Thursday, August 20, 2009

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The Illuminati of CEOs' assistants

Its goal: "To establish a bond of cooperation and friendship among secretaries to leaders" -- and, by leveraging this network, help both them and their bosses do a better job. "When I find it hard to track someone down," says Speyer, "I can always rely on Carole and her Seraphic Society pals."

In an era of economic turbulence and increased CEO turnover -- not to mention the embrace of social networking -- it's no wonder that the Seraphic Society and other groups like it are flourishing.

0:00 /6:05The biz of social networking

Although the Seraphic Society is the oldest and arguably the most exclusive, a similar group, the Silicon Valley Catalyst Association (SVCA), was founded in 1995 for executive assistants, or EAs (the term "secretary" has mostly gone the way of the Dictaphone), to CEOs in the Valley; its members now include aides to the CEOs of Facebook, Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500), Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), and Google (GOOG, Fortune 500). There are at least two groups specifically for assistants to celebrities -- one on each coast -- and dozens of regional organizations for executive assistants have sprouted up on LinkedIn and Facebook.

"The networks are a critical aspect for support during these times for all of us," says Leni Miller, president of EASearch, which places top-level executive assistants.

While some 4.2 million people now define themselves as administrative professionals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- making it one of the largest single job titles in the country -- the men and women tapped to support those in the corner office are in a class by themselves.

"If the CEO's job is the loneliest job, the CEO's executive assistant has the next loneliest job," says Xerox chairman and former CEO Anne Mulcahy, whose assistant, Rosemary Clark, has worked with the three most recent CEOs at the company, including Ursula Burns, who took over in July. "You really don't have any peers, the role you play is always under the microscope, and clearly there's got to be a discretion that's pretty demanding."

That's an understatement. An EA to a bigtime CEO is regularly asked to do everything from booking a constantly shifting 24/7 schedule to finding a pharmacy open in Tokyo at 3 a.m. to, lately, shielding the CEO from an angry mob of paparazzi. Assistants can earn salaries well into the six figures, often manage staffs of their own, and are expected to be on call at any moment of any day -- without ever violating the trust and privacy that a top executive depends upon.

"There's not a minute when I don't know where he is," says Denise White, EA for the past 10 years to Kenneth Chenault, CEO and chairman of American Express. "He may want to get his shoes shined. That's fine," she says. "I just need to know."

Then there are the special requests many a master of the universe is known to make. Just ask the assistant who had to locate a sheep for a birthday surprise -- then arrange for its transport to a farm when it wasn't allowed inside the building for health reasons. The world of celebrity assistants, of course, is famous for such personal tasks, known as "P&Cs" (personal and confidential). "When money is no object," says Bonnie Low-Kramen, founder of New York Celebrity Assistants and the assistant to actress Olympia Dukakis, "it opens up a whole new area of needs."

But no EA can have every answer or fulfill every request. That's the allure of their groups, which allow EAs to network for jobs, share war stories, and, not insignificantly, help smooth the way for their bosses wherever possible. "If I have to call, say, Jamie Dimon's office and set up an appointment," says Clark, Mulcahy's former assistant, "you know that you'll see one of your Seraphic sisters along the line and try to help each other out." (There was a Seraphic brother once, but he left.)

Most of all, such organizations provide a support network for a job that is, in many ways, unique. "When you work at the CEO level, you don't really have anyone you can share things with," says Debbie Gross, chief executive assistant to Cisco's John Chambers for the past 18 years and a founding member of the SVCA.

No surprise, then, that these organizations place a premium on exclusivity. The high-end EA world is a small club -- and a very selective one. Potential new Seraphics cannot apply, but must be suggested -- and vetted -- by current members. What's more, it's not enough to be great at your job: Aspiring members are judged not only on their own reputation and experience but also on that of their boss. (Lloyd from "Entourage," don't even bother.) The SVCA, aware of the potential impact that any leaks could have on its members' companies, requires members to sign a nondisclosure agreement before every meeting.

The Seraphic Secretaries of America, as it was originally called, was the brainchild not of an assistant or a boss but of a PR man named Frederick Darius Benham. While trying to get attention from executives, he soon realized he couldn't get anywhere without building a relationship with their gatekeepers. So in 1938, according to the self-published history of the group, "A Chronicle of the Seraphic Society," he began to hand out "an award of merit" for "unfailing courtesy, tact, politeness, charm, urbanity, gentility, civility, amiability, good temper, and sweetness" whenever he came upon an assistant who went beyond the call of duty.

In 1940 he invited 12 secretaries to dinner at the Lexington Hotel in Manhattan. (The secretary to Dale Carnegie was among the attendees.) The following year's highlight was the presentation of the group's "Secretary of the Year" title, complete with a Remington Rand typewriter, to Phyllis Moir, author of "I Was Winston Churchill's Private Secretary." Though not a Seraphic, Moir brought public attention to the group -- a boon for Benham, if not for those angels of discretion.

Ultimately, the Seraphics split from Benham, holding annual banquets, regular membership meetings, and eventually an elegant "bosses' dinner" every five years, funded by the companies themselves.

Early attendees included the president of the New York Stock Exchange and the head of American Airlines, who in 1948 arranged for a group of Seraphics, many of whom had never flown, to cruise over Manhattan in a brand-new DC-6. Bernard Baruch, the financier and government adviser, spoke at the 13th-anniversary dinner in 1953. Five years later it took place on the Highlander yacht, owned by Seraphic boss Malcolm Forbes. In the early 1980s a group of Seraphics took a trip to China. And at the society's 65th-anniversary dinner, an elegant affair at New York City's Metropolitan Club in 2005, 39 bosses attended.

Of course, in today's environment of CEO firings and massive layoffs, some of that glamour has melted away, replaced by such practical issues as finding a new job and saving your boss money. Out of deference to the economic climate, Seraphic president Mary Troy, executive assistant to Harry Hohn, the retired CEO of New York Life, says next year's bosses' dinner has been canceled, and the group is focusing its efforts on developing a much-needed website and doing more charity outreach.

Still, the ultimate goal, say Seraphics and their counterparts in other organizations, is to make the connections that help them help their bosses. SVCA has a "best practices" book with tips on how to find a nanny, how to charter a private plane, and who makes the best birthday cakes in New York. The group hosts regular speakers at its meetings (Dave Roux, partner at venture capital firm Silver Lake, was a recent guest), as well as compensation experts, recruiters, estate planners, and workshops on using Google more effectively.

It is, in many ways, a shadow infrastructure to the famously tight bonds between Silicon Valley CEOs -- and one with just as much power when it comes to getting anything done in technology. (Note to readers: If you tick off, say, Cisco's Gross, good luck getting in the door at Facebook.)

Although it is certainly thrilling to be a member of a CEO's or a celebrity's inner circle -- affording invitations to high-end receptions, rides on private jets, and the like -- job security is a big issue, especially these days. If a boss falls from grace, so does his or her team.

While she says she couldn't be happier, it can't have been easy for Shake Nahapetian, a Seraphic who worked with former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg through his rise and fall -- and now his attempt to build a new business -- or for the Seraphic assistant to former Sotheby's CEO Diana "Dede" Brooks when she pleaded guilty to price-fixing.

Even worse than your boss losing his or her job: the possibility of having to work for -- gasp -- a vice president. "If you've been the queen," says Cisco's Gross, "it's hard to go back to the other population." The SVCA has helped its members negotiate their own versions of the golden handcuffs their bosses get, and EAs whose bosses have moved or been fired are allowed to stay in the group for a year.

Ultimately such organizations, for all their selectivity, serve as a reminder to CEOs that they probably couldn't get through a single day without the help of their assistant. "When the partnership is good," says recruiter Miller, "it's like a marriage. But if you don't have the right support, it's worse than having no support at all."

In the case of Xerox's Clark, the EA proved to be the common link between new and old leadership when Mulcahy came in during a time of crisis. "In some ways she trains the CEO," Mulcahy says. "She taught me the protocols and had all of the knowledge about how to respond to things and who needed what. When I made mistakes, it was because I wasn't listening to her." Advice for us all. To top of page

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FDA: Mercury Fillings Not Harmful

WebMD - Kathleen Doheny - ‎Jul 28, 2009‎
When the fillings are placed in the teeth or removed, or during chewing, mercuryFDA. At high levels, mercury can cause ... vapor is released, according to the

Mercury contaminated fish is widespread - ‎Aug 20, 2009‎
Some of the issues that arise from mercury consumption are damage to the nervous system and learning disabilities, according to the FDA. ...
New Hib Vaccine Granted Accelerated Approval Atlanta Journal Constitution

Deyton to head tobacco regulation effort

Honolulu Advertiser - ‎Aug 20, 2009‎
A government test of fish pulled from nearly 300 streams in the United States found every one of them contaminated with some level of mercury. ...

Reaction to the FDA's Mercury Classification Not Surprising

Dental Care - ‎Aug 6, 2009‎
Dental amalgam is universally acknowledged to expose people to mercury, but by making it a class II device, the FDA has passed on the opportunity to demand ...

FDA concludes mercury in dental fillings not risky

San Jose Mercury News - Suzanne Bohan - ‎Aug 2, 2009‎
It was something of an about-face for the FDA, which last year settled a lawsuit with anti-mercury activists by posting on its Web site a precaution saying ...

Impact Fusion International Inc. Retains Award Winning Mercury ... (press release) - ‎2 hours ago‎
Mercury is DEA licensed and registered with the EPA and the FDA and is a Liquor Control licensed broker. ( Mercury also gives global cost ...

Geron faces delay in human embryonic stem cell trials

SmartBrief - ‎Aug 19, 2009‎
... it "will work closely with the FDA to facilitate their review of the new data and to release the clinical hold." San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (08/18)
First embryonic stem-cell trial placed on hold by FDA (subscription) (subscription)

The Politics of Mercury and Your Teeth

Huffington Post - ‎Aug 11, 2009‎
... safety of mercury. The agency did, however, reclassify it from a class I to a class II device. By placing it in this category (moderate risk), the FDA ...

How to Tell If You're Poisoning Yourself With Fish

Discover Magazine - ‎Aug 20, 2009‎
Last year the FDA cited another potential source of harm for children and, through their mothers, fetuses: mercury contained in dental amalgams (those ...

In the video above I speak with Charles Brown, legal counsel for the Consumers for Dental Choice, which is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to educate the public about the health and environmental dangers of mercury fillings, and to ensure more effective government oversight on amalgam. Charles discusses the processes he's been undertaking for the last 10 years to get dangerous mercury fillings removed from the market, and brings you up to speed on where we are today with the FDA's most recent, atrocious ruling.

The U.S. FDA has issued a final regulation classifying dental amalgam without calling for stringent precautions for pregnant women and children -- even though last June a court settlement filed by the Consumers for Dental Choice required the FDA to withdraw claims of mercury amalgam's safety from its Web site and issue an advisory indicating:

"Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses."

Instead, the FDA has classified the fillings as class II devices, meaning the agency is claiming that they are completely harmless. This stands in direct contradiction of the conclusions of the FDA's own panel of scientific experts, and the findings of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).

In fact, mercury dental fillings contribute 2 to 3 times as much mercury to the human body as all dietary and environmental sources combined. IAOMT is urging the FDA to change the ruling, ban dental amalgam from commerce and issue a mandatory recall on the product.

Charles Brown says:

"FDA broke its contract and broke its word that it would put warnings for children and unborn children for neurological damage. Bowing to the dental products industry, FDA for the first time in its history pulled a warning about neurological harm to children.”

“This contemptuous attitude toward children and the unborn will not go unanswered,” said Brown. “We will see FDA in court."

Vapors from dental mercury go into the human body. Due to mercury waste, amalgam is also increasingly targeted by environmentalists. Amalgam has also become controversial because the middle-class has largely moved to non-toxic alternatives while the poor, minorities, and institutional recipients, such as soldiers and prisoners, still get mercury amalgam.

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Lady GaGa Is Possibly an Illuminati Puppet, Still Probably Not a Dude

Prefixmag - Mike Burr - ‎Aug 11, 2009‎
The website Vigilant Citizen has posted evidence that Lady GaGa is actually a pawn of the storied Illuminati group. After making the obvious connection from ...
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Branch Davidian leader David Koresh once battled a rival to see which one could revive a corpse.

House of Yahweh leader Yisrayl Hawkins believed that sexually transmitted diseases contributed to global warming.

And the Reverend Sun Myung Moon claimed that Jesus, Buddah, Confucius, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and God -- among others -- held a meeting in heaven where they affirmed in writing that Moon was the father of all humanity.

"Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies" could just as easily have been titled "The Encyclopedia of Crazy."

Followers of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, for example, were engaged in "a feast of f***ing . . . not seen since the Roman bacchanalia."

The Family International openly employed their female members as "God's whores," having them pick up strange men in bars so they could proselytize to them after sex.

And the Kabbalah Centre -- famously patronized by Madonna -- was founded by a one-time insurance agent whose notable accomplishment was to "dumb down and mass produce" Kabbalah, eliminating the "deep study and mentally challenging meditations" that might take time away from plastic surgery appointments.

The book's subjects, many of whom have overlapping inspirations or behaviors (the book of Revelations figures heavily throughout, as do conspiratorial granddaddies the Freemasons and the Illuminati) are best summed up in a quote Goldwag includes from writer H.L. Mencken, who once said, "The central belief of every moron . . . is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy."

Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies

The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and Many, Many More

by Arthur Goldwag

Vintage Books

Secret societies have infiltrated DAP, claims Johor chief

The Sun Daily - ‎Jul 28, 2009‎
JOHOR BARU (July 28, 2009) : Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau (pix) says the underworld is rearing its head in the party and secret society members have ...

DAP members lodge reports after claims of secret society threats

Malaysia Star - ‎Jul 29, 2009‎
... had links with the underworld, with certain people in the party setting the dangerous precedent of using secret societies to strengthen their positions. ...

Masonic Lodges Open Those Mysterious Doors

New York Times - Eve M. Kahn - ‎14 hours ago‎
A replica of a mildewed 14th- century scroll has been unfurled and displayed at a library in New York. An eagle clutching arrows and ribbons, ...

The mysterious world of a Freemason's wife

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press - Rowan Mantell - ‎1 hour ago‎
Freemasons have been shrouded in secrecy for centuries. The international network of many thousands of men, linked by strange handshakes and solemn vows, ...

Wiltshire Masons' gift to lifesavers

This is - ‎Aug 20, 2009‎
Francis Wakem, provincial grand master of Wiltshire Freemasons, said: “Air ambulances play an important role in ensuring people get the medical help they ...

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Government schools are killing America - ‎Aug 18, 2009‎
Molotov Mitchell is president of the award-winning Illuminati Pictures and the national spokesman for the Domestic Emergency Network. ...
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Soft Kill - The Coming American Genocide

The People's Voice - B.A. Brooks - ‎Aug 20, 2009‎

The CDC and many doctors have been warning for years that it is not an issue of “if”, but “when” a major H5N1 Avian Flu outbreak will decimate humanity. A pandemic that would make the 1918 Spanish Flu look small in comparison. Hundreds of thousands of birds have been culled over the past several years in order to stop just such outbreaks from presenting themselves. Today we find ourselves a few months into a major H1N1 Swine Flu global pandemic which according to WHO and The CDC has killed 700 people worldwide to date.

What I am about to tell you is almost unbelievable so I added the link, but in The USA between 5% and 20% of Americans contract the flu each year, killing up to 35,000 annually. I really had no idea that many people were dying each year from the regular old flu. Shocking. Did you know that the Spanish flu of 1918 killed some 50 million people? I only bring this up because this new flu is being compared to the Spanish flu in great lengths. It may only be a coincidence, but it just so happens that the 1918 Spanish Flu has been tracked down to originating from a military base in central Kansas called Fort Riley, where a soldier came down with a fever infecting over 100 others before the day‘s end.

I believe that after reading this article you will believe as I do. This was by no means a coincidence. It is well documented in main stream news sources that our own government and military machine have been secretly experimenting on our troops and even private citizens, most without any knowledge of what was being done to them. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments are one good example of this and another would be MK Ultra. There have been many reasons given when looking where HIV/AIDS originated and in 1987 The London Times broke the story announcing the ugly truth in their earth shattering report Smallpox vaccine 'triggered Aids virus. That’s right, now you know that through the smallpox vaccine, the deadly aids virus was awakened. Or maybe you have never looked into Factor 8. This is where Bayer Pharmaceuticals released HIV in there medicines.

Recently the swine flu vaccine has been linked to a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), and in Germany the vaccine has been linked to cancer. Vaccines are and have always been very controversial leading right up to today when we are facing a mandatory global mass vaccination set to begin as soon as September/October 2009. Recently WHO recommended mandatory vaccinations for almost 200 countries and I know that many parents are worried and concerned about the safety in such a vaccine being shot into their children. It is well known there are so many different strains of flu viruses, that there are no guarantees the normal vaccines available now for the everyday normal flu will protect you from getting sick. Plus vaccines are put through rigorous testing for sometimes years, but Baxter and others have magically prepared a vaccine in a matter of months for human trials? I do not think so. This is the same Baxter Pharmaceuticals that recently released the avian bird flu virus in medicine to 18 countries.

The statistics linking autism and other diseases to vaccines are horrific and shocking, which tells me it is more about money than protecting our populations. So what will happen to you and your loved ones if you do refuse the flu vaccine? Will you be treated like a criminal? The answer is yes. You will be identified, tracked, treated and quarantined. The government is already sanctioning your local schools as mass vaccination clinics and it looks like the children will be the first to get the shots. So what I ask is which do we fear more? The Flu or The Vaccine? Oxford researchers have already warned not to give your children Tamiflu.

Right now eight cities are involved in swine flu vaccine trials with about 2,800 people participating. In 1976 there was a flu scare just as we are experiencing today, but the vaccine ended up killing more people than the actual flu virus. What is interesting is that Baxter applied for the swine flu vaccination patents in 2008, which was way before any breakouts were confirmed. It has also been confirmed that CDC and FEMA have been purchasing hundreds of thousands of plastic coffins. If you want to see the hundreds of stacks of these coffins, just go to you tube and search FEMA COFFINS. When you look at the big picture, it seems that our government and military have been preparing for this event spanning some time now. Could this be excellent planning by our leadership or could this be an actual plan that is being played out in order to create a total police state using fear and the human condition brought on by spin doctors and the mass media industrial machine?

Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin recently asked publicly why internment camps are being built, while others are asking why The National Guard is advertising for Internment Specialists. Many of you have heard reports about FEMA CAMPS and scoffed in disbelief, and those of you who fall into this category should look at H.R. 645 which calls for no fewer than six internment camps to be built within U.S. military instillations. The 1st brigade already have 20,000 US troops on the ground in America and the pentagon is now asking for another 400,000 troops to be deployed on American soil. We know the military will be assisting with the mass vaccinations and will be easily deployed if civil unrest becomes an issue within our borders. The National Guard are training now for riots and our military/law enforcement have put everything in place to lock down America if martial law is ordered. The Department of Defense is pushing for domestic control while our Governors are opposing The DOD’s Emergency powers.

There has been a huge effort to label ordinary Americans as home grown terrorists by law enforcement/Fusion Centers and government agencies. We have all seen the MIAC report, VFC report, DHS report and the FBI reports which identify patriotic Americans as enemies of the State. The questions keep mounting as we must ask which is the greater evil? The Swine Flu? The Vaccine? Or the new American police state orchestrated by our government, law enforcement and military?

The message being put out by the mass media is that this flu will lye dormant until this fall, when it could kill millions of the global populations. Whether the swine flu is real or another bio entity is released upon us, it is very clear that we are all being acclimated to believe that there is a real danger this fall starting around October 2009. Could this all just be a false flag event which will allow our leadership to conceal the total economic collapse that is destined to happen in our once great country while also ushering in a new world order in which every world leader has spoken of over the last decade?

The real question is do you trust your government and your elected officials? Well, do you? It seems that U.S. leadership in all areas of government, law enforcement and military are pitting the people against the empire which could result in the Second American Revolution. Getting us all to kill each other would complete the agenda set forth by the efforts of many inside the illuminati and new world order. Take the time to research Agenda 21 and Codex Alimentarius to start your journey, after following the links that I have included in this article. Organizing and preparing is the key to surviving our dark future. Stock up on food, medicine, water, and a water purifying system asap. Pray for the best while preparing for the worst.

  • The military machine has been put in place
  • You have been labeled a right wing extremist
  • Death is knocking at your front door
  • Are you home?

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    Goto first unread Witchcraft in the White House
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    Kristen Atkinson, a blogger over at the Townhall website, has posted an article claiming Marian Robinson, the 72-year old first grandmother who lives at the White House, is practicing Santería, otherwise known as voodoo. A close friend of Michelle Obama says the president became furious at his mother-in-law.

    According to Atkinson, Marian Robinson became increasingly frustrated as her husband, Fraser Robinson, was hobbled by multiple sclerosis in the late 1980s, and turned to “Santeria in a desperate hope” to cure him. “Michelle put her foot down when she heard that her mother took her dad to ceremonies where they did spells and trances, and sacrificed animals, chickens and goats I think. But Marian was desperate and kept going anyway, even when her husband was to sick to go with her. I don’t think the president knew anything about this earlier because it was before they met. Michelle and Craig (her brother) wanted to close the book on this and never talked about it again after their father died in 1991.”

    Robinson, concerned about her failing health, invited an old friend from Chicago to visit her at the White House and the friend performed a Santeria ceremony in the residence. “No voodoo in the White House. Absolutely. I don’t care what you call it,” Obama allegedly declared.

    Obama may be outraged by a voodoo priestess chanting in the White House, but paganism at the highest levels of government is nothing new or particularly shocking.

    The global elite pulling Obama’s strings are dedicated paganists and their religion is based on the mystery school religions of Sumer and Babylon. “Most modern human beings are convinced that … pagan gods passed into the dustbin of history two millenia ago, but we suspect that this may not be the case. Repeatedly throughout history, the elites of the Great World Empire have been attracted to religious secret societies such as these, which maintain a high regard for the ancient pagans,” write Jerry Russell and Richard Stanley.

    A prime example of the global elite’s obsession with the mystery school religions is the Bohemian Grove ritual, where the hand-picked minions of the elite — 1,500 of America’s most influential CEOs, government officials, financiers, industrialists, and media moguls — worship a giant 40-foot owl and sacrifice a mock human being in effigy they call Dull Care. Members include former presidents George W. Bush, his father, Henry Kissinger, and David Rockefeller.

    Another example is Skull and Bones, aka The Order of Death, a secret society that has George W. Bush and John Kerry as members. Skull and Bones features bizarre occult initiation rituals and an obsession with death. Numerous Bonesmen can be traced to positions of enormous influence, including the Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Relations, captains of industry, and all branches of the establishment. The secretive gathering at Bohemian Grove is an off-shoot of Skull and Bones.

    The British press has exposed the occult activities of Cherie Blair and her famous husband, Tony Blair, the former prime minister. In 2004 the London Times reported on the fact that Tony Blair had made political decisions based on new age readings. “Among the milder activities Cherie Blair is said to have taken jars of her own and her husband’s hair and nail clippings to health guru who ‘dowsed’ the jars by waving a pendulum over them to detect ‘poisons and blockages’ that could affect the Blairs,” Steve Watson wrote for Prison Planet on September 21, 2005.

    “This all sounds bizarre and incredible, you couldn’t make it up. Yet we have seen again and again how elite figures are obsessed with these kinds of activities,” Watson comments. “It seems that with absolute power comes an urge to tap into the dark side of humanity and any kind of underworld that lies beyond. It is therefore not surprising that our so called leaders and decision makers that have led us into a period of intense conflict and disharmony around the world are the same people who pander to and in many cases engage in such dark occult activities.”

    It is also not surprising that Obama’s mother-in-law paraded around the White House with a voodoo priestess, although this may not have anything to do with the elite’s obsession with mystery religions, the occult, secret societies, and The Order of Death.

    However, it is suspicious that Obama carries around “charms,” as documented by Time Magazine. One of Obama’s charms happens to be an image of Hanuman, as known as Bajrang Bali, the monkey god and one of the most revered gods in the Hindu religion, the largest pagan religion in the world.

    Isn’t it strange that Obama, described ad nauseam as a Christian, would carry around a pagan idol?

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    Laura Martin Addresses the Council

    Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo Addresses the Council

    Debbie Russell Addresses the Council

    Jim Stetsman Addresses the Council

    John Bush Addresses the Council

    Fancy Fairchild Addresses the Council

    Texas Impact Addresses the Council

    Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo Addresses the Council

    Mike McDonald, Art Acevedo, and David Douglas Address the Council

    Final Segment

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    Judge Orders Google to Identify 'Skanks' Blogger

    Switched - Terrence O'Brien - ‎22 hours ago‎
    by Terrence O'Brien (RSS feed) — Aug 19th 2009 at 5:22PM Remember back in January when model Liskula Cohen was the target of a blog called 'Skanks in NYC?

    Skanks For The Memories: What We Learn From Liskula's Pain

    PC World - ‎6 hours ago‎
    People who use Internet anonymity to cover their filthy tracks should take notice. Liskula Cohen's case shows they can be unmasked, and fairly easily, too.
    Video: Bloggers: use caution when posting


    Google Ordered To Reveal Defamatory Blogger's Identity

    Information Week Weblog - Thomas Claburn - ‎Aug 19, 2009‎
    Bloggers who hide behind screen names to insult people may find that online pseudonyms don't really conceal one's identity. A New York state supreme court ...

    The end of anonymous trolling?

    Feministing - ‎Aug 19, 2009‎
    Yes, my headline is wishful thinking. But this is definitely a step in the right direction. (Ignore the article's headline if you can, ugh. ...

    On the Internet, Everybody Knows You're a Name-Caller: Google ...

    All Things D Blogs - Peter Kafka - ‎Aug 19, 2009‎
    Want to call someone a “skank” on the Web while remaining anonymous? Might want to rethink that: Following an order from a New York court, ...

    Model forgives New York blogger who maligned her

    The Southern Ledger - ‎15 hours ago‎
    NEW YORK (AP) — A magazine model has finally confronted an anonymous female blogger who called her offensive names on a Google Web site. ...

    Liskula Cohen: Former Vogue Covergirl To Sue Debunked Blogger - ‎Aug 19, 2009‎
    The Canadian blonde model Liskula Cohen who is also a former Vogue cover girl, recently won a case in the courtroom where she had got into litigation with ...

    Liskula Cohen wins right to unmask blogger - ‎Aug 19, 2009‎
    Aug 19 (IBNS) A Vogue cover girl has notched up victory in a precedent-setting court battle to unmask an anonymous blogger who dubbed her “skank” on the ...
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    US Government Criminalizes Yard Sales With New Law

    WASHINGTON — If you're planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you'd best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.

    The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that's been recalled by its manufacturer.

    "Those who resell recalled children's products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children's lives at risk," said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.

    Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.

    Staffers for the federal agency are fanning out across the country to conduct training seminars on the regulations at dozens of thrift shops.

    "Even before this law, we had good mechanisms in place for pulling recalled products," said Jim Gibbons, the chief executive of Goodwill. "The law just kicks it up a notch, so Goodwills around the country will continue to improve our process."

    Goodwill uses $2 billion in annual sales at its 2,300 thrift shops nationwide to pay for its job-training and employment placement programs.

    Gibbons said the nonprofit group was accustomed to inspectors from the Consumer Product Safety Commission making unannounced visits to its stores.

    Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the agency, said it wouldn't be dispatching bureaucratic storm troopers into private homes to see whether people were selling recalled products from their garages, yards or churches.

    "We're not looking to come across as being heavy-handed," he said. "We want to make sure that everybody knows what the rules of engagement are to help spur greater compliance, so that enforcement becomes less of an issue. But we're still going to enforce."

    The agency is working with eBay, Wolfson said, to help the online sales giant install software filters that will flag auction items subject to manufacturers' recalls.

    The commission's Internet surveillance unit is monitoring Craigslist and other "top auction and reselling sites" for recalled goods. If the agency discovers that a recalled product has been sold online, it will try to find and inform the buyer, Wolfson said.

    To kick off its Resale Roundup, the federal agency released a list of the 11 most dangerous previously recalled children's products.

    The oldest is the March 10, 1993, recall of 11,600 portable cribs sold as Playskool Travel-Lite Play Yards and made by Kolcraft, an Aberdeen, N.C., firm that's the nation's largest crib manufacturer.

    Adele Meyer is the executive director of the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops, which represents more than 1,100 store owners.

    "Even before it was criminal to resell recalled goods, our members have always been diligent because children's safety is always foremost in their minds," she said. "But having consumers look out for recalled products that are sold at garage sales and flea markets, that is a problem, and hopefully this law will help."

    Nancy Lothrop, a mother of two in Monroe, Wash., was surprised to learn that she might be violating the law by selling about $200 worth of Polly Pocket dolls and accessories on Craigslist that her 12-year-old daughter no longer wants.

    In two large recalls from November 2006 to August 2007, the El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel asked consumers to return 9.7 million units of several dozen different sets of Polly Pocket dolls.

    The recalled dolls and accessories, made for Mattel in China, had tiny magnets that could become loose and then swallowed or inhaled by young children. The magnets have caused three serious injuries — intestinal tears requiring surgery — that the Consumer Product Safety Commission knows of.

    Lothrop's daughter, Laura, was upset about four years ago when Mattel changed the clothing for many of the Polly Pocket dolls from a rubber-type material to plastic and inserted small magnets to hold it on the figures.

    Laura didn't like the new material or the way it fit her dolls. So, at 8, she e-mailed a complaint to Mattel. The toy giant never responded.

    Now, Nancy and Laura Lothrop must do a painstaking inventory of her collection, searching for tiny model numbers to see whether they match any of the recalled items. If they find matches, they'll pull the recalled dolls and accessories from the group that they're selling.

    Nancy Lothrop, though, doesn't quite understand why the dolls are being singled out.

    "Many toys have small pieces that could be dangerous," she said. "My son played with army men, Lego blocks, all kinds of things with little parts. A toddler can put anything in his mouth. Parents need to have common sense. Ultimately, the parent needs to really evaluate and be watchful of what the child is playing with. We as consumers have to be careful. It really comes back to us."

    The Resale Roundup is being enforced under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law last year.

    The law has a number of other beefed-up consumer protections, including much tougher standards for selling products that contain lead or lead-based paint. After stalling for years, the legislation gained new life after widely publicized massive recalls of Chinese-made dolls and toys with lead paint that started in late 2007.

    The law also restored the full five seats on the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the first time in a quarter-century.

    President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are crafting an appropriations bill that would boost the agency's funding next year by more than 11.4 percent — to $117 million — and it's already hiring new inspectors and other employees in anticipation of the funding infusion.


    The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a drive to prevent used goods that have been recalled from being resold. Among thousands of recalled products on the market, the federal agency has identified 11 that it considers very dangerous for children:

    Product..........................................................................When recalled

    Playskool Travel-Lite Play Yards (portable cribs)...........March 10, 1993

    Baby Trend Home and Roam.(portable cribs)...............Dec. 19, 1994

    Evenflo Happy Camper Play Yards (portable cribs).......June 25, 1997

    Baby Express Portable Cribs and Play Yards...............Feb. 28, 2001

    Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets..................................March 31, 2006

    Polly Pocket dolls with magnets....................................Nov. 21, 2006

    Easy-Bake Ovens..........................................................July 19, 2007

    Simplicity Drop Side Cribs..............................................Sept. 21, 2007

    Simplicity Bassinets....................................................... Aug. 27, 2008

    Hill Sportswear hooded drawstring sweatshirts.............Feb. 12, 2009

    Evenflo Envision high chairs..........................................April 2, 2009


    Details and information about the new law and other product recalls


    Senate panel confirms Northup for product safety agency post

    Expect tougher rules, product safety chief to tell exporters

    Chinese makers of shoddy goods rarely face U.S. sanctions

    After years of neglect, Tenenbaum vows tougher consumer protection

    Follow the latest politics news at McClatchy's Planet Washington

    McClatchy Newspapers 2009
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