MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
June 18, 2004
The Writing on the Wall Series #28: World Saviors Wanted
I spent several hours this afternoon preparing this compilation for you. And there is really nothing funny or joyful to report right now here. I wish I could but there is no escape from the difficulties and challenges we have created for ourselves. Just consider this excerpt from an article below:
"While we remain virtually hypnotized by terrorism, humanity is quietly destroying the biosphere in which we live, ourselves and our future along with it. Just since 9/11, 25 million children died from preventable causes, the world's population grew by 200 million people and thousands of species went extinct. Also, 250,000 square miles of forest were lost, 50,000 square miles of arable land turned to desert, 8 billion tons of carbon were added to the atmosphere and air pollution claimed more than 4 million lives."
And of course you will read aplenty - if you care to - about the cruelty incarnated represented by the Bush Administration and its whole industrial/military apparatus, about the slide into a new era of nuclear pandemonium thanks again to Bush's misguided neocon policies, and the everlasting radioactive legacy of depleted uranium spread all over Iraq and a growing number of other soon-to-be-classified unhabitable zones.
As I was enjoying some truly blissful moments yesterday evening kayaking alone on the majestic Saguenay fjord nearby, intensely feeling the beauties of nature, gorging myself on the magic of life, and aware of Who I Really Am as a segment of God's consciousness enjoying existence through one of Its multitudinous channels, I thought that one of the many reasons why this universe of experience exists is precisely to enjoy solving the problems we create for ourselves - perhaps as an antidote to former boredom in permanent bliss amidst the highest realms of unmanifested reality where we all stem from.
So yes these are difficult times and lots of beings are suffering immensely as a result of ignorance and rejection of the Lighted Guidance Within. But hey! that's what we "choose" to experience as a means to guide ourselves back to Universal Harmony with All That is.
And, you know, we - our True Divine Selves - are immortal and have the divine right to choose from our Highest Selves new paths and better experiences. So let's be unashamedly confident, totally trustful that All with turn out OK, and just forge ahead with out best, moment by moment gifts of ourselves to bring Beauty, Love, Compassion, Peace and Harmony around us and throughout this whole planet, and sure enough, that's what will manifest... in due time.
And as I realized - still bobbing on the waves of the vast Saguenay River - that being born on June 19, 1952, I was just about to turn 52, I celebrated this moment of perfection and peaceful enjoyment, planning to share those thoughts with you all, my friends from around the world.
Love, Light and Happiness will prevail ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. Please do not underestimate the power of globally focused souls, hearts and minds to help turn things around for the better on this planet and make time if you can to participate to the global meditations every Sunday. To review the current Meditation Focus go at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus112.htm
Free subscription to such compilations by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2004/WritingWall28.htm
"People that are really weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."
- J. Danforth Quayle
"The normally-staid editors of the Times call Mr. Bush's new A-weapons programs a "different and dangerous direction" for U.S. policy, a "reckless folly" that "boggles the mind." (...) the U.S. is making very deliberate and systematic contributions to arming this new world with A-bombs. I keep asking myself, "What would possess President Bush to do such a thing?" How could the President or his core supporters in the Republican party imagine that they -- or anyone else -- might benefit from a world awash in A-bombs?"
- Taken from "Fiery Hell on Earth, Part 2" below
"In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us, or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know, or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence."
- Kurt Nimmo -- Taken from http://www.counterpunch.org/nimmo06172004.html
"Will the peons of America, the shirtless ones, the common folk, be cursed by failing to somehow stop the rise of America's Hitler?"
- Sherman H. Skolnick -- Taken from "Bush White House Created Violence" below
"One who condones evil is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it."
- Martin Luther King - http://DrMartinLutherKingJr.com
Worthy of Your Attention
There is a project underway to get a mass of "Western citizens" (anyone from outside Palestine actually) into Palestine by September called P10K, which stands for Palestine 10,000, as a non-violent presence for peace. It's website is http://www.p10k.net . The unique thing about it, making it much more instrumental than even the venerable International Solidarity Movement, is that a simultaneous ceasefire by Palestinian militants is being negotiated as part of it, making it hard for Israel to deny entry to the peace-keepers. It is being organized by the extremely moral, dedicated, strong-minded Ken O'Keefe who did a human-shield project in Iraq when the war there was imminent. CLIP Recommended by LESLEY WHITING email@example.com>
P10K Founder Beaten in Israeli Jail (June 16)
Irish Political Activist Ken O'Keefe suffered concussion and bruising at the hands of an Israeli prison guard Monday evening, five days into his hunger strike against detention and possible deportation. He was arrested last Thursday for attempting to enter Gaza to discuss the P10K plan with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. P10K - Palestine 10,000 - seeks to bring 10,000 western citizens to act as international observers in the Palestinian Territories in exchange for a cessation of offensive operations inside Israel. P10K is also calling on Israel to refrain from its attacks and to withdraw immediately from the Palestinian Occupied Territories - its obligation under international law. CLIP
Fonds Foncier communautaire (French-only website)
Pour les francophones sur cette liste. Un groupe visant limplantation de communautés viables au Québec. Réunion annuelle ce samedi 19 juin - détails au http://www.terravie.org/aga.html
New Alternative Technology Centre in McGregor, South Africa
Good stuff on sustainable building, alternative energy, permaculture, etc. Recommended by its founder Jill Hogan
Lots of weird stuff on this site!
1. Feedback on Veracity Series #8: The Coming Fall of a Tyrannic Dictator in the Making
2. Planet Crumbles While We're Off Fighting Terror
3. How Long Can We Hang On to our Impossible Lifestyle?
4. Bush White House Created Violence
5. Burn, Bush, Burn - Michael Moore's new 'Fahrenheit 9/11' scorches
6. Resistance is Fertile!!!
7. George Bush the AntiChrist or Just Mass Murderer?
8. George Bush Gets High On Killing
9. Government direction - Sweeping stun guns to target crowds
10. More Deadly Than Gas
11. Bush's Mercenary Army
12. Nuclear-weapons challenges rise
13. Fiery Hell on Earth, Part 2
14. Ancient City Found Irradiated From Atomic Blast
Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go
The Hidden Cost of War
NOW with Bill Moyers Airdate: Friday, June 18, 2004 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings at http://www.pbs.org/now/sched.html) Thousands of injured and ill soldiers sent home from Iraq and Afghanistan are not being counted in the Pentagon's official tally of the wounded because they are considered "non-hostile" casualties. Some say that if they were included, it would triple the total casualty count. The Pentagon claims that until NOW's request, it hadn't been asked for those numbers. But, critics say these often debilitating injuries are not being reported to keep Americans from getting a clear picture of the human cost of war. NOW's Michele Mitchell profiles these soldiers who may spend the rest of their lives scarred and disabled, but whose sacrifices are not being counted by the nation they served.
Intelligence: The PentagonSpying in America? (June 21 issue)
Mission creep? A new bill could expand the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence inside the United States - Last February, two Army counterintelligence agents showed up at the University of Texas law school and demanded to see the roster from a conference on Islamic law held a few days earlier. Their reason: they were trying to track down students who the agents claimed had been asking "suspicious" questions. "I felt like I was in 'Law & Order'," said one student after being grilled by one of the agents. The incident provoked a brief campus uproar, and the Army later admitted the agents had exceeded their authority. But if the Pentagon has its way, the Army may not have to make such amends in the future. Without any public hearing or debate, NEWSWEEK has learned, Defense officials recently slipped a provision into a bill before Congress that could vastly expand the Pentagon's ability to gather intelligence inside the United States, including recruiting citizens as informants.
The Torturer-in-Chief (June 18)
The teflon that has enveloped George W. Bush is chipping off. Arriving in office with the promise of a "humble" foreign policy, Bush was sitting pretty at the beginning of his term. But Georges honeymoon has turned sour. From the first day of his presidency, the neocons in Bushs cabal determined to "stabilize" Iraq for U.S. corporate investment. Bush had his own motives to "git" Saddam for his would-be hit on George I. The tragedy of September 11 gave them just the opportunity theyd been waiting for. Cloaking themselves in the "War on Terror," Bush and his minions methodically wove an intricate web of deception to convince the American people that Saddam was about to launch the "mushroom cloud," ending civilization as we know it. It was our mission, Bush preached, to save the Iraqis from Saddam-the-torturer. But a telling phrase in Bushs January 2003 State of the Union Address should have prepared us for the emergence of Bush-the-torturer. (...) The Constitution mandates the impeachment of a President for high crimes and misdemeanors. There is no higher crime than a war crime. Willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, which are considered war crimes under The War Crimes Act of 1996. Even if Bushs lawyers could successfully parse the meaning of torture, they cannot deny that the atrocities weve seen constitute inhuman treatment. Bush implicitly admitted sanctioning willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment in his 2003 State of the Union Address. He would be liable under the doctrine of command responsibility for war crimes committed in Iraq as well. The captain goes down with his ship. It is time to call for the Impeachment of George W. Bush.
Bush Has a Lot to Answer for on Iraq Torture (16 June 2004)
At a Senate hearing last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed that President George W. Bush never ordered torture in connection with abusive interrogations of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan and violated no criminal laws of the United States. But the attorney general did not describe what the president did order with respect to these interrogations - and he refused to turn over key documents to the Senate. The attorney general's self-serving sweeping denial disqualifies him from investigating and holding accountable those responsible for these interrogations. Ashcroft should appoint a special prosecutor to do so. Under a little known statute, any American involved in the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners, including the president of the United States, could be guilty of a federal crime. The War Crimes Act of 1996 punishes any U.S. national, civilian or military, who engages in a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. A grave breach means the "willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment" of prisoners. If death results, the act imposes the death penalty. (...) We simply cannot prosecute only the "small fry" for this scandal that has undercut our mission in Iraq and besmirched our reputation. We have to demonstrate that the rule of law applies to everyone responsible, including the president, if the evidence warrants - as we did in Watergate. There must be a thorough investigation of the higher-ups, and that requires a full congressional inquiry and the appointment of a special prosecutor. The horrendous mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners has disgraced the United States and endangered our troops and citizens. The best way to vindicate our country and undo the damage done to Iraqi prisoners is to ensure that everyone responsible is held accountable - without exceptions. We may pay a terrible price if we fail to do so.
General Karpinski: Iraq Abuse 'Ordered From the Top' (15 June 2004)
He said they are like dogs and if you allow them to believe at any point that they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them.-- General Karpinski The US commander at the centre of the Iraqi prisoner scandal says she was told to treat detainees like dogs.
New Pictures of U.S. Torture in Iraq Posted (June 12)
For historical purposes, Veterans for Common Sense archives the following photographs depicting torture by U.S. soldiers against Iraqi civilians. The U.S. Congress, the press, and the public have a right to know who ordered the murders, rapes, and wide-spread torture in Iraq. The photograhs are from several web sites, including CBS News "60 Minutes," The Washington Post, and AntiWar.com. CAUTION: These pictures are graphic.
