Scientists have discovered what is believed to be the oldest ancestor of the octopus species after a 330 million-year-old fossil of a ten-armed squid was discovered. The researchers who discovered the fossil decided to name the prehistoric species after Joe Biden.
Scientists named the animal Syllipsimopodi bideni, derived from the Greek words “syllípsimos” for “prehensile” and “pódi” for “foot,” along with “bideni” after President Biden, according to a report from Forbes. The animal lives 330 million years ago in what is now Montana, and is believed to be the earliest known relative of octopuses and vampire squid.
It is the first and only known vampyropod to possess 10 functional appendages,” said lead author Christopher Whalen, a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History and Yale University. According to Whalen, the newly discovered fossil is 82 million years older than the earliest known animal from the group. That is more time separating the species from humans than the Tyrannosaurus rex.
A group of eye-patched, ol’ sea dogs partying around a speaker system? A collection of sea ballads played on air? Just what is a pirate radio station? While these broadcasts have been around for decades, there’s much more to this than meets the eye and easily meshes with the trait of being ‘strange sounds.’
So, just what are pirate radio stations? You may be surprised.
What is a pirate radio station?
All that’s really required for a radio station to be considered a pirate station is for it to be broadcasting illegally. Despite radio frequencies being as old as the earth, it didn’t take long after their discovery for the radio spectrum to become heavily legislated. Virtually every country on earth now has its own host of radio laws on the books, allegedly to prevent chaos on the airwaves.
Pirate broadcasts are those which buck this system. With a long history of being started up to give radio listeners access to forbidden music, alternative viewpoints, and the like, pirate radio has a bit of notoriety to it.
Where did pirate radio begin?
Pirate radio began when Federal Communication Commission (FCC)-like rules began to spread around the world. As soon as there were laws on the books, there were pirate radio stations on the air. Where the “modern” history of pirate radio seems to begin, though, is in the 1960s when pirate radio operators would get on the air to spread their music to a wider audience.
One of the first pirate radio operators we know of was Ronan O’Rahilly. A public relations guru, O’Rahily sought to spread the fame of musician Georgie Fame at a time when Fame was having a difficult time getting his music out to an English audience.
So, O’Rahily bought a boat, outfitted it with broadcasting equipment, and then sailed right off the coast of the United Kingdom into international waters, where he would begin to play Fame’s music over the airwaves. The name of the pirate station? Radio Caroline.
O’Rahily’s station quickly became a sensation throughout England, spawning a number of other pirate stations in its wake.
Radio Caroline would play a regular schedule in perhaps what was one of the most organized systems of pirate radio out there. The music-oriented pirate radio stations of today often have regular schedules as well, but it can often be difficult to find a pirate broadcast with the degree of professional air as some of the early stations possessed.
How are these stations able to keep from being found?
(Just to be clear, I’m not advocating for any of this. This is just to answer questions raised by curiosity in the same way one may wonder how smuggling takes place across the Mexico-US border.)
Remaining anonymous isn’t a necessity of operating a pirate radio station, but it is a necessity if the operator wants to remain on the air for long. Once a pirate radio operator is located, the risks of hefty fines and potential prison time become almost certain. The FCC takes pirate radio stations very seriously. It’s because of this that many pirate radio stations take great strides to remain as difficult to locate as possible.
While perhaps not impossible to triangulate where a signal is from, it is incredibly difficult to do so with most pirate radio stations due to specialized antenna structures they utilize. Of course, in O’Rahily’s case, he was able to get around UK laws by broadcasting from international waters. He’d found a loophole.
(Can shortwave radio give you information during a power outage? Absolutely. Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on how to survive a summer power outage for information on how to get your food and water ready for such an event.)
What do people say on these broadcasts?
The messages conveyed by pirate broadcasts are as varied as the people on the earth. Most of the time, you’ll hear music being illegally broadcast on these stations.
Conversations in foreign languages, images (yes, you can send images via radio wave), long lists of numbers being read out, clueless fishermen, and non-sensical gibberish can also be found while looking for pirate radio as well.
Some of these pirated stations appear to be military signals, as well. For example, those long lists of numbers? They’re widely known as “number stations,” and the current consensus is that they’re used to discretely convey information to spies scattered across the world.
It wasn’t but two months ago that a potentially Russian military signal was picked up by pirate broadcast listeners. These types of signals truly aren’t uncommon, and though a military signal in and of itself technically isn’t a pirate station, it serves as proof of just what is out there that one can pick up with simple, on-the-shelf equipment.
And that’s the point of all this. Shortwave radio has a lot to offer. International news, weather broadcasts, entertainment during lockdowns – these are all obtainable with a simple shortwave receiver.
Where can I listen to pirate radio?
