Archive | April 16, 2013

Belief in an Angry, Punishing God Associated With Increase in Mental Illness

sinners hands angry god2A new study reveals that if your vision of God is that of a pissed-off monster then you may be more likely to have certain kinds of for mental health problems. And yes, I mean beyond just believing that there’s an ill-mannered invisible monster watching your every move:

Analyzing a Gallup survey conducted in 2010, the researchers sought to determine how one’s perception of God — as punitive, benevolent, or indifferent — was associated with five different psychiatric symptoms: general anxiety, social anxiety, paranoia, obsession, and compulsion.

Respondents’ characterizations of God were gleaned from their opinions of how six adjectives — absolute, critical, just, punishing, severe, or wrathful — applied to God. A numbering system was used to gauge the degree to which the subject viewed the adjective as an accurate descriptor of God (very well = 4; somewhat well = 3, not very well = 2, etc.). In a similar fashion, respondents answered queries designed to measure the five aforementioned psychiatric symptoms.

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Graham Hancock on Good and Evil

Graham Hancock was recently interviewed by William Rowlandson Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kent. The interview focused on many different aspects of Graham’s work but with particular emphasis on his recent ventures in fiction — Entangled, published in 2010 and his forthcoming novel War God, about the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. In this extract from the longer interview Graham talks about the treatment of violence in his novels and about the struggle of good against evil. Are these real, primal forces or projections of our own minds and cultures? What do they have to teach us? Why dwell on them in works of fiction?

Background info and a free-to-read extracts from War GodRead the rest

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Former KGB Officer Describes The Soviet Union’s Secret UFO Studies

soviet ufoThe earthly or extraterrestrial origin of the UFOs was never determined, but some military officials  believed they knew how to summon them, Russia Beyond the Headlines writes:

The Soviet Union took UFOs seriously. The KGB and the Soviet Defense Ministry had dedicated units collecting and analysing information about paranormal activity. Military experts even claimed to know how to “summon” UFOs and make contact with them.

The source for this is a retired FSB major general and researcher, Vasily Yeremenko. Yeremenko was in charge of the KGB division overseeing the air force and aircraft manufacturing. This division was entrusted with the task of collecting all reports of UFO sightings.

[In the 1970s], as Yeremenko told RBTH, there had been an accumulation of reports on numerous paranormal incidents. Missile Troops units were even instructed on how to behave in the event that they spotted a UFO: the main thing was not to act in a way that could create an opportunity for a retaliatory aggression.

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The Millennials: Pragmatism and Idealism

fast future[disinfo ed.'s note: In Fast Future, Millennial writer and filmmaker, David Burstein examines how his generation is profoundly impacting politics, business, technology, and culture. The Millennials have been called, entitled, narcissistic, “the worst employees in history”, “trophy kids”, and even “the dumbest generation.” But, argues Burstein, the Millennial Generation’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism, combined with their seamless ability to navigate the 21st century world – where constant and fast change is the new reality–enables them to overcome the short-term challenges of a deeply entrenched country and begin to address our world’s long-term challenges. With eighty million Millennials (people who are today eighteen to thirty years old) coming of age and emerging as leaders in America alone, this is the largest generation in U.S. history, by 2020, its members will represent one out of every three adults in the country. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than their elders, they are the first generation to come of age in a truly global world, and the first to come of age in the new digital era.… Read the rest

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How Obama Defanged the EPA

606px-Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgJoshua Frank writes at Counterpunch:

It was a tumultuous tenure, productive by some accounts, lackluster by most, but one thing is for certain, Lisa Jackson’s short time as administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency was anything but dull. On December 27, 2012 the often-fiery Jackson announced she was not going to return for a second term, and it is surely not difficult to see why she’s fleeing her post.

Since President Obama was ushered into office in 2008, the EPA has consistently faced ridicule and criticism from corporate polluters and their greedy allies in Washington. On virtually every occasion Obama refused to side with Jackson’s more rationale, often science-based positions, whether it was cleaning up the air or forcing the natural resource industries to abide by existing regulations. Ultimately, the EPA is only as formidable as the White House allows it to be, and on Obama’s watch the agency has not received the support it has desired or deserved.

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How The CIA Helped Orchestrate The Extralegal Creation Of Disney World

disney worldVia the Daily Beast, T.D. Allman explains how top CIA alumni helped Disney buy up large swathes of South Florida land in secretive fashion and create its own private cities and quasi-government:

Disney’s key contact was the consummate cloak-and-dagger operator, William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Sometimes called the “Father of the C.I.A,” he was also the founding partner of Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine, a New York law firm whose attorneys included future C.I.A. director William Casey.

In order to maintain “control over the overall development,” Disney and his advisers realized, “the company would have to find a way to limit the voting power of the private residents.” Here again the CIA was there to help. Disney’s principal legal strategist for Florida was a senior clandestine operative named Paul Helliwell. Helliwell came up with the approach that to this day allows the Disney organization to avoid taxation and environmental regulation as well as maintain immunity from the U.S.

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Pres Obama Signs Bill Killing Anti-Corruption, Pro-Transparency STOCK Act Provisions

via Daily Kos

Obama-Corruption

…yesterday, President Obama completed this rope-a-dope deception by signing this new bill, which stripped key provisions from the STOCK Act and rolled back a lot of the progress that the original bill made in promoting transparency and open government. The bill was signed without any cameras or fanfare, which is in stark contrast to the very public signing of the actual STOCK Act. It seems President Obama was glad to parade around the signing of the pro-transparency bill, but was not so open about his reversal of the most important parts of it a year later! Open Secrets describes the key provisions stripped out of the bill and labels this action “A reversal of the STOCK Act”:

The elements of the STOCK Act that were removed include:

Creation of searchable, sortable disclosure of the information contained in reports even for Congress, the president, vice president, the president’s cabinet and congressional candidates.

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Elizabeth Warren’s Foreclosure Settlement Bombshell: Banks Determined the Number of Victims of Their Own Foreclosure Frauds

via Wall Street on Parade

elizabeth warren

There is only one thing more Kafkaesque than the ongoing Wall Street frauds and that is watching a live United States Senate investigation of a diabolical settlement the banks themselves concocted to repay the victims of their own fraud. Such was the case yesterday when Senators Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, and Elizabeth Warren grilled regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve along with outside consultants over allowing banks to hand pick the consultants to do their foreclosure reviews, negotiate confidentiality agreements with them and pay them directly.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in checks from the Foreclosure Review settlement will start going out today, eventually topping $3.6 billion in the cash portion of the settlement, and yet it was revealed during yesterday’s Senate hearing that it was the actual banks that engaged in the illegal foreclosure actions that tallied up and classified their wrongdoing under various degrees of harm; deciding themselves how many people would receive $300 and how many $125,000.

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