Marching Hammers - Pink Floyd
© Pink Floyd - The Wall
Marching Hammers, from Pink Floyd - The Wall
If there is a phrase that summarizes 2008 it probably is 'Humanity in Crisis'. Suffering takes many forms, and most of us got a little - or a lot - of it, whether as a consequence of the food and economic crises, climate change, the ongoing war of terror sponsored by the American Empire and its allies, or the wars of oppression around the world, most notably in the Middle East and Africa.

The new year does not look very promising as the pathocrats in Israel have stolen their Christmas 'present' from the tree of humankind by force, initiating their long-planned invasion of Gaza. In the background we hear the rumble of more wars to come, poverty, hunger and riots; and all of this takes place in the context of a strange and disturbing cosmic and earthly climate that no one quite understands.

2008: A year of human crisis

We couldn't have expected the year that we leave behind to be a good one when early on the elite were signaling doom. In February of 2008, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was officially opened. Its purpose: "to store the seeds of one million agricultural plants so that, in the event of a disaster, the world can fall back on the stored genetic material." Less than a month later it was revealed that plans were being made for a "doomsday ark" on the moon which "would contain DNA, embryos and all the essentials of life and civilisation, to be activated should Earth be devastated by a giant asteroid, a climate flip or nuclear holocaust." No sci-fi here, it's all real!

In April we were alerted to the fact that the world is facing a food crisis. It appears that climate change, the price of oil and the boom of biofuels are causing food shortages (though there may be other causes too), and as a consequence the price of basic food items has been rising enough to spark protests, riots and looting in Haiti, Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Philippines and Indonesia. At least 37 countries have a "serious food crisis", with prices climbing 80 percent in the previous three years. Although public discussion of the food crisis seemed to quiet down, a recent report states that is it is killing 25,000 a day, afflicting nearly a billion people in 60 countries, which means that almost one in every six people on the planet is not getting enough food to stay healthy.

It is an irony of Nature that two of the alleged causes for the hunger are biofuels and climate change, considering that the former are meant as a way to curb global warming, when the latter has been showing signs of global cooling all year round. As we make an effort to think out of the box, we have been playing with the idea that the causes of climate change are perhaps to be found at the cosmic level rather than caused by humans. Most notable for this year was the almost total absence of sun spots. However, that was not the only cosmic curiosity, as we have also been making an effort to track the incidence of fireballs and UFOs - of which we did have a few highly interesting examples - as well as an indirect admission that the atmosphere is being more frequently bombarded by micrometeors than ever before. Inquiring minds naturally wonder if this may all tie in together and either somebody at the top is too stupid to figure it out and ought not to be in charge of interpreting our reality, or they know perfectly well what is "out there" and just aren't telling.

Naturally, the global economic recession (why can't we say "depression"?) is making the food crisis worse. Although the economic crisis erupted into the global consciousness in September, with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's decision to let Lehman Brothers go bankrupt, those who were paying attention could see it coming for years. On this note, it is curious that since May we have observed a number of news items involving 'crashes' and 'collapses' - were they perhaps a symbolic warning of sorts from the Universe or the human collective unconscious?

In any case, things are obviously bad already and will only get worse, and the pathological elite have not sought to calm our worries; they have actually stirred the pot with numerous confirmations and further warnings. For example, a few days ago Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, the chief of the Bank of Spain, declared that the world faces "total" financial meltdown and that this is the worst crisis since the 1930s. Others expect it to reach a further tipping point in March 2009 when the masses actually become aware that matters are far worse than the 1930s.

Unsurprisingly, the effects of financial hardship on the poor have spread like a cancer from countries on the 'periphery' of the world financial system to those at its heart. In the United States hunger and homelessness have grown substantially, together with the demand for emergency food assistance. But even if you are not starving, it is unlikely that the crisis will have gone unnoticed by you or your family, as it generates "trickle down" effects in every area of economy; for example the collapse of pension and retirement accounts.

But it is not only the spread of poverty that is worrying. The crisis is providing an opportunity for the elite to make profound economic reforms to the world system, not likely to be of benefit to the masses of humanity. Indeed, there are already talks among our leaders about world summits to create a "new capitalism".

The prospects for the brotherhood of humankind living together in peace have never been dimmer. Throughout the past year, the Zionist faction of the Axis of Evil relentlessly promoted an attack on Iran, both in public and in private, but thus far, they have not followed through with action. Perhaps 2008 was not "the right time"; or perhaps the shift of power between the political gangs in the US, plus the Russian stance in the global scene, forced them to postpone. Either way, it is an issue that will still be alive in 2009 (see below for more on Iran). We might additionally contemplate the idea that the "attack Iran" rhetoric was designed to make the current genocide in Gaza seem more acceptable.

One of the most significant geopolitical trends of 2008 was the reinstitution of the Cold War. During the summer, the US made deals with the Czech Republic and Poland for the construction of missile defense systems. Although the public was told that they were meant for protection from 'rogue states' (such as Iran), it was blindingly obvious that this was a sign that Russia was no longer regarded as a friend. Indeed, the Russians reacted with strong words, and by seeking security alliances with China and India. They further announced that they were considering the deployment of nuclear bombers in Cuba, and sent further "unspoken" messages to different countries by moving its fleet around the globe.

The 2008 climax of the New Cold War was the Georgian war which was cleverly timed during the Olympic Games. This was a proxy war similar to many that have been observed since the times of the old USSR. The Georgian Army - armed and trained by the US and Israel - invaded South Ossetia, to which Russia responded by pushing the Georgians back. The details of the war were significant enough, but perhaps the implication of an open global alignment of two opposing camps of superpowers is even more important for everybody's future.

