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The Gospel of Mark Antony - 1 - The Jesus Question

Blood of Redemption

Blood of Redemption, Carlos Quevedo
Who was Jesus Christ?

There's less agreement on that then you'd expect.

There are three basic camps on the subject. The largest are those who assume, without giving the matter a great deal of thought, that two thousand years ago there was some Jewish rabbi, first name Jesus, surname Christ, who wandered around the Middle East preaching peace and love, thereby irritating the local religious and political authorities until they solved the problem with some judicious flesh carpentry. This camp figures all the stuff about water turning into wine and walking on water is embellishment made up after the fact, tall tales that grew in the telling from one credulous illiterate peasant to the next, until eventually being written down and formalized by more literate but no less superstitious priests. However, they figure the basic outlines of the story are more or less accurate, and anyhow the moral lessons it encodes are generally pretty good, so who cares? This camp embraces most atheists and agnostics, as well as a surprising number of nominal Christians, typically of the Easter-Christmas-weddings-and-funerals variety.

If you're in that camp you probably don't think you're going to care about the rest of this essay. I urge you to keep reading.

The next camp, also quite large, are the scriptural literalists. They insist that everything in the Bible is true, being the divinely inspired Word of God, and this most certainly includes everything in the New Testament's gospels. For them, Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure1, whose life was exactly as presented by the apostles: he was literally born of a virgin mother impregnated by God himself, he really cast out demons and healed with a touch, he actually danced on water, caused storms to calm themselves with a wave of his hand, was crucified, died, was buried, and rose again.

If you're in that camp, you're probably going to get very annoyed by this essay. I especially urge you to keep reading.

Vader

'The Special Relationship': How the British Reconquered the United States and Established an Anglo-American Empire

anglo american empire Great Britain United States

The Anglo-American Empire
"Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organisation will be gained without ... a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States...not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers". — Winston Churchill, 'Iron Curtain Speech', 1946
This will sound like an outrageous statement to many. How could the British have reconquered the United States?! They never won any war against her and by the 20th century had always fought alongside the United States as a trusted ally. And isn't it rather the opposite, doesn't the United States dictate British foreign policy at this point?

It is true, Britain never won a war against the United States, and it was understood by the mid-19th century that the British would never succeed in conquering the United States externally. Rather, if they were to be successful, she would need to be conquered from within, to which this paper is dedicated to telling the story of.

Telescope

Stonehenge may be an ancient solar calendar says new study

A new study explains how the ancient solar calendar may have worked at Stonehenge — and why it was constructed in the first place.
Stonehenge
© Drone Explorer/Shutterstock
Stonehenge has always been shrouded in mystery. The ancient monument and burial site in southern England has been around for more than 5,000 years — but its purpose isn't completely clear. Researchers have long speculated the enormous stones were erected in the shape of an ancient calendar, but no one could explain how it worked.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it a chance for Stonehenge expert Timothy Darvill to visit the site during the day when the sun was shining and tourists were scarce. He had more time than he ever thought possible to contemplate a possible calendar design. Then one day it came to him.

Dig

Long lost palace of Genghis Khan's grandson may have been found in Turkey

turkey genghis khan
© The Daily Sabah / Anadolu Agency
Turkish and Mongolian scientists may have found the remains of a long-lost Khan palace in eastern Turkey that they believe was built by Genghis Khan's grandson, Hulagu Khan. Hulagu Khan was the ruler of the short-lived Ilkhanid state in the 1260s AD. A report in Live Science stated that archaeologists working at the Van Province excavation site near Çaldıran probably found the historically documented Khan palace, which was constructed between 1260-1265.

The Turkish Hulagu Khan Palace and the Ilkhanate State

Hulagu Khan (reigned 1256-1265) is notoriously associated with the brutal sacking of Baghdad in 1258, which destroyed much of the city and its rich historical heritage. The Khan's wrath on the city resulted in the destruction of the Grand Library of Baghdad, which contained countless manuscripts and books on mathematics, astronomy, physics, philosophy from the Islamic Golden Age (8th century onward). After Baghdad was sacked, the city's leader, Caliph Al-Musta'sim Billah, was executed.

Wolf

Britain 'immediately' supported US over 1988 shooting down of Iranian airliner

Coffins holding the victims of Iran Air Flight 655
© Barry Iverson / Getty
Coffins holding the victims of Iran Air Flight 655.
The attack occurred during the Iran-Iraq war, which had begun in 1980 with Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran. The US government backed Saddam, and sent warships to the Persian Gulf to support the Iraqi war effort.

One of those warships was the USS Vincennes which, on 3 July 1988, fired two missiles at Iran Air Flight 655 while it was making a routine trip to Dubai.

Washington claimed the US Navy had acted in self-defence, but this wasn't true. The plane had not, as the Pentagon claimed, moved "outside the prescribed commercial air route", nor had it been "descending" towards USS Vincennes at "high speed".

The US thus shot down a civilian airliner, and haphazardly tried to cover it up. Some 66 children were among the 290 civilians killed.

Comment:


Gold Coins

Michael Hudson: From junk economics to a false view of history - Where western civilization took a wrong turn

Denariys
© CC BY-SA 3.0/KJN
Denarius of Emperor Marcus Aurelius • Port scene Pompeii fresco
It may seem strange to invite an economist to give a keynote speech to a conference of the social sciences. Economists have been characterized as autistic and anti-social in the popular press for good reason. They are trained to think abstractly and use a priori deduction - based on how they think societies should develop. Today's mainstream economists look at neoliberal privatization and free-market ideals as leading society's income and wealth to settle at an optimum equilibrium without any need for government regulation - especially not of credit and debt.

