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Uncle Sam’s eavesdropping reminiscent of the Nazis


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Public officials who insist that their actions be private and that private citizens’ actions be public sound like Hitler‘s old minister of public enlightenment and propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels’ pronouncement that “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” can be applied to the government also.

Daniel Ellsberg, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden all took the oath to defend the Constitution when they went into the military. Having taken the same oath myself, I know it has no expiration date.

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The uncomfortable truth is that some of us out here are committed to upholding that oath to protect the Constitution even if it results in death. It is an affront to our integrity to think that we will be silent just so public officials will not be embarrassed when it is revealed that they lied to the public and that they are enemies of the Constitution.

The military and NSA are being criticized for placing such young, idealistic men in positions that enable them to witness the workings of our government. We need more of these young individuals who refuse to speak the corrupted, Orwellian language of the old politicians and who uphold the truth regardless of the punishments for doing so.

Paul Appell

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via Forum: Uncle Sam’s eavesdropping reminiscent of the Nazis – Peoria, IL – pjstar.com.

How Shell collaborated in the Nazi annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia


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From time to time we like to highlight events from the long often-dark history of Royal Dutch Shell.

We have previously published evidence that Shell conspired directly with Hitler, financed the Nazi Party, was anti-Semitic and sold out its own Dutch Jewish employees to the Nazis.

From time to time we like to highlight events from the long often-dark history of Royal Dutch Shell.

We have previously published evidence that Shell conspired directly with Hitler, financed the Nazi Party, was anti-Semitic and sold out its own Dutch Jewish employees to the Nazis.

This article reveals how Shell collaborated in the Nazi annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia in the run up years to World War 2.

Royal Dutch Shell and its long-term leader, Sir Henri Deterding, who became an ardent Nazi, had a close relationship with Adolf Hitler and his henchmen. Deterding was the subject of gushing praise by Hitler.

Rhenania-Ossag was the operating company for the Royal Dutch Shell Group in Nazi Germany. Shell was seeking an oil monopoly in the German market.

As one of the two biggest German oil companies and the main lube oil manufacturer, Rhenania-Ossag was an industry leader in Nazi Germany. Many of its workers and directors were Nazis.

The Nazi regime did not take control of Rhenania-Ossag until January 1940.

Following Hitler’s annexation of Austria on 12 March 1938 and the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Royal Dutch Shell Group managing directors sanctioned Rhenania-Ossag taking over the Shell operating companies in those countries. This meant that a company dominated by the Nazis gained control over Shell companies in Austria and Czechoslovakia.

This clearly fell in with the Nazis plans, or otherwise it would not have been permitted.

This all took place before the outbreak of World War2 and while Royal Dutch Shell was still in control of all subsidiary companies, including Rhenania-Ossag.

Most of the above information comes directly from Volume 2 of “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” (page 78) and the remainder from Wikipedia.

Extract

We have already noted the Nazi government’s appointment of a Verwalterfor Rhenania-Ossag in January 1940; the Bataafsche Verwalter subsequently assumed formal control over the companies in countries under German occupation or in the German sphere of influence, such as Hungary.

Of the Group’s companies under Nazi control only Astra, Rhenania-Ossag, and Nafta Italiana continued operating at their former levels. As we have already seen, Astra was drawn into the German war effort. As one of the two biggest German oil companies and the main lube oil manufacturer, Rhenania-Ossag was an industry leader in the country. Following Hitler’s annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia, Group managing directors sanctioned Rhenania-Ossag taking over the Shell companies in those countries.142 With the rupture of overseas supplies, Rhenania-Ossag turnover plummeted, but the company formed part of the official oil cartel and thus had a share in the processing and distribution of any oil coming in, which assured a steady, if meagre, flow of revenues. In December 1940 the Verwalter
 activated the hidden financial reserves built up during the 1930’s
to raise the company’s capital from 75 million to 120 million Reichsmarks. A year later Rhenania-Ossag floated a bond loan of RM 60 million to payoff an old loan from Bataafsche and finance some new installations.143 Meanwhile, the relationship between parent company and subsidiary had to some extent been reversed by the appointment of Rhenania-Ossag’s research director as Verwalter over Bataafsche’s Amsterdam laboratory, to ensure that it would contribute to the German war effort.

