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KN4M 01-29-09

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://robalini.blogspot.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2009
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist


      Friday, January 23, 2009
      The Strange Case of Barack Obama's Oath of Office

      "At Mr. Obama's second swearing-in on Wednesday...(t)he photo
      released by the White House had been taken by its own photographer."
      (NY Times, Jan. 23, p. A16).

      A Cryptogram from the Cryptocracy?
      Michael Hoffman investigates

      "For a couple of smooth-talking constitutional experts, Chief Justice
      John G. Roberts Jr. and President-elect Barack Obama sure had a hard
      time getting through the constitutional oath of office...The chief
      justice seemed to say 'to' rather than 'of,' but that was not the
      main problem. The main problem was that the word 'faithfully' had
      floated upstream...Mr. Obama seemed to realize this, pausing
      quizzically after saying 'that I will execute –'

      "The chief justice gave it another go, getting closer but still not
      quite right: "faithfully the office of president of the United
      States." This time, he omitted the word 'execute.' Mr. Obama now
      repeated the chief justice's initial error of putting 'faithfully' at
      the end of the phrase. Starting where he had abruptly paused, he
      said: 'the office of the president of the United States faithfully."
      ("I Do Solemnly Swear…(Line, Please?," NY Times, Jan. 20, 2009)

      Yes, indeed these two "smooth-talking constitutional experts"
      couldn't manage to recite the brief oath as it was written. This was
      largely Chief Justice Roberts' fault. We can believe that this flub
      was due to human fallibility and that may very well be the case, or
      we can also wonder whether the very intelligent Chief Justice
      deliberately mishandled the oath so that it would be administered a
      second time, under very different circumstances.

      Here's how the media reported the second rite: ...After a day's worth
      of chatter over whether the president had been properly sworn into
      office...(i)n 25 seconds, President Obama became president again.
      Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. re-administered the oath to Mr.
      Obama on Wednesday evening, one day after the two men stumbled over
      each other's words during the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.
      For their do-over, the two men convened in the White House Map Room
      at 7:35 p.m. for a brief proceeding that was not announced until it
      was completed successfully...Only hours after aides told reporters
      there was no reason to administer the oath again, they concluded it
      was easier to do it on the first day, rather than have someone
      challenge the legitimacy of his presidency...Mr. Obama raised his
      right hand and did not use a Bible....only nine people witnessed the
      do-over. There were four aides, four reporters and a White House
      photographer..." (NY Times, Jan. 22, 2009).

      This second-time-around doppelganger oath was the real oath, since
      the flawed first one, done in the sight of millions and upon the
      Bible of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln was a "challenge (to)
      the legitimacy of his presidency..."

      There was no Bible the second time and with Obama having been
      compared to John F. Kennedy during the campaign, and with all of the
      macabre parallels between Kennedy and Lincoln (Lincoln was killed in
      Ford's theatre, Kennedy was killed in a Ford automobile; Lincoln's
      secretary was named Kennedy, Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln;
      Lincoln and Kennedy were both succeeded by vice-presidents named
      Johnson, etc.), I'm not sure that if I were Barack Obama I would have
      wanted to step into the middle of such a highly charged symbol
      palimpsest -- unless of course the first inaugural oath-taking was
      little more more than shadow-play.

      What appears to be the authentic inauguration took place in a
      basement, and was an elite rather than a populist rite, with just
      nine witnesses. It occurred in former President Franklin Roosevelt's
      secretive, war-era "map room." Before FDR, under presidents from
      Chester Arthur through Wilson and Coolidge, it was reputedly used to
      play the game of billiards.

      The omission of the Bible is not invalidating since the father of our
      country did not use one at his inauguration and Lyndon Johnson, on
      the plane to Washington after's Kennedy's killing, used a Roman
      Catholic mass book ("missal"), rather than a Bible. Hence, the
      absence of a Bible per se does not invalidate the oath, but the peek-
      a-boo nature of the inaugural Bible may be deliberate, in that its
      momentous presence at the botched inauguration is all the more
      glaring in its inexplicable absence at the real inauguration.

      If symbolism is a language, what is being signaled by this apparently
      deliberate omission?

      Another equally striking aspect of the second oath are the
      photographs of the ceremony, which feature the looming presence of a
      vintage portrait above the mantle on the wall behind the president
      and the chief justice.

      The oath is a ritual and this ritual has an icon hovering over it, as
      if by way of spiritual benediction and patronage. As of this writing,
      in all the prominent photos of the second oath which this writer has
      seen, no caption has been provided by the establishment media that
      identifies the enigmatic man in the portrait. Yet, symbolically, he
      is the "genius loci," the presiding spirit of the authentic inaugural
      ceremony of Barack Obama as President. Like the omission of the Bible
      after so much was made of its presence at the first oath-taking, the
      omission of any identification of the figure in the painting at the
      second oath-taking would seem to be significant.

