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JFK's Teen Mistress Addresses Relationship, Pol's Cold War Fears in Memoir

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© New York Times
Mimi Alford, seen here in a 1963 portrait as a White House intern.
She always called him "Mr. President" - not Jack. He refused to kiss her on the lips when they made love. But Mimi Alford, a White House intern from New Jersey, was smitten nonetheless.

She was in the midst of an 18-month affair with the most powerful man in the world, sharing not only John F. Kennedy's bed but also some of his darkest and most intimate moments.

In her explosive new tell-all, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, Alford, now a 69-year-old grandmother and retired New York City church administrator, sets the record straight in searingly candid detail. The book, out Wednesday was bought by The Post at a Manhattan bookstore.

In the summer of 1962, Alford was a slender, golden-haired 19-year-old debutante whose finishing-school polish and blueblood connections had landed her a job in the White House press office.

Four days into her internship, she was invited by an aide to go for a midday swim in the White House pool, where the handsome, 45-year-old president swam daily to ease chronic back pain. JFK slid into the pool and floated up to her.

Comment: One wonders if any of this is true. The constant efforts of Right Wingers to smear the name of JFK could include inducing a "good Christian" to write such a book. After all, we notice that the "good Christians" in the U.S. think nothing of lying, stealing, cheating and killing for Jesus.


Vader

Chaos and Consent: The Logistics of the One World Government

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© BBC
Reading "Columnist Calls for Internet "Quality Control" to Quash Dissent sent absolute shivers up my spine. As I posted on my Facebook Wall: "Is it just me noticing the increasing lock-down, the increasing propaganda FOR lockdown and abrogation of human rights, and the masses seem to be sleep-walking through it all?"

But what is happening has happened before in many times and places; it's just that now it seems to be spread over the entire globe. Just so you know, I'm not one of those who is taken in by the saber-rattling war propaganda. That too, has happened before and before and before. It's a ruse, a drama played out between ostensible adversaries to keep the masses afraid and loaded with stress so that they will welcome draconian controls everywhere.

Another thing that has happened before is the end result of such dramas: mass death and destruction AKA "collateral damage". A few comments on my FB wall indicate that I am not alone in what I see. One poster wrote: "Not just sleep-walking, but sycophantically justifying their own abuse and mindlessly trying the same failed methods to "solve" it over and over. It's been said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to come out different." (HB)

That's it, exactly. Psychopaths in power never seem to be able to get it that the end result is always and ever the same: the germs do not realize that they will be burned alive in the fire to which the body they have infected and killed will be consigned.

Another comment was: "This is the long-planned and meticulously coordinated recrudescence, on a global scale, of Nazism." (DST)

Exactly. And that is why I am resurrecting this topic which I wrote about back in 2008, back when Bush - remember Bush, the guy who was the puppet who got all this mess started? - was still president of the U.S. The article was focused mainly on Bush and the U.S., but since then, so many other world leaders and nations have gotten on the Totalitarian/Fascist/Nazi bandwagon that I have done a little re-working of the piece to bring it up to date.

Back then I wrote: Reading Robert Parry's When a Great Power Goes Mad gave me the shivers especially when I read:
With the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War and the grim milestone of 4,000 US dead, the nation has been awash with news retrospectives on the war and speeches by politicians, mostly offering sanitized versions of what's transpired. [...]

In the news media, there were specials, including a much-touted PBS "Frontline" two-parter on "Bush's War" which followed the mainstream line of mostly accepting the Bush administration's good intentions while blaming the disaster on policy execution - a lack of planning, bureaucratic rivalries, rash decisions and wishful thinking. [...]

Remaining outside the frame of mainstream U.S. debate was any serious examination of the [Iraq] war's fundamental illegality.

During the post-World War II trials at Nuremberg, the United States led the world in decrying aggressive war as "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Yet, "Frontline" and other mainstream U.S. news outlets shy away from this central fact of the Iraq War: by invading Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Security Council and under false pretenses, the Bush administration released upon the Iraqi people "the accumulated evil of the whole" - and committed the "supreme" war crime.

An obvious reason why the mainstream U.S. press can't handle this truth is that to do so would mean that President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, a host of other U.S. officials and even some prominent journalists could be regarded as war criminals.

To accept that reality would, in turn, create a moral imperative to take action. And that would require a great disruption in the existing U.S. power structure, which hasn't changed much since Bush won authorization from Congress in October 2002 to use force and then invaded Iraq in March 2003.

Not only are Bush and Cheney still in office - and two of the three remaining presidential candidates, John McCain and Hillary Clinton, voted for the war - but the roster of top Washington journalists remains remarkably intact from five years ago.
We realize, of course, since the above was written, that even Barack Obama - supposed to be the NKOTB who was not part of the insiders was, in fact, very much an insider and selected to carry on the Bush/Neocon/Fascist legacy. The only "change" that Obama has brought has been more of the same and worse.