2008 also saw shifts in political power, most notably in the US and Pakistan, although the latter was much more of a real change than the former.

Pakistan had until recently been governed by Pervez Musharraf, a corrupt puppet in the service of American imperialists. He was replaced by Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's widower. The events that followed his ascension to power confirmed that he was sincerely opposed to US domination: a false flag terror attack in September at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, where Zardari had planned to have dinner; a series of US military incursions across the border, allegedly in pursuit of members of Al-Qaeda™, with some bellicose incidents with Pakistani forces; and another horrific and bizarre false flag attack in late November, this time in Mumbai, but which was immediately blamed on Pakistani elements. We can only conclude that the American Empire and its allies have marked Pakistan as a target and are using all the tricks up their very baggy sleeves.

The much publicized political shift in the US was less a real change and more likely just a replacement of the puppet representatives of the same power group. Barack Obama promised much but his first move as president-elect was to offer the key position of chief of staff of the White House to Rahm Emanuel, a hard core Zionist, possibly more loyal to Israel than the US itself. The rest of the list of jobs handed out so far by Obama is not very encouraging either. One wonders what the world would have been like had the FBI gone through with their raid of the American Zionist Council, the parent organization of AIPAC, to force its registration under the 1962 Foreign Agents Registration Act. Efforts were abandoned after the assassination of JFK, newly declassified documents reveal.

Obama's hand of friendship extended to the Zionists seems to have had an immediate effect in the Middle East. Back in February, Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defence minister, told army radio that the Palestinians could suffer what he called a "bigger holocaust". More than prophetic, his words revealed a plan which, without a doubt, was already in place well in advance of the events. The plight of the Palestinian people has been unremittingly horrific for years, but for Gaza it became a new Holocaust as genocidal oppression was brought to bear while all eyes were on Obama's victory in November. With remarkable timing, Gaza was blockaded by Israel and has been under siege for almost two months now. The territory is on the brink of collapse. And that was just the preparation for the real offensive which - alas - has already begun, as we will see below.

So far, we can see that 2008 was a banner year of the pathological elites inflicting misery on the masses. Now, moving on to subjects specific to this last month of December we will get a more detailed glimpse on the latest items concerning some of the issues above.

Israel gets its war

Halfway through December we learned that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had been preparing for a large-scale military action. He attended IDF exercises in the Golan Heights before rushing off to Jerusalem for a military planning session for a potential invasion of the Gaza Strip. If you have read the history of the conflict in Palestine, however, you should realize that the strategy of war has been in place for decades and the preparations for the latest offensive can be tracked for at least two or three years, starting with the withdrawal of settlements from Gaza - not to encourage a peaceful solution, but to open the possibility of full scale violence in the strip without worrying about settlers.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister and ex-Mossad agent Tzipi Livni recently instructed diplomats across the globe to launch a PR campaign to shore up international support for an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. To that end Livni - who is also the Kadima Party's pick for Prime Minister in the upcoming February election - reportedly made numerous personal phone calls to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the foreign ministers of several major nations. So do not be surprised if you see Livni's face on t.v. constantly declaring that it was Hamas who broke the truce and who rejected the possibility of extending it - both of which are lies.

Ynet also reported that the policy on Gaza had been set in a meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Barak, and actions would "depend only on the tactical conditions and the operational possibilities." It was at this meeting that the two agreed on the need to create an "international umbrella" of support for the attacks. This is of course, a cynical PR campaign that better deserves the label of 'lying excuses', because there is nothing noble or legitimate that can justify an invasion of Gaza to the eyes of the world. Common sense would indicate that if you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide. So why is it that Israel expelled UN human rights observer Richard Falk from the occupied territories shortly before launching their offensive? Oh, of course he was accused of being anti-Semitic (a "self-hating" Jew?) and insulting for comparing the Israeli regime to the Nazis but that transparently self-serving maneuver just doesn't fly anymore.

We next learned that Israel moved closer to an invasion of Gaza when military sources revealed that "the Israeli operation would likely begin with surgical airstrikes against rocket launchers and continue with a land invasion. Harsh weather conditions are hampering visibility and complicating air force missions, so the operation won't be launched until the skies clear, they added."

Ever since the blockade of Gaza began there were threats of targeted assassinations against Gaza leaders and actual missile strikes. But Israel finally launched a massive air strike on Gaza on the new moon of the 27th - just so that you know that pathocrats do read their horoscopes - destroying several Hamas police compounds and alleged tunnels, but not sparing civilian infrastructure and population. It is reported that in the first 48 hours more than 280 people have been killed and 700 wounded, which represents the bloodiest day for Palestinians in more than 20 years. In return, militants fired rockets into southern Israel killing one person. At the moment of writing these lines, the number of Palestinian deaths has risen above 360, including more than 40 children.