Dismay at Attempt to Find Legal Justification for Torture (10 June 2004)
Harold Hongju Koh, dean of Yale University's law school and a former US assistant secretary of state, went to Geneva in 2000 to present the first US report on its compliance with the UN 1994 Convention against Torture. He says he told the global gathering the US was "unalterably committed to a world without torture." This week's revelations that Bush administration lawyers had sought to find legal justifications for torturing terrorist detainees have left him dumbfounded. "They are blatantly wrong," he says. "It's just erroneous legal analysis. The notion that the president has the constitutional power to permit torture is like saying he has the constitutional power to commit genocide."
Secret world of US jails (June 13)
Jason Burke charts the worldwide hidden network of prisons where more than 3,000 al-Qaeda suspects have been held without trial - and many subjected to torture - since 9/11 - The Observer The United States government, in conjunction with key allies, is running an 'invisible' network of prisons and detention centres into which thousands of suspects have disappeared without trace since the 'war on terror' began.
9/11 Panel: No Iraq - bin Laden Connection
FLORIDA STILL HAS THOUSANDS OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS ON ITS PURGE LIST
JACOB OGLES, WIRED - Thousands of eligible Florida voters may be removed from the rolls in this year's election because of a faulty database aimed at convicted felons. Florida Department of State officials promise the new database, assembled entirely by public entities with state records, will be more accurate with added precautions. County election supervisors in all 67 counties will be responsible for verifying every name as a convicted felon, and those stripped of rights must be notified before the elections so they may challenge the finding. But voter advocacy groups remain concerned about the list being unrolled so close to this year's elections.
Subject: Re: Veracity Series #8: The Coming Fall of a Tyrannic Dictator in the Making
From: Laura firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 17 Jun 2004
After browsing some of the articles, I can emphatically say some of us have NOT been played as suckers - some of us actually spend a lot of time and energy putting forth good feelings, good thoughts for the entire healing of our Universe. That energy exchange is not going on without reciprocal energy being returned. Like attracts like. Period. If those folks out there continue to want to delve into everything that has gone awry, I can only state that they are feeding the very things they abhor. How about coming to the realization that the whole ball of wax is nothing but electromagnetic energy - it is all different frequencies and strengths (NOT good guy/bad guy). We manipulate that very energy by our thoughts and feelings. So perhaps we definitely need to recognize this pattern and alter it to the best possible scenario.
Science has recently discovered an interesting thing about quarks. They alter depending on the thought of the person looking at them. Think about that. It would be obvious then that everything we say and think and feel is directly related to what we are now experiencing. If we wish to have an more positive thing happening, then it is obvious how to get it to change. We have had this availability all along. Please learn to use it. One smile makes many happy. One good thought manifests good things. One really intense good feeling brings about amazing amounts of 'miracles'. We CAN change the program. And these are not 'dream' thoughts; this IS how reality, as we see it, takes on form.
Research it, if that is what it takes. The belief, the FEELING behind the belief, which means the intensity of the vibration literally affects the electromagnetic energy flow. It can (and does) change the manifested end-product. You people want to keep feeding the 'monster'? OR do you really want to create the desired manifestation of peace, love, health, and harmony for us, this planet, this universe? Make your call.
P.S. Jean, Really concentrate on the positive. We already have plenty of negative to clean up, yes? We need but rather what we send out/we receive.+/- has very little to do with true balance. It literally can all be ++++++++ and be infinite. My advise is to quit talking and start vibrating until we are all there. And I don't mean this as an affront, but rather that we need to listen, tune in to that most positive energy and learn to feed it back, so as to increase its capability to maximum. Study in the heart. The heck with that 'my truth/your truth' crap. It is all one truth/one energy! Just because we have maintained a good ignorance of it does not negate its existence/potential. We make it happen; ALL of us. Now we can learn to fine tune it and create, yes, 'heaven on earth'. Time to make it happen.
AND MY REPLY WAS:
Thanks Laura for sharing your thoughts with me on this.
I've included your email in my next compilation so others may see it as well. I'd like to do as you suggest - and this issue of not nurturing the negative by focusing only on the positive has been brought up several times in past years and there is obviously some merit to this view. But it would be unbalanced to ignore the rest of the picture as some people - many in fact - are not yet aware just how much things went and keep going wrong, especially with the US oligarchy trying to dominate the world. Ignoring this won't make it go away. But I'd wish I had more time to write myself on how to balance thing out through the sentient feelings we put out and how to best contribute to this whole process. Yet there is already plenty about this too on the ERN site, right on the first homepage and in dozens more if you explore around you'll see it all. But I know this too needs repeating. It is all a wonderful challenge and frankly I wouldn't want it otherwise.
Love and Light will prevail - already do in the field of potentials as far as I'm concerned.
Date: 14 Jun 2004
From: Palden Jenkins email@example.com>
Subject: Planet Crumbles While We're Off Fighting Terror
This won't be news to you, but it is a really good re-statement of the current situation on planet Earth today. Perhaps also a reminder to non-Americans that enlightened thinking is still alive and well in USA. Palden
Planet Crumbles While We're Off Fighting Terror
By Prof Richard Steiner
History has shown that human societies often misjudge risk, and that is the case today. With world attention focused almost exclusively on terrorism and Iraq, another, even more serious security threat deepens -- the global environmental/humanitarian crisis.
While we remain virtually hypnotized by terrorism, humanity is quietly destroying the biosphere in which we live, ourselves and our future along with it. Just since 9/11, 25 million children died from preventable causes, the world's population grew by 200 million people and thousands of species went extinct. Also, 250,000 square miles of forest were lost, 50,000 square miles of arable land turned to desert, 8 billion tons of carbon were added to the atmosphere and air pollution claimed more than 4 million lives.
Our boat is sinking, we know the causes and consequences, and we know how to solve the problem. Yet policy-makers keep rearranging the deck chairs. Left unattended, this broad environmental/humanitarian crisis will foreclose any hope for security in the world. Certainly we must address terrorism, but just as certainly we must ensure our planet's sustainability.
Some of the key indicators of our current condition help put these relative risks in perspective.
World population stands at 6.4 billion, more than four times its number at the start of the 20th century. Although some nations have reached population stability, many of the poorest, developing nations are far from it. The population -- growing by 74 million a year -- is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the additional billions coming almost exclusively in the poorest countries.
The largest generation of young people ever, some 1.7 billion ages 10 to 24, is just now reaching reproductive age. Where fertility remains high there is widespread poverty, discrimination against women, high infant mortality and lack of access to family planning, health care and education. More than 350 million women lack any access to family planning. Some religions oppose contraception, and female infanticide has become epidemic. Programs to stabilize population need about $20 billion a year (about one week's worth of world military expenditures) but now receive about $3 billion a year.
Conspicuous consumption has become a homogenizing force across the developed world. Just since 1950, we have consumed more goods and services than all previous generations combined. The consumption of energy, steel and timber more than doubled; fossil fuel use and car ownership increased four-fold; meat production and fish catch increased five-fold; paper use increased six-fold, and air travel increased 100-fold.
In the United States, where malls are more prevalent than high schools, shopping has become the primary cultural activity. Although world economic output continues to increase, when real costs are calculated, sustainable economic welfare has been in decline since the '70s. One measure of resource consumption of humanity -- our "ecological footprint" -- surpassed sustainable levels in the late '70s, and for an average American is now 20 times that of a person in some developing countries.
Studies estimate that, if the developing world were to consume at our rate, another five or six planets would be needed to sustain this level of consumption. The United Nations says that a 10-fold reduction in resource consumption (or a 10-fold increase in energy/material efficiency) in industrialized countries will be needed for adequate resources to be available for developing countries.
The unequal distribution of consumption adds to environmental, social and economic damage as well. The gap in per-capita income between rich and poor nations has doubled in the past 40 years. The upper 20 percent in economic class -- Europe, Japan, North America -- account for more than 80 percent of the material and energy consumed globally while the poorest 20 percent account for just 1 percent of consumption. The world's 350 billionaires have a combined net worth exceeding that of the poorest 2.5 billion people. Those poor live on less than $2 a day and lack basic sanitation, health care, clean water and adequate food.
Despite unprecedented economic expansion of the '90s, today some 900 million adults are illiterate and 30,000 kids die every day from preventable causes.
Poor countries pay more than $350 billion a year just to service the interest on their debt to developed countries (a total of $2.4 trillion) and often try to raise this money through environmentally destructive activities. Some countries spend more to service their foreign debt than on education and health care combined.
Ecologists fear we are losing between 50 and 150 species each day, a rate thousands of times higher than the evolutionary background extinction rate of about one species a year. Some estimate that we have lost perhaps 600,000 species since the "biotic holocaust" began around 1950; if present trends continue, half of all species on Earth would be extinct in the next 50 years. Overhunting, invasive species, pollution and climate change are factors in this sixth mass extinction event, but by far the greatest cause is habitat loss. The lost ecological services could be devastating. It may take 5 million to 10 million years for biological diversity to recover.
Half of Earth's original forest cover is gone, and an additional 30 percent is degraded or fragmented. Only 20 percent of the original forest on Earth remains today as large, relatively undisturbed "frontier forests." And half of this frontier forest is threatened by human activity, mostly by logging. Another 100,000 square miles of forest is lost each year, mostly in the tropics, and only a very small amount of this forest loss is offset by regrowth.
Since 1960, about 30 percent of the Earth's tropical forests have disappeared and with them, thousands of species. Between 50 percent and 90 percent of the terrestrial species inhabit and depend upon the forests, and more than half of the threatened vertebrate species on Earth are forest animals. The link is clear: lose forests -- lose species.
Today about 1 billion people are undernourished and 600 million are overnourished. The United Nations lists 86 countries that can't grow or buy enough food and predicts that by 2010 global food supply will begin to fall short of demand.
More than 6 million people a year, mostly children, die from malnutrition. Grain production is declining and environmentally damaging meat production continues to increase. The 1.3 billion cattle (weighing more than all of humanity) have degraded a quarter of the planet's land surface.
More than 10 percent of world farmland and 70 percent of the world rangeland is degraded, and poor agricultural practices result in the loss of more than 20 billion tons of topsoil a year.
Fresh water may well be the most precious substance on Earth. People use about half of all available fresh water, causing aquifers to shrink around the world.
Some 70 percent of all water used by humans goes to irrigation; most simply leaks and evaporates from inefficient irrigation systems. Some water tables, such as the north China plain, drop by more than a meter a year. Two billion people have no choice but to drink water contaminated with human and animal waste and chemical pollution.
The World Health Organization estimates there are 1.5 billion cases of diarrhea a year in children from contaminated water, causing 3 million deaths.
Today, water supplies in 36 nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are not sufficient to meet grain production needs. In China, 400 cities suffer from acute water shortage and half of the nation's rivers are polluted. The world lost half of its wetlands in the past century, and more than 22,000 square miles of arable land turns into desert each year. It's projected that in 20 years, the demand for water will increase by 50 percent and two-thirds of the world population will be water-stressed.
Air pollution exceeds health limits daily in many cities in the world. Some 5,000 people a day die from air pollution, and kids in some cities inhale the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes every day just by breathing the air.
Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel now stand at 6.5 billion tons a year (four times 1950 levels), resulting in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations 33 percent greater than pre-industrial levels.
Global warming is no longer seriously doubted, and nine of the hottest years on record have occurred since 1990. The warming has accelerated the melting of polar ice caps and mountain glaciers; a rising sea level has inundated some Pacific islands, and more frequent and severe droughts, storms and floods cost more than $50 billion and 20,000 lives a year. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded most of the warming over past 50 years was human-induced.
Once thought to be inexhaustible, the Earth's oceans are more polluted and overexploited than at any other time in history. Seventy percent of world fish populations are either overfished or nearly so. Marine pollution has increased dramatically, and warming ocean temperatures have killed more than a fourth of the world's coral reefs. The 1998 coral "bleaching" event killed almost half of all Indian Ocean corals in just a few months, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef is threatened with complete collapse by the end of the century if warming continues.
If we connect these dots, the picture is clear: We are approaching a breaking point on the home planet.
The fate of the Earth may well be decided in our lifetime, and we all should begin behaving as though we are living together on one small, precious, life-sustaining spaceship, which indeed we are.
The solution is straightforward -- stabilize population, reduce consumption and share wealth. We know exactly how to do this; we just need to pay for it.
The United Nations says $40 billion a year -- about what consumers spend on cosmetics -- would provide everyone on Earth with clean water, sanitation, health care, adequate nutrition and education.
The secretary general of the 1992 Earth Summit cautioned, "no place on the planet can remain an island of affluence in a sea of misery ... we're either going to save the whole world or no one will be saved."
Without urgent attention, the global ecosystem will continue to unravel and we'll consign future generations to a nightmare of deprivation, insecurity and conflict.
It's time to broaden our understanding of security beyond just that of terrorism to securing a sustainable future for spaceship Earth.
- Richard Steiner is a professor and conservation specialist at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
C1996-2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A Call for Action
Abstract: Unprecedented warnings from the scientific community indicate that the planet's ecosystems are stressed near the point of collapse; business as usual is no longer possible, and we have little time left to respond. Civilization is also approaching a nexus of social crises. All of these problems result from the nature of capitalism, and we cannot expect solutions from political leaders or corporations. Therefore, this author is soliciting advice from experts and from anyone who might have suggestions as to what measures can people of limited means undertake to ease their transition into a post-petroleum world. CLIP
World faces seeping flood crisis (June 13)
The recent floods in Haiti could be replicated in many places - The number of people under threat from major flooding will double to two billion within 50 years, the UN warns. The world will be warmer and wetter by mid-century with the result that there will be more storms, a report by the Tokyo-based UN University says. The study warns that small island states and coastal regions are most at risk - particularly in Asia. The threat comes from rising sea levels, continuing deforestation and population growth. The report finds that : * One billion people - a sixth of the world's population - currently live in the path of potential major flood disasters * Most of those at risk are among the world's poorest * Floods already kill as many as 25,000 people a year * There were six major flood disasters in the 1950s, seven in the 1960s, eight in the 1970s, 18 in the 1980s and 26 in the 1990s.
Flood risk to 2bn by 2050, says study (June 14, 2004)
More than 2 billion people could be at risk of flood devastation by 2050, according to research today.
World's Land Grievously Stressed (June 16, 2004)
Humanity's misuse of land is dangerously shortsighted. Nearly everywhere land is becoming dust as overuse turns once verdant landscapes into deserts. Lands the size of Rhode Island are becoming desert wasteland every year, sending millions of ecological refugees fleeing to greener countries - but few remain with land to spare. Nearly as much American land is covered by concrete as is under wilderness designation.
U.N. Says Globe Drying Up at Fast Pace (June 15)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The world is turning to dust, with lands the size of Rhode Island becoming desert wasteland every year and the problem threatening to send millions of people fleeing to greener countries, the United Nations says. One-third of the Earth's surface is at risk, driving people into cities and destroying agriculture in vast swaths of Africa. Thirty-one percent of Spain is threatened, while China has lost 36,000 square miles to desert - an area the size of Indiana - since the 1950s. This week the United Nations marks the 10th anniversary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, a plan aimed at stopping the phenomenon. Despite the efforts, the trend seems to be picking up speed - doubling its pace since the 1970s. "It's a creeping catastrophe," said Michel Smitall, a spokesman for the U.N. secretariat that oversees the 1994 accord. "Entire parts of the world might become uninhabitable." Slash-and-burn agriculture, sloppy conservation, overtaxed water supplies and soaring populations are mostly to blame. But global warming is taking its toll, too. CLIP
It's too little, too late (June 16, 2004)
IN growing numbers, Australians are becoming increasingly anxious about the potential impact of climate change on their lives. "Scary" was the word I heard only two days ago. Sure, part of this might just be Hollywood hysteria driven by media coverage of The Day After Tomorrow. But part of it no doubt is because the weather is changing.The statistics are there in black and white. Melbourne has just gone through its driest three years ever recorded. Canberra had the lowest autumn rainfall on record. Two-thirds of NSW is back in drought. Last year Australia recorded the sixth hottest year in 93 years. The whole planet is warming.
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
How Long Can We Hang On to our Impossible Lifestyle?
by Marty Dodge
June 14, 2004.
Sometimes I feel as if all I can do is pray for the dead and fight like hell for what is left alive.
Shook-up enough to Wake-up?
Most folks these days easily brush aside any message suggesting that all of humanity faces an epic crisis. However, the story suddenly becomes so disturbing no one can longer ignore the consequences of inaction. I speak as a college professor with 32 years of dedication to studying and promoting global sustainability. I admit freely to the frustration I have experienced getting the message very far beyond a small choir of folks willing to listen. Sometimes I feel as if all I can do is pray for the dead and fight like hell for what is left alive.
This morning, I read an article entitled "Eating Fossil Fuels" by Dale Allen Pfieffer.
In all of my years, I have never been hit anywhere near as hard as I have been by the power and implications of these words. My conscience as a teacher and letter writer obligates me to condense these words for, perhaps, a broader exposure. The most astounding reality remains that in this year of a presidential election, only one minor candidate has addressed the problem in any significant way.
We know that sunshine provides the energy needed to grow our food, but what most of us do not know is that we now use three times as much energy from fossil fuels than is provided by the sun to put food upon our plates.
Today's agro-industrial farming methods use as much as 100 times the amount of energy than was utilized by traditional agricultural methods. Yes, the green revolution, with its higher-yield crop varieties, produced four times as much as traditional varieties. But it also now requires millions of tons of synthetic fertilizer input, millions of tons of pesticides and millions of tons of herbicides in order to do this magic. Add to this, the massive energy inputs required to manufacture and operate today's farm machinery, irrigate crops and transport produce--an average of 1300 miles for each item on your plate in the United States--we have before us an utterly unsustainable process. For every calorie you consume, ten calories of fossil fuel go up in smoke.
Pesticide use on corn has increased 1000-fold; losses of corn to pests are four times greater. It should not come as a surprise that about one person in three will contract some form of environmentally-induced cancer in his or her lifetime.
Soil erosion and mineral depletion equate to 20 billion tons per year in this country; in many areas, water is drawn from underground aquifers twice as fast as it can be replaced. It is more than ironic that the 33-fold increase in pesticide use over the past twenty years results in an increased loss to pests. To the great benefit of manufacturers, pesticide use on corn has increased 1000-fold; losses of corn to pests are four times greater. It should not come as a surprise that about one person in three will contract some form of environmentally-induced cancer in his or her lifetime.
The population of the United States is projected to double by 2050. Today, there are 1.8 acres of farmland available per person in this country. The consequence of soil loss, urban sprawl and more people will leave 0.6 acres of farmland per person in 2050. To maintain our current standard of food consumption, 1.2 acres per person is required. This year, for the first time, grain production in China fell short of consumption. Chinese delegations of grain buyers negotiate with suppliers in the US and Canada as I write. The price of grain will rise just as the price of gasoline rises. The party is over; the petroleum bubble is about to burst. We can, of course, hang on to our impossible lifestyle for a few more years if we succeed in maintaining military control of world oil resources.
Unfortunately, the consequences of our current $500-billion-per-year empire expansion to control world oil supplies fast becomes untenable in today's world.
To achieve a sustainable food supply four conditions must be met: implement sustainable agricultural practices, institute renewable energy technologies, sharply increase the per-capita efficiency of energy use and match the total size of the population to an environmentally sustainable number. A sustainable population in the United States would be half of what it is today; if world population is to be sustainable, it must drop from its current 6.3 billion to 2 billion. We have before us only three choices: reduce population voluntarily, accept mandatory population controls or be faced with a die-off through starvation and resource wars from which civilization might never recover.
In the words of Dale Pfeiffer, "The questions we must ask ourselves now are: How can we allow this to happen? And what can we do to prevent it? Does our present lifestyle mean so much to us that we would subject ourselves and our children to this fast-approaching tragedy simply for a few more years of conspicuous consumption?"
Marty Dodge writes from Canandaigua, NY.
Forwarded by Ken NCEpanacea@aol.com>
Bush White House Created Violence
By Sherman H. Skolnick
News from all over, some overground, some underground. With analyses and details censored by the oil-soaked, spy-riddled monopoly press. Taken together, it may clarify a few matters.
To further the overthrow of the degenerate, backward Saudi Royals, and to seize the Saudi oilfields, the Western oil cartel continues to murder foreign oil executives, including Americans, resident in Saudi. This, to justify bringing Emergency Troops into Eastern Saudi to grab the oil facilities; U.S., British, and French forces will be the Saudi oil facilities occupiers and overlords. France has been previously blocked, since a one-sided agreement, since 1922, from dipping into the Mid-East oilfields. French possession of films and other proof of the American CIA/British Intelligence/British Royals' complicity in the murder of President Kennedy, is a device to strongarm and blackmail the Bush White House and Queen Elizabeth II.
A great flare-up of supposedly unrelated violence, to be falsely blamed onto "Arab terrorists", rather than covert espionage special forces, is now to be expected. Why? Disgruntled and restive top U.S. Military brass, Admirals and Generals, persist in vowing to arrest Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush for treason. Including staying silent after Daddy Bush told him of some great impending violence, which was September 11, 2001. With the younger Bush going along with Daddy's prearranged military stand-down. Including staying silent about the "pulling" of the World Trade Center twin towers and WTC Building 7, with prior-inserted internal explosives. [Larry Silverstein, leasing boss of WTC, used the secret architecture term "pulling" on a post-911 TV Show when discussing how Building 7 fell down, many hours after the morning, and with no flying object having hit the building.]
To keep up the price of oil, the cartel has arranged to blow up one or more Iraqi oil pipelines and to murder a top Iraqi oil official.
Saddam Hussein's wife and daughter visited him in person in supposed U.S. custody. They say IT IS NOT HIM! Apparently, U.S. has in custody a superior put together double, a virtual twin. In the fall of 2003, Kurdish militia seized what they thought was Saddam, imprisoned him in a hole, and asked the Bush White House for ransom.
The Kurds wanted 40 million dollars and promises of Kurdish independence. The Kurds, with U.S. Troops as staged grabbers, turned over "Saddam". When the Kurds persisted in their demands for the ransom, the Bush Crime Family, notorious cheapskates, refused to pay. Instead, as arranged by Daddy Bush, former head of the U.S. Secret Political police, and the handler and supervisor of son George in the Oval Office, arranged to silence Kurds. At a huge Kurd gathering, the American CIA blew up the place, killing and seriously wounding 200 top Kurdish tribal and other leaders.
The real Saddam Hussein is most likely parked in a basement in Moscow. This was reported in April, 2003, shortly after the U.S. invasion, without a Declaration of War, of Iraq. [Guess who talked about this publicly? Hint: he is co-host of the Cloak and Dagger Program.]
The real Saddam Hussein, not the virtual twin, is too dangerous to be publicly put on trial. He was created by the American CIA. [Sheepishly admitted in a detailed report, 4/10/2003, by the CIA News wire service, United Press International. They claimed to have been able to find and interview numerous current and former CIA officials about the spy agency's role in creating Saddam. Also the Reagan/Bush White House, run actually by Vice President Daddy Bush, supplied Saddam with various ingredients for horrendous weapons. Documented in "Spider's Web", by Alan Friedman, published 1993.]
Saddam can give direct, eyewitness testimony how Daddy Bush instigated the eight year Iraq-Iran War, to keep up the price of oil, September, 1980 to 1988. And how Daddy Bush, through U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie, on behalf of Daddy Bush, in 1990, fooled Saddam into believing Iraq's quarrel with Kuwait over slant-drilling and Kuwait occupying oilfields actually belonging to Iraq; that the fight, said Glaspie to Saddam, was a private matter, in which the U.S. would not interfere.
The real Saddam Hussein is one of the world's richest men, a result of being a private business partner with Daddy Bush in previously jointly extorting huge sums from the oil-rich weak sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf. Details came out as a result of an unpublicized Chicago law case. [Visit www.skolnicksreport.com "Secrets of Timothy McVeigh"].
Saddam's eyewitness, irrefutable testimony could put the entire Bush Crime Family in prison for various high crimes against the American people and against the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Including but not limited to Daddy Bush bringing into the U.S. supposed Iraqi military intelligence and other military "defectors", many believed to be double agents, at the close of Persian Gulf War One. Two thousand are resident in Oklahoma City. Some were implicated in the multiple explosions, with diabolical internal weaponry, of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building, April 19, 1995.
For geopolitical advantages, two huge foreign terrorist-instigated events, occurring in the U.S., have been covered up by the Bush Crime Family in conjunction with their fellow financial and military criminals, William Rockefeller Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
[As to Clinton and the Rockefellers, visit my website series, "Wal-Mart and the Red Chinese Secret Political Police, www.skolnicksreport.com]
Timothy Mc Veigh was a domestic dissident, as a surrogate for Iraqi Intelligence. [To be noted, Iraqi Intelligence, it was later discovered, paid for the huge Anti-Iraq War Movement in the fall of 1990, just prior to the start of the actual shooting war, January 16, 1991.]
The second actual foreign terrorist event was the July, 1996, two missile shoot-down, off New York, of TWA Flight 800. Several years ago, as moderator and producer of a non-commercial, public access Cable TV Program, I did a one-hour taped show with some of the leading counter-terrorist experts in the world. Off-camera, they gave me the details, known in their trade, of how two missiles brought down Flight 800.
The missiles were fired from an Iranian-owned former Soviet submarine, manned by a Russian mercenary crew. The missiles were fired in airflight take-off slot which was to have included El Al, the Israeli Airline. El Al was delayed, and TWA, taking off in El Al's slot, became the target.
Bill Clinton, running for reelection in 1996, ordered the true nature of what happened suppressed and blamed instead on internal supposed technical defects in the Boeing plane. Clinton did not want to start a geopolitical confrontation with the Moscow government that took over after the downfall of the Soviets.
Flight 800 was scheduled to be going to Paris. When Clinton refused to dredge up the remains of the downed plane from the ocean bottom, the French were about to send over a 300-man crew to do the same. After all, 60 French nationals died in the shoot-down, including 8 top officials of the French CIA. The French spy agency team leader, perhaps from prior knowledge, refused to get on Flight 800 with his team.
President Clinton reluctantly relented and ordered a dredge up of the remains of Flight 800. The pieces showing the missiles hitting the front of the plane were suppressed. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, long a sabotage aircrash whitewasher, covered up the pertinent details. Some two hundred eyewitnesses who saw the trail of the missiles coming up from the water and hitting Flight 800, were not allowed to be witnesses at the NTSB fake hearings.
[Visit our website series, "The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage".]
The Bush Crime Family is in no position to start up with the Iranians. The Teheran government has various documents, films, video, and eyewitness testimony available, of the treason committed by Daddy Bush in paying for the delay of the release of the 52 U.S. hostages in Iran. The Reagan/Bush ticket won the White House in 1980, by treason, sidestepping the dreaded possibility of an "October Surprise" were it possible for incumbent Jimmy Carter running for reelection to have succeeded in getting the hostage release just prior to the 1980 Election.
Now, the Iranians are reportedly massing troops on the Iranian-Iraq border. They are seeking to pressure, if not blackmail, the Bush Crime White House, into somehow withdrawing our troops from a terrible bloody quicksand called Iraq. The Iranians have plenty to blackmail the Bushies with. Such as how they brought in the downfall of the Shah of Iran who on behalf of the Persians, demanded a bigger cut from the oil cartel.
Religious folks from all over the Moslem world are coming into Iraq, through their porous borders, to fight for the sanctity and honor of their religion. They gladly become assassins, even suicide bombers, to throw out the American foreign invaders that are defiling the Mideast. Many Iranians actually visit religious shrines and artifacts located in Iraq.
In sum, the Bush Crime White House has various motives to orchestrate violence, domestic and elsewhere, and blame it on somebody else's religion. Such as to divert a patriotic military seizure of the currently treasonous U.S. Central Government. Such as to divert attention from the impending U.S. financial collapse, including the absolute destruction of the U.S. credit infrastructure. Such as, to divert attention from details possibly becoming more publicly known of the treason involved in putting our young people in harm's way, by sending them to be seriously wounded or die in Iraq, for no American interest or purpose. That is a country of upwards of 300 million people attacking, without justifiable cause, a nation of less than 20 million people.
Question: Will the peons of America, the shirtless ones, the common folk, be cursed by failing to somehow stop the rise of America's Hitler?
More coming. Stay tuned.
--- Mr. Skolnick's comments, on behalf of his investigative group, of which he has been the Founder/Chairman, since 1963, can be visited at http://www.skolnicksreport.com and are posted, added to, and archived at http://www.cloakanddagger.ca The articles are archived extensively at http://www.rense.com/Datapages/skolnickdatapage.html
Mr. Skolnick is a co-host with Canadian resident Lenny Bloom of an Internet radio show, heard LIVE, ON-LINE, worldwide, at http://www.cloakanddagger.ca - Check that website for schedule.
The following has been taken from the Briar Patch Blogspot
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Burn Bush, Flame the White House
Burn, Bush, Burn - Michael Moore's new 'Fahrenheit 9/11' scorches
By Geoffrey Dunn
Much to the dismay of Michael Eisner and the Disney Corporation--and one can only assume to the even greater dismay of President George W. Bush and the genocidal hoodlums comprising his administration--Michael Moore's widely heralded and profoundly troubling documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, will be distributed throughout the country next week by Canadian-based Lions Gate Films. It will open here in Santa Cruz at the Del Mar on June 25.
There were rumors coming out of Cannes that Fahrenheit 9/11 won the Palm d'Or solely on the basis of French political animus for Bush and the war in Iraq. That's merde. Fahrenheit 9/11 is Moore's most mature and nuanced film to date, and certainly his most ambitious: the Flint-born filmmaker is taking on "the leader of the free world" and trying to bring down his international reign of terror. No small target, indeed.
I was invited to a special screening of Fahrenheit in San Francisco last week, and I entered with cautionary anticipation. I have often been troubled by the "cinematic license" employed by Moore in his films and by his self-congratulatory and egocentric posturing. It's all made, admittedly, for some hearty laughs, but most of them were cheap. And they came, I believe, at the expense of his political message.
There's nothing cheap in Fahrenheit 9/11. This film goes for the jugular.
It opens with a rehash of the "stealing" of the 2000 presidential election and the vote-counting debacle in Florida. It's familiar terrain that's been covered before. But when Moore juxtaposes archival network coverage of the contested election with an airplane interview with Bush in which the then-candidate emphatically declares, "We are gonna win Florida; write it down!," one can't escape being sickened by the realization that the fix was in from the get-go.
What's interesting about Fahrenheit 9/11 is that little, if any, of the "revelations" in the film are new. Indeed, most of them are covered in Moore's bestselling book, Dude, Where's My Country?, particularly its opening chapter, "Seven Questions for George of Arabia," replete with 97 footnotes.
But it's one thing to read about the Bush family's cozy financial links to the Saudi government and the bin Laden family, and it's another to see so many news clips and photos of the Bushes and their Saudi cronies cavorting together.
Then there's the footage of President W. on the fateful morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Bush was in Florida on his way to an elementary school photo-op when he was informed of the first plane crash into the World Trade Center; he continued on to the school. He was in the middle of reading My Pet Goat to the students when an aide walked in and informed him of the second attack.
Contrary to the official line that Bush left immediately following the news, the clip reveals that Bush stayed for an additional seven minutes--the vapid look on his face is absolutely disquieting, given the seriousness of the events--before he got up to leave, not on his own initiative, but at the suggestion of a staff member.
This is the power of documentary film--the unmediated experience that an audience encounters when viewing footage that actually took place--and Moore is in great command of it throughout Fahrenheit.
Perhaps the most haunting images from the film (cut very similarly to the opening sequence of Errol Morris' Fog of War) are those of the überbrokers of the Bush Administration--Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft , Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice--having their hair primped and makeup applied in slow motion as they await to make proclamations that will mean life and death in the far corners of the world. The sequence made my skin crawl.
I came out of the San Francisco screening both profoundly disturbed and outraged by Moore's film. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a polemical triumph.
Censoring Michael Moore
Republican dirty tricksters join the Motion Picture Association of America to stop Americans from seeing Michael Moores new movie, Fahrenheit 9/11.
Also from http://briarholler.blogspot.com/
June 04, 2004
Resistance is Fertile!!!
Mock Pro-War Rally: We Love The Police State
The 20 "pro-war" supporters dressed in suits, waved American Flags, chanted slogans in fierce support of war, death, and killing. Rush hour traffic drove by and honked in approval to the flags and signs that read:
"Freedom Is The Enemy"
"Bomb My Car"
"Get A Brain Morons"
"Iraq Out Of Iraq"
"Draft My Child"
"Send Our Infants"
"Soccer Moms For Blood"
"I Want More Meat"
"War Is Peace"
"I'm Pro-Life And Pro-Death"
"Stop Reporting The Facts"
"Peace Is For The Afterlife"
"Bush Is The Savior"
"This Is No Time For Thinking"
... among other slogans.
Before the event the local media were called and told about the "Clear Channel" sponsored pro-war rally. The reporters failed to get an interview from the "pro-war" fanatics because every time they approached the demonstrators they chanted "Boycott The Liberal Media!". The riot cops were very confused by the heartfelt chants of "We Love The Police State!".
Pants On Fire is a campaign to make Americans aware that George Bush has lied to us about many of the most important issues facing our country. Our aim is to make sure that Americans never forget about those lies so that we DON'T GET BURNED AGAIN.
Also from http://briarholler.blogspot.com/
George Bush the AntiChrist or Just Mass Murderer?
Could George Bush Be The Antichrist?
by James Glaser
I went to a fund raiser for a women that I know very well. She has had months of hospitalization, but is fighting her way toward recovery. While at this event, like many other public affairs, it seems that I sit with those of the religious right. Either that or there are a lot more of those people now. While sitting, eating little bits of so many great Minnesota hot dishes, trying to save room for the myriad of desserts, a woman asked if we thought the President was the Antichrist?
I started to laugh. but found that those sitting there were taking this as a honest question for discussion. Not being right up there on apocalyptic prophecy, I asked for a definition of Antichrist. Those around the table looked at me like this was a pretty dumb question, but went on to say that the Antichrist was a evil person who will plague the world and that the true Christ will defeat him at the battle of Armageddon.
Hey, what can I say, but that fits our George to a tee and so I could see why these people that are truly religious would pick up on this while a "sinner" like me would miss it all together. These people, who I thought would be backing up the President, talked of that "disinformation plan" of a few months ago, where the United States Government would lie to the world about what they were doing. They were all very happy that public pressure stopped that one. Then I did laugh.
These people of the far right take our Constitution and Bill of Rights very seriously and are upset with how President Bush has attacked those two documents repeatedly. On purely religious grounds these people fear our President and I don't think they are a lone group, especially because of the fact that these people didn't attend just one church.
This week a report in the Sidney Morning Herald talked about a new program by President Bush, called The Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS). Isn't it a real shame that Americans have to read a newspaper from thousands and thousands of miles away to find out what our Government is doing? Seems that the Sidney Herald broke this one. TIPS is a plan to get about 4% of all Americans to spy on the rest of us.
This program would mean "the US would have a higher percentage of citizen informants than the former East Germany through the infamous Stasi secret police" This 4% would be reporting "suspicious activity" Those that are being recruited are primarily those whose work gets them into homes and businesses, like letter carriers, utility employees and truck drivers.
A 1992 report by Harvard University's Project on Justice says "the accuracy of informant reports is problematic, with some informants having embellished the truth, and others suspected of having fabricated their reports." This would not matter if the Government was only looking for an excuse to arrest someone. Maybe Americans will start to hear that "knock in the night" and they will never be heard of again.
Remember that Patriot Act that Congress passed without reading? Well with the power that the Federal Government received with that vote a person's home can be searched without that person being informed that the search was ever performed or of any surveillance devices that were implanted. Do those people at that fund raiser have something there? Is this something a Antichrist would do to his own people?
You can read about this TIPS Program on the Citizen Corps web site. Citizen Corps explains itself with this, "Public Education, Training, and Volunteer Opportunities to support community and family safety." Right away you can see how spying fits right in with those other things. TIPS is reported to be "a national system for concerned workers to report suspicious activity" Workers, is that like the Communist Workers Party? Maybe George isn't the Antichrist but a 60s radical that has pent up Communist urges he has been suppressing since college.
Could President George W. Bush be the Antichrist? Yeah, he could be. He does every thing he can for War and almost nothing for Peace. He believes that if innocent people get killed by American forces in the prosecution of our War on Terrorism, that is unfortunate, but America has the right to kill those people, because our right to have a war is greater that those people's right to life.
One would have to believe that any Antichrist would have to destroy the Constitution and Bill of Rights, would hide behind a pronouncement of religious fervor, and most important, create a intense distrust among all men so that opposition can not get organized.
Hey, just maybe those people at that fund raiser had something there.
Also from http://briarholler.blogspot.com/
Bush not Antichrist, White House Insists
Responding to concerns that President Bush is the Beast of Revelation described in modern End of Days literature, a White House source briefed reporters in order dispel what he described as irresponsible and unfounded rumors.
Allowing that the Antichrist will establish a world government and ignite a worldwide conflagration with the Middle East at its center, the source stated that with a lot of tortured reasoning and twisting of facts such an interpretation could be applied to the current situation.
However he pointed out, its not Armageddon unless somebody shoots back. Indeed, defense analysts believe that Russia and China are pleased with Americas stated nuclear first strike policy against them, and welcome this opportunity to ease tensions by disarming unilaterally and surrendering their regional military and economic ambitions.
Turning to the issue of the Mark of the Beastthe numbers 666can only be extracted from Presidents name by employing the abbreviation George Walker Bush Jr. It is the considered opinion of leading theologians and grammarians that you either have to count the period after the abbreviation, or use the unabbreviated Junior. Either way that dog wont hunt.
As to the perceived similarity of the Presidents life to the horror movie series The Omenin which a Satan enters a wealthy family to achieve economic and political mastery over the earththe White House source implied that another political dynasty should be under the microscope. Wasnt that movie shot in Boston? he chuckled.
On the contrary, he revealed that the White House is rapture ready, with a cadre of administrators ready to take over government activities immediately subject to the usual constitutional procedures should the President and other high-level officials be called to join the legion of saved souls and stand shoulder to shoulder with Jesus in the final battle between good and evil. He stressed that such an event is not considered likely at this time but we want the American people to know we are prepared for that contingency.
The fact that this high-level backgrounder took place is another indication of how seriously the White House takes public concern over this issue. But experts agree that, with the high level of security surrounding the President, it is extremely unlikely that the forces of darkness could occupy his body and unleash global Armageddon.
Also from http://briarholler.blogspot.com/
George Bush Gets High On Killing
by DAVID COGSWELL
CNN started hyping "Iraq: The Unfinished War" with its own logo back in December 2001 even before George W. took office. It has been a long time coming. It took 911 to clear the way for the war Bush desired so passionately. Now he is so close he can taste it. The blood has begun to flow, and it is exhilarating. Soon he will have Saddam Hussein's head.
We are talking now about a guy who as a kid put firecrackers in frogs and threw them into the air to watch them explode. He cracked himself up in an interview with Talk magazine by mocking a woman on death row whose cries for mercy he scorned, screwing up his face and saying, "Please don't kill me!" in an impersonation of the deceased.
He presided over more executions as governor of Texas than any governor since capital punishment was legalized. His own people said he never spent more than 15 minutes deliberating over whether to sign the order to kill.
This included at least one case in which the public defender slept during the trial, and many other cases in which the court-appointed lawyers obviously just took the money and ran, leaving their clients to the mercy of a vicious and corrupt system. This is a man who enjoys killing. He is totally in his element when it comes to killing. Everyone is different. This is the way he is.
It reminds me of something in Ed Sanders' book on the Charles Manson murders The Family, in which Sanders described Manson as one who, even more than the excessive drug use and sex of his little tribe, got off on murder. Some people like it.
Then there was Ted Bundy, the serial killer. In one documentary film, a police detective who had worked to track down Bundy seemed uncharacteristically amazed when he said, "I never encountered anyone who was so consumed with murder."
So here is George preparing to give his speech announcing that the
killing has begun in Iraq, the long-awaited moment. And there he is
pumping his fist and saying, "Feels good!" It makes perfect sense, too
That's one for the history books.
"It does not require a majority to prevail,
but rather an irate, tireless minority keen
to set brush fires in people's minds.."
"When the people fear the government you have tyranny...
when the government fears the people you have liberty."
"Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death."
-- Adolf Hitler
"We have committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride, and our arrogance as a nation."
-- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
"There's a little Hitler in all of us"
"Your enemy is not surrounding your country. Your enemy is ruling your country."
-- George W. Bush
Much more at http://briarholler.blogspot.com/
From: "Joe Bryant" email@example.com>
Subject: Government direction - Sweeping stun guns to target crowds
Date: 18 Jun 2004
A peep at what government is planning when you next protest against oppression
Sweeping stun guns to target crowds
16 June 04
By David Hambling
Weapons that can incapacitate crowds of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the US and Europe.
At present, commercial stun guns target one person at a time, and work only at close quarters. The new breed of non-lethal weapons can be used on many people at once and operate over far greater distances.
But human rights groups are appalled by the fact that no independent safety tests have been carried out, and by their potential for indiscriminate use.
Taser success rates by distance
The weapons are designed to address the perceived shortcomings of the Taser, the electric-shock gun already used by 4000 police departments in the US and undergoing trials with some police forces in the UK.
It hits the victim with two darts that trail current-carrying wires, which limit its range to a maximum of seven metres (see graphic). As a single shot, short-range weapon, the Taser is of little use in crowd control. And Tasers have no effect on vehicles.
These limitations are beginning to be overcome. Engineers working for the US Department of Defense's research division, DARPA, and defence companies in Europe have been working out how to create an electrically conductive path between a gun and a target without using wires.
A weapon under development by Rheinmetall, based in Dorf, Germany, creates a conducting channel by using a small explosive charge to squirt a stream of tiny conductive fibres through the air at the victim (New Scientist print edition, 24 May 2003).
Meanwhile, Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS), based in Anderson, Indiana, will be one of the first companies to market another type of wireless weapon. Instead of using fibres, the $9000 Close Quarters Shock Rifle projects an ionised gas, or plasma, towards the target, producing a conducting channel. It will also interfere with electronic ignition systems and stop vehicles.
"We will be able to fire a stream of electricity like water out of a hose at one or many targets in a single sweep," claims XADS president Peter Bitar.
The gun has been designed for the US Marine Corps to use for crowd control and security purposes and is due out in 2005. It is based on early, unwieldy technology and has a range of only three metres, but an operator can debilitate multiple targets by sweeping it across them for "as long as there is an input power source," says Bitar.
XADS is also planning a more advanced weapon which it hopes will have a range of 100 metres or more. Instead of firing ionised gas, it will probably use a powerful laser to ionise the air itself. The idea has been around for decades, says LaVerne Schlie, a laser expert at the US Air Force Research Lab in Kirtland, New Mexico. It has only become practical with advances in high-power solid-state lasers.
"Before, it took a laser about the size of two trucks," says Schlie. "Now we can do it with something that fits on a tabletop."
