Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

Chinese couple forced to get abortion report further harassment

USA TODAY | Jun 27, 2012

By Calum MacLeod

China suspended three officials and apologized to a woman who was forced to undergo an abortion seven months into her pregnancy in a case that sparked a public uproar.

BEIJING – A couple forced into an abortion for not paying the fine for an extra child say they are being tormented by Chinese authorities despite the punishment of seven officials connected to the case.

“Over 10 people here watch us 24 hours a day,” said Deng Jicai, who is caring for her sister-in-law Feng Jianmei in the Zengjia township hospital where the abortion took place.

Her brother and Feng’s husband, Deng Jiyuan, telephoned Tuesday to report he was safe in another town after a beating he took in their home province of Shaanxi, where townspeople held a protest march Sunday against the family.

Marchers accused the family of being “traitors” for complaining to foreign news media that Feng was forced into a car June 2 by authorities, taken to a hospital and given drugs to induce labor and end her pregnancy at seven months.

Photos posted on the Internet of Feng lying in her hospital bed with her dead baby daughter by her side sparked unusual and widespread anger in a nation long accustomed to both voluntary and forced abortions. Feng and her husband, who have a 5-year-old daughter, were unable to pay in time the fine for having a second child.

Seven Chinese officials have been punished, including two firings, in connection with the incident, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday. While the Chinese government remains committed to controlling family sizes, an online survey on Tencent QQ, a popular microblog, found almost 83% of respondents considered family planning policy “inhumane” and said it should be abolished.

Ankang city authorities, in charge of Zengjia township, said their investigation showed that Feng’s late-term, forced abortion was a “rule-violating responsibility incident,” prompting disciplinary measures such as “records of demerit” for the hospital dean, Xinhua reported.

The result of the investigation angered some Chinese.

Yang Zhizhu, a law professor fired for having a second child, complained that the announcement said nothing about whether criminal procedures will be initiated against any of the authorities involved.

“What’s worse, the reason for the punishment is late-term abortion, but they didn’t say that forced, late-term abortion is not right,” he wrote.

Beijing-based rights lawyer Zhang Kai said he was certain the protests against the family have been organized by the local communist authorities.

“The aim is to scare people and put pressure” on the family, said Zhang, who met with Deng Jiyuan. Chinese society “must change from the current ‘stability maintenance’ model to a rule of law model. We should not try to cover up one mistake with another.”

Social stability is a key performance measure for officials, who react strongly when they’ve been embarrassed, said Sarah Schafer, a Hong Kong-based China researcher for Amnesty International.

“If it’s true that local officials are still punishing this family, that is horrendous and inexcusable,” she said. “The pressure to meet population quotas must stop.”

Aleister Crowley: Torquay’s Warlock and James Bond’s arch-enemy

TORQUAY resident Aleister Crowley (1875 –1947) was a mystic and magician, and the founder of the religious philosophy of Thelema.

Local historian Dr Kevin Dixon takes a look at the truth and the myth about this extraordinary character.

This is SouthDevon | Jun 26, 2012

Also known as Frater Perdurabo and the Great Beast, Crowley is known today for his mostly self-published magical writings and is recognised as one of the most influential occultists of all time.

Seeing himself “in revolt against the moral and religious values” of his time, Crowley proclaimed that he was a bisexual drug ‘fiend’. He took the motto ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’. However, this dedication to excess left a series of deeply damaged women and men its wake.

As a consequence, he gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, and was denounced in the Edwardian popular press as “the wickedest man in the world.”

Crowley has remained an influential figure, and a BBC poll in 2002 described him as being the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.

References to him can be found in the works of numerous writers and filmmakers. His reputation particularly appeals to musicians. Jim Morrison and Ozzy Osbourne have written songs about Crowley. Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy Page took his interest in the occult to the extent of buying Crowley’s Scottish mansion, Boleskine House, and he owned a large collection of Crowley memorabilia.

Crowley is in the back row on the famous cover of the Beatles’ 1967 album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The inclusion of the world’s most notorious magician led some American Christian evangelicals to condemn the Beatles as Satanists.

Aleister Crowley occult career began in Torquay.

In 1891, he lost his virginity at the age of 15 to a young actress in the town. He later wrote:

“The nightmare world of Christianity vanished at the dawn. I fell in with a girl of the theatre in the first 10 days at Torquay, and at that touch of human love the detestable mysteries of sex were transformed into joy and beauty. The obsession of sin fell from my shoulders into the sea of oblivion. I had been almost overwhelmed by the appalling responsibility of ensuring my own damnation and helping others to escape from Jesus. I found that the world was, after all, full of delightful damned souls.”

In 1917 Crowley referred to this encounter in a short novel ‘Not the Life of Sir Roger Bloxham’:

“’Twas at Torquay in Devon, land of stream and cream…, merry maids and proper men, tall fellows and bold… and of cider stronger and sweeter than your Norman can make for all his cunning; and this girl was a play-actress, rosy as the apples, and white as the cream, and soft as the air, and high-spirited as the folk, of that enchanted dukedom…”

Yet, at the time, when his horrified mother learned of his loss of innocence she condemned her teenage son as the ‘Beast’. This was the title Crowley was to adopt as he went on to provoke and outrage Christian society.

Later in his life, he returned to Torquay, staying first at the Grand and then in a house in Barton. Hopefully, by this time, he had given up trying to raise demons.

This is where Crowley’s story gets even stranger.

While he was living in Torquay during the War, Crowley was reputedly visited by British Intelligence. They wanted his advice on how to deal with Hitler’s Deputy Rudolf Hess.

On the eve of war with the Soviet Union, Hess had flown solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with Britain, but instead was arrested.

British Intelligence knew that Hess was interested in the occult and during the Nazi’s initial interrogation, they tracked Crowley down to his home in Great Hill Road in order to ask his advice.

The elderly man who called himself ‘the Great Beast 666’ was living alone and writing patriotic poetry to encourage the war effort.

Crowley had written to the director of Naval Intelligence, Ian Fleming, offering his help:

“Sir: If it is true that Herr Hess is much influenced by astrology and Magick, my services might be of use to the Department in case he should not be willing to do what you wish.”

Crowley’s offer of joining the interrogation team wasn’t taken up. Yet, he did also suggest that the RAF should drop ‘occult literature’, written by himself, on the Germans as a way of confusing and demoralising the enemy.

Le Chiffre played by Orson Welles

In 1952, the same Ian Fleming was writing his first novel entitled ‘Casino Royale’. He wanted an arch-villain to rival his new hero, James Bond. The ‘wickedest man in the world’ was an ideal embodiment of intelligent evil. Hence, Aleister Crowley became the model for the Le Chiffre character.

As well as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, a later Bond super-villain was supposedly inspired by Crowley.

This was Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the sixth Bond movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (1969), played by Telly Savalas.

It’s suggested that Crowley’s demand that he should be addressed by an aristocratic title he had invented (‘Sir Crowley’), was the inspiration for one of the major plot points in OHMSS. This was when Blofeld threatens to cause mass destruction if his coat of arms isn’t recognised.

Crowley died in Hastings in 1947 at the age of 72. The cause of death was given as a respiratory infection. He had become addicted to heroin after being prescribed morphine for his asthma and bronchitis many years earlier.

Among some occultists, the name Aleister Crowley can still evoke reverence. Variants of his Magical Order and his Magick are still practiced throughout the world. Others just see him as a self-publicist, an exploiter of vulnerable men and women and a fraud.

Google vows full service to Israeli Mossad spy agency

Chief executives of the search engine, Google, vowed to render full service to the Mossad spy agency.

abna.ir | Jun 27, 2012

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Chief executives of the search engine, Google, vowed in a recent meeting with Israeli prime minister to render full service to the Mossad spy agency.

“Investment in Israel was among the best decisions ever made by Google,” Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said during the meeting with Netanyahu.

During the meeting, Netanyahu gave Schmidt a sketch which showed the Israeli flag hoisting above Google’s emblem.

Western media reports had also earlier revealed that Google renders continued and special services to several spying agencies, including the CIA.

Traveler: TSA agent spilled grandfather’s ashes and laughed about it

TSA is investigating traveler’s complaint about agent opening and spilling ashes at Orlando airport checkpoint.

Orlando Sentinel | Jun 27, 2012

By Henry Pierson Curtis

ORLANDO, Fla. — John Gross remembers frantically trying to scoop up his grandfather’s ashes and wondering why the Orlando TSA agent who spilled them was laughing.

Moments earlier, Gross’s carry-on bag had passed through an X-ray machine at Orlando International Airport when he said he heard someone call out, “Bag check.”

It was about 7:25 a.m. June 19 and he was booked on an 8 a.m. United Express connecting flight to Newark and then home to Indianapolis with a small glass jar of his grandfather Mario “Mark” Marcaletti’s cremated remains.

But that’s when he said a female Transportation Security Administration agent wearing blue latex gloves opened his bag, twisted open the jar labeled, “Human Remains,” and accidentally spilled at least a quarter of its contents.

“I thought it was routine at first and then I thought, ‘What the hell was she doing this for?'” Gross said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Orlando Sentinel. “I got upset. She was laughing right at me — not a chuckle — she was laughing.”

Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman in Miami, said the agency is investigating the incident to find out what happened.

TSA Agent Uses Her Hands To Sift Through Human Ashes

“We have been unable to reach the family to learn more about their perspective on the incident, however, our initial review concluded that the circumstances as described in some reports are inconsistent with what we believe transpired,” Koshetz wrote in a later email to the Sentinel.

TSA policy permits passengers to carry cremated remains aboard aircraft as long as the containers undergo X-ray inspection.

“We understand how painful losing a loved one is, and we respect anyone traveling with crematory remains,” states the cremated remains policy on the TSA website. “Out of respect to the deceased and their family and friends, under no circumstances will an officer open the container even if the passenger requests this to be done.”

Dropping to the floor after the spill, Gross said he reached for all the bigger pieces of remains but there was no way to collect everything without a dustpan and broom.

The TSA agent kept laughing without offering help, he said. And passengers waiting to get their bags were stalled behind him as he spent 10 to 15 seconds on his knees grabbing what he could, Gross said.

“I didn’t want to cause a scene because I didn’t want them to throw me off my flight or put me on the no-fly list,” said Gross, 30, a restaurant manager. “It didn’t really hit me until I got on the plane.”

During a three-hour layover in Newark, Gross said he spoke to TSA officials there who were apologetic about what happened and gave him a telephone number for a TSA manager at OIA. During a brief telephone call with TSA’s Orlando office, Gross said a woman told him she would speak to TSA agents about how to handle human remains.

“She basically hung up on me because there was nothing she could do,” Gross said. “I don’t want anything. All I want is an apology. And I want to understand where they get off treating people like this.”

Gross had spent two weeks in Central Florida visiting his uncle and aunt, Walt and Nancy Gross of Deltona, who gave him the jar of ashes. It’s a close family that descended from his grandfather, a Sicilian immigrant who moved to Indiana, took a job with the Penn Central Railroad and became a Chicago Cubs fan until his death at 91 in 2002.

“My grandpa I’m sure is up there in heaven laughing about this. I’m wondering who stepped in his ashes and where they are now. Maybe a little bit made it to Cubs’ stadium,” Gross said. “You’ve got to laugh about it but when you get down to it, it’s not a laughing matter.”