Monday, May 22, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 22


On this day in 1176, a group of hired killers from Rashideddin Sinan's "Masyaf" branch of the Ismaili Hashshashin sect - also known as the Assassins - make their second attempt to murder Saladin, a world-historic figure who founded the Ayyubid dynasty, ruling Egypt, Syria and beyond. They come close, but fail.

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On this day in 1844, the Báb announces to the world the coming of "He whom God shall make manifest", thus founding the religion of Bábism, a new religious movement that represented a break with traditional Islam, and which was brutally suppressed in Persia. However, since he is considered the forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, and seeing as Baha'i still revere the teachings of the Báb, it wasn't a total waste of time.

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On this day in 1856, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks sneaks up on, then beats the high holy hell out of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with a wooden cane because the latter insulted the former's state - as well as his uncle's "honor" - in an anti-slavery speech. It was the first act of physical violence to take place in the Congress, and is considered an important precursor to the Civil War.

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On this day in 1906, the Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine."
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On this day in 1954, Robert Zimmerman - that’s Bob Dylan to you, me, and Jesus - officially becomes a man when he’s Bar Mitzvahed! Mazeltov!

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On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson announces social reforms to bring an "end to poverty and racial injustice in America", calling it the Great Society. Today, the only thing that remains of these reforms is the neoconservative reaction to them.

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On this day in 1968, the Skipjack-class nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores. The Navy still isn't sure what happened.

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On this day in 2002, the remains of Chandra Levy, an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, are found in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. She'd been banging Congressman Gary Condit (D-California) at the time of her disappearance in early 2001, and for a while he was a suspect... in the media, if not officially. Eventually, the September 11 terrorist attacks knocked Levy off the front page and police pinned the murder on illegal Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique. Case closed.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 21

Leopold, Darrow and Loeb
On this day in 1863, the Seventh Day Adventist Church - an offshoot of the Apocalyptic creed of Millerite Protestantism - is organized in Battle Creek, Michigan. Today, there are over seventeen million "Sevvies" around the world, and they are one of the most ethnically diverse branches of the Christian faith. Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the Sabbath day on Saturday, in the Old Testament style of the Jews, and they place a strong emphasis on healthy eating and living. Probably the most lasting impact that they've had on popular culture is the introduction of ready-to-eat breakfast cereals to the North American diet.

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On this day in 1871, French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of "Bloody Week" some 20,000 anarchist and Marxist "communards" will have been killed and 38,000 arrested. Thus ended a historic, two-month experiment in self-rule by the people of Paris.

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On this day in 1924, two young, well-to-do homosexuals named Leopold and Loeb murder 14 year-old Bobby Franks. At the time, this murder was considered one of the vilest and most sensational crimes in U.S. history, because the killers did it just for kicks. Defending the young murderers in court, legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow claims that the boys would never have become killers if they hadn't read the works of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose theory of the Ubermensch - a highly evolved idealization of humanity who exists above and beyond the mundane conceptions of "good" and "evil" - he claims twisted their minds.

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On this day in 1946, physicist Louis Slotin is blasted with a fatal dose of radiation in a "criticality incident" during an experiment with the aptly-named Demon Core - a 6.2 kilogram sub-critical mass of plutonium - at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was the second time that such an incident resulted in the acute radiation poisoning and subsequent death of a scientist. After these incidents, the core was used in an atomic bomb test in 1946, and proved in practice to have a slightly increased yield over similar cores which had not been subjected to criticality excursions. Here's a dramatization of the Slotin incident from the movie Fat Man and Little Boy.



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On this day in 1969, Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death for killing Robert Kennedy in a Los Angeles restaurant kitchen. The sentence is never carried out, as California got rid of the death penalty.

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On this day in 1979, the White Night Riots take place in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan "Twinkie Defense" White for the assassinations of mayor George Moscone and openly gay city councilman Harvey Milk.

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On this day in 1981, the Italian government releases the membership list of Propaganda Due, also known as the P2 Lodge, a Masonic lodge operating under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy from 1945 to 1976 (when its charter was withdrawn), and a pseudo-Masonic or "black" or "covert" lodge operating illegally (in contravention of Italian constitution banning secret lodges and membership of government officials in secret membership organizations) from 1976 to 1981. During the years that the lodge was headed by Licio Gelli, P2 was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries, including the collapse of the Vatican-affiliated Banco Ambrosiano, the murders of journalist Mino Pecorelli and banker Roberto Calvi, and corruption cases within the nationwide bribe scandal "Tangentopoli". P2 came to light through the investigations into the collapse of Michele Sindona's financial empire. It has also been connected to the CIA-connected European right-wing black-ops org known as Gladio.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 20


On this day in 325, the first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church is held in the city of Nicea, located in modern day Turkey. Today, this Council is commonly referred to as the First Council of Nicea. Among the many decisions made during this meeting were the settlement of the issue of the nature of Jesus and his relationship to God, settling the date for Easter, and issuing a decree forbidding dudes from cutting off their own dicks. I shit you not.

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On this day in 1908, Congress ignores the constitutionally mandated tradition of keeping church and state separate by enacting legislation declaring that the motto "in God we trust" should be included on most legal tender.

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On this day in 1875, the Metre Convention is signed by 17 nations, leading to the establishment of the "International System of Units". Today, the only industrialized country that does not use the metric system as its official system of measurement is the USA, with the UK also lagging in the adoption of some elements.

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On this day in 1980, the people of the French Canadian province of Quebec head to the ballot box to vote on a proposal to begin the work of loosening the bonds of unity with the rest of Canada. The referendum measure receives a 60% NO vote.

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On this day in 1983, the journal Science first publishes researcher Luc Montagnier's theory that the HIV virus causes AIDS. Okay, sure, fine, but what is it, exactly, that caused the HIV virus? That isn't as settled a question as most people would like to think. And anyway, if it turns out that HIV wasn't man-made, that doesn't mean the AIDS epidemic wasn't.

Friday, May 19, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 19

New England's Dark Day
On this day in 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.

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On this day in the year 1780, in the middle of the afternoon, New England is plunged into almost total darkness. On the day in question, Connecticut State Council wanted to adjourn so members could go home and prepare for Judgement Day, but councilor Abraham Davenport said: "I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause of an adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought!" To this day, nobody knows what happened... although I gotta figure it probably had something to do with witches.

