Monday, February 25, 2013

Israel's Script Turns Sour

Hollywood used to portray Israelis as heroic and brave. Today, it's films about the brutality of the occupation that make it to the silver screen. 


For years, Paul Newman and his blue eyes shaped America's perception of Israel.

 Newman starred in Exodus, a 1960 Hollywood blockbuster set in 1947, the final year of the British mandate in Palestine. The film depicts Ari Ben Canaan, played by Newman, as an idealized sabra hero-warrior -- tough, brave, handsome, taciturn, and a lady-killer. Ben Canaan, a leader in the Haganah, the preeminent Jewish paramilitary organization of the time, fought with the British during World War II; but now he is fighting against their policy of limiting the immigration of Jewish refugees from the scorched remains of Hitler's Europe. The film takes its name from the SS Exodus, a leaky boat packed with Holocaust survivors that the British ultimately sent back to Europe. It goes on to recount the story of the establishment of the State of Israel in a mythical narrative, entirely from the Zionist point of view.

A few years later, Kirk Douglas starred in Cast a Giant Shadow, a fictionalized account of Col. David "Mickey" Marcus, an assimilated Jewish-American who fought with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War Two, where he saw Dachau. Recruited by Haganah representatives in New York, Marcus agrees to train and command units of the nascent Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 War of Independence.
Naturally, the blond, assimilated American Jew falls in love with an olive-skinned, raven-haired female Israeli warrior who knows how to handle a weapon. The film's a classic, so I don't suppose I'll be guilty of spoiling the end by revealing that Marcus is killed. But of course he lives on as a legend, etc. 

Hollywood churned out one more film about heroic Israelis. Raid on Entebbe, released in 1977, stars Charles Bronson as the commander of an elite military unit tasked with rescuing Jewish and Israeli passengers on an Air France flight hijacked by terrorists. The film may have continued the tradition of the heroic sabra warrior, but stylistically it was a mediocre made-for-television production with a clunky script and wooden acting.

Since then, however, the image of the heroic Israeli valiantly fighting for survival has faded from the silver screen. Hollywood movies about Jews have focused on the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Israel's domestic films -- the stories that Israelis tell about themselves -- have long been much more self-critical.

Starting from the 1960s, several Israeli films that cast a less than positive light on the Jewish state have been nominated for Oscars in the best foreign film category. Sallah Shabati, a 1964 film featuring Chaim Topol (who went on to star in Fiddler on the Roof), is a merciless sendup of some of Zionism's most sacred cows. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir hated it. Avanti Popolo (1986) is an anti-war film that takes place in the Sinai in the aftermath of the 1967 war. In Beyond the Walls (1984), rival gangs of Jewish and Palestinian prisoners overcome their political differences when they agree to go on a hunger strike as a means of bringing attention to the corrupt behavior of an Israeli security officer.

This year, an Israeli movie and a Palestinian-Israeli co-production are vying for best foreign film. Both are documentaries and both are about Israel's occupation of the West Bank -- but they are told from very different perspectives. Five Broken Cameras, co-directed by Emad Burnat (a Palestinian) and Guy Davidi (an Israeli), shows the occupation through the eyes of Palestinians in the West Bank village of Bil'in -- which, like several others, has been severed from its agricultural lands by the route of Israel's security barrier. The narrative of the film focuses on the birth of Burnat's youngest son, Gibreel, in 2005; over the next five years, the child learns to walk and talk against a background of unremitting violence.

There are the Friday afternoon protests, when unarmed villagers face down soldiers who shoot endless rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets; there are the nocturnal invasions of Israeli soldiers in noisy armored vehicles, come to search homes and arrest men and boys; the injury and death of close relatives; the arrival of aggressive, ideological settlers; and the continuing theft of his family's land to accommodate the security barrier. I have visited Bil'in and witnessed some of the scenes depicted in the film with my own eyes, but still flinched on each of the three occasions I watched them replayed on a screen.

The Gatekeepers, directed by veteran filmmaker Dror Moreh, shows the occupation from the perspective of the hardened men tasked with hunting down Palestinian militants and maintaining the security of Israel's civilian population. Moreh interviews all six living directors of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, who describe with striking candor how they have been almost entirely engaged in pacifying the Palestinian population under Israeli military control since 1967. I write "almost" because they also had cause to arrest Jewish extremists who plotted to blow up the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, where the al-Aqsa Mosque is located -- one of the holiest sites in Islam. Had they succeeded, says one of the former Shin Bet directors, Israel would have been attacked by every Muslim state in the world.

 But mostly their job has been -- and continues to be -- to monitor and control the Palestinian population. They describe learning to speak fluent Palestinian Arabic and memorizing the layout of every single village in the West Bank and Gaza, conveying the suffocating sense that no Palestinian civilian ever has freedom of movement or privacy. They coldly describe summary executions and targeted assassinations that took the lives of many innocent bystanders.

Remorse? There is no room for remorse here, they say. But when Moreh confronts them with the fact that their policies have only perpetuated a cycle of violent retaliation, with no end in sight, they blink. And they acknowledge -- remarkably, with no hesitation -- that they have been engaged in short-term tactics with no long-term strategy. 

"We are winning the battle and losing the war," says Ami Ayalon, Shin Bet chief from 1996 to 2000.
"We have made the lives of the Palestinians unbearable," says Carmi Gillon, his predecessor.
"The future is gray and bleak," says Avraham Shalom, who headed the Shin Bet from 1980 to 1986.
"We have become a Shin Bet state," confirms Yuval Diskin, who retired from the Shin Bet in 2011 - i.e., a state that is ruled by its internal security service rather than governed by its elected representatives.
Forget looking for a leader with vision -- these men present a grim picture of an Israeli state without leadership of any kind. They are tough, humorless, professional paranoiacs who have committed many evil deeds, but they talk like peaceniks. The only way to resolve this conflict is to sit down and negotiate, they agree. And yes, that includes talking to Hamas.

Dror Moreh is forthright about having made this film in order to spark a conversation in Israel that would lead to positive change. A patriot and a liberal, he is terribly worried about his country's future. "I'm not interested in people who look away from their reflection in a cracked, rusty mirror because they don't like what they see," he told me during an interview in New York. "I'm interested in the people who can look unflinchingly at their reflection, even if they don't like it."

The Gatekeepers was released in Israel in January. It was widely reviewed and drew audiences into cinemas around the country for sold out screenings. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has not seen the film and has no intention of doing so, the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles hosted a reception for Moreh. Consul General David Siegel has embraced the film as evidence that Israel is a vibrant democracy that supports a diversity of opinion, even if it is highly critical of the state's institutions and government.
The path of Five Broken Cameras, however, was far more difficult. Davidi said, during an interview conducted in New York, that none of the commercial cinemas in Tel Aviv would screen it; instead, the film found a home at the Cinematheque, the local art house cinema. For the most part, local critics ignored the film. But then it won an award at the Sundance Film Festival, and laudatory reviews from major newspapers like the New York Times poured in.

 And then came the Oscar nod. The nomination led to an unseemly competition for credit, with both the Israeli and Palestinian media claiming it as their own. But Davidi announced this week that not only did he not want the film to be perceived as representing the State of Israel, but that he was a supporter of BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions), the civil society movement that advocates an economic and cultural boycott of Israel. At that, the Israeli consul general in Los Angeles backed away from the film.

A third documentary portraying the devastating moral and physical repercussions of the occupation has been released in the past 18 months. The Law in These Parts, which was directed by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, is a series of striking interviews with former judges in Israel's military courts, where Palestinians are tried and convicted at a rate of 99 percent for offenses ranging from suspected association with a militant organization or stone throwing to military action. The retired judges acknowledge that they knew torture had been used to extract confessions from the men and boys they sent to jail. And they readily take credit for policies that provided a legal veneer to the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land for Jewish settlements. Again, they show no remorse.

This is not the first time Israeli directors have turned out a crop of thematically unified films grappling with controversial aspects of their country's recent history. The trilogy of films about the occupation comes about five years after a trilogy of films about Israel's 1982 invasion and 18-year occupation of Lebanon. Waltz With Bashir, Beaufort, and Lebanon are all powerful films told through the eyes of the men who fought there, all of whom seem to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Waltz and Beaufort were both nominated for Oscars in the foreign film category, though neither won. They are similar in theme to the crop of Hollywood films about the American soldier's experience in the Vietnam War -- films like The Deerhunter and Born on the Fourth of July.

There is little evidence of the sabra hero-warrior in any of these films. Paul Newman is dead in more ways than one. But with one exception, all of them are about the effect of the occupation, or the effect of serving in a misguided war, on Israelis and Israeli society. Only Five Broken Cameras forces the viewer to see the occupation through the eyes of Palestinians -- not masked men carrying Kalashnikovs, but women and children and unarmed men who just want to pick their olives and be left in peace.

For Israelis, this means identifying, at least a little bit, with people they have been conditioned to think of as terrorists and enemies. Maybe that's why the commercial cinemas in Tel Aviv shied away from the film. And perhaps that is why so few liberal Israelis have expressed opposition to the security barrier, even as they continue to advocate, at least in theory, a negotiated two-state solution: It is easier to ignore the people on the other side if you can't see them.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New race for colonies begins in Africa

Western ‘neo-colonial’ powers – particularly France - have started to reach back to West Africa, masking their colonial ambitions as ‘humanitarian intervention to protect human rights,’ Ken Stone from Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War stated to RT.

Earlier this week, France sent its special forces to Cameroon in search of seven French tourists who were k
idnapped in the north of the country on Tuesday. Paris accused the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram of being behind the abduction. On Thursday, the kidnapped tourists were reportedly found alive in an abandoned house in Nigeria.

France – whose presence in Africa used to be rather strong – still has several military bases and hundreds of troops on the continent. In the past several years, Paris’ has intensified its activity in former colonies.

First, there was its mission in the Ivory Coast. And in January this year, France launched a military operation in Mali to help the local government fight Islamist rebels. Finally, this week its troops entered northern Cameroon.

RT asked Ken Stone from Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War if French involvement in West Africa has become a trend.

Ken Stone: Yes, I’m afraid so. And the trend is called ‘neo-colonialism.’ It’s a part of the old colonial powers reaching back to Africa for its resources where they used to operate a century ago.

France was the colonial power in West Africa and during its many decades there it literally enslaved the people of West Africa to work in their mines, in their factories and on their plantations. In fact, slavery wasn’t even abolished in Mali until 1905.

After WWII, the colonial powers of Africa were kicked out by national liberation movements which were somehow supported by the former Soviet Union.

However, after the Soviet Union collapsed and the US war on terror began, the former neo-colonial powers were once again flexing their muscles. And they were starting to reach back to Yugoslavia, and to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now into West Africa.

If the main product of Mali, for example, were mushrooms, there would be no French troops there or in Niger. But the main export is uranium. And that’s very important to the French. And that’s why the French are there, that’s why NATO is there, that’s why – unfortunately - Canada is there as well.

I think the main point is this is unfortunately a trend. Like the 19th century race for colonies, we have we have the 21st century race for colonies beginning. That’s a tragic fact.

RT: With militants being active in Algeria, Mali, Nigeria, and Cameroon - what is really happening in West Africa?

KS: It’s a complicated situation. Many of the national boundaries that were drawn by the colonial powers have no parrying at all on the location of the indigenous nations of Africa. So, people are divided on different sides of boundaries. Most people don’t even recognize many of the boundaries in the Saharan region and the sub-Saharan region.

There’s a further problem. The West has introduced Al-Qaeda-type terrorists into Africa where they want them, where they didn’t exist in any significance before. So that has created a can of worms.

The main point though is that the Western powers – the European neo-colonial powers, the US and NATO – have no right to act as the police of the world.

In the 19th century race for colonies, they said that they had the white man’s burden to carry on their shoulders to civilize the people of Africa. In the 21st century they call it the “humanitarian intervention to protect the human’s rights.” Those are both frauds and the Western countries really have absolutely no say in what goes on in West Africa. They should have no say.

RT: What are the chances the special-forces deployment in Cameroon could escalate into a full-scale operation, like in Mali?

KS: It could. But it’s not likely. Ever since their colonial rule ended, the French’s had a policy of ‘force de frappe’ – which is striking force, an expeditionary force, a special force – where they go in and they deal with a certain immediate problem and they leave. They do not have the stomach to maintain an occupation for a long period of time.

The problem for neo-colonial powers like France is that the so-called ‘rebels’ or Jihadists or whoever it may be, merely have to melt into the bush wait and out the expeditionary force. And when the expeditionary force leaves they come right back in. And the problem is that there is no permanent fix to this.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Israeli Soldier: Stoned, naked, armed and dangerous

Stoned, naked, armed and dangerous: more disturbing images from an Israeli soldier’s Instagram


Golani Brigade soldier Osher Maman, who came from a troubled youth in Florida, posts photos of himself breaking Israeli military law and playing with weapons in irresponsible ways. Source
As Mor Ostrovski’s now infamous Instagram image of a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle generated disgust around the world, the Israeli army claimed that the photograph was “a severe incident which doesn’t accord with the IDF’s spirit and values.”
It is understandable that an occupation army that markets itself as the “most moral army in the world” would attempt such damage control.
Those who follow matters closely know that the photograph was an apt symbol for the Israeli army’s contempt for the lives of Palestinian children, as well as for the total impunity soldiers accused of crimes against Palestinian civilians enjoy. Even in terms of “misuse” of social media, it was no isolated incident.
Israeli soldiers’ use of social media has given a unique insight into an “army” that functions more like a rabble – with soldiers misusing weapons, breaking laws, and expressing violent and extreme views and posting images of themselves doing it online.

From troubled Florida youth to the Israeli army

A case in point is Osher Maman, another 20-year-old Israeli soldier currently enlisted in the “elite” Golani Brigade.
Maman’s Instagram account currently includes 549 images which show, among other things, images of him mishandling weapons and breaking military laws. The earliest date from April 2012 and the most recent from today. An illustrative selection – with tags where he included them – are used throughout this post. Maman also expresses deeply racist and even genocidal views towards Palestinians and Arabs.
Maman, who grew up in Naples, Florida after his family left Israel a decade ago, made the news in 2006 when as a 14-year-old he brought a BB gun given to him by his parents to school and used it to threaten two girls.
Maman also has an adult criminal history with records of arrests in February 2011 and in May 2011 for “trespassing on school grounds.”


Osher Maman’s Facebook page, which features many of the same images that can be seen on his Instagram account but also goes back earlier, identifies him as a former student of Barron Collier High School in Naples, Florida, and uses the nickname “Eazybaby” which resembles the name of his Instagram account eazybaby310.
An Osher Maman was a member of the graduating high school class of 2010 according to the Naples Daily News on 5 June 2010.
Maman’s Facebook bio says: “From israel to Miami to the I.D.F Kik: eazybaby310 An active assassin/hitman” and he identifies himself as a member of Barak, the 12th Battalion of the supposedly “elite” Golani brigade. This is corroborated by many images he has posted of weapons, uniforms and other military paraphernalia bearing the insignia of this battalion.
Maman wrote a message on Facebook on 13 August 2011:
im leaving to the israeli army this monday, just wanted to say.. fuck the police, fuck barron collier high school and all the staff, fuck all the judges, fuck all you little hater faggots that blow up my fb and phone talking shit, fuck the bitches that cheated on me, fuck the virus i just got on my computer and whoever created it, fuck you fuck you fuck you, whos next…
One year later, Maman celebrated the anniversary of his move in another Facebook status:
So one year ago i moved here to join the army… Im not gonna make up some bullshit glorious story to break your heart… I just did it to beat up terrorists and shit… Happy one year anniversary Mmmmmffffffckasss!!!

Not exactly a boy scout

An image he posted of its insignia indicates that Maman was recruited directly from the United States via “Garin Tzabar” a program that recruits Jews and Israelis from overseas into the army. Maman identifies himself as a Garin Tzabar member on his Google Plus account.
A comment made on a website dedicated to Garin Tzabar, from the Facebook account of Maman’s mother, Batya Sabag, a social media consultant in Naples, Florida, also identifies her son as a graduate of the program.
One of the requirements of the Garin Tzabar program is a “Certificate of Good Conduct (proof of no prior criminal record).”
This military recruitment program for the Israeli occupation army is run by the Israel Scouts.
According to an image posted by Maman, on 5 April 2012 his military service had begun 138 days previously (which would be November 2011) and will end on 19 November 2014.


A montage posted by Osher Mamam features a blindfolded and bound Palestinian prisoner, weapons, and tags that reveal fantasies of violence. Source

Misuse of weapons

When Maman was arrested and charged in the BB gun incident – classified by authorities as a weapon, not a toy, his father, Zion Maman, told media that “the culture in Israel has a more relaxed view about toy guns.”


Basic rule of gun safety: don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot. Source
That relaxed view extends to real guns, mortars, grenades and all sorts of other heavy weapons that Osher Maman is seen handling, sometimes naked, and using as toys and props in disturbing images he posted online.
These images suggest that the Israeli army exercises little control or discipline over weapons.


Star of David formed with guns. Source


This gun appears to be loaded and it’s definitely not a toy. Source


Does the Israeli army just leave mortar shells lying around for use as Instagram props? Source


More weapons for Osher Maman to play with. Source


Playing God? Note the caption Osher Maman has attached to this image of what might be the controller of remote weapon system. Source

Maman posts images of himself breaking military law


A criminal offense under Israeli military law, Golani brigade soldier Osher Maman smokes marijuana in his uniform. Source
Images posted on Maman’s Instagram account show him smoking marijuana in uniform and on duty, in direct contravention of Israeli army order “33.011 - Use of Drugs - procedures for report, detention, and initiating a military police investigation.”


Osher Maman with a joint while on duty. Source
Military order 33.011 states that the use of drugs, including hashish, “constitutes a criminal offense and harms the army, so this order does not leave room for the commanders’ discretion.” It adds that, “All soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces are prohibited from possessing drugs, taking them, or trading in them.”


Osher Maman shows off his stash. Possession is a criminal offense under army law. Source
What does it mean that the Israeli army recruits a soldier, with a dubious history, who is stupid enough to post images of himself committing more criminal offenses?
Is this a man who should be handling – playing with – lethal weapons in any circumstances? Or does it mean that this Most Moral Army so lacks discipline that soldiers like Maman can break the law without fear of consequences?

A lust for violence and genocidal hatred of Arabs

Osher Maman freely expresses his deep, even genocidal hatred of Palestinians and his desire to see them oppressed and killed. Responding to a comment on one of his images, for example, Maman told the commenter
Lmao for all I care you can comment all my pictures, you’re still a fucking Arab pile of shit, you even smell like it. You’re never going to win over israel (the chosen people) bc you’re a bunch of slaves, shit I probably am the slave master of some Arab who’s related to you… An you all will stay trapped in gaza and every little shittt village that you Palestinians have inside of israel. And you will continue to go to our jails and to have your houses broken in to. Basically your life will be shit until you all die, so go ahead and have fun commenting on my pictures of that’s going to make your death a little better…


Note the horrifying tags Israeli soldier Osher Maman, who took a BB gun to school as a teen and used it to threaten two girls, has attached to this image. Source
In addition to the endless stream of photos of himself and his buddies posing with guns, Maman shares images and slogans glorifying violence, especially, of course, against Palestinians.


Over a map of Gaza, the Hebrew slogan says “Soon to be a giant theme park.” Source
Osher Maman is not a “rotten apple.” He, along with Mor Ostrovski – the author of the infamous photo of the boy in the crosshairs – is another symbol of the occupation army under whose arbitrary and dictatorial rule Palestinians have been forced to live for decades.
It is soldiers just like these who whine to the Israeli media that they can’t be more brutal and violent against Palestinians because cameras are watching them.
It is soldiers just like these who are responsible, though never punished or held to account, for the killings of Palestinian children like Samir Awad, Salih al-Amarin and Muhammad al-Salaymeh, young men like Mustafa Tamimi and Rushdi Tamimi and young women like Lubna Hanash among so many thousands more.
With thanks to Benjamin Doherty for research and to Dena Shunra for research, translation and analysis.



Monday, February 18, 2013

World War 3-The Unthinkable Cost of Preserving the Petrodollar

If you want to understand what's happening in the Mideast,particularly in Libya, Syria and Iran, you must first understand the main driving force behind U.S. foreign policy. Contrary to mainstream media propaganda, it is not their desire to spread democracy or to prevent tyrannical despots from murdering their own citizens. The real agenda is to protect the Petrodollar system, because it is the only thing that is currently preventing the total collapse of their fiat currency.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The 30 Greatest Job Titles In The History of Mankind

The 30 Greatest Job Titles In The History Of Mankind
See, there are a lot of great jobs out there. You simply have to be willing to focus on the ones that make absolutely no sense and require no hard work whatsoever.

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jackson galaxy

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bride kidnapping expert

chocolate beer specialist

FAP Specialist

female web designers

funny job titles


shredded cheese authrotiy

teen exorcist

town crier

chief trouble maker

best job title ever

contestant escort

food network jobs

hot dog choreographer


Read more at 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Boriska : Indigo Boy from Mars

A boy named Boris Kipriyanovich (above), or Boriska, lives in the town of Zhirinovsk of Russia’s Volgograd region. He was born on January 11, 1996. Since he was four he used to visit a well-known anomalous zone, commonly referred to as Medvedetskaya Gryada – a mountain near the town. It seems that the boy needed to visit the zone regularly to fulfill his needs in energy.

Boriska’s parents, nice, educated and hospitable people, are worried about their son’s fascinating talents. They do not know how others will perceive Boriska when he grows up. The say that they would be happy to consult an expert to know how to raise their wunderkind.

Being a doctor, his mother could not help but notice that the baby boy could hold his head already in 15 days after his birth. He uttered the first word ‘baba’ when he was four months old and started to pronounce simple words soon afterwards. At one year and a half he had no difficulties in reading newspaper headlines. At age of two years he started drawing and leaned how to paint six months later. When he turned two, he started going to a local kindergarten. Tutors immediately noticed the unusual boy, his uncommon quickwittedness, language skills and unique memory.

However, his parents witnessed that Boriska acquired knowledge not only from the outer world, but through mysterious channels as well. They saw him reading unknown information from somewhere.

“No one has ever taught him,” Boriska’s mother said. “Sometimes he would sit in a lotus position and start telling us detailed facts about Mars, planetary systems and other civilizations, which really puzzled us,” the woman said.

How may a little boy know such things? Space became the permanent theme of his stories when the boy turned two years old. Once he said that he used to live on Mars himself. He says that the planet is inhabited now too, although it lost its atmosphere after a mammoth catastrophe. The Martians live in underground cities, Boriska says.

The boy also says that, he used to fly to Earth for research purposes when he was a Martian. Moreover, he piloted a spaceship himself. It took place in the time of the Lemurian civilization. He speaks about the fall of Lemuria as if it occurred yesterday. He says that Lemurians died because they ceased to develop themselves spiritually and broke the unity of their planet.

When his mother brought him a book entitled “Whom We Are Originated From” by Ernest Muldashev, he got very excited about it. He spent a long time looking through the sketches of Lemurians, pictures of Tibetan pagodas, and then he told his parents of Lemurians and their culture for several hours non-stop. As he was talking, his mother noticed that Lemurians lived 70,000 years ago and they were nine meters tall… “How can you remember all this?” the woman asked her son. “Yes, I remember and nobody has told me that, I saw it,” Boriska replied.

In Muldashev’s second book “In Search of the City of Gods” he looked through pictures for a long time and recollected a lot about pyramids and shrines. Then he claimed that people would not find ancient knowledge under the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The knowledge will be found under another pyramid, which has not been discovered yet. “The human life will change when the Sphinx is opened, it has an opening mechanism somewhere behind the ear, I do not remember exactly,” he said.

Boriska is one of so-called indigo children. They start to appear on Earth as a token of the forthcoming grand transformation of the planet.

The boy says that the displacement of Earth’s poles will cause two catastrophes: in 2009 and 2013. Only a few people will survive, he said.

“No, I have no fear of death, for we live eternally. There was a catastrophe on Mars where I lived. People like us still live there. There was a nuclear war between them. Everything burnt down. Only some of them survived. They built shelters and created new weapons. All materials changed. Martians mostly breathe carbon dioxide. If they flew to our planet now, they would have to spend all the time standing next to pipes and breathing in fumes,” Boriska said.

“If you are from Mars, do you need carbon dioxide?”

“If I am in this body, I breathe oxygen. But you know, it causes aging.”

Specialists asked the boy why man-made spacecraft often crash as they approach Mars. “Martians transmit special signals to destroy stations containing harmful radiation,” Boriska replied.

The boy has deep knowledge of space and its dimensions. He is also aware of the structure of interplanetary UFOs. He talks about that like an expert, draws UFOs on slates and explains the way they work. Here is one of his stories: “It has six layers. The upper layer of solid metal accounts for 25 percent, the second layer of rubber – 30 percent, the third layer of metal – 30 percent, and the last layer with magnetic properties – 4 percent. If we give energy to the magnetic layer, spaceships will be able to fly across the Universe.”

Boriska has a lot of difficulties with school. After an interview he was taken to the second grade, but soon they tried to get rid of him. He constantly interrupts teachers and says that they are wrong… now the boy has classes with a private tutor. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century

New nations seem to pop up with alarming regularity. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200! Once a nation is established, they tend to stick around for awhile, so a nation disappearing is quite uncommon. It’s only occurred a handful of times in the last century. But when they do, they completely vanish off the face of the globe: government, flag, and all. Here then, in no particular order, are the top ten countries that had their moment in the sun but are, alas, no more.

10. East Germany, 1949-1990

Created from the Soviet controlled sector of Germany after the Second World War, East Germany was probably best known for its Wall and its tendency to shoot people who attempted to cross over it. Now, it’s one (over-reactionary) thing to shoot foreigners who are trying to enter your country illegally, but these were its own people!
Basically little more than a Soviet satellite state, the collapse of the notorious Wall and, with it, the demise of the old Soviet Union brought an end to this failed experiment in Communism, and it was integrated back into the rest of Germany in 1990. Because East Germany was so far behind the rest of Germany economically, however, its reintegration with the west almost bankrupted Germany. Today, however, things are swimming along nicely, thank you.

9. Czechoslovakia, 1918-1992

Forged from the remnants of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, during its brief existence it was one of the few bright spots in Europe, managing to maintain one of the continent’s few working democracies prior to the Second World War. Betrayed by England and France in 1938 at Munich, by March of 1939 it had been completely occupied by Germany, and vanished off the map. Later it was occupied by the Soviets, who turned it into another vassal state of the old Soviet Union until that nation’s collapse in 1991. At that time, it finally reestablished itself as a vibrant democracy.
That should have been the end of the story, and probably would have been, had not the ethnic Slavs in the eastern half of the country demanded their own independent state, breaking Czechoslovakia in two in 1992. Today, it exists as the Czech Republic in the west, and the nation of Slovakia in the east, making Czechoslovakia no more. Though considering that the Czech Republic maintains one of the more vibrant economies in Europe, the far-less-well-off Slovakia maybe should have reconsidered.

8. Yugoslavia, 1918-1992

Like Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia was a by-product of the breakup of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of WWI. Basically made up of parts of Hungary and the original state of Serbia, it unfortunately did not follow Czechoslovakia’s more enlightened example. Instead, it maintained a somewhat-autocratic monarchy until the Nazis invaded the country in 1941, after which it became a German possession. With the collapse of the Nazis in 1945, Yugoslavia somehow managed to avoid Soviet occupation but not Communism, coming under the socialist dictatorship of Marshal Josip Tito, the leader of the partisan Army during WWII. It remained a nonaligned authoritarian socialist republic until 1992, when internal tensions and rival nationalism resulted in civil war. The country then split into six smaller nations (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro,) making it a textbookexample of what happens when cultural, ethnic, and religious assimilation fails.

7. Austro-Hungary, 1867-1918

While all of the countries that found themselves on the losing side after the First World War suffered economically, and geographically to some degree, none lost more than the once-powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire, which found itself carved up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey in a homeless shelter. Out of the dissolution of the once-massive empire came the modern countries of Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, with parts of it going to Italy, Poland, and Romania.
So why did it break apart when its neighbor, Germany did not? Because it lacked a common identity and language, and was instead home to various ethnic and religious groups, most of whom had little to do with each other…to put it mildly. In effect, it suffered a large-scale version of what Yugoslavia suffered, when it saw itself similarly torn apart by nationalistic fervor. The difference was that Austro-Hungary was carved up by the victors in WWI, whereas Yugoslavia’s dissolution was internal and spontaneous.

6. Tibet, 1913-1951

While the land known as Tibet has been around for over a thousand years, it wasn’t until 1913 that it managed become an independent country. Under the peaceful tutelage of a chain of Dalai Lamas, it finally ran afoul of Communist China in 1951 and was occupied by Mao’s forces, thus ending its brief foray as a sovereign nation. China occupied an increasingly-tense Tibet throughout the ’50s until the country finally rebelled in 1959, which resulted in China’s annexation of the region and the dissolution of the Tibetan government. This finished the nation for good and turned it into a “region,” rather than a country. Today it remains a big tourist attraction for the Chinese government, though it still has issues with Beijing, by insisting it be granted its independence once again.

5. South Vietnam, 1955-1975

Created from the forceful expulsion of the French from Indo-China in 1954, someone decided it would be a good idea to split Vietnam in two, roughly at the 17th parallel, leaving a Communist north and a pseudo-democratic south. As with Korea before, it didn’t work any better in Vietnam, resulting in intermittent warfare between the two halves that ultimately dragged the United States into a conflict (again with the Korea comparisons,) that was to result in one of the most draining and costly wars in American history. Finally hounded out of the country by dissent at home, America left South Vietnam to fend for itself in 1973, which it did for only two more years, before the Soviet-backed North finally rolled over the country, bringing an end to South Vietnam and renaming Saigon—its capitol—Ho Chi Minh City. It’s been a socialist utopia ever since.

4. United Arab Republic, 1958-1971

In yet another ill-fated attempt to bring unity to the Arab world, Egypt’s fiery socialist president, Gamel Abdel Nasser, thought it would be a splendid idea to unite with his distant neighbor, Syria, in an alliance that would effectively surround their sworn enemy, Israel, and make them a regional superpower. Thus was created the short-lived U.A.R., an experiment that was doomed to failure almost from the start. Being several hundred miles apart made creating a central government almost impossible, while Syria and Egypt never could quite agree on what constituted national priorities.
The problem might have been rectified had Syria and Egypt managed to link their halves together by destroying Israel, but that nasty Six Days War came along in 1967, dashing their plans for a common border, and handing both halves of the U.A.R. a defeat of biblical proportions. After that the merger’s days were numbered, and finally came to an anti-climactic end with the death of Nasser in 1970. Without the charismatic Egyptian President around to hold the fragile alliance together, the U.A.R. quickly dissolved, restoring the nations of Egypt and Syria once again.

3. Ottoman Empire, 1299-1922

One of the great empires in history, the Ottoman Empire finally came to an end in November of 1922, after a pretty respectable run of over six hundred years. Once extending from Morocco to the Persian Gulf, and from Sudan to as far north as Hungary, its demise was a slow process of dissolution over many centuries until, by the dawn of the 20th century, it was but a shadow of its former self.
But even then, it was still the main power broker in the Middle East and North Africa, and might still be that way today had it not chosen to ally itself with the losing side in World War I. It saw itself dismantled in the aftermath, with the biggest chunk of it (Egypt, Sudan, and Palestine) going to England. By 1922 it had outlived its usefulness, and finally died when the Turks won their war of independence in 1922 and abolished the Sultanate, creating the modern-day nation of Turkey in the process. Still, you’ve got to give it credit for making such an impressive run before giving up the ghost.

2. Sikkim, 8th century CE-1975

What? You’ve never heard of the place? What rock have you been hiding under? Seriously, it’s not likely you would have heard of tiny, land-locked Sikkim, nestled securely in the Himalayan Mountains between India and Tibet…er, China. About the size of a hot dog stand, it was basically one of those little-known, and largely forgotten, little monarchies that managed to hold on into the twentieth century before it finally realized it had no particularly good reason for being independent, and decided to merge with modern India in 1975.
Its coolest claim to fame? Though just a little bigger than Rhode Island, it has no fewer than eleven official languages, which must play havoc with traffic signs—assuming, that is, that they have any roads.

1. Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Union), 1922-1991

What would the 20th century have been without the good ‘ol USSR to stir things up? One of the truly scary counties on the planet until its anticlimactic collapse in 1991, for seven decades it stood as the bulwark of Marxist Stalinism, with all the misfortune that brought with it. It was created in the chaotic aftermath of the breakup of Imperial Russia after WWI, and both survived and thrived despite inept economic policies and brutal leadership. The USSR actually managed to beat the Nazis when no one thought that Hitlercould be stopped, enslaved eastern Europe for over forty years, instigated the Korean War in 1950, and very nearly got into a shooting war with the United States over Cuba in 1962, making its tenor on the world stage nothing if not eventful.
Finally coming apart in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, and the subsequent collapse of Communism in eastern Europe, it broke into no fewer than fifteen sovereign countries, creating the largest new block of countries since the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. What followed was the pseudo-democratic Republic of Russia, though it still retains much of the autocratic air it has always been famous for.