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KN4M 09-30-06

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com Beliefwatch: 12/21/12 Newsweek Sept. 25, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2006
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      Beliefwatch: 12/21/12
      Newsweek

      Sept. 25, 2006 issue - Followers of New Age spirituality have long
      turned to indigenous religions for wisdom and inspiration, so it has
      not escaped their notice that something big happens in 2012: the
      ancient and complex Mayan calendar—studied by astrology,
      spirituality and history buffs alike—has chugged along for 1,872,000
      days, and its cycle stops (and restarts) on Dec. 21, 2012.

      Speculation over the 2012 cycle change has spurred a growing cottage
      industry. Amazon.com shows more than 100 books on the subject, with
      titles like "Doomsday 2012" and "2012: You Have a Choice!" A number
      of spirituality conferences are already convening. This month in New
      Mexico, spiritual seekers will gather for a "2012 Ascension
      Symposium," which promises to "offer humanity global reassurance and
      change the Consciousness of the world"; metaphysics author Geoff
      Stray is giving a series of lectures on 2012 throughout 2006 and
      2007, including at the UFO Conference in Nevada in February and
      a "Healing Conference" in Jericho, Israel, in May.


      To add to the frenzy, it just so happens that the years building up
      to 2012 mark an unusual astronomical alignment, one so rare it
      occurs only in 30 out of every 26,000 years. During this period, the
      Sun will make its annual crossing of the galactic equator—the plane
      that bisects the Milky Way as it appears in the sky—on the same day
      as the winter solstice. So what does all this mean? A small group of
      doomsayers believe a life-ending cataclysm is on the horizon.
      Patrick Geryl, a Belgian researcher, says he believes the alignment
      will trigger a reversal in the magnetic fields of the Sun, causing
      it to get 10 or 20 times hotter, which will reverse the Earth's
      rotation on its axis and flood its inhabitants (mainstream
      astronomers don't agree).


      Meso-American scholars are far less concerned. In Mayan cosmology,
      time proceeds in cycles—not in a straight line. "The world
      collapses, but then it gets reborn," says Davíd Carrasco, professor
      of Latin American religions at Harvard University. (The Maya believe
      the same thing happens when the Sun rises and sets each day.)
      Literary-magazine editor Daniel Pinchbeck, author of "2012: The
      Return of Quetzalcoatl," sees the new cycle as an opportunity for
      personal and spiritual growth. Instead of looking at the completion
      of the 5,125-year cycle as "the end," Pinchbeck suggests that
      2012 "could be more like the birth of the world."

      —Holly Lebowitz Rossi

      *****

      At U.N., Chavez Calls Bush 'The Devil'
      Wednesday September 20, 2006
      By IAN JAMES
      Associated Press Writer

      UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took his
      verbal battle with the United States to the floor of the U.N.
      General Assembly on Wednesday, calling President Bush ``the devil.''

      ``The devil came here yesterday,'' Chavez said, referring to Bush's
      address Tuesday. ``He came here talking as if he were the owner of
      the world.''

      The leftist leader, who has joined Iran in opposing U.S. influence,
      accused Washington of ``domination, exploitation and pillage of
      peoples of the world.''

      ``We appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt
      this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our head,'' he said.

      He also said the U.N. ``doesn't work'' in its current system and is
      ``antidemocratic.'' He called for reform, saying the U.S.
      government's ``immoral veto'' had allowed recent Israeli bombings of
      Lebanon to continue unabated for more than a month.

      ``Venezuela once again proposes today that we reform the United
      Nations,'' he said. He drew tentative giggles at times from the
      audience, but also some applause when called U.S. ``imperialism'' a
      menace.

      Chavez lambasted Washington for trying to block Venezuela's campaign
      for a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. He said if chosen
      over U.S.-favorite Guatemala in a secret-ballot U.N. vote next
      month, Venezuela would be ``the voice of the Third World.''

      The U.S. government warns that Chavez, a close ally of Iran, Syria
      and Cuba, would be a disruptive force on the council.

      *****

      Mother of Missing Boy Commits Suicide
      Sep 13, 2006
      By TRAVIS REED
      Associated Press Writer

      LEESBURG, Fla. - Two weeks after telling police that her son had
      been snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling
      in an interview with TV's famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before
      it was over, Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to
      know: "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that
      day?"
      A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death,
      deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy.

