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Obama's Intelligence Agenda: More of the Same from the "Change Administration"
#31
Paul Rigby Wrote:Kindly desist from posting interesting links - there aren't enough hours in the day...

By the way, did I really read right that Obama defended his compilation of a Cabinet full of Clintonian deadbeats and war criminals on the ground that he was anxious to avoid "group think"? The only thing likely to boom in the US in the next four years will be satire. What an idiot explanation.

On a more cheerful note, enjoy the quote in bold below.

Dick Starnes, from a recent email, on the rich promise of “change you can believe in”:

Quote:I am heartened by the track being taken by our president-elect. The war cabinet is in place, the ugly specter of peace has been banished for the foreseeable future, and the new Congress clearly will be no better able to deal with the nation's ills than was the old, thus fulfilling the sooth I have been saying these many months.

It will truly be interesting to see how this great nation responds to what promises to be an economic disaster that will surely equal the Great Depression in scope and longevity. I see no possibility of escaping ruinous inflation, real hardship (a thing the American people are not accustomed to) and, ultimately, political unrest of an order of magnitude not see in these latitudes since the Civil War. After the technocrats and academic fakers have had their way, and failed, the demagogues will crawl out of the woodwork and, to be sure, find a ready audience in this land of knuckle-draggers, Jesus freaks and various other stubby-fingered vulgarians. I am gratified that you agree with me as to these matters.
Reply
#32
Paul Rigby Wrote:Dick Starnes, from a recent email, on the rich promise of “change you can believe in”:

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11315

A Historic Moment: The Election of the Greatest Con-Man in Recent History

By James Petras


Global Research, December 7, 2008

Quote:"I have a vision of Americans in their 80’s being wheeled to their offices and factories having lost their legs in imperial wars and their pensions to Wall Street speculators and with bitter memories of voting for a President who promised change, prosperity and peace and then appointed financial swindlers and war mongers." An itinerant Minister 2008

Introduction

The entire political spectrum ranging from the ‘libertarian’ left, through the progressive editors of the Nation to the entire far right neo-con/Zionist war party and free market Berkeley/Chicago/Harvard academics, with a single voice, hailed the election of Barack Obama as a ‘historic moment’, a ‘turning point in American history and other such histrionics. For reasons completely foreign to the emotional ejaculations of his boosters, it is a historic moment: witness the abysmal gap between his ‘populist’ campaign demagoguery and his long-standing and deepening carnal relations with the most retrograde political figures, power brokers and billionaire real estate and financial backers.

What was evident from even a cursory analysis of his key campaign advisers and public commitments to Wall Street speculators, civilian militarists, zealous Zionists and corporate lawyers was hidden from the electorate, by Obama’s people friendly imagery and smooth, eloquent deliverance of a message of ‘hope’. He effectively gained the confidence, dollars and votes of tens of millions of voters by promising ‘change’ (implying higher taxes for the rich, ending the Iraq war and national health care reform) when in fact his campaign advisers (and subsequent strategic appointments) pointed to a continuation of the economic and military policies of the Bush Administration.

Within 3 weeks of his election he appointed all the political dregs who brought on the unending wars of the past two decades, the economic policy makers responsible for the financial crash and the deepening recession castigating tens of millions of Americans today and for the foreseeable future. We can affirm that the election of Obama does indeed mark a historic moment in American history: The victory of the greatest con man and his accomplices and backers in recent history.

He spoke to the workers and worked for their financial overlords.

He flashed his color to minorities while obliterating any mention of their socio-economic grievances.

He promised peace in the Middle East to the majority of young Americans and slavishly swears undying allegiance to the War Party of American Zionists serving a foreign colonial power (Israel).

Obama, on a bigger stage, is the perfect incarnation of Melville’s Confidence Man. He catches your eye while he picks your pocket. He gives thanks as he packs you off to fight wars in the Middle East on behalf of a foreign country. He solemnly mouths vacuous pieties while he empties your Social Security funds to bail out the arch financiers who swindled your pension investments. He appoints and praises the architects of collapsed pyramid schemes to high office while promising you that better days are ahead.

