Tuesday, July 20, 2010
A DC airport ticket agent offers some examples of why...........
1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman (Carol Shea-Porter) ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)
2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman's (Moore) staffer (Howard Bauleke), who wanted to go to Cape Town. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ''I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Cape Town is in Massachusetts.''
Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, '' Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Cape Town is in South Africa.'' His response -- click.
3. A senior Vermont Congressman (Bernie Sanders) called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.
He replied, 'Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!'' (OMG)
4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife (Landra Reid) who asked,
''Is it possible to see England from Canada ?''
I said, ''No.''
She said, ''But they look so close on the map.'' (OMG, again!)
5. An aide for a cabinet member (Janet Napolitano) once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ''I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.'' (Aghhhh)
6. An Illinois Congresswoman (Jan Schakowsky) called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m.
I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.
7. A New York lawmaker, (Jerrold Nadler) called and asked, ''Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?'' I said, "No, why do you ask?"
He replied, ''Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!''
After putting him on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, Ca. is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage.
8. A Senator John Kerry aide (Lindsay Ross) called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, ''Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii ?''
9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman, Bobby Bright from Alabama who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?''
I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ''I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.''
10. Senator Dianne Feinstein called and said, ''I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?''
I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL , on a commuter plane.
She said, ''Yeah, whatever, smarty!''
11. Mary Landrieu, Louisiana Senator, called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa. "Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.''
I double checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa. When I told her this she said, ''Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!''
12. A New Jersey Congressman (John Adler) called to make reservations, ''I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York.''
I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ''Are you sure that's the name of the town?''
"Yes, what flights do you have?'' replied the man.
After some searching, I came back with, ''I'm sorry, sir, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a rhino anywhere.."
The man retorted, ''Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!''
So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ''You don't mean Buffalo, do you?''
The reply? ''Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.''
Sarah Palin made up a new word when she wrote a Twitter post over the weekend saying Muslims shouldn't build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.
In the first iteration of her tweet on the topic, the former Alaska governor wrote, quote, "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, (please) refudiate."
Observers think she meant either "repudiate" or "refute" since "refudiate" is not found in the dictionary.
When pundits poked fun, Palin compared herself to the Bard of Stratford on Avon, saying, quote, "Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"
Friday, July 16, 2010
"Two police are off the force and a rural Georgia teacher is threatening to sue after she says she called police to her home and ended up getting zapped repeatedly with a stun gun." Smh
Three Philadelphia police officers were caught after plotting with drug dealers and staged a traffic stop.
The plan consisted of a scheme to steal $15,000 worth of heroin from a supplier and sell it to citizens of Philadelphia.
Officers Mark Williams, James Venziale and Robert Snyder were all convicted on a 14-count indictment Tuesday, along with three suspected drug dealers.
The plan unfolded for the officers when they tried to sell the 300 grams of heroin to an undercover federal agent.
The police officers and two drug dealers were arrested for the crime and so was the wife of one of the officers. Snyder's wife Christal, is the only one not being held in custody right now from all those arrested.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said he would quickly begin the process of terminating them.
The FBI were still on the hunt as of Tuesday for Miguel Santiago who is suspected of being one of the drug suppliers. The 39 year old Philadelphia resident will be the lone defendant in the trial that will not have a conspiracy charge against him.
NEW ORLEANS -- Three police officers charged in the killing of two unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina and a cover-up that followed pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen and Officer Anthony Villavaso stood before a federal magistrate in green prison garb, shackled at the waist and ankles. They will remain jailed at least until a hearing Friday. A tentative trial date is set for Sept. 13.
Magistrate Louis Moore Jr. read the counts - 13 against Bowen, 11 against Gisevius and 10 against Villavaso. Former officer Robert Faulcon made his initial court appearance Tuesday in Texas, where he was arrested, but has not entered a plea.
The charges against the four carry a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty, although U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the Justice Department hasn't decided whether to seek the latter punishment.
The family of two victims - Ronald Madison, who was killed, and his brother, Lance, who survived - sat in the front row of the packed courtroom. Gisevius cried quietly as he stood with his lawyer.
"We'll be able to pick this indictment apart," said Frank DeSalvo, Bowen's lawyer. "There is a lot of fantasy there."
Bowen, Gisevius and Villavaso were suspended without pay after the indictments were released Tuesday, NOPD spokesman Bob Young said on Wednesday.
Five former officers already have pleaded guilty to charges they helped cover up the shootings. Prosecutors have said police fabricated witnesses, falsified reports and plotted to plant a gun to make it appear that the shootings were justified.
The shootings at the Danziger Bridge happened Sept. 4, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina smashed levees and left the city flooded and in chaos. Bodies floated in filthy flood waters. There were reports of looting and gunshots rang out throughout the blacked-out city.
It was in this backdrop that police, desperate to regain control, were called about 9 a.m. that morning after reports of gunfire at the bridge.
Seven heavily armed New Orleans police officers stormed the bridge. Prosecutors said they shot at the first people they saw, people they say were crossing the bridge to find food.
When it was over, two men were dead and four others lay wounded on the hot concrete.
Oakland, CA: No Money, No Cops, No Clue.
Oakland, California is a good example of how hypocritical race-baiting can turn a city into a lawless, penniless, arrogant, irresponsible blame-thrower. Tonight, Oakland will devolve into even more chaos.
The latest chapter in the total decay of this rotted racist community will take place tonight at midnight. 80 police officers, a tenth of the police force, will be laid off due to deep budget cuts in one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country
Oakland Police have charges pending, some felonies, against more than 80 people for rioting and looting after the verdict of police officer Johannes Mehserle’s trial.
There were approximately 1,000 people trashing and thieving downtown Oakland that night however….so Oakland police are now asking the public for help?
Have you seen our looters
If you ask me we're better off without the thugs with badges.
No Justice: Oscar Grant Verdict Overshadowed By Basketball News
Thursday, July 8, 2010 will be a day that goes down in infamy for me. It's not because "King" James abandoned his hometown of Cleveland to play super friends with Dwyane Wade andChris Bosh in South Beach. July 8 will forever be etched into my memory as the night Oscar Grant's name got added to the list of those who found no justice after being shot down by the law in cold blood.
If you're unaware, I'm honestly not surprised. In the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2009, Oscar Grant was detained by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers after responding to reports of a fight at the Fruitvale BART Station. Grant was restrained by Officer Johannes Mehserle and another officer when Grant allegedly resisting arrest. Officer Mehserle drew his gun as he stood over Grant--who was lying face down--and fired a gunshot into the back of the 22-year-old. Grant would be pronounced dead the following morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland. The events were captured on video, similar to the Rodney King beating back in 1991, and clearly show Mehserle shooting Grant as he lay on his stomach.
