Against Authority, Against Terror


Via Gods & Radicals:

Priests aren’t all religious.  The Media is also a kind of priesthood, foretelling the weather, telling us stories of other places, and fitting it all within a neat, Capitalist/Democratic narrative.  In this way, politicians are also priests, as are other political groups, and the events after a trauma become a pitched battle for control of meaning.

There are several hammers that Authority can wield over people to control them.  Direct violence is a bloody maul, but it’s hard to rule over people when you constantly have to break their arms.  Economic violence is another: starving people are easier to control, but it’s also hard to extract taxes from those who have nothing.  The third, and the one least addressed by any political theory I’ve yet seen, is to control Meaning.

Consider the Catholic Church’s stranglehold over the souls of the people. To disobey the Church was to lose one’s soul, to be exiled from ‘community’ (ex-communication), to lose access to the Divine, and to find yourself forever seared by eternal flames. … Read the rest

Continue Reading

Killer Mike Introduces Bernie Sanders at Atlanta Rally

If you don’t feel the Bern after watching this rousing speech, you might wanna check for a pulse!

While introducing Bernie Sanders at a rally in Atlanta on November 21st, Killer Mike called upon the spirit of Martin King the Revolutionary while discussing healthcare as a right of every citizen, raising the minimum wage, restoring the Voting Rights Act, ending the war on drugs, and insuring free education as a right for all.

He also calls Hillary “our own Margaret Thatcher.” — HA! 

Bernie/Killer Mike 2016

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Greed and Decline: The Treasure of the Knights Templar and Their Downfall

One can never read enough about the Knights Templar … so here’s some more from Ancient Origins:

The ‘Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon,’ more commonly known as the Knights Templar, or the Templars, was one of the most renowned military orders during the Middle Ages. The source of their fame came not only from their prowess on the battlefield, but also from the wealth they amassed during the Crusades. These riches eventually led to their downfall, and became the so-called ‘Treasure of the Templars’ in the popular imagination. What exactly is the ’Treasure of the Templars’?


Members of the Knights Templar in discussion. (Public Domain)

The Finances of the Templars

The Templars were not only great warriors, but formidable financiers as well. One of the two ranks of non-fighting men, for instance, was known as the farmers, who were responsible for the administration of the Order’s worldly possessions.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Pop Art, Robber’s Masks, and Skate Culture with Alex Scher


Being a self-proclaimed movie buff, I know all too well how pretentious the film world can be, but the “art world” can be even more overbearing and stuffy. So, it’s always refreshing to encounter those who work against that “pretentious artist” stereotype. I typically gravitate to filmmakers who turn art cinema (whatever that really is) on its head. And, I suppose, there’s really no difference when it comes to other artists I admire.

I just relocated to Chicago for a stint, where I happened to meet up-and-coming artist, Alex Scher. His tongue-in-cheek, skate culture spin on pop art is a refreshing recourse to the darker, more “serious” art I often come across.

After seeing some of his work, I sat down with him to discuss art, skate culture, and whatever the hell is up with his robber’s mask obsession.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company beats SpaceX to landing its first rocket

Eric Burger via Ars Technica:

Jeff Bezos finally one-upped Elon Musk in space. On Tuesday Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, announced its New Shepard space vehicle had ascended to 100.5km and returned successfully to the ground near its West Texas launch site.

“Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts—a used rocket,” said Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, in a statement. “Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard space vehicle flew a flawless mission—soaring to 329,839 feet and then returning through 119mph high-altitude crosswinds to make a gentle, controlled landing just four-and-a-half feet from the center of the pad. Full reuse is a game changer, and we can’t wait to fuel up and fly again.”

Like Blue Origin, Musk’s SpaceX is attempting to build a reusable Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 booster, but so far the company’s efforts to land its rocket on a mobile, seaborne platform have not been successful.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

7 Language Tricks Politicians Use to Deceive You and What to Do About it (According to George Orwell)


Via HighExistence:

By concentrating on essays along with fiction, according to Hitchens, writing in Why Orwell Matters, Orwell was able to take on “the competing orthodoxies and despotisms of his day with little more than a battered typewriter and a stubborn personality.”2

But what makes Orwell stand out from the other great humanists of the 20th century, and why he should matter to you, is the way he took that stubborn personality of his and used it to tackle many of his own despotic and prejudicial inclinations. Hitchens expands:

The evidence of his upbringing and instincts is that he was a natural Tory [conservative] and even something of a misanthrope…3 He had to suppress his distrust and dislike of the poor, his revulsion from the ‘coloured’ masses who teemed throughout the empire, his suspicion of Jews, his awkwardness with women and his anti-intellectualism. By teaching himself in theory and practice, some of the teaching being rather pedantic, he became a great humanist.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

How Loneliness Affects Your Brain

sanoop (CC BY 2.0)

sanoop (CC BY 2.0)

It seems that loneliness can make us more “defensive,” which may perpetuate the cycle.

via PsyBlog:

Loneliness makes the areas of the brain that are vigilant for threat more active, a new study finds.

This can make people who are socially isolated more abrasive and defensive — it’s a form of self-preservation.

This may be why lonely people can get marginalised.

Professor John Cacioppo, an expert on loneliness, speaking about an earlier study on the marginalisation of the lonely, said:

“We detected an extraordinary pattern of contagion that leads people to be moved to the edge of the social network when they become lonely.

On the periphery people have fewer friends, yet their loneliness leads them to losing the few ties they have left.

These reinforcing effects mean that our social fabric can fray at the edges, like a yarn that comes loose at the end of a crocheted sweater.”

Continue reading.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Brain Imaging Reveals Psychiatric Disorders are Not Neurological Disorders

Areas affected in neurological disorders (a) and psychiatric disorders (b). From The British Journal of Psychiatry

Areas affected in neurological disorders (a) and psychiatric disorders (b). From The British Journal of Psychiatry

More proof that psychiatric disorders are still a big mystery.

via Mad in America:

Some researchers have been arguing to reclassify all psychiatric disorders as diseases of the brain and nervous system, similar to epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease. Neuroimaging research, however, reveals that psychiatric disorders appear to be distinct from neurological disorders, according to a new study published in this month’s issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

“We acknowledge that the distinction between the fields of psychiatry and neurology involves multiple factors, ranging from social and historical to biological and that any new classification should ultimately reflect an improvement in clinical outcomes,” the authors wrote.

In recent years, noting that neurological disorders can often lead to symptoms similar to psychosis and that many psychiatric disorders have accompanying physical and motor symptoms, some specialists, known as “distinction abolitionists,” have pushed for eliminating the distinction between these two classifications.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Injection rooms for addicts to open next year in Ireland

Todd Huffman (CC BY 2.0)

Todd Huffman (CC BY 2.0)

Can you imagine this happening in the US? Me neither. But it probably should.

Kitty Holland via The Irish Times:

Drug users will be able to use supervised injecting rooms in Dublin next year, followed shortly afterwards by Cork, Galway and Limerick, according to the Minister in charge of the National Drugs Strategy.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who is set to announce the radical move in a speech to the London School of Economics on Monday, told The Irish Times that medically supervised injection rooms “will happen next year”.

In his address he will also outline plans to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, for personal use, as part of a “radical cultural shift” in the approach to drug addiction.

“I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction,” said Mr Ó Ríordáin.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Real Life Submission: French Jews Exodus To Israel

Reading the just-published English edition of Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission over the last week has been quite surreal given the real-life events in Paris. (For those unfamiliar with the book, literary gadfly Houellebecq envisions a scenario where France becomes an Islamic nation upon the victorious national election of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2022.)

One of the effects of the changeover from a secular to an Islamic state is the exodus of Jews from France to Israel. Recent events have accelerated the process greatly, reports the Observer:

Birthright Israel, the charity founded in 1999 to bring young Jews on trips to Israel, has witnessed an unprecedented increase in participation among French citizens over the past two years.

The Observer has learned that 2500 French Jews will have visited Israel as part of the program this year—more than double the 1100 who went last year and a stunning 2400% increase over the 98 who visited as program participants in 2013.

Read the rest
Continue Reading