MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
February 8, 2005
The Writing on the Wall Series #36: The Show Must Go On!
Despite ample evidence - which you've seen in these compilations - that the November US election was fraudulently stolen by the unelected Bush first-termer, the world's attention has again turned towards other issues.
Such as the fabulously, eminently undemocratic elections in Iraq designed to install a nominally democratic puppet regime subservient to the U.S. interests, a farce that was heralded by gullible world media as a major victory for Bush. Some beg to differ as you'll see below.
Now the American hawks, their fangs still dripping with the blood of over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, are openly training their eyes on their next planned Iranian conquest with nary a public word of protest from supposedly democratic leaders of the "free" world during the whirlwind European tour of newly nominated ex-Exxon boss, Condoleeza Rice, because they are apparently afraid of awakening the sleeping giant of their own public opinions strongly opposed to all such wars of aggression, afraid that people's power may unseat them - Orange-revolution-wise - from their own throne from where they contemplate implementing more anti-democratic, freedom-restraining legislations mimicking the fascist Patriot act Orwellian system established in the U.S.
All the while, screeching alarm signals are mounting from the scientific community about the imminent demise of our global environment as the same governments are fiddling around to avoid implementing their own feeble commitments to prevent full-fledged global warming, which of course does not include the worst culprit, the U.S. of Bush, where the EPAs anemic budget has just been further cut down.
And I could go on and on...
The Show Must Go On!...
But "something" conspicuously absent from most media reports is happening that may bring down their whole house of cards.
Check this out - AND MUCH MUCH MORE! - below and feel free to share as usual...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
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"There they go again. Once again this Administration is deliberately misleading the public by creating a false crisis. The Administration's campaign to convince the American public of a 'crisis' in Social Security is a mirror image of their phony campaign to convince the American public of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. The Social Security Trust Fund is not only secure, but will run a surplus for decades. No other government or corporate entity can say the same thing. The only real danger Social Security faces is the $2 trillion willful destruction planned by this Administration. The White House not only wants to privatize Social Security, but also cut retirees benefits. A cut in benefits is not necessary and retirees cannot afford a cut in benefits. No one is cutting the cost of food, rent, electricity, gas, oil, or property taxes. "The White House's 'bold' initiative on Social Security is a 'bold' violation of public trust."
- Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, January 11, 2005 - Press release entitled "Administration's Social Security 'Crisis' is Their Latest WMD Campaign"
Recommended by Yienan Song (aka Star Light) firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Today is Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address. As Air America Radio pointed out, it is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication and the other involves a groundhog."
- Author unknown
Worthy of Your Attention
Great political cartoon from Mark Fiore
[True] State of the Union Message (Video
State of the Union... Not Good (Video)
Both recommended by "Meria Heller" MeriaHeller@cox.net>
Very good short "flash presentation" on 9-11
Recommended by Suzanne Phillips email@example.com>
Rumsfeld Fighting Technique
Recommended by Mark Graffis firstname.lastname@example.org>
For those who want to marry the economy and Collective Intelligence in order to build a fair world. This is a wiki, i.e. a public participative website made by its visitors.
The Chinese watermelon sculptures (AMAZING!)
Recommended by star light email@example.com>
News In The Year 2014 (Flash) (Creative prospective story - but longish)
The New York Times has gone off line. The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned. What happened to the news? And what is EPIC. Recommended by "Mark R. Elsis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Next Industrial Revolution - The Birth of the Sustainable Economy
Recommended by "Jeremy Burnham" email@example.com> who wrote: "I recommend anyone wanting to participate in the healing process that IS HAPPENING in business get a hold of this DVD.