Nineteen months later, a jury found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of four years and could likely see Mehserle serve two years and/or probation, depending on the judge's ruling when sentencing commences on August 6.
What we learned: Even in 2010, it's still legal for law enforcement to kill a black man and walk away with a slap on the wrist.
First time drug possession offenders do one to three years in jail. A repeat offender can do up to 12 years. NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself at a New York nightclub and will do two years. Quarterback Michael Vick served 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal felony charges related to being involved in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring. The last time I checked, a human's life is valued greater than that of a dog. Perhaps I was wrong.
Grant joins the likes of Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and more recently, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who've died at the hands of the law and have yet to see justice served on their behalf. Rodney King was beaten for the world to see and the officers were acquitted. Grant was shot and killed in front of witnesses on video and the officer involved still managed to avoid a lengthy sentence. Now reverse the roles and let me know how many years a civilian will get for involuntary slaughter on a cop. Two to four years in jail? How about two to four lifetimes in prison?
There was another crime committed on July 8 that was simply appalling. That crime was the media's coverage of the circus known as LeBron James' announcement and how it completely overshadowed the Oscar Grant trial. As if we hadn't heard enough about where LBJ would end up, a nationally televised ego-stroking special where James declared where he was heading for the 2011 NBA season aired two hours after the Oscar Grant verdict hit. Whereas CNN managed to squeeze in a two-minute blurb to publicize the verdict, the rest of the evening was dedicated to an athlete and his big announcement regarding where his next multimillion dollar check was coming from. A video package featuring President Barack Obama discussing LeBron James aired as thousands rallied in Oakland in support of Grant. Larry King had a banner that said "The World Waits For LeBron's Decision." Apparently, the world keeps turning when another black man dies at the hands of law enforcement and stops when a basketball player changes zip codes.
Every major news network was dedicated to LeBron's big announcement. None paid attention to the travesty taking place in Oakland. Not even networks that are supposed to be "ours" (and I use the term "ours" very loosely) like BET. If it wasn't for Twitter and socially conscious journalists who care about their community such as Davey D, I wouldn't have known the jury had reached a verdict until well after the fact. There was literally no coverage on our major news outlets. To say that a rich athlete deserves this much attention is disgusting and a disgrace to journalism. ESPN is not at fault because sports is their hustle. But as for these other media outlets, I found the lack of coverage in lieu of LeBron-mania to be revolting.
Even more unnerving was the activity on Twitter. While many displayed their outrage, many more opted to be consumed with "King" James and a rumored Kanye West tracklisting that leaked. It was indicative of our society and our lack of interest in issues that are close to home. We're more concerned with finding out where the rich man will go collect his next check rather than be concerned with people that are murdered in our tax bracket who look and act just like us. Chances are the average black man has a greater possibility of being harassed by police than becoming the next LeBron James.
What would have been an incredible display of character was something I certainly didn't expect LeBron and his team to do--either mention the Grant verdict and his support of the protests in Oakland, or cancel his press conference because more important issues are at hand. A move like that would have been monumental. But he's LeBron James, not Muhammad Ali. I don't expect much more from him than what we have already seen. But I digress.
As the Grant family voiced their displeasure with the ruling, all I could think about is how another black man gets taken down by the long arm of the law and it gets swept under the rug with the swiftness of a 1997 Allen Iverson crossover. The media paid a little more attention later in the night when a few knuckleheads looted an Oakland Foot Locker in "protest." The peaceful demonstrators were given little attention, but the ignorant ones become a reflection of the entire community. It's irresponsible journalism that has catapulted Lindsay Lohan's lame 90 day stint in jail and LeBron's egotistical "It's All About Me" announcement over issues that really matter. It's an uneducated community that has the information highway at their fingertips but opt to fawn over Kat Stacks' groupie adventures and who Kim Kardashian is dating rather than use the net to find out what is going on in Haiti seven months after the earthquake. Watching meaningless conversations take place on Twitter when real situations occur is a reminder of how much we have detached ourselves from reality.
We have become a numb society that is enthralled with the celebrity lifestyle. Our aspirations are strung together with half-baked dreams anchored by the motto "Fame or Bust." We live vicariously through the rich and famous while we disconnect the line when a parallel is drawn between ourselves and the common man.
LeBron-mania is over. Oscar Grant is still dead and Oakland is wrought with anger and distress. As LBJ joins Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for an all white party in South Beach that us common folk can't afford to attend, Oscar Grant will join Diallo and Bell in the afterlife as they comfort the sobbing Jones who thought the police were supposed to be the good guys. As Cleveland fans light their #23 jerseys on fire and try to figure out who will lift "The Curse" from Cleveland, Oscar Grant's family and friends dab away the tears while picking up the pieces of an emotionally devastated community that has once again been let down by "The Curse" of an unbalanced judicial system.
Which one will most likely be forgotten by tomorrow?
It will only remain this way if you let it.
Monday, July 12, 2010
(Reuters) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has lived in seclusion since falling ill four years ago, will appear on Cuban television and radio on Monday evening to discuss his theory that the world is on the verge of nuclear war, the Communist Party newspaper Granma said in its Monday online edition.
The appearance will mark the second time in less than a week that the suddenly resurgent 83-year-old has made a public appearance, after staying out of view, except in occasional photographs and videos, since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006.
Last Wednesday, he made a visit to a Havana scientific center that was disclosed in a blog on Saturday.
Castro writes opinion columns, or "Reflections," for Cuba's state-run media that in recent weeks have focused on his prediction that nuclear war will soon break out, sparked by a conflict between the United States and Iran over international sanctions against Iran's nuclear activities.
"The empire is at the point of committing a terrible error that nobody can stop. It advances inexorably toward a sinister fate," he wrote on July 5.
The "empire" is how Castro usually refers to the United States, his bitter foe from the time he took power in Cuba in a 1959 revolution.
In a column published on Sunday night, Castro said the "principal purpose" of his writings has been to "warn international public opinion of what was occurring."
He said he has reached his dire conclusion based in part on "observing what happened, as the political leader that I was during many years, confronting the empire, its blockades and its unspeakable crimes."
The columns have attracted little attention internationally and caused little reaction in Cuba, but Castro promised to continue his lonely fight to warn the world of the coming disaster.
"I don't hesitate in running risks of compromising my modest moral authority," he wrote on Sunday. "I will continue writing 'Reflections' about the topic."
Castro ruled Cuba for 49 years before provisionally ceding power to younger brother Raul Castro following his 2006 surgery.
Citing age and infirmity, he officially resigned in February 2008 and Raul Castro, now 79, was elected president by the National Assembly.