Was it a coincidence that the Internet had been partially crippled in the region just a few days before the beginning of the offensive? Why is it that Israel was spared damage, but service in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates was severely affected? Was the world supposed to be looking elsewhere - inside their Christmas turkeys perhaps - while the final details were arranged? Is it a coincidence that the cable broke for a second time a couple of days ago? (By the way, this is not the first time this happens. Recall that several undersea Internet cables were cut in January 2008.)
Palestinian wounded
© AFP
A Palestinian is rushed to hospital after he was wounded in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City

According to Israel, it targeted "terrorist infrastructure". Major Avital Leibovitch, a military spokeswoman, expanded on this curious idea: "Anything belonging to Hamas could be a target. You can interpret that as you like." Since Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza, what they are really saying is that the entire territory, population and infrastructure can be targeted because it can be interpreted as "belonging to Hamas". Bear in mind that contrary to the assurances that these are surgical strikes, it would be impossible to spare civilians, even if they wanted, because Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on the planet - very similar to the Warsaw Ghetto of Jews in Nazi occupied Poland during WW II (the parallels are striking, in fact). The videos available are already showing civilian casualties.

As Israel calls up 6,500 reservists, it is just a matter of time before the land invasion, regardless of what you hear from our beloved leaders about calls for ceasefire. This genocidal invasion - because that is what it will soon turn into - begins just as Gaza has run out of bread.

But be aware, the pathological ruling elite of Israel is ambitious; it is not only Gaza that they are after. Barak was also quoted as saying:
If it built even a primitive nuclear weapon like the type that destroyed Hiroshima, Iran would not hesitate to load it on a ship, arm it with a detonator operated by GPS and sail it into a vital port on the east coast of North America.
Is he telling us what Israel is actually planning to do (or try)?!

Meanwhile, as you are watching the news, try to pay attention at how many times the Israeli leaders and their sockpuppets seek to link Hamas to Iran keeping in mind that "Anything belonging to Hamas could be a target. You can interpret that as you like."

In our opinion, this is, perhaps, what will eventually prove to be the piece of the pie that chokes Israel. Iran is not Gaza, and Russia has seen no reason not to move closer to Iran and sell them anti-aircraft missiles, while promising to support Palestine. You would think that the Israelis might be aware of a particular quote from their own literature; you know, the one about digging a pit for someone else and about pride going before a fall?

...And here comes another one

After a war of words between India and Pakistan sparked by the Mumbai terror attacks of the end of November, Pakistan began moving thousands of troops to the Indian border, and away from the Afghan border where they were supposed to be fighting Taliban militants, according to US plans. India has warned its citizens that it is unsafe to travel to Pakistan, following recent bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan and the subsequent unconfirmed reports that a number of Indians were detained as terrorists.

We will keep an eye on this situation as it too could grow to catastrophic levels overnight.

Heart of Darkness

New wars are being made while others are intensifying. For at least a decade now the conflicts of Africa - the forgotten continent - have been rumbling like an obscene background music that nobody wants to listen to.
Denver Airport Mural
© Unknown
Detail of Denver Airport mural

While the conflict in Darfur is feeding on children by forcing them to fight, the war in Congo seems to be entering a crescendo and it is feared that it might turn into another Rwanda-style genocide; the pathological elites must be rubbing their hands in fiendish glee! Over 30,000 Congolese refugees have flooded into Uganda since August. Villagers in Congo did not have a Christmas as 400 of them were killed by Ugandan rebels.

The conflict has reached an extremity of brutality as mutilations and rape are being used as weapons of terror. This shows that they don't want to just kill people, they want to destroy the fabric of society and the possibility of eventual healing. Giles Foden observes:
Women are the "glue" in central African society. They are the carers, the food providers. If many in several generations of women are damaged, injured or killed, the chances of a return to civil society are extremely slim.
It is a curse within a curse. Traumatize the members of a population most able to create conditions of stability and reconciliation, and the conflict and its sequels will last for generations. But has this not always been the cross on Africa's shoulders? In their imperialist greed for natural resources, European colonial powers were the first to push the dominoes of history in a long chain of atrocities. Consider the case of the psychopathic King Leopold II of Belgium who in the 19th century managed to make the Congo his personal property after forcing treaties upon native tribal and ethnic chieftains and persuading the western powers that he had a legitimate claim to the land. To say that he ruled with an iron fist is an understatement:
Forced labor was extorted from the natives. The abuses were particularly bad in the rubber industry, including enslavement and mutilation of the native population. Missionary John Harris of Baringa, for example, was so shocked by what he had come across that he felt moved to write a letter to Leopold's chief agent in the Congo: "I have just returned from a journey inland to the village of Insongo Mboyo. The abject misery and utter abandon is positively indescribable. I was so moved, Your Excellency, by the people's stories that I took the liberty of promising them that in future you will only kill them for crimes they commit."
Is it a coincidence that the rebels operating nowadays in the same territory are making use of the same inhuman tactics as their former European 'masters'? Should we be surprised that the underlying reasons for war are still natural resources coveted by the so-called 'civilized world'?

I predict a riot

This month we have had a number of curious warnings about the possibility of massive riots and civil unrest around the world. The US Army War College issued a report which indicates:
"Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security," said the War College report. The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S. U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law....
Nothing like creating the disease and then selling the cure for it: Totalitarianism.

Likewise, the IMF - one of the most notorious instruments of control of the global elite - warned of riots. The IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said that if there is no fast recovery on the global economic crisis "then social unrest may happen in many countries - including advanced economies".

We also learned that 7,000 Israeli police are practicing riot control techniques.