2. Enlightening words from Consuelo Luz
3. The Fair & Balanced Election
4. Iraqi Elections: Media Disinformation on Voter Turnout?
5. Criminal World
6. Documents reveal CIA recruited five of Eichmann's associates
7. Rumsfeld considers war crime prosecution risk
8. US-European rift deepens over Iran
9. Have your National ID Card ready, or be arrested or even killed?
10. Military Says Connection to Death of 37 Animals Is 'Unlikely'
11. THE U.S. IS BOOSTING ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL
Sharon, Abbas Agree to Mideast Truce
The Tsunami: Why did the Information Not Get Out? (Michel Chossudovsky - 8 Feb 2005)
One of the most destructive and powerful earthquakes in recorded history, more than a quarter of a million recorded deaths, local economies destroyed, the lives of entire communities shattered, and no serious investigation into the flaws of the global seismic warning system is contemplated. According to Columbia University's Earth Institute the M-9.0 Sumatra Andaman Island earthquake on December 26th released energy, equivalent roughly to 700 million Hiroshima bombs.Seismic information regarding what scientists identify as a "rare great earthquake", was available in near real time (i.e. almost immediately) to seismic centers around the World. Other types of data, including satellite imagery were also available in near real time. The advanced global seismic information and communications systems were fully operational. Why then, did the information not get out on the morning of December 26th?Ten of thousands of lives could have been saved.The issue has been skirted by the Western media, sidestepped by the governments and the UN, not to mention the international scientific community. What Happened on the Morning of December 26th? (...) In other words, it was possible to predict in a very precise way, at what time the seismic wave would hit the coastlines of Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, The Maldives and Somalia. Had this information been transmitted in a consistent fashion, there would have been ample time to evacuate people from the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, not to mention the East coast of Africa. There are no Ocean sensors in the Indian Ocean. But this was not the cause of the failures and omissions in the warning system. The tsunami became active immediately following the earthquake. No warnings were sent out following the seismic readings despite the fact that the tsunami had already hit the Indonesian coast. This is the key issue. The Tsunami was active, and this was known, corroborated not only by seismic information but also by satellite images and other data, roughly 30 minutes prior to hitting Thailand. CLIP
Sumatra earthquake three times larger than originally thought (7-Feb-2005)
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University seismologists have determined that the Dec. 26 Sumatra earthquake that set off a deadly tsunami throughout the Indian Ocean was three times larger than originally thought, making it the second largest earthquake ever instrumentally recorded and explaining why the tsunami was so destructive. CLIP
Oil And Elections (January 27, 2005)
Remember when we used to talk about how the war in Iraq was about oil? Remember the banners that read "No blood for oil?" Oil has fallen out of the discussion lately, but it's time to bring it back in light of the Iraqi elections scheduled for this Sunday. To refresh our collective memory, President Bush himself declared just before the invasion of Iraq that, "Our jobs, our way of life, our own freedom and the freedom of friendly countries around the world would all suffer if control of the world's great oil reserves fell into the hands of Saddam Hussein." This was Bush Sr., speaking in August 1990, on the eve of the first Persian Gulf War. More precise are the words of Chevron CEO Kenneth T. Derr speaking in San Francisco in 1988: "Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas reserves I'd love Chevron to have access to." After two wars and one occupation, Derr may finally get his wish. On Dec. 22, 2004, Iraqi Finance Minister Abdel Mahdi told a handful of reporters and industry insiders at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that Iraq wants to issue a new oil law that would open Iraq's national oil company to private foreign investment. As Mahdi explained: "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprise, certainly to oil companies." In other words, Mahdi is proposing to privatize Iraq's oil and put it into American corporate hands. According to the finance minister, foreigners would gain access both to "downstream" and "maybe even upstream" oil investment. This means foreigners can sell Iraqi oil and own it under the ground the very thing for which many argue the U.S. went to war in the first place. CLIP
Ultimate War Crime: Breaking the Agricultural Cycle
(...) "As part of sweeping "economic restructuring" implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds, which include seeds the Iraqis themselves have developed over hundreds of years. Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations. That is because in recent years, transnational corporations have patented and now own many seed varieties originated or developed by indigenous peoples. In a short time, Iraq will be living under the new American credo: Pay Monsanto, or starve." CLIP
Free Trade Leaves World Food Supply In Grip Of Global Giants (January 27, 2005)
Global food companies are aggravating poverty in developing countries by dominating markets, buying up seed firms and forcing down prices for staple goods including tea coffee, milk, bananas and wheat, according to a report to be launched today. CLIP
God and the Oval Office - Bush's Brand of Christianity (February 2, 2005)
Since the night of September 11, 2001, when George W. Bush quoted Psalm 23 and declared the day's events to be the opening salvo of a cosmic struggle of good vs. evil, administration officials and supporters have claimed that this president's mixture of religion and politics is nothing new in the presidency. Just last month in speaking to journalists, Bush speech writer Michael Gerson offered this viewpoint. That simply is not so. We have the data to prove it.What makes Bush distinct from other modern American presidents is not that he believes in or refers to a supreme power in his public communications. What sets Bush apart is how much he talks about God and what he says when he does so. Thepattern is so clear that we guarantee Bush will invoke God several times in his State of the Union address on Wednesday. Consider that Bush referenced God seven times in his second-term inaugural address on January 20. This came on the heels of 10 invocations of God in his first inaugural and another 14 references in his three State of the Union addresses. No other president since Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933 has mentioned God so often in his inaugurations or State of the Unions. CLIP