The main thing you’ll need to listen to pirate radio is a shortwave radio. Shortwave frequencies seem to be where the majority of pirate stations make their happy home nowadays, as the FM frequencies you use in your car radio are heavily policed by the FCC in America. That’s not to say they’re not out there, it’s just that you’ll have the best luck finding pirate stations on shortwave.
Possession of a shortwave radio isn’t enough, however. You also need to know where to look. The radio spectrum is fairly large, and attempting to navigate through it without having some type of guide is like trying to find your friend’s house after they tell you, “I live in Texas.” You’ll never find it.
Pirate broadcasters have quite a bit of space to play with, often operate at strange hours, and sometimes only broadcast for a number of minutes. Unless you know where to look, you’re bound to miss them.
Perhaps the best resource out there for finding pirate radio stations is hfunderground.com. It’s here that shortwave treasure hunters around the world log their finds whenever they come across a pirate radio station.
You can find loggings of pirate shortwave, of pirate FM broadcasts, and even pirate broadcasts by “peskies” – a broad term used to apply to drug runners, fishermen, or amateur radio operators who are cluelessly operating in parts of the radio spectrum they’re not supposed to be in.
Many pirate radio operators actually post their operating schedule on hfunderground.com as well. (No, I’m not sure how they get away with that.)
(If you’re looking for a print format for searching common legal shortwave radio broadcasts, you need to purchase the World TV Handbook. This guidebook is the most comprehensive listings of all shortwave broadcasts out there. The catch is that if you want to purchase a copy of the World TV Handbook, 2022 is going to be your last year to do so. The handbook is being retired this year without any more updates ever again.)
Pirate radio isn’t going away anytime soon.
While shortwave listening doesn’t have anywhere near the popularity that it used to, the rise of software-defined radios has led to a resurgence of interest within the field. The ability to listen to these broadcasts is more inexpensive than ever before, and the wide breadth of information available on the internet from sources such as hfunderground.com has made it so that pirate radio stations are easier to find than ever before as well.
There will always be pirate radio floating about the radio waves. The trick is finding where it is.
Shortwave broadcasts have a lot to offer, and looking for pirate broadcasts may be the hook that gets you involved in seeking out all that information that’s floating about you right now. What are your thoughts though? Are there shortwave receivers you prefer? Do you remember the days of Radio Caroline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Kaleena Fraga | Checked By John Kuroski January 24th, 2022
To the untrained eye, they may not look like much. But one Japanese archeologist suspects that a number of stone and clay artifacts discovered at the site of a famous 16th-century siege may be some of the earliest weapons ever used by ninjas.
That’s the theory put forward by Akihiro Iwata, an archaeologist and curator at the Saitama Prefectural Ranzan Historical Museum. He studied a number of stone and clay artifacts discovered at Hachioji Castle in the city of Hachioji, at Iwatsuki Castle in Saitama, and an administrative site in Saitama.
Significantly, these three sites were stage on which the 1590 Siege of Odawara unfolded, when a feudal lord named Toyotomi Hideyoshi attacked land held by the Hojo clan, a powerful warrior family.
Though Hideyoshi triumphed, Iwata suspects that the Hojo put up a spirited fight with a number of simple ninja-type weapons.
“It is possible that the Hojo clan made these getaway weapons after realizing it faced Hideyoshi’s overwhelming force,” Iwata explained.
The four unglazed clay balls found at the ruins of Hachioji Castle in the 1960s, Iwata suspects, are actually caltrops, or makibishi. These tiny balls, about one to three centimeters in diameter, have four spikes.
Ninjas were known to throw makibishi — usually made of metal — while fleeing an enemy on horseback. Horses would step on the spikes, slowing them down and allowing the ninjas to escape.
These tiny clay balls may have been caltrops, or makibishi, made in haste.
Iwata also examined a number of flat stones with sharpened corners which were discovered in the 1990s and 2000s at Iwatsuki Castle and a nearby Hojo administrative site called Owada jinya. He believes that these are early versions of shuriken, or throwing stars famously used by ninjas.
A single stone found at Iwatsuki Castle measured 4.8 centimeters in diameter and one centimeter thick. But 17 similar stones found at the Owada jinya administrative site were much bigger — they were eight to 14 centimeters in diameter and 1.5 to three centimeters thick.
These were, Iwata believes, prototypes of the later makibishi and shuriken weapons used by Japan’s fearsome ninjas.
Yuji Yamada, a ninja expert and professor at Mie University’s Faculty of Humanities, agrees with Iwata’s theory. Calling the discovery “groundbreaking,” Yamada said:
“Flat throwing stones could have developed into shuriken in later years. I had never seen clay caltrops before.”
A metal makibishi, likely a later version of the clay caltrops.
The history of the ninja starts back in the 11th century, when warriors from Iga and Koka gained notoriety for their unconventional battle methods. They were seen as less honorable than samurai, and their covert tactics earned them the title “shinobi” or “those who act in stealth.”