The laser pulse must be very intense, but can be brief. So the makers of the weapons plan to use a UV laser to fire a 5-joule pulse lasting just 0.4 picoseconds - equating to a momentary power of more than 10 million megawatts.
This intense pulse - which is said not to harm the eyes - ionises the air, producing long, thread-like filaments of glowing plasma that can be sustained by repeating the pulse every few milliseconds. This plasma channel is then used to deliver a shock to the victims similar to a Taser's 50,000-volt, 26-watt shock.
Instrument of torture
HSV Technologies of San Diego, California is also working on stun and vehicle-stopping shock weapons with ranges of over 100 metres. And another company, Ionatron of Tuscon, Arizona, is due to supply a prototype wireless vehicle-mounted weapon to the US Department of Defense by the end of 2004.
But the advent of wireless stun weapons has horrified human rights groups. Robin Coupland of the Red Cross says they risk becoming a new instrument of torture. And Brian Wood of Amnesty International says the long-range stun guns could "inflict pain and other suffering on innocent bystanders".
And there are safety concerns. Of the 30,000 times US police officers have fired Tasers, in 40 instances people stunned by them later died. The deaths have been attributed to factors such as overdoses of drugs and alcohol, or fighting with officers, rather than the electric shock.
In a statement, Taser International chief Rick Smith said: "In every single case the medical examiner has attributed the direct cause of death to causes other than the Taser." Amnesty is not convinced, however, and wants an independent study of the effects of all existing and emerging electric-shock weapons.
Electric shock weapons could go wireless - 21 May 2003
Non-lethal landmine zaps intruders with 50,000 volts - 23 April 2003
United Airlines installs stun guns - 16 November 2001
For more related stories search the print edition Archive
Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems
US Air force Research Lab
NOTE FROM JEAN: I saw a heart-wrenching documentary on TV recently with horrifying pictures of the quasi eternally deadly legacy of the use by U.S. military of depleted uranium (DU) ammunitions, bombs and missiles fired in Iraq (both wars) Afghanistan and the Balkans, not to mention firing ranges in the U.S. Those pictures featured some of the thousands of horribly deformed babies and children resulting from this permanent radioactive contamination, both Iraqi and American children (born from the first Gulf War soldiers) of significant areas of our planet. Pentagon spokespersons dumbly denied any risks from DU use nor any responsibility for these crimes against humanity - for untold generations to come - despite the unassailable, incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. I then resolved to bring back this issue to your attention in the hope of eliciting some serious actions to bring this infamy to an end as well as severely punish the people chiefly responsible for authorizing this abomination.
More Deadly Than Gas
When this war ends, George Bush will have caused the poisoning of hundreds of thousands more humans than he said Saddam Hussein poisoned.
By Frederick Sweet
In its 110,000 air raids against Iraq, the US A-10 Warthog aircraft launched 940,000 depleted uranium shells, and in the land offensive, its M60, M1 and M1A1 tanks fired a further 4,000 larger caliber also uranium shells. The Bush administration and the Pentagon said, there is no danger to American troops or Iraqi civilians from breathing the uranium oxide dust produced in depleted uranium (DU) weapons explosions.
DU is the waste residue made from the uranium enrichment process. This radioactive and toxic substance, 1.7 times as dense as lead, is used to make shells that penetrate steel armor.
Last July, two military DU weapons experts Dr Doug Rokke and George A. Parker, veterans of the Gulf War, issued a public warning against using these radioactive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. [for full text, see: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/01/50000.html] Rokke had been U.S. Army's DU team health physicist and U.S. Army's DU Project Director. Former British Army Sgt. Parker had been with the 1st Field Laboratory Unit, Biological-Warfare Detection Unit at Porton Down in Great Britain. His job had been management in the Gulf War of troop protection against weapons of mass destruction.
Dr. Rokke warned:
"Depleted uranium munitions (DU) have been used effectively in combat since 1973. Their destructive capabilities are absolutely superior to any other known munitions that can be fired by tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft, and rifles. In addition the ADAM and PDM, which are land mines, are essentially conventional explosives wrapped in shell containing uranium or a 'dirty bomb.' Although DU munitions are an excellent weapon, they leave a path of death, illness, and environmental contamination. The radiological and chemical toxicity are due to uranium, plutonium, neptunium, and americium isotopes within each DU bullet. We also have all of the inherent contamination from the equipment, terrain, and facilities that were destroyed."
"Upon the completion of the ground combat phase of the Gulf war, I was assigned by Headquarters Department of the Army and consequently the U.S. Central Command to clean up the depleted uranium contaminated U.S. equipment and provide initial medical recommendations for all individuals who were or may have been exposed as a consequence of military actions."
"Our initial observations of the DU contamination can be summed simply by three words 'OH MY GOD!' Although my mission was limited to U.S. personnel and equipment all affected persons and equipment should have been processed identically. They were not! Although I and U.S. Army physicians assigned to the 3rd U.S. Army Medical Command issued immediate verbal and written medical care recommendations those still have not been complied with for not only all U.S. and coalition military DU casualties but for Iraqi military personnel and especially noncombatants, women and children, who were exposed to DU munitions contamination."
"A United States Defense Nuclear Agency memorandum written by LTC Lyle that was sent to our team in Saudi Arabia during March 1990 stated that quote: 'As Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), ground combat units, and civil populations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq come increasingly into contact with DU ordnance, we must prepare to deal with potential problems. Toxic war souvenirs, political furor, and post conflict clean up (host nation agreement) are only some of the issues that must be addressed. Alpha particles (uranium oxide dust) from expended rounds is a health concern but, Beta particles from fragments and intact rounds is a serious health threat, with possible exposure rates of 200 millirads per hour on contact.' end [of] quote."
Referring to Dr. Rokke's comments, Sgt. Parker concluded:
"I am now aware that armed forces personnel are considered as disposable items. Something to be used abused and then discarded when broken. Further more, when made ill by the use of politically sensitive weapons such as DU they are an expensive embarrassment to be silenced when voicing concerns."
"It is my sincere and heart felt belief that until such time as the UK and US governments can properly care for ill and dying veterans of war, they should refrain from deploying members of the armed forces overseas."
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, an opponent of DU weapons use since 1996, again raised his call for a ban on the use of these weapons in 2001. Since then DU weapons conferences, ironically, in Baghdad in 1999 and Gijon, Spain in 2000 had demanded a ban on DU use. "This new outbreak of leukemia among European [NATO] soldiers has reinforced what we said before," said Clark from New York in January 2001. "Is it acceptable by any human standards that we would permit one shell of depleted uranium to be manufactured, to be stored, to be used? No! Stop it now!"
According to a May 2003 article in the Christian Science Monitor, the first partial Pentagon disclosure of the amount of DU used in Iraq, a US Central Command spokesman admitted that A-10 Warthog aircraft -- the same planes that shot at the Iraqi planning ministry -- fired 300,000 bullets. The normal combat mix for these 30-mm rounds is five DU bullets to 1 -- a mix that had left about 75 tons of DU in Iraq.
A Monitor reporter had seen only one site where US troops had put up handwritten warnings in Arabic for Iraqis to stay away. A 3-foot-long DU warhead from a 120-mm tank shell had been found to produce radiation at more than 1,300 times background levels.
Many scientists believe that uranium oxide dust inhaled or ingested by troops in the Gulf War is the cause, or a contributing cause, of the "Gulf-War Syndrome". Of the approximately 697,000 U.S. troops stationed in the Gulf during the war, more than 100,000 veterans are now chronically ill. Cancer rates in southern Iraq have increased dramatically. For example ovarian cancer in Iraqi women of the southern region has fully increased by 16-fold.
More recently, Bush's and the Pentagon's reassurances were vigorously challenged by nuclear physicists and physicians at a scientific meeting, the World DU/Uranium Weapons Conference held in Hamburg, Germany during October 2003. New data suggest that orders of magnitude more Americans and Iraqis may have been poisoned by uranium from depleted uranium (DU) weapons explosions than Kurds had been killed by Saddam's gas in 1988. Review in Hamburg of the long term medical effects from DU exposures during the 1990s in Kosovo, Sarajevo, southern Iraq and from American veterans of the Gulf War reveal a frightening reality.
Conference scientists criticized as decades obsolete the Pentagon models used for reassuring the public about the long-term effects of inhaling uranium oxide particles from DU weapons. Citing the Pentagon model, the official 2003 Conference Statement concluded: "The knowledge on which this [Pentagon] model is based is faulty and outdated. This is like comparing [someone] sitting in front of a fire with [them] eating a hot coal."
According to the Conference, the mobility of the ceramic uranium oxide particles from DU weapons explosions is due to their re-suspension in dry weather. Measuring isotope ratios of U-238 and Pa-234m/Th-234 in water and air measurements by UNEP in Kosovo, Bosnia and Montenegro has showed this. Uranium oxide particles are available for inhalation long after the war is over. Anyone in the general area of their prior use is at risk, several years after their use or contamination. This had been proven by urine measurements in Kosovo in 2001. All of the people sampled showed contamination from DU. This was also shown by urine tests of Gulf War veterans made 10 years after their exposure.
After the Gulf War, Iraqi and international epidemiological investigations enabled the environmental pollution due to using this kind of weapon to be associated with the appearance of new, very difficult to diagnose diseases (serious immunodeficiencies, for instance) and the spectacular increase in congenital malformations and cancer. This had been found both in the Iraqi population and also among several thousands of American and British veterans and in their children, a clinical condition now called Gulf War Syndrome. Similar symptoms to those of the Gulf War have been described for a thousand children living in Bosnia where American aviation similarly used DU bombs in 1996, the same as in the NATO intervention against Yugoslavia in 1999.
It is estimated that already some 300 tons of radioactive debris from DU weapons had been deposited in target areas during the 2003 Iraq War, affecting over 250,000 Iraqis. By comparison, Saddam Hussein -- who Bush had called an evil murderer -- only gassed about 5,000 Iraqi Kurds in 1988. But by Bush launching his war on Iraq with DU weapons of mass destruction, he multiplied the casualties to the Iraqis, and also to American troops, by factors of hundreds relative to the infamous gassing of the Kurds. Therefore, by the time American troops leave Iraq Bush will very likely have poisoned hundreds of thousands more humans than he had accused Saddam Hussein of poisoning.
Agree? Disagree? Suggestions?. Click on "post comment" below and tell us what you think.