Paranoia Grips the U.S. Capital (06 February 2005)
(...) This week, former military intelligence analyst William Arkin revealed a hitherto unknown directive, with the Orwellian name "JCS Conplan 0300-97," authorizing the Pentagon to employ special, ultra-secret "anti-terrorist" military units on American soil for what the author claims are "extra-legal missions." In other words, using U.S. soldiers to kill or arrest Americans, acts that have been illegal since the U.S. Civil War. This frightening news comes as Washington is gripped by reborn, Cold-War-style paranoia, ominous threats of war against Iran from the real president, Dick Cheney, and a titanic bureaucratic battle just won by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Instead of being fired for the grotesque military-political fiasco in Iraq and the shameful torture scandals, Rumsfeld has just managed to create a new, Pentagon spy/special ops organization, blandly named "Strategic Support Branch," that will replace or duplicate many of the CIA's tasks. The CIA has been sent to the doghouse. Too many CIA veterans criticized or contradicted Bush's and Cheney's phony claims over Iraq and terrorism. So Bush has imposed a new, yes-man director on the agency, slashed its budgets, purged its senior officers, and downgraded CIA to third-class status. Rumsfeld's new, massively funded SSB will become the Pentagon's CIA, complete with commando units, spies, mercenary forces, intelligence gathering and analysis, and a direct line to the White House. The Pentagon has just effectively taken over the spy business. Mind you, the Pentagon and its Defence Intelligence Agency have been deeply involved in intelligence around the globe for 50 years. U.S. Army intelligence and its covert sub-branches have long conducted "black ops," including missions in the U.S. as well as assassinations and sabotage abroad. The Pentagon consumes three-quarters of the total U.S. intelligence budget. CLIP
U.N. Experts: 'U.S. Treatment of Detainees Inhuman and Degrading'
A Mountain Of Docs On Ohio's Stolen Election (February 3, 2005)
Stiff legal sanctions sought by Ohio's Republican Attorney General James Petro against four attorneys who have questioned the results of the 2004 presidential balloting here has produced an unintended consequence -- a massive counter-filing that has put on the official record a mountain of contentions by those who argue that election was stolen. CLIP
Half of Bankruptcy Due to Medical Bills -- U.S. Study (Feb 2)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, researchers said on Wednesday. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, estimated that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans every year, if both debtors and their dependents, including about 700,000 children, are counted. "Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study. "Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick. Health insurance offered little protection." CLIP
Speaking Truth Makes Website Founder Fred Burks Celebrity for a Week in Indonesia http://www.weboflove.org/050129fredburkscelebrity
Health Freedom Alert
Your right to choose what vitamins, minerals and other supplements you want to take may end in August, 2005. After August, U.S. supplements will be defined and controlled by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nigerian email scammers scammed
A clever English "scambaiter" and his quick-witted colleagues have turned the tables on some of those obnoxious Nigerian email scammers, by conning them in the same way that the conmen trick thousands of gullible victims. Their strings of messages, posted on the internet, are hilarious.In a classic case of man bites dog, the head baiter, Mike, claims to have tricked six different "419" email scammers into paying out amounts totalling more than $US1200. [4-1-9 advanced fee schemes derive their name from the section of the Nigerian penal code that deals with them. It's been estimated that 419 scams dupe Americans of about US$200 million each year.] CLIP
Note from Jean: I was about to include the following article recommended by a subscriber to this list:
The "Kosher Nostra Scam" on the American Consumer (4/27/2002)
But then, I grew suddenly suspicious as there are so many anti-Jewish slants being circulated on the Net, so I googled the word "Kosher Nostra" and found at http://www.snopes.com/racial/business/kosher.htm that it is yet another urban legend...
There is even a petition against this false "scam"!
Omega-News Collection 5. February 2005
GREEN HOLOCAUST UPDATE
In every country of the world, all on a sudden the weather forecasting computer models are failing human or extra-terrestrial hand in weather manipulation
January 30, 2005
Over the past years, China has installed 74 sets of the world's advanced Doppler weather radar with 87 per cent put into operation. But in the last year all on a sudden the weather forecasting computer models have failed so badly that China has decided to install thirty more of the devices rapidly this year with a satellite launched later last year expected to start its operations soon.
This is the same story echoed in every part of the world from India to America. Weather forecasting models are just failing and the variation patterns are so obvious that forecasters all over the world are scratching their heads.
World is experiencing some extreme weathers and weather forecasters in all parts of the world are just failing for reasons unknown to all.
In India, for example, scientists were astonished at the National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting were perplexed by the deviation of the weather from the that predicted by the Doppler reports.
In Russia, authorities are just perplexed with bizarre patters of snow falls.
In America, the weather forecasters are similarly perplexed in their inability to tell people what will happen next day.
The recent hurricanes and typhoons all over the world have taken irregular patterns and unpredictable paths defying all established computer models.
In India, China, Africa, Europe, all over the world the same story is repeating. In every country the meteorologists are thinking that these anomalies are just present in their region. But it is global and increasing every day.