Fidel Castro's reappearance comes as Cuba is preparing to release 52 political prisoners, all jailed in a crackdown on the opposition in 2003 while he was still in power.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Fads in psychiatric diagnosis come and go and have been with us as long as there has been psychiatry. The fads meet a deeply felt need to explain, or at least to label, what would otherwise be unexplainable human suffering and deviance. In recent years the pace has picked up and false "epidemics" have come in bunches involving an ever-increasing proportion of the population. We are now in the midst of at least 3 such epidemics-of autism, attention deficit, and childhood bipolar disorder. And unless it comes to its senses, DSM5 threatens to provoke several more (hypersexuality, binge eating, mixed anxiety depression,group thinking, worshipping celebrities, minor neurocognitive, and others
Fads punctuate what has become a basic background of overdiagnosis. Normality is an endangered species. The NIMH estimates that, in any given year, 25 percent of the population (that's almost 60 million people) has a diagnosable mental disorder. A prospective study found that, by age thirty-two, 50 percent of the general population had qualified for an anxiety disorder, 40 percent for depression, and 30 percent for alcohol abuse or dependence. Imagine what the rates will be like by the time these people hit fifty, or sixty-five, or eighty. In this brave new world of psychiatric overdiagnosis, will anyone get through life without a mental disorder?
What accounts for the recent upsurge in diagnosis? I feel quite confident we can't blame it on our brains. Human physiology and human nature change slowly if at all. Could it be that the surge in mental disorders is caused by our stressful society? I think not. There is no particular reason to believe that life is any harder now than it has always been-more likely we are the most pampered and protected generation ever to face its inevitable challenges. It is also tempting to find environmental (eg toxins) or iatrogenic causes (eg vaccinations), but there is no credible evidence supporting either of these. There is really only one viable environmental candidate to explain the growth of mental disorder-the widespread recreational use of psychotropic substances. But this cannot account for the extent of the "epidemics," particularly since most have centered on children.
No. The "epidemics" in psychiatry are caused by changing diagnostic fashions-the people don't change, the labels do. There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder. What is diagnosed as mental disorder is very sensitive to professional and social contextual forces. Rates of disorder rise easily because mental disorder has such fluid boundaries with normality.
What are the most important contextual forces?
1. DSM-III made psychiatric diagnosis interesting and accessible to the general public. More than a million copies of each edition have been sold-more to ordinary people than to mental health professionals. The widespread appeal of the DSM is in its clear definitions that allow people to diagnose themselves and family members. For the most part, this has been a useful contributor to self-knowledge and to early identification and treatment. But it can also be overdone and inevitably leads to overdiagnosis in the hands of non-clinicians.
2. This interacts with the fact that it is fairly easy to meet criteria for one or another DSM diagnosis. The definitional thresholds may be set too low and the DSM system has included many new diagnoses that are very common in the general population. The experts who establish the DSM criteria always worry more about missing cases than about casting too wide a net and capturing people who do not require a diagnosis or a treatment.
3. The pharmaceutical industry has proven to be fairly unsuccessful in developing new and improved medications. But it is wonderfully effective at marketing existing wares and is an important engine in overdiagnosis and the spread of psychiatric epidemics. The drug companies are skilled at mounting a full-court press that includes "educating" doctors, "supporting" advocacy groups and professional associations, controlling research, and direct-to-consumer advertising.
4. Patient and family advocacy groups have played an important role in calling attention to neglected needs; in lobbying for clinical, school, and research programs; and in reducing stigma and promoting group and community support. There are times, however, when advocating for those with a disorder can spill over and promote the spread of the disorder to others who are mislabeled. The mental disorders all have unclear boundaries among themselves and with normality. Clinical experience and caution are necessary in distinguishing at the boundary who does and who does not meet the criteria for the diagnosis. Well-informed self-diagnosis or family diagnosis can play a screening role and is part of being a wise consumer. But self-diagnosis is usually far too inclusive and needs trimming and validation by a cautious clinician.
5. It is no accident that the recent "epidemics" have all occurred in the childhood disorders. There are two contributing factors. The first is the push by drug companies into this new market. The second is that the provision of special educational services often requires that there be a DSM diagnosis.
6. The internet is a wonderful communication tool that provides a wealth of information and creates a social network of informed consumers. But it can also contribute to the spread of "epidemics". Disorder-focused Web sites (often run by patients and families) provide a powerfully attractive forum and support system that draws people who may inaccurately selfoverdiagnose in order to be part of the internet community.
7. The media feeds off and feeds the public interest in mental disorders. This happens in two ways. Periodically, the media becomes obsessed with one or another celebrity whose public meltdown seems related to a real or imagined mental disorder. The mental disorder is then endlessly commented on and dissected by the media. The latest example is the Tiger Woods media frenzy which will likely lead to an "epidemic" of "sexual addiction." Popular movies can also be contagious. Sybil helped cause a fad in multiple-personality disorder.
8. We live in a society that is perfectionistic in its expectations and intolerant of what were previously considered to be normal and expectable distress and individual difference. What was once accepted as the aches and pains of everyday life is now frequently labeled a mental disorder and treated with a pill. Eccentrics who would have been accepted on their own terms are now labeled as sick (with Asperger's) and in need of therapeutic intervention. Mental disorder labels can provide cover for societal problems. Criminal behavior has been medicalized (eg, rape as a psychiatric disorder) because prison sentences are too short and such labeling allows for indefinite psychiatric commitment.
All the above factors interact to produce follow-the-leader diagnostic fads that punctuate a general pattern of overdiagnosis. The definition of fad is "a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct especially one followed enthusiastically by a group." What makes something a psychiatric fad is that a psychiatric label seems to explain some common, nonspecific, problematic symptom or behavior, and that label is suddenly given to everyone. The fact that everyone is doing it reduces the stigma of the diagnosis and leads to more people getting the diagnosis. Then, like the old adage that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, the new label gets twisted to fit cases which really don't fit it simply because the label itself is popular and accepted.
There is no objective way to determine what should be the proper rate of mental disorder in the general population. My view is that DSM-IV is almost certainly overinclusive, but I would not recommend tightening the criteria until we have clear evidence this would do more good than harm. The DSM-5 bias to thrust open the diagnostic floodgates is supported only by flimsy evidence that does not come close to warranting its great risks of harmful unintended consequences. It is too bad that there is no advocacy group for normality that could effectively push back against all the forces aligned to expand the reach of mental disorders.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Blacks over in Oakland rioting just to get sneakers,flat screen tvs and shiit. I bet half of those negros don't give a dayum about oscar grant. They just wanted to find an excuse to riot and burn down their own shiit. My people we have to do better. Our priorities are Fuped and backwards.
I'm going to break down how society has become obsessed with celebrity culture and taken its eye off of important world events, allowing corruption and global domination to take root. While LeBron announces his move to Miami, the mindless sports fans of America have essentially ignored larger problems.
