Daily Archives: February 24, 2009

Time: A Brief History Of The Skull & Bones Society

Time | Feb 23, 2009

By M.J. Stephey

The Skull and Bones Society Building

The Skull and Bones Society Building

On Feb. 17, the 100th anniversary of Geronimo’s death, descendants of the Apache warrior filed a federal lawsuit against the secretive Skull and Bones society of Yale University demanding that the group — which it claims is in possession of Geronimo’s remains — return them to his family. “I believe strongly from my heart that his spirit was never released,” Geronimo’s great-grandson Haryln Geronimo, 61, told the National Press Club.

As legend has it, Prescott S. Bush — the father of President George H.W. Bush and grandfather to President George W. Bush — dug up Geronimo’s grave in 1918 with the help of several other “Bonesmen,” as members of the society are known, and stole the warrior’s skull, two bones and some riding gear from his grave at Fort Sill, Okla. The society allegedly put the remains on display at the “The Tomb,” an imposing, windowless crypt in New Haven, Conn. that has served as the group’s headquarters since its founding in 1832.

Conspiracy theories about the Skull & Bones Society are almost as old as the society itself. The group has been blamed for everything from the creation of the nuclear bomb to the Kennedy assassination. It’s been aped in bad teen horror films and satirized, along with fellow conspiracy-group targets the Freemasons and the Illuminati, in The Simpsons. Even CNN has done a segment on the Prescott grave-robbery saga.

Prescott Bush stole Geronimo’s Bones – CNN Report

A young Yale junior named William Russell founded the group after spending a year abroad in Germany among members of some of the most mystical and elite clubs in the world, including organizations that mimicked the Enlightenment-era Illuminati. Russell returned to the U.S. determined to found a secret society of his own and “tapped” Alfonso Taft, whose son would later become President William H. Taft, to be among the first members of “The Brotherhood of Death,” or as it was more formally known, “The Order of the Skull and Bones.” Members worshipped Eulogia, a fake goddess of eloquence, glorified pirates and reportedly hatched schemes of world domination at the “Tomb” — which is rumored to have a landing pad on the roof for the society’s private helicopter.

Skull and Bones formed at Yale University, the third-oldest school in the U.S. and an institution “known for its strange, Gothic elitism and its rigid devotion to the past,” according to journalist (and Yale secret society alumnae) Alexandra Robbins. Skull and Bones is not the only secret society at the school either: others include the Scroll and Key, Wolf’s Head, Berzelius and Book and Snake, all of which like keeping tabs on one another, some in the form of dossiers that include “reliability ratings.” Each group picks its members in a highly confidential manner and subjects them to rounds of occult hazing rituals — what pledging a fraternity might be like, perhaps, at Hogwarts.

But given the secrecy of the groups, whether a young Henry Luce (founder of Time magazine) really laid naked in a coffin and told the tales of his early sex life during his Skull and Bones initiation, or if William F. Buckley jumped into a mud pie as part of his hazing, or whether any of the three Bush Bonesman (Prescott, H.W., and W.) actually received a gift of $15,000 and the guarantee of a lifetime of financial security upon being selected — all these rumors, publicized over the years by Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times and numerous independent book authors, might never be known.

Minus the trappings of wealth, privilege and power, Skull and Bones could be a laughably juvenile club for Dungeons-and-Dragon geeks. But its rumored alumni have made up a disproportionately large percentage of the world’s most powerful leaders. (One historian has likened the society’s powers to that of an “international mafia,” for as another writer put it, “the mafia is, after all, the most secret of societies.”) Bonesmen have, at one time, controlled the fortunes of the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Ford families, as well as posts in the Central Intelligance Agency, the American Psychological Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and some of the most powerful law firms in the world.

During the 2004 presidential election, the Republican and Democratic candidates were both former Bonesmen, though neither would say much about the subject. “It’s a secret,” John Kerry said when asked about his membership; “So secret, I can’t say anything more,” George W. Bush wrote in his autobiography, as if to complete Kerry’s sentence.

The group has remained silent about the lawsuit from Geronimo’s descendants. But in a time when the Internet is opening up previously private information to the world and even Swiss banks are spilling their secrets, the activities of the Skull & Bones society might not be able to stay so clandestine for long.

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Amnesty International: Gaza white phosphorus shells were US made

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Palestinian civilians and medics run to safety during an Israeli strike over a UN school in Beit Lahia, Gaza  (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

The Times | Feb 24, 2009

By Sheera Frenkel in Jerusalem

White phosphorus bombs used by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip were produced and supplied by American arms manufacturers, according to an Amnesty International report that called for a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel.

The report documented dozens of weapons used by Israel and Hamas during the three-week offensive, concluding that both groups had carried out attacks on civilians constituting war crimes punishable by international law. The UN Security Council should impose an embargo until a mechanism was established to ensure that military equipment was not used to carry out such violations, said Amnesty.

Donatella Rovera, who headed the Amnesty fact-finding mission, said that the group had systematically collected and catalogued shells across Gaza, and traced serial numbers back to factory production lines in the US.

“All of the evidence points to the failure of America to exercise due oversight of what they sell to Israel, which is in breach of their own laws… which require that weapons will not be sold to a country where they will be misused. And the manner in which these weapons were used in Gaza is a war crime.”

The human rights group said that weapons experts in Gaza found white phosphorus artillery shells marked M825 A1 – a US-made munition – throughout the coastal strip. The Times published photographic evidence that Israel was using the M825 A1 shells on January 8. At that time, Israeli military spokesmen denied that the weapon was being used, saying: “This is what we call a quiet shell – it has no explosives and no white phosphorus”.

After the Gaza conflict, Israel acknowledged using white phosphorus in a manner “according to international law”. Israeli media reported that the military was investigating the incident on January 15, when several white phosphorus artillery shells hit a UN headquarters in Gaza City, destroying tens of tons of humanitarian aid. Amnesty said that they had found shells with the marking PB-91K018-035, a lot number which indicates that they were assembled by Pine Bluff Arsenal (PB) in October 1991.

Mark Regev, spokesman for the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that the report was “fundamentally flawed” and “tainted” by Hamas.

“Every effort is made to avoid having innocent civilians caught up in the crossfire between us and Hamas,” Mr Regev said.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the report “unfair”, claiming that Hamas did not receive weapons from other countries, but defended themselves with “rifles and other primitive means”.

Ms Rovera said that Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups had fired hundreds of rockets at civilians in Israel made of components from abroad.

“Though far less lethal than the weaponry used by Israel, such rocket firing also constitutes a war crime and caused several civilian deaths.”

A number of other weapons were catalogued in the Amnesty report, including flechette shells – which release thousands of metal darts – and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME). Amnesty also said that it found evidence of a new type of missile that dispersed into tiny cube-sized shrapnel pieces “designed to cause maximum injury”. The report said that several children had been killed by the new weapon.

In another instance, Amnesty said that it found fragments of an AGM114 Hellfire missile, made by the Florida-based Hellfire Systems, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, that had been fired at an ambulance, killing three Palestinian paramedics and a boy in Gaza City on January 4.

The US has long been the largest arms supplier to Israel. Under a 10-year agreement negotiated by the Bush Administration the US will provide £21 billion in military aid to the country.

“As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights. The Obama Administration should immediately suspend US military aid to Israel”, said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East director.

Time Magazine 1974: Another Ice Age?

“It would seem that men and women need a common motivation, namely a common adversary, to organize and act together in the vacuum such as motivation seemed to have ceased to exist or have yet to be found. The need for enemies seems to be a common historical factor. Bring the divided nation together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one INVENTED for the purpose…

Democracy will be made to seem responsible for the lagging economy, the scarcity and uncertainties. The very concept of democracy could then be brought into question and allow for the seizure of power…

In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

– “The First Global Revolution” (1991) published by the Club of Rome.

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Note from Aftermath News: This article was worked up in 1974 to whip up public hysteria at the “threat” of another ice age, that is, one supposedly caused, at least in part, by human activity over the previous century or so. Then, when the Earth went into a warming phase due to increased solar activity (Mars and other planets began warming at the same time!) during the 80s and 90s, a new “threat” had to be created, that is, “anthropogenic global warming”. And now in 2009, the Earth is again entering another cooling phase with sea ice returning to 1979 levels, increasing glacial formation and record-breaking low temperatures across the northern hemisphere also averaging out to levels not seen since the 70s. Therefore, be on the lookout for a new climate change propaganda angle as the weather changes (as it likes to do) and we enter global cooling again.

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Time | Jun 24, 1974

In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada’s wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone’s recollection.

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.

Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world. Indeed it is the widening of this cap of cold air that is the immediate cause of Africa’s drought. By blocking moisture-bearing equatorial winds and preventing them from bringing rainfall to the parched sub-Sahara region, as well as other drought-ridden areas stretching all the way from Central America to the Middle East and India, the polar winds have in effect caused the Sahara and other deserts to reach farther to the south. Paradoxically, the same vortex has created quite different weather quirks in the U.S. and other temperate zones. As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms—the Midwest’s recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.

Sunspot Cycle. The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth’s surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth’s tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere—thereby altering the earth’s climate. Some observers have tried to connect the eleven-year sunspot cycle with climate patterns, but have so far been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of how the cycle might be involved.

Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin’s Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

Climatic Balance. Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service’s long-range-prediction group, think that the cooling trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth’s climate. Indeed, it is to gain such knowledge that 38 ships and 13 aircraft, carrying scientists from almost 70 nations, are now assembling in the Atlantic and elsewhere for a massive 100-day study of the effects of the tropical seas and atmosphere on worldwide weather. The study itself is only part of an international scientific effort known acronymically as GARP (for Global Atmospheric Research Program).

Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.

The earth’s current climate is something of an anomaly; in the past 700,000 years, there have been at least seven major episodes of glaciers spreading over much of the planet. Temperatures have been as high as they are now only about 5% of the time. But there is a peril more immediate than the prospect of another ice age. Even if temperature and rainfall patterns change only slightly in the near future in one or more of the three major grain-exporting countries—the U.S., Canada and Australia —global food stores would be sharply reduced. University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: “I don’t believe that the world’s present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row.”