The intensity of the storms and the paths all over the world especially in Americas Florida and South East including Gulf of Mexico are just bizarre.
Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government is also perplexed with what is going on.
Another interesting phenomenon that is becoming very obvious is that many of the storms all over the world last year went into merry-go-round patterns and pick up speed and force before the landfall.
There is a possibility that massive weather manipulation experimentation is taking place which are totally classified. Military research projects involving weather manipulation is nothing new many countries are racing towards achieving the capabilities.
What is perplexing is that the same unusual patterns are also present in Artic and Antarctic regions. British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, the International Commission on Polar Meteorology and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) are involved in modeling the polar weather patterns.
The massive scale of the same problem gives rise to the fact that there may be some bigger hand involved. In South America and Central America native Indians believed that their Gods used to control the weather on a daily basis. We may be looking the same pattern where Someone is controlling the worldwide weather.
February 3, 2005
Russian Military Movements towards Protected Areas Beginning
By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Russian Subscribers
Catastrophic worldwide weather chaos coupled with Defense Minister Sergei Ivanovs sudden visit to our Siberian military district are serving today as a warning for the start of immediate preparations for more severe chaotic events to come shortly it now appears.
Military activity has increased to a level not seen in decades and many high level military officials have been leaving our region by aircraft bound for the great underground city beneath Yamantau Gora Mountain it is also being reported." Much frantic activity is also being seen with many thousands of animals migrating towards the interior spaces between our mountains and leaving costal areas with much speed.
Strange news has also been received from the United States" that a mistake in their Emergency Broadcasting System signaled an evacuation of one of their Eastern coastal regions, Connecticut."
We can see in this news report where it is said, State emergency management officials said a worker entered the wrong code during the weekly test of the emergency alert system, leading television viewers and radio listeners to believe that the state was being evacuated. Civil authorities have issued an immediate evacuation order for all of Connecticut, beginning at 2:10 p.m. and ending at 3:10 p.m.," a message that scrolled across television screens read."
Though being dismissed by many Americans as a mistaken order this message does provide a notice that the American authorities are also aware of impending events and are themselves in preparation for the massive evacuations of their costal residents." It is interesting to note too that the time frame as specified in this warning coincides with the massive continuing sun explosions now occurring." It is estimated that the giant explosive regions of the sun, soon to be facing earthward, will occur in less than a weeks time."
Continued bombardment of the earth of the massive and increasing energy blasts, of which I have written of before to you, are wrecking unprecedented damage upon the Southern Hemispheric Regions and greatly affecting all of the earths weather systems.
Madagascar has been affected to such an extent that it is now being reported, The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today started sending supplies of emergency rice to thousands of people affected by Cyclone Ernest and the ensuing tropical storm that struck south west Madagascar last week. "Everyone who has been affected by these two terrible storms will receive relief food," WFP Deputy Country Director Gianluca Ferrera said. "We will have a better picture of what's needed in a day or two but in the meantime, food will be distributed to those who have been most critically affected by the flooding."
In the South America region one of the worst hit countries has been Guyana, and which we can read, "Guyana faces four more days of rainfall after the heaviest January rains in more than 100 years caused floods affecting more than a third of the population, the United Nations said."
In news reports from "Tanzania" we read, "Heavy downpour that hit Dar es Salaam and its suburbs yesterday was unusual and in fact the highest on record since 1953." , and massive flooding is also occurring in Mozambique", and as we read, "Flooding on the lower Zambezi in central Mozambique continued over the weekend, and on Monday the National Water Board (DNA) warned that the situation is likely to worsen."
Aside from these areas one of the worst hit countries has been Australia" where again yesterday massive storms have hit, and as we can read from their news reports, "Around 100,000 homes throughout Sydney, the Central Coast and surrounding areas are without electricity after big storms which swept the region this afternoon. Strong winds brought down "trees, and heavy rain caused flash flooding which caught some people in their cars. The big storms brought rainfall of up to 20 millimetres in an hour."
This adds to the increasing events of these past weeks where in "Australia" they have also recorded their highest temperatures for January in their historical records, and also historically high rain."
Not being spared has been the Northern Hemispheric region where even our capital Moscow has been affected by suffering the heaviest snows to have ever occurred there, and as one news report says, "A powerful snowstorm that raged in Moscow on Friday was the heaviest day's snowfall since weather records began, forcing planes to divert away from airports, snarling city traffic and making pedestrians wade through meter-high snowdrifts. Friday's snowfall was equivalent to precipitation of 9.4 millimeters, smashing the previous record of 7.8 millimeters set in 1977, the city's weather bureau said."