      Police have refused to say whether she left a suicide note, and said
      nothing they have found so far in their investigation of her death
      has shed light on the whereabouts of her 2-year-old son, Trenton.

      Investigators have stopped short of calling her a suspect but have
      focused increasing attention on her movements just before the boy
      vanished and the notes, computer, camera and other items seized from
      her house.

      Duckett's family members disputed any suggestion that she hurt her
      son. They said that the strain of her son's disappearance pushed her
      to the brink, and the media sent her over the edge.

      "Nancy Grace and the others, they just bashed her to the end,"
      Duckett's grandfather Bill Eubank said Tuesday. "She wasn't one
      anyone ever would have thought of to do something like this. She and
      that baby just loved each other, couldn't get away from each other.
      She wouldn't hurt a bug."

      Janine Iamunno, a spokeswoman for Grace, said in an e-mail that
      Duckett's death was "an extremely sad development," but that the
      program would continue covering the case.

      "We feel a responsibility to bring attention to this case in the
      hopes of helping find Trenton Duckett, who remains missing," Iamunno
      said.

      Duckett had told police that after she finished watching a movie
      Aug. 27, she went to check on Trenton in his bedroom, and all she
      found was an empty crib _ and a 10-inch cut in the window screen
      above it. At the time she was living her son, wading through a messy
      divorce with the boy's father and trying to get her life back on
      track after getting laid off from her job with a lawn care company.

      The boy's disappearance in this town of 19,000 people about 45 miles
      northwest of Orlando stretched the 75-member police force to its
      limits. Fliers were posted on gas station doors around town, asking
      for information from anyone who might have seen the boy, a brown-
      haired youngster wearing denim shorts and a diaper.

      Trenton's father, 21-year-old Josh Duckett, was closely questioned
      after the boy disappeared. Newspapers reported that his wife had
      taken out a temporary restraining order against him. But Josh
      Duckett took a polygraph test and has answered all police questions
      satisfactorily, Capt. Ginny Padgett said.

      On Sept. 7, Melinda Duckett gave a telephone interview to CNN
      Headline News' Grace, a former prosecutor known for practically
      cross-examining her guests. Duckett stumbled over such questions as
      whether she had taken a polygraph _ she said she refused on the
      advice of her divorce lawyer _ and where, exactly, she was shopping
      with the boy before his disappearance.

      Hours before the interview aired, Duckett shot herself Friday with
      her grandfather's gun at her grandparents' house, up the road from
      where she was living.

      Investigators are still trying to piece together a timeline of where
      she and Trenton were 24 hours before she reported him missing. On
      Tuesday, they released the make and model of her car, a 2000
      Mitsubishi Eclipse, and asked anyone who might have seen it during
      that period to call them.

      Also on Tuesday, a newspaper reported that she bought a shotgun from
      a pawn shop two days before Trenton vanished. Padgett said police
      could not confirm that.

      On Monday, agents used dogs and digging equipment to search an
      outlying area that someone had called about, but found nothing.
      Investigators continued to field tips.

      "We're following up," Padgett said. "Hopefully they'll bring in
      something to help us firm up the timeline."
      ___
      On the Net:

      FBI missing persons page on Trenton Duckett:
      http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap/duckett_tj.htm

      *****

      A reply to Joseph Farah
      From Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
      Online Journal Contributing Writer
      Sep 14, 2006

      Yesterday, Joseph Farah wrote and published an article, "Kill the
      Christians," on his WorldNetDaily website. He was allegedly
      attacking an article I'd written (as a private citizen) for Online
      Journal, but he completely ignored the article's argument and
      substance: the need for equality legislation to address the fact
      that "nearly one-fifth (17.6 percent) of students had been
      physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and over a
      tenth (11.8 percent) because of their gender expression." Instead he
      launched into a vicious personal attack and professional assault,
      replete with childish name-calling and a vocabulary foreign to all
      professional journalists.

      Aside from calling me a little rat, Mr. Farah insulted Penn State's
      60,000-plus students – "the unsuspecting skulls full of mush who
      attend Penn State" – as well as institutions of higher education
      nationwide – "the sewers that are America's universities."

      The title of Mr. Farah's article defined yellow journalism. No where
      in my essay – or in my life – have I ever called for anyone to be
      killed, unlike some who have a problem with gay people:

      At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron
      announced to the attendees, "Unless we get medically lucky, in three
      or four years, one of the options discussed will be the
      extermination of homosexuals." According to an interview with former
      Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the
      extermination option as early as 1983. – Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-
      Telegraph, March 10, 1995.

      Paul Cameron's "studies" are frequently cited by the Christian Right
      in their theo-political attacks on the LGBT community.

      Mr. Farah based his erroneous claim that I advocated killing
      Christians on the article's last lines:

      A very wise woman recently asked me "Who will rid us of the evil
      lunatics?"

      We will. We must. Public education and a civil, civilized society
      depend upon it.

      Aside from being taken out of context, when did "rid" become "kill"?
      To be sure, I would like to "rid" the U.S. Senate of politicians
      such as Rick Santorum, but certainly wish the man no physical harm.
      And yes, I do believe those who openly advocate discrimination
      against fellow citizens in the public arena are "evil."

      Not surprisingly, wanting to inflict physical harm was the forte of
      this WND reader who sent me the following e-mail:

      Dear Sir,

      It is truely [sic] a shame that dualing [sic] is no longer allowed
      in our country, because I would love to call you out and put a round
      right between your eyes.

      Have a miserable day.

      John XXXXXX [last name redacted]


      And then there was this vulgar, pro-discrimination missive from
      another WDN reader with a desire to bump me off:

      Professor Seesholtz:

      You're one radical little queerbait.

      Joe Farah has you pegged at Worldnetdaily.com. I'd love to bump into
      you on the street sometime.

      It's filthy little sodomite trash like you that fuck up our kids and
      destroy a once-great nation.

      May you and your panty-wearing, rainbow flag waving queerfellows
      roast in Hell.

      Suck my cock, freak!

      James M. XXXXXX [last name redacted]

      Indianapolis, Indiana


      Mr. Farah accused me of wanting to squelch debate and opposition,
      and seemed particularly offended by my statement that he "lorded
      over" WND. He conveniently forgot to include the links provided
      for "lorded over" and "Joseph Farah." The first link was to

      Exhibit 24: Joseph Farah, Crusher of Dissent
      By Terry Krepel
      Posted 9/8/2003

      How can Joseph Farah top himself after advocating the murder of
      adulterers? Why, bring back the Hollywood blacklist, of course!

      Set off by an article in which Johnny Depp allegedly called the
      United States a "dumb puppy that has big teeth" (though he said
      later his views were misrepresented and insisted he wasn't trying to
      be anti-American) Farah called for that draconian solution in a
      Sept. 4 column. Farah's reasoned reaction to Depp? "I say we should
      make certain this scumbucket never works in America again." . . .


      The second, "Joseph Farah" link was background to the first:

      Exhibit 22: The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Adulterers
      By Terry Krepel
      Posted 2/10/2003

      It's not often you find people who are not Ann Coulter endorse
      killing people who haven't broken any laws in articles printed in
      major publications, but that is indeed what WorldNetDaily's Joseph
      Farah does in a Jan. 30 column. . . .

      Again not surprisingly, Mr. Farah concluded his ad hominem attack
      with a call for McCarthy-like purging of all those who hold opinions
      other than those with which he agrees.

      As the two e-mails from WND readers above cited above (and there
      were plenty more using antigay vulgarity and expressing a similar
      desire to "kill" me), Mr. Farah succeeded in inciting violence,
      which is precisely the reason SB 1437 and similar legislation is
      needed, and why the rhetoric of the Christian Right is anything
      but "Christian" or "right."

      *****

      Feds Lower Boom on Alternative Money
      By Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY

      WASHINGTON (Sept. 15) — The government Thursday warned consumers and
      businesses that it is illegal to use alternative money known
      as "Liberty Dollar" coins, which organizers promote as a competitor
      to the almighty dollar.

      "We don't want consumers to be fooled," U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky
      Bailey says, noting U.S. Attorneys offices across the USA have
      noticed a marked increase in inquiries about the coins.

      The coins' producers vowed to fight the government's decision.

      Evansville, Ind.-based National Organization for the Repeal of the
      Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, otherwise known
      as NORFED, has been making the Liberty Dollar coins for eight years
      and claims $20 million is in circulation. The group says the money,
      unlike official U.S. cash, has a hedge against inflation because it
      is made almost entirely of silver and is backed by stocks of silver
      and gold in a vault in Idaho.

      The coins are then spent by the group's 2,500 Liberty Associates in
      stores run by fellow supporters or are accepted unknowingly by
      clerks who are unaware they are not receiving real money.

      The Justice Department has determined that use of Liberty Dollars,
      which come in varying denominations, "is a crime," according to the
      Mint, which issued a rare public warning Thursday.

      "The United States Mint is the only entity that can produce coins,"
      Bailey says.

      The Mint notes the coins share some resemblances to real money, such
      as the term "Trust in God" instead of "In God We Trust" and use of a
      torch in the design. Such similarities may confuse people into
      thinking the money is real, the Mint says.

      But NORFED says it will challenge the government, arguing it has
      never claimed Liberty Dollars were official money and that it has a
      right to offer an alternative.

      "The designs and verbiage ... are original and are not copies of any
      U.S. Mint currency," NORFED Executive Director Michael Johnson said
      in a statement.

      It's unclear how many people or businesses are unknowingly holding
      Liberty Dollars, which cannot be exchanged for real money at banks.

      In a case in Buffalo, a man and his son are set to go on trial next
      month after they knowingly tried to buy beer at a Buffalo Sabres
      hockey game with Liberty Dollars.

      The Mint did not say if government officials will seek to prosecute
      individuals or NORFED after its warning.

      Reed Runk, part-owner of Kendall Funk & Bismark Jewelers in
      Chambersburg, Pa., says the store has been accepting Liberty Dollars
      for about a year and has sold a few as well. Runk says the store
      will continue to accept and sell the coins.

      "We just feel that they are something that educates people as to
      what the monetary systems are like in the world, that they are a
      fiat system, that if people lose faith in them, they will collapse,"
      he says. Besides, "They are a good-looking coin."

      *****

      Ten anti-Castro "journalists" in South Florida on US government
      payroll
      By Luciana Bohne
      Online Journal Contributing Writer
      Sep 15, 2006

      During the Mercosur summit in Argentina, WJAN-TV South Florida
      reporter, Manuel Cao, asked Cuban President Fidel Castro why his
      government didn't allow a prominent doctor and dissident to leave
      the country. Quick as lightning, Castro shot back, "Who pays you?"

      Now we find that Cao's paymaster was the US government: he received
      $10,400 in payments so far this year. Cao is one among 10 South
      Florida journalists to have been found accepting money in exchange
      for touting propaganda intended to undermine the Cuban government
      via Radio and TV Marti (both bankrolled by the US government to the
      tune of $37 million to broadcast anti-Cuban propaganda from the
      States onto Cuban soil).

      The news mercenaries' covert employer was exposed by documents
      obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Three were fired
      from El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister paper of the Miami
      Herald: columnist Pablo Alfonso, staff reporter Wilfredo Cancio and
      freelancer Olga Connor.

      Pablo Alfonso, who wrote an opinion column, received $175,000 since
      2001.

      Perusing Alfonso's columns in Spanish, I found them to be concerned
      with trivial and titillating gossip of possible interest only to
      resentful exiles. The columns whispered about an alleged dairy farm,
      maintained solely for private catering to Castro's taste for the
      freshest strawberry yogurt and camembert cheeses.

      Other fluff items included speculations on the "secrecy" -- perhaps
      nepotism -- surrounding the professional activities of Castro's
      tribe of grandchildren (all apparently respectably employed in Cuba
      or abroad in various non-subversive scientific fields).

      Another provocation to outrage included Castro's alleged failure to
      effect a promised "energy revolution" because a power outage of four
      hours had crippled three provinces in June. My hunch is that
      Castro's "energy revolution" might have been referring to the one
      promised by ongoing off-shore, deep-sea explorations for oil and gas
      effected through an agreement with an Indian oil exploration company.

      The most ironic of Alfonso's silly charges was the one stating that
      the newspaper, Granma, acted as a stenographer for Raul Castro's
      recent "declarations" and "interviews," upon assuming leadership of
      the Cuban nation, absent the convalescing Fidel Castro.

      Of the bribed journalists mentioned by the US national media this
      morning (11 September 2006) -- the names of all 10 were reported by
      the Miami Herald. El Nuevo Herald's Olga Connor, a freelance
      journalist, received $71,000 from the US Office of Cuba Broadcasting
      since 2001; Nuevo Herald staff reporter Wilfredo Cancio Isla
      received $15,000 for the same period. Additional US news mercenaries
      were opinion page editor for Diario Las Americas Helen Aguirre Ferre
      and reporter/columnist Ariel Remos.

      What struck me about this news coverage, however, was the absence of
      detailed coverage for Carlos Alberto Montaner, surely one of the
      most world-prominent of the Miami 10. A militant anti-Castroist,
      sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by the Cuban revolutionary
      government in 1960 for "conspiring against the power of the state,"
      Montaner has lived two-thirds of his life in exile. Now residing in
      Spain, he's founder and president of the Unión Liberal Cubana (Cuban
      Liberal Union). In Spain, he writes for ABC (the former mouthpiece
      for Francisco Franco, the Falangist Spanish dictator). An admiring
      website claimed that "his syndicated column is read by six million
      readers. His opinions make politician[s] in Spain and Latin America
      tremble. . . . He maintains his position as one of the regions most
      respected journalists."

      Perhaps, but now he'll have to maintain it in the face of this
      recent exposure of his being in the pay of the US government. When
      he claims that Fidel Castro's "cancer will deliver justice," as he
      does in his columns, the alleged cancer's war on Fidel might suggest
      that it is diagnosed by a close collaborator of the US government.
      If Caracas indeed "will shiver with Castro's death," as Montaner
      predicts, readers might wonder with whom this drivel of wishful
      thinking is intended to curry favor. "The [Cuban]army's loyalty ends
      with Fidel's life" makes you wonder if another Bay of Pigs US
      debacle fueled by anti-revolutionary, out-of-touch, diehards in
      exile is in the offing -- or if the myth of a military coup is the
      result of too many years of mojito drinking, coupled with frustrated
      hopes among US-supported Cuban exiles' intriguers and illusionists.

      "Democracy can arrive on the island via a pact with reformists,"
      Montaner opines. Which "reformists"? The former Cuban estate
      landlords and clients of US multi-national exploiters in Miami? Or
      the "reformists" generated and proliferated by the $10 million
      initiative to foment "dissidence" in Cuba by the US Special
      Interests Office in Havana?

      Actually, Cuban government officials have been arguing for decades
      that Montaner is far from a liberal paladin of human rights and
      democracy. They say that he's very close to known international
      terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch,
      responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. He's an agent of
      the CIA, the Cubans insist. He has ties to the NGO, Reporters
      without Borders, which, last year, admitted it is financed by the
      CIA.

      Reporters without Borders mounted a campaign in 2002 characterizing
      the trial and imprisonment in Cuba of more than two dozen
      journalists, among 75 "dissidents," as a violation of human rights.
      The Cuban government insisted that the accused were mercenary
      agitators paid by the US to pose as "independent journalists." As
      Granma reported, "none of them even passed through a journalism
      faculty or school of journalism and never wrote a single line of
      journalism."

      Now whom are we to believe, in this matter of human-rights
      violations by Cuba? The Cuban officials or the purveyors of
      democracy in the "free press" paid for by the US government -- not
      exactly distinguished by its regard for truth?

      Further Reading

      "Cuba after Fide1," Le Monde Diplomatique, 1 Sept. 2006

      Luciana Bohne teaches film and literature at Edinboro University of
      Pennsylvania. She can be reached at lbohne@....

      *****

      Unfinished Tolkien work to be published
      9/18/2006

      NEW YORK (AP) — An unfinished tale by J.R.R. Tolkien has been edited
      by his son into a completed work and will be released next spring,
      the U.S. and British publishers announced Monday.

      Christopher Tolkien has spent the past 30 years working on The
      Children of Hurin, an epic tale his father began in 1918 and later
      abandoned. Excerpts of The Children of Hurin, which includes the
      elves and dwarves of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and other
      works, have been published before.

      "It has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for
      presenting my father's long version of the legend of the Children of
      Hurin as an independent work, between its own covers," Christopher
      Tolkien said in a statement.

      The new book will be published by Houghton Mifflin in the United
      States and HarperCollins in England.

      J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy has sold more than 50
      million copies and was also adapted into a blockbuster, Academy
      Award-winning trio of films. A stage version is scheduled to open
      next year.
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