Here are people by the tens of thousands begging LeBron James to stay on their team, yet these same people won’t go out and protest the looting of the Federal government, the banker-bailout or even the BP oil spill.
Yes, modern bread and circuses– endless ballgames, television and gossip about celeb birthday parties– has driven our culture to embrace the meaningless, while reducing our consciousness to mindless drivel. America– once the greatest cradle of imagination and wealth has fallen to a land of virtual morons who look up to decadent system-icons instead of leaders who could drive our future to greatness once again.
I have a little bit of a unique perspective on this topic. I used to be a professional athlete. For the arena football team I was on, it was all about entertaining fans, making money, and basically putting up a big fake front to the world so that the people in my city could escape their own personal realities for a few hours. This is what American people do when they attend a sporting event, or watch TV and movies, or play video games. They escape their own lives in order to enter into worship of idols in a fake environment which has been carefully crafted for them by entertainers. I remember that as athletes we would act one way in public for reporters and fans, and then privately we would make fun of the reporters and fans and how absurd everything was. People who are sports fans, the ones who obsess over their teams and listen to sports talk radio or watch ESPN or post comments about their teams on the internet don't realize that the athletes are not worshipping their teams like the fans or media do. They are just doing a job, just like the rest of us who work in any number of places.
Meanwhile in Oakland,Ca a police officer was convicted of manslaughter for killing a innocent man. And all this hysteria and hype over a dude that hasn't won a championship yet? SmH
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer who fired the fatal shot ending the life of 22-year-old Oscar Grant last year at an Oakland train station has been declared guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Details when you
A former transit police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man at an Oakland train station was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Thursday, capping a racially charged case that raised fears in the Bay Area of possible violence after the verdict.
Prosecutors accused the ex-officer of intentionally firing his handgun as he tried to handcuff Oscar J. Grant III on New Year’s Day 2009. Johannes Mehserle, 28, tearfully testified that the shooting was a tragic accident caused when he mistakenly grabbed his firearm instead of an electric Taser weapon during a struggle with Grant.
The shooting was captured on video by several witnesses. Mehserle, who is white, fired a single round into the back of Grant, who was black and was lying face-down on the station platform. Mehserle resigned a week after the shooting.
The killing provoked protests and violence in Oakland. The case, which has drawn comparisons to the videotaped beating of Rodney G. King that ultimately triggered riots in Los Angeles in 1992, was moved to Los Angeles for trial amid concern about the extensive media coverage of the slaying in the Bay Area.
The shooting occurred soon after police responded to reports of a fight on a train stopped at the Fruitvale Station. Grant and four friends were detained by a different police officer who prosecutors said used excessive force against the men. Mehserle arrived on the platform after the men had been detained.
Alameda County Deputy Dist. Atty. David R. Stein rejected the idea that the shooting was a mistake, telling jurors that Mehserle’s holster was specially designed to prevent easy release of his firearm. The prosecutor contrasted the light, bright yellow Taser gun with the heavier black Sig Sauer handgun that Mehserle fired.
“He let his aggression dictate his conduct,” Stein told jurors.
The prosecutor urged jurors to find Mehserle guilty of second-degree murder, pointing out that the officer never told his colleagues that night that the shooting was an accident.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles have not won a murder conviction in a police shooting case since 1983.
Mehserle testified that he intended to use his Taser because he believed Grant, 22, might be reaching for a gun in his pants pocket. While the officer’s firearm was on his right side, the Taser was in a holster on the left side of his belt but angled so that it could be pulled out with his right hand.
Two people, including a friend of Grant’s, testified that they heard the officer say he intended to use his Taser shortly before the shooting. In at least six other instances, officers have said they made the same mistake of firing a handgun when they intended to use a Taser.
Numerous witnesses said Mehserle looked shocked after the gunshot. Defense attorney Michael L. Rains said video footage shows his client holding his head in his hands in despair.
“He’s sick to his stomach,” Rains told jurors, “because he has shot a man who did not deserve to be shot.”
The eight-woman, four-man jury consisted of seven whites, three Latinos, one Asian-Pacific islander and one person who declined to state a race. That’s right. Zero black jurors. SMH.
Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of two to four years in prison. Sentencing is set for Aug. 6.
SMH… This guy could end up doing less time than Michael Vick for shooting an unarmed man in the back.
Do you think this is a just sentence, or does the American justice system still carry a racial bias especially when it comes to victims who are black who die at the hands of white law officials?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
You don’t have to be a meteorologist, seismologist, or any other ologist to see that the frequency and intensity of natural disasters and extreme weather events seems to have significantly increased over the last few decades. Massive flooding from extreme precipitation; raging wildfires from prolonged droughts; monster hurricanes or super tsunamis or giant earthquakes all seem to have become much more common headlines over this time period.
As Chart A below shows, the number of declared disasters has skyrocketed in the U.S. since the 1950′s.1 FEMA’s web site states that there were a total of 1,866 total disaster declarations from 1953 to 2009, with an average of 33 per year.2 Dividing this 56 year period into two 28-year blocks with 1981 as the dividing year yields some interesting figures. The total number of federal declared disasters from 1953 – 1981 is 649 with an about 22 per year. But from 1981 – 2009, the total jumps to 1232, with a yearly average a little over 42.
Chart A. FEMA Declared Disasters by Year in the United States
As the FEMA’s Presidential Disaster Declarations map shows, the majority of declarations have been in population and agricultural centers. Most of the declarations have been due to floods and severe storms. From 1977 to 1993, U.S. federal agencies obligated $119.7 billion for disaster assistance, with the majority being for post-disaster assistance.3 In addition to underwriting the risk of natural disasters on agriculture, the U.S. continues to underwrite the cost of urban and suburban development. In 1998, U.S. government experts believed that the population in the most hurricane-prone counties would double by the year 2010 from the 36 million people they contained in 1995.4 The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of July, 2009, there are almost 80 million people living in the most hurricane states. From 2000 – 2009, Florida saw a 16% population increase; Georgia, 20%, North Carolina, 17%; South Carolina, 14%; and Texas 19%.5 It should come as no surprise, then, that the FEMA disaster declaration map has an eerie correspondence with the population increases shown on U.S. Census Bureau’s map showing changes from 2000 to 2008.
As the chart above demonstrates there has been a significant rise in the numbers of annual declared in the U.S. In 1996, obligations from FEMA’s disaster relief fund were $3.6 billion and in 1997 were $4.3 billion.6 These amounts seem quaint by today’s standards. In 2001 Congress appropriated $40 billion in emergency appropriations to deal the damage caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.7 Even this pales in comparison to the $110 billion appropriated to deal with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.8
Although there are political and bureaucratic reasons that partly explain the sharp rise in federal disaster declarations and outlays, the primary reason is, in the words of a government expert on this subject: “The close occurrence of such costly disasters in the United States is unprecedented.” This was provided during testimony to a House subcommittee in 1998.9 If this was true then, it is even more true today.