Even in our own region the numbers of cyclones are unprecedented, and as said in one news article, "A strong cyclone is moving to Kamchatka from the Sea of Japan. A storm warning was announced for operational services in the region and the fleet near the coast of the peninsula, the Kamchatka meteorological centre told "Itar-Tass on Monday. According to weathermen, the record norm of precipitation for the last five years fell in the south of the peninsula in January 2005. Such heavy snowfalls were registered last time in 1999."
World wide weather disasters are becoming so common place and without scientific explanation that an Indian government political information website has said about them,"(The) World is experiencing some extreme weathers and weather forecasters in all parts of the world are just failing for reasons unknown to all."
Not just the weather is of concern to the worlds scientists and government authorities but also the increasing numbers of meteors exploding in the earths atmosphere in numbers unprecedented in recorded history.
Spanish news sources have reported in the past few days, "Residents of the area near Madrid airport reported seeing a ball of fire explode and "disintregrate in skies over the Spanish capital overnight, security services said."
This joins the hundreds of other reported events of these meteors from all around the world including:
On December 4th in the New England Region of the United States where it is says, "the bright flash light up the clouds, three seconds later came the boom
On December 6th over Australia where it was reported, An eerie, constant, low rumbling sound accompanied the explosions. From fireballs.
On December 12th the reports from the Washington D.C. Region of the United States that says, It looked like a ball of fire falling out of the sky.".
On December 13th the report of the fireball that lit up the skies of China turning night into day.
On December 16th from the Utah Region of the United States where it was reported, Meteor May Have Fallen in "Salt Lake"
On December 19th where in Indonesia a news report was headlined, Meteor suspected amid unexplained sightings and blast in Indonesia
On December 21st where an unknown asteroid, and since named 2004 YD5, was discovered flying past the earth and under our satellites.
On January 5th where in the Wisconsin Region of the United States a news report says, Authorities in north central Wisconsin received dozens of reports Tuesday evening of bright flashes of light in the sky, as from an explosion, and they said it likely came from meteor activity."
On January 7th where in the Alaskan Region of the United States a news report says, "Juneau" residents saw a fiery ball traversing the sky.
On January 12th where in India it is reported, I saw a huge ball of fire in the air. It raced down to the earth so fast that before I could do anything."
On January 26th where in Cambodia it is reported, "It made a noise like a bomb exploding, it's a good thing it didn't land in the village or people could have been killed."
(NOTE FROM JEAN: A similar mysterious phenomenon as described above has been also reported on TV in Quebec last week.)
Concern is also increasing due to a large number of the worlds 1,500 active volcanoes becoming simultaneously active in recent weeks and the effects of these volcanic eruptions towards more global weather chaos." Even of more concern are the worlds super volcanoes, and to which the British press has recently said, "Slumbering supervolcanoes powerful enough to wipe out much of the planet may awaken much sooner than it had previously been thought. Experts believed it would take hundreds of thousands of years for reservoirs of "molten rock, or magma, beneath a supervolcano to build for an eruption. But a new study indicates the time between super-eruptions can actually be tens of thousands of years - and many are already long overdue."
"Residents of Guam in the Mariana Islands are suffering from sickness from volcanic haze due to the eruption of Anatahan Volcano." Dozens of people have arrived at Guam's only hospital complaining of respiratory problems and headaches." ", it is being reported, and also that the Manam Volcano in Papua New Guinea eruption reached the stratosphere, "where in one hour the ash cloud reached a diameter of 180km and an altitude of 21-24km."
Currently the oxygen content in the atmosphere on world average is 20.9%. This is a pet inquiry of mine and a friend who is an environmental technician in the tropics. What we are finding out the oxygen levels are not being published. We will always see the CO2 content but never the oxygen content. Indications from ice boring and is depending on which research; the oxygen content either 100 years ago or 400 years ago was 38%. The percent level where animals begin to degrade is 13% and under 6% we can not live. Oxygen content for many regions vary between 12% to 18%. Certain cities the content levels can be dangerously low. From a very reliable resource two days ago stated, areas in Japan the oxygen level was 6%. It's difficult to imagine but we're running out of air to breathe. The areas in the world where the oxygen contents are under 13% must be having a severe effect on peoples health and child development. I believe the hazard guess is probably accurate. But the oceans are dying..... we are seeing more and more dead zones and fish dying off in schools, especially in the tropics.
NOTE FROM JEAN: As I long suspected this issue, the global depletion of oxygenthe very atom in the atmosphere that we all need to liveis possibly the gravest, least recognized threat to all oxygen-dependent life forms on Earth. However I do NOT believe the assertion above that the atmospheric oxygen percentage has ever been even close to 38%, otherwise the moment a forest fire would have started, all the planet's forests would have quickly been burned to the ground. But with the 500 million car we have now burning as much oxygen in one hour as one human consume in one year, with the billions of cubic meter of gas burned close to oil wells every year, the 4+ billion tons of coal burned every year, with the fast dying plankton and fast receding plant and forest cover of our planet worldwide, oxygen is bound to be in short supply soon. And I don't even mention what would happen if we were to have millions of oxygen-consuming fuel cells in car. Also the ozone layer will never regenerate if we keep destroying oxygen as it takes 2 atoms of oxygen to create one atom of ozone. Humanity is really short-sighted when it comes to global oxygen consumption...