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On this day in 1943, Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler declares the city of Berlin to be Judenrien, or completely empty of Jewish people. At first, the dictator is proud of his sinister achievement, but when he finds that he can't get a decent smoked meat sandwich to save his life anymore... he begins to secretly harbor regrets.

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On this day in 1953, the Pentagon sets off a nuclear explosion on a remote Nevada proving ground, but unexpectedly strong winds carry fall-out all the way to the town of Saint George, Utah. Today, when looking back at the ecological catastrophe, the plucky people of Saint George say: "No sweat!" It's not that they don't mind that their government's lax safety controls led to their town getting bathed in radiation. It's just that they were born without sweat glands, and literally can't produce sweat.

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On this day in 1962, a birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's rendition of Happy Birthday, making the whole presidential extramarital liaison thing just a little too obvious for some folks' liking.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 18



On this day in 1152, King Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine, an incredibly fascinating world-historic person in her own right.

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On this day in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate, which kind of flies in the face of the ideals behind the entire Revolutionary Project, but whatever.

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On this day in 1896, a mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II on the day of his 28th birthday results in the deaths of... hold on, can this be right? 1,389 people?! Sheez, that must have been some serious-ass panicking!

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On this day in 1910, the Earth passes through the tail of Halley's Comet. Despite many contemporaneous prophecies to the contrary, life as we know it does not cease to exist right then and there.

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On this day in 1927, 45 second-to-sixth graders are killed and 58 more are wounded when a huge cache of explosives planted by anti-tax activist Andrew Kehoe explodes beneath a school in Bath, Michigan. It took Kehoe a year to plan his atrocity, and months to pack the school full of explosives which he then detonated remotely, herding his victims for maximum carnage, before blowing up his own shrapnel-packed car with himself inside it. He even issued a number of vague threats before doing the dirty deed, but nobody caught on.

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On this day in 1944, the Soviet Union exiles more than 200,000 Tartars from Crimea because they were collaborating with the Nazis. And to think… the only thing the USA did with their Nazi collaborators - Preznit Dubya's grand-daddy being chief among them - was give them a slap on the wrist and hand their descendants the keys to the White House. It's kind of funny, in an utterly fucking disgusting kind of way.

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On this day in 1974, India becomes the sixth nation in world history to explode an atomic bomb... not counting Atlantis.

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On this day in 1980, Mount Saint Helens erupts, gushing forth billions of gallons of volcanic ash, killing between 57 and 65 people (depending who you ask) and blasting away a huge chunk of the mountainside. 

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On this day in 1995, a crystal-meth-addicted, half-psychotic, authority-hating Army vet named Shawn Nelson steals an M60 Patton Tank from a National Guard base in San Diego and goes on a rampage, destroying cars, fire hydrants and other property before being gunned down by police after getting stuck on a median.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 17

On this day in 1642, French explorer Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve founds the city of Montréal. Today, Montreal is the second most populous city in Canada after Toronto, and the fifteenth largest in North America. It contains the largest metropolitan French-speaking population outside of France and remains a vibrant cultural hub.

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On this day in 1792, the New York Stock Exchange is formed when the "Buttonwood Agreement" is signed by 24 stockbrokers outside of 68 Wall Street in New York, under a buttonwood tree.

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On this day in 1804, the historic duo of Lewis & Clark begin exploring the land acquired from Napoleon by Thomas Jefferson, in a sweetheart deal known as the Louisiana Purchase.

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On this day in 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, a fascinating ancient mechanical analog computer designed to calculate the positions of the planets and certain stars. The construction has been dated to the early 1st century BCE, and - according to establishment-approved historical record - technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until the 14th century, when similar astronomical clocks were built in Europe.

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On this day in 1933, Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling, the Nazi party of Norway. Hence the origins of "quisling" as an insult-word denoting an enthusiastic collaboration with evil.

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On this day in 1974, police in Los Angeles, California, raid the headquarters of the self-styled left-wing urban militant "revolutionary vanguard" terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, killing six members, including leader (and most likely CIA mind-control test subject) Donald "Cinque" DeFreeze and Camilla Hall, who was shot in the head while trying to give herself up to police. The raid remains one of the most vicious firefights in LAPD history... and that's saying something.

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On this day in 1978, Charlie Chaplin's coffin is discovered ten miles from the Swiss cemetery where the infamous director had recently been buried. An officer at the scene drops dead of a heart-attack when, upon opening the coffin to verify that Chaplin's remains were still present, a giant boxing glove shoots out and pops him a good one right in the chops. I'm kidding of course. Moving right along...

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On this day in 2004, Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage. Chaos ensues.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 16


On this day in 1918, the United States Congress passes the Sedition Act, which extended the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light, or interfered with the sale of government bonds. Basically, these laws made criticism of the American government an offense punishable by hefty fines and/or incarceration. The Espionage Act (an umbrella law that covered the later Sedition Act) was repealed by Congress in December of 1920. Democrat Woodrow Wilson was President during both enactment and repeal.

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On this day in 1943, after 28 days of bloody fighting, armed resistance by Jews in the Warsaw ghetto comes to an end as Nazi soldiers overwhelm the area.


On this day in 1988, a report issued by United States' Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine. To be perfectly honest... he's very wrong about that.

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On this day in 1991, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to ever address the United States Congress. She spends most of the speech congratulating President George Herbert "Poppy" Walker Bush on his magnificent handling of the Gulf War in Iraq.

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On this day in 2005, Newsweek magazine retracts a story in which it was claimed that investigators had found evidence the Quran was desecrated by interrogators at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The story had sparked deadly protests in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Of course, despite the retraction, it's clear that the desecration did take place - that, and far, far worse - and that Newsweek cracked under pressure by The Powers That Be.

Monday, May 15, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 15


On this day in 1648, the first documents of the Treaty of Westphalia are signed in Osnabrück and Münster, setting in motion the machinations that would bring about the Peace of Westphalia. At the time, this was as huge as huge could be, ending the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic. Everybody was involved in this. The Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III, of the House of Habsburg, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of France, the Swedish Empire, the Dutch Republic, the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, and sovereigns of the free imperial cities. This was truly a world-historic development, and, for the most part, a good one.