As warlords feuded with each other during the 15th and 16th centuries in a period called the Age of the Warring States, ninjas rose in prominence. Feudal lords employed them as mercenaries. They were often sent to gather information or spread disinformation, as well as fight their lord’s enemies.
But after Toyotomi Hideyoshi triumphed over enemies like the Hojo, he greatly unified feudal leaders across Japan. As such, the use of ninjas as covert warriors began to fall out of fashion.
They were last used — at least officially — in 1637 to squash an uprising of Catholic peasants and disgruntled samurais. Since then, ninjas have largely lived in legend.
A sketch of a ninja from 1817, which helped cement modern ideas about these ancient warriors.
As such, the history of ninjas — just like ninjas themselves — has long operated in the shadows. That makes discoveries like Akihiro Iwata’s especially fascinating. Finds like his shed light on the long, stealthy, and complicated history of ninjas in Japan.
Native American Day: Learning The Way of Earth explains that Dr. Zach Bush warns we are in the Sixth Great Extinction and human survival depends on the urgent restoration of our soils (earth). So, the world — led by the West — is in very grave trouble now. However, we are facing not “just’ an ecological crisis. America is facing constitutional, political, and economic crises so severe there are growing predictions of a second Civil War. How did we get this far off course? Is there a principle that can unite us?
If so, where and how can we find it? Perhaps it’s with the guidance from Native American nations that our Founding Fathers sought to follow — but failed to go deep enough.
Capitalism ignores that endless growth is not possible on a finite planet. Where will we find the inspiration to change our relationship to the Earth on which we depend for survival?
Philip P. Arnold, a member of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) and associate professor of indigenous religions at Syracuse University, says: “How we in the larger society regard indigenous peoples — who have an ongoing relationship with the living earth — will determine our ability to survive.” The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry of Native Americans.
Iroquois Chief Canassatego Advised US Founding Fathers
“There was nothing inevitable about 13 separate colonies becoming a single, united nation. In fact, one generation before Thomas Jefferson put his pen to paper to declare independence from Great Britain in 1776, the idea of such a union was all but unthinkable. For decades before the American Revolution and for at least 13 years thereafter, the colonies squabbled with one another, in some ways just as they had with the British Crown.”
How the Iroquois Great Law of Peace Shaped U.S. Democracy explains that Canassatego (c. 1684–1750) was a leader of the Onondaga nation, one of the then five nations in the Iroquois Confederacy. He was a prominent diplomat and spokesman of the Confederacy in the 1740s. Chief Canassatego is now best known for a speech he gave at the 1744 Treaty of Lancaster, where he recommended that the British colonies emulate the Iroquois by forming a confederacy.
Chief Canassatego addressing Continental Congress members including Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Patrick Henry in Philadelphia on June 11, 1776, promoting peace and friendship as advocated hundreds of years earlier by Hiawatha and Deganawida.
“Canassatego became a prominent diplomat and spokesman of the Iroquois Confederacy in the 1740s. He served as the speaker for Onondagas at another conference in 1742.
Near the end of the conference, Canassatego gave the colonists some advice: ‘We have one thing further to say, and that is We heartily recommend Union and a Good Agreement between you our Brethren. Never disagree, but preserve a strict Friendship for one another, and thereby you as well as we will become the Stronger. Our wise Forefathers established Union and Amity between the Five Nations; this has made us formidable, this has given us great weight and Authority with our Neighboring Nations. We are a powerful confederacy, and, by your observing the same Methods our wise Forefathers have taken, you will acquire fresh Strength and Power; therefore, whatever befalls you, never fall out with one another.’”
Bill Moyers interviewed Chief Lyons on the Haudenosaunee land in 1991. Chief Lyons explains that despite 500 years of opposition, the Haudenosaunee and their traditions are still intact. The Haudenosaunee are a sovereign a nation and travel on their own passport.
Chief Lyons tells the story of the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy. He explains how over a thousand years ago, the Peacemaker taught the five warring tribes how to cooperate for survival. These are lessons America needs to hear now as we are so divided that there are growing predictions of a second Civil War. Will we be wise enough now to listen and learn again from our Native American neighbors?
The US Founding Fathers studied with Native Americans for 30 years. It was only enough time to scratch the surface of these profound cultures. We must integrate this study into our curriculums at every level now to understand and adopt the values of Native America. Nations that have survived thousands of years have much to teach us — if we will only listen now.
Values Change For Survival
Values Change For Survival shows that Chief Lyons said in his report to the United Nations the West must shift our values now to survive. Reconciliation can guide us in adopting those values. Chief Lyons warned, “You’re either going to change your values or you’re not going to survive!”
“We were told we would see America come and go — and in a sense, America is dying from within because they forgot the instructions of how to live on Earth.” – Floyd Red Crow Westerman.
November is Native American Heritage Month, an opportunity to learn from the many rich traditions of Native Americans. There are 500 Native Nations in this hemisphere — many of which have been here tens of thousands of years. Can these ancient wisdom keepers guide us now? Many Americans seem to think so as they flock to the Amazon to drink ayahuasca with shamans. However, although many of our states, cities, and rivers carry Native names, most Americans ignore Native America and know little about these cultures. We were told that Europe had a “Manifest Destiny” to take over this hemisphere because it brought a civilization vastly superior and Native American cultures were “primitive”.
Mikki Willis is the creator of Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19 and Plandemic: Indoctornation that when viral in 2020. He said that Plandemic 3 which is coming out this year will recommend that we adopt the Native American system of counsels. However, without a shift in values, that would lead us to repeat the mistake the US Founding Fathers made — copying just a part of the form of the Native American systems. We must now understand the spirit of these cultures.
Reconciliation With Native America Is Key To Our Own Survival
We need to learn the truth of our history now to ensure our own survival.
Truth and Reconciliation is a form of restorative justice, which differs from adversarial or retributive justice. Retributive justice aims to find fault and punish the guilty. Restorative justice aims to heal relationships between offenders and victims. Those involved in Reconciliation seek to uncover important facts to establish the truth. The process allows for acknowledgment, public mourning, forgiveness, change, and healing for all. These are steps to end 500+ years of colonialism.
Several countries have implemented Reconciliation:
Two Rivers Film: Inspiring Reconciliation In Washington State
Two Rivers is an award-winning film about an American couple in Washington state who initiated reconciliation with the Native Americans who had been pushed off the land there. Within five years, many more people had joined, and together they launched social and political reconciliation initiatives that changed their community and race relations across the Northwest. See the trailer.
The Story explains that Glen Schmekel was taking a walk on his property in Washington State in 1999.
“I felt like I heard a word in my heart that was asking two questions,” recalls the school district executive. “The first question was, ‘Have you considered my host people?’ And the second question was, ‘Have you been planting any seeds that would grow up to a harvest?’”
Schmekel was living with his wife Carolyn, an interior designer, in the small, upscale, predominantly White town of Twisp, located at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow rivers in Washington. Schmekel knew the first question referred to the original inhabitants of the valley — The Methow Indians, a Plateau Indian tribe which had been decimated by historical White policies and practices. The few Methows who had survived had been shut out of their valley for decades, shunted onto the nearby Colville reservation and forbidden to fish, hunt, or harvest their sacred food and medicinal plants.
Glen thought the second question referred to a feeling he and Carolyn had that something was missing in their community. The idea of initiating something that might expand and enrich community life in Twisp was exciting to the Schmekels. Through a series of coincidences, the couple met Spencer Martin, a spiritual leader of Methow, Squaxin, and Colville Indian descent. As they came together and drew in other Native and White Americans from the Methow Valley, a remarkable journey unfolded. Two Rivers, a 60-minute documentary, traces this moving journey of discovery, connection, reconciliation, and lasting social change.
By 2003, the two groups felt it was time to take their private reconciliation process to the larger community — and the community was excited to receive it. The first Two Rivers Powwow, held that August at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow rivers, was a public reconciliation ceremony acknowledging the changes that had occurred between the local Native and White Americans. A ripple effect begins as other White townspeople and reservation Natives are drawn to the ceremony.
After the first annual “Heart of the Methow” Powwow in 2003, local ranchers and farmers ceded 300 acres so Indians could harvest their sacred medicine plants and foods, Methow teachings were integrated into the school curriculum, and 2.5 acres were donated for the Methow Valley Interpretive Center for a permanent place to honor the Methow people.
The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary Experience by Robert Tindall explains that the West faces a choice between two paths. The one we are on leads to death. The other is reconciliation with our own indigenous roots which leads to transformation of consciousness and a new Garden of Eden. Time is very short now to make this choice. Reconciliation leads to a communion with ourselves, all peoples, all species – and Spirit.
Spencer Martin: In this universe, all things are connected: “The Whites from the Methow Valley….[their] ancestors back in Europe were once indigenous—and they were exterminated, just as we were exterminated. How much of the genocide that was inflicted on us was the result of the nature-worshiping religions of Europe being destroyed before us?
If Europeans couldn’t keep their indigenous ways, how were they going to allow us to keep ours? Without dealing with their own anger, they keep projecting it onto other people….Most of the people who settled this country weren’t all that popular in the countries they left.…They were persecuted, abused, they weren’t treated with respect. Most of them don’t remember why they’re angry; they’re just angry.”
National Day of Transformation
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade
“Decolonization Starts Inside of You”: Colonization is about creating separation—separation among people and separation from spirit and our connection to the Earth. Humans have been taking more than we need, and we haven’t been giving enough back.
Why We Must Be Honest This Thanksgiving shows that Thanksgiving is a Day of Mourning for many Native Americans. Just as “Columbus Day” has become “Native American Day” in a number of cities and states, Thanksgiving may become a “National Day of Transformation” that allows Americans to reconcile with Native Americans and create a more enlightened world.
Solzhenitsyn penned this essay in 1974 and it circulated among Moscow’s intellectuals at the time. It is dated Feb. 12, the same day that secret police broke into his apartment and arrested him. The next day he was exiled to West Germany. The essay is a call to moral courage and serves as light to all who value truth.
At one time we dared not even to whisper. Now, we write and read samizdat, and sometimes when we gather in the smoking room at the Science Institute we complain frankly to one another: What kind of tricks are they playing on us, and where are they dragging us? Gratuitous boasting of cosmic achievements while there is poverty and destruction at home. Propping up remote, uncivilized regimes. Fanning up civil war. And we recklessly fostered Mao Tse-tung at our expense—and it will be we who are sent to war against him, and will have to go. Is there any way out? And they put on trial anybody they want and they put sane people in asylums—always they, and we are powerless.
Things have almost reached rock bottom. A universal spiritual death has already touched us all, and physical death will soon flare up and consume us both and our children—but as before we still smile in a cowardly way and mumble with our tounges tied. But what can we do to stop it? We haven’t the strength?
We have been so hopelessly dehumanized that for today’s modest ration of food we are willing to abandon all our principles, our souls, and all the efforts of our predecessors and all opportunities for our descendants—but just don’t disturb our fragile existence. We lack staunchness, pride and enthusiasm. We don’t even fear universal nuclear death, and we don’t fear a third world war. We have already taken refuge in the crevices. We just fear acts of civil courage.
We fear only to lag behind the herd and to take a step alone-and suddenly find ourselves without white bread, without heating gas and without a Moscow registration.
We have been indoctrinated in political courses, and in just the same way was fostered the idea to live comfortably, and all will be well for the rest of our lives. You can’t escape your environment and social conditions. Everyday life defines consciousness. What does it have to do with us? We can’t do anything about it?
But we can—everything. But we lie to ourselves for assurance. And it is not they who are to blame for everything—we ourselves, only we. One can object: But actually toy can think anything you like. Gags have been stuffed into our mouths. Nobody wants to listen to us and nobody asks us. How can we force them to listen? It is impossible to change their minds.
It would be natural to vote them out of office—but there are not elections in our country. In the West people know about strikes and protest demonstrations—but we are too oppressed, and it is a horrible prospect for us: How can one suddenly renounce a job and take to the streets? Yet the other fatal paths probed during the past century by our bitter Russian history are, nevertheless, not for us, and truly we don’t need them.
Now that the axes have done their work, when everything which was sown has sprouted anew, we can see that the young and presumptuous people who thought they would make out country just and happy through terror, bloody rebellion and civil war were themselves misled. No thanks, fathers of education! Now we know that infamous methods breed infamous results. Let our hands be clean!
The circle—is it closed? And is there really no way out? And is there only one thing left for us to do, to wait without taking action? Maybe something will happen by itself? It will never happen as long as we daily acknowledge, extol, and strengthen—and do not sever ourselves from the most perceptible of its aspects: Lies.
When violence intrudes into peaceful life, its face glows with self-confidence, as if it were carrying a banner and shouting: “I am violence. Run away, make way for me—I will crush you.” But violence quickly grows old. And it has lost confidence in itself, and in order to maintain a respectable face it summons falsehood as its ally—since violence lays its ponderous paw not every day and not on every shoulder. It demands from us only obedience to lies and daily participation in lies—all loyalty lies in that.
And the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right here: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.
This opens a breach in the imaginary encirclement caused by our inaction. It is the easiest thing to do for us, but the most devastating for the lies. Because when people renounce lies it simply cuts short their existence. Like an infection, they can exist only in a living organism.
We do not exhort ourselves. We have not sufficiently matured to march into the squares and shout the truth our loud or to express aloud what we think. It’s not necessary.
It’s dangerous. But let us refuse to say that which we do not think.
This is our path, the easiest and most accessible one, which takes into account out inherent cowardice, already well rooted. And it is much easier—it’s dangerous even to say this—than the sort of civil disobedience which Gandhi advocated.
Our path is to talk away fro the gangrenous boundary. If we did not paste together the dead bones and scales of ideology, if we did not sew together the rotting rags, we would be astonished how quickly the lies would be rendered helpless and subside.
That which should be naked would then really appear naked before the whole world.
So in our timidity, let each of us make a choice: Whether consciously, to remain a servant of falsehood—of course, it is not out of inclination, but to feed one’s family, that one raises his children in the spirit of lies—or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect both by one’s children and contemporaries.
And from that day onward he:
Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.
Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in a theatrical role.
Will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.
Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.
Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.
Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.
Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question. Will immediately talk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.
Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed. Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.
No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice.
But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude.
And he who is not sufficiently courageous even to defend his soul—don’t let him be proud of his “progressive” views, don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a merited figure, or a general—let him say to himself: I am in the herd, and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and warm.
Even this path, which is the most modest of all paths of resistance, will not be easy for us. But it is much easier than self-immolation or a hunger strike: The flames will not envelope your body, your eyeballs, will not burst from the heat, and brown bread and clean water will always be available to your family.
A great people of Europe, the Czechoslovaks, whom we betrayed and deceived: Haven’t they shown us how a vulnerable breast can stand up even against tanks if there is a worthy heart within it?
You say it will not be easy? But it will be easiest of all possible resources. It will not be an easy choice for a body, but it is the only one for a soul. Not, it is not an easy path. But there are already people, even dozens of them, who over the years have maintained all these points and live by the truth.
So you will not be the first to take this path, but will join those who have already taken it. This path will be easier and shorter for all of us if we take it by mutual efforts and in close rank. If there are thousands of us, they will not be able to do anything with us. If there are tens of thousands of us, then we would not even recognize our country.
If we are too frightened, then we should stop complaining that someone is suffocating us. We ourselves are doing it. Let us then bow down even more, let us wail, and out brothers the biologists will help to bring nearer the day when they are able to read our thoughts are worthless and hopeless.
And if we get cold feet, even taking this step, then we are worthless and hopeless, and the scorn of Pushkin should be directed to us:
Why should cattle have the gifts of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yoke and the lash.
(Mayukh Saha) What does the world know about Leonardo da Vinci? He painted the Monalisa, he wrote backwards, and he designed flying machines way before anyone else thought of them. But is that all this absolute genius created? Obviously not! We are mere plebs in the grand scheme of things and are properly uninitiated to the genius that da Vinci truly was. But there’s nothing to fret as the British Library has digitized over 570 pages of Codex Arundel– da Vinci’s personal notes. And let me just say this- you don’t have to be a Renaissance scholar to enjoy it.
The Guardian reports that the diaries of da Vinci reflect the universality of his mind. And although he was a certified technophile, he didn’t really do it for the money. Or fame. He simply wanted to discover cool, fancy stuff.
For centuries Leonardo da Vinci’s genius was kept hidden from the world- mostly as a scientist. His Mona Lisa had acquired fame, but that wasn’t all there was to him. After his death in France, his protege Francesco Melzi brought a lot of his manuscripts back to Italy. Unfortunately, Melzi’s heirs failed to see the brilliance in the manuscripts and disposed of them. Even today, there are a few thousand pages of his books still out there, containing designs for submarines, airplanes, cars, etc.
LEONARDO DA VINCI AND THE BRITISH LIBRARY
Digitized notebooks came into existence in 2007, when the British Library and Microsoft joined forces. Their project was called ‘Turning the Pages 2.0’ wherein one simply turned the page using animation. As far as Leonardo da Vinci goes, you can definitely choose to scan the 500 odd pages of Codex Arundel. Or, if you think so much information might scramble your brains, check their site. The British Library has a miniseries on his life, and works.
The entire digitization of the notebooks is quite ironic, considering da Vinci never wanted it to be seen. But it is high time that people recognize the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. He deserves all the credit that any library or government has to offer. Also, if one is interested, Guardian has a piece on his quirks– from wearing pink tights to shopping lists. Do give it a read.
In this country, reactions to the Mueller report have been all-American beyond belief. Let’s face it, when it comes to election meddling, it’s been me, me, me, 24/7 here. Yes, in some fashion some set of Russians meddled in the last election campaign, whether it was, as Jared Kushner improbably claimed, “a couple of Facebook ads” or, as the Mueller report described it, “the Russian government interfer[ing]… in sweeping and systematic fashion.”
But let me mention just a few of the things that we didn’t learn from the Mueller report. We didn’t learn that Russian agents appeared at Republican Party headquarters in 2016 with millions of dollars in donations to influence the coming election. (Oops, my mistake! That was CIA agents in the Italian election of 1948!) We didn’t learn that a Russian intelligence agency in combination with Chinese intelligence, aided by a major Chinese oil company, overthrew an elected U.S. president and installed Donald Trump in the White House as their autocrat of choice. (Oops, my mistake again! That was the CIA, dispatched by an American president, and British intelligence, with the help of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later BP. In 1953, they overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, and installed the young Shah as an autocratic ruler, the very first – but hardly the last – time the CIA successfully ousted a foreign government.) We didn’t learn that key advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin were in close touch with rogue elements of the U.S. military preparing to stage a coup d’état in Washington, kill President Barack Obama in a direct assault on the White House, and put the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in office. (Sorry, again my slip-up and full apologies! That was President Richard Nixon’s adviser Henry Kissinger in contact with Chilean military officers who, on September 11, 1973 – the first 9/11 – staged an armed uprising during which Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of that country, died and army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet took power.) We didn’t learn that, at the behest of Vladimir Putin, Russian secret service agents engaged in a series of plots to poison or in some other fashion assassinate Barack Obama during his presidency and, in the end, had at least a modest hand in encouraging those who did kill him after he left office. (Oh, wait, I was confused on that one, too. I was actually thinking about the plots, as the 1960s began, to do in Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.) Nor, for that matter, did we learn that the Russian military launched a regime-change-style invasion of this country to unseat an American president and get rid of our weapons of mass destruction and then occupied the country for years after installing Donald Trump in power. (Sorry one more time! What I actually had in mind before I got so muddled up was the decision of the top officials of President George W. Bush’s administration, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, to launch a “regime-change” invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on fraudulent claims that Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, and install a government of their choice in Baghdad.)
No, none of that happened here. Still, even though most Americans might find it hard to believe, we weren’t exactly the first country to have an election meddled with by an intrusive foreign power with an agenda all its own! And really, my examples above just begin an endless list of events the Mueller report didn’t mention, ones that most Americans no longer know anything about or we wouldn’t have acted as if the Russian election intervention of 2016 stood essentially alone in history.
I don’t, however, want that to sound like blame. After all, if you lived in the United States in these years and didn’t already know the secret history of American intervention and regime change across the globe from the end of World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union, you could be forgiven for thinking that never had anyone done anything quite so dastardly as did the Putin regime in attempting to hack and alter the results of an American election. In the media, that Russian intervention has (with the rarest of exceptions) been covered as if it were an event unique in history. Admittedly, whatever the Russians did do in 2016 to lend a hand to Donald Trump, they didn’t plan a coup d’état; it wasn’t an assassination attempt; and it wasn’t, in the normal sense, what has come to be known as “regime change.”
A World of Chaos Without End
Let’s start with one thing that should have been (but wasn’t) obvious since the first reports on Russian meddling in the election campaign of 2016 began to appear. Historically speaking, such a plan fits well with a classic Russian tradition. As scholar Dov Levin discovered in studying “partisan election interventions” from 1946 to 2000, the Russians – the Soviet Union until 1991 – engaged in a staggering 36 of them globally.
If, however, you jumped to the conclusion that such an impressive cumulative figure gave the Russians the world’s record for election meddling, think again. In fact, it left them languishing in a distant second place when it came to interfering in other countries’ elections over more than four decades. The United States took the crown with, by Levin’s count, a distinctly imperial 81 interventions! (USA! USA!)
Put another way, the two Cold War superpowers together meddled in approximately “one of every nine competitive elections” in that era in at least 60 countries covering every part of the planet but Oceania. Moreover, only seven of them were in the same election in the same country at the same time.
And elections are but one part of a story of meddling on a scale that has been historically remarkable. In her book Covert Regime Change, Lindsey O’Rourke notes that between 1947 and 1989, a span of nine Cold War-era American administrations, the least number of “U.S.-backed regime-change attempts” per president was three (Gerald Ford’s administration), the most 30 (Dwight D. Eisenhower’s). Harry Truman’s administration came in second with 21, Lyndon Johnson’s third with 19, Ronald Reagan’s fourth with 16, John F. Kennedy’s fifth with 15, and Richard Nixon’s sixth with 10.
And keep in mind that, while such numbers remain unprecedented, despite a number of short-term successes from Iran to Guatemala, this was not generally a notable record of success in remaking the world in the image Washington desired. Many of those regime-change attempts, especially against countries in the Soviet bloc, failed dismally. Others created chaos or regimes that not only did their citizens little good but didn’t end up doing much for Washington either. Still, that didn’t stop one administration after another from trying, which is why the numbers remain mind-boggling.
And then the Soviet Union imploded and there was but a “sole” superpowerleft on Planet Earth. Its leaders had no doubt that its ultimate moment had come and it was to be no less than “the end of history”! The planet was obviously Washington’s for the taking. No more need for subterfuge, subtle election meddling, secret support for dissidents, or even covert regime change, not when the only opposition to an American planet was a few weak “rogue states” (think: the “axis of evil,” also known as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea), a desperately weakened and impoverished but still nuclear-armed Russia, and a modestly rising future power in Asia.
And then, of course, came 9/11, that staggering act of blowback – in part from one of the great “successes” of CIA covert action in the Cold War, the decisive defeat of the Red Army in Afghanistan thanks to the funding and arming of a set of extremist Islamist militants, a war in which a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden gained a certain modest reputation. On that day in 2001, the last superpower, the one exceptional nation, became the planet’s greatest victim and all hell was let loose (just as bin Laden hoped it would be).
