Archive | History

Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security


Binoy Campmark writes at CounterPunch:

When it was realised that a police Belgian Shepherd by the name of Diesel had perished at the end of a last act of defiance in St. Denis by suspected ISIS militants, social media, allied to the sentimental industrial complex, took over. Extensive coverage scrolled across the screens, powered by such hashtags as #JeSuisChien. According to Jean-Michel Fauvergue, who led the assault, there was “little doubt that she saved the lives of police officers.”

The political chance to exploit this death was too good to miss, and canine solidarity was met in kind by a Russian gesture from the Interior Ministry to provide a puppy in turn. Dobrynya was duly described as the dog that melted French hearts.

Such animals duly suffered the indignity of anthropomorphic depiction. “Diesel,” it is noted, “had a distinguished career with the police and had been decorated with service medals.” Headlines featured the rather cynical suggestion that dogs “around the world” were paying their “own tribute to hero police canine killed in siege.”

Various dog owners, without a second thought, posted pictures on various media platforms featuring dogs on hind legs, sporting a French flag.

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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

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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

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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.

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The Bloodiest Century on Earth and the Fifth Miracle

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core.

Beyond M31 is another very similar galaxy – its spiral arms slowly turning once every quarter-billion years.  This is our own Milky Way, seen from the outside.  This is the home galaxy of the human species.  In the obscure backwaters of the Carina-Cygnus spiral arm, we humans have evolved to conscience and some measure of understanding.  Concentrated in its brilliant core and strewn along its spiral arms are four-hundred-billion suns.  It takes light a hundred-thousand years to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other.  Within this galaxy are stars and worlds and, it may be, an enormous diversity of living things and intelligent beings and space-faring civilizations… In the Milky Way galaxy, there may be many worlds on which matter has grown to consciousness.  I wonder: are they very different from us?  What do they look like?   What are their politics, technology, music, religion? 

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Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe?


There’s something about caves — a shadowy opening in a limestone cliff that draws you in. As you pass through the portal between light and dark, you enter a subterranean world — a place of perpetual gloom, of earthy smells, of hushed silence.

Long ago in Europe, ancient people also entered these underground worlds. As witness to their passage,they left behind mysterious engravings and paintings, like this panel of humans, triangles and zigzags from Ojo Guareña in Spain. You now walk the same path as these early artists. And in this surreal, otherworldly place, it’s almost possible to imagine that you hear the muffled footfall of skin boots on soft earth, or that you see the flickering of a torch around the next bend.

When I’m in a cave, I often find myself wondering what drove these people to go so deep to brave dangerous and narrow passageways to leave their mark?Read the rest

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Progressive Politics and Witchcraft in the UK (Brazier’s Park, Tavistock, Order of Woodcraft, Common Wealth)


What follows is a series of interconnecting strands from early-to-mid 20th century British history showing a surprisingly clear overlap, not only between leftist politics and social psychology, but between social psychology and “witchcraft.” Common Wealth was a socialist party set up by Sir Richard Acland and J. B. Priestley during World War 2. Another member of Common Wealth was Norman Glaister, a Fabian, who studied psychiatry and worked for the Tavistock Clinic in the 1920s. Glaister also participated in the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, a camping movement where children and adults studied evolution and psychology.  In 1950, he set up Braziers Park, a residential adult education college and center for the School of Integrative Social Research. Braziers Park functioned also as a commune; its aim was “to explore the dynamics of people living in groups.”

Glaister was inspired by Wilfred Trotter, known as “the biological father of British psychoanalysis.” Another Wilfred, Wilfred Bion, worked under Trotter in the 1920s before studying group psychology and training as a psychoanalyst at the Tavistock Institute in the 1930s.… Read the rest

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Jewish-American on Israel’s Fascism: “No Hope For Change From Within”

Abby Martin interviews journalist and author Max Blumenthal on the current situation in Palestine and the Israeli occupation. This episode covers what is behind today’s rebellion, the rising dominance of far-right, ultra-racist ideology in Israel, eye-witness accounts of the aftermath of the Gaza war, and the Israeli government’s fear of Palestinian resistance.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and New York Times Best Selling author. He has written two books on Palestine, “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”, and the recently-published “The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza.”

FOLLOW @EmpireFiles & @AbbyMartin

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