MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


February 25, 2003

Miscellaneous Subjects #177: Strange and/or Chocking Revelations - and More!


Hello everyone

Here is a good eclectic one to begin the week.

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MiscelSubjects177.htm

Check also my latest "Media Compilation #117: Precious Time and Billions Wasted While Millions Are Dying" archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation117.htm


CONTENTS

1. Not receiving the compilations (???)
2. Take the 'War'-on-Iraq IQ Test
3. Dennis Kucinich's Position on Genetically Engineered Food and other issues
4. Smallpox Vaccines
5. New SEC chairman is member of occult Skull & Bones secret society
6. DANGER COMET PHOTO/STORY UPDATE
7. What the Bush Gang Really Wants The Roots of the Iraq War
8. Enron: Under Cover of Dark and the War


See also:

Bush Bribes Blair For UK Support
The Stories the Shadow Government Hopes You Don't Learn
http://www.cloakanddagger.ca/home.asp
Cloak and Dagger has been contacted by reliable bank investigators who have uncovered evidence that British PM Blair was involved in criminal bribery. Blair accepted large bribes from the Bush oil interests.

U.S. Troops to Fight in Philippines (Feb 21)
http://truthout.org/docs_02/022303G.htm
Part of the 3,000-strong force will help hunt down Muslim rebels noted for kidnappings. The mission is seen as a significant escalation.

Israel army tightens clampdown in Gaza (Feb 21) http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=78126
Army roadblocks in Gaza split the seaside strip into three sectors.




1.

From: Xtnewhall@aol.com
Date: 22 Feb 2003
Subject: Not receiving the compilations (???)

Jean -- I am on aol and I have not been receiving your series regularly. I received the one today and realized I hadn't heard from you in a while. Do you know what's up? Are you receiving other complaints from subscribers? I'll check into the main website daily to see if I'm missing anything and to catch up. Thank you SO much for the site.

Love and blessings,

Christi

AND MY REPLY WAS:

Thanks Christi for letting me know about this problem. You are not the first person to inform me of this situation. A couple other people with hotmail accounts have also mentioned this.

Assuming that it is not related to your Inbox being full (others indicated theirs was not - and BTW I did verify that your email is indeed in the listserver database), I can only surmise it is related to either the automated listserver I use not faithfully sending the compilations to everyone on the list OR my postings are being routinely screened by some governmental operator and their circulation to some recipients (all AOL and Hotmail accounts that they can control - for instance) being denied.

I'll try in a coming posting to the ERN list to use the old manual way - not through the listserver - and ask if others experienced similar lapses in receiving my stuff.

Best regards

Jean

NOTE TO ALL: I'd appreciate hearing from others who may have also noticed a similar problem recently.

CHRIST ALSO WROTE THIS AFTERWARDS:

Jean - thanks for your reply. truthout.com had trouble with aol blocking their daily email (it didn't come for weeks - to me and to many many others from what he said - he had alot of trouble with aol). Don't know what's going on with aol. Thanks for any/all help. Love, Christi Newhall




2.

Date: 17 Feb 2003
From: "Antares" <Antares@time.net.my>
Subject: Take the War-on-Iraq IQ Test

Do you know enough to justify going to war with Iraq?

1. Q: What percentage of the world's population does the U.S. have?

A: 6%

2. Q: What percentage of the world's wealth does the U.S. have?

A: 50%

3. Q: Which country has the largest oil reserves?

A: Saudi Arabia

4. Q: Which country has the second largest oil reserves?

A: Iraq

5. Q: How much is spent on military budgets a year worldwide?

A: $900+ billion

6. Q: How much of this is spent by the U.S.?

A: 50%

7. Q: What percent of US military spending would ensure the essentials of life to everyone in the world, according the UN?

A: 10% (that's about$40 billion, the amount of funding initially requested to fund our retaliatory attack on Afghanistan).

8. Q: How many people have died in wars since World War II?

A: 86 million

9. Q: How long has Iraq had chemical and biological weapons?

A: Since the early 1980's.

10. Q: Did Iraq develop these chemical & biological weapons on their own?

A: No, the materials and technology were supplied by the US government, along with Britain and private corporations.

11. Q: Did the US government condemn the Iraqi use of gas warfare against Iran?

A: No

12. Q: How many people did Saddam Hussein kill using gas in the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988?

A: 5,000

13. Q: How many western countries condemned this action at the time?

A: 0

14. Q: How many gallons of agent Orange did America use in Vietnam?

A: 17million.