EXTRACTS END

Astra was the operating company of Royal Dutch Shell in Romania.

Nafta Italiana was the operating company of Royal Dutch Shell in Italy.

Austria was annexed into the German Third Reich on 12 March 1938.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss

Following the Anschluss of Nazi Germany and Austria, in March 1938, the conquest of Czechoslovakia became Hitler’s next ambition. The incorporation of the Sudetenland into Nazi Germany left the rest of Czechoslovakia weak and it became powerless to resist subsequent occupation. On 16 March 1939, the German Wehrmacht moved into the remainder of Czechoslovakia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_occupation_of_Czechoslovakia

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Staff meeting of the Shell oil factory in Hamburg Curio-Haus, 8 April 1935.

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March of Rhenania-Ossag employees on 1 May 1938 (on the accompanying sign says: “Operating-cell Rhenania Ossag”)

via Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

On Morals: Why Atheism Trumps Christianity


Any religion that requires the acceptance of its ideas on faith alone is admitting that its doctrines cannot stand on their own merits nor withstand any critical examination. They require that their adherents accept as truth their authority, and Christianity is a perfect illustration of this point.  The belief in a god is irrational, as are those who accepts the belief in a god. Once this leap of faith is made, it only takes short steps to abandon the standards of rationality and lose the ability to distinguish truth from falsehoods. When one examines the doctrines of Christianity, it is revealed not to be the bastion of wonderful moral standards.  To the opposite, Christian morals are contrary to our well being and to our society.

The belief that there was a divine man who died for the sins of the world is a grievous and immoral notion. It amounts to human sacrifice.  If this were even suggested in real life, such as someone offering to become victim of capital punishment for another’s crime, there would be cries from from every corner of society denouncing this action. Given that, then by what possible stretch of the imagination does an immoral idea such as this suddenly become moral when it is the murder of the fictitious Jesus is a substitution for the “crime” of another person or persons?  Obviously, the answer is to instill guilty feelings. There can be no other logical purpose. When you look at the base doctrines of evangelism, it is very apparent that fear and guilt are the basic emotions that are used by Christianity to convert its targets. Those who eventually walk away from their faith were probably converted through fear alone, as a fearful person may eventually rebel.  However, those who become life long adherents were more than likely converted through both fear and guilt, because a person with deep feelings of guilt is not likely to rebel. The alleged “sacrifice” of Christ has served the church very well over the millennia.

The basic problem with Christian morality comes down to it being little more than a primitive system of reward and punishment. Be good, don’t ask questions and stay in line and you will be rewarded.  Be skeptical, ask questions and use your mind in a reasonable and rational manner and you are consigned to eternal punishment in the most horrible place, forever.  Although some churches have modified this and a few have even eliminated, this system has remained fundamental to Christianity throughout the history of the church. The whole idea of heaven and hell is a perfect illustration of just how the the core of Christianity is against reason, rationality and even life, itself.  The faith elevates ignorance and non-productivity and suppresses creative and innovative thought. One competent scientist is worth more than a thousand evangelists.

Christianity teaches its followers to meek and mild, to accept their lot in life.  This might seem like humility at its best, but consider the fate of a country that adopts this attitude and how easy it would be for any despot to seize and keep power. Does this not assure the perpetration of evil and is this doctrine not carte blanche for every injustice imaginable? It is no accident that the bible lacks any story, tale or parable about the oppressed rising up against their oppressors.  Hitler and many other dictators over the centuries all looked to the bible for justification of their actions.  And they have found it there.

There are many other problems with the alleged “divine ethics” of the Christian faith.  Slavery, which was widespread in biblical times and continues to be in many countries, is not only not admonished in the bible, but instructions on how to treat slaves is part of holy scripture.  As a general rule, women are treated as second class citizens because Christianity is a male-dominated social hierarchy. The Apostle Paul even tells women to never speak in church, along with a plethora of other misogynist requirements.