So in this context we have to wonder about the fact that the above items coincided with the Greek riots which sparked and spread after a policeman shot and killed a 15 year old boy. Another of those unexplained synchronicities?
Xmas tree burning in Athens
© Reuters / John Kolesidis
Athens' giant Christmas tree burns in front of the Greek parliament in Athens December 8, 2008. Protesters set fire to a major department store in central Athens and torched the city's giant Christmas tree outside parliament as anti-government protests worsened.
One of the leaders of the Greek movement is proposing to transform the riots into a political movement with political objectives and wants the corrupt Greek government to step down. However, the only constant so far seems to be full blown mindless rioting in the streets and the Black Block anarchist movement seems to be behind it. We try to take notice of these details and inconsistencies because, as with all (apparently) spontaneous social movements, there is always the possibility of infiltration and agents provocateurs pulling the strings and steering the masses.

We read in another report:
A group of about 10 youths got into the studio of NET state television and turned off a broadcast of a speech by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, station officials said. The protesters forced studio cameras to instead show them holding up banners that read: "Stop watching, get out onto the streets," and "Free everyone who has been arrested." No one was hurt, and no arrests were reported.
It is strange that 10 'rioting' youths managed to 'hijack' a state TV station and broadcast a message, just to walk home when done. Not that it's impossible, but certainly unlikely.

It also appears that one intention was to spread the unrest as much as possible. Hanging banners from the Acropolis called for mass demonstrations across Europe. Again, as we keep in mind that the original detonator was a single instance of alleged police brutality, the idea of cross-border riots sounds like a curious expansion of the nature of the movement.

In any case, it is true that there were some echoes of Greek riots elsewhere, although not all were directly related nor inspired by them. Russian riot police detained at least 100 people protesting government measures linked to the economic crisis in Vladivostok. Previously, on November 29, Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Army carried out more than 90 summary executions in suppressing a rioting. Almost all of them were Muslim men and boys. Speaking of police brutality.

An editorialist asks if the Greek riots are a taste of things to come. He thinks along the lines of Strauss-Kahn and reads them as a sign of the economic times, and argues that other countries should beware. But perhaps it is not a case of where things are headed as much as where we are being meant to believe they are headed - as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy subtly inspired from above. After all, anti-riot policemen on the streets would be meaningless without rioters.

All of the above makes us wonder where all of this is really heading.

Wild card!

Both 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings were characterized by synchronized terror drills that facilitated these false flag operations. It is interesting to note that teams from the Obama and Bush regimes will run a joint terrorism drill in January. These are described as being 'table-based' in nature but bring to mind the much reported warnings during the election campaign that another 9/11 was imminent:
Biden speaking at the fundraiser, "I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where [the crisis] might originate, And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Biden's ominous language at the Seattle Sheraton are followed with statements by long time establishment insiders Colin Powell and Madeline Albright both say there is a massive crisis on the horizon and Biden was simply making a "statement in fact."

"The problems will always be there and there's going to be a crisis which will come along on the 21st, 22nd of January that we don't even know about right now." Powell told Meet the Press.
The shoe that came too late
shoe game
© Press TV
Players can now hurl their shoes in a video game designed to bring back memories of the Iraqi farewell to Bush.
The now infamous 'shoe throwing' incident captured the imagination and expressed the Global anger and frustration towards the worst US President in history. The little-known Shi'ite reporter, Muntazer al-Zaidi, is said to have harbored anger against Bush for the thousands of Iraqis who died after the 2003 US-led invasion. The World hailed the throwing of two shoes as Bush's farewell gift. The act is significant since it is considered the worst possible Arab insult. It brought crowds out onto the streets of Baghdad and demonstrations from Iranian students.

Although Bush initially tried to spin the shoe attack as an example of the new freedom of expression of Iraq, Zaidi received horrific injuries after being arrested and in custody. He was also tortured into writing an apology:
The investigating judge in the case said last week that Zaidi, who will stand trial on 31 December, was beaten around the face and eyes. Zaidi's brother, Uday, said the journalist suffered worse injuries, including a missing tooth and cigarette burns to his ears, and would sue. Further, the [apology] letter was written against his will because he was subjected to torture, including being doused with cold water while naked.
So much for Bush's claim that Free Speech exists in Iraq much less anywhere else.

There is worldwide support for Zaidi's actions. He could possibly profit from his courageous act but the immediate concern is to ensure he lives and stands a fair trial. It is a brave symbolic act that comes too late to help the millions of Iraqi's now murdered, tortured, orphaned, imprisoned, wounded, diseased and made destitute. Those responsible for the illegal war against Iraq based on lies must be held accountable. There have been growing calls, even from the New York Times, for war crimes indictments to be filed against the neocon regime. (But don't think that the Times has gone moral on us; remember that they are supporting the attacks on Gaza at the moment!)

Then, in an interview on ABC News on December 15th, Dick Cheney coolly admitted he had approved so-called "harsh" and "aggressive" interrogation techniques (i.e. torture), notably waterboarding, in an attempt to extract intelligence from known or suspected terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Notice that again, even mainstream media (e.g. MSNBC) are openly asking and suggesting that Dick Cheney admitted to a war crime, and calling for the new administration to do something about it!! Oh dear, we would have loved to hear that tone of news-reading in the big media five years ago. Imagine how many lives would have been saved. But don't get your hopes up and think they really mean it; it is just more distraction, smoke and mirrors, bread and circuses.

This brings us to why was Cheney so quick to admit he's a war criminal? Cheney said in an interview with Fox that top congressional Democrats were complicit in spying. His declaration constitutes an interesting message which can be translated as: 'You wouldn't want to see me fall, because I may bring some of you down with me'. The collusion and silence of Congress and the Senate sadly means that trials aren't likely.

Dead men don't talk

As they leave office, Bush and his cronies are working overtime to cover-up their crimes. It is now common knowledge that a wide range of illegal methods were used to steal the Presidency in the first place. Silencing those that have real evidence and knowledge about these crimes has become a priority.