Yes, indeed, "our greatest intellectual critics", our ‘libertarian’ leftists and academic anarchists, used their 5-figure speaking engagements as platforms to promote the con man’s candidacy: They described the con man’s political pitch as "meeting the deeply felt needs of our people". They praised the con man when he spoke of ‘change’ and ‘turning the country around’ 180 degrees. Indeed, Obama went one step further: he turned 360 degrees, bringing us back to the policies and policy makers who were the architects of our current political-economic disaster.

The Con Man’s Self-Opiated Progressive Camp Followers

The contrast between Obama’s campaign rhetoric and his political activities was clear, public and evident to any but the mesmerized masses and the self-opiated ‘progressives’ who concocted arguments in his favor. Indeed even after Obama’s election and after he appointed every Clintonite-Wall Street shill into all the top economic policy positions, and Clinton’s and Bush’s architects of prolonged imperial wars (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates), the ‘progressive true believers’ found reasons to dog along with the charade. Many progressives argued that Obama’s appointments of war mongers and swindlers was a ‘ploy’ to gain time now in order to move ‘left’ later.

Never ones to publicly admit their ‘historic’ errors, the same progressives turned to writing ‘open letters to the President’ pleading the ‘cause of the people’. Their epistles, of course, may succeed in passing through the shredder in the Office of the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.

The conjurer who spoke of ‘change’ now speaks of ‘experience’ in appointing to every key and minor position the same political hacks who rotate seamlessly between Wall Street and Washington, the Fed and Academia. Instead of ‘change’ there is the utmost continuity of policy makers, policies and above all ever deepening ties between militarists, Wall Street and the Obama appointments. True believer-progressives, facing their total debacle, grab for any straw. Forced to admit that all of Obama’s appointments represent the dregs of the bloody and corrupt past, they hope and pray that ‘current dire circumstances’ may force these unrepentant warmongers and life long supporters of finance capital to become supporters and advocates of a revived Keynesian welfare state.

On the contrary, Obama and each and everyone of his foreign policy appointments to the Pentagon, State and Justice Departments, Intelligence and Security agencies are calling for vast increases in military spending, troop commitments and domestic militarization to recover the lost fortunes of a declining empire. Obama and his appointees plan to vigorously pursue Clinton-Bush’s global war against national resistance movements in the Middle East. His most intimate and trusted ‘Israel-First’ advisers have targeted Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Palestine and Iraq.

Obama’s Economic Con Game

Then there is the contrast between the trillions Obama will shower on the financial swindlers (and any other ‘too big to fail’ private capitalist enterprise) and his zero compensation for the 100 million heads of families swindled of $5 trillion dollars in savings and pensions by his cohort appointees and bailout beneficiaries. Not a cent is allocated for the long term unemployed. Not a single household threatened with eviction will be bailed out.

Obama is the trademark name of a network of confidence people. They are a well-organized gang of prominent political operative, money raisers, mass media hustlers, real estate moguls and academic pimps. They are joined and abetted by the elected officials and hacks of the Democratic Party. Like the virtuoso performer, Obama projected the image and followed the script. But the funding and the entire ‘populist’ show was constructed by the hard-nosed, hard-line free marketeers, Jewish and Gentile ‘Israel Firsters’, Washington war mongers and a host of multi-millionaire ‘trade union’ bureaucrats.

The electoral scam served several purposes above and beyond merely propelling a dozen strategic con artists into high office and the White House. First and foremost, the Obama con-gang deflected the rage and anger of tens of millions of economically skewered and war drained Americans from turning their hostility against a discredited presidency, congress and the grotesque one-party two factions political system and into direct action or at least toward a new political movement.

Secondly the Obama image provided a temporary cover for the return and continuity of all that was so detested by the American people – the arrogant untouchable swindlers, growing unemployment and economic uncertainty, the loss of life savings and homes and the endless, ever-expanding imperial wars.

Featuring Paul Volker, ‘Larry’ Summers, Robert Gates, the Clintons, Geithner, Holder and General (‘You drink your kool-aid while I sit on Boeings’ Board of Directors’) Jim Jones USMC, Obama treats us to a re-run of military surges and war crimes, Wall Street banditry, Abu Ghraib, AIPAC hustlers and all the sundry old crap. Our Harvard-minted Gunga Din purports to speak for all the colonial subjects but acts in the interest of the empire, its financial vampires, its war criminals and its Middle East leaches from the Land of the Chosen.

The Two Faces of Obama

Like the Janus face found on the coins of the early Roman Republic, Obama and his intimate cronies cynically joked about ‘which is the real face of Barack’, conscious of the con-job they were perpetrating during the campaign. In reality, there is only one face - a very committed, very consequential and very up front Obama, who demonstrated in every single one of his appointments the face of an empire builder.

Obama is an open militarist, intent by every means possible to re-construct a tattered US empire. The President-Elect is an unabashed Wall Street Firster – one who has placed the recuperation of the biggest banks and investment houses as his highest priority. Obama’s nominees for all the top economic positions (Treasury, Chief White House economic advisers) are eminently qualified, (with long-term service to the financial oligarchy), to pursue Obama’s pro-Wall Street agenda. There is not a single member of his economic team, down to the lowest level of appointees, who represents or has defended the interests of the wage or salaried classes (or for that matter the large and small manufacturers from the devastated ‘productive’ industrial economy).

The Obama propagandists claim his appointments reflect his preference for ‘experience’ – which is true: his team members have plenty of ‘experience’ through their long and lucrative careers maximizing profits, buyouts and speculation favoring the financial sector. Obama does not want to have any young, untested appointees who have no long established records of serving Big Finance, whose interests are too central to Obama’s deepest and most strongly held core beliefs. He wanted reliable economic functionaries who recognize that re-financing billionaire financiers is the central task of his regime. The appointments of the Summers, Rubins, Geithners and Volkers fit perfectly with his ideology: They are the best choices to pursue his economic goals.

Critics of these nominations write of the ‘failures’ of these economists and their role in ‘bringing about the collapse of the financial system’. These critics fail to recognize that it is not their ‘failures’, which are the relevant criteria, but their unwavering commitment to the interests of Wall Street and their willingness to demand trillions of dollars more from US taxpayers to bolster their colleagues on Wall Street.

Under Clinton and Bush, in the run up to the financial collapse, they facilitated (‘deregulated’) the practice of swindling one hundred million Americans of trillions in private savings and pension funds. In the current crisis period with Obama they are just the right people to swindle the US Treasury of trillions of dollars in bailout funds to refinance their fellow oligarchs. The White President (Bush) leaves steaming financial turds all over the White House rugs and Wall Street summons the ‘historic’ Negro President Obama to organize the cleanup crew to scoop them out of public view.

Obama, the Militarist, Outdoes His Predecessor

What makes Obama a much more audacious militarist and Wall Streeter than Bush is that he intends to pursue military policies, which have already greatly harmed the US people with appointed officials who have already been discredited in the context of failed imperial wars and with a domestic economy in collapse. While Bush launched his wars after the US public had their accustomed peace shattered by an orchestrated fear-mongering after 9/11, Obama intends to launch his escalation of military spending in the context of a generalized public disenchantment with the ongoing wars, with monumental fiscal deficits, bloated military budgets and after 100,000 US soldiers have been killed, wounded or psychologically destroyed.

Obama’s appointments of Clinton, General Jim Jones, dual Israeli citizen Rahm Emanuel and super-Zionist Dennis Ross, among others, fit perfectly with his imperial-militarist agenda of escalating military aggression. His short list of intelligence candidates, likewise, fits perfectly with his all-out effort to "regain US world leadership" (reconstruct US imperial networks). All the media blather about Obama’s efforts at ‘bipartisanship’, ‘experience’ and ‘competence’ obscures the most fundamental questions: The specific nominees chosen from both parties are totally committed to military-driven empire-building. All are in favor of "a new effort to renew America’s standing in the world" (read ‘America’s imperial dominance in the world’), as Obama’s Secretary of State-to-be, Hillary Clinton, declared. General James Jones, Obama’s choice for National Security Advisor, presided over US military operations during the entire Abu Ghraib/Guantanemo period. He was a fervent supporter of the ‘troop surge’ in Iraq and is a powerful advocate for a huge increase in military spending, the expansion of the military by over 100,000 troops and the expanded militarization of American domestic society (not to mention his personal financial ties to the military industrial complex). Robert Gates, continuing as Obama’s Secretary of Defense, is a staunch supporter of unilateral, unlimited and universal imperial warfare. As the number of US-allied countries with troops in Iraq declines from 35 to only 5 by January 1, 2009 and even the Iraqi puppet regime calls for a withdrawal of all US troops by 2012, Gates, the intransigent, insists on a permanent military presence.

The issue of ‘experience’ revolves around two questions: (a) experience related to what past political practices? (b) experience relevant to pursue what future policies? All the nominees’ past experiences are related to imperial wars, colonial conquests and the construction of client states. Hiliary Clinton’s ‘experience’ was through her support for the bombing of Yugoslavia and the Nato invasion of Kosova, her promotion of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an internationally recognized terrorist-criminal organization as well as the unrelenting bombings of Iraq in the 1990s, Bush’s criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003, Israel’s murderous bombing of civilian centers in Lebanon…and now full-throated calls for the ‘total obliteration of Iran’. Clinton, Gates and Jones have never in their mature political careers proposed the peaceful settlement of disputes with any adversary of the US or Israel. In other words, their vaunted ‘experience’ is based solely on their one-dimensional militarist approach to foreign relations.

‘Competence’, as an attribute again depends on the issue of ‘competence to do what’? In general terms, ‘The Three’ (Clinton, Gates and Jones), have demonstrated the greatest incompetence in extricating the US from prolonged, costly and lost colonial wars. They lack the minimum capacity to recognize that military-driven empire-building in the context of independent states is no longer feasible, that its costs can ruin an imperial economy and that prolonged wars erode their legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens.

Even within the framework of imperial geo-political strategic thinking, their positions exhibit the most dense incompetence: They blindly back a small, highly militarized and ideologically fanatical colonial state (Israel) against 1.5 billion Muslims living in oil and mineral resource-rich nations with lucrative markets and investment potential and situated in the strategic center of the world. They promote total wars against whole populations, as is occurring in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia and, which, by all historical experience, cannot be won. They are truly ‘Masters of Defeat’.

The point of the matter is that Obama appointed the ‘Big Three’ for their experience, competence and bipartisan support in the pursuit of imperial wars. He overlooked their glaring failures, their gross violations of the basic norms of civilization (of the human rights of tens of millions civilians in sovereign nations) because of their willingness to pursue the illusions of a US-dominated new world order.

Conclusion

Nothing speaks to Obama’s deep and abiding commitment to become the savior of the US empire as clearly as his willingness to appoint to the highest position of policy making the most mediocre failed politicians and generals merely because of their demonstrated willingness to pursue the course of military-driven empire building even in the midst of a collapsing domestic economy and ever more impoverished and drained citizenry.

Just as Obama’s electoral campaign and subsequent victory will go into the annals as the political con-job of the new millennium, his economic and political appointments will mark another ‘historic’ moment: The nomination of corrupt and failed speculators and warmongers. Let us join the inaugural celebration of our ‘First Afro-American’ Imperial President, who wins by con and rules by guns!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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© Copyright James Petras, Global Research, 2008
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#33
[quote=Paul Rigby]http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11315

A Historic Moment: The Election of the Greatest Con-Man in Recent History

By James Petras


Global Research, December 7, 2008

[QUOTE]I am heartened by the track being taken by our president-elect. The war cabinet is in place, the ugly specter of peace has been banished for the foreseeable future, and the new Congress clearly will be no better able to deal with the nation's ills than was the old, thus fulfilling the sooth I have been saying these many months.

It will truly be interesting to see how this great nation responds to what promises to be an economic disaster that will surely equal the Great Depression in scope and longevity. I see no possibility of escaping ruinous inflation, real hardship (a thing the American people are not accustomed to) and, ultimately, political unrest of an order of magnitude not see in these latitudes since the Civil War. After the technocrats and academic fakers have had their way, and failed, the demagogues will crawl out of the woodwork and, to be sure, find a ready audience in this land of knuckle-draggers[/QUOTE]

Well, I wasn't expecting too much, so the disappointment is not as great as for many others. You simply can't be backed and elected to President now UNLESS you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. I think he'll be slightly less-worse than Bush, but that is saying nothing, about a nothing. The situation is bad - real bad - and getting worse on all fronts. I hear many on the radio and internet upset at his appointments, but waiting to give 'em a chance....well, OK, I'll give him a week - but won't hold my breath for the wars to end or the unPatriot Act to be repealed, investigation on the great crimes to begin, etc.

Most are just not willing to 'vote' every day; all day - by being citizen activists. Use it - or loose it. We got the least bad candidate....great! Now what...keep fighting and get rid of the two parties, that are one; get rid of the Oligarcy oppressing us and everyone else - all living things; fight damn it! - is everyone so lazy or so comfortable or so bought-out or afraid? The coming Depression [already started...but far, FAR from finished!] may awaken many - but many will also have a diminished voice; as it is harder to be active when survival is the first and last order of the day. There will come a tipping point soon, when there will be no way out of this mess - only to record for some visiting civilization from some other planet the death throws of the late human 'civilization', and all the other species they took with them.

The time is now. The only answer is us collectively. The problem is those in control, their rotten system, their lies and deception; and then those in denial or afraid to act. Don't take anything for granted - even the internet - they have the means to shut it off, should they want to - locally or selective sites/homes. Act as if your and other's lives depended upon it. They do!

Sorry, had to get that off my mind.....hard to watch the Planet and my Nation dying and not get upset. I don't think many realize how bad the situation now is...and is on track and roaring along right into oblivion, unless we change the direction 180 degrees, real soon!!! Yes, human societies have always been a 'mess', but this is an unprecidented mess - and the new tools in the hands of those in power are unprecidented, as well. We are running out of the luxury of time....IMO.
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#34
Interesting compilation by Scahill on Obama...read and weep...or laugh...or vomit.

Right-Wingers and Neocons Love Obama's Cabinet Appointments
Posted by Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet at 9:51 AM on November 30, 2008.
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/10916...ointments/
"[T]he new administration is off to a good start."
-- Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell.

"[S]uperb ... the best of the Washington insiders ... this will be a valedictocracy -- rule by those who graduate first in their high school classes."
-- David Brooks, conservative New York Times columnist

"[V]irtually perfect ... "
-- Senator Joe Lieberman, former Democrat and John McCain's top surrogate in the 2008 campaign.

"[R]eassuring."
-- Karl Rove, "Bush's brain."

"I am gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain ... this all but puts an end to the 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, the unconditional summits with dictators, and other foolishness that once emanated from the Obama campaign ... [Hillary] Clinton and [James] Steinberg at State should be powerful voices for 'neo-liberalism' which is not so different in many respects from 'neo-conservativism.'"
-- Max Boot, neoconservative activist, former McCain staffer.

"I see them as being sort of center-right of the Democratic party."
-- James Baker, former Secretary of State and the man who led the theft of the 2000 election.

"[S]urprising continuity on foreign policy between President Bush's second term and the incoming administration ... certainly nothing that represents a drastic change in how Washington does business. The expectation is that Obama is set to continue the course set by Bush ... "
-- Michael Goldfarb of the neoconservative Weekly Standard.

"I certainly applaud many of the appointments ... "
-- Senator John McCain

"So far, so good."
-- Senator Lamar Alexander, senior Republican Congressional leader.

Hillary Clinton will be "outstanding" as Secretary of State
-- Henry Kissinger, war criminal

Rahm Emanuel is "a wise choice" in the role of Chief of Staff
-- Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, John McCain's best friend.

Obama's team shows "Our foreign policy is non-partisan."
-- Ed Rollins, top Republican strategist and Mike Huckabee's 2008 campaign manager

"The country will be in good hands."
-- Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush's Secretary of State
Reply
#35
When Adminitrations change but the basic and most important policies do not, it is a clear sign that other invisible forces are truly in control.

Having said that, the electoral process of our democratic west is a charade in any case, designed to lull people into believing a sham dream that they have a say in how politics work and how their money is spent. They do not. Matters of state are far too important to be left to chance and the whim of the citizen casting their votes.

What is so sad, however, is that when the next great hope comes along in a decade or so he/she will receive the same adoration of those same tens of millions -- who held Obama so high in their esteem -- and will also fail miserably to live up to their hopes and expectations.

The democratic process is a fixed roulette wheel and it will remain fixed so long as punters continue to enter the Casino and spin the wheel.

And by God they will...
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#36
David Guyatt Wrote:When Adminitrations change but the basic and most important policies do not, it is a clear sign that other invisible forces are truly in control.

Having said that, the electoral process of our democratic west is a charade in any case, designed to lull people into believing a sham dream that they have a say in how politics work and how their money is spent. They do not. Matters of state are far too important to be left to chance and the whim of the citizen casting their votes.

What is so sad, however, is that when the next great hope comes along in a decade or so he/she will receive the same adoration of those same tens of millions -- who held Obama so high in their esteem -- and will also fail miserably to live up to their hopes and expectations.

The democratic process is a fixed roulette wheel and it will remain fixed so long as punters continue to enter the Casino and spin the wheel.

And by God they will...

David:
I totallyy agree with you but what do we do instead? Just give up and let the bastards destroy the planet? They are well into that already. I was listening to Alex Jones on coast to coast the other night and he was talking about how this economic collapse has been planned for sometime now. Alex has been saying it for years. (He's my hometown hellraiser to me, love the guy). So even though we here know it's all controlled, people in the US can still be a sucker for a guy who promises change and peace. Compared to the devestation under the Bush empire Obama has got to be better. But the bar is now so low. I admit that I was EXCITED on election night. I recall many on the EF predicting that there would be no election, Bush would just remain.
And perhaps he "has". I can only expect the worst and hope it does not occur.
Dawn
Reply
#37
The first thing to do imo, is to recognize that the democratic system is not broken, but fixed and, therefore, taking part in that process is simply playing someone else's game (which they are delighted for you to do).

If you know a Casino has a fixed wheel, you don't go in and play. Ditto the democratic system. Actively don't vote.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply
#38
you know, the only problem with joining this site is the volume of reading added to the volume of reading I already had....

Jesus. I'm not a 'religious' guy but, holy crap. It seems the biggest problem I now have is simply trying to keep up. Events are happening in greater frequency and quantity.

The only quibble I have with a comment made way above here somewhere had to do with religious Jesus folks reacting .. or some such.

Just a personal anecdote...... snip, sorry. my error, due to cautious, paranoid second thoughts...

So as we make comments about Christians, or other groups.... may be they are accurate for the standard, main stream Baptists, whatever, .... but they are not accurate for others......
Reply
#39
By way of apology, nobody in any previous post said anything out of sorts. I only ended up deleting some of what wrote, deciding instead to be a bit more circumspect.

Sorry if any confusion.... especially mine .... had some rum and eggnog left over and decided to consume it. Now, I'm five pounds heavier.
Reply
#40
I recommend fine red wine Richard. One can have a bad morning with it in the absolute knowledge that it is good for your heart even if your wallet is unlikely to easily recover anytime soon... Big Grin
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
Reply


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