Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's becoming  clearer how employees from the Aberdeenshire Council have colluded in the abduction of my dog, Frodo, by a small, Scottish charity. Please visit my Facebook page, Help Save Frodo the Dog and give Frodo and me your support! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013











My Dog has been Abducted

My beloved long-haired German Shepherd, Frodo, has been abducted by a man who is using the shield of a small Scottish charity to justify this crime.

Left with no choice, I have been forced to take legal action in the hope of retrieving Frodo. But the wheels of the law grind slowly and it is nearly five months since Frodo was stolen from me.

The Police have been absolutely useless. They are indifferent to the affair. "It's an ownership dispute. Go and find yourself a solicitor," they say. Yet it is not an ownership issue. There is no question that I am Frodo's owner and I have the paper-work to prove it.

I believe the indifference of the Police is more likely to be because they were complicit in the events which finally led to Frodo's abduction. Now they're trying to cover-up for themselves. After making a lot of fuss, I managed to persuade the Police to make an investigation into the affair. Now they're dragging their feet, and with good reason. On 1 April the regional Scottish police forces will all disappear when they are reorganized into one, large unitary force. What happens to complaints like mine after that is anyone's guess!

For legal reasons, I cannot go into too much detail here about the manner in which Frodo was abducted. But a supporter of mine has published a slightly-fictionalized account in the first-person here, so I recommend you all read it.

I am an OAP with next to no savings. But I am determined to fight this case through all the courts and, if necessary, take it to the European Court of Human Rights. I need others to help me set up a Defence Fund. If you believe you can help, please contact me at rorywinter@gmx.com

Thank you everyone.




Sunday, December 18, 2011


The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus

TAGS: 
Modern Christmas traditions are based on ancient mushroom-using shamans.
Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, most of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe.
The sacred mushroom of these people was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as "fly agaric." These mushrooms are now commonly seen in books of fairy tales, and are usually associated with magic and fairies. This is because they contain potent hallucinogenic compounds, and were used by ancient peoples for insight and transcendental experiences.
Most of the major elements of the modern Christmas celebration, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, magical reindeer and the giving of gifts, are originally based upon the traditions surrounding the harvest and consumption of these most sacred mushrooms.
The world tree
These ancient peoples, including the Lapps of modern-day Finland, and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes, believed in the idea of a World Tree. The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the "middle earth" of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.
The amanita muscaria mushrooms grow only under certain types of trees, mostly firs and evergreens. The mushroom caps are the fruit of the larger mycelium beneath the soil which exists in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of the tree. To ancient people, these mushrooms were literally "the fruit of the tree."
The North Star was also considered sacred, since all other stars in the sky revolved around its fixed point. They associated this "Pole Star" with the World Tree and the central axis of the universe. The top of the World Tree touched the North Star, and the spirit of the shaman would climb the metaphorical tree, thereby passing into the realm of the gods. This is the true meaning of the star on top of the modern Christmas tree, and also the reason that the super-shaman Santa makes his home at the North Pole.
Ancient peoples were amazed at how these magical mushrooms sprang from the earth without any visible seed. They considered this "virgin birth" to have been the result of the morning dew, which was seen as the semen of the deity. The silver tinsel we drape onto our modern Christmas tree represents this divine fluid.
Reindeer games
The active ingredients of the amanita mushrooms are not metabolized by the body, and so they remain active in the urine. In fact, it is safer to drink the urine of one who has consumed the mushrooms than to eat the mushrooms directly, as many of the toxic compounds are processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body.
It was common practice among ancient people to recycle the potent effects of the mushroom by drinking each other's urine. The amanita's ingredients can remain potent even after six passes through the human body. Some scholars argue that this is the origin of the phrase "to get pissed," as this urine-drinking activity preceded alcohol by thousands of years.
Reindeer were the sacred animals of these semi-nomadic people, as the reindeer provided food, shelter, clothing and other necessities. Reindeer are also fond of eating the amanita mushrooms; they will seek them out, then prance about while under their influence. Often the urine of tripped-out reindeer would be consumed for its psychedelic effects.
This effect goes the other way too, as reindeer also enjoy the urine of a human, especially one who has consumed the mushrooms. In fact, reindeer will seek out human urine to drink, and some tribesmen carry sealskin containers of their own collected piss, which they use to attract stray reindeer back into the herd.
The effects of the amanita mushroom usually include sensations of size distortion and flying. The feeling of flying could account for the legends of flying reindeer, and legends of shamanic journeys included stories of winged reindeer, transporting their riders up to the highest branches of the World Tree.
Santa Claus, super shaman
Although the modern image of Santa Claus was created at least in part by the advertising department of Coca-Cola, in truth his appearance, clothing, mannerisms and companions all mark him as the reincarnation of these ancient mushroom-gathering shamans.
One of the side effects of eating amanita mushrooms is that the skin and facial features take on a flushed, ruddy glow. This is why Santa is always shown with glowing red cheeks and nose. Even Santa's jolly "Ho, ho, ho!" is the euphoric laugh of one who has indulged in the magic fungus.
Santa also dresses like a mushroom gatherer. When it was time to go out and harvest the magical mushrooms, the ancient shamans would dress much like Santa, wearing red and white fur-trimmed coats and long black boots.
These peoples lived in dwellings made of birch and reindeer hide, called "yurts." Somewhat similar to a teepee, the yurt's central smokehole is often also used as an entrance. After gathering the mushrooms from under the sacred trees where they appeared, the shamans would fill their sacks and return home. Climbing down the chimney-entrances, they would share out the mushroom's gifts with those within.
The amanita mushroom needs to be dried before being consumed; the drying process reduces the mushroom's toxicity while increasing its potency. The shaman would guide the group in stringing the mushrooms and hanging them around the hearth-fire to dry. This tradition is echoed in the modern stringing of popcorn and other items.
The psychedelic journeys taken under the influence of the amanita were also symbolized by a stick reaching up through the smokehole in the top of the yurt. The smokehole was the portal where the spirit of the shaman exited the physical plane.
Santa's famous magical journey, where his sleigh takes him around the whole planet in a single night, is developed from the "heavenly chariot," used by the gods from whom Santa and other shamanic figures are descended. The chariot of Odin, Thor and even the Egyptian god Osiris is now known as the Big Dipper, which circles around the North Star in a 24-hour period.
In different versions of the ancient story, the chariot was pulled by reindeer or horses. As the animals grow exhausted, their mingled spit and blood falls to the ground, forming the amanita mushrooms.
St Nicholas and Old Nick
Saint Nicholas is a legendary figure who supposedly lived during the fourth Century. His cult spread quickly and Nicholas became the patron saint of many varied groups, including judges, pawnbrokers, criminals, merchants, sailors, bakers, travelers, the poor, and children.
Most religious historians agree that St Nicholas did not actually exist as a real person, and was instead a Christianized version of earlier Pagan gods. Nicholas' legends were mainly created out of stories about the Teutonic god called Hold Nickar, known as Poseidon to the Greeks. This powerful sea god was known to gallop through the sky during the winter solstice, granting boons to his worshippers below.
When the Catholic Church created the character of St Nicholas, they took his name from "Nickar" and gave him Poseidon's title of "the Sailor." There are thousands of churches named in St Nicholas' honor, most of which were converted from temples to Poseidon and Hold Nickar. (As the ancient pagan deities were demonized by the Christian church, Hold Nickar's name also became associated with Satan, known as "Old Nick!")
Local traditions were incorporated into the new Christian holidays to make them more acceptable to the new converts. To these early Christians, Saint Nicholas became a sort of "super-shaman" who was overlaid upon their own shamanic cultural practices. Many images of Saint Nicholas from these early times show him wearing red and white, or standing in front of a red background with white spots, the design of the amanita mushroom.
St Nicholas also adopted some of the qualities of the legendary "Grandmother Befana" from Italy, who filled children's stockings with gifts. Her shrine at Bari, Italy, became a shrine to St Nicholas.
Modern world, ancient traditions
Some psychologists have discussed the "cognitive dissonance" which occurs when children are encouraged to believe in the literal existence of Santa Claus, only to have their parents' lie revealed when they are older. By so deceiving our children we rob them of a richer heritage, for the actual origin of these ancient rituals is rooted deep in our history and our collective unconscious. By better understanding the truths within these popular celebrations, we can better understand the modern world, and our place in it.
Many people in the modern world have rejected Christmas as being too commercial, claiming that this ritual of giving is actually a celebration of materialism and greed. Yet the true spirit of this winter festival lies not in the exchange of plastic toys, but in celebrating a gift from the earth: the fruiting top of a magical mushroom, and the revelatory experiences it can provide.
Instead of perpetuating outdated and confusing holiday myths, it might be more fulfilling to return to the original source of these seasonal celebrations. How about getting back to basics and enjoying some magical mushrooms with your loved ones this solstice? What better gift can a family share than a little piece of love and enlightenment?
FURTHER LINKS AND REFERENCES:
The Hidden Meanings of Christmas, Mushroms and Mankind, by James Arthur
Who put the Fly Agaric into Christmas?, Seventh International Mycological Congress, December 1999, Fungus of the Month
The Real Story of Santa, The Spore Print, Los Angeles Mycological Society, December 1998
Santa and those Reindeer: The Hallucinogenic Connection, The Physics of Christmas, by Roger Highfield
Fungi, Fairy Rings and Father Christmas, North West Fungus Group, 1998 Presidential Address, by Dr Sean Edwards
Fly Agaric, Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month for December 1999
Father Christmas Flies on Toadstools, New Scientist, December 1986
Psycho-mycological studies of amanita: From ancient sacrament to modern phobia, by Jonathan Ott, Journal of Psychedelic Drugs; 1976
Santa is a Wildman, LA Times, Jeffrey Vallance
BOOKS WORTH READING:
Mushrooms and Mankind, by James Arthur
Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, by Gordon Wasson
Mushrooms, Poisons and Panaceas, by Denis R. Benjamin

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Mark Steel: Hands off our greedy bankers

It's the right of every Englishman to have his country robbed blind by the banks


You can see why, after 50 years of putting up with Europe, this was finally the issue where we couldn't take any more. Because the bastards were insisting we impose a vague regulation or two on our bankers and speculators, those brave and tireless souls who invest round the clock to keep us safe with not a thought for themselves. Well, the French had the audacity to suggest someone kept an eye on them from time to time. Haven't bankers suffered enough?


So, just like in 1940, we stand alone, and hopefully at every bus stop, you'll hear the plucky British saying: "Blooming Krauts, who do they think they are telling us our bankers aren't allowed to rob us blind? That's the right of every Englishman, to have his country robbed blind by bankers. Now Frau Merkel wants to make them only rob me nine-tenths blind until they get themselves straight. Well, we fought off the Luftwaffe, so we'll see off this lot an' all."

Soon we'll hear heartwarming stories of national pride, with old-age pensioners on the regional news saying: "I had £20 put by for a new hearing aid, but instead I've sent it off to Goldman Sachs to let them know I, for one, am willing to carry on getting fleeced by them, whether the Frogs say I can or not." And charming letters from children will be published, saying: "I wanted to stop those Europeans make nasty rules for our banks, so I sold my rabbit to the butcher and gave the money to Fred Goodwin. It might not be much, but it's all I've got".

There are many reasons to be suspicious of the European Union, but it seems the ones we're supposed to be annoyed about are when they pass rules stopping employers from making people work longer hours than anywhere else, or insisting on extra holidays.

And the City of London wasn't necessarily the most loved institution, so it's taken quite an effort for the Government to present an attempt to tax them slightly as a similar act to Hitler's invasion of Poland. So maybe other unpopular groups ought to try a similar strategy. Paedophiles should issue a statement saying: "Would you believe what they're suggesting in Strasbourg? They want a law regulating our porn sites across the whole European Union." Then the Daily Mail will scream that we simply can't tolerate this unconstitutional bullying.

And anyone caught going berserk in a public building with an axe can spend all week debating whether a European axe law would destroy our sovereignty and what the Hungarians were offering and whether we're isolated outside the Euro-lunatic zone, and, with a bit of luck, they'll have half the country in a state of confusion and the other half screaming, "At last! An axe murderer prepared to defend Britain!", while it's gently forgotten that decapitation shouldn't, on the whole, really be celebrated at all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

France Says NATO Bombing Has Failed

By FRANKLIN LAMB

Tripoli.

One of the jokes heard at this week’s massive pro-government Friday post prayer rally at Green Square (in most of the other Arab countries Fridays are days of rage against the government du jour but in Libya Friday prayers are followed by massive pro-Qadaffi rallies, attended two weeks ago by close to 65% of Tripoli’s population) is about how each morning Libya’s leader, following early morning Fajr prayers dons his formal uniform, complete with those huge epaulets, and salutes the small NATO flag he tapes to his bathroom mirror as he moves from place to place dodging NATO drones and assassins. “Our leader does this”, one young lady informed me first with a wide smile and then growing serious, because the NATO bombing of Libyan civilians, which the US/NATO axis claims Qaddafi is doing, has caused his popularity to skyrocket among our proud and nationalist tribal people. I am one example of this. Yes, of course we can use some new blood and long overdue reform in our government. Which country cannot? But first we must defeat the NATO invaders and then we can sort out our problems among our tribes including the so-called “NATO Rebels.”

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (3/31/11) the alliance has conducted nearly 15,000 sorties, including close to 6000 bombing missions according to NATO’s media office in Naples, Italy (oup.media@gmail.com). The most recent attacks reported on 7/9/11 included 112 sorties and 48 bomb/missile attacks, and that is about average.

The two most active Embassies’ in Libya these days are the Russian and the Chinese. On 2/25/11, according to the Bulgarian Embassy staff, which was falsely rumored to be currently handling US consular services whereas it appears no one is doing here in Libya), the US Embassy essentially ordered all EU and NATO Embassies to pack up and join their chartered plane and boats. Libyan officials tell visitors that they were shocked by the fast exodus. “They did not even say goodbye. Suddenly they were on their way to the airport,” one Foreign Ministry advised during a meeting last week.

The Russian and Chinese leadership has grown increasingly critical of NATO’s actions in Libya and are now firmly demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Some cynics here are pointing out that these countries, unlike NATO, know exactly what they are doing and it includes the realization that they have an excellent chance to obtain many billions of dollars in lucrative contracts, which every official interviewed here has sworn, not one Libyan Dinar of which will ever again go to any NATO country, when its aggression is finally repelled. It is partly this realization that it’s “all or nothing” that keeps the US and its potent military asset, NATO, focused on assassinating Colonel Qaddafi and breaking his civilian support base. If Qaddafi lives, NATO loses and so do the current major oil industry contractors who are reportedly becoming depressed seeing reports of all the Russian and Chinese businessmen arriving in Libya.

NATO, Diplomatic, and Congressional sources confirm that the Obama Administration erred badly in thinking that Libya’s regime would collapse “in a few days, not weeks” as Obama assured the American public who has to pony up the estimated $ 5 billion thru July 31, 2011 costs. Obama’s egregious miscalculation may cost him his presidency if the economy does not.

As one student at Tripoli’s Al Fatah University commented, “What your American government has done in the region to destroy yourselves since 9/11 is amazing to Libyans. Now you are going to fight us? Why? You already had all our oil you wanted at a bargain prices, we stupidly put our sovereign funds in US banks and we did not even bother Israel much. Every day that NATO bombs it kills more Libyan civilians. We sacrificed nearly 1/3 of our population or more than one million of our brothers and sisters expelling the Italians 70 years ago. Doesn’t anyone in your government study history? We are not Bahrainis or Syrians. We are armed and will use our weapons. Among the errors our leadership has made, one of the worst is that it believed the US agreements we made in 2004. The Iranians and North Koreans laugh at us for trusting you and giving up our nuclear and biological weapons programs. Believe me dear, if Qadaffi leaves power you will miss him because the Libyan people will be tougher against your projects than he has been.”

On Sunday 7/10/11 France seemingly allied itself with Russia and China in calling on NATO to immediately stop its counterproductive and counterintuitive bombing, as more countries witness public demonstrations against NATO’s actions in Libya. French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said in Paris that it was time for Qaddafi loyalists, which France acknowledges have been rapidly increasing in number, and Libyan rebels “to sit around a table to reach a political compromise” because, he said, “there was no solution with force."

NATO and the Obama administration can have no part of a dialogue because they will be the major losers if peace comes to Libya without Qadaffi leaving power.

No sooner had the French Defense Minister spoken on 7/12/11, reflecting also the views of the British and Italian military, than the US State Department issued a statement insisting that “the United States will continue efforts as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) coalition to enforce a U.N. Security Council-authorized no-fly zone in Libya designed to protect civilians under threat of attack, the State Department said. The spokesman did not mention that the no-fly zone was achieved back in March in 48 hours and that no Libyan aircraft have flown since. Mission accomplished 100 days ago.

Hilary Clinton repeated her earlier words, "Our efforts in Libya will take time, but let there be no mistake that the political, military, and economic pressure on Qaddafi continues to grow. The allies will continue to increase pressure until the Libyan people are safe, their humanitarian needs met, and a transition of power is fully under way."

And so it goes. On 9 July 2011, NATO claimed its aircraft carried out another “precision strike on a pro-Qaddafi missile firing position near Tawurgha, south of Misrata. According to its media office, “NATO intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance were conducted over a period of time to ascertain the military use of the site. It was confirmed as being used to launch indiscriminate attacks on Libyan civilians in the area and a staging area by pro-Qaddafi villagers, including planning attacks on rebel forces near the port and city of Misrata.” The next morning, 7/10/11, local inhabitants denied that the farm had any military activity on the property and an examination of the farm buildings failed to discover any.

NATO is getting hammered by critics, including during its press conferences, especially by reporters from such groups as Jane’s Defense Weekly who know a thing or two about weapons and war. Last week Jane’s ridiculed the NATO commander who claimed that seeing satellite dishes on roofs were evidence of a particular site being a “Command and Control Center.” Jane’s found that assertion silly.

Congressional sources have been demanding answers from NATO, including the following incidences of civilian deaths caused by NATO’s bombs and rockets (70% of which are US supplied, raising serious legal and political questions under the 1976 US Arms Export Control Act) and which were forwarded by a Congressional NATO liaison staffer for comment. The exact cases sent to NATO from the US Congressional included the following with a demand for an explanation:

1. On May 13, 2011, a peace delegation of Muslim religious leaders having arrived in Brega to seek dialogue with fellow Sheikhs from the east of Libya, was bombed at 1 a.m. in their guesthouse by two US MK 82 bombs. Eleven of the Sheikhs were killed instantly and 14 were seriously injured. NATO claimed the building housed a “Command and Control Center.” All witnesses and the hotel owner have vehemently denied this claim.

2. During the early morning of June 20, 2011, 8 US missiles and bombs supplied to NATO targeted the home of Khaled Al-Hamedi and his parents and family. Fifteen family members and friends were killed, including Khaled’s pregnant wife, his sister and three of his children. NATO said it bombed the home because it was a military installation. Witnesses, neighbors and independent observers deny there was ever any military installation or troop presence on the property.

3. In late June, 2011 on the main road west of Tripoli, a public bus with 12 passengers was hit by a TOW missile killing all the passengers. NATO claimed that public buses are being used to transport military personnel. Foreign observers, including this one, unanimously aver that they have not seen military personnel in Tripoli, including tanks; APC’s or even military equipment.

4. On June 6, 2011, at 2:30 a.m. the central administrative complex of the Higher Committee for Children in central Tripoli, two blocks from this observer’s hotel, was bombed with a total of 12 bombs/rockets. The complex housed the National Downs Syndrome center including its records and vital statistics office, the Crippled Women’s Foundation, the Crippled Children Center, and the National Diabetic Research Center.

5. On June 16, 2011 at 5 a.m. NATO bombed a private hotel in central Tripoli, killing three people and destroying a restaurant and Shisha smoking bar.

NATO responses was to thank the Congressional office for the “interesting” information and then to explain, as NATO has been doing ad nausea recently, that, "By using civilian sites for military purposes, the Qadhafi regime has once again shows complete disregard for the welfare of Libyan civilians.”

NATO’s response continued, “Clearly, the main issue for NATO are allegations of civilian casualties, but it's important that we put those allegations in context of the NATO mission. Each and every civilian death is a tragedy. Obviously, more than we would like to see, sometimes, due to a technical failure, one of our weapons does not strike the intended military target. We deeply regret these tragic accidents and we always convey NATO condolences to the families of all those who may have been involved.”

NATO’S response continued: “When NATO believes we have caused civilian casualties we will say so and we will do it as swiftly as we can establish the facts. If you look at our track record after nearly 15,000 sorties and nearly 5,000 strike sorties you can see we have taken utmost care to avoid civilian casualties and will continue to do so. Finally let me assure your Office that our mission fully complies with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and our mandate remains to use all necessary means to prevent attacks and the threat of attack against civilians and civilian populated areas.

As international pressure builds on the White House to call off the NATO bombing campaign, several proposals are being discussed within the African Union, the Russian and Chinese Embassy’s, and even between the “NATO rebels” and representatives of the Libya government in Tripoli.

One possible scenario might be for Libya to offer Obama and NATO a fig leaf which would include Colonel Qadaffi “retiring to his tent to write and reflect” while dialogue takes places among the Libyan people, including the tribes and 600 plus Peoples Congresses which of course should have been allowed to take place as Congressman Dennis Kucinich and others insisted back in February, 2011 before NATO invaded.

Franklin Lamb is reachable at fplamb@gmail.com

http://almanar.com.lb/english/catpage.php?frid=41