Apocalypse now: how mankind is sleepwalking to the end of the Earth (Feb 6) MUST READ!
Floods, storms and droughts. Melting Arctic ice, shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid. The world's top scientists warned last week that dangerous climate change is taking place today, not the day after tomorrow. You don't believe it? Then, says Geoffrey Lean, read this... Future historians, looking back from a much hotter and less hospitable world, are likely to play special attention to the first few weeks of 2005. As they puzzle over how a whole generation could have sleepwalked into disaster - destroying the climate that has allowed human civilisation to flourish over the past 11,000 years - they may well identify the past weeks as the time when the last alarms sounded.Last week, 200 of the world's leading climate scientists - meeting at Tony Blair's request at the Met Office's new headquarters at Exeter - issued the most urgent warning to date that dangerous climate change is taking place, and that time is running out. CLIP
More on this at http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6959 and at http://www.terradaily.com/2005/050202102932.i0omwo4d.html
Antarctic ice sheet is an 'awakened giant' (02 February 2005)
The massive west Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, is starting to collapse, scientists warned on Tuesday.Antarctica contains more than 90% of the world's ice, and the loss of any significant part of it would cause a substantial sea level rise. Scientists used to view Antarctica as a "slumbering giant", said Chris Rapley, from the British Antarctic Survey, but now he sees it as an "awakened giant".Rapley presented measurements of the ice sheet at a major climate conference in Exeter, UK. Glaciers on the Antarctic peninsula, which protrudes from the continent to the north, were already known to be retreating. But the data Rapley presented show that glaciers within the much larger west Antarctic Ice sheet are also starting to disappear.If the ice on the peninsula melts entirely it will raise global sea levels by 0.3 metres, and the west Antarctic ice sheet contains enough water to contribute metres more. The last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2001, said that collapse of this ice sheet was unlikely during the 21st century. That may now need to be reassessed, Rapley warned. CLIP
Recommended by Willy Smith WillySmith@fastmail.co.uk>
Global warming: scientists reveal timetable (Feb 3) http://news.independent.co.uk/world/environment/story.jsp?story=607254
A detailed timetable of the destruction and distress that global warming is likely to cause the world was unveiled yesterday. It pulls together for the first time the projected impacts on ecosystems and wildlife, food production, water resources and economies across the earth, for given rises in global temperature expected during the next hundred years.The resultant picture gives the most wide-ranging impression yet of the bewildering array of destructive effects that climate change is expected to exert on different regions, from the mountains of Europe and the rainforests of the Amazon to the coral reefs of the tropics. CLIP - Recommended by "Meria Heller" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Grain yield to fall as temperatures rise? (Feb. 04, 2005)
Citing global warming, an environmental group said it was already seeing signs in rice crops.
WASHINGTON - A global-warming trend will reduce farm yields and make food supplies scarcer over the next century, an environmental group said yesterday, citing data from the United Nations and the National Academy of Sciences and trends in the world rice market."The combination of rising temperatures and falling water tables is likely to lead to a tightening of world grain supplies," said Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute. "This is already evident with world rice prices, which have risen over 30 percent in the last year." Last year's grain harvest was two billion tons, the most ever and 26 million tons more than was consumed, thanks to unusually good weather. But in the four previous years, demand outstripped supply as crops withered under severe heat in the United States, Europe and India, according to the Agriculture Department .CLIP
Aerosol and Electromagnetic Weapons in the Age of Nuclear War (June 1, 2004) http://globalresearch.ca/articles/WOR406A.htm
North America is now suffering its seventh year of conspicuous and dangerous aerosol and electromagnetic operations conducted by the U.S. government under the guise of national security. Concerned citizens watch in fear as military tankers discolor the skies with toxic chemicals that morph into synthetic clouds.We continually witness bizarre meteorological occurrences as powerful electromagnetic devices manipulate both the jet stream and individual storm fronts to create artificial weather and climatic conditions. Black operations projects embedded within these aerosol missions are documented to sicken and disorient select populations with biological test agents and psychotronic mind/mood control technologies. Part of what is happening in the atmosphere above us involves the Pentagon's secret space weapons program, designed for strategic, operational and tactical levels of war. NASA missions will soon be transferred to Pentagon control.1 The Air Force Space Command declares that, in order to monitor and shape world events, it must fight intense, decisive wars with great precision from space.2 Air Force Secretary James G. Roche has stated: "Space capabilities are integrated with, and affect every link in the kill chain." CLIP