Yet natural disasters have not been confined to the U.S. In 2004, the world was appalled by the 150,000 people killed by the huge tsunami that ravaged towns and villages along the mangrove-stripped coasts of Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia. The biblical-sized wave was, of course, started by a powerful underground earthquake of which there seems to be no shortage these days. A year later, seismic tremors killed over 80,000 people were killed in India and Pakistan. Another 70,000 were buried under the rubble of what also proved to be shoddy construction last year in China.
Man’s hand was an obvious exacerbating factor in many of these super-sized catastrophes. Less obvious is the question of human interference in other extreme weather and natural disasters. Take, for instance, the 50,000 who expired due to the heat wave that descended on France, Italy and Spain, in 2003, not to mention many other parts of Europe. Or the hurricanes that blasted the Southern United States climaxing with the advent of Katrina and the disaster along the Gulf Coast. It’s become agonizingly clear, however, that the human factor did ultimately play an extremely large role in the flooding of New Orleans.
While powerful forces easily discernible with the human eye seem to be making vivid news, the unseen forces may be equally turbulent on the microbial level. Epidemiologists throughout the world have been extremely concerned with signs that we’re overdue for a major global pandemic. Over the last couple of decades, Aids, Ebola, and various types of meningitis have stamped themselves into the genetic blueprint of everyday speech. While West Nile Virus in 1997, SARS in 2003 and H1N1 in 2009 (aka, “Swine Flu”) are viewed by some scientists as supporting evidence of the increasing risk the world faces from a virulent global pandemic. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus as to why yet. Yet scientists agree that major disturbances in the natural world and ecological balance often precede outbreaks.
Questions and Stories Offered in Subsequent Posts in the Natural Disasters Category
Whether you’re inclined to believe that the sky is falling or one of those staid believers in the ontological soundness of the status quo, you must admit that the number and strength of natural disasters in recent years raise some interesting questions. Primary among those is:
1. Are severe natural disasters occurring more frequently today than in the past?
2. Is the world experiencing an increase in the intensity of natural disasters? In other words, is there an observable upward trend in the power of natural disasters occurring today?
3. To what extent has man’s actions caused an increase in the frequency and/or intensity of natural disasters?
The posts in the natural disasters category will offer more information about the various natural disasters affecting the world and attempt to answer the questions above. Subsequent posts will contain both global natural disaster statistics and stories about people whose lives have been affected by these circumstances.
The economy is still in the gravitational pull of the Great Recession," said Robert Reich, former US labour secretary. "All the booster rockets for getting us beyond it are failing."
"Home sales are down. Retail sales are down. Factory orders in May suffered their biggest tumble since March of last year. So what are we doing about it? Less than nothing," he said.
California is tightening faster than Greece. State workers have seen a 14pc fall in earnings this year due to forced furloughs. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is cutting pay for 200,000 state workers to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to cover his $19bn (£15bn) deficit.
Can Illinois be far behind? The state has a deficit of $12bn and is $5bn in arrears to schools, nursing homes, child care centres, and prisons. "It is getting worse every single day," said state comptroller Daniel Hynes. "We are not paying bills for absolutely essential services. That is obscene."
Roughly a million Americans have dropped out of the jobs market altogether over the past two months. That is the only reason why the headline unemployment rate is not exploding to a post-war high.
Let us be honest. The US is still trapped in depression a full 18 months into zero interest rates, quantitative easing (QE), and fiscal stimulus that has pushed the budget deficit above 10pc of GDP.
The share of the US working-age population with jobs in June actually fell from 58.7pc to 58.5pc. This is the real stress indicator. The ratio was 63pc three years ago. Eight million jobs have been lost.
The average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks. Nothing like this has been seen before in the post-war era. Jeff Weniger, of Harris Private Bank, said this compares with a peak of 21.2 weeks in the Volcker recession of the early 1980s.
"Legions of individuals have been left with stale skills, and little prospect of finding meaningful work, and benefits that are being exhausted. By our math the crop of people who are unemployed but not receiving a check amounts to 9.2m."
Republicans on Capitol Hill are filibustering a bill to extend the dole for up to 1.2m jobless facing an imminent cut-off. Dean Heller from Nevada called them "hobos". This really is starting to feel like 1932.
Washington's fiscal stimulus is draining away. It peaked in the first quarter, yet even then the economy eked out a growth rate of just 2.7pc. This compares with 5.1pc, 9.3pc, 8.1pc and 8.5pc in the four quarters coming off recession in the early 1980s.
The housing market is already crumbling as government props are pulled away. The expiry of homebuyers' tax credit led to a 30pc fall in the number of buyers signing contracts in May. "It is cataclysmic," said David Bloom from HSBC.
Federal tax rises are automatically baked into the pie. The Congressional Budget Office said fiscal policy will swing from
a net +2pc of GDP to -2pc by late 2011. The states and counties may have to cut as much as $180bn.
Investors are starting to chew over the awful possibility that America's recovery will stall just as Asia hits the buffers. China's manufacturing index has been falling since January, with a downward lurch in June to 50.4, just above the break-even line of 50. Momentum seems to be flagging everywhere, whether in Australian building permits, Turkish exports, or Japanese industrial output.
On Friday, Jacques Cailloux from RBS put out a "double-dip alert" for Europe. "The risk is rising fast. Absent an effective policy intervention to tackle the debt crisis on the periphery over coming months, the European economy will double dip in 2011," he said.
It is obvious what that policy should be for Europe, America, and Japan. If budgets are to shrink in an orderly fashion over several years – as they must, to avoid sovereign debt spirals – then central banks will have to cushion the blow keeping monetary policy ultra-loose for as long it takes.
The Fed is already eyeing the printing press again. "It's appropriate to think about what we would do under a deflationary scenario," said Dennis Lockhart for the Atlanta Fed. His colleague Kevin Warsh said the pros and cons of purchasing more bonds should be subject to "strict scrutiny", a comment I took as confirmation that the Fed Board is arguing internally about QE2.
Perhaps naively, I still think central banks have the tools to head off disaster. The question is whether they will do so fast enough, or even whether they wish to resist the chorus of 1930s liquidation taking charge of the debate. Last week the Bank for International Settlements called for combined fiscal and monetary tightening, lending its great authority to the forces of debt-deflation and mass unemployment. If even the BIS has lost the plot, God help us.
Tar balls from the Gulf oil spill have been found on a Texas beach, the first evidence that crude from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well has reached all the Gulf states.
A Coast Guard official said it was possible that the oil hitched a ride on a ship and was not carried naturally by currents to the barrier islands of the eastern Texas coast, but there was no way to know.