15. Q: Are there any proven links between Iraq and September 11th terrorist attack?

A: No

16. Q: What is the estimated number of civilian casualties in the Gulf War?

A: 35,000

17. Q: How many casualties did the Iraqi military inflict on the western forces during the Gulf War ?

A: 0

18. Q: How many retreating Iraqi soldiers were buried alive by U.S. tanks with ploughs mounted on the front?

A: 6,000

19. Q: How many tons of depleted uranium were left in Iraq and Kuwait after the Gulf War?

A: 40 tons

20. Q: What according to the UN was the increase in cancer rates in Iraq between 1991 and 1994?

A: 700%

21. Q: How much of Iraq's military capacity did America claim it had destroyed in 1991?

A: 80%

22. Q: Is there any proof that Iraq plans to use its weapons for anything other than deterrence and self defense?

A: No

23. Q: Does Iraq present more of a threat to world peace now than 10 years ago?

A: No

24. Q: How many civilian deaths has the Pentagon predicted in the event of an attack on Iraq in 2002/3?

A: 10,000

25. Q: What percentage of these will be children?

A:Over 50%

26. Q: How many years has the U.S. engaged in air strikes on Iraq?

A: 11 years

27. Q: Were the U.S and the UK at war with Iraq between December 1998 and September 1999?

A: No

28. Q: How many pounds of explosives were dropped on Iraq between December 1998 and September 1999?

A: 20 million

29. Q: How many years ago was UN Resolution 661 introduced, imposing strict sanctions on Iraq's imports and exports?

A: 12 years

30. Q: What was the child death rate in Iraq in 1989 (per 1,000 births)?

A: 38

31. Q: What was the estimated child death rate in Iraq in 1999 (per 1,000 births)?

A: 131 (that's an increase of 345%)

32. Q: How many Iraqis are estimated to have died by October 1999 as a result of UN sanctions?

A: 1.5 million

33. Q: How many Iraqi children are estimated to have died due to sanctions since 1997?

A: 750,000

34. Q: Did Saddam order the inspectors out of Iraq?

A: No

35. Q: How many inspections were there in November and December 1998?

A: 300

36. Q: How many of these inspections had problems?

A: 5

37. Q: Were the weapons inspectors allowed entry to the Ba'ath Party HQ?

A: Yes

38. Q: Who said that by December 1998, "Iraq had in fact, been disarmed to a level unprecedented in modern history."

A: Scott Ritter, UNSCOM chief.

39. Q: In 1998 how much of Iraq's post 1991 capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction did the UN weapons inspectors claim to have discovered and dismantled?

A: 90%

40. Q: Is Iraq willing to allow the weapons inspectors back in ?

A: Yes

41. Q: How many UN resolutions did Israel violate by 1992?

A: Over 65

42. Q: How many UN resolutions on Israel did America veto between 1972 and 1990?

A: 30+

44. Q: How many countries are known to have nuclear weapons?

A: 8

45. Q: How many nuclear warheads has Iraq got?

A: 0

46. Q: How many nuclear warheads has US got?

A: Over 10,000

47. Q: Which is the only country to use nuclear weapons?

A: The US

48. Q: How many nuclear warheads does Israel have?

A: Over 400

50. Q: Who said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"?

A: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


---

and From http://StandDown.net:

The United States Government will spend more on the military in fiscal year 2003, than all the rest of the countries on Earth combined. Current expenditures are 437 billion and our past obligations are 339 billion, this equals 776 billion. 46% of our Taxes go to the Military Industrial Complex: http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm

This figure doesn’t even begin to account for all of the off-budget, black projects, homeland security nor the 40+ billion the United States Government will spend on intelligence in 2003.




3.

From: http://www.kucinich.us/issue_geneticallyfood. htm

Dennis Kucinich's Position on Genetically Engineered Food

If we are what we eat, then we must know what is in our food, so we may know what we are to become. The public interest is a transcendent, irreducible imperative in matters of peace, life, health, safety, and the environment. As the public becomes better informed of the effects and risks of genetic alteration of food, an enlightened public can pursue choices which will truly be in their best interest.

In a democracy, the inherent rights of the people must be continually reclaimed and articulated in order to be assured. Government has a moral responsibility to ensure the purity and safety of the food supply. We cannot abdicate this responsibility to global corporations whose goals may be limited to profit-orientation.

We all must eat so that we may live. But food is more than fuel. Food choice is a very personal act. Partaking of food expresses cultural and ethnic affirmation, religious affiliation, ethical choices, political, economic, and social orientation. Genetically engineered food represents a challenge to freedom of choice and freedom of expression. It touches something very deep in all of us that in our striving to consume that we not become less than that which we consume. It is a high expression of humanity to question, and to resist, the homogenizing power of global economic structures.

---

See all the other issues Kucinich addresses at http://www. kucinich. us

including his take on the environment at http://www. kucinich.us/issue_environment. htm.




4.

From: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/portside/message/3786

Smallpox Vaccines

New York City has begun administering voluntary smallpox vaccinations on Feb. 19. Many activists, myself included, oppose taking these vaccines, for reasons enumerated elsewhere. However, REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU MAY THINK ABOUT THIS POSITION, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released the following WARNING buried in a long press release on who SHOULD NOT take the vaccine under any circumstances short of an actually existing smallpox epidemic in their area. I quote verbatim:

From the NYCDOHMH:

Anyone who has any of the following health conditions, OR LIVES WITH SOMEONE OR HAS CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE (e.g. SEX PARTNER) WITH ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS, should not get vaccinated at this time:

- Weakened immune systems (e.g., - persons with HIV infection - cancers - organ transplants - people on chemotherapy - or taking steroids - or other immunosuppressive drugs).

- A history of EVER having the skin diseases eczema or atopic dermatitis.

- Any active skin diseases, such as - burns - shingles - severe acne, etc. (If these skin diseases are not active and have healed, it is okay to get the vaccine. [so says NYCDOHMH - I vehemently disagree - MC])

- Women who are pregnant or who will be trying to get pregnant in the four weeks after vaccination.

In addition to the health conditions listed above, - women who are breastfeeding - anyone who is ill at the time of vaccination - and anyone with allergies to one of the ingredients in the vaccine should not volunteer during this vaccination program.

DOHMH also recommends that person with a child less than 1 year of age in the home not be vaccinated at this time.

END DOH LIST

Political and admittedly speculative note: Smallpox takes 12-16 days to incubate in the body, during which time there are no signs whatsoever. You'd never know. So -- here's the scary thought -- the US wants to bomb Iraq during the New Moon (March 3) or slightly earlier as there would be no moonlight -- an important consideration.

Since all of this is being orchestrated on high, let's count backwards 12-16 days from Feb. 27, and we get Feb. 11-15th -- hmmm, just happens to be the period of the Orange Alert, followed by the massive antiwar demos.

So if there were to be a "sudden discovery" of smallpox, creating hysteria, just before the coming New Moon (that means, remember from high school, that no moon is visible in the sky) followed by the bombardment as a "response", an infection has already taken place during the period of the Orange Alert, and is now incubating somewhere.

No matter how prepared we think we are, we will have to swim desperately against the tide as soon as a case of smallpox is announced.

---

Medical note: You cannot get smallpox from the vaccine. What one can get is "vaccinia" -- which could be just as deadly, as well as all sorts of other illnesses due to impurities, contaminants, genetically engineered experiments, etc. And, this can be spread to others. There are FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS of vaccines that will be administered, not simply the kind they injected us with in the 1950s and 1960s, although that is all the media are focusing upon.

The No Spray Coalition will be sponsoring public forums on this topic, as a natural outgrowth of the anti-spray work we initiated and continue to pursue.

Mitchel Cohen
http://www.nospray.org




5.

Forwarded by Brenda/Beverly <angeltoad@aol.com>

From: http://www.americanfreedomnews.com/

New SEC chairman is member of occult Skull & Bones secret society

By Rick Wiles

February 18, 2003

President Bush's choice to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission was sworn into office Tuesday during a ceremony at the White House.

William Donaldson, a multimillionaire investment banker, was nominated by President Bush late last year to replace Harvey Pitt as chairman of the SEC. Pitt was force to resign after a stormy 18-month reign during a rash of corporate scandals starting with the collapse of Enron. The US Senate confirmed Donaldson last Thursday.

During the White House ceremony, President Bush said Donaldson was well prepared for the challenge of running the SEC. "Bill Donaldson spent a career preparing for this challenge," said President Bush. "He has served as a found of a leading investment firm, the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, the founding den of the Yale School of Management. He has set high standards throughout his entire career."

What President Bush failed to mention is William Donaldson's membership in The Order ¬ an occult secret society with Nazi connections composed of members of the Eastern Establishment aristocracy. Known to outsiders as Skull & Bones, The Order is controlled by about 20 wealthy East Coast families. The Bush family has been a dominant player in The Order for decades. President George W. Bush and his father, former President Bush, are members of The Order. Prescott Bush, the current president's grandfather, was also a member of The Order.

Based at Yale University, The Order is the American branch of the German Brotherhood of Death. Adolph Hitler was a member of the German secret society. The Order operates from a windowless three-story mausoleum on the Yale campus, Bush's ala mater, known as the Tomb. The Tomb supposedly contains artifacts that belonged to Hitler, human skeletons and skulls, stolen gravestones, a mummy, an mementos from numerous wars. The Tomb allegedly also contains the skull of Geronimo ¬ the Apache war chief. Prescott Bush, President Bush's grandfather, stole the Indian chief's skull. The skull is used in various occult rituals.

Donaldson, the new SEC chairman, was a Yale classmate with Jonathan Bush, the President's uncle. Donaldson was a member of The Order's "D-121" - the class of 1953. Delegations are named for the number of years between when the members joined and 1832, The Order's inception.

CLIP




THIS WAS POSTED A COUPLE DAYS AGO. IT APPEARS GENUINE.

6.

From: http://www.free-minds.org/comet_story.htm

DANGER COMET PHOTO/STORY UPDATE

THIS IS NOT A HOAX...THIS IS A WARNING FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE SENSE...

Below are the actual orbiting photographs of the sun taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory "SOHO" satellite. These photo's show the passage of the comet nicknamed "NEAT C/2002 V1" which is reported to be as large as a planet (2x the size of Pluto) and its story was briefly picked-up by the BBC news. I have made some comments underneath each photo to give you a feel of what is going on...

(There is a picture - not displayed in this email - between each of the following paragraphs at this website which is worth a look)

The comet approaches the sun and can be seen clearly in the top part of the satellite photo dated 17/2/2003. It was unknown at this point whether the comet would fly out of the sun and back into space, or whether it would be pulled into the gravity of the sun and explode or melt due to the nuclear fusion with the sun... However, some reports (see BBC story) placed the comet as a 'recurring' phenomena every 37,000 years which meant that it would 'fly-past'.

The comet continues its approach a few hours later into February 18th as expected...nothing special is happening, and it is still unknown if the comet will survive the pass-by with the sun.

As the comet comes close to the sun, a solar flame starts shooting out from the sun towards the area of the comet. Flames shooting out from the sun are a common occurrence and this was perhaps due to the gravitational pull of both the sun and this planet-size comet...

An hour later the solar flame is getting higher and higher into space and seems to be heading straight for the comet (this is not usual or typical).

Another hour goes by and the solar flame is truly 'lashing-out'. It is unknown how close to the comet the flame is getting, but according to one science website article the comet is at least 5 million miles away from the sun at its nearest point.

Another hour goes by and the flame looks set to strike the comet (though this is not certain as the images related are in 2-D, while space is in 3-D). It is now estimated that this solar flame will make a distance of close to 5 million miles.

This is one of the climax photos where it seems that the solar flame has scorched the comet (though no assessment could yet be made as to the damage to the comet)...What is also very 'eerier' is that the solar flame draws the picture of a massive 'eye' looking out towards the left! (AMAZING AND TRUE!)

An hour later the flame and comet seem to be in close proximity... the comet is still moving closer to the sun (and that eye drawn in space from the flames is now looking forward!).

This is when everything strange began to happen...the SOHO images went OFF-LINE for about 7-hours, and when they came back, the image of the comet continuing its pass unaffected was being displayed... However, you can clearly see a 'cut&paste' image of part of the comet in the mid right section which indicates that photo manipulation is taking place.

For the next 12 or so hours we saw the 'faked' comet just making its way smoothly away from the sun as per the pre-planned trajectory with its exit point being the exact same location where the 'photo-shop' error placed it in the picture before this!. This day also say a very bizarre 'Home Land' security alert which asked people to have 3-days supply of water and food, as well as first aid kits, flashlights, blankets and to assume that in case of an 'attack' that even telephone and services will be out! Here is a quote from their statement: "Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency... If you see large amounts of debris in the air...." (read their site here).

Many hours pass before the 'faked' comet starts to leave the photo shots...Though what is worth noting is that a solar eruption in the SAME PLACE that the comet was struck now begins and will last for nearly 36 hours before its dies down!.

Note that once the comet is now gone, the solar activity is going on in the SAME VICINITY where the comet seemed to be struck or hovered nearly 36 hours before! (this flare has been up for a number of hours prior to this photo). This is not a normal phenomena as solar flares in one spot do not last more than a few hours...the only conclusion that has been drawn is that part of the comet has broken off and combusted with the sun causing the excess burning.

This is the photo to outmatch ALL photos...out of seemingly NOWHERE (24 minute time lapse from previous photo), we see a large object below the sun which has a clear body and a tail!!!. This photo confirms without doubt that the comet did indeed alter its trajectory after being struck by the solar flame. It also confirms that the comet is getting closer rather than farther away (the size of the comet compared to its first appearance at the sun shows it is nearing our way - also, what is alarming is the size of the 'tail' which may pose more danger in passing than the rest of the comet). It must also be note that SOHO stopped releasing any new photos for a full 12 hours after this became seen...

According to the above photo that is time stamped only 35 minutes later (though it was posted 12 hours late!)...the comet is neither to be seen nor detected in any way. It is as if the image of the comet had never been...This is the second time that SOHO is caught altering images using paint-brush type software... The comet has changed trajectory and the path is yet unknown!!!.

Conclusion:

We have witnessed far smaller and less relevant comets being given more publicity and hype... yet when a few thousand year event takes place with a comet larger than a small planet, there is MEDIA SILENCE!.

This when added to the data manipulation and silence from NASA and other observatories leads us to one conclusion... that this event has everyone in authority extremely scared and that they have no idea what may be the final results of its trajectory or its passing.

Silence is a strategy that a top advisor to the US government has already stated (read story) would be the policy for impact or dangerous objects moving through space... We may be seeing this policy currently being enforced.

Here are some quotes from the Homeland Security Office 1-day after the comet changed its trajectory being influenced by the a massive solar flare (this happened on the 18th of February... Home Land Security issued their warning on the 19th of February).

Here are some 'give-away' quotes from the Homeland Security website:

"Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer." http://www.ready.gov/overview1.html

"Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency. http://www.ready.gov/overview.html

"You may have trouble getting through, or the phone system may be down altogether, but be patient." http://www.ready.gov/overview2.html

"If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to "shelter-in-place. http://www.ready.gov/overview2.html

Do you think that terrorism will cause 'natural' disaster or 'debris in the air'!!! (that is a giveaway).

The only advice to readers is: BE VIGILANT/BE PREPARED

Please take the warnings issued by the Homeland Security VERY SERIOUSLY (even if you are not in the US)...Have supply of food and drinking water for a few days at least, have extra blankets and an aid kit, have lighting equipment (flashlight/gas lamps), and most importantly, have a PLAN for what you will do after such an even takes place (if it does take place)... Where will you meet with your loved ones, where will you move to if the services are all disabled, etc...

This event and information is being shared amongst common people on the following discussion places:

http://www.represent.co.nz/forum/viewforum.php?f=1

http://66.242.35.139/bbs/default.php?page=1

http://www.gulufuture.com/future/neat_flyby.htm




7.

From: NCEpanacea@aol.com

CounterPunch

February 20, 2003

What the Bush Gang Really Wants The Roots of the Iraq War

by WILLIAM BLUM

Which is the more remarkable -- that the United States can openly announce to the world its determination to invade a sovereign nation and overthrow its government in the absence of any attack or threat of attack from the intended target? Or that for an entire year the world has been striving to figure out what the superpower's real intentions are?

There are of course those who accept at face value Washington's stated motivations of "liberating" the people of Iraq from a dictatorship and bestowing upon them a full measure of democracy, freedom and other eternal joys fit for American schoolbooks. In light of a century of well-documented US foreign policy which reveals a virtually complete absence of such motivations, along with repeated opposite consequences, we can dispense with this attempt by Washington to win hearts and mindless.

Presented here are some reflections about several of the causes that make the hearts of the imperial mafia beat faster in regard to Iraq, which may be helpful in arguing the anti-war point of view:

Expansion of the American Empire: adding more military bases and communications listening stations to the Pentagon's portfolio, setting up a command post from which to better monitor, control and intimidate the rest of the Middle East.

Idealism: remaking the world in what the true believers see as America's image, with free enterprise and Judeo-Christianity as core elements; here is Michael Ledeen, former Reagan official, now at the American Enterprise Institute (one of the leading drum-beaters for attacking Iraq): "If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well, and our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Oil: the sine qua non of Middle East policy, yesterday, today and tomorrow; to be in full control of Iraq's vast reserves, with Saudi oil and Iranian oil waiting defenselessly next door; OPEC will be stripped of its independence from Washington and will no longer think about replacing the dollar with the Euro as its official currency; oil-dependent Europe may think twice next time about being so uppity.

Globalization: Once relative security over the land, people and institutions has been established, the transnational corporations will march into Iraq ready to privatize everything at fire-sale prices, followed closely by the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization and the rest of the international financial extortionists.

Arms industry: As with each of America's endless wars, military manufacturers will rake in their exorbitant profits, then deliver their generous political contributions, inspiring Washington leaders to yet further warfare, each war also being the opportunity to test new weapons.

Israel: The men driving Bush to war include long-time militant supporters of Israel, such as Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith, who, along with the rest of the powerful Israeli lobby, have advocated smashing Iraq for years. Israel has been playing a key role in the American military buildup to the war. Besides getting rid of its arch enemy, Israel could use the opportunity to carry out its final solution to the Palestinian question -- transferring them to Jordan, (liberated) Iraq, and anywhere else that expanded US hegemony in the Middle East will allow. Iraq's abundant water could be diverted to relieve a parched Israel.

William Blum <BBlum6@aol.com> is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World's Only Super Power and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir




8.

From: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_20-2-2003_pg4_11

Enron: Under Cover of Dark and the War

By Matt Bivens

There's not much doubt left today that the California energy crisis was an Enron esque game. Just 10 days ago, a fifth former Enron exec entered a federal guilty plea.

The Enron scandal has all but disappeared from view. Let's check in on it, shall we?

You remember Enron: It claimed to be making and holding onto lots more money than it really was; it suckered people, including its own employees, into believing it was a success; its top executives paid themselves lavishly and then, when the pyramid shuddered, cashed out early.

That's the usual chronology, but the 800-pound gorilla it omits is the summer of 2001 in California when "energy traders'' like Enron created a phony "energy crisis'' in which, for the third summer in a row, they could ransom their energy for eye-poppingly outrageous sums.

There's not much doubt left today that the California energy crisis was an Enron esque game. Just 10 days ago, a fifth former Enron exec entered a federal guilty plea. He admits he and his colleagues intentionally defrauded Californians intentionally brought about those lucrative power outages.

Enron, of course, wasn't alone. Traders over at Reliant Energy (just renamed Center point) have been caught on tape laughing about being the cause of power failures across the West Coast, and then under cover of dark sneaking away with the public's hard-earned money it was "cool'' and "fun.''

So, game over, right? There's a consensus that 55 million Californians were ripped off by the Fraudster 500; now it's just a matter of doling out the jail time and the public shame, collecting what money can be recovered, and ordering regulators to prevent it recurring, right?

Uh, no. For starters, Americans have forgotten Enron. We're too busy duct-taping our windows shut against the possibility of a chemical, biological or nuclear attack. The press derides the new government civil defence advice as "duct and cover'' a joking reference to the old "duck-and-cover'' Cold War drills, in which school kids would hide under their desks from Comrade Stalin but that hasn't stopped hoarders from buying up all the flashlights and bottled water in my hometown.

With no one watching, it's back to business as usual and the Bush administration is eager to do the bidding of the oligarchy sorry, wrong country, of its favourite "campaign contributors.'' So those Reliant traders who thought themselves so "cool'' earned their company a playful wrist slap: Their $13.8 million fine equals 0.03 percent of Reliant's (rape-of-California) 2001 revenues of $40.8 billion. If Reliant had jacked a Mercedes, this would be equivalent to a judge ordering it to keep the car but return any change found behind the seat.

The fine was set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC and for anyone who missed the point, the White House just appointed a new FERC commissioner: Joseph Kelliher, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. Kelliher was the Enron go-to guy he was once handed Enron's "dream list'' of government policies and dutifully relayed it to Boss Cheney.

Meanwhile, the man who used to run Enron's corrupt energy trading division is not only not in trouble, he's secretary of the US Army that, incredibly, makes him the man in charge of the Army budget. Ken Lay, the former Enron chief, is also doing well. He's having a day in court soon because he's suing the US government. He and his wife think the US tax authorities owe them $130,000 from the mid-1980s.

So this is why they say the first casualty of war is truth.




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