The curious air crash death of Mike Connell is highly suspicious. Having faced death threats, Connell had canceled 2 flights on suspicion that his plane might be sabotaged. Connell, you may recall, was the Republican IT guy responsible for the electoral frauds of the last eight years. He had been threatened by Karl Rove and was ordered to testify in a case alleging GOP election tampering in Ohio.

This is not the first time that a man who appeared to have the key to how George Bush won the 2004 Presidential election has died violently. Connell's death brings to mind the strange death of Raymond Lemme:
Raymond Lemme was the official from the Florida Inspector General's Office who was charged with investigating Curtis' allegations. In his affidavit, Curtis describes a June 2003 meeting with Lemme, where Lemme told Curtis that he (Lemme) "had tracked the corruption all the way to the top", and that the story would break shortly.

But we will probably never know what explosive information Lemme had obtained, for he was found dead in a Valdosta, Georgia, Knights Inn motel room two weeks later, July 1, 2003. His arm was slashed twice with a razor blade, near the left elbow. The Brad Blog has thoroughly investigated this case and put forth several reasons to believe that Lemme's death was not suicide, as has been ruled by the Valdosta police.
Coincidence?

The man who sold the world

Enter Bernard Madoff: a Ponzi operator solely responsible for an alleged $50 billion fraud. Or was he part of a much wider conspiracy through which massive sums of money have been laundered? Madoff 's web of accounts will take half a year to unravel, conveniently delaying or hiding the shady financial transactions of the wealthy elite and Bush Cabal.

Muhammad Rafeeq argues: [...]
It is possible to accept the idea of a Ponzi scheme be played on members of the public, who are ignorant of how such schemes are worked, in fact the schemes are targetted specifically at such people. Yet Madoff would have us believe that he managed to convince professional investment companies to put their funds with him without any due diligence being performed. This is clearly nonsense.

I have acted as a professional consultant to major EC and US financial institutions on corporate and institutional credit risk and the idea that anyone in HSBC or Santander could authorise large investment without the internal checks and controls being employed is almost impossible. To try and believe that EVERY institution that invested in Madoff circumvented their internal control procedures IS impossible. [...]
Therefore, all those companies would have known internally that the scam was being done, because they all had to be involved. It also becomes more significant that Madoff pleaded guilty as opposed to declaring that the fund had gone bust. Because the case is being labeled a fraud, it appears that investors are going to be able to claim their investment back under the US government's financial fraud protection scheme.

In other words, the financial elite appear to have simply sacrificed one of their own - an old guy at that - in order to be able to claim even more taxpayers' money. That is a scam on top of a scam. Can you believe the chutzpah?

But there is another dimension to this story. Simon Davies and Donald Hunt observe:
Madoff is a committed Zionist and can therefore be safely assumed, given his wealth and influence, to be part of the inner circle of American Zionists that call the shots in New York and Washington. He is therefore not a man working alone; his business was made on electronic trading and advanced computerization, an area where Israel is a world leader; his business is a perfect money laundry, a service that Mossad has great demand for, as do the Bush family and their criminal associates as a result of their narcotics income; he seems to have spirited away a vast sum of money that must have gone somewhere and could have been used to pay for all manner of nefarious activities including whole mercenary armies and weapons systems, not to mention the funding of innumerable politicians; and last, but certainly not least, he made no attempt to run but confessed just six weeks before the new President takes office. The idea that this is another loose end being tidied up and tied off before the new administration takes office, an administration that will be just as infiltrated as the last, certainly seems to fit the facts as we see them today.
Intriguingly, the US Justice and Treasury Department refuse to investigate money laundering allegations since the year 2005 totaling near the same amount lost in the Madoff scheme:
On March 3, 2005, the former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department Talia Sasson released an Israeli government commissioned report detailing a massive money laundering scheme. According to Sasson's report, quasi governmental bodies and global nonprofit corporations were raising and diverting billions of dollars to establish West Bank colonies that are illegal under both Israeli and international law.

[...]

The August 14, 2005, USA Today article "No one knows the full costs of Israel's settlement ambitions" estimated the upper limit of the money laundering at $60 billion, and questioned how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) covertly lobbied to preempt offsetting cuts in US foreign aid to Israel.
Here comes the sun

Earlier in the year we learned about the complete breakdown of the regular sunspot cycle - in which sunspots failed to re-appear after the solar minimum - an eerie silence which was finally broken in September. But things are not back to normal out there in the cosmos. Next we had a giant breach in the Earth's magnetic field, ten times larger than expected. Furthermore, the sun's magnetic fields were observed to induce a previously unknown rhythmic expansion and contraction of the Earth's atmosphere on a nine-day cycle, and NASA discovered that the ionosphere was not where it had been expected to be. The boundary between Earth's upper atmosphere and space had 'moved to extraordinarily low altitudes'. We don't know about you, but these strange cosmic events are a lot scarier than terrorists!

Meanwhile, of course, we are chastised for doubting the crazy theory of anthropomorphic climate change and for suspecting that such changes have more to do with the cosmic weather.

Mirroring the chaos in the skies, (or vice versa), life here on planet Earth appears to be becoming increasingly unstable, as scientists keep a watchful eye on a cluster of unusual earthquakes at Yellowstone National Park; unusual La Nina weather patterns threaten crops, and estimates come in to the effect that a fifth of the world's corals are already dead.

A very white Christmas

Snow Patio
© Xman
A Christmas postcard for Al Gore?
Although it is too much to hope that Al Gore has the decency to be embarrassed, the evidence is now finally coming out after years of suppression: Humans plus bad science equal global warming. Cherry-picking data is a fine tradition within the scientific as well as the intelligence community. These people know it:
[...]
What does it take to ignore 10 years of global cooling, sharply declining temperatures the last couple of years, record setting lack of sun spots, flipping of the PDO into its cool mode, failure of computer models to predict real climate, predictable warming and cooling climates for the past 500 years, and ................

The answer is really quite simple -- just follow the money! -- Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University, U.S.
(More on this below.)

Then there is this little gem: 32,000 Global Warming Deniers, where we read:
Using a subset of the mailing list of American Men and Women of Science, a who's who of Science, Robinson mailed out his solicitations through the postal service, requesting signed petitions of those who agreed that Kyoto was a danger to humanity. The response rate was extraordinary, "much, much higher than anyone expected, much higher than you'd ordinarily expect," he explained. He's processed more than 31,000 at this point, more than 9,000 of them with PhDs, and has another 1,000 or so to go - most of them are already posted on a Web site at petitionproject.org.

Why go to this immense effort all over again, when the press might well ignore the tens of thousands of scientists who are standing up against global warming alarmism?" I hope the general public will become aware that there is no consensus on global warming," he says, "and I hope that scientists who have been reluctant to speak up will now do so, knowing that they aren't alone."
Even some of the braver mainstream media are starting to contribute:

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved
Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the [global warming] scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
Plus:

Watch out for the "carbon nightmare"? You have got to be kidding.

Carbon emissions case for global warming is seriously weakened

Here is a sample rundown on the recent weather:

Severe Cold Wave To Hit Europe
UK : Coldest start to winter since 1976
Down to -13C! New Year temperatures set to plummet as Siberian blast grips the UK
Colorado, US: New record low temperatures in Denver for December
New Orleans snow earliest ever recorded
Cold weather sets records in several cities
US: More power loss possible in ice-ravaged Northeast
US: Cold wave brings record low to Athens
Welcome to the Coldest Town on Earth
Northeast Siberia braces for extreme cold of -60C
Not So Rare Cold Weather
Bitter cold shatters record
Beijing's coldest December day in 57 years

So why in the face of the long range science plus current observations, as well as the assertions of respected researchers around the world, does Al and Co. keep it up? Maybe because there's mucho green for him in the "go green" hype?

Al Gore And Climate 'Ka-Ching'
After the Nobel, Gore wins $1 million prize from Israeli group
Al Gore is criticised for lining his own pockets after £3,300-per-minute green speech
Predictable Propaganda! Gore, U.N. body win Nobel Peace Prize for "Climate Change"
Lehman Brothers Close Ties to Gore, Hansen and Carbon Trading
NASA scientist warns the world must urgently make huge CO2 reductions, collects $50,000 prize
Nymex Plans to Offer Trading in Carbon Dioxide Emission Contracts

Conclusion: "global warming" is another tactic of the PTB to herd the sheeple in the desired direction. It has the multiplier effect of whipping up fear, stealing even more money and resources from the common people and (best of all), getting us to volunteer for it! Oh, the efficiency of Mass Mind Control!
What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group's conclusion is "no." The rich countries won't do it. They won't change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about? This group of world leaders form a secret society to bring about an economic collapse. (Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of the "World Summit" conference in Rio de Janeiro, 1992, from Wood,1990) .
Something to think about, at least.

The flying lanterns strike back

Throughout the year there have been quite a lot UFO reports, mostly in the UK. As in the last few months, we are being given the cover story of the mythical flying lanterns. Unfortunately, witnesses accounts say otherwise, and for the most part the mainstream press continues to ignore them. Here is a selection of recent reports which managed to find their way onto the net:

UK: "Spectacular" display of up to 70 UFOs over the Midlands
UK: UFO Seen In The Skies Above Cheshunt
UFO Over Cathedral Causes Power Cuts in UK Historic Town
UK: Did anyone else spot Gipton UFO?
UK: UFO spotted over town
Argentina: UFO or Condor Over Tupungato?
Argentina: Phantom UFO Over Casa Rosada
Argentina: The Anibal Santucci Photos
Wheel in the sky wows local Louisiana residents
Nebraska, US: Deputies investigate UFOs near Jeffrey Lake
Scotland: UFO "sightings" in Elderslie
Chile: UFO photographed by a merchant sailor amazes Chiloe's islanders

Catch A Falling Star...

Comet 8P/Tuttle
© Chris Schur
Comet 8P/Tuttle photographed Dec. 2nd by Chris Schur of Payson, AZ. The 7th magnitude comet is visible through binoculars in the constellation Cassiopeia.
UFO's are not the only bright objects that decorated the December sky. Throughout the year we saw an increase in number of meteor sightings and impacts reported in the mainstream media, a fact that tells us that even if our leaders want to keep us blind about this dire threat to humanity, the meteor drops are multiplying and cannot be ignored anymore.