The amount is tiny in comparison to what has coated beaches in the hardest-hit parts of the Gulf coast in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle but it still provoked the quick dispatch of cleaning crews and a vow that BP will pay for the trouble.
"Any Texas shores impacted by the Deepwater spill will be cleaned up quickly and BP will be picking up the tab," Texas Land Commissoner Jerry Patterson said in a news release.
The oil's arrival in Texas was predicted Friday by an analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which gave a 40 percent chance of crude reaching the area.
"It was just a matter of time that some of the oil would find its way to Texas," said Hans Graber, a marine physicist at the University of Miami and co-director of the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing.
About five gallons of tar balls were found on the Bolivar Peninsula, northeast of Galveston, said Capt. Marcus Woodring, the Coast Guard commander for the Houston/Galveston sector. About two gallons were found on the peninsula and Galveston Island, though tests have not yet confirmed their origin.
Mr Woodring said the consistency of the tar balls indicates it's possible they could have been spread to Texas water by ships that have worked out in the spill. But there's no way to confirm the way they got there.
The distance between the western reach of the tar balls in Texas and the most eastern reports of oil in Florida is about 550 miles. Oil was first spotted on land near the mouth of the Mississippi River on April 29.
Oppressive and Dangerous Heat Wave in the East
A dangerous and record-challenging heat wave will affect much of the East this week as high pressure anchored offshore of the Carolinas continues to act as a heat pump.
In some locations this heat wave will rival many that have occurred in the past 20 years with the potential for up to a several-day stretch of temperatures in the upper 90s to low 100s from southern New England to the Carolinas.
Cities from Hartford, New York and Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., Raleigh and Columbia will swelter.
Temperatures over the Independence Day weekend were just a warm up compared to how nasty the weather will get, especially for those who do not have air conditioning or must do manual labor outdoors.
The highest temperatures will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday in northern areas, while the Carolinas will feel the inferno later in the week as the core of the heat wave shifts to the south.
While highs in the lower 90s with humid conditions are a common occurrence in the South, even many Southerners get uncomfortable when high temperatures rocket into the upper 90s.
The massive high pressure area that had its origins in central Canada is being worked over by intense July sunshine over the eastern U.S. Locations that experienced record-challenging lows last week will be facing record-challenging highs this week.
Humidity levels will slowly climb as the week progresses. Even as actual high temperatures throttle back in northern areas later in the week, higher humidity levels keep AccuWeather.com RealFeel;® temperatures at a steady, extreme state.
A heat wave is generally considered by meteorologists to be any three-day stretch or more of 90-degree or higher temperatures, with or without high humidity. Heat waves are uncommon in northern, coastal areas. The heat wave will be felt even on many beaches in the Northeast this time.
In New York City, according to the National Weather Service, the granddaddy of all heat waves occurred in late August into early September during 1953, when temperatures hit 90 or higher on 12 consecutive days. The blast furnace included two days of temperatures with 100 degrees or higher.
The heat wave just now beginning could last for seven days or more and would be one of the worst, early summer heat waves on record.
This accomplishment would fit in well with happenings this year. In many areas from the Tennessee Valley to the mid-Atlantic, we have had one of the warmest springs on record. The warmth has accelerated growth of fruits and vegetables.
In parts of the Northeast, strawberries were harvested during May instead of June, while peaches are also being picked a month ahead of schedule
People are urged to avoid the hot sun and strenuous activities during the midday and afternoon hours in this heat wave. Hyperthermia ranks near the top of weather-related deaths in the U.S. annually. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids and try to keep cool as much as possible.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
(CNN) - A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan.
Carnahan said Tuesday he is calling for a investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to President Obama about it.
"This is absolutely unacceptable," said Carnahan, a Democrat from Missouri. "No veteran who has served and risked their life for this great nation should have to worry about their personal safety when receiving much needed healthcare services from a Veterans Administration hospital."
The issue stems from a failure to clean dental instruments properly, the hospital told CNN affiliate KSDK.
Dr. Gina Michael, the association chief of staff at the hospital, told the affiliate that some dental technicians broke protocol by handwashing tools before putting them in cleaning machines.
The instruments were supposed to only be put in the cleaning machines, Michael said.
The handwashing started in February 2009 and went on until March of this year, the hospital told KSDK.
The hospital has set up a special clinic and education centers to help patients who may have been infected. However, Carnahan said he feels more should be done and those responsible should be disciplined.
"I can only imagine the horror and anger our veterans must be feeling after receiving this letter," Carnahan said. "They have every right to be angry. So am I."
Stories of police crossing the line between reasonable and unjustified physical force are commonplace in our modern news cycle. Years ago Rodney King became a household name and a verbal symbol of injustice at the hands of law enforcement. This story captivated the nation and shed a light on what normally would be a small blurb in the back pages of national media. Thanks to a rise in independent and social media, stories like these are no longer buried as deeply.
Police brutality is a phrase used to describe excessive use of force by a police officer on a citizen that may not pose a clear and immediate threat. Regulations typically state than an officer may only use a level of force equal to that of the threat, keeping them from becoming the offender rather than the peace keeper. Sadly, these regulations have been tossed aside thanks to the widespread adoption of the stun gun.
Stories of elderly at the receiving end of this “non-lethal” device come out regularly, and in many of the cases an officer is supported by their superiors for inflicting the electric jolt on citizens. Below are a couple examples of such actions.
Kathryn Winkfein – Routine Traffic Stop
An example would be the 72-year-old woman in Travis County, Texas during a routine traffic stop on May 11, 2009. The woman, Kathryn Winkfein, was going 60mph in a construction zone with a 45 speed limit. The officer wrote her a ticket and she refused to sign, indicating she would rather go to jail than sign a ticket she did not agree to.
The officer asked her to get out of the car and she complied, but when he told her where to stand in the road she used profanity against him. This was enough for him to justify using his stun gun on her multiple times. She was unarmed, and though she may have been disobedient towards the officer posed no physical threat to him. During the administration of the electric shock he ordered her to put her hands behind her back. This is an impossible feat for someone to accomplish while they are being tased.
Lona Varner – In Bed on an Oxygen Machine
An 86-year-old grandmother and civilian veteran of WWII was tasered while laying in her bed and breathing with assistance of an oxygen machine in El Reno, TX. Lona Varner is seeking $75,000 in a lawsuit against the city of El Reno.
Here is a link to the lawsuit.
Police intially responded to a call from her grandson stating that when he asked her if she had taken her medication and when she was unable to respond, he summoned 911 to request an ambulance. Instead of an ambulance, however, almost a dozen police officers arrived and forced themselves in to the woman’s apartment.
