The black granite sarcophagus was uncovered in a tomb deep beneath the Egyptian city of Alexandria in early July. It’s believed to be the largest sarcophagus ever discovered in Alexandria, at 9ft long, 5ft wide and 6ft deep, says Mostafa Waziri, general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The sarcophagus discovery, while intriguing, has raised many questions about why a person would require such a large tomb, what artifacts it could be hiding, and what opening the vault could unleash.
Interestingly, the sarcophagus is also covered in a thick layer of mortar, suggesting it has not been opened since the Ptolemaic period to which it dates back – between 305BC and 30BC. That means whatever is inside; a person, jewelry, clothing and anything else, would still be intact. And that was a fact not well received by some very alarmed netizens.
Also discovered in the tomb was the alabaster head of a man which some believe may represent the person buried in the coffin. Most ancient tombs discovered in Egypt were looted in one era or another, often leaving archaeologists with a limited understanding of the person inside. This untouched artifact gives the eager team a rare opportunity to uncover the mummy for themselves.
Some people suggested the sarcophagus coupled with the recent discovery of a Neolithic henge in Ireland is either a sign of an impending apocalypse… or a very extravagant marketing scheme for a new Indiana Jones movie.
Spooky guesses aside, the greatest hurdle might be figuring out how to open the tomb at all. Estimated to weigh some 30 tons, moving the vault will be no easy feat. Experts will have to either surround it with some protective dirt and lift the entire thing with a bulldozer, or open the coffin in situ and remove the lid and base separately, according to Waad Abul-Ela, head of the projects sector at the Ministry of Antiquities.
So as not to cause damage to the contents, archaeologists are considering using X-rays, computed tomography scans or other scientific means to get a glimpse of the inside before opening the lid.
Not long ago, Egyptian Archaeologists discovered a huge 2,000-year-old sealed coffin, and as you’d imagine, they want to open it to see who or what is inside.
The sarcophagus was discovered in a tomb deep under the Egyptian city of Alexandria earlier this month (July 2018). It’s believed to be the largest sarcophagus ever discovered in Alexandria. It’s 9ft long, 5ft wide and 6ft deep, according to Mostafa Waziri, the general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
This has sparked quite the storm on the internet, as people point to the well known “curse of the pharaohs”, a term used to refer to a supposed curse believed to be thrown upon anyone who disturbs an ancient Egyptian mummy.
CTV News, who also picked up the story, explains,
In the 10 years that followed the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, 11 people who had at least visited the site died under sometimes myserious curcumstances, including lead researcher Howard Carter and several members of his team. Cureses involving ancient Egyptian tombs and artificats have also been the source of several Hollywood movies. Despite being on the verge of a supposed curse, other social media users are too intruiged to worry about the apparent risks.
A lot of mainstream media outlets present the idea of some sort of ‘curse’ as predominately mythological. The human mind definitely does, today that is, have trouble even comprehending how something like that could actually be real. Perhaps it invokes so much fear in one that we simply choose to ignore it, laugh it off and convince ourselves that such things may not exist.
It’s also interesting to note that the sarcophagus is covered in a thick layer of mortar, suggesting it has not been opened since the Ptolemaic period, which dates back between 305BC and 30BC. So, whatever is inside, it will still be intact…
Personally, I can understand the caution. If these coffins are to be left undisturbed by humanity, as instructed by the ancients, I believe these rules should be followed, and that’s probably because I am convinced in the validity of the concepts discussed in the Encyclopedia of Esoteric Studies, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, written by Manly P. Hall. In it, he describes how ancient rituals, practices, and magic were used by the ancients of different time periods, and this type of magic actually dominated in Egypt, which came to them from Atlantis.
“The masses, deprived of their birthright of understanding and grovelling in ignorance, eventually became the abject slaves of the spiritual impostors. Superstition universally prevailed and the black magicians completely dominated national affairs, with the result that humanity still suffers from the sophistries of the priestcrafts of Atlantis and Egypt.”
ABC News, 5/11/12: “…Columbia University researchers found a 40-fold rise in office visits among youth diagnosed with bipolar disorder between 1994-95 and 2002-3.”
In 1995, a new wind began blowing across the psychiatric landscape. The public wasn’t aware of it. But among professionals, it was big, very big:
Children, including the very young, could, for the first time, legitimately be diagnosed with bipolar disease (aka manic depression).
The impetus for this “revelation” was a 1995 report, “Is Your Child Bipolar?” written by two doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, Janet Wozniak and Joseph Biederman.
Biederman would go on to become the target of internal investigations at Harvard and Mass General—did the pharmaceutical money he took influence his judgment in deciding bipolar was a real disorder among children? The charges against him were ultimately reduced to a few light slaps on the wrist; he retained his prestigious position.
But back in 1995, he and Wozniak, as the NY Times Magazine recounts (9/12/08, “The Bipolar Puzzle”), arrived at an earthshaking conclusion about children coming through their hospital clinic: a number of them fit the description of “bipolar irritable manic.”
It was a huge wow for the psychiatric profession. No one had seriously insisted, with “convincing evidence,” that very young kids could develop bipolar.
But now, psychiatrists were going to pick up that ball and run with it. Drug companies were going to develop and promote drugs (very serious and toxic drugs, like Risperdal) to treat childhood bipolar.
However, what the Times Magazine story mentions—but no one pays attention to—is this: Every one of these original manic “bipolar children” coming through Mass General, minus only one child, HAD ALREADY BEEN DIAGNOSED with ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
What Biederman and Wozniak—and the rest of the psychiatric profession—failed to realize, or didn’t want to see, was: drugs given to treat ADHD (e.g., Ritalin, Adderall) are versions of speed; and speed causes, among other reactions, very irritable hyper emotions, which are indistinguishable from “manic.”
In other words, the obvious takeaway, which no one took away, was that the “manic” symptoms of these kids were reactions to the prior speed drugs prescribed for ADHD.
There was no bipolar.
In fact, and you can find this repeated in many press reports, there are no lab tests for diagnosing bipolar. No blood tests, no brain scans. It’s all done by consulting menus of “indicative” behaviors assembled by committees of psychiatrists. See, for example, the National Institute of Mental Health, “Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens”: “There are no blood tests or brain scans that can diagnose bipolar disorder. Instead, the doctor will ask questions about your child’s mood and sleeping patterns. The doctor will also ask about your child’s energy and behavior…”
You can give young kids ADHD drugs like Ritalin or Adderall and watch, in many cases, all the symptoms of so-called bipolar come to life before your eyes. In the old days, people used to call this a speed crash.
At first, speed can give a person a sense of clean fresh energy and clarity. Then after taking it for a few days or a week or a few weeks or a month (user reactions vary widely), the person begins to come apart. He’s sitting in a corner, in a puddle of sadness, then he’s very high energy (“manic”) and yelling and throwing things and cursing at people.
This isn’t a sophisticated situation. This is basic brain disruption.
Here’s another drug sequence with the same outcome: ADHD diagnosed, Adderall prescribed; child goes into a big funk and this is diagnosed as depression; doctor prescribes Zoloft, which causes a few high-flying “manic episodes.” New diagnosis: bipolar.
Or a young toddler is fed formula that is largely synthetic, and chemicals cause a severe series of reactions, which are labeled “bipolar.”
Or a child is given a series of vaccine shots containing aluminum (a known neurotoxin), formaldehyde, and other injurious chemicals, and as a result develops severe symptoms labeled “bipolar.”
The drugs prescribed for bipolar are quite heavy and dangerous: Valproate, Lithium, Risperdal.
Adverse effects of Valproate include:
* acute, life-threatening, and even fatal liver toxicity;
* life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas;
* brain damage.
Adverse effects of Lithium include:
* intercranial pressure leading to blindness;
* peripheral circulatory collapse;
* stupor and coma.
Adverse effects of Risperdal include:
* serious impairment of cognitive function;
* restless muscles in neck or face, tremors (may be indicative of motor brain damage).
In January, 2002, psychiatrist and author Peter Breggin told CBS News: “Psychiatry is out of control when it comes to drugging children…The drug [Risperdal] has an effect. The effect is basically a chemical lobotomy . . .”
And all this bipolar fakery started in 1995 when kids on psychiatric speed showed up at Mass General Hospital…
And here’s the key paragraph from the New York Times Magazine article, “The Bipolar Puzzle,” 9/12/08, about that decisive moment in time at Mass General: “…In an influential 1995 paper that began the paradigm shift toward bipolar disorder within child psychiatry, Janet Wozniak — the director of the pediatric bipolar-disorder program at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-author of “Is Your Child Bipolar?” — working with the chief of pediatric psychopharmacology, Joseph Biederman, revealed that 16 percent of the children who came to the clinic met the D.S.M. criteria for mania [manic symptoms]. This was shocking news; it was widely believed until then that mania in children was extremely rare. Wozniak reported that the children’s mania most often took the form of an irritable mood rather than an elevated one, and that the mood was often chronic: the norm, rather than the exception. All but one of the manic children in the study also suffered from A.D.H.D.”
It almost seems as if the author dropped in that last sentence as a clue to the whole scam.
The share of US sovereign debt bonds in Russia’s portfolio has been reduced dramatically in recent months. Russia held $96.1 billion in US Treasuries in March before selling half its holdings in April, dropping to 22nd place among major foreign holders of American treasury securities at $48.7 billion.
In 2010, Russia was among the top 10 holders of US Treasuries at $176.3 billion. With its holdings falling to $14.9 billion in May, the country is now below the $30 billion threshold for inclusion on the Treasury Department’s monthly report of major holders. On Tuesday, the Treasury released a list of 33 countries which includes the biggest holder China to the smallest Chile. Russia is no longer on the list.
A treasury bond is a fixed-interest government debt security with a maturity of more than 10 years. Treasury bonds make interest payments twice a year. The gradual sell-off of US sovereign debt started in 2011, and has intensified over recent years amid numerous rounds of sanctions imposed by the White House against Russia.
The head of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) Elvira Nabiullina said in May that slashing of the holdings was result of the systematic assessment of all kinds of risks, including financial, economic and geopolitical.
Meanwhile, Russia’s gold holdings have been steadily increasing, bringing its share of the precious metal to its highest level in nearly two decades. Russia’s gold holdings in May grew by one percent to 62 million troy ounces, worth $80.5 billion, according to the CBR. According to Nabiullina, gold purchases helped to diversify reserves.
Global geopolitical conflicts along with trade tensions triggered by the US earlier this year have made some countries follow suit. Turkey nearly halved its US Treasury holdings from almost $62 billion in November to $32.6 billion in May. Germany has reduced its holdings from $86 billion in April to $78.3 billion in May.
Asked about Russia’s absence, a US Treasury spokesman said the Treasury market is the deepest and most liquid in the world, and demand remains robust, reports Bloomberg. He added that the department doesn’t comment on individual investors or investments.
Starting the morning with a fresh post, Trump gave credit to his press conference following a landmark gathering with Putin in Finland on Monday.
“So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki,” he said.
So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki. Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!
Trump then gave his take on the negotiations with Putin, and the apparent “haters,” who he suggested suffered from “Trump Derangement Syndrome!”
“Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match,” said Trump.
Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!
His use of the term “earlier meeting,” left it somewhat unclear whether he was referring to the landmark Helsinki summit, or the meeting with Putin at the sidelines of the G20 summit last year. Either way, he still promised “big results” will come.
Speaking after the joint press conference in Helsinki, Trump admitted that Washington-Moscow ties have never been in a worse place, but that relations had “gotten substantially better” since meeting the Russian leader and could improve more in the future.
Putin also told Fox news that the leaders “did make a good start”. At the conference he again ridiculed allegations that Moscow had compromising material on Donald Trump or his family, saying that it’s absurd to suggest that Kremlin collects dirt on every US businessman who visits the country.
The sight of Trump and Putin not attacking each other at the press conference in Helsinki sent mainstream US media into meltdown. Some outlets were angered even by the fact that the summit happened at all.
Speaking to RT, former US Senator Ron Paul responded to the hysteria. Mainstream media are “almost unanimously endorsing the idea that we have to have an enemy, and at this point – especially for the last 20 years – they’ve been working very hard to make Russia the enemy, and I think this is wrong,” he said.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also gave his take on the summit, insisting that Russian-US dialogue is crucial for international challenges and the world can’t afford to have silence between the two states.
The only word that comes to my mind: Disgusting.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth surpassed $150 billion on Monday, making him the richest person in modern world history.
The magnitude of such a sum is difficult to comprehend. Its real meaning emerges when juxtaposed with the social position of Amazon’s 500,000 workers.
* Jeff Bezos has made $50 billion in 2018. The $255 million he has made each day of the year equals the annual salaries of over 10,000 Amazon workers in the US.
* The amount Bezos has made per second in 2018, $2,950, is more than the annual salary of an Amazon worker in India, $2,796.
* In five days of 2018, Bezos made as much money as the combined income of every Amazon fulfillment center worker in the world in 2017.
* If Bezos’ wealth were divided equally among Amazon’s employees, each would get a check for $300,000.
* In the time it will take the average reader to read these five bullet points, Jeff Bezos will have made another $70,000, seven times the global annual average income of $10,000.
The existence of such fortunes exposes the oligarchic character of American and global society. Under capitalism, Bezos and billionaires like him dominate the political parties, select who is elected to public office, determine the policies of the world’s governments, and dictate “public opinion” through their control over academic institutions and the media. Here too, Bezos is a prime example. He purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million—less than what he now makes in a day.
Behind great wealth there are great social crimes. Bezos has made his billions through the ruthless exploitation of the Amazon workforce, which has more than doubled in size since 2015, when Bezos’s wealth was $60 billion. Amazon has hired roughly 300,000 new workers since 2015, allowing Bezos to pocket the surplus labor value of a veritable army of the exploited.
Amazon has gained a competitive edge by introducing 21st century methods to squeeze every last drop of sweat from its workers, who wear monitoring devices that measure how hard they are working and are forced to walk or run up to 14 miles per day. Injuries are common, and deaths and suicides also take place with regularity. The National Council for Occupational Safety found Amazon among the most dangerous workplaces in the US.
Amazon is deeply implicated in the crimes of the US government, both in its imperialist wars abroad and in its Gestapo-like attack on democratic rights at home.
The company hosts the web servers for the US military and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and it sells its cloud service to Palantir, a data analytics firm that provides software used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to conduct raids and detain immigrants. In May, the ACLU reported that Amazon also sells Orwellian facial recognition software to police departments and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Opposition to this corporate giant is emerging, including from within the company itself.
In June, an undisclosed number of Amazon employees published a letter demanding the company halt its involvement in mass deportation and police surveillance. “This will be another powerful tool for the surveillance state, and ultimately serve to harm the most marginalized,” the letter reads, citing IBM’s involvement in providing Hitler with the infrastructure used to murder millions in concentration camps.
This year has also seen the development of a series of strikes at Amazon facilities worldwide. In Spain, Poland and Germany, workers’ anger over low wages, “permanent temporary” work, and brutal working conditions is near universal, forcing the trade unions to call limited protest strikes to coincide with “Prime Day”—a 36-hour sale period from July 16 to 17.
The trade unions’ goal in calling the Prime Day protest strikes is the exact opposite of the aspirations of the workers participating in them.
In Spain, the union has kept the strike to a single fulfillment center. In Germany, the bulk of workers chose not to participate in a one-day strike called by the Verdi union, knowing Verdi regularly calls isolated strikes that will not impact corporate profits. In Poland, the union has only called a partial slow-down of work in order to block a broader strike.
While the workers want to shut down Amazon’s supply chains and achieve massive increases in wages and significant improvements in working conditions, the unions have admitted from the outset that they are organizing the strikes as limited protests that will have no impact on Amazon’s supply chains.
While workers aspire to unite in a common international struggle with their co-workers across national boundaries, the unions by their nature keep workers tied to “their own” nation-states and governments.
At Amazon and across all workplaces worldwide, the trade unions serve as an obstacle, not a conduit, for the development of the class struggle. Their leaderships, both in terms of political function and social composition, are hostile to the working-class members whose dues pay their salaries. The trade unions, through the relentless suppression of the class struggle at Amazon and elsewhere, are responsible for making Jeff Bezos’ fortune possible.
In their struggles against the transnational corporations, workers must throw off the shackles of the trade unions and construct new, rank-and-file factory organizations.
These factory committees must fight to establish lines of communication between workers at different workplaces, not to isolate workers at each plant. They must be based on the principle that the interests of workers and capitalists are incompatible, not on “cooperation” between workers and management. They must foster the highest degree of democratic discussion, planning, and debate among the workers themselves. They must be based on an understanding that the working class is an international social force and that workers are powerless when divided based on nationality.
The suppression of the class struggle has produced unprecedented levels of social inequality. In the United States, three people own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the population—160 million people. Worldwide, the five wealthiest own as much as the poorest half—3.6 billion people. Outside of the wealthiest 5 to 10 percent of the world’s population, the masses of people face levels of economic hardship that vary only in degrees of extremity.
The existence of such extreme levels of inequality raises the urgent need for socialist revolution. Society cannot afford the capitalist system. The trillions of dollars that sit in corporate bank vaults and in the trust funds of the super wealthy must be expropriated and spent on massive international programs to provide water, food, education, culture, housing and infrastructure to every corner of the world.
The international integration of the world economy that under capitalism serves as a source of conflict, war and competition will become, under socialism, a mechanism for distributing resources from each region of the world according to its ability to each region according to the needs of its population. Amazon, with its complex logistical web spanning every continent and dozens of countries, will be transformed into a public utility to ship medicine, building material, food and disaster relief across the world.
Neither Bezos nor the capitalist class will give up their wealth without a fight. The working class must prepare for the coming class battles ahead by joining the fight for socialism.
The European Union slapped Google with a record $5bn fine for using its Android smartphone system to illegally boost its search engine – the biggest anti-trust penalty in EU history.
Google immediately said it would appeal the massive fine.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, announced the stiff penalty on Wednesday saying the US tech giant forced – and in some cases paid – major phone makers to pre-install its search engine and Google Chrome browser.
The company also limited the ability of manufacturers to sell phones running alternative versions of Android.
“Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” Vestager said in a statement. “This is illegal under EU anti-trust rules.”
The company, however, said instead of restricting competition it did the opposite.
“Android has created more choice for everyone, not less,” said Google spokesman Al Verney. “We will appeal the commission’s decision.”
The commission also ordered Google to end the illegal conduct within 90 days or face additional penalties of up to 5 percent of parent Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover.
Wednesday’s ruling came a year after the EU’s enforcer handed down a $2.7bn fine on Google for favouring its shopping service over rivals.
Vestager has targeted a series of Silicon Valley giants in her four years as the 28-nation European Union’s competition commissioner, winning praise in Europe but angering the United States.
On Wednesday, Vestager told a news conference in Brussels she “very much” likes the United States.
“But the fact is that this has nothing to do with how I feel. Nothing whatsoever. Just as enforcing competition law, we do it in the world, but we do not do it in political context,” she said.
Brussels has repeatedly targeted Google over the past decade amid concerns about the Silicon Valley giant’s dominance of internet searches across Europe, where it commands about 90 percent of the market.
The EU ordered Apple in 2016 to pay Ireland 13bn euros in back taxes that the maker of iPhones and iPads avoided by a tax deal with Dublin.
It has also taken on Facebook over privacy issues after it admitted millions of users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.
SOURCE: News agencies