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On this day in 1817, the first private mental health hospital opens its doors in the United States. It is called the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason. Such a great name.

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On this day in 1829, John the Baptist materializes somewhere in the American mid-west and anoints one Mister Joseph Smith, ordaining him to start the Church of Mormon. Of course, this is all according to Joe, himself, so you may want to take it with a grain of salt.

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Mickey Mouse made his first appearance on this day in 1928, in a cartoon entitled Plane Crazy... and the character still isn't in the public domain. Most people haven't got a problem with this. Should they? I don't know. All I know is, when you work at Disney, nobody fucks with the mouse.

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On this day in 1940, McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Today, the Golden Arches are as recognizable as the Nazi Swastika, and the role played by Mickey Dee's in the implementation of a population-controling Genocide Diet cannot be under-estimated or over-stressed.

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On this day in 1972, In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace - called "the most influential loser in American politics" by some - while the latter was campaigning to become the Democratic candidate for President on a segregationist platform. Wallace, after receiving great treatment and loving care form a succession of black nurses, would go on to renounce his racist views before dying in 1998. Bremer served 35 years in jail for his crime, and was released in 2007.

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On this day in 1991, while former CIA chief/then-President George Herbert "Poppy" Walker Bush escorts the Queen of England to a Baltimore Orioles game (I kid you not), the Defense Department releases documents showing that Central American dictator Manuel Noriega was, at one time: "The CIA's man in Panama."

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On this day in 1988, after more than eight years of fighting, the legendarily hard-ass Soviet Red Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan, defeated by a rag-tag assembly of heroic, CIA-funded Mujahideen! Or, at least, that's what the neoconservatives used to say is what happened. They don't like to talk about it so much now, after one of those heroic heroes masterminded the September 11 terror attacks. See Adam Curtis' documentary The Power of Nightmares for clarification. Here's Part One to get you started. Seriously, if you haven't already watched this, what the fuck are you waiting for?!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 14


On this day in 1607, the English colony of Jamestown, in the state of Virginia, is first settled. It was the first permanent English settlement in the New World, coming on the heels of some epic failures - like the Lost Colony of Roanoke - and would serve as capital of the colony for 83 years.

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On this day in 1643, Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. The Bourbon royal, popularly referred to as the Sun King, was only 4 years old at the time, enabling him to eventually become Europe's longest-reigning monarch, ruling France and Navarre for 72 years and 110 days.

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On this day in 1796, medical researcher Edward Jenner administers the first ever smallpox vaccination. Just imagine how thick that dull the syringes must have been back then... Ugh.

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On this day in 1948, in the city of Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency chairman David Ben-Gurion declares: "We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel." Within hours, Israel is repelling military attacks from pretty much all of its neighbors.

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On this day in 1955, the nations of Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia sign a mutual defense treaty. They call themselves the Warsaw Pact.

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On this day in 1970, the Red Army Faction, or RAF, is established in Germany by Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Horst Mahler, and Ulrike Meinhof. The RAF described itself as a communist and anti-imperialist "urban guerrilla" group engaged in armed resistance against what they deemed to be a fascist state. Their terrorist activities mostly consisted of attempts to free jailed members of their gang using violent means. They eventually hook up with the Socialist Patient's Collective, or SPK, a real bunch of nutters who believed that "illness as the protest against capitalism and considering illness the anticipation of the human species that does not yet exist but that should be created through illness." As such, they took a hard-line stance against capitalism... and doctors. I'm not kidding. In their own documents - some of which were co-written by respected French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre! - they proclaimed themselves to be staunchly "pro-illness." You couldn't make up this crap if you tried.

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On this day in 1984, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is born. That's right... the fucker ain't even 30 years old yet. How's that Mac'N'Cheese taste, amigo?

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On this day in 1995, the Dalai Lama proclaims 6-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima to be the eleventh reincarnation of Panchen Lama, thereby proving that, contrary to popular supposition, Tibetan Buddhism isn't any more enlightened than any other world religion.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 13


Okay, this one is a little confusing, so try to stay focused.

In the 1970s, a group of far-right-wing Turks formed an anti-Soviet/anti-American terror group called the Gray Wolves. The Wolves were responsible for hundreds of murders. One of their members was Mehmet Ali Agca.

In 1979, Agca was arrested for killing a liberal newspaper editor, but escaped from prison while awaiting trial. He left behind a note declaring his intent to kill Pope John Paul II if the Pontiff didn't cancel his long-planned good-will trip to Turkey. Security was tightened, and the Pope survived his visit to the Muslim nation. So far, so good.

On May 13, 1981, Agca sneaked into Italy, walked into St. Peter's Square during the weekly Papal audience and shot the Pope four times with a 9mm Browning automatic. Agca was wrestled to the ground and the Pope was rushed to hospital where he underwent five hours of emergency surgery.

Four days later, the Pope forgave Agca. Three weeks later, JPII left the hospital after making a full recovery. In July of that same year, Agca was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1982, Agca claimed that he was merely a patsy in a KGB plot, arranged through the Bulgarian intelligence service, to assassinate JPII for his strident anti-communist rhetoric.

In 1983, JPII visited Agca in the Italian prison where he was serving out his sentence. Soon after, Italian military police interrogated the would-be assassin to learn more about his conspiracy theory. This lead to the arrest of three Bulgarians and three Turks.

In 1985, these six men went on trial for plotting to assassinate the Pope. Just as the trial was getting underway, Agca stood up and declared himself to be the second coming of Jesus Christ, and predicted the imminent end of the world. He further declared that the KGB plot story was created by "Western intelligence agents" as an excuse to smear the USSR in strongly Catholic South America, where communism was gaining popularity.

Furthermore, Agca claimed that God had told him to shoot JPII, as was foretold in the (still secret at that time) Third Prophecy of Fatima.

Needless to say, charges were dropped and the trial was called off.

However, there remain a few intriguing coincidences… or should we say synchronicities?

First of all, it is true that Acga’s attempt on JPII’s life occurred on the 64th anniversary of the first Marian apparition in Fatima, Portugal, where the Virgin Mary allegedly gave three prophecies to some simple country girls in 1917. This was something that not many commentators remarked upon before Acga, himself, brought it up.