Raw Story reports that when they walked in to her bedroom she asked them to leave and pulled a knife from under her pillow indicating she would defend herself if they came any closer or tried to disarm her. Ignoring the obviously bedridden state of the woman the commanding officer, Thomas Duran, decided to order officers to taser the elderly woman. Her grandson asked the officers not to tase his grandmother and, according to the lawsuit, they threatened to tase him as well.
According to the police report, Lona Varner said, “If you try and get the knife, I will stab you and kill you. I killed four Japs in World War II and I would not bat an eye killing you.” This statement, along with an alleged change of posture in her bed apparently caused the officers to use their tasers on her again causing her to pass out.
Her lawyer says police treated the frail woman brutally, ripping the flesh on her arms as they grappled with her. Reports out of KOCO News indicate that her wounds include a laceration from her elbow to her wrist received when officers controlled her arm to remove the knife from her hand. In addition, the report indicates that the officers stepped on her oxygen tube causing her severe oxygen deprevation during the arrest.
The lawsuit states that the officers acted outside of the 14th ammendment, causing her physical harm, humiliation and emotional distress
Those thug,nazi with badges are vile and corrupted lunatics that get a thrill out of torchering folks. SMH
I get tired of folks thinking that the illuminati is some type of boogey man. Most of time people are afraid of what they don't know. First of all the term "illuminati" derived from the word "Illuminate" which means to make clear,bright or light. Which is why the illuminati call themselves the barriers of light or elighten ones and their symbol is the "All seeing Eye", so contruary to folks beliefs that means anybody can be the illuminati If they open up their 6th chakra/sense or third eye.
The bible literally means Helios biblos (Sun papers)
Let's first go into the term Christian. The title Christian is, of course, an extension of the title Christ. A Christian is supposed to represent/reflect Christ. Now, what is Christ? Christ is actually a Greek term and is actually derived from a title that comes from a language that predated Greek and comes out of a part of Africa that our ancestors called Kemet (called Egypt by the Greeks). It's been well established that the Greeks received enlightenment from the Kemetians (inhabitants of Kemet), and borrowed many things from the Kemetians, which includes the story and title of Christ. The Kemetian title, which Christ was derived from, is KRST. The Kemetians didn't have vowels in their alphabet, so when you see Kemetian words written in English, with vowels, the vowels are placed there to display how the Kemetian word is pronounced in English. Now, KRST is a title that was given to the Kemetian personified Savior/Solar/Sun force called Heru (called Horus by the Greeks). The story of Heru is the oldest personified Savior/Sun/Solar force story, on written record. Many copies of this story would later spread around the world, given way to the most recent version, i.e. the story of Jesus. You see, Jesus, Heru and the numerous other Savior characters were not actual historical people, but were actually personifications of the force called Light, and the other characters within their stories were/are personifications of other forces in Nature. Also, each and everyone of us are fulfillments of those ancient myths/allegories, from one extent to another. If you will bear with me Sis, you may see how all of this ties into the Illuminati.
To sum up the above, Heru KRST = Jesus Christ. Heru represents a Light that has Saving power, thus we have a Sun/Solar Savior. Also, the word Hero was derived from Heru, the first Hero/Savior. We all know, I assume, that the Sun has Saving power, as it redeems/resurrects/springs forth that which dies annually, as a result of daylight being shorten, during the FALL and winter months. However, the Sun above us is not the only Sun that exist possessing Saving power. You see, the Kemetians, being brilliant/advanced scientists (students of Nature/NTR/Neters), or masters of science, learned/knew Laws and Principles that govern Nature (Note: Nature was derived from the Kemetian word NTR which is pronounced Neter and Neters are simply personifications of the different forces found throughout creations, but many of mistakenly viewed the concept of Neters as being gods, thus they falsely project that the Kemetians did not acknowledge the One Creator of all). One of those Principles was called the Hermetic Principle of correspondence, i.e. as it is above, so it is below; as it is within, so it is without and vice versa. When applying this Principle, we find that we possess a Sun within us. When we project knowledge and intelligence, we are projecting enlightenment, thus we are displaying the Sun within. Another example is when we are presenting knowledge and wisdom to a person and they may not get what you're conveying at first, then once they get it, they say I/Eye SEE. Thus, Heru/Horus/Jesus, also, represents a Saving Sun/Light within us, which is illuminated (slowly approaching the concept of the Illunimanti) by what many call the Eye of Heru/Horus (Pineal Gland in medical terminology), and is seen on many Illuminati symbols, such as the back of the Amerikkkan $1 dollar bill, and interestingly (not coincidentally) along with a pyramid. Just as this world's (i.e. this current Age of "death" and wicked rule) 3 major western religions (Judaism Christianity and Islam or JCI) can find their roots in ancient Kemet, so can freemasonry. However, the people (caucasions) that concocted JCI and westernized freemasonry, corrupted/distorted the original ancient Kemetian teachings and practices, and this corruption is a result of the nature of Caucasion people, who were called, by many Kemetians, Typhonians (meaning Satans or people of Satan). They claim to be the Illuminati (meaning people of Light or enlightenment or innerlightenment), however the true Illuminati that are destined to bring in a New World Order, from/to a World of Dis-order/chaos/evil/darkness/death is our people, who are the True people of Saving Light, due to the fact that our Eye of Heru/3rd Eye/Pineal Glands are not sealed/calcified, while Caucasions have highly calcified Eyes of Heru, preventing them from being the True Illuminati. This is a reason why they were called Typhonians. You see, Typhonian is an extension of Typhon (like Christian is an extension of Christ). Typhon was another term for the Kemetian Neter Set, and Set represents the force called darkness.
To under/inner/overstand astro-theological symbolism, is to under/inner/overstand this world's/era's/age's major religions. Adherents to Judaism and Christianity condemn astrology, as being paganistic. However, the "Holy Bible" is fiiled with astrological symbolism. The book of Job (38:31-33) states, 38:31, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Plei-a-des or loose the bands of Orion?" 38:32, "Canst thou bring forth Mazz-a-roth in his season? or canst thou guide Arc-tu-rus with his sons?" 38:33, "Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? This is all in reference to the zodiac and astrology. The definition of Mazzaroth in the King James Version of the bible is "The twelve houses of the zodiac".
Prior to being called "Holy Bible", that book was called Helio (Sun in Greek) Biblio (Book/Scroll in Greek), i.e. Sun Book; the original of which can be found in the myths encoded, in stone and story, around the ancient world, millennia before the Judeo-Christian bible was compiled. You see, the Bible/Helio Biblio is a book of astro-theological symbolism; and the chief symbol in astro-theology is the Sun. So important was the Sun, to the ancients, including the Hebrews, that the following passages were printed into the Helio Biblio:
Psalms 113:3, the chosen are instructed to praise the Lord from the "rising of the sun to its setting."