      Let us recall that the second oath was performed in secret: "...the
      two men convened in the White House Map Room at 7:35 p.m. for a brief
      proceeding that was not announced until it was completed..."

      In Freemasonry the god of the secret societies is covertly
      substituted for the One True God. This false god is identified in the
      masonic lodges as "the Great Architect."

      The mysterious man in the portrait who silently presides over the
      authentic inauguration of Barack Obama as Commander and Chief, is
      Benjamin Latrobe, the great architect of the U.S. Capitol.

      Copyright 2009 • All Rights Reserved

      Michael Hoffman's latest book is Judaism Discovered, now in its
      second printing; available from www.RevisionistHistory.org
      Labels: Barack Obama, billiard games, Chief Justice John Roberts,
      cryptocracy, Freemasonry, Inauguration, Latrobe, Map Room, masonic
      symbolism, occult, shadow plays



      Magic C Howard sets NBA All-Star voting record
      By Tim Reynolds, AP Sports Writer

      ORLANDO, Florida — Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard -- leading the
      NBA in rebounds, blocked shots and double-doubles -- became the first
      player to receive 3 million votes from fans to lead this season's All-
      Star team.
      He got 3,150,181 votes when the count was released on Thursday,
      easily topping the previous record of 2,558,278 votes collected by
      Houston's Yao Ming four years ago.

      The Feb. 15 game in Phoenix will mark the third All-Star trip for
      Howard, who'll be starting for the second time.

      "Wow, what a blessing," said Howard, the 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter)
      center who dressed in full Superman regalia, cape and all, on the way
      to winning last year's slam dunk competition. "That is what I took it
      as, a blessing from God and then the fans. It's just a great honor
      and I was surprised, but like always I thank the fans for everything
      they have done for us."

      The final results of fan balloting didn't exactly bring any major

      Miami's Dwyane Wade (2,741,413) and Detroit's Allen Iverson
      (1,804,649) will be in the Eastern Conference backcourt, alongside
      reigning All-Star MVP LeBron James of Cleveland (2,940,823) and
      Boston's Kevin Garnett (2,066,833), who beat New Jersey's Yi Jianlian
      for the starting nod by 253,004 votes.

      Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (2,805,397) was the Western
      Conference's top vote-getter, and will be joined at guard by New
      Orleans' Chris Paul (2,134,798). At center, Yao (2,532,958) will
      start for the sixth time, along with forwards Tim Duncan of San
      Antonio (2,578,168) and Amare Stoudemire of Phoenix (1,460,429).

      "When I first heard I was leading in votes, I was shocked, to be
      honest with you," Howard said. "I really didn't expect anything
      considering you have guys like Kobe, LeBron and Dwyane."

      Howard entered Thursday averaging 20.2 points, 14.1 rebounds and 3.2
      blocks for the Magic.

      For Garnett, it's his 12th All-Star selection -- second-most among
      active players behind Shaquille O'Neal's 14 trips. O'Neal could see
      that total increase by one; he could easily be announced as a reserve
      when coaches' balloting to fill out the seven remaining spots on each
      roster are announced next week.

      Much like the East, the West voting was a bit predictable.

      Stoudemire's spot turned out to be the most vulnerable; he nipped San
      Antonio's Bruce Bowen -- who wasn't even starting for the Spurs right
      now -- in the starters' balloting by 68,031 votes.

      In all, five players (Howard, James, Bryant, Wade and Duncan) all
      topped Yao's previous record vote mark.

      "It's always an unbelievable honor, because there's so many great
      players in this league and so many young guys coming in, when you get
      named a starter from the fans," Wade said.



      Politics on the pitch: When Gaza and Sports Collide
      By Dave Zirin

      In January 2008, Egyptian soccer star Mohamed Aboutreika followed a
      goal by raising his shirt to reveal the slogan "Sympathise with
      Gaza". His actions were meant to put a spotlight onto the economic
      embargo that Israel had imposed on Palestinians in Gaza after the
      election of the Hamas government.

      Days before the ceasefire halted the carnage in Gaza city this month,
      history repeated as Sevilla (Spain) striker Fredi Kanoute raised his
      shirt after scoring a goal to reveal a shirt that said "Palestine" in
      multiple languages. Kanoute is not an obscure player. In 2007, he was
      named African player of the year, even though he was born in France
      (his family is from Mali).

      After earning a £3,000 fine for his political gesture, famed
      Barcelona coach, Jose Guardiola stood up for him, saying: "The fine
      is absolutely excessive. If they always banned these type of things,
      then journalists would not be able to write columns. ... Every war is
      absurd, and too many innocent people have died for us to be fining
      people for things like this."