The return of Comet 8P/Tuttle this month brought along the Ursid Meteor shower, and as always, the SOTT team was able to collect a number of reports that made it to the media, from people who saw or felt the meteor impacts on the Earth's atmosphere, from all around the world:

Dec. 6: US: Fireball reported over Oregon skies
Dec. 6: US: Fireball '100 times brighter than a full moon' explodes over Colorado
Dec. 12: US: Mysterious Rumble Shakes Wisconsin County
Dec. 12: Minnesota, US: Dramatic fireball sighted by Twin Ports residents and others
Dec. 18: Florida, US: Large fireball sighted in the sky
Dec. 18: Cricket ball-meteor blazes across Western Australia
Dec. 24: Iowa, US: Loud boom still unexplained
Dec. 30: South Carolina, US: Large boom heard in Mt. Pleasant
Dec. 30: Witnesses Report Fireball Streaking Across New England Sky
Dec. 30: Fireball streaks across night sky over California

From what history has taught us, we know that even more meteors will strike our skies, boom and shake us, in the year to come. This year we might even get a big one!

A Call To Sanity

Resistance

Resistance must come from a human heart
As the globe rapidly descends into financial chaos, even those in affluent western countries are starting to feel the pinch. The colossal scale of global theft by the power elite becomes harder to hide (it's not like they are even trying to hide it, though!), and now we also see the escalating violence against the inhabitants of Gaza, which can no longer be kept secret by the world's mass media. So, understandably, people are beginning to rebel and revolt, in an attempt to take back control of their lives and change the reality around them. Unfortunately, there is very little real understanding by the general population of the events (and their causes) that threaten to engulf us.

People are starting to feel motivated to make some change in the world, to protest against the unimaginable injustice and to maybe have some positive effect. But there is the danger of falling into the same traps as always. Agents provocateurs will insinuate themselves into these groups, instigating racism and hatred, possibly through the use of violence, and thus providing the perfect, convenient justification for the 'powers that be' to squash public freedom of speech. Also, should any revolutionary action look to be successful, pathological individuals will be able to tap into the blind emotional reactions of the masses and use them to misdirect any new power struggle towards their own opportunistic ends; thus it has ever been.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Perhaps it is true that people have the ability to alter their reality by their actions. However, there is a large caveat: It seems that if one acts on the basis of a subjective belief (and we are all subjective to a greater or lesser degree), then the results of one's actions will produce a different result from that which was intended, and may very likely have the opposite effect. Contrary to the belief of many new agers, one does not "create one's own reality" with 'positive' thinking. One interacts with objective reality in complex ways that are not fully understood because most of it is not visible. This is why at SOTT we do not advocate revolutionary measures such as taking the law into our own hands, or taking to the streets as an angry mob. Violence begets violence. The forceful overthrowing of a government is a situation tailor-made for the psychopath, a master of turning emotional and chaotic situations to his advantage, whilst maintaining a facade of righteous justification. How many revolutionary leaders were psychopaths?

Nor do we recommend simply thinking happy thoughts and 'imagining' the problems away. Denying reality does not cause it to disappear, but is far more likely to bring one into a head-on collision with it. Instead, in order to cure the 'disease', the reality we face must be carefully examined, analyzed and diagnosed, without flinching at its more unsavory features.

A real solution must be an educated one - involving a search for true knowledge and a greater understanding of the world around us including the human beings within it, with the aim of eventually acquiring some level of objectivity. At SOTT this search has led to the discovery of the studies of psychopathy and ponerology which go a long way toward making sense of our world and putting current events in a rational context.

Political Ponerology describes how, in times of revolution, mankind regularly falls into the same traps - where well-meaning attempts to wrestle control from the psychopathic elite inevitably become co-opted into a power-grab by a new set of opportunistic pathologicals. These deviant persons will use any ideology as a trojan-horse, bending it to their advantage, harnessing the emotional weight of the situation to hitch a ride on the efforts of those who genuinely seek change, thus subverting the new status quo.

Pathological individuals will actively use times of unrest to seek out those most susceptible to psychological manipulation. These are put to work to unwittingly further the psychopathic agenda whilst thinking they are bringing 'revolutionary change'. Lobaczewski describes how this process of 'fishing' was carried out during his time at university:
Someone nobody knew appeared behind the lectern and in-formed us that he would now be the professor. His speech was fluent, but there was nothing scientific about it: he failed to distinguish between scientific and ordinary concepts and treated borderline imaginings as though it were wisdom that could not be doubted. For ninety minutes each week, he flooded us with naive, presumptuous paralogistics and a pathological view of human reality. We were treated with contempt and poorly controlled hatred. Since fun-poking could entail dreadful consequences, we had to listen attentively and with the utmost gravity.

[...]

"You can't convince anyone this way!" we whispered to each other. "It's actually propaganda directed against themselves." But after such mind-torture, it took a long time for someone to break the silence.

We studied ourselves, since we felt something strange had taken over our minds and something valuable was leaking away irretrievably. The world of psychological reality and moral values seemed suspended as if in a chilly fog. Our human feeling and student solidarity lost their meaning, as did patriotism and our old established criteria. So we asked each other, "are you going through this too"? Each of us experienced this worry about his own personality and future in his own way. Some of us answered the questions with silence. The depth of these experiences turned out to be different for each individual.
If any of this sounds familiar, then consider the vast weight of propaganda to which we are subjected every day, to the power elite's complete stranglehold over the global mass media, and to the wealth of psychological knowledge which is poured into this finely-tuned efforts to send us to sleep, and to kill our consciences dead. Fortunately, there are ways to defend oneself:
We thus wondered how to protect ourselves from the results of this "indoctrination". Teresa D. made the first suggestion: Let's spend a weekend in the mountains. It worked. Pleasant company, a bit of joking, then exhaustion followed by deep sleep in a shelter, and our human personalities returned, albeit with a certain remnant. Time also proved to create a kind of psychological immunity, although not with everyone. Analyzing the psychopathic characteristics of the "professor's" personality proved another excellent way of protecting one's own psychological hygiene.