And then there’s the issue of JPII’s visit to Fatima, 19 years after Agca's assassination attempt… a visit that was built up as being a public revelation of the long-held secret of the Third Prophecy of Fatima.

Here’s a rundown for the uninitiated. The first prophecy allegedly foretold World War II. The second predicted the rise and fall of communism. The third prophecy, which had been kept secret by the Vatican since the day it was issued, had long been thought to be a horrifying prediction of nuclear Armageddon. And now, here it was, 83 years later, and the Pope was promising to spill the beans!

So… what was it, exactly, that the Blessed Virgin Mary had revealed to those three humble shepherd girls all those years ago?

Hold on to your hats, dear reader, because according to the Pope, it turns out Agca was right! The Third Prophecy was a vision of "an attempted assassination of a Pope!" Move along now! No need to worry anymore! There's nothing to see here!

Of course, Catholics the world over tried in vain to hide their disappointment. All those years of secrecy and intrigue, all that dark speculation, and for what? The anticlimax of it all seemed like kind of a rip-off… or maybe a cover-up?

Because, interestingly enough, this "revelation" by the Vatican forces believers to accept one of two equally disturbing scenarios. Either the Vatican reverse engineered a cover story about the Third Prophecy in order to help hide something (say, a failure of prophecy, or something too horrible to reveal), or Agca really is the second coming of Christ, thereby explaining how he knew the contents of the closely guarded Third Prophecy of Fatima!

In any case, Agca was pardoned by Italy in 2000, and was sent to Turkey to serve out the remainder of his sentence for killing that newspaper editor. In 2008 Agca sent a letter to Pope Benedict warning him to stay away from Turkey if he knew what was good for him. Ratz went ahead with his Turkish trip, and it went off without a hitch.

Turkish authorities released Agca from prison in 2010, and he has so far managed to keep a lid on the voices in his head. Only time will tell, however, if he's done providing us with fodder for our collective parapolitical mills.
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Also on this day, in 1985, Philadelphia police and federal lawmen launch a full-scale military assault on the rowhouse occupied by the black, left-wing religious cult called MOVE. They use tear gas, shotguns, Uzis, M-60 machine guns, a 20mm anti-tank gun, and a .50-caliber machine gun, firing over 10,000 rounds at the house knowing there are women and children inside. When these measures don’t succeed in driving MOVE from the building, a state police helicopter drops a bomb on the roof. This starts a fire that officials allow to burn, eventually destroying the entire block of 60 homes. Eleven people perish in the conflagration. Although a 1986 report denounced the actions of the city government, stating that "Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable", no one from the city government was charged criminally for the actions taken by police that day.

Friday, May 12, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 12


On this day in 1938, while researching drugs to improve blood circulation and prevent geriatric disorders, chemist Albert Hoffman first manufactures LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) for Sandoz Labs in Switzerland. It will be five years before he accidentally ingests any of the wonderstuff, himself, after which he will write: "Last Friday, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed, I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away." Cue the sitar music and turn on the lava lamps! Here are some other people's trip stories.

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On this day in 1932, ten weeks after his abduction and following one of the most torturous and multiply-botched criminal investigations in legal history, Charles Junior, the infant son of aviation pioneer and avid Nazi-supporter Charles Lindbergh, is found dead in Hopewell, New Jersey, a few miles from the Lindbergh home.

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On this day in 2002, former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a 5-day visit with Fidel Castro. He was allowed to address the Cuban public uncensored on national television and radio with a speech that he wrote and presented in Spanish. In the speech, he called on the US to end "an ineffective 43-year-old economic embargo" and on Castro to hold free elections, improve human rights, and allow greater civil liberties. From a parapolitical perspective, it would have been supremely interesting to hear what these two had to say to each other during their private conversation.

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On this day in 2008, an earthquake measuring around 8.0 magnitude shook China's Sichuan region to bits, killing over 69,000 people... and you probably don't even remember, considering the accelerated rate at which feces are colliding with propeller on every conceivable level these days.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 11


On this day in 1310, 54 members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake as heretics in France. However, the 23rd and final "official" Grand Master of the Templars - Jacques DeMolay - survives nearly four more years before ultimately meeting a similar fiery fate on March 13, 1314.

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On this day in 1812, Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London. He is the first, and so far only, British Prime Minister to be assassinated while serving. Historian Andro Linklater's latest tome is controversially titled Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die, painting a not-so-likable portrait of the doomed PM, whereas this Telegraph UK editorial claims he deserves to be remembered for more than just being assassinated.

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On this day in 1916, after nearly a year spent re-working some of the mathematics involved, renowned theoretical physicist and "world's smartest man" Albert Einstein presents his Theory of General Relativity to his peers. Basically, Einstein's conception of relativity is a geometric theory of gravitation, and it remains the current description of gravitation in modern physics. According to Wikipedia: "General relativity generalizes special relativity and Newton's law of universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time, or space-time. In particular, the curvature of spacetime is directly related to the energy and momentum of whatever matter and radiation are present. The relation is specified by the Einstein field equations, a system of partial differential equations." Simple, no? Of course, there are quite a few people who believe the whole thing is just a bunch of high quackery, and they opened a web forum to air alternative views.

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On this day in 1927, showbiz pioneer Louis B Mayer forms the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, without which we would have had no idea that The English Patient, Titanic and Shakespeare in Love were some of the finest films ever made, despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary.

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On this day in 1949, the freshly-minted nation of Israel joins the United Nations. Eleven years later, on this day in 1960, four Israeli Mossad agents capture fugitive Nazi technocrat Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem". Eichmann had been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the alias: Ricardo Klement. There is no way in Hell he was the only high-ranking Nazi to escape Europe in this way, as future posts here at the Useless Eater Blog will hopefully prove to you, beyond any reasonable factor of doubt.

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On this day in 1997, IBM's chess-playing supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Russian chess champ Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format. After SkyNet takes over the world, this will probably be declared an official "Robot Holiday" or something. You just know those shiny metal bastards are going to relish rubbing our noses in it.

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On this day in 1981, Jamaican music pioneer and Rastafarian prophet/saint Bob Marley dies of cancer at the age of 36... or does he?!