      Welcome to 2009, when Israel's offensive on Gaza, ceasefire or no, is
      finding expression in the sports world. It's a development that
      should give supporters of Israel's actions in Gaza a great deal of

      Kanoute's actions come on the heels of an event in Ankara, Turkey
      when the Israeli basketball team, Bnei Hasharon, had to flee the
      court from what the Associated Press described as "hundreds of fist-
      pumping, chanting Turkish fans".

      Before the game could begin, angry chants of "Israeli killers!" came
      down from the crowd, as Palestinian flags appeared in their hands.
      Then, in a scene that would look familiar to George Bush, off came
      the shoes, and footwear rained down from the stands (the shoes didn't
      hit any players).

      A melee then began between 1,500 police officers and Turkish fans, as
      the fans advanced toward the court. Both Hasharon and the Turkish
      team Turk Telecom were hurried to the locker rooms where they
      remained for two hours.

      Hasharon forfeited the contest. It says something that Israel found
      reckoning on the basketball court long before any kind of
      International Criminal Court.

      According to sports historians, a sporting event hasn't been actually
      stopped in such a manner - with fans turning the stands into a site
      of protest - since 25 July 1981, when South Africa's Springbok rugby
      team had to cancel a game in New Zealand when fans occupied the field
      of play to protest apartheid.

      Israel has historically been adamant that any comparisons between the
      Israeli state and South Africa are absolutely false and even
      antisemitic. Jimmy Carter provoked their outrage of course when he
      published his book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

      But this parallel, when related to sports, should not be taken
      lightly. One of the most effective tools against apartheid South
      Africa was the South African Non-Racialised Olympic Committee, which
      attempted to use sports as a way to highlight and broadcast the
      inequities of the South African government. Sports can bring a
      political spotlight and unwanted attention onto a society like few
      other forces in the international community, galvanising, attention,
      passion and, as we saw in Turkey, anger.

      Israel hasn't helped itself in this regard by making sports a target
      in the war. On 9 January, the IDF bombed Gaza's Palestine National
      Stadium. The stadium was also the head of the Palestinian Football
      Association. The structure was built in 2005 partially with funds
      from Fifa. The facility will now need to be rebuilt again (in 2006 it
      was also bombed). It was meant to be a symbol of a Palestinian state,
      something that united the West Bank and Gaza as an expression of
      unity. Now it is rubble.

      In addition, perhaps fearing a repeat of Ankara, the Israel Football
      Federation is preventing any club matches from being played in
      Palestinian towns. As Jimmy Johnson, who works in Jerusalem for the
      Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions told me: "These are not
      Palestinian clubs from the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza, but for
      Palestinian citizens of Israel, sometimes called Arab Israelis, who
      are almost 20% of the population, vote in Israeli elections, etc."

      This has gotten little press in the US, but in the soccer-mad Middle
      East, it is altogether insult on top of injury.

      Sports, which we are told repeatedly represent a sacredly apolitical
      space, a place to flee the headaches of the real world, has now been
      thrust into the heart of a conflict raw with politics in a way we
      haven't seen in quite some time. Protests against Israeli actions in
      Gaza are sure to continue in sporting events outside the US. But the
      ramifications could very easily be felt inside our borders, as
      political leaders come to the White House and tell the new
      administration tales of sports fans gone wild.

      Dave Zirin is the author of the book: A People's History of Sports in
      the United States. You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every
      week by going to dave@.... Contact him at



      X Games mark the spot
      Once renegade events, action sports are deserving of Olympic status
      Story by Scott Willoughby
      The Denver Post

      ASPEN — It seems strange to think about the Winter X Games in terms
      of tradition. The event, after all, is founded on progression,
      innovation and invention. But that foundation turns 13 this week on
      the now-renowned slopes of Buttermilk Mountain. That's three Olympic
      cycles' worth of cutting-edge snowboarding and skiing, with Vancouver
      2010 looming only 13 months away.

      That may not quite qualify as a full-blown institution, but it's
      certainly time to establish a trend or two. Case in point: the
      tradition of X Games events moving from the action sports arena to
      the international stage that is the Winter Olympic Games.

      Few imagined during the early "knuckle-dragging" era of snowboard
      halfpipe that was the Winter X Games at Big Bear, Calif., in 1997
      that the evolution would not only land snowboarding in the Olympics
      but create international stars the likes of Shaun White and Gretchen

      The 1998 addition of snowboarding competition to the Olympic schedule
      eventually grew to include snowboardcross racing — another X Games
      staple — at Turin 2006. In Vancouver, skicross takes its turn on the

      "The International Olympic Committee is looking for sports that are
      relevant. They want exciting television and a young demographic,"
      said Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard
      Association (USSA), the domestic liaison to the Olympics for skiing
      and snowboarding. "Any of these sports, all you have to do is be
      creative, figure out formats and create things people are excited

      For several years, the logical progression of snowboard and ski
      events transcending the X Games to the Olympics has pointed to skiing
      superpipe as the encore to the snowboard event. And for several
      years, the burgeoning sport has been denied. To date, the closest it
      has come is a current attempt to finance a demonstration event at the
      Vancouver Games while holding out hope for a shot at Sochi 2014.

      Meanwhile, there are the X Games.

      "This is definitely like the Olympics for us at this point. It's the
      biggest event of the year and definitely the most influential event,"
      said Jess Cumming, 25, a Copper Mountain team rider from Edwards
      competing in her fourth Winter X skipipe. "The push is for 2014. I
      think the momentum is catching on, but in order for it to get to the
      Olympics, it has to go through every country's national ski

      "That's where we've been kind of lacking in the support. And that's
      where more support needs to come through to get it into the

      Cumming and the other seven women competing in the superpipe at
      Winter X tonight may have found a new friend in Marolt, who appears
      to be offering just the support they seek.

      Looking for new heroes

      In an effort to increase American medal tallies at the Winter
      Olympics, Marolt has become a vocal advocate for the addition of many
      of the so-called "new school" sports the X Games are known for.

      "Skipipe, slopestyle snowboarding — those things are on the table,"
      Marolt said. "My personal thought is when you evaluate a sport, you
      have to look at critical mass. How many people do you really have
      involved in it? That will determine the talent level. That will
      determine the marketing potential. In my mind, skipipe is definitely
      high on that list.

      "Every resort has a pipe. Tons of kids are twin-tipping and riding in
      the pipe. The heroes are already created. That seems to me the most
      likely place to go."

      Small payoffs

      USSA and its international governing body at the International Skiing
      Federation (FIS) have established a World Cup circuit for superpipe
      skiing, a necessary step toward Olympic inclusion, with the first
      World Cup competition in the United States taking place next week in
      Deer Valley, Utah.

      With minimal purses and a scarcity of media attention, World Cup
      competition has been slow to catch on among the sport's heaviest
      hitters. While the Winter X Games have created careers for athletes
      like Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont since pipe skiing was introduced in
      2002, there has been little incentive to compete in World Cup
      competition without the Olympic payoff.

      Others are willing to put in their time in hopes of reaping benefits
      down the road.

      "I do all the World Cups and have for years," said two-time defending
      women's skipipe gold medalist Sarah Burke of Whistler, British
      Columbia. "The (World Cup) field is there for the women. It's 100
      percent X Games athletes. The guys a little less, but five of the
      guys who are always at all the World Cups qualified for the men's

      Among them is Xavier Bertoni of France, who upset the men's superpipe
      skiing field to win his first Winter X Games gold medal over Hall
      (second) and Dumont (third) Thursday night. The win marked the first
      time since Candide Thovex's 2003 victory that anyone other than Hall
      or Dumont has won the event. Thovex and Bertoni both come from La
      Clusaz, France.

      "It's crazy. I can't believe it," said Bertoni, who used back-to-back
      900s and a 1260 with amplitude pushing above 20 feet for the top
      score of 93.66. "I'm really stoked."

      The reintroduction of an international champ to Winter X could
      enhance the image of World Cup competition by bringing some X Games
      clout to the field in the future.

      And that could translate to a continued tradition.

      "Here there are the best skiers in the world, so I prefer to win the
      X Games than a World Cup," Bertoni said. "I want to do a World Cup
      with Simon, with Tanner. It will be really good for the sport,
      because we are not yet in the Olympic Games, but with the level going
      up in the World Cup, I think that will help the sport to go to the
      Olympic Games. That's also a dream for me."

      Scott Willoughby: 303-954-1993 or swilloughby@...


      Grateful Dead Song of the Week:
      "Crazy Fingers"
      Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
      Copyright Ice Nine Publishing

      Your rain falls like crazy fingers
      Peals of fragile thunder keeping time

      Recall the days that still are to come
      Some sing blue

      Hang your heart on laughing willow
      Stray down to the water
      Deep Sea of Love

      Beneath the sweet calm face of the sea
      Swift undertow

      Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know
      See how it feels in the end
      May Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you
      Soft, strong, sweet and true

      Cloud hands reaching from a rainbow
      Tapping at the window touch your hair

      So swift and bright
      Strange figures of light
      Float in air

      Who can stop what must arrive now?
      Something new is waiting to be born

      Dark as the night
      You're still by my side
      Shining side

      Gone are the days we stopped to decide
      Where we should go
      We just ride

      Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams
      Gone - both dream and lie

      Life may be sweeter for this I don't know
      Feels like it might be alright
      While Lady Lullaby sings plainly for you
      Love still rings true

      Midnight on a carousel ride
      Reaching for the gold ring down inside

      Never could reach
      It just slips away but I try
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