At Psalms 68:32-34, the faithful are instructed to "sing praises to Jah, to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens whose majesty is over Israel, and his power is in the skies", exactly as was said about ancient Solar Heroes (Hero is derived from the Kemetian solar character's name Heru).
Malachi 1:11: "For from the rising of sun to its setting my name is great among the nations." The Helio Biblio's Lord's name is not said to be great after the setting of the Sun, during the night, because his "name" is the Sun, as the Lord of the Christians goes by the name/title of Amen (derived from the Kemetian Solar Diety Amen-Ra), in Revelation 3:14.
In Malachai 4:2 of the Old Testament, it states "But unto you, fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings." This Helio Biblio passage is a derivative/description of the ancient Kemetian symbol of the winged Sun (click here to see).
The Sun gives up its life force to provide us with warmth, food and many other things. Thus, it was said that the Sun/Son of God gives its life up for us.
The Helio Biblio's symbolism stories are just masked, by carnalization and historicization, e.g. Solomon. There is no recorded ourstory of a king Solomon reigning over 12 tribes of Is-Ra-El. However, if we look to astro-theology, as Manly P. Hall suggests, then we find evidence of this Biblio event. The three syllables in Sol-Om-On are all names for the Sun, in three languages. Manly P. Hall wrote that Solomon and his wives and concubines were symbolic of the planets, moons, asteroids and other receptive bodies within his house (the solar mansion). Solomon's Temple is symbolic of the domain of the Sun. A greek historian named Herodotus (485-425 BCE [or Before Piscean Era]), travelled and researched the lands and history of Egypt and the near East. Herodotus heard nothing of the empire of Solomon; nor did Plato, in his travels to the same area. Not once does Solomon's name appear in any inscriptions, before the Hebrews wrote their texts.
The ancients also symbolized the Sun as a baby in December, a youth at Easter, an immensely strong man by the summer, an aging man losing his power in the autumn, and an old man by the winter solstice. They, also, symbolized the sun as having long golden hair (sun rays), which got shorter as he lost his power in the months of autumn. Now, look at the old testament story of Samson (Sam-sun). He was incredibly strong and had long hair, but he lost his power, when his hair was cut. The problems started, when he entered the House of Delilah, the astrological house of Virgo (symbol of a woman), through which the sun passes as autumn approaches. In Hebrew, Samson means Solar.
A common theme, in all esoteric school traditions, is of 12 tribes, disciples, knights or followers surrounding a deity (personified Sun). Thus you have the 12 tribes of Israel, 12 prines of Ishmael, 12 disciples or follwers of Jesus, Buddha, Osiris, and Quetzalcoatl etc. There is also King Arthur and his 12 knights of the round table (the zodiac circle); and the woman (Isis/Semiramis) with a crown of 12 stars in the Book of Revelation.
Genesis symbolizes the 12 signs of the Zodiac, within the carnalized/historicized figures, called the 12 tribes of Is-Ra-El, as each are given an attribute associated with each Zodiac sign:
Reuben (associated with water) = Aquarius (the Water Carrier), Genesis 49:3-4
Simeon & Levi (known as The Brethren) = Gemini (the Twins), Genesis 49: 5-7
Judah (the Lion's Whelp) = Leo (the Lion), Genesis 49: 8-12
Zebulum (associated with the sea) = Pisces (the Fish), Genesis 49:13
Issachar (called a strong ass) = Taurus (the Bull/Ox), Genesis 49:14-15
Dan (known as a serpent that biteth heels) = Scorpio (the Scorpion), Genesis 49: 16-17
Gad (overcome by a troop which is synonymous to a flock which is associated with sheep) = Aries (the Ram), Genesis 49:19
Asher (associated with bread, and bread is associated with justice) = Libra (the Scales of Justice), Genesis 49:20
Naphtali (known as a Hind) = Capricorn, Genesis 49:21
Joseph (associated with a bough and arches) = Sagittarius (the archer), Genesis 49: 22-23
Benjamin (known as a Devour) = Cancer (the Crab), Genesis 49:27
Dinah (the sole Female/Daughter) = Virgo (the Maiden/Virgin), Genesis 46:15
As/if you can see, the ancient writers of astro-theology were superb metaphorical writers.
I've already presented some of the superb metaphorical astro-theological stories, surrounding the Sun symbol, Jesus, in the "Is Jesus In You & I/Eye" thread. Here, I'll go into the Zodiac Ages, mentioned throughout the New Testament:
In Matthew 28:20 it states "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the AGE." In Matthew 12:32, "The holy spirit will not be forgiven, either in this AGE or in the AGE to come." In Matthew 13:39, "The harvest is the end of the AGE, and the harvesters are angels". 13:40 "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the AGE". In Matthew 24:3 "and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the AGE?" and from Luke 18:30 "the kingdom of God will fail to recieve many times as much in this AGE and, in the AGE to come, eternal life." First Corinthians 3:6, "We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this AGE or of the rulers of this AGE who are coming to nothing". Hebrews 6:5 "Who have tasted the goodness of the word of god and the powers of the coming AGE". Ephesians 3:5, "Which in other AGES was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
Jesus is said to have fed his people with two fishes and five loaves. The two fishes represent "Pisces" and the Age of Pisces or that particular House of the Zodiac. That is why Jesus is referred to as the "great fisherman"; and, also, why the Pope's headdress is shaped like a fish.
If the Pope's headdress is viewed sideways, you will fully see its fish shape. Rome has ruled the world, for over 2000 years, under the Age of Pisces. According to the ancient writings of our ancestors, it takes the Earth approximately 2,160 years to move through each zodiac house. Thus, we are at the doorstep of the next Zodiac House/New Age, i.e. Aquarius.
Our ancestors wrote about the cycle, of what is called precession. This is the effect of the Earth's wobble which slowly moves the planet on its axis, so that it faces different star systems/astrological houses. Ancient temples, all around the world, reflect these cycles of precession in their geometry and mathematics. According to the Mayan calendar, the critical changeover point is December 21st 2012. The ancients knew of these great cycles of change; and all the ancient calendars end in the period we are living through now. The Mayans said that there would be a transition period, between the old world and the new, as one version of time was replaced by another. They called this period no time; and they said this would begin July 1982 and lead to the shift on December 21, 2012. The ancients knew of the Earth's energy grid and its potential to affect human conciousness. Being that we live in the Earth's magnetic field, when it changes we change.
Our ancient acestors studied the stars and used them for signs, for things such as changes, including changes in consciousness, which is astrology. The ruling elite (illuminated ones) know of the significance of astrology, but have tricked the masses, in religion, into viewing it as an evil and futile science. Thus, I'll close this post out with the following Biblio passage, which gives credence to the science of astrology (the study of signs from stars), from which much of today's major religions' concepts stemmed from.
Genesis 1:14, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs..."