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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

‘Noah’ Creators Apparently Had A Different Bible Before Them

The newly released blockbuster Hollywood movie “Noah” features a retelling of the creation story that clearly depicts Darwinian evolution transforming a single-cell organism into a monkey. The movie also seems to show magic in scenes more reminiscent of the occult than of the Bible story.

While on the ark, the Noah character in the movie tells his family the story of creation, recounting nearly word-for-word the account in the book of Genesis.

As Noah tells the creation story, a single-cell amoeba-like object is seen morphing into two cells that eventually become the creatures of the sea. The fish are shown growing feet and walking onto the land as reptiles, which in turn morph into various other land species and eventually a monkey in a tree.

While director Darren Aronofsky injects the theory of evolution into the biblical narrative, he stops short of transforming the monkey into a man. The film halts the cinematic evolutionary transmutations and instead depicts mankind as appearing separately and as illuminated figures.

The film also contains extra-biblical scenes that seem to depict black magic and the occult.

In the film, Noah travels to the mountain lair of his grandfather, Methuselah, played by Anthony Hopkins, for advice on what to do about a series of dreams. The Bible contains no such account of Noah meeting Methuselah prior to building the Ark.

Methuselah is depicted as a sorcerer of sorts, who uses magic to put his great-grandson to sleep and later uses magic again to heal the womb of the girlfriend of Noah’s oldest son, Shem. Neither of those stories are in the Torah.  While God talks directly to Noah in the Torah, the Noah of the movie receives an obscure dream to build the ark after drinking a magic potion.

The film depicts other aspects of magic or the occult, such as a flower blossoming from nowhere and a magical seed that erupts into water that spreads to become a forest.

 

Obama To Skirt U.S. Law?

Consumer protections and the use of domestic law in the U.S. may drastically change as President Obama forges ahead with two secretive international.

Last week, Obama defended a proposed mega free-trade zone between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and the European Union. Obama was responding to criticism of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which the U.S. has been negotiating with the EU since last July.

Besides creating the world’s biggest free-trade zone, the TTIP will also bring about closer cooperation between EU and U.S. regulatory bodies while more closely integrating the two economies.

One leak about TTIP revealed a proposed “Regulatory Cooperation Council” that would evaluate existing regulations in the U.S. and EU and recommend future rules while coordinating a response to the current regulations.

Writing in the leftist Nation magazine, foreign policy analyst Andrew Erwin said TTIP was less about reducing tariffs and “more about weakening the power of average citizens to defend themselves against corporate labor and environmental abuses.”

Erwin took particular issue with a section in TTIP called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which stipulates foreign corporations can sue the government utilizing a special international tribunal instead of the country’s own domestic system.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported earlier this week that some American companies “are concerned that protections for investors will not be part of a deal.”

While Obama is negotiating TTIP largely in secret, talks continue to forge ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The expansive plan is a proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The agreement would create new guidelines for everything from food safety to fracking, financial markets, medical prices, copyright rules and Internet freedom.

 

The Future Of Voting?

“When New York overseas voters cast ballots in elections, few likely know they’re relying on a small tech company based in Barcelona, Spain.”

So begins a brief, glowing New York Times blog profile of Scytl, the Spain-based firm that in January 2012 acquired 100 percent of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States.

The Times’s article earlier this month, which reads more like an Scytl press release, notes the global financial crisis has caused governments to turn to Scytl to save money on election costs.

New York is just one of about a dozen states deploying Scytl software in elections.

Last year, a Scytl news release boasted that the company’s “electronic pollbook solution recently achieved a significant milestone by eclipsing the 100th implementation in the United States.”

Scytl also supplies overseas and military ballots for several states.

Scytl may soon see a jump in U.S. interest. In January, President Obama’s special commission on election reform recommended voting electronically in the future, even suggesting that tablet computers, such as iPads, be used to cast votes.

 

Obama’s 10-person Presidential Commission on Election Administration released its recommendations in a 99-page document available online.

A review of the commission’s full paper finds extensive recommendations for electronic voting.

The document states that software-only products “can be integrated with off-the-shelf commercial hardware components such as computers, laptops, tablets, scanners, printers, and even machine-readable code scanners and signature pad products.”

“Tablet computers such as iPads are common components of these new technologies. They can be integrated into the check-in, voting, and verification processes in the polling place.”

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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