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" email@example.com>
Powerful New Energy Surges Begin Hitting Southern Polar Region, Australia Hit With Hundreds of Thousands of Lightning Strikes (January 26, 2005 )
Sell the Whales
(...) Every well-read Green knows that Socialist environmental policies have made deserts of much of Russia. They managed to turn Kazakhstan into a dust bowl, dry up most of the Aral Sea, and wipe out all but a few of the Arals fish species. The oil-drilling area around Baku looks like the Moon, with slime pits that have been there since the Czar; and of course there was Chernobyl. The Soviet economy wasnt productive enough to afford to clean up its messes. But somehow the same sort of centralized, command-economy system is supposed to protect the environment of North America.Government at all levels in the US owns about 42% of the US land area, plus the continental shelf, the rivers, oceanic whaling and fishing rights. Only about 10% of the Federal land area is National Parks. By far the majority of the Federal acreage is under the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service. This land can be exploited by anyone who can pay the necessary campaign contributions, but the users can never own the land. The result is tragedy of the commons on a massive scale.The governments terrible forest management has been made obvious over the last few years of ever-bigger forest fires. (...) But perhaps you dont care about the environment? Perhaps you only care about improving human technology so you can become a posthuman cyborg? Well then, youd better care about saving the whales. Specifically, saving the Bowhead whales. Bowheads not only have higher technology than you do, its the exact technology you need to be posthuman
because Bowheads are better at fighting both cancer and aging than we are.Bowhead whales have been shown to be over two hundred years old by independent dating methods: amino acid racemization in the eye lens, and old stone harpoon heads embedded in the whales. A good introductory article on Bowhead lifespan is archived at: http://www.agelessanimals.org/bowheadwhales.htm - Bowheads are big mammals. In fact theyre really big; theyre the third most massive of the whales. This makes their longevity extremely significant. All multicellular species have the problem of controlling cancer. The chance of a cell mutating into a cancer is proportional to the number of cells times the lifespan of the organism. CLIP
Saemangeum: the world is watching...
Can you help us put even more pressure on the Korean Government, and support the Korean people to get this reclamation stopped? Situated on South Korea's west coast at approximately 35 Deg 50'N, 126 Deg 45'E (about 250km southwest of Seoul) Saemangeum (pronounced "Say-man-gum") is one of the world's greatest shorebird staging sites - and the world's most important staging site for the fast-declining Spoon-billed Sandpiper. The fight against the 100% reclamation of Saemangeum's 40,100 ha of tidal-flat and shallows is one of the most important and urgent conservation issues in northern Asia. The imminent completion of a 33km long sea-wall across the free-flowing estuaries of the Mangyeung and Dongjin Rivers dooms hundreds of thousands of shorebirds by removing a key feeding area along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Following the welcome and hugely-important decision on February 04 2005 that the Saemangeum reclamation was illegitimate and should be suspended (Why? Under Korean law the end-use of a reclamation project can not be changed. Also, drawing on the expert opinions of NGOs and concerned academics, the court ruled that water in the proposed huge reclamation reservoirs would be of too low quality for agricultural use - rendering the project's meaning illegitimate and the costs required to clean it up far in excess of those claimed by the government), there is once again still time (a) to promote awareness of the project worldwide, and (b) to rebut the arguments put forward by pro-reclamationists that the project will not affect over 400,000 migratory birds and is somehow "environmentally-friendly". CLIP
Coral reefs create clouds to control the climate (6 February 2005)
When the temperature soars, coral reefs might cool off by creating their own clouds.Research from the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast shows that corals are packed full of the chemical dimethyl sulphide, or DMS. When released into the atmosphere, DMS helps clouds to form, which could have a large impact on the local climate.In the air, DMS is transformed into an aerosol of tiny particles on which water vapour can condense to form clouds. This sulphur compound is also produced in large amounts by marine algae and gives the ocean its distinctive smell. Algae play a vital part in regulating Earth's climate, but no one had looked at whether coral reefs might have a similar role. CLIP
Over 290,000 Affected by Guyana Floods (Feb. 7, 2005)
The most severe flood for over a century has affected nearly 40% of the population of the South American country of Guyana, a UK-based agency reported Monday. While the worlds eyes have focused on the appalling devastation caused by the Dec. 26 quake-tsunami devastation, abnormally heavy rainfall in Guyana has caused a prolonged flood in its heavily populated, low-lying, coastal areas. According to the latest figures 293,988 people have been affected. "More than three weeks after the floods began, water still lies waist-deep or higher in some areas" CLIP
LAST MINUTE ADDITION - OUTRAGEOUS EFFORT BY CANADIAN GOVERNMENT! POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES WORST THAN 100's OF TSUNAMIS!
