, with whom Alito had nearly
Then there's Alito himself, who, if this was about 18 months ago,
would be called a "flip-flopper." To quote Maureen Dowd (from
today's column), "Is he the old Sam, who devised ways to upend Roe
v. Wade and crimp abortion rights? Or the new Sam, who has great
respect for precedent and an 'open mind' about abortion cases?
"Is he the old Sam, who plotted ways to tip the balance of power to
the executive branch? Or the new Sam, who states that 'no person in
this country is above the law, and that includes the president'?
"Is he the old Sam, who said Robert Bork 'was one of the most
outstanding nominees of this century' and 'a man of unequaled
ability'? Or the new Sam, who shrugged off that statement as the
dutiful support of one Reagan appointee for another?"
Or, in other words, Alito is the typical conservative little bitch,
who will lie openly about his beliefs in order to achieve power
because he knows that the majority of the country (and the Senate,
if so-called "moderate" Republicans actually existed) disagree with
them. Goddamn, Ruth Bader Ginsburg fuckin' laid it all out there,
love it or leave it, man. The crazed Robert Bork was willing to
say, "Yes, I do fuck mothers," which took guts. And Alito is about
as nutzoid as Bork; he just spits less when he expresses it. Or he
claims he doesn't believe what he believes, which makes him a little
The most absurd statement came from Senator John Cornyn, who claimed
to Alito that Democrats "have already decided to vote against your
nomination and are looking for some reason to do so." It's like
saying, "Democrats have decided not to shove cucumbers up their
asses" while you desperately try to get that green gourd all the way
to your anxious prostate.
How about this for a Democratic strategy now and in the debate
after - act like the general public is fuckin' sick of the
Republicans and how they've led the nation. Act like Americans are
begging for someone to stop the crazy train we're on. 'Cause if you
can't pull the emergency brake, then you need to get thrown onto the
tracks. Slam this motherfuckin' Alito for being the weaselly bastard
he is. Stop making him into some noble, nice guy - fucker defended a
warrantless strip search of a ten year-old - what more do you need?
Remember: no one gives a shit beyond CNNMSNBCFox how badly
Republicans slam Democrats for being "obstructionists." No one cares
when Bush says the same thing. What the public will remember in
November is that Democrats stood for something, that they drew a
fuckin' line, man.
Dry yourselves off and slap those hard Republican cocks out of the
way, or it's just gonna be another sad right wing rape.