Thursday, February 13, 2003

Over at evworld, an electric vehicle site, they have an interesting theory about the impending 'restructuring' (ha ha) of Iraq. Something to do with Saddam using the Euro to sell oil instead of the greenback ... the Gnomes of Zurich will have something to say about this, you mark my words.

There's a spooky quote in this email from Davos that shares an insight into the Iraq situation:

I learned from American security and military speakers that, "We need to attack Iraq not to punish it for what it might have, but preemptively, as part of a global war. Iraq is just one piece of a campaign that will last years, taking out states, cleansing the planet."
In other news, the atheists have something interesting to say about the so-called alleged "St. Valentine's Day":
In early Rome, the evening of February 14th was the beginning of the fertility celebration of Lupercus and Faunus. (It was also the feast of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, but this is irrelevant to the Valentine story.)

Faunus was a Roman pastoral god that came to be identified by the Romans with the Greek god Pan, the horned satyr. ("Faunus" is derived from the Latin favere meaning "favors," as he was supposed to grant favors to the participants in the festival.) Lupercus was the son of the Diana who lived with wolves (possibly a tie-in to Romulus and Remus, who also lived with and were raised by wolves.) Lupercus is easily identifiable in Roman art as he usually wears a wolf pelt. Each day Lupercus would wake up and journey across the heavens. Gathering the souls of those who had died, he would deliver them to Luna, the moon goddess.

During the festival, teenagers and young adult males would meet at a cave called the Lupercal below the Palentine where they would sacrifice goats or dogs to Faunus. The skins of the animals were then peeled and cut into wet strips called Februa (from which we derive the name February for the month). The males would take these strips into the heart of the city and use them to randomly beat people (particularly women).

On the second day of the festival, each man would draw the name of one of the women who had been hit with the Februa, and she would be coupled with him until the next festival. (This was a voluntary coupling; the woman was under no legal or social obligation to stay with the man.) It was basically just an excuse to sleep with someone for a year without commitment or obligation. Think of it as an L.A. marriage vow.

If you're following the growing Anthrax vaccinations debacle you might like to read this piece from about a 25 year-old ex-Special Forces Ranger coping with Gulf War Syndrome.
It was, the doctor at the Long Beach Veteran's Administration Hospital said, an incidental finding. A little gray smudge on the X-ray, a blob next to the pituitary gland.

Six months later, University of California at Los Angeles surgeons worked six hours to sever a tumor from the brain of a muscular, 25-year-old ex-Special Forces Ranger and Gulf War veteran. The costly surgery was performed at UCLA, the patient said, because VA doctors denied that the "incidental finding" caused his excruciating, unremitting headaches.

He blamed Army-administered drugs for the tumor. And his girlfriend said there were other "side effects" of his service in the Gulf, including increased agitation and sperm that "burned."

the fuck?
"We had a third day of shots before we went over (to the Gulf)," said the ex-Ranger, who requested anonymity because his Army Reserve commitment has yet to expire. "Guys in other units only had two, but most Rangers had three. They wouldn't tell us what they were for."

Here's Pol's link in a more clickable format. Pol can you wave your hat for us mate! And snap that link when you get a chance, it's blowing the page width out. (O_o)


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