Frederick Sweet is Professor of Reproductive Biology in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. You can email your comments to Fred@interventionmag.com
Posted Tuesday, January 6. 2004
Independent inquiry into Gulf war illnesses (June 14, 2004)
An unprecedented independent inquiry into whether more than 5,000 veterans of the first Gulf war became ill as a result of their service will be announced today. Lord Lloyd of Berwick, the former law lord, will conduct hearings in central London in the next few months and pose a political dilemma for the government which has refused to authorise a public inquiry for the past six years. He is expected to invite current and former ministers, civil servants, health and scientific experts, as well as veterans and their families to establish the medical consequences of their service. (...) The suggested causes have ranged from the pre-conflict injections which Lord Morris has referred to as "a veritable blitzkreig on the immune system" to pollution from burning oil wells, stress, depleted uranium, organophosphates and the effect of low-level exposure to chemical agents destroyed during and after the war. A US congressional investigation has suggested that far more troops and civilians were exposed to chemical agents than was previously estimated by the Pentagon and the CIA. The government has not ruled out an inquiry, but it does not regard one as useful. CLIP
50,000 troops in Gulf illness scare (June 11, 2004)
Lots of resources and articles on the Depleted Uranium mess
Just on the ERN website you can find 134 references to Depleted Uranium
See also everything related to deformed babies archived on the ERN site (23 references)
Bush's Mercenary Army
First, shock and awe shocked the Bush Administration because the Iraqis were not awed into submission. Now, the Administration responds with desperation and deception to win the election.
Desperation and Deception
With shock and awe intimidation a total flop--more than a year later, the armed resistance in Iraqi continues to grow and spread--the Bush Administration has turned to what we can call desperation and deception: desperation because George Bushs poll numbers continue to drop, and the election is beginning to look very dicey for the Republicans; deception because George Bush has implemented a subterfuge on a massive scale in Iraq.
To reduce American causalities, U.S. troops are now being garrisoned so that the "friendlies" won't kill their "liberators." With the military pulling back, the vacuum is being filled not by Iraqi troops--who are as willing to die for an American dream as the South Vietnamese were--but by hired mercenaries. When killed or wounded, they're not counted as U.S. causalities. There is no political backlash; in fact, no one seems to care. This is an attempt to fight an increasingly unpopular war and be free of the political costs of our soldiers being killed.
The esteemed Janes, in an article titled Bush's secret army--The USA hires contract soldiers to fight in Iraq, reports that more than 10,000 civilian men and women perform various jobs for the U.S. military in Iraq, and out of the $85 billion allocated for the military, over a third is now targeted for private contractors. A reality check: this figure is greater than the defense budgets of most countries.
Civilian contract workers provide logistical support such as transportation, food services, and housing for U.S troops. They provide technical expertise for maintenance and technological upgrades of weapons. They are central in the effort to rebuild Iraq and to train a new Iraqi army and police force. They protect high officials, even the civilian administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer. They are interrogators and interpreters, and as we now know, even abusers of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
But all of this has been happening for years, since President Reagan opened the floodgates of the U.S. military to private contractors. Maybe some of it is new, but only a stretch from past practices. What is qualitatively different is that private soldiers are now patrolling the country, with their own powerful arsenal and helicopters, and engaging Iraqis. Increasingly they are the troops fighting the war in Iraq: a private army bought and paid for by U.S. taxpayers, our very own mercenary force, fighting a war in our name. This is something that empires do, and normally when on the wane.
Military contractors fix equipment and serve food for money; mercenaries kill people for money. The distinction between contractor and mercenary may not always be clear, but what is clear is that the U.S. military is relying more and more not only on contractors to service Americans but also on mercenaries to kill and be killed.
Our national economy slowly became dependent upon foreign oil; now our national military is quickly becoming dependent upon private soldiers. Both oil and the military are crucial for national security, yet few seem to notice what is happening, and those who do, dont seem to care. While some Americans scream that the draft is returning, other Americans are picking up fat paychecks to be our soldiers. Bush's America has taken another step toward becoming Empire America.
Bush's secret army - The USA hires contract soldiers to fight in Iraq
Nuclear-weapons challenges rise
Bush and Pentagon call for new kinds of nukes - and a missile defense system - as bombs' toxic legacy lingers.
By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
At a time when all eyes are on fighting what the Pentagon calls the "Global War on Terrorism," the United States is having to address the past, present, and future of nuclear conflict.
Sixty years after the Manhattan Project produced the first and only atomic bombs ever dropped on an enemy, the US continues to struggle with how to permanently dispose of the radioactive and chemical byproducts of its cold-war weapons of mass destruction. The Senate recently voted to allow the Energy Department to reclassify such waste so that it could stay in place, even though some of it is leaking into the air and ground water.
As the nature of warfare changes, the Bush administration is considering new kinds of nuclear bombs. These include smaller "tactical nukes" meant to pack a bigger punch than any conventional weapon, as well as "bunker busters" designed to penetrate an enemy's deep command and weapons-storage sites.
And in case Russia, North Korea, or some other nuclear power should fire missiles at the US, the administration is pushing ahead on ground-based systems to try to knock down incoming warheads.
Some experts see signs that space-based missile defenses - of the type envisioned in former President Reagan's "star wars" initiative 20 years ago - may be in the works as well.
All of this is highly controversial and very expensive.
Defending against missile attack
Last month, 31 former government officials urged the Bush administration to delay the national missile-defense deployment scheduled for later this year. Interceptor missiles are to be deployed in Alaska and California. These former senior defense and arms-control officials, representing every administration since Dwight Eisenhower's, say the Bush program is "missing major components." "This is like rolling out a new automobile that is missing tires, steering wheel, and brakes and hasn't been tested on the open road," says Philip Coyle, former Pentagon chief of operational test and evaluation.
In his first year as president, Mr. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which had been designed to preserve the long-standing regime of "mutual assured destruction" by denying either the US or the former Soviet Union the ability to launch a first strike and survive. Like Mr. Reagan, Bush and other critics of the ABM Treaty believe the US should be able to defend itself not only from Russian missiles but from those launched by North Korea or other "rogue states."
Critics point to more likely threats not addressed by ballistic missile defenses: low-flying cruise missiles or "dirty bombs" filled with smuggled radioactive material.
Still, many see deployment of missile defenses as logical if not required for national security. "The threat has changed since the cold war," says military analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute. "There are more countries with ballistic missiles, and their behavior is less predictable."
Nukes that go smaller, deeper
This same concern about a more complicated and more dangerous world also drives the administration's desire to accelerate research on nuclear weapons designed for 21st-century threats. "Nuclear attack options that vary in scale, scope, and purpose will complement other military capabilities [to deter] adversaries whose values and calculations of risk ... may be very different from and more difficult to discern than those of past adversaries," states the Pentagon's most recent Nuclear Posture Review.
That range of options is reflected in the Defense Authorization Bill now being considered by the Senate. It includes $27.6 million for the development of the 100-kiloton bunker buster and $9 million for new "low yield" weapons (less than 5 kilotons, or about one-third the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima).
The programs don't cost much, in Pentagon terms. But much is scheduled to be spent in coming years. And, coupled with Bush's attack-first approach to dealing with perceived enemies, a modernized nuclear arsenal raises alarms. "I am deeply concerned that this administration may well be encouraging the very nuclear proliferation we seek to prevent - through its policy of preemption combined with the pursuit of new nuclear weapons," says Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California.
A House subcommittee last week refused to provide money for a bunker buster, a low-yield nuke, and for a new plant to produce plutonium triggers for the warheads. The spending is also under attack in the Senate, as Senators Feinstein and Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts seek this week to eliminate this year's funding for next-generation nukes.
Reclassifying weapons-site waste
Meanwhile, dealing with the oldest generation of nuclear weapons remains a serious problem. In South Carolina, Idaho, and Washington State, nuclear waste - some of it highly radioactive - has been stored for decades, waiting for a more permanent solution. In Washington, some of those buried storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have begun leaking, sending their toxic brew of radioactivity and chemicals used to produce plutonium into the ground water that flows into the nearby Columbia River.
A federal judge has ruled that under the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the US Department of Energy (which oversees nuclear weapons programs) must dispose of high-level radioactive waste in deep underground vaults beneath Yucca Mountain, Nev. But as part of a defense authorization bill, the Senate recently voted to allow the Energy Department to reclassify sludge in some tanks so that it can stay in place. Safely turning it into a grout-like substance, proponents argue, could save billions of dollars. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) of Washington tried to amend the bill to remove that provision, but lost on a tie vote. She vows to keep fighting.
"There are 50 million gallons of radioactive waste at Hanford and I want it cleaned up," Senator Cantwell says.
Fiery Hell on Earth, Part 2
The U.S. is enabling the spread of atomic bombs worldwide in at least four different ways (see Rachel's #792). But why? Do Mr. Bush's military advisors or his core supporters in the Republican party imagine some benefit from allowing A-bombs to slip into the hands of terrorists?
In this series, I am searching for answers.
By "atomic bombs" I do not mean "dirty bombs" -- a few sticks of dynamite wrapped with a packet of radioactive medical waste. I mean the kind of A-bomb that turned the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into a lake of fire in 1945.
There can be no question about it: In at least four ways the U.S. is failing to stop -- in some cases is actually promoting -- the spread of A-bombs by:
(1) Helping foreign government acquire nuclear power plants --a sure stepping stone to an A-bomb for any government inclined to take the step (see Rachel's #792). All the newest members of the "nuclear club" -- such as India, Pakistan and North Korea -- gained membership by acquiring nuclear power plants, then developing A-bombs. Nuclear power = nuclear weapons, and the U.S. is aggressively promoting the spread of nuclear power worldwide.
(2) The U.S. is dragging its feet in securing A-bombs that are lying around in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Thousands of Soviet A-weapons are still poorly secured. As the New York Times wrote two years ago, "No observer of the unraveling Russian military has much trouble imagining that a group of military officers, disenchanted by the humiliation of serving a spent superpower, embittered by the wretched conditions in which they spend much of their military lives or merely greedy, might find a way to divert a warhead to a terrorist for the right price."
Furthermore, the U.S.-Russian program to secure 68 tons of plutonium (enough to make more than 10,000 A-bombs), begun in 1998, is "stalled" over a trivial legal technicality. As the Washington Post reported last month, some analysts and politicans -- including Republican Senator Pete Domenici (a staunch proponent of nuclear power and weapons) -- "are doubting the Bush administration's commitment" to securing the plutonium.
(3) The U.S. is failing to aggressively retrieve 35,000 pounds of weapons-grade uranium that the U.S. and the Soviets gave or lent to 43 countries during the cold war -- enough to make more than 300 hefty A-bombs; and
(4) Reversing long-standing policy, the U.S. is now building a new class of smaller A-bombs, which are being advertised as "more usable" -- meanwhile telling the rest of the world to renounce atomic weapons. "This administration seems to believe that the United States can move the world in one direction while we ourselves move in a different direction," says U.S. Representative John M. Spratt, Jr. (D-S.C.), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and an expert on U.S. nuclear policy. Mr. Spratt says President Bush is "taking us back to somewhere where we were years ago and were thankful to have moved beyond."
Here we pick up the story with point 3:
Late last month U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced a $450 million effort to retrieve the 35,000 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from 43 countries. It is expected to take 13 years, if all goes according to plan. Mr. Abraham said his plan would ensure that nuclear materials "will not fall into the hands of those with evil intentions." This sounds reassuring until you learn that Pentagon auditors concluded two months earlier, in March, that "large quantities of U.S.-produced highly-enriched uranium were out of U.S. control."
