Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween: The Devil's Holiday

Thursday is Halloween. Unlike Christmas and Easter, both of which are now accepted as Christian holidays despite their pagan origins, Halloween has no defense. There is nothing “Christian” about it. With the full approval of their parents, children dress up as ghosts, goblins, and monsters. The parents then allow their kids to knock on the doors of strangers who fill their bags with candy sometimes hiding a razor blade.

According to The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Halloween started as a Celtic festival “to mark the new year, welcoming the spirits of the dead and assuaging supernatural powers.” When Halloween crossed over from Europe to America, brought here by the Irish and Scots, it was draped in Christian disguise by church leaders who promoted it as All Hallows Eve, the night preceding All Saints Day on November 1 which Pope Gregory III (731-741) instituted as a day to celebrate Christian saints. But whether it’s called Halloween or All Hallows Eve, it’s a day devoted to death.

In Holidays and Holy Days, a booklet published by the United Church of God, on Halloween “the souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about.”

The practices associated with Halloween are all rooted in the occult. Bobbing for apples is a form of fortune telling, also called divination, an attempt to predict the future. “The first person to bite an apple was predicted to be the first to marry in the coming year.” The jack-o-lantern, the name for the pumpkin with eyes, nose, and mouth carved out and illuminated by candles or flashlights “represent(ed) a watchman on Halloween night or a man caught between earth and the supernatural world.”

Unlike Christmas and Easter whose Christian trappings have tended to obscure their Pagan beginnings, Halloween is associated entirely with the forces of darkness, with witches and bogeymen. It is Satanic.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Devoted: A book to make your heart grow larger

Angels exist, but they’re less likely to flap their wings than wag their tails.

Dogs are angels. They are the best companions and the most loyal friends. They are our protectors and often our inspiration. Dogs give us more than we could ever hope to give them. If you’re unconvinced, ask yourself this: How many books have dogs written in praise of humans? Now, how many books have humans written about dogs?

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life with Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh and published by the National Geographic Society, is one of the finest books by a human to express love and admiration for man’s (and woman’s) best friend.

Keep the tissues handy as you read about dogs that comfort the terminally ill and the abused, perform heroic feats in service to mankind, even rescue their owners from suicide with little more than a look or a brush of a wet nose.

You’ll meet Rosie, a golden retriever “who can’t stand for a kid to be sad, and will go to them to comfort them.” Rosie made history in 2011 when she became the first dog to take the witness stand where she gave support as her teenage owner testified against a rapist. And Effie, a mixed-breed, whose habit of sticking her nose into her owner’s breast was the clue that a large carcinoma, rarely detectable in mammograms, was growing there. K’os, a Neapolitan mastiff, had a nightly habit of visiting the bedroom of a boy whose epilepsy was only diagnosed after the dog’s barking saved him during a seizure.

There are dogs that serve as eyes for the blind, ears for the deaf, and provide friendship to the lonely and brokenhearted.

At other times, the tears may come from laughter as you read about dogs that surf and skydive. Walsh provides informative sidebars throughout explaining the differences between various breeds of dogs, how to care for your dog, as well as dog trivia.

Devoted is a beautiful book on all counts: beautiful stories beautifully written, with beautiful photographs on quality paper. It’s as lovely to look at as it is to read.

“Dogs make our hearts grow larger,” Ascher-Walsh writes. So will this book.

(A modified version of this review was originally published at Amazon.com)

Brian W. Fairbanks

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jerome Corsi asks: Who Really Killed Kennedy?

Jerome R. Corsi's Who Really Killed Kennedy? kept me reading over three consecutive nights, but for a die-hard conspiracy theorist who has already explored alternative histories of the 1963 assassination, it offers few revelations and fails to acknowledge what may have been the most significant factor in the 35th U.S. president’s death: John F. Kennedy’s decision in June 1963 to issue currency through the United States Treasury, as the Constitution requires, a fearless or foolhardy move that threatened the Federal Reserve’s stranglehold on the economy. Kennedy bravely took on the Mafia and the CIA, swearing to smash the latter into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind, but that may have been child’s play compared to challenging the banking establishment that likely controls both.

Despite that omission, Corsi’s book is a valuable crash course on the Kennedy assassination, gathering evidence from a variety of sources to summarize what is now known or plausibly suspected concerning the shocking events in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

The characters already familiar to us from Oliver Stone’s 1991 film, and dozens of other documentaries and books (the best of which remains The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease) reappear in Corsi’s pages. They include such now infamous figures as Lee Harvey Oswald who did not act alone and may not have acted at all in pulling the trigger, and Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner with Mafia ties, who did pull the trigger on Oswald, not in a fit of psychotic patriotism, as the white-washed version claims, but on orders from people that both men knew and likely worked with. Allen Dulles, the CIA director, fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, is the chief culprit in Corsi’s view, an amoral son of privilege who had solicited help from Nazis in forming the agency and joined forces with organized crime and foreign assassins to eliminate the president. Also slithering about, certainly involved at least on the periphery, are three future presidents: Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and George H. W. Bush.

Few people today accept the official Warren Commission report, a tall tale that is sure to receive heavy rotation in the mainstream media this year, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. In a way, I almost envy those na├»ve dreamers who continue to believe it. The story of a lone assassin and his magic bullet is a comforting fantasy, far less frightening than the truth. Since the lies are still so aggressively promoted, it’s clear that the Kennedy assassination was about much more than the elimination of one man, and the powerful forces behind it are still in power today.

Jerome Corsi sees the big picture, and connects the assassination to the New World Order, that utopia for corporate and banking interests that will be a prison or death sentence for the rest of us. Read Who Killed Kennedy? Read it and weep - for Kennedy, for your country, and for yourself.

Brian W. Fairbanks

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