One of the most famous Incan cities in the world, sun alignments are found throughout Machu Picchu. Many features, including the Sacred Plaza, The Temple of Three Windows and The Intihuatana platform, align with the summer solstice azimuth of 65-245 degrees. Scientists believe these alignments were primary considerations in the construction of the shrines. A shaft of light, shining through an east-facing window, reportedly illuminates The Torreon, or Temple of the Sun, during the summer solstice. The city was built between 1460 and 1470 AD at an altitude of 8,000 feet. Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite took this image of Machu Picchu September 8, 2003.
If you go to spaceimaging.com, you can check out their images of Ancient Observatories. They have some interesting places on the globe to check out.
I found it a little bizarre to zoom out from the close-up of Stone Henge and see the surrounding farms, and roads, and the development. I expected to see a stripmall with a Subway Subs and a Starbucks Coffee.
I just had this weird thought about viewing these ancient places from space satellites. When the Hubble telescope started viewing out into the vastness of space, it was said that it was like being a time traveller, looking back across the millions of lightyears at interstellar objects.
Satellite imagery looking down on our planet has revealed some secrets from our past. Changing the miniscule human perspective of vision into a god's eye view has revealed things previously kept unknown. The Meso American Zuni indian complexes have been shown to align themselves over the course of miles beyond the visible horizon, yet served some unknown purpose. It wasn't until satellite imagery became so commonplace that people started listening to Shoemaker about the asteroid impact history of our own planet.
If you like ancient places, check out the Virtual Egypt entry from last year. Where is the ancient place that most interests you located?
"As this community came together, the nation shared in the sorrow and the outrage over the violence directed at innocent and unsuspecting men, women, and children. One hundred and sixty-eight had been killed, more than 800 injured. Two hundred and nineteen children lost at least one parent, and 30 were orphaned. And a few days after the attack, a minister of the Gospel officiated at the funeral of his own grandsons. "
A truck bomb went off, buildings were blasted, and people died. Now, there is a memorial site with victims' names engraved in a park full of office chairs where the building once was. Those are facts. Ten years later, there still are as many unanswered questions as there were victims in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal office building.
The events leading up to April 19th, 1995 are cloaked in some mystery, even today. The U.S. government appears to be satisfied with the simplistic fact that law enforcement investigated and courts have found Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols guilty for this terrorist act. The Murrah federal building was demolished, the debris cleared away, and the Memorial site put in its place. When McVeigh decided to waive all his rights to appeal his death sentence, he was executed on June 11th, 2001. Let's all just move on with our lives -- case closed.
Immediately, the media broadcast stories asking, who and why? But with ongoing rescue and recovery operations taking place at the blast site, that became the media focus. Foreshadowing the nationwide volunteerism we all so poignantly witnessed in the aftermath of 911, rescue workers and people of everyday walks of life came pouring into Oklahoma City to help. I remember chatting online with a friend in California who was organizing a truck convoy from his family business at the time. Their business was wholesale ice. They planned to drive ice to OKC for the rescue workers and if needed, donate the use of the refrigerator trucks as a temporary overflow morque facility.
Oddly, on the day of the blast, an armed McVeigh was taken into custody without incident after he was pulled over by a state trooper for driving his vehicle with no license plate. Terry Nichols literally walked himself into custody after seeing his face on television and realized he was wanted for questioning. Were these two men suddenly remorseful, wanting the publicity of martyrdom, or just dumb and unlucky perpetrators?
John Doe #2
Early on, eye witnesses talked about John Doe #2, but then the investigators moved on to dig deeper into the lives of the two people they had in custody, McVeigh and Nichols. Friends, family and known associates were questioned. Both men were army buddies and by the end of the Gulf War, it can be said that both were disappointed and disallusioned with the government. McVeigh had earned honors in combat, but back in the states he was just another unemployed veteran with few skills applicable to the work world.
Mcveigh and Nichols tried to make a buck selling things at flea markets and gun shows where paramilitary enthusiasts of all stripes can be found. Some of these skinheads didn't play around -- and have now been linked to bank robberies in the Midwest. Many people think there were more people involved in the Oklahoma City bombing that frequented a certain ranch in the middle of nowhere called Elohim City.
For the serious researcher, not only are volumes of conspiracy theory information about OKC online at the websites of organizations whose self-labelled indentities span a range from conservative, right-wing, and patriot to militia, christian identity and neo-nazi -- but also online at organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and others. One need only remember the actions of the first Clinton administration, especially Attorney General Janet Reno's Department of Justice and federal law enforcement agency debacles in the cases of Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidians in Waco to understand the deep hatred these right-wing groups felt for the federal government at that time. It's no wonder why much of the archival information is stored at these sites. That nasty bit of U.S. history validates and reinforces their world view -- the origins of which go back in history far earlier than the Clinton presidency.
Hûsker Dû ??
I lived in Metro Detroit during this time. People were well aware of groups like the Michigan militia before our local TV news interupted scheduled programming and broadcast live during the FBI raid on the Nichols' Farm. Personally, I was preoccupied with silicon-roots activism over attempts of government censorship of the internet coming in the form of the Communications Decency Act. Unlike McVeigh, whose primary military training was in weaponry and explosives, my own training was in communications and intelligence. My disappointment with the government eroding personal liberties was focussed primarily with First Amendment issues in 1995.
Although I had actually voted for the first time in 1992 -- for Clinton -- by 1995, I was a card-carrying member and supporter of both the Libertarian Party and the ACLU. Previously politically apathetic, suddenly I found myself working with cyber rights groups like EFF, CPSR, EPIC, and CDT. To my way of thinking, information itself is the greatest defense against any oppressive government or administration. I busied myself with organizing people and educating techno-phobic and digitally-illiterate legislators in office at that time. To me, losing the right of free expression or the right to information about a supposedly open goverment in a free society is the first domino to fall toward losing other civil liberties. I continue to believe that.
Rather than advancing my own specific conspiracy theory concerning the Oklahoma City bombing, I will simply leave that up to those who may have an interest in researching the specifics of this case. I have read so many online documents about OKC over the last four days that my fragile little brain has been spinning in my skull so fast that it has melted my tinfoil hat on my head.
Where there is smoke, there is fire.
There seems to be some sort of government cover-up concerning OKC. Whether the nature of it concerns protecting sources and methods, or informants, or agents, or misdeeds, or mistakes. Information surrounding the involvement of known people, like ATF informant, Carol Howe or possible CIA agent provocateur, Andreas Strassmeir -- both at Elohim City before the bombing -- definitely thickens the plot.
I chose the four books (shown above) because they have some inherent credibility due to their proximity to the truth. The Third Terrorist is written by Jayna Davis, an award-winning OKC investigative reporter. Others Unknown is written by Stephen Jones, Timothy McVeigh's defense attorney. Freedom's End is James Nichols' (Terry's brother) account. And, American Terrorist, written by Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck, is Timothy McVeigh's authorized biography.
Over 20 bands wanted to be in it. Eight bands successfully made it to the competition stage. Sunday, after two weekends of live showcases, five Tampa Bay area high school rock bands are heading into the Finals of FLARO9, the 9th Annual Florida Rock-Off.
FLARO is a more in-depth competition than a regular battle-of-the-band event, according to Producer Louis Philippe. Each competing band is evaluated for numerous elements in three main categories-Live Showcase Performance, Original Material and Marketability. 'These bands are very fortunate to get the eyes and ears and scrutiny of many industry folks who volunteer on various judging panels."
The five bands with the highest overall scores include: EFFUSION (Countryside HS, Clearwater); GOOD GRAEFF (Riverview HS, Sarasota); STRANGE BREW (Newsome HS, Lithia); TEN SPEED INDIAN (Cypress Lake HS, Ft. Myers); and UNEXPECTED GUEST (Jesuit HS/Tampa Catholic HS/Hillsborough HS, Tampa).
Several hundreds of fans and family supporters were on hand during the two showcases held at Boomerz Boiler Room in Seminole. The audience also enjoyed guest performances by HINDSIGHT from Crystal River HS; CHUMLEY'S TOY, a popular Tampa Bay band that participated in FLARO3 and has just released a new CD; and Reindeer Recording Artist ALTERIA from Maine.
The Finals are slated for Sunday, April 17, 2 PM, at Boomerz, where each band will present another live performance that will be evaluated by yet another panel of musicians and industry representatives, as well as by the audience. The winning band will earn the title of 'Best Young Band in Central Florida" and receive $1,000 in cash from Reindeer Records plus a professional recording package donated by Hurricane Pass Studios.
[UPDATE] Some FLARO9 results:
I've been told that while Effusion snagged the "Best Young Band" brassring award, Ten Speed Indian snarfed up "1st Place for Lead Vocals" (Max Fields) and "3rd Place for Overall Marketability of a Band". Way to go, guys! You rawk! You keep playing and we'll keep listening!
Check out their brand new song "Windowsil" on their myspace.com site. I think it's one of their best yet! Who knows what may come from this great band when they all get their driver's licenses ...
So, after more than a year of independent investigation of the exaggerations and outright lies that the Bush administration used to justify initiating and prosecuting a pre-emptive war with another country, that's all he has to say directly about it?
Let's take a quick trip back in time with the Way-Back Machine, shall we?
The date: February 6th, 2004.
The place: the Oval Office.
The event: George W. Bush is signing Executive Order 13328.
During 2003, the CIA's own Iraq Survey Group (ISG) has failed to find those pesky WMDs and their chief inspector, David Kay, resigns and goes public. The House and Senate are whining up a storm. In order to quell this growing outcry, especially in an election year, Executive Order 13328 officially blames the messenger (the intelligence community) and establishes the WMD Commission.
If you happened to miss this momentous event of blame shifting at the White House, it's likely because you were too busy being entertained at the time with the made-up scandal and uproar by Bush's religious right supporters in the form of Janet Jackson's Floppy Fun Bag. BushCo loves people like Tom Delay. One phone call to the man and he'll create a worldwide media distraction in short order. Tom Delay has serious ethical problems? Who cares. He's the BushCo Go-to Guy.
Now, let's return to the present day. After 14 months of investigation, the WMD Commission, formally known as The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, releases its 618 page epic tome, commonly known as the WMD Commission Report. The Government Printing Office (GPO) is so geeked, it's been taking advance orders for it. The White House likes it so much, it creates a whole subsection of its official website for it.
Oh, I'm sorry. Did you miss this? Perhaps, it is because BushCo took a page out of the old playbook and improved on it. This time, let's just call this scandal, uproar, or distraction -- Terri Schiavo. A month ago, Dubya made a point to publicly support Delay:
Q Tom DeLay, the House Majority Leader, has been admonished three times by the House Ethics Committee, is currently embroiled in several controversies involving a lobbyist who happened to be a pretty big fundraiser for your two campaigns. Do you have the full confidence in Tom DeLay, his tactics and his leadership role in the Republican Party?
THE PRESIDENT: I have confidence in Tom DeLay's leadership, and I have confidence in Tom DeLay. And I am -- we've worked closely with Tom DeLay and the leaders in the House to get a lot done during the last four years, and I'm looking forward to working with him to get a lot done during the next four years. We've got a big agenda.
A big agenda? Sure, why not super-size that fucking order of fast food for our minds with patriot fries? Then, go after the oil fields in Iran and Venezuela, when it's strategically feasible and the buzz of burying our own from Operation Iraqi Freedom has died down a bit. First, let's use the religious right to whip up the next domestic distraction over judicial tyranny and pit them against the pro-choice majority over some federal judicial nominations. If only Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist could just stay alive long enough for the timing to be perfect with the draw down of forces from Iraq, BushCo can act while its political opposition is still walking around with its balls still floating in the 2004 Election Loss Jar.
With such a big BushCo bag of tricks, it's no wonder that many Americans still think we went to war with Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction, or even more ridiculous Bushworld claims of Saddam Hussein ties to Al-Qaeda. According to information in a recent ABC news report:
The issue of veracity also plays out in views of weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaeda. Fifty-six percent of Americans still think Iraq did possess WMDs shortly before the war, though none has been found; that's sharply down, though, from the 89 percent who thought before the war that it had such weapons.
Similarly, six in 10 Americans also continue to think that before the war Iraq provided direct support to the al Qaeda terrorist group. But nearly four in 10 say this is their "suspicion only;" just two in 10 believe there's been any solid evidence of it.
Un-fucking-believable! Even managers in our own government beaurocracy know better than this. Government Executive, an in-house trade publication for the GS types in our own government, had been reporting in 2003 that Iraq / Al Qaeda Links were weak, at best:
"Our conclusion was that Saddam would certainly not provide weapons of mass destruction or WMD knowledge to al Qaeda because they were mortal enemies," said Greg Thielmann, who worked at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research on weapons intelligence until last fall. "Saddam would have seen al Qaeda as a threat, and al Qaeda would have opposed Saddam as the kind of secular government they hated."
And Flynt Leverett, who worked on Middle East issues at the National Security Council until earlier this year and is now with the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, said that some administration officials pushed the intelligence envelope on the Qaeda connection. "After September 11, there was a concrete effort by policy makers, particularly in the Pentagon and the vice president's office, to come up with links between al Qaeda and Iraq."
I hate to upset anyone who again voted for their Bush/Cheney friends-in-jesus in 2004, but they've been lying to you all along the way. Let's just pretend that George W. Bush was simply an idiot puppet, or a well-meaning and innocent cheerleader for the more savvy neocons that surrounded him. If you abjectly believe that is the case with Bush, then don't you think a true man of god, or one with simple rational integrity, would put these demons behind him -- fire them -- not promote them to positions of more power?