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The Gift of the Magi to the Elect - A Christmas Essay

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It's Christmas morning in the year of the Christian dispensation, 2010 and I'm finding that I'm hard-pressed to be Merry about much of anything. If you want to read something cheerful and uplifting about Christmas, stop now and go elsewhere.

Yes, I am more than thankful for my wonderful family and friends and the extraordinary good times we have together, and I know that I am blessed beyond all expectations I ever had for my life. But in a sense, that's part of why I am unable to feel "Merry" about Christmas.

You see, within the circle of my family and friends, we share common values and aims that are based on love and caring and sharing, and all around us we see a world where those values have been degraded and corrupted to the point that they are either no longer recognizable, or they have disappeared altogether. This is incredibly painful and even moreso because we know that the way the world could be is so different from what is, and that this "what is" will, inevitably, affect us personally.

When, as a result of being part of a loving, cohesive group of creative and intelligent beings, one realizes that such a group is surrounded on all sides by creatures in whom the rule of the jungle prevails - the strong dominate the weak, conflict and rule by thugs is the order of the day - it is really hard to feel very Merry.

The situation is so bad that I see no hope for humanity at large at all. Extinction of our race is the inevitable outcome and I am no longer the only person who thinks so; even some mainstream scientists and pundits have written as much. They don't seem to be able to put their finger on the root of the problem, tending to blame it on effects, not causes, but they feel the prickle of the hairs rising on the back of their neck, and they sense the wolf circling in the darkness.

Card - VISA

TWIC and SWAC - Submission to the Beast

The Mark
© Tyndale House Publishers
The Mark of the Beast
I find this to be truly diabolical. I'm reminded of someone I know who grew up in the eastern bloc, telling me that if you didn't join the right party-sponsored organizations as a young student, then you'd find yourself having trouble getting into college, getting a decent job, etc. You had to be on the "inside" and "vetted" by the state to really get anywhere in society. In America, this TWIC and SWAC stuff smacks of exactly that sovietization, and, as usual, is already creeping incrementally. And the TSA is involved in it, extending their reach way beyond what we might have expected.

DHS is leaning on NYC unions, via a "directive," to encourage member construction workers to get TWIC (transportation worker identity credential), a biometric ID, that requires you submit to a government background check and give the government your DNA! You know the rest of the story -- either get vetted by the TSA or you don't work (shall be able neither to buy nor sell).

Comment: Revelation 19:20 says, "He deceived them that had received the mark of the beast"

Matthew 24:24. "deceive, if possible, even the elect."


Question

New Sott Report! Fake Terror And The War For Your Mind

The Miami 7, the Fort Dix 6, the Newburgh 4, the Underwear Bomber, the Portland Car Bomber... The FBI has set up then knocked down dozens of terrorist straw men in an effort to convince you that the 'war on terror' is real. This is a very real war for your mind and we may all pay a high price for ignoring it.


USA

Bloody Trophies

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We have an unprecedented capacity to absorb scandals. Wikileaks or no, Americans wake up each day to a new set of outrages, yet nothing changes. With hundreds of channels at our fingertip and a billion songs sloshing in our skulls, no crime against country, man or earth can linger long enough in any brain cell to matter. All synapses are currently busy with bullshit, yet again, thank you.

There have always been enough incriminating evidences to fill several Pentagons and CIA headquarters. It takes no dick or hacker to know that the U.S. government is duplicitous and sadistic. It lies and kills compulsively. Though hardly alone, America's unique in her reach and influence. As an empire, our sick tendencies become everybody else's problems. Without our "leadership," would Poles and Ukrainians kill and be killed in Iraq? Would Germans patrol Afghanistan? Would Georgia pick a fight with Russia, only to have its ass kicked? We don't just commit evils, we train many others to do it. We graduated thousands of torturers from The School of the Americas. After some bad press, it was niftily re-christened 'The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation'. (Similarly, Blackwater is now Xe.) Our tactics haven't changed, and waterboarding, openly admitted to by our cynically sinister capos, is the very least of it. No criminal confesses to everything. "Ah, I only do some shoplifting on the side, Your Honor. No beating or rape or nothing."

Megaphone

Extra, Extra! Yahoo is Censoring the SOTT E-mail Edition

Yahoo Censorship
Starting yesterday, 16 December 2010, Yahoo decided to return all 276 E-mail Editions sent to our subscribers who signed up with a Yahoo e-mail address.

In the past, we would receive returned messages because we are part of Yahoo's "spam feedback loop". This means that if someone labeled the E-mail Edition as junk, we would be notified. We would then promptly remove their e-mail address from the mailing list.

In addition, we received other detailed error messages from Yahoo explaining the reason why our E-mail Edition was rejected for a particular address.

This time, we got: "554 Content not allowed [299]".

Butterfly

The Way Out is the Way In

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© Dreamstime.com
Reading Joe Baegent's brilliant essay - AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM? Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga - has added considerable weight to some thoughts I've had of late regarding so-called political activism. This issue has, of course, been brought to the fore by the Wikileaks/Julian Assange saga which is, as far as I can see, a truly devious set-up - a tar-baby - that puts a person in the position of either accepting lies delivered on the platform of truth, or rejecting the principle of truth along with the lies.

The social, cultural and resultant political problems we face have become such a Gordian knot of pathological influences that any political action along legal pathways appears to be doomed to fail. Human beings are so divided, so immersed in their illusions, that there is no possibility of any unified political action - and the ONLY action that would work would be, of necessity, unified - the majority of humanity acting as One against the tiny minority of Pathocrats. Baegent notes, quite accurately,
What America really needs is a wall-to-wall people's insurrection, preferably based on force and fear of force, the only thing oligarchs understand. And even then the odds are not good. The oligarchs have all the legal power, police, jails and prisons, surveillance and firepower. Not to mention a docile populace.
In short, the situation is pretty much as described in the movie "V for Vendetta" in this revealing exchange:
Dominic: What do you think will happen?
Finch: What usually happens when people without guns stand up to people *with* guns.