In response, in a world without other superpowers, the country with, as one president proudly put it, “the finest fighting force that the world has ever known” no longer needed to meddle secretly (or at least in a fashion that allowed for “plausible deniability”). With the invasion of Afghanistan that October, open regime change became the order of the day. Iraq would come in 2003, Libya in 2011. The U.S. Air Force and the CIA’s drones would bomb and missile at least seven countries across the Greater Middle East and North Africa repeatedly in the years to come, helping reduce great cities to rubble, uprooting and displacing massive numbers of people, creating failed statesgalore, and setting in motion forces that, from Pakistan to Syria, Yemen to Niger, would in turn unsettle a significant part of the planet.
And, of course, it would all prove to be a militarized failure of the first order. And yet, with a potential new conflict ramping up in Iran and the U.S. still fighting in Afghanistan almost 18 years later, America’s wars show little sign of winding down. Only recently, for instance, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assured a group of senators that the American military would “need to maintain a counterterrorism presence as long as an insurgency continues in Afghanistan,” which should be considered the very definition of a forever war. Think of it as a world of chaos without end and now consider again that Russian meddling in an American election.
By the way, whatever the Russians did in 2016 (or may do in the future to American or other elections) is deplorable and should be denounced, no matter how slapdash it might have been. After all, as Dov Levin discovered, it doesn’t necessarily take much to affect the result of an election in another country. Here’s his conclusion for election meddling in the Cold War era:
“I find that an electoral intervention in favor of one of the sides contesting [an] election has a statistically significant effect, increasing its vote share by about 3%. Such an effect can have major ‘real life’ implications. For example, such a swing in the vote share from the winner to the loser in the 14 U.S. presidential elections occurring since 1960 would have been sufficient to change the identity of the winner in seven of these elections.”
As we all know, a 3% shift in the 2016 election in several states would have made a staggering difference. After all, as the Washington Postreported, in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by “0.2, 0.7, and 0.8 percentage points, respectively – and by 10,704, 46,765, and 22,177 votes. Those three wins gave him 46 electoral votes; if Clinton had done one point better in each state, she’d have won the electoral vote, too.”
So the issue isn’t faintly whether Russian electoral meddling was despicable or not. The issue is that it’s been covered here, like so much else has in this century, as yet another case of American exceptionalism (but never narcissism). As on 9/11 – forget that first 9/11 in Chile – we eternally stand alone in our experiences because, by definition, we are the special ones, the ones who matter.
In the case of election meddling, however, this country just joined a moiling crowd of the interfered with – and largely by us. It was a classic case of getting a taste of one’s own medicine and not liking it one bit. It should have taught us a lesson about our own global behavior since World War II. Instead, it’s simply continued us on a path of exceptional meddling that will prove someday to have been one of the great follies in history.
Winston Churchill’s famous quote “History is Written by the Victors” holds a certain timeless relevance, and is particularly relevant today. Scattered throughout our world and history are events as well as physical, tangible artifacts that completely obliterate the currently accepted narrative of human history.
So why don’t we know more about our past and the artifacts, temples, and fossils whose very existence completely destroy the narratives put forth by both Creationism and Darwinism? The answer lies somewhere between the fabrication of records by the different control structures of the ages to support their agendas, and the apparent destructive nature of humans. Examples of this include:
-The destruction of a majority of the works of Homer by the Greek tyrant Peisistratus in Athens.
-The destruction of the Egyptian library in the Temple of Ptah in Memphis.
-An alleged 200,000 volumes of priceless works and records disappeared with the destruction of the Library of Pergamus in Asia Minor.
-When the Romans toppled Carthage it is said that they erased a library with over 500,000 volumes of work.
-One of the single greatest and most violent acts of censorship was the burning of the Library of Alexandria by Julius Caesar, which was considered to have held “the greatest collection of books in antiquity”
[It has been theorized by many that the 53 miles of shelf space at the Vatican archives may likely hold much of what has been considered “lost” to the ages, but there is absolutely no way to find out as even the Pope himself isn’t allowed to just peruse the archives.]
The 2 most popular versions that people subscribe to, Creationism and Darwinism, are both horribly flawed. Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest fails to explain how humans overcame thousands of deficiencies within the human DNA structure, while creationism overlooks pretty much all fossil records among other things. It is apparent that a new model is required.
Theories regarding the origin of modern humans were further confused by the discovery of fossils indicating that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon once lived side by side in what is now Israel. Mysteriously, these races did not interbreed. “Only one solution is left,” claims researcher and author James Shreeve, “Neanderthals and moderns did not interbreed in the Levant because they could not. They were reproductively incompatible, separate species…”. In addition, testing has shown that these Cro-mag remains found in Israel far predate the neanderthal remains, by as much as forty thousand years, essentially blowing the theory of continuous evolution clear out of the water.
New models are being continuously expounded upon by an always growing number of archaeological, theological, and historical revisionists who contest the answers offered by conventional, corporate science for the past several decades.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson