For those who’ve seen the new Hobbit, this scene:

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Where Thranduil catches four orcs by their necks on his elk antlers and beheads them with one swipe of his sword? Yeah, badass. And all I could think of was Hannibal just like: 

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HE APPROVES!

Samurai executioner, beheading was the most common form of capital punishment in Japan. The criminal kneeled on a mat placed in front of a rectangular pit about 2 or 3 feet deep. He was usually blindfolded and stretched his head over the pit, the executioner whisked off the wretched man’s head at one blow. He was a well known practitioner with a very tolerable income. He received some 7 ichiboos (about $2.30) per head, and had taken off as many as 350 heads in a 12 months.

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FERGISIS:

 A juxtaposition between the recent ISIS beheadings and unjustified police killings. I was amazed by the similarities of the two topics and how no one seems to be picking up on how equal the severity of both can potentially be. I’m not necessarily equating the two because they both have their own factors that set them apart, I’m just saying that if you were to make a venn diagram of the two, the middle might be more packed than you would think. It will get a lot worse before it gets better. Stay aware. 

Shot on 35mm b&w film by Dustin Dacier.

RIP to the countless innocent people killed each day regardless of by who’s hand, my deepest condolences go out to all the families affected.

Police: Oklahoma beheading suspect tried to convert co-workers to Islam before his deadly attack

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The police have named a suspect in the brutal beheading case that we’re learning about in Oklahoma this morning.  As many guessed immediately after seeing the word “beheading” in the headline, the suspect is a Muslim who police say tried to convert his co-workers before his deadly rampage. 

from KFOR:

Officials with the Moore Police Department say the FBI is now involved in the investigation related to a brutal attack of workers at a food distribution plant.

Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.

He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.

Sgt. Lewis confirms the type of knife used in the attack is the same kind used at the plant.

Lewis confirms that Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”

At that point, Lewis claims Nolen met 43-year-old Traci Johnson and began attacking her with the same knife.

Officials say at that point, Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.

“He’s a hero in this situation,” Sgt. Lewis said, referring to Vaughan. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”

Authorities say it appears Nolen was attacking employees at random.

Johnson is in stable condition at a local hospital, recovering from her injuries.

The FBI is now looking into Nolen’s background after his former co-workers said he tried to convert them to Islam after recently converting himself.

Lewis says the FBI is working in conjunction with the Moore Police Department, especially when it comes to the religious aspect of the case.

At this time, it is not known if the suspect’s beliefs played a role in the attack.

read the rest

That last line:

“At this time, it is not known if the suspect’s beliefs played a role in the attack.”  That’s some cover your hindquarters reporting if I’ve ever read it. 

Thankfully, there was a good guy with a gun on the premises to stop this lunatic. Guns save lives, people.  Guns stop rampaging jihadi fired co-workers from beheading other co-workers. An armed citizenry is a safer one.  

Government threatened Foley family before son’s execution

After a series of recent interviews, members of the Foley family have said the government threatened to prosecute their family if they had raised and paid the money for the ransom sought for the life of their son, James Foley.

According to ABC News, Diane Foley, the mother of James, said they were threatened with lawsuits multiple times if they had gone through with paying the ransom. “We were told that several times and we took it as a threat and it was appalling.”

Diane then said a highly decorated military officer, who serves on the National Security Council, came to their house to warn them about the pending prosecutions.

“Three times he intimidated us with that message,” said Diane. “We were horrified he would say that. He just told us we would be prosecuted. We knew we had to save our son, we had to try.”

Ben Swann

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Beheading: From Symbolic to Psychological Warfare

Beheading is an archaic method of warfare - removing the head from the body in a public display that is symbolic of the consequences of sin against the laws of men. Beheadings are oft ritualistic in nature, demanding a reading of the offenses against the Land, a confession of sins, a final judgment, and the rite of last words. These executions are carried out in the name in the name a Lord or in the name of The Lord - some deity is paid homage when an individual is sacrificed upon their alter in their name.  

With time, the act of beheading has evolved with the introduction of video camera technology, allowing for the documentation of executions to be spread across the masses, turning symbolic warfare into a mind game that works to radicalize viewers. Symbolic warfare has become psychological warfare. These videos are aimed at the vulnerable, the weak, the exposed - those who seek purpose and fulfillment in their lives, those who seek answers to the existential question: Who am I? And what will I become? 

Carver era has wrapped Dean Winchester in the symbolism of beheading, ascribing him to the ritualistic execution of many - the monstrous victims of a wayward executioner whom read off his own offenses, whom confess his own sins, whom plead his last words of mercy and Please help me God against the backdrop of abasement and Hellfire. Before the Mark, Dean’s executions were based in righteousness, in heroism - they were committed in the name of salvation, in the name of his failures, in the name of his silent pleas for absolution for everything he has lost and everything that he will lose because he absolutely cannot not save everyone. Because he lacks faith in himself - because he cannot be saved.  

The Mark of Cain has evolved Dean’s role as executioner to the sinful. The Mark has obliterated the ritualistic nature of beheading. Under the sign of Father of Murder, Dean’s vulnerability - his weakness, his attachments, his propensity for love and for life, his sense of purpose that guided him blindly down the path toward salvation - has been consumed, forfeited to a new cause. The Mark of Cain has spoken to Dean’s ethos, appealed to the martyr within, granting him a disease that transforms his vulnerability into a nasty thirst for vengeance. Dean has been reconstructed as a soldier, a mercenary, battling for a heroic cause, draping himself in the flag of his own self-imposed deity - John Winchester.  

Once, beheading an enemy was Dean’s Purge - acting as the Confessional to the profession of his own sins, temporarily absolving and freeing him from the cage constructed from the webs of his guilt and his deceit. The action has become a veiled form of suicide - each severed head mirroring his own, each crying out the desperation to destroy what he has become, to destroy who he was, to make the past cease to exist. Each severed head is Dean’s damnation - a destiny born from vengeance, from thirst, from need. The Mark of Cain is the warfare propaganda of a false god in the eyes of a child with no choice but to survive - expunging faith and salvation and indoctrinating the want and the need to fulfill heroic violent fantasies that parallel the destruction of a righteous soul on a path straight back to Hell. The mission set before Dean by his father - protect your brother, avenge your mother - has become the dogma of the Mark. There is no faith, no hope to be found in the coils of the chains the bind you to a destiny chosen for you by blood, by Fate, by choice. 

Choice. There is always choice. Dean has the choice to continue to document his desolation, to spread the disease of faithlessness and death in the name of his deity. He has the choice to continue John’s crusade until there is nothing left of the soldier, until there is nothing but the flag to lay upon his ashes. But he also has the choice to step away from the alter, to lay down his blade. He has the choice to fall to his knees in his own confession, to let the prayers for peace and for God fall from his own lips, to taste absolution upon his own tongue and be freed from everything that he was and all the darkness he was to become, to relinquish the monster within in a fatal blow of grace. And in his freedom he can see - he can emerge from the darkness and open his eyes. He can take in the Universe from the stability of the stars in the sky to the immensity of love in the eyes of his anchors to his world. In his freedom he can breathe - breathe in salvation, breathe in love and devotion, and breathe in the strands of hope that float in the wind which hold the answers to everything he is and everything he can become. Faith.  

It’s always about Faith.

Special thanks to savingsammyhuntingdestiel for being my John in my Mind Palace on this one.