The New York Times reported in March, 2004, that "The Energy Department's inspector general says that about half of the [35,000 pounds of enriched] uranium is in the hands of government agencies, universities or private companies in 12 countries that are "not expected to participate in the program" to return it. Among those countries are Iran, Pakistan, Israel, Mexico, Jamaica and South Africa. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, other countries with "research reactors" that could be used to make weapons include Vietnam, Syria, Serbia, Pakistan and North Korea.
Commenting on Secretary Abraham's announcement, Graham Allison, a Harvard professor and author of the forthcoming book, Nuclear Terrorism [ISBN 0805076514], told the New York Times that the plan would be "important if the words are matched by deeds." However, he said, the scale and speed of the effort are still woefully inadequate. "There is still a serious imbalance between the magnitude of the nuclear threat he [Abraham] describes and the remedies proposed," Allison said. Mr. Allison subsequently signed up to advise the John Kerry campaign, which has said the uranium cleanup job should take 4 years, not 13. Administration officials scoff at the Kerry timetable as unrealistic.
The fastest possible retrieval does seem warranted. As the New York Times editorialized May 28, "Highly enriched uranium is scattered at some 130 research reactors in more than 40 countries, often guarded by little more than a night watchman and a chain-link fence. Dozens of these sites have enough material to make a bomb."
But, inexplicably, U.S. retrieval efforts have actually slowed since 9/11. The Times noted that "less nuclear material was secured in the two years immediately after the 9/11 attacks than in the two years before."
And: "Although the United States and Russia are cooperating on a program to safeguard dangerous materials and have fixed some of the most glaring vulnerabilities, only a fifth of the dangerous nuclear material not in weapons has been protected by comprehensive security upgrades, an appallingly sluggish performance," the Times's editors said.
Why is President Bush approaching this problem in an "appallingly sluggish" fashion? Who among the President's advisors or core supporters in the Republican party imagine that there's something to be gained by this approach?
Point 4: Provocative new A-bomb policies
The Bush administration is promoting the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide in a fourth way -- by starting its own provocative program to build a new generation of A-bombs, reversing long-standing U.S. policy. Furthermore, the administration has announced a new policy of possible pre-emptive first use of nuclear weapons in emergencies, even against non-nuclear states.
Mr. Bush's military strategists say the new generation of smaller weapons is desirable because smaller A-bombs are "more usable." A New York Times editorial June 8 says "more usable" means "easing the taboo that has kept nuclear weapons sheathed since 1945 on behalf of a bomb that could still expose hundreds of thousands of people to death or radiation sickness. With nine countries now believed to have nuclear weapons, including North Korea, Pakistan, India and Israel, the world does not need America's encouraging the idea of more usable bombs."
The Bush administration is also developing a new generation of large A-bombs -- called bunker busters -- intended to penetrate deep into the ground before exploding. "Just imagine launching nuclear bunker busters based on weapons intelligence as unreliable as that circulating before the Iraq war," says the Times editorial. "Even if underground sites were accurately identified, the resulting nuclear explosions could spread the blast, radiation and toxins over populated areas." As an alternative, the Times favors conventional ways of dealing with underground fortresses -- like blocking air supplies or cutting off external energy sources.
The normally-staid editors of the Times call Mr. Bush's new A-weapons programs a "different and dangerous direction" for U.S. policy, a "reckless folly" that "boggles the mind."
Even some Republicans are dismayed at these policy shifts. Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "We don't need new weapons, and in fact we cause more harm than good in our relations with other countries in our moral position on nuclear proliferation. I think they're almost obsolete. I'm not convinced that we have to have that capability."
Even inside the Pentagon some argue there is no need for a new generation of nuclear weapons. A classified study by the Defense Science Board, leaked in November 2003, stated, "Current [Department of Defense] structure provides neither clear requirements nor persuasive rationale for changing the nuclear stockpile."
Strangely, this is an issue that divides Democrats from Republicans: "Traditionally, Democrats have viewed nuclear weapons as nearly unusable, a deterrent of last resort," said Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the libertarian Lexington Institute and an opponent of such new nuclear research. "Republicans, on the other hand, particularly since the Reagan years, have sought to integrate nuclear weapons into the broader arsenal of war-fighting tools, to treat them simply as a more powerful version of conventional weapons."
This is precisely President Bush's approach -- to treat small A-bombs as if they were simply more powerful versions of conventional weapons. But of course they will leave radioactive fallout and long-term radiation sickness in their wake, and so, if used, they will send shockwaves of anger and outrage throughout the world. After the U.S. unleashed a small A-bomb or a larger atomic bunker buster, many small countries could become convinced that there's no reason why they shouldn't have their own A-bombs. Terrorists would no doubt redouble their efforts to retaliate in kind, eager to deliver an A-bomb by boat to the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge. An effective A-bomb could enter U.S. waters in a "conex" shipping container and be detonated before passing through customs. Such an attack would be extremely difficult to prevent. [1; and see Rachel's #749.]
A tiny one-kiloton A-bomb (1/20th the size of the Hiroshima bomb) set off in New York City would probably kill 20,000 people immediately. In the next few days, tens of thousands more would die from third-degree burns and radiation sickness. The cloud of radioactive fallout would injure many more in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or New Jersey -- depending upon the wind.
President Bush's new policy is to fight arms of mass destruction with arms of mass destruction -- something approaching a modern version of an eye for an eye -- except that Mr. Bush has announced he may be willing to take the first eye. As the Times reported a year ago, "diplomacy and arms control, for now, have taken a back seat to muscle flexing."
Others are itching to flex back. CIA director George Tenet said more than a year ago, "The desire for nuclear weapons is on the upsurge among small countries, confronting the world with a new nuclear arms race that threatens to dismantle more than three decades of nonproliferation efforts.... We have entered a new world of proliferation," he said.
And the U.S. is making very deliberate and systematic contributions to arming this new world with A-bombs.
I keep asking myself, "What would possess President Bush to do such a thing?"
How could the President or his core supporters in the Republican party imagine that they -- or anyone else -- might benefit from a world awash in A-bombs?
Some possible answers next time.
NOTE FROM JEAN: In a book by Gregg Braden I'm currently translating I found a reference to what could be described as a warning from the past about the risks of our civilization being obliterated in a nuclear war - a theme already depicted in fictional movies such as "The Day After". Here is the related info I found on the web. As explained above, significant portions of our planet and millions of its inhabitants are still facing the possible nightmare of such a horrific nuclear holocaust that did occur in the past in India - as indicated below - as well as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Japan.
ANCIENT CITY FOUND IRRADIATED FROM ATOMIC BLAST
WONDERS OF INDUS VALLEY CITIES
You probably know something of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. The remains of these ancient cities are in modern day Pakistan. These were the key centers of the Indus Valley civilization. These also appear to have suddenly sprung up with no clear-cut traces of having evolved from primitive beginnings.
The ruins of these ancient Indus Valley cities are immense. They are thought to have contained well over a million people each.
The ruins of the ancient cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are extremely radioactive.
Practically nothing is known of their histories, except that both were destroyed suddenly. In Mohenjo-Daro, in an epicentre 150 feet wide, everything was crystallised, fused or melted; 180 feet from the center the bricks are melted on one side, indicating a blast.
Excavations down to the street level revealed 44 scattered skeletons, as if doom had come so suddenly they could not get to their houses. All the skeletons were flattened to the ground. A father, mother and child were found flattened in the street, face down and still holding hands.
It has been claimed that the skeletons, after thousands of years, are still among the most radioactive that have ever been found, on a par with those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But heres something else to shock you
Was There Really Nuclear War In The Past?
Here are eyewitness reports that raise the compelling question: Did nuclear war wipe out large sections of the civilized world in the third millennium BC?
Let me share with you whats in an ancient Indian text, the Mahabharata. This document of 200 verses was translated completely by 1884.
Although it dates in its present form to 500 BC, textual evidence indicates that it refers to events that occurred 1500 to 2500 BC.
The chief translator (decades before the appearance of aircraft, war gases, rockets and nuclear bombs), commented that much in the book would to the purely English reader seem ridiculous.
This ancient document recounts in detail how aircraft were used to launch a weapon that devastated three cities. The record is unnervingly similar to an eyewitness report of an atomic bomb explosion. It describes:
- The brightness of the blast
- the column of rising smoke and fire
- the fallout
- intense shockwaves and heatwaves
- the appearance of the victims
- the effects of radiation poisoning
The historical text states:
- An iron thunderbolt contained the power of the universe."
- "An incandescent column of smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose in all its splendor."
- "Clouds roared upward."
- "Blood-colored clouds swept down onto the earth."
- "Fierce winds began to blow." Elephant's miles away were knocked off their feet.
- "The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon.
- "Corpses were so burnt that they were no longer recognizable."
- "Hair and nails fell out. Pottery broke without cause. Birds were turned white. After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected."
- Thousands of war vehicles fell down on all sides . . . thousands of corpses burnt to ashes."
- Never before have we seen such an awful weapon, and never before have we heard of such a weapon."
- The war zone: the upper regions of the Ganges.
As you can see, passages from this ancient Sanskrit text, the Mahabharata are a nerve chiller. The cold terror of the survivors still lives in its pages.
Until we started to experiment with radioactive substances, no person on earth could have described radiation sickness, for the simple reason that such a disease did not exist.
Yet radiation sickness, in clinical detail, is described: the hair loss, vomiting, weakness and eventual deathclassic symptoms of radiation poisoning. More significantly, it states that one could save himself by removing all metal from his person and immersing himself in the water of rivers. The reason can only be in order to wash away contaminated particlesthe exact procedure followed today
Radiation still so intense, the area is highly dangerous
A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. Scientists are investigating the site, where a housing development was being built.
For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in the area under construction. The levels of radiation there have registered so high on investigators' gauges that the Indian government has now cordoned off the region.
Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people.
One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.
The Mahabharata clearly describes a catastrophic blast that rocked the continent. "A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe...An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its splendor...it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race.
"The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out, pottery broke without any apparent cause, and the birds turned white.
"After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected. To escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves into the river."
A HISTORIAN COMMENTS
Historian Kisari Mohan Ganguli says that Indian sacred writings are full of such descriptions, which sound like an atomic blast as experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He says references mention fighting sky chariots and final weapons. An ancient battle is described in the Drona Parva, a section of the Mahabharata. "The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees," says Ganguli.
"Instead of mushroom clouds, the writer describes a perpendicular explosion with its billowing smoke clouds as consecutive openings of giant parasols. There are comments about the contamination of food and people's hair falling out."
ARCHEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION PROVIDES INFORMATION
Archeologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has managed to translate suggest that they prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city.
"It's so mid-boggling to imagine that some civilization had nuclear technology before we did. The radioactive ash adds credibility to the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare."
Construction has halted while the five member team conducts the investigation. The foreman of the project is Lee Hundley, who pioneered the investigation after the high level of radiation was discovered.
To see a haunting picture (and more) of the skeletons found in Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, in the Indus valley, check this French site
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