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On this day in 1988, British spy Kim Philby dies in Moscow, where he "retired" after being sniffed out as a communist double-agent for the Soviet Union. His life story, at the provided link, is damn fascinating. The Rooskies even gave him a postage stamp! Check it out!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 10


On this day in 1774, Louis XVI becomes King of France, with Marie Antoinette as his Queen. And they both live happily ever after.

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On this day in 1801, the Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America, thereby kicking off the First Barbary War. It was the first war waged by the United States beyond it's national boundary-lines. Now you know where they get those lyrics: "From the Halls of Montezuma / To the shores of Trip-oh-leeee!" in the Marines 'hymn'.

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On this day in the year 1924, J Edgar Hoover is appointed head of the first head of the FBI, a title he would retain for the rest of his very, very long life. In his 48 years as head of the nation's most powerful law enforcement office, he would break every law imaginable and prove himself to be as shameless as he was without conscience. One of the touchstone figures of American History, and a truly evil man.

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On this day in 1941, Hitler's second-in-command Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland in order to try and negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany. He was arrested, put on trial and then held for decades at Spandau Prison, until he was 93 years old, at which point he hung himself in his cell... or so the official story goes. Many unanswered questions surround this oddest of lose ends from World War II.

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On this day in 1954, Bill Haley & His Comets release Rock Around the Clock, which goes on to become the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts, beginning a trend that wouldn't die until... oh... I'd say the mid-to-late 90's or so.
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On this day in 1994, former "terrorist" Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa's first black president. And they all lived happily ever after.

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On this day in 2005, a hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutinian lands about 65 feet from U.S. President George W. Bush while he's giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia. The grenade fails to go off thanks to the fact that it was wrapped in a red hanky which interfered with its mechanism, and Bush wasn't made aware of the "attack" until hours after the event. Arutinian, who managed to kill Georgia's head of the Interior Ministry's counterintelligence department in a shoot-out before being arrested, sewed his mouth shut for part of his trial.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 9


On this day in 1874, British archaeologist Howard Carter is born. In 1922, he would discover the tomb of 14th century BC Boy Pharaoh, King Tutankhamen, thus sparking a worldwide frenzy of "Egyptomania" in the years between the First and Second World Wars.

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On this day in 1950, pulp magazine writer L.Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health hits store shelves for the first time. Today, May 9th is regarded as an important Church of Scientology holiday: the "Anniversary of Dianetics."

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On this day in 1960, the FDA announces it will approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle's Enovid - otherwise known as "the pill" - making it the world's first government approved oral contraceptive. Depending on who you ask, it is also another giant step down the slippery slope of NWO-sponsored eugenic population control... but I'm not quite ready to buy into that argument yet, myself.

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On this day in 1974, the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon. Tricky Dick resigns in the face of overwhelming evidence of his guilt in the Watergate affair (among other, far worse things), therefore robbing the committee of their chance to make history.

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On this day in 1989, Vice-President Dan Quayle delivers a speech to the United Negro College Fund board of governors. In it, he mangles that institution's motto - "A mind is a terrible thing to waste" - by declaring: "What a waste it is to lose one's mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful." You know, after experiencing Preznit Dubya's suspiciously familiar verbal locutions, it kinda clears up some of the mysteries surrounding his Poppy Bush's choice of running mates way back in 1988... Potatoe-head Dan reminded Herbert Walker of his own first-born son!

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On this day in 2004, Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed by a land mine under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya. 30 others die in the blast, which came from a bomb that was actually built right into a bridge earlier that year in long-term anticipation of this particular event. Watch the insane video below to see why they say that the "Russian Panic Button" is the trigger on an AK-47.


Monday, May 8, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 8

Hard Hat Riot of 1970
On this day in 1891, Russian-born author, mystic and spear-point of the Theosophical movement Helena Petrovna Blavatsky passes away at the tender age of sixty. In her own time, few would have hazarded a guess as to the tremendous impact her life and work would have on the century to come.

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Born on this day in 1911, blues-man Robert Johnson. At some point during his early twenties, Johnson allegedly sold his soul to Satan in exchange for musical virtuosity. With a grand total of twenty-nine songs recorded during a grand total of two sessions, this Mississippi native became the progenitor - via the young working class white men of England who so loved his stuff - of the Blues.

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Thomas Pynchon, one of America's greatest post-war novelists and one of the handful of world-class writers with bona-fide parapolitical credibility, was born in Long Island on this day in 1937. Of his major works, V. is an impressive arrival, The Crying of Lot 49 is a stone hoot, Gravity's Rainbow is an encyclopaedic, mind-bending masterpiece, Vineland is a hippy's delight, Mason & Dixon defies categorization, Against the Day remains mostly unread and Inherent Vice is like The Big Lebowski meets... well... Thomas Pynchon! He remains the only person to ever have a Pulitzer Prize revoked after The Powers That Be decided their panel of judges should never have rewarded such an "unreadable" and "obscene" work of literature. This, of course, was the highest possible compliment those decrepit old fools could have paid it.

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On this day in 1970, one of the strangest confrontations in American post-war history takes place in Lower Manhattan when roughly 200 construction workers, allegedly acting on orders from the AFL-CIO, attack a thousand demonstrators protesting the Kent State shootings, the invasion of Cambodia and the Vietnam War. Seventy people are injured and six arrested in the fracas, which was dubbed the Hard Hat Riot by the media of the day. The incident served as a stark underline to the deep, essentially unbridgeable divisions between the Old Left, which was mostly labor-oriented, and the New Left, which focused more intensely on identity politics. This also happens to be one of the main themes in the aforementioned Thomas Pynchon novel Vineland.

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On this day in 1980, the World Health Organization announces that the deadly disease of smallpox has been wiped off the face of the Earth… except for a few large boxes of the stuff stored at various bio-weapon labs in the USA and elsewhere, of course.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 7


On this day in 1794, French Revolutionary Robespierre proposes that the new state religion of the French First Republic be the Illuminati-inspired Cult of the Supreme Being. It fails to catch on.

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On this day in the year 1824, composer Ludwig von Beethoven's magnificent 9th (and final) Symphony - one of the only world-historic pieces of music - is performed for first time in front of an audience. The vocal section uses Freidrich Schiller's poem Ode To Joy, which is jam-packed with esoteric allusions that are ripe for exploitation as an expression of the beauties and charms of collectivism, which makes its eventual use as the "national anthem" of the European Union both amusing and somewhat troubling. Stanley Kubrick proved that he understood the essential duality of this piece of music - as well as the double-edged nature of genius in general - by highlighting it in an incredibly ironic way in his satirical sf masterpiece Clockwork Orange.

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On this day in 1896, one of the first and most prolific and inventive serial killers of all time is put to death for only a handful of the crimes he committed over a lifetime of almost unbelievable wickedness. His name was Herman Webster Mudgett, alias Doctor Henry Howard Holmes, and he built his own private "Murder Castle" in Chicago during the 1893 World Columbian Exposition - itself an event rife with parapolitical and paracultural over-and-undertones.

***

On this day in 1952, the concept of the integrated circuit, also known as the "monolithic integrated circuit" and the "microchip" - the basis for all modern computing technology - is first presented to the public by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer. Culturally, economically and historically, it's a game-changer on pretty much every imaginable level.

***

On this day in 1999, the British Antarctic Survey reports that the sky fell by no less than five miles over the preceding forty year period, as the upper limit of the ionosphere - beyond which lies the vacuum of space - collapsed from 190 to 185 miles altitude. Researchers at the time pointed to this startling phenomenon as "an important environmental warning sign," but yer old pal Jerky hasn't heard any more about it since the report was released. What gives?!

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On this day in 2004, in one of the most heinous of many heinous landmarks that we collectively had to endure in the 'naughties, the sadistic and brutal beheading of American businessman Nick Berg is recorded on videotape and released on the Internet for all the world to see. I present to you an editorial that I wrote on the subject of the Berg conspiracy theories, reprinted now at my Useless Eater blog for archival purposes. Also reprinted is one of my best editorials (if I do say so myself), titled The Paradox of Polar Bears. It also touches on Berg's murder, but for much different reasons. I'd suggest you "enjoy", but somehow that just doesn't seem right in this case.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 6

Been a long time since... that horrifying airship crash.

On this day in 1937, the Hindenburg zeppelin bursts into flames upon landing at a Lakehurst, New Jersey air-field, killing 36 of the 97 passengers on board. NBC Radio's Herbert Morrison witnesses the horrifying calamity and is overcome with emotion during a live, coast-to-coast radio broadcast during which he utters the infamous phrase: "Oh, the humanity!" Controversy still surrounds many aspects of the Hindenburg disaster.

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On this day in 1861, the city of Richmond, Virginia is declared the capital of the Confederate States of America, a mere 108 miles south of Washington DC. Nowadays, neo-Confederates would probably choose some city in Texas... pretty much anywhere but Austin, I suspect.


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On this day in 1882, the United States Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act... a law which does exactly what its name implies, which is refreshingly candid when compared to the Orwellian New-speak nightmares of T.H.E.P.A.T.R.I.O.T.A.C.T. and No Child Left Behind. Originally intended to exclude Chinese "skilled and unskilled laborers employed in mining" from entering the country for ten years (under penalty of imprisonment and deportation), the law was not repealed until 1943... over 60 years later.


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On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris, France. At 1,050 feet, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world, surpassing the Washington Monument, which - at 555 feet - had only held the record for five years. In contrast, the Eiffel Tower would remain the tallest man-made structure on the planet for over 40 years, until the Chrysler Building surpassed it in 1930.


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On this day in 1954, Roger Bannister becomes the first person to do what would eventually become a commonplace, but which physicians and scientists at the time had deemed impossible... he runs a mile in under four minutes' time.


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On this day in 1994, after Former Arkansas state worker / nude model / Country singer / late-night infomercial "psychic" Paula Jones files a lawsuit against President Bill Clinton alleging that he had "dropped trou" and showed her his pecker back in 1991 when he was still Governor of Arkansas. Of course, it didn't hurt any that ultra-right-wing proto-fascist newspaper publisher / billionaire / Clinton-hater / murderer (?) Richard Mellon Scaife's so-called Arkansas Project had essentially bribed her into launching her suit, and bankrolled the entire enterprise from its sketchy beginnings to its silly, sordid end.


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On this day in 1996, The body of former CIA director William Colby is found washed up on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he "disappeared". Quite a bit of background is necessary to begin to grasp the enigma that is the life and death of William Colby.


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On this day in 2002, anti-Islam, anti-immigration, openly homosexual Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is gunned down by "animal rights activist" Volkert Van der Graff, who decided to assassinate Fortuyn to prevent him from "scapegoating the weaker members of society."


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Celebrating parapolitical birthdays on this day are Maximilien Robespierre (1758), French Revolutionary and prime figure in The Terror; father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud (1856) and multimedia wunderkind and psychological warfare pioneer Orson Welles (1915).

Friday, May 5, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 5


On this day in 1260, the cunning Kublai Khan seizes control of the vast Mongol Empire, which extends from the Black Sea all the way to the Pacific coast, including most of China, half the Middle East and all of Central Asia. And yet he still made time to be a good host to explorer Marco Polo... for over seventeen years!

***

Two of the most influential philosophers of all time are born on this day. First, in 1813, Christian existentialist Soren Kierkegaard is born in Denmark. The father of communism, Karl Marx, is born in Germany, five years later in 1818.

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On this day in 1821, Emperor Napoleon I dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic. To this day, he remains one of the most influential World Historic figures of all time, leaving behind a legal, social, military and cultural legacy that simply cannot be over-stated. To teach one's self about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte is to teach one's self the foundational history of the Modern world.

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On this day in 1920, police arrest Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for allegedly murdering two men during a botched bank robbery in Braintree, Massachusetts. Their subsequent trials, appeals and executions are the focal-point of one of the biggest justice-related brou-ha-ha's in the history of the USA. I'm talking scores-of-people-dying-in-revenge-bombings big. It made the reaction to the Rodney King verdict look tame by comparison.

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On this day in 1925, biology teacher John Scopes is arrested for teaching evolutionary theory to his students in Dayton, Tennessee. This leads to the Scopes Monkey Trial, widely considered one of the most controversial and impactful judicial exhibitions (if not decisions) of the 20th century. What few people know is that the whole thing was a set-up from the get-go.

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On this day in 1981, Irish activist Bobby Sands dies in the Long Kesh prison hospital after a 66 day hunger-strike. He was 27 years old.