It is obvious to many, though certainly not to everyone, that the World Body Social, following the Pied Pipers of the Body Politic have increasingly lost their ability to think rationally and perceive psychological reality with even a modicum of common sense. Almost the whole planet has descended into half-wittedness with its growing intellectual deficiencies and moral failings. Any group of people that can sit down and discuss the Iraq War as though it were anything other than a War Crime of the highest order, or debate whether or not waterboarding is torture, or whether or not torture is acceptable in this or that situation, has lost not only their moral compass, but their qualification as sentient beings on the evolutionary scale.

Palette

Did Leonardo da Vinci Copy His Famous 'Vitruvian Man'?

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Claudio Sgarbi says he "was totally astonished" when he examined a manuscript including a drawing that seemed to prefigure Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of a male figure perfectly inscribed in a circle and square, known as the Vitruvian Man, illustrates what he believed to be a divine connection between the human form and the universe. Beloved for its beauty and symbolic power, it is one of the most famous images in the world. However, new research suggests that the work, which dates to 1490, may be a copy of an earlier drawing by Leonardo's friend.

Another illustration of a divinely proportioned man - the subject is Christ-like, but the setting is strikingly similar to Leonardo's - has been discovered in a forgotten manuscript in Ferrara, Italy. Both drawings are depictions of a passage written 1,500 years earlier by Vitruvius, an ancient Roman architect, in which he describes a man's body fitting perfectly inside a circle (the divine symbol) and inside a square (the earthly symbol). It was a geometric interpretation of the ancient belief that man is a "microcosm": a miniature embodiment of the whole universe. Leonardo and other scholars revived this vainglorious notion during the Italian Renaissance.

After decades of study, Claudio Sgarbi, an Italian architectural historian who discovered the lesser known illustration of the Vitruvian Man in 1986, now believes it to be the work of Giacomo Andrea de Ferrara, a Renaissance architect, expert on Vitruvius, and close friend of Leonardo's. What's more, Sgarbi believes Giacomo Andrea probably drew his Vitruvian man first, though the two men are likely to have discussed their mutual efforts. Sgarbi will lay out his arguments in a volume of academic papers to be published this winter, Smithsonian Magazine reports.

Boat

Treasure Hunter Says He Found $3B WWII Wreck

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© The Associated Press/Winslow Townson
Greg Brooks, co-manager of Sub Sea Research, is seen aboard the salvage ship Sea Hunter in Boston Harbor Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 holding a picture of the British merchant ship Port Nicholson which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942 with a cargo of 71 tons of platinum now worth about $3 billion.
A treasure hunter said Wednesday he has located the wreck of a British merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during World War II while carrying what he claims was a load of platinum bars now worth more than $3 billion.

If the claim proves true, it could be one of the richest sunken treasures ever discovered.

But an attorney for the British government expressed doubt the vessel was carrying platinum. And if it was, in fact, laden with precious metals, who owns the hoard could become a matter of international dispute.

Treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, announced that a wreck found sitting in 700 feet of water 50 miles offshore is that of the S.S. Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942.

He said he and his crew identified it via the hull number using an underwater camera, and he hopes to begin raising the treasure later this month or in early March with the help of a remotely operated underwater vessel.

"I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water," Brooks said.

Eye 2

Oldest Known Crocodile Had a Shield-Like Head: Study

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© Henry Tsai/University of Missouri
University of Missouri professor Casey Holliday nicknamed Aegisuchus witmeri 'Shieldcroc' because of its thick-skinned shield.
The oldest known species of crocodile had an armor-plated head and a body half the length of a subway car, according to research released Tuesday by US scientists who identified the now-extinct creature.

Nicknamed "Shieldcroc" for its impressive head plate, the aquatic reptile swam in the waters of Africa some 95 million years ago and is the newest discovery of an ancient crocodile species, said the study in the journal PLoS ONE.

University of Missouri anatomy professor Casey Holliday identified the croc, Aegisuchus witmeri, by studying a fossilized partial skull specimen that was first discovered in Morocco.

The croc's shield was likely used as a way to intimidate foes, attract mates and even control its head temperature, researchers said. Its head was considerably flatter than other known species of crocodile.

Palette

Earliest copy of Mona Lisa found in Museo Nacional de Prado

A painting thought to be the earliest replica of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa has been discovered at Madrid's Prado Museum. Experts say the painting was completed at the same time as Leonardo's original
painting mona lisa copy
© Museo Nacional de Prado
The restored painting (right) offers more detail than the original (left)

A copy of the Mona Lisa has been discovered in the Prado which was painted in Leonardo's studio - created side by side with the original that now hangs in the Louvre. This sensational find will transform our understanding of the world's most famous picture.

Conservators at the Prado in Madrid recently made an astonishing discovery, hidden beneath black overpaint. What was assumed to be a replica of the Mona Lisa made after Leonardo's death had actually been painted by one of his key pupils, working alongside the master. The picture is more than just a studio copy - it changed as Leonardo developed his original composition.

The final traces of overpaint are now being removed by Prado conservators, revealing the fine details of the delicate Tuscan landscape, which mirrors the background of Leonardo's masterpiece. Darkened varnish is also being painstakingly stripped away from the face of the Mona Lisa, giving a much more vivid impression of her enticing eyes and enigmatic smile.

In the Louvre's original, which will not be cleaned in the foreseeable future, Lisa's face is obscured by old, cracked varnish, making her appear almost middle aged. In the Prado copy we see her as she would have looked at the time - as a radiant young woman in her early 20s.

Sherlock

Scotland: Archaeologists and Pagans Alike Glory in the Brodgar Complex

The Ring of Brodgar
© Murdo Macleod
The Ring of Brodgar ancient standing stones in Orkney, Scotland, flank the Brodgar complex, now thought to be older than Stonehenge.
Let's not jump to conclusions about ritual significance, but this site is clearly immensely important to ancient British history

Archaeologists are notoriously nervous of attributing ritual significance to anything (the old joke used to be that if you found an artefact and couldn't identify it, it had to have ritual significance), yet they still like to do so whenever possible. I used to work on a site in the mid-1980s - a hill fort in Gloucestershire - where items of potential religious note occasionally turned up (a horse skull buried at the entrance, for example) and this was always cause for some excitement, and also some gnashing of teeth at the prospect of other people who weren't archaeologists getting excited about it ("And now I suppose we'll have druids turning up").

The Brodgar complex has, however, got everyone excited. It ticks all the boxes that make archaeologists, other academics, lay historians and pagans jump up and down. Its age is significant: it's around 800 years older than Stonehenge (although lately, having had to do some research into ancient Britain, I've been exercised by just how widely dates for sites vary, so perhaps some caution is called for). Pottery found at Stonehenge apparently originated in Orkney, or was modeled on pottery that did.

Info

Closest Photos of Uncontacted Tribe Reveal Hidden Way of Life

Lost Tribe
© D. Cortijo/Survival/uncontactedtribes.org
A Mascho-Piro man and woman. The group choses to live away from civilization, likely because of past brutalities when outsiders encroached on their land.

New images of an uncontacted Peruvian tribe reveal a small band of people, clad in little more than beads and bands of fabric, sitting by a river in the southeastern part of the country.

The photographs, released by advocacy group Survival International, are the closest-ever glimpse of uncontacted Indians ever caught on camera, according to the organization. They provide considerably more detail than earlier images taken from aircraft over settlements.

The people in the photograph belong to the Mashco-Piro tribe. This tribe likely descends from a group that was attacked and displaced in 1894, when rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald encroached on their ancestral lands. Surviving members of the tribe maintain voluntary separation from the outside world, though oil exploration may be encroaching on their solitude, according to Survival International.

The dangers inherent in contacting tribes who'd rather be uncontacted came to the forefront this November, when a local Peruvian man of the Matsigenka tribe, Nicolas Shaco Flores, was found shot through the heart by a Mashco-Piro arrow. Flores had long been in touch with the tribe, albeit at a distance, wrote anthropologist and friend Glenn Shepard on his blog "Notes from the Ethnoground."

Info

Penn research finds genetic link between Native Americans, Russian region

Sitting Bull
© sonofthesouth.net
Chief Sitting Bull
By comparing DNA samples from hundreds of volunteers, a Penn anthropologist and his colleagues have tied Native Americans to a group of people living in a small region of Russia called the Altai, near the borders of Mongolia, China, and Kazakstan.

The results, published in Friday's issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, add another chapter to the story of the settlement of the Americas. Increasingly efficient DNA technology is helping scientists flesh out the prehistory of the Native Americans and of the human race in general.

Archaeologists have long surmised that Native Americans came from Asia, migrating to Alaska during a time when sea levels were lower and it was possible to walk over the Bering Strait.

But these latest results use the most complete genetic profiling done on the Asian and American sides, offering new insights into the ancestry of Native Americans, the routes they took to the New World, and the timing of the migration.

Artifacts show that humans were living in North America 15,000 years ago; they reached the tip of South America over the next 2,000 years.

Using techniques akin to DNA fingerprinting, scientists have continued to gather evidence that the majority of current native people of North and South America derive their ancestry from Asia.

Palette

Hitler Painting Fetches €32,000 in Slovak Auction

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© Agence France-Presse/Samuel Kubani
A man looks on a computer screen at an image of a painting by Adolf Hitler, done before he became Nazi Germany's dictator, titled Maritime Nocturno, on January 26.
A 1913 painting by Nazi Germany's dictator Adolf Hitler sold for 32,000 euros ($42,300) in a Slovak internet auction on Sunday, the Darte auction house said.

The starting price for the painting titled Maritime Nocturno was set at 10,000 euros, while an expert put its value at 25,000 euros, said Darte, which sold the painting in a closed VIP auction.

The mixed-media painting depicts a full moon over a glittering seascape.

"The painting has been offered for sale by an unnamed family of a Slovak painter who probably met Hitler personally when he was struggling to become an artist in Vienna during the early 20th century," Darte owner Jaroslav Krajnak said earlier.