Christianity not only brings on feelings of guilt, but its promotion of death over life is morbid.  The fact that a cross, a symbol of suffering, torture and death is the icon of the faith illustrates that Christianity is a philosophy of death and has turned real human values into non-values.  Suffering has become noble and death has become eternal life.  Pictures and illustrations of blood gushing wounds on the fictitious Jesus abound almost everywhere and blood rituals such as communion are core practices in almost every church in the world.  The bloody image of a man on a cross desensitizes the faithful and causes them to believe that suffering and misery are expected and death is the only escape.  Christianity teaches that all people are evil and destined to a life of pain and suffering and hope only lies in the salvation of Christ and his assurance of a heavenly reward after we die and those who do not believe will be eternally punished. I find it hard to contemplate a more evil system.

The faith purports itself to be non-judgmental, as the notion of “judge not lest ye be judged” is often cited by Christians.  Literally, this means that only the Christian god can judge anyone’s actions to be immoral. This is one of the most damaging doctrines of the faith because it assures that the weak will be perpetually doomed to suffering under the strong. However, much like the ecological issue, the Bible makes up for this by assuring the weak that they will eventually inherit this new earth.  It is the pinnacle of ignorance not to judge people like Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler, but to just turn the other cheek, believing that in the next life everything will be sorted out.

Of course, Christianity, by design, demands ignorance.  Both naiveté and willful ignorance is at the core of a faith that is contrary to the development of knowledge through reason and rationality.  It clearly teaches people people not to trust in reason, and to only accept – without question – the dogmas of the church. Faith is elevated above reason in every church to one degree or another and there have been countless lives wasted in the world’s convents and monasteries. These lives are spent in poverty, reading the bible and praying for whatever. However, this subservience to Christ only amounts to an staggeringly immense loss of much human potential.  The fact that billions of people are convinced that all the answers they need lie in the bible and thus they have no incentive at all to look beyond it. The religious withdraw from the world while the reasoned seek to improve it. This withdrawal from the world, coupled by the teaching that the earth was created solely for the benefit of the believer has contributed to widespread ecological disaster. This belief makes it easy to justify the destruction and wanton depletion of our natural resources because, after all, Jesus is coming soon and will give us a new earth.

If the history of religion has shown us anything, it is the fact that it is inherently evil in its insistence that rational thought is to avoided at all costs. It keeps its believers in line through fear, and is the chief source of a vast majority of crime, either directly, indirectly or psychologically.  The fact that atheists and agnostics are a small minority of the prison population shows that Christianity is not only nonessential to morality, but in many cases, the antithesis. Evil has a completely different meaning to an atheist than it does to a Christian.  From a Christian point of view, evil is not following orders, thinking independently and questioning doctrines, dogmas and myth.

For those of us who are unbelievers, evil can best be described as the abandonment of our minds to the minds of others.  To us, it is a travesty to blindly accept any doctrine on faith.  We believe that the ability and willingness to stand alone, when necessary, and tell the majority that they are wrong is the pinnacle of virtue, and thus, atheism is the only honest, rational, and moral position to hold.

– Al Stefanelli, Georgia State Director – American Atheists, Inc.

via On Morals: Why Atheism Trumps Christianity | American Atheists.

via On Morals: Why Atheism Trumps Christianity | American Atheists.

Ordinary Photos Hiding Mind-Blowing Details


Spot the Dictator

If we asked you to name the most significant thing about this picture, you’d probably say “The fact that everyone’s wearing the same hat.” However, there are two historically important things about it: First, this was taken on August 2, 1914, at Munich’s Odeonsplatz, and it shows the cheerful reaction of a German crowd in the plaza during the announcement of World War I, because there’s no way something like that could go wrong for them. Remember, at this point words like “Nazi” and “Holocaust” meant nothing to the German people.

The second thing is that within this crowd, there’s a subtle hint of the terror that awaits the country — take a closer look at the man in the circle and see if you recognize him …

“World war? Now there’s an idea.”

Yep, that’s a 26-year-old Adolf Hitler looking stoked that his country is going to war, or possibly asking people if they like his new mustache. He’s two decades away from hijacking the nation into Nazism and leading them into an even more devastating global conflict.

You can’t see his legs, but judging from that haircut, he must have been wearing cigarette jeans.

The photo was taken by Heinrich Hoffmann, who would go on to become Hitler’s personal photographer. In 1932, Hitler visited Hoffmann’s photo lab and mentioned that he was in the 1914 Odeonsplatz crowd. Hoffmann looked in his negatives and, sure enough, found a face that could only belong to the future Fuhrer.

Hoffmann Collection, U.S. National Archives

“Or Charlie Chaplin. But most likely the Fuhrer.”

Recently, German historians have put the authenticity of the photo in doubt, claiming that Hoffmann could have faked it to shut up critics who questioned his boss’ patriotism. While we wouldn’t put something like that past Hitler, those guys will excuse us if we don’t trust the historians in a country where half the children still don’t know what Nazism was.

via 8 Ordinary Photos Hiding Mind-Blowing Details | Cracked.com.

via Ordinary Photos Hiding Mind-Blowing Details | Cracked.com.

Daniel Jenky, Illinois Catholic Bishop, Orders Anti-Obama Letter To Be Read In Diocese


Daniel Jenky Peoria Obama Hitler

Earlier this year, a Roman Catholic bishop came under fire from the Anti-Defamation League and others for comparing President Barack Obama to Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler during a sermon delivered at an Illinois church.

Now, as the 2012 election approaches, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria has reportedly ordered “every priest in his diocese” to read an anti-Obama letter to their congregations.

According to Think Progress, Jenky sent out the letter on Wednesday, telling priests that “[b]y virtue of your vow of obedience to me as your Bishop, I require that this letter be personally read by each celebrating priest at each Weekend Mass, November 3/4.”

In the letter, reprinted in full on the Atlantic Journal-Constitution’s website, Jenky writes:

Since the foundation of the American Republic and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I do not think there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present. Neither the president of the United States nor the current majority of the Federal Senate have been willing to even consider the Catholic community’s grave objections to those HHS mandates that would require all Catholic institutions, exempting only our church buildings, to fund abortion, sterilization, and artificial contraception.

This assault upon our religious freedom is simply without precedent in the American political and legal system. Contrary to the guarantees embedded in the First Amendment, the HHS mandates attempt to now narrowly define and thereby drastically limit our traditional religious works. They grossly and intentionally intrude upon the deeply held moral convictions that have always guided our Catholic schools, hospitals, and other apostolic ministries.

“It is important to note that Jenky’s description is wrong or incomplete on several points,” writes the Journal-Constitution’s Jay Bookman in response to Jenky’s letter. “The health-insurance coverage requirement does not apply to churches or church employees involved in its religious mission. It applies only to any secular operation by the church, such as hospitals and universities, just as it would apply to any other business.”

Bookman adds that the policy also “does not require coverage of abortion,” though it “does require that policies include contraception methods that block implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb, which the church considers abortion.”

Jenky’s opposition to birth control also “puts him wildly out of step with his flock.” As the political news site points out, a recent Gallup poll shows that “82 percent of Catholics say birth control is ‘morally acceptable.'”

Jenky, however, is not the only religious leader to offer guidance to voters in recent weeks. In fact, as the South Bend Tribune notes, Jenky is the third Catholic leader in Illinois to do so.

In September, Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki “offered a commentary on the Democratic and Republican parties’ platforms,” the newspaper writes.

“There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils,” Paprocki told the Springfield Diocese newspaper, according to the Tribune.

In Rockford, Vicar General Eric Barr “compared Obama’s support of religious freedom in Muslim countries with his lack of support for Catholic liberty,” the Tribune reports.

Elsewhere, a Wisconsin Catholic bishop implied that voting for Democrats puts one’s “soul in jeopardy.”

Last week, Bishop David Laurin Ricken informed the 300,000-plus members of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., that voting for candidates whose positions contradict any so-called “non-negotiables” of Catholic teaching “could put [one’s] soul in jeopardy,” HuffPost blogger John Becker notes in his piece.

Those “non-negotiables” include abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and gay marriage, according to a letter Ricken wrote and posted on the diocesan website. The letter was reportedly also emailed to the offices of every parish.

“Ricken has forgotten that we live in a republic, not a theocracy, as separation of church and state is clearly established by constitutional law,” wrote the Green Bay Press Gazette‘s John Reiman in response to Ricken’s letter. “Simply put, it is ethically wrong for the bishop to connect one’s salvation through participating in the civic act of voting, ostensibly, against church doctrine.”

via Daniel Jenky, Illinois Catholic Bishop, Orders Anti-Obama Letter To Be Read In Diocese.

via Daniel Jenky, Illinois Catholic Bishop, Orders Anti-Obama Letter To Be Read In Diocese.

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