Question

Cass Sunstein, Wikileaks And The Public Right To Know

manipulation chess
© Unknown
So Julian Assange is in prison, for now. There appears to be no case against him that any authority in their right mind would waste time on, unless the goal is to simply prolong the drama, which it may well be. Wikileaks arrived on the scene at a very interesting time. In the US, unemployment at record levels (22% at least), massive numbers of foreclosures and trillions of taxpayers' money given to save the banks from their own greed. In Europe, similar 'banking crises' brought on government 'austerity' measures whereby the people would bail out the banks with the only currency really worth anything - the sweat of our brows and our standard of living. Human currency is the real 'wealth' of any nation or government on this planet.

So millions protested and called strikes in Greece, France, the UK, Ireland etc. Such demonstrations of people power are perhaps the only weapons we have left against the corrupt elite of this world. Of course, it is knowledge of the extent of the blatant lies and corruption of the elite that galvanise the people to act in this way, and therefore the right of the people to know what their government is doing is fundamental. The principle on which Wikileaks acts, therefore, is to be supported to the last. I do have a small problem with the current Wikileaks issue however and that is the massive media coverage that it is garnering. I find little in the leaks themselves to warrant such prolonged media exposure, and, from my reading of public comments on the contents of the leaks themselves, I don't see them leading to any sort of massive public demonstrations. We can only hope that they will encourage more and better leaks so that the truth will finally be known and that may lead to action in the public sector.

As a result of having copious evidence to hand regarding the reality of government conspiracies aimed at manipulating public opinion, I have to admit also to being somewhat conspiracy-minded. It's a weakness, I know. But bear with me, I have a few questions to put to you; I'll answer a few of them, but feel free to come up with your own theories of the conspiratorial ilk or not:

Manipulating public opinion - does anyone disagree that all governments engage in this to one extent or another?

If yes, why does the government wish to manipulate public opinion?

Sherlock

The Baby and the Bathwater - Wiki-Leaks and the Principle of Truth

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As our readers know, Sott.net doesn't always take the easy path, but we do try to take the right path and we don't like to get egg on our faces. If we think we are right in the face of all opposition, we'll stick to our guns. By the same token, if we discover we have made an error, we admit and correct it. We don't like to have to admit and correct errors and so, we try to avoid making them.

There's an old saying: 'Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater' and never was that saying more à propos than the current Wikileaks/Julian Assange situation. This saying is particularly relevant in respect of those who deride Wikileaks and Assange, and point out the many problems that this situation presents to the careful thinker and researcher. And here, we include ourselves at Sott.net to some extent. We have had to sit down and discuss and think about this issue long and hard and the following is the outcome of that reflection.

Whistle

Connecting the Dots: People Power vs Weapons of Mass Distraction

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© Reuters
People power!
Much has happened since Connecting the Dots was last published; and yet, nothing much has changed at all! SOTT's volunteer staff have lately been absorbed in getting The Dot Connector Magazine off the ground. So if you haven't done so already, remember that you can always stay informed of our efforts to Connect the Dots by subscribing to our illustrated bi-monthly publication dedicated to delivering the impartial facts on issues of vital importance to every person on the planet.

With so much happening all at once, it is difficult to see which event or trend presents the most danger for humanity. Is it the descent into fascism that the United States is undergoing? Is it the obnoxious Big Brother harassment of full-body scanner machines and the humiliating "enhanced pat-downs"? The construction of terror scares by the FBI and assorted alphabet agencies, perhaps? What about Israel's oppression of Palestine, together with its manipulation of global perception and its unparalleled contribution to the distortion of geopolitics? The ongoing destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? The squeezing of Western economies to bring them into line with Third World countries and the rising food prices? Winter coming so soon to the northern hemisphere and the biblical floods caused by torrential rain?

Join us as we try to filter out the distractions and the background noise by Connecting the Dots between the trends.

Bizarro Earth

SOTT.net Exclusive: Paul Craig Roberts: 'Western Civilization Has Shed Its Values'

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© Susan Walsh / AP Photo
She won't be welcome around here any more
"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State."

-- Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Western Civilization no longer upholds the values it proclaims, so what is the basis for its claim to virtue?

For example, the US print and TV media and the US government have made it completely clear that they have no regard for the First Amendment. Consider CNN's Wolf Blitzer's reaction to the leaked diplomatic cables that reveal how the US government uses deceptions, bribes, and threats to control other governments and to deceive the American and other publics. Blitzer is outraged that information revealing the US government's improprieties reached the people, or some of them. As Alexander Cockburn wrote, Blitzer demanded that the US government take the necessary steps to make certain that journalists and the American people never again find out what their government is up to.

The disregard for the First Amendment is well established in the US media, which functions as a propaganda ministry for the government. Remember the NSA leak given to the New York Times that the George W. Bush regime was violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and spying on Americans without obtaining warrants from the FISA court? The New York Times spiked the story for one year and did not release it until after Bush's reelection. By then, the Bush regime had fabricated a legal doctrine that "authorized" Bush to violate US law.

Glenn Greenwald writing in Salon has exposed the absence of moral standards among WikiLeaks' critics. A number of American politicians have called for the US government to murder Julian Assange, as have journalists such as neoconservative propagandist Jonah Goldberg, who wrote: "Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?"