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The videogame Wolfenstein 3D, the first-ever "first-person shooter", is released on this day in 1992, leading inexorably to all kinds of craziness.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 4

On this day in 1493, Pope Alexander VI divides the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation, thereby initiating a series of events that would eventually lead to some of the world's most incredibly hostile soccer rivalries.

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On this day in 1855, adventurer William Walker sets off from San Francisco with about 60 men and a plan to conquer the Central American nation of Nicaragua. This time, contrary to his numerous previous attempts, he actually succeeds! Without too much violence, Walker installs himself as "President of the Republic of Nicaragua." His rule lasted for less than two years, at which point his junta was defeated by a coalition of Central American militias. Walker was eventually executed in Honduras in 1860.

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On this day in 1904, the United States begins construction of the Panama Canal, a civil engineering project that would turn out to be a global game-changer, both politically and economically.

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On this day in 1961, the first 13 Freedom Riders begin their bus trip through the American South, in an effort to end segregation of the public transportation system. After training in non-violent civil disobedience techniques, black and white volunteers sit next to each other as they travel by bus through the Deep South. In Anniston, Alabama, one bus is destroyed, and riders on another are attacked by men armed with clubs, bricks, iron pipes and knives. In response to these acts of violence, Attorney General Robert Kennedy sends DOJ official John Seigenthaler to accompany the Freedom Riders. In Birmingham, the passengers are greeted by the Ku Klux Klan, and further acts of violence. At Montgomery, the state capital, a white mob beats the riders with chains and ax handles. When local authorities make it clear that they will make no effort to protect the Riders, President John F. Kennedy sends federal marshals from the North to do the job. Despite the escalating violence, over a thousand volunteers take part in Freedom Rides during the ensuing months.

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On this day in 1970, at Ohio's Kent State University, thirteen seconds of rifle fire by a contingent of 28 National Guardsmen leaves four students (Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder) dead, one permanently paralyzed, and eight others wounded. A "special" state grand jury exonerates the Guardsmen, but indicts 25 students for a variety of offenses such as bleeding on public property, excessive weeping, and attempting to avoid being shot.

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On this day in 1979, Margaret Thatcher becomes the first, and so far last, female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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On this day in 1989, former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges in connection with the Iran-Contra Affair, still one of the most poorly understood scandals in recent American history. These convictions are later overturned on appeal.

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On this day in 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signs a peace accord with PLO leader Yasser Arafat regarding Palestinian autonomy granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Consequently, he would soon become the victim of the most transparently conspiratorial political assassination in the history of Mideast politics. And brother, that is saying something.

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On this day in 1998, Theodore "Unabomber" Kaczynski is sentenced to four life sentences (plus 30 years) by a California court after accepting a plea agreement which spares him from the death penalty. Check out this Useless Eater Blog post from a year ago for a detailed look at the Unabomber case, and its connections to the creation of the Internet, the spread of LSD across college campuses in the 60's, the rise of Game Theory and the Cybernetic Model of mind-control, among many, many other things.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 3

On this day in 1469, Italian historian and political thinker Niccolò Machiavelli - author of The Prince and favorite philosopher of neoconservative Godfather Leo Strauss - is born.

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On this day in 1616, prolifically productive wordsmith William Shakespeare is alleged to have died, although some people claim he passed away on April 23, while others claim he never even existed, at all.

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On this day in 1802, America's capital city, Washington, D.C. is incorporated, featuring a distinctly diabolical layout, courtesy of Master Mason and civic planner Pierre Charles L'Enfante. Quite disturbing that the old esoteric saying "as above, so below" should apply to road maps as well as it does to... other things.


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On this day in 1938, the Vatican officially recognizes Generalissimo Francisco Franco's government in Spain. In the forty years between his inauguration and the end of his murderous, fascist reign in the 1970's, it was never suggested that perhaps it might be a good idea to deny Franco the right to receive Holy Communion, as a symbolic show of disapproval for his brutal tactics. Come to think of it, they never said "peep" to Mussolini, either. American Democratic politicians, on the other hand...

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On this day in 1963, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior delivers his "I have a dream" speech. Meanwhile, in Birmingham, Alabama, the police force there decide to confront the Birmingham campaign protesters with fire-hoses, billy-clubs and vicious attack dogs. That night, newscasts around the world are filled with King's powerful oratory juxtaposed with scenes of brutal and violent police suppression.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 2

On this day in 1536, England's Queen Anne Boleyn - consort to King Henry VIII (who destroyed the Catholic Church in England just to be with her), and mother of the woman who would go on to become the hugely influential Queen Elizabeth I (last of England's Tudor royals) - is arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft. She would be found guilty of all charges and beheaded 19 days later. Ah... fickle fate!

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On this day in 1670, King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson's Bay Company to open up the fur trade in North America. That's right... a permanent charter. In fact, there's a whole whack of information about Hudson's Bay Co. that seems ripe for parapolitical exploration.

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On this day in 1808, the people of Madrid rise up in rebellion against French occupation, prompting Goya to memorialize the event in his painting The Second of May 1808.



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On this day in 1816, German/Belgian royal Léopold de Saxe-Coburg marries Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, thus initiating the "royal" Saxe-Coburg Gotha bloodline - name-changed to Windsor in England around the time of the Great War, due to anti-German sentiment - that has ruled much of the "free" world over the last century-and-a-half.

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On this day in 1933, Adolf Hitler bans trade unions in Germany.

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On this day, not one but two ultra-right-wing American lunatics kick the bucket. In 1957, Senator Joe McCarthy, of Red Scare II infamy, dies of multiple health problems exacerbated by alcohol and general mean spiritedness. In 1972, J. Edgar Hoover - whose abuses of power make Joe McCarthy's seem almost adorable by comparison - dies when his own shriveled black heart finally realizes exactly the type of vile creature its beats had helped to sustain over the years before giving up in disgust. Oh, and by the way, contrary to popular legend, from Little Rock to organized crime, he also pretty much sucked at his job.

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On this day in 1998, the European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy. So far, it seems to be working out just fine.

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On this day in 2000, President Bill Clinton announces that super-accurate GPS technology would no longer be restricted to the United States military, paving the way for some very interesting and useful consumer technology... as well as the allowing for the propagation of a technology that will eventually facilitate the more perfect tracking of pretty much every single citizen in our rapidly evolving Surveillance State.

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And, finally, on this day in 2011, Americans celebrate Mission Accomplished Day – Part II when President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, the evil genius mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, had been found, then killed, in full-throttle action-movie style by SEAL Team Six in Abbottabad, Pakistan! Of course, he couldn't show us Osama's corpse, because it was dumped at sea in an undisclosed location, in accordance with some kind of Muslim religious doctrine that nobody's ever heard of before. And of course, they couldn't show us any photographic evidence of his death, because that would have been disrespectful to one of the worst alleged mass-murderers in the history of mass-murder... right? I mean, it's not like there's anything fishy about all this... right? Right?! By the way, there is one group that performs burials at sea for "dishonored enemies"... Freemasons! Trying to find a link to back this up, but all Google can find is a song called "Burial at Sea" by some shitty band called The Secret Lives of Freemasons. Interesting how that works out, idnit?

Monday, May 1, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MAY 1

The first day in the month of May is celebrated as May Day – also known as International Workers’ Day – almost everywhere in the world, with the most glaring exception being the nation whose citizens’ blood fertilized the soil of its inception: the United States of America.

First suggested at the first congress of the world socialist Second International in 1889, May Day was meant to commemorate Chicago’s infamous Haymarket Massacre of three years prior, in which dozens of labor demonstrators were gunned down by police after one of them allegedly threw a dynamite bomb.

The holiday was formally recognized as an annual event at the International's second congress in 1891. Three years later, following a particularly nasty Wall Street panic, the May Day Riots took place in Cleveland, OH. Ten years later, in 1904, the International Socialist Conference meeting in Amsterdam called on "all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace."

Considering its origins and history, it shouldn't be too surprising that The Powers That Be have never had much love for May Day. Right-wing governments, invariably favoring Capital over Labor, have historically downplayed the holiday’s significance, often celebrating “Labour/Labor Day” on another day – for instance, as in the USA and Canada, on the first Monday of September.

Unfortunately, simply shifting the holiday to a different spot on the calendar left folks with nothing to celebrate on the first day of May. The solution? How about the one-two punch of Law Day and Loyalty Day? Yes, that’s right, in the late 50’s, Republican President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower and his Republican-led Congress created these two (count’em!) brand spanking new holidays to take people’s minds off the central role labor has played in human progress over the years!

Of course, the above covers the “Red Root” (Labor) version of May Day. There exists another, “Green Root” (Pagan) version of the holiday, related to the sex-heavy Celtic festival of Beltane and the somewhat less sexy Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night (which is named after a Saint, after all). Some of the more hard-core versions of this European celebration were done away with after Christianization, but surviving traditions usually involve dancing around a Maypole – representative of either a Sacred Tree or a giant phallus, depending on who you ask – and other fertility-related activities, such as presenting gifts of flowers to loved ones. Beltane, specifically, involves ritual purification through fire, and if you've seen the The Wicker Man (1973), you already know how much fun that can be.


ALSO ON THIS DAY

On this day in 1776, a Jesuit-trained Bavarian philosopher by the name of Adam Weishaupt adopts the name Spartacus and establishes a secret society which he dubs the Order of Perfectibilists, more popularly known as the Illuminati. Both Weishaupt and his long-defunct organization remain as poorly understood today as they were by their contemporaries, a point underscored by the fact that Thomas Jefferson counted himself an unabashed admirer.

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On this day in 1863, the Confederate Congress passes a resolution declaring no Black Union soldiers may be taken prisoner. Instead, all Black soldiers are to be shot on sight. And yet, some people still try to make believe the Civil War was about "state's rights," and had nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Go figure!

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On this day in 1915, the RMS Lusitania departs from New York City for her 222nd – and final – crossing of the Atlantic. Six days later, a torpedo launched from a German submarine would sink her off the coast of Ireland, killing twelve hundred. 128 of the dead were Americans, which caused an about-face in the US population’s doggedly non-interventionist stance vis-à-vis the Great War. Within months, Americans would be dying in their thousands in the hideous, Satanic meat-grinder of trench warfare, ostensibly to avenge the deaths of those unlucky dozens.



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On this day in 1930, the Solar System’s ninth planet is saddled with the decidedly Hellish name Pluto, borrowed from the Greek Lord of the Underworld. Upon their discoveries, Pluto’s moons would be given the similarly Stygian monikers Charon, Nix and Hydra. Who makes these decisions?!


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On this day in 1945 a German newsreader announces that Adolf Hitler has "fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany.” 


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On this day in 1948, The "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" – a.k.a. North Korea – is established by “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung. Folks, you couldn't pack more irony into a single sentence if you tried. Today, 75 years and two generations of despotism later, North Korea retains its title as quite possibly the single most fucked up nation on a planet that is known for being home to some incredibly fucked up nations.


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On this day in 1956, the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public. And we all lived happily ever after.


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On this day in 1960, a Lockheed U-2 spy-plane being piloted by American Francis Gary Powers is shot down over the Soviet Union. Powers survives by ejecting, and his U-2 glides to a soft crash-landing that leaves it frustratingly intact, allowing the Soviets to learn everything about the plane's structure and abilities when they pick it apart. Powers is interrogated for months, then forced to confess to espionage. He was sentenced to 10 years hard labor at a Soviet work camp, but ended up serving less than 8 months before being sent back to the USA in a spy-swap. After a different kind of rough landing back home (he was interrogated by hostile officials from the CIA, Pentagon, a few Senate committees and even Lockheed!), Powers continued his aviation career until 1977, when he died while heroically ditching his helicopter rather than risk a crash-landing in a field where children were playing..


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On this day, in 1986, Russia finally tells the rest of the world about the nuclear accident at Chernobyl… five days after what was at that time the worst meltdown in the history of nuclear power. Much to the delight of the Ukrainian Tourism Bureau, “Fukushima” is poised to replace “Chernobyl” as short-hand for “FUBAR Nuclear No-Go-Zone”.


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And, finally, on this day in 2003, Americans celebrate "Mission Accomplished Day" when Preznit Dubya appears before a cheering crowd of soldiers on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in full padded-crotch regalia to declare that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” Sadly, nothing could have been further from the truth.