You can just imagine our worry, disappointment, and surprise when some colleagues we knew well suddenly began to change their world view; their thought-patterns furthermore reminded us of the "professor's" chatter. Their feelings, which had just recently been friendly, became noticeably cooler, although not yet hostile. Benevolent or critical student arguments bounced right of them. They gave the impression of possessing some secret knowledge; we were only their former colleagues, still believing what those "professors of old" had taught us. We had to be careful of what we said to them. These former colleagues soon joined the Party.

[....]

Analyzing these occurrences now in hindsight, we could say that the "professor" was dangling bait over our heads, based on specific psychological knowledge. He knew in advance that he would fish out amenable individuals, and even how to do it, but the limited numbers disappointed him. The transpersonification process generally took hold only when an individual's instinctive substratum was marked by pallor or certain deficits. To a lesser extent, it also worked among people who manifested other deficiencies in which the state provoked within them was partially impermanent, being largely the result of psychopathological induction.

This knowledge about the existence of susceptible individuals and how to work on them will continue being a tool for world conquest as long as it remains the secret of such "professors". When it becomes skillfully popularized science, it will help nations to develop immunity. But none of us knew this at the time.
So it seems that the antidote to this poison is knowledge; therefore ignorance endangers. Lobaczewski explains how normal people, unfamiliar with the alien psychological world of the psychopath, become especially vulnerable to misdirection during times of hysteria and revolution, and how any revolutionary movement becomes, ultimately, the same pathological control structure which it was intended to replace. Lobaczewski describes the process by which this happens:
To individuals with various psychological deviations, the social structure dominated by normal people and their conceptual world appears to be a "system of force and oppression". Psychopaths reach such a conclusion as a rule. If, at the same time, a good deal of injustice does in fact exist in a given society, pathological feelings of unfairness and suggestive statements emanating from deviants can resonate among those who have truly been treated unfairly. Revolutionary doctrines may then be easily propagated among both groups, although each group has completely different reasons for favoring such ideas.

[....]

Psychopathic individuals generally stay away from social organizations characterized by reason and ethical discipline. After all, such organizations are created by that other world of normal people so foreign to them. They hold various social ideologies in contempt, while, at the same time, easily discerning all their actual failings. However, once the process of poneric transformation of some human union into its yet undefined cartoon counterpart has begun and advanced sufficiently, they perceive this fact with almost infallible sensitivity: a circle has been created wherein they can hide their failings and psychological differentness, find their own modus vivendi, and maybe even realize their youthful Utopian dream of a world where they are in power and all those other, "normal people", are forced into servitude. They then begin infiltrating the rank and file of such a movement; pretending to be sincere adherents poses no difficulty for the psychopath, since it is second nature for them to play a role and hide behind the mask of normal people.

The psychopaths' interest in such movements is not an exclusive result of their egoism and lack of moral scruples. These people have in fact been hurt by nature and society. An ideology liberating a social class or a nation from injustice may thus seem to them to be friendly; unfortunately it also gives rise to unrealistic hopes that they themselves will be liberated as well. The pathological motivations which appeared in a union at the time it begins to be affected by the ponerogenic process strikes them as familiar and hope-inspiring. They therefore insinuate themselves into such a movement preaching revolution and war against that unfair world so foreign to them.

They initially perform subordinate functions in such a movement and execute the leaders' orders, especially whenever something needs to be done which inspires revulsion in others. Their evident zealotry and cynicism gives rise to criticism on the part of the union's more reasonable members, but it also earns the respect of some its more extreme revolutionaries.

They thus find protection among those people who earlier played a role in the movement's ponerization, and repay the favor with compliments or by making things easier for them. Thus they climb up the organizational ladder, gain influence, and almost involuntarily bend the contents of the entire group to their own way of experiencing reality and to the goals derived from their deviant nature. A mysterious disease is already raging inside the union. The adherents of the original ideology feel ever more constricted by powers they do not understand; they start fighting with demons and making mistakes.

If such a movement triumphs by revolutionary means and in the name of freedom, the welfare of the people, and social justice, this only brings about further transformation of a governmental system thus created into a macrosocial pathological phenomenon. Within this system, the common man is blamed for not having been born a psychopath, and is considered good for nothing except hard work, fighting and dying to protect a system of government he can neither sufficiently comprehend nor ever consider to be his own.
We see the same tactics used time after time, where peaceful protest is pushed over the edge into violent chaos by agents provocateurs, which then becomes a situation ripe with opportunities for the pathological opportunist, and the whole process starts all over again. The only thing that will ever work is a widespread understanding of the psychopaths who currently rule our world; and peaceful resistance to this influence, by the majority of the whole population. People need to slow down and stop falling repeatedly into the same traps. What is important is the sharing of knowledge of pathology and pathocracy, and to find peaceful ways to withdraw support from these vampiric structures.

The conflict is ultimately not a political one - that is a mistake often made; it is a conflict between psychopaths (with their 'biological imperative' of enslavement of 'normal' people) and the rest of humanity; it IS a war between good and evil, just not the way Bush and Co depicted it. As long as the general population fails to grasp this distinction, it will continue to be drawn into the psychopathic maneuvers, to be used as pawns in a power-struggle it does not understand, and to have its life-force diverted towards the process of its own destruction.

Happy New Year! May you grow in knowledge!