The only role acknowledged for government is to enforce the "sanctity of contracts" and "security of property." By this they mean the enforcement of debt contracts, even when their enforcement expropriates large numbers of indebted homeowners and other property owners. That is the history of Rome. We are seeing the same debt dynamic at work today. Yet this basic approach has led mainstream economists to insist that civilization could and should have followed this pro-creditor policy from the very beginning.

The reality is that civilization could never have taken off if some free-market economist had got into a time machine and travelled back in time five thousand years to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Suppose that he would have convinced ancient chieftains or rulers how to organize their trade, money and land tenure on the basis of "greed is good" and any public regulation is bad.

Arrow Up

Lost royal city of Natounia possibly discovered in Iraq

The ancient stronghold is believed to be part of the lost city of Natounia.
Lost city of Natounia
Nestled in a valley shadowed by mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan sits an ancient fortress that archeologists think may be the lost, royal city of Natounia, based on the discovery of intricately carved rock reliefs depicting an ancient leader, a new study finds.

The stronghold, known as Rabana-Merquly, was once part of the Parthian Empire (also known as the Arsacid Empire), which reigned(opens in new tab) between 247 B.C. and A.D. 224. The Parthians were bitter enemies of the Roman Empire, and fought various battles against them for over 250 years(opens in new tab). Now, new research at this 2,000-year-old fortress suggests that it served as one of the empire's regional centers.

During a recent expedition, an international team of archeologists discovered twin rock reliefs(opens in new tab) at the two entrances to the settlement, which is situated at the base of Mount Piramagrun in the Zagros Mountains. The matching reliefs are said to depict a king of Adiabene, a kingdom that was part of the Parthian Empire, according to researchers.

"Based on the dress of the figure, in particular his hat, we think that the fortress was built by the ruling dynasty of Adiabene close to the kingdom's eastern border," study lead researcher Michael Brown, a researcher at the Institute of Prehistory, Protohistory and Near-Eastern Archaeology of Heidelberg University in Germany, told Live Science in an email. "The twin rock reliefs are rare examples of near life-size monuments of rulers from the Parthian period, and they allow us to link the fortress with those who built it."

He added, "Both reliefs are located immediately next to the two gated entrances and were clearly designed to make a political statement — they can be characterized as ancient propaganda."

Sun

Revealed: Al Gore's real climate catastrophe

Gore
© reuters
Al Gore
Next month is the thirtieth anniversary of the most entertaining and damning chapter in Al Gore's career.

By the mid-nineteenth century, our knowledge of atmospheric chemistry was sufficiently advanced for a few sharp minds to ponder whether an increase in carbon dioxide might increase global temperature. The speculation remained entirely theoretical until 1957 when an international collaboration of top geophysicists — including the Soviets — used buoys, weather balloons and so forth to collect data. The undertaking was led by Dr Roger Revelle then based at California's Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Today's global warming debate is hyper-partisan but all agree Revelle's standing is impeccable.

Before this research, many assumed the ocean was absorbing most of the increase in carbon dioxide caused by industrialisation. Revelle's data, however, indicated only half was. So what was happening to the other half? Would the planet soon overheat?

The question dominated Revelle's career and for much of that time he was inclined to think it would. Revelle shared his concern with decision-makers in DC and the press. In late 1957 a newspaper report on Revelle's research was the first to use the term 'global warming.' Revelle focus however was getting more data and understanding it better.

Sun

Ancient Roman 'Bridge of Nero' re-emerges from the Tiber River during severe drought

pons Neronianus bridge of nero

The Pons Neronianus or "Bridge of Nero"
The bridge was built in a poorly chosen site, experts say.

After a period of unusually hot weather and low rainfall, it's now possible to see the resurfaced remains of an ancient bridge in the Tiber River in Rome, Italy.

A severe drought in Italy has revealed an archaeological treasure in Rome: a bridge reportedly built by the Roman emperor Nero that is usually submerged under the waters of the Tiber River.

The dropping water levels of the Tiber, which according to Reuters is flowing at multi-year lows, have exposed the stone remains of the Pons Neronianus (Latin for the Bridge of Nero), WION news , a news agency headquartered in New Delhi, India, reported.

Blue Planet

8,000-year-old Yarmukian 'Mother Goddess' figurine uncovered in Jordan valley

Yarmukian ceramic venus
© ANNA EIRIKH-ROSE
An impressive 8,000 year old Yarmukian ceramic "Mother Goddess" figurine was uncovered at renewed excavations at the Sha
The broken figurine was covered by a bracelet with a red bottom, the color which represented fertility. A schematic stone with etched eyes and mouth was also uncovered.

The excavation is being carried out in conjunction with the French Center for Research in Jerusalem under the co-direction of Dr. Julien Vieugue.

"This woman ceramic figurine is a hallmark of Yarmukian culture," Eirikh-Rose said. "This is one of the largest examples of the figurine found. It is of a large, seated woman with big hips, a unique pointed hat and what is known as 'coffee-bean' eyes and a big nose. One hand is positioned on her hip and the other one under her breast."

Symbolism

Though dubbed "coffee-bean" eyes, the traditional eyes of the figurine more likely represented kernels possibly of wheat, or more likely barley, she said.

Comment: See also: Origins of the 30,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf solved