Forwarded by "Paul Prior" firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Janet M Eaton email@example.com> (A long-time ERN subscriber)
Subject: Canadian government to unleash "Terminator" Seed Bombshell at UN meeting in Bangkok
Date: 08 Feb 2005
A confidential document leaked today to ETC Group* reveals that the Canadian government, at a United Nations meeting in Bangkok (Feb 7- 11), will attempt to overturn an international moratorium on genetic seed sterilisation technology (known universally as Terminator). Even worse, the Canadian government has instructed its negotiators to "block consensus" on any other option.
"Canada is about to launch a devastating kick in the stomach to the world's most vulnerable farmers - the 1.4 billion people who depend on farm saved seed," said ETC Group Executive Director Pat Mooney speaking from Ottawa. "The Canadian government is doing the dirty work for the multinational gene giants and the US government. Even Monsanto wasn't prepared to be this upfront and nasty. Canada is betraying Farmers' Rights and food sovereignty everywhere."
"It is outrageous that Canada is backing an anti-farmer technology and shameful that it will 'block consensus' on any other outcome. Governments from around the world must not accept this bullying tactic," says ETC Group's Hope Shand from the negotiations in Bangkok.
In stark contrast to Canada's position, the expert UN report recommends that governments seek prohibitions on the technology.
Hope Shand and Jim Thomas of ETC Group can be contacted at SBSTTA negotiations in Bangkok on cell phone +44 (0) 7752 106806 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Pat Mooney (in Ottawa) +1 (613) 241-2267 firstname.lastname@example.org Kathy Jo Wetter (USA) +1 (919) 960-5223 email@example.com
* the ETC group is the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration formerly known as RAFI - Rural Advancement Foundation International
Write letters to Canadian officials:
Send letters of protest postage free to any MP at: House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6. Or, by e-mail, take the first 5 letters of the last name, the first letter of the first name and the common ending. So, Agriculture & Agrifood Minister Andy Mitchell would be: firstname.lastname@example.org>, the Conservative critic, Diane Finley would be email@example.com>.... the NDP Agriculture critic is Charlie Angus, for the Bloc québecois it is Denise Poirier-Rivard. It's a good idea to write to your MP as well. (NOTE: to make sure you have the right contact info for MPs, use the 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) in the blue pages.)
The Head of the Canadian Delegation in Bangkok is Robert McLean, Environment Canada - Robert.Mclean@ec.gc.ca tel +1 (819) 997-1303
Some details on what the Terminator technology is...
There is a technology available suitably called the Terminator technology, which is designed to genetically switch off a plant's ability to germinate a second time. What is the purpose of switching off seed germination? Many believe it is purely a business idea by forcing farmers to buy a fresh supply of seeds each year -- many of whom are in the developing world and cannot afford to do this. The traditional practice (tried and tested for thousands of years) of saving seeds for the next harvest comes under threat due to a US patent on this technology to prevent "unauthorized seed-saving" by farmers. Supporters of the terminator, or suicide, technology believe that the idea of it is for the protection of corporations from unscrupulous farmers. Control of seed germination helps prevent growers from pirating their technology. If crops remain fertile, there is a chance that farmers could use any saved transgenic seed from a previous season. This would result in poorer profits for companies. This then becomes a battle over a farmer's (traditional) right and a corporation's right. Effect on farmers - In India, this is a cause for some concern as scientists fear for the livelihood of 400 million farmers and for food security in the country. Already some poorer Indian farmers have been driven to suicide. It is feared that this type of technology could be used to make the poorer farmers even more dependent. CLIP
Monsanto Terminator Technology -- Worldwide Famine & Starvation
Monsanto is in the process of acquiring and patenting their newest technology, known as "Terminator Technology." This technology is currently the greatest threat to humanity. If it is used by Monsanto on a large-scale basis, it will inevitably lead to famine and starvation on a worldwide basis. Billions of people on the planet are supported by farmers who save seeds from the crops and replant these seeds the following year. Seeds are planted. The crop is harvested. And the seeds from the harvest are replanted the following year. Most farmers cannot afford to buy new seeds every year, so collecting and replanting seeds is a crucial part of the agricultural cycle. This is the way food has been grown successfully for thousands of years. With Monsanto's terminator technology, they will sell seeds to farmers to plant crops. But these seeds have been genetically-engineered so that when the crops are harvested, all new seeds from these crops are sterile (e.g., dead, unusable). This forces farmers to pay Monsanto every year for new seeds if they want to grow their crops. CLIP
Terminator Five Years Later
Forwarded by "Kathleen Roberts"
Kos: GOP Proