Author Archive | dp1974

Australia’s Drone War: The ‘Kill Chain’

Reports ABC News:

A senior Australian Defence Force officer has revealed details of how the Royal Australian Air Force deploys Israeli-owned drones for battlefield surveillance and to target anti-government Islamic fighters in Afghanistan.

Wing Commander Jonathan McMullan says Australia is “just buying hours” on the Heron drones from a Canadian company that in turn “leases them from IAI” (Israel Aerospace Industries), which is wholly owned by the Israeli government.

While enthusiastically endorsing the Heron’s capabilities, Wing Commander McMullan was highly critical of the quality of training provided by Israeli and Canadian instructors to Australian drone crews.

The unarmed Israeli Herons first entered RAAF service in Afghanistan in December 2009. They are the centrepiece of the ADF’s rapidly expanding drone warfare capability that has so far cost an estimated $550 million. Australian Defence Force chief General David Hurley told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra late last month: “I wouldn’t discount the fact that we might have armed UAVs thinking through our force structure review into the future.”…

More: ABC News

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A World of Religion

In honour of the recent "world's largest" gathering of atheists in Washington D.C, a reminder of their place in the great scheme of things — there are less than 150 million of them at last global count: Religion Still beats the Wiccans, Bahai'i and Yazidis combined. On the other hand, secularism (separation of church and state) counts as 1.1 billion. Reference: 'Graphic: A demographic breakdown of the world of religion', National Post, 23 March 2012
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L. Ron Hubbard & Aleister Crowley: The Occult Roots of Scientology?

The Rosy Cross, appropriated in a similar form by Crowley and OTO

The Rosy Cross, appropriated in a similar form by Crowley and OTO

Ohio State professor Hugh Urban is no stranger to esoteric religions, and The Village Voice blog Runnin’ Scared is no stranger either to the professor or to his other pet project: well-deserved exposés of that most modern of esoteric religions, Scientology.

Scientology's cross. See the similarity?

Regular Disinfo readers would be familiar with the following slightly paranoia-inducing fact, as the post puts it: “that after his involvement in WWII, Hubbard shacked up with Jet Propulsion Lab rocket scientist Jack Parsons, a man heavily into the occult, and in particular the teachings of The Great Beast, British occultist Aleister Crowley.”

Many a conspiracy theory has been launched from this outlier. However, blogger Tony Ortega latest Scientology post ‘paraphrases’ Urban’s new piece for the pay-walled journal Nova Religio, which is a thorough, academic study of the ways that Crowley’s “magick” found parallels in what would become Hubbard’s most famous creation, Scientology.… Read the rest

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After the First Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours a Night

Between SleepStephanie Hegarty reports in BBC News:
We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep. Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists ...
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New Crowdfunded Graphic Novel Depicts the 1967 Herbert Schirmer Abduction

December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter I got an early Christmas present last year: a package from Los Angeles cartoonist Mike Jasorka. Inside was the fruit of his efforts and my $20 Kickstarter pledge: December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter, a graphic novelisation of the strange case of Herbert Schirmer, a Nebraska state patrolman who claims to have been taken aboard an alien spacecraft. I commend it to all wrong-thinking disinfonauts everywhere, for several reasons, but mostly aesthetic. The black and white panels occasionally splashed with dramatic colour ensures that the 50+ page book is a visually compelling artefact. It also arrives with a CD, a word for word adaptation from the found audio of Schirmer at a 1970’s UFO conference in Florida, making it simultaneously an aural event (surely a first for a graphic novel, but fanboys will no doubt correct me). Finally, there's the story: of Schirmer's childhood upbringing that leads him to become a police officer, what happened that very night on duty and why even after countless ridicule, he stuck next to the unbelievable truth. Herbert’s heart-felt story speaks of his childhood upbringing that leads him to become a police officer, what happened that very night on duty and why even after countless ridicule, he stuck next to the unbelievable truth ...
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Guatemalan Mayans to World: 2012 is Not the End, and We Should Know

Iximche

President G. W. Bush at a demonstration of a Mayan ritual at Iximche, Guatemala in 2007.

This breezy seemingly fluffy travel article in the Guardian just days before NYE that somehow got overlooked as the apocalyptic hysteria surrounding the Mayan Long Count date of 21 December 2012 reached a pots-New Year crescendo (for now).

In it, author Kevin Rushby reminds us that unlike the Atlanteans, the ‘noble savage’ and other imaginary creatures Mayan culture still exists and continuous with its more grandiose past.

When Rushby asks a local Guatemalan shaman about the end-of-the-world prophecy, he says, “It is the end of a 5,126-year cycle, that’s true, but there is no mention of the end of the world. People seem to have got that from the Dresden Codex (a pre-Columbian volume of Mayan writings now in the State Library of Dresden). But in that record there is no mention of 2012.” According to Rushby, “Some millenarian-minded person had put these two separate records together and made a doomsday scenario.”

Read more about contemporary Mayan culture over at the Guardian.… Read the rest

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