The Comforts of Blame

Vladimir_Putin_-_2006

Attribution: Kremlin.ru

Sure, Putin is a bad guy, but is he the head of the Illuminati, responsible for all the problems in the world – is any one person even capable of such?

Binoy Kampmark writes at CounterPunch:

Investigations tend to be called upon to do just that. Causes are identified; actors are located.  The investigation being demanded by all countries that lost citizens on Malaysian flight MH17 in Ukraine was a perfectly logical, and legal demand.  The language of pre-emption, however, was never far away, begging the question on whether an investigation was even needed.

From the start, the rhetoric surrounding the shooting down of MH17 has been scripted as a matter of moral urgency and outrage.  Culprits have been sought with zeal, and the language of a crime site used to explain the radius within which the remains of the aircraft fell.  Someone pulled the trigger, as much as that can be said.

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Epigenetic Tie to Neuropsychiatric Disorders Found

2D structure of neurotransmitter dopamine. Created with BKChem and Extensible SVG Optimiser

2D structure of neurotransmitter dopamine. Created with BKChem and Extensible SVG Optimiser

Could this discovery lead to the end of “treating” mental illness through the endless prescribing of psychiatric drugs?

Via ScienceDaily:

Dysfunction in dopamine signaling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, according to UC Irvine scientists.

This epigenetic alteration of gene activity in brain cells that receive this neurotransmitter showed for the first time that dopamine deficiencies can affect a variety of behavioral and physiological functions regulated in the prefrontal cortex.

The study, led by Emiliana Borrelli, a UCI professor of microbiology & molecular genetics, appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

“Our work presents new leads to understanding neuropsychiatric disorders,” Borrelli said. “Genes previously linked to schizophrenia seem to be dependent on the controlled release of dopamine at specific locations in the brain.

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A Modest Urn for Modest People

Who doesn’t love a good Big Lebowski reference?

Modest-Urns

via Oh Gizmo!:

These Modest Urns by Archie McPhee are a novelty or joke at best. I think. They’re McPhee’s “most modestly priced receptacle” which can hold up to 62.8 cubic inches of ashes or whatever else you want to put into it. I say “ashes” because they’re being marketed as uber-affordable urns for your ashes, your pet’s ashes, or for whoever else’s ashes. For all intents and purposes, it should be able to get the job done.

They even have a modestly priced receptacle for pets.

modest_urn_5

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Lilith Returns: Party At The World’s End

Party At The World's End“We are on the side of man, of life and of the individual. Therefore we are against religion, morality and government. Therefore our name is Lucifer.

We are on the side of freedom, of love, of joy and laughter and divine drunkenness. Therefore our name is Babalon.

Sometimes we move openly, sometimes in silence and in secret. Night and day are one to us, calm and storm, seasons and the cycles of man, all these things are one, for we are at the roots. Supplicant we stand before the Powers of Life and Death, and are heard of these powers and avail. Our way is the secret way, the unknown direction. Ours is the way of the serpent in the underbrush, our knowledge is in the eyes of goats and of women.” -Jack Parsons

Ten years in the making, “Party At The World’s End,” is a counter-cultural urban fantasy is coming in September from Disinfo alum James Curcio.Read the rest

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The Newseum Publishes the Front Pages of Newspapers From Over 800 Countries Daily

The Newseum is based in Washington DC and publishes the front page of newspapers from over 800 countries daily.

via Newseum.org:

Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays these front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Discretion is advised.

From their About Us page:

Newseum Blends High-Tech With Historical
One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum’s 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum Institute serves as a forum for First Amendment study, exploration and education. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum.

The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment.

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Suicide Bombers Over Gaza In A World Coming Apart

Artillery Corps Fires Practice Cannon3.jpg

For years, the term “suicide bombers” has been synonymous with terrorist attacks, especially in Israel. The idea of a martyr willing to give his life for a cause while taking out an “enemy” became a feature of modern conflict especially with resistance movements confronting modern armies.

Oddly enough, the phrase, seems to have blown back today into Israel itself, as its military engages in a much deadlier “suicide mission,” acting like Ahab in Melville’s Moby Dick determined to slay the monster whale while killing themselves.

First, there are the costs to Israel’s economy: With major airlines canceling flights, there goes the summer tourist season.

Next, Deutsche Welte reports,

“The conflict has so far cost Israel’s defense budget more than a billion shekels, some 200 million euros. Eitan Avriel of the business magazine “The Marker” suspects that the army will reclaim this money from the government. more than a billion shekels, some 200 million euros.

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Free Markets and Capitalism Are Not the Same Thing

Photograph shows stock brokers working at the New York Stock Exchange. 1963

Photograph shows stock brokers working at the New York Stock Exchange. 1963

Roderick Long writes about the problems with conflating the two at Bleeding Heart Libertarians:

Left-libertarians differ from the (current) libertarian mainstream both in terms of what outcomes they regard as desirable, and in terms of what outcomes they think a freed market is likely to produce.

With regard to the latter issue, left-libertarians regard the current domination of the economic landscape by large hierarchical firms as the product not of free competition but of government intervention – including not only direct subsidies, grants of monopoly privilege, and barriers to entry, but also a regulatory framework that enables firms to socialise the scale costs associated with growth and the informational costs associated with hierarchy, while pocketing the benefits – and leaving employees and consumers with a straitened range of options. In the absence of government intervention, we maintain, firms could be expected to be smaller, flatter, and more numerous, with greater worker empowerment.

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The Unbelievable Life and Death of Michael C. Ruppert

Michael Ruppert.jpg

Michael C. Ruppert receives the full posthumous biography treatment at The Verge, where Matt Stroud writes “After decades of struggle, the notorious doomsayer finally found fame and recognition. Then he shot himself.”:

By the second Sunday of April this year, Michael C. Ruppert was broke. The 63-year-old cop-turned-writer and firebrand gained fame by starring in Collapse, a 2009 documentary in which he predicts society’s destruction. Publicity from the film was great — he went on a countrywide promotional tour — but compensation had fizzled out. By April, he was receiving just a couple hundred dollars per month in royalties to supplement his meager Social Security checks.

In an effort to simplify his life, Ruppert had gradually sold, tossed out, or given away nearly all of his possessions, which included an arsenal of guns, countless books, and government documents. All that remained was a collection of sentimental knickknacks, along with clothes appropriate for a man in his 60s: button-up shirts, dark-colored slacks, a few flannels, a couple of L.L.

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Fukushima: Bad and Getting Worse

Japan Nuclear power plants map.gif

Our contributor Kowality Jesus (we don’t know his or her real name, s/he’s truly independent of disinformation) stirred up not a little controversy with the post Fukushima’s Real Threat: Undue Fear. As a counterweight, consider this Counterpunch post by Nukewatch’s John LaForge to be a rebuttal:

There is broad disagreement over the amounts and effects of radiation exposure due to the triple reactor meltdowns after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) joined the controversy June 4, with a 27-page “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report ‘Levels and effects of radiation exposures due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East-Japan Earthquake and tsunami.’”

IPPNW is the Nobel Peace Prize winning global federation of doctors working for “a healthier, safer and more peaceful world.” The group has adopted a highly critical view of nuclear power because as it says, “A world without nuclear weapons will only be possible if we also phase out nuclear energy.”

UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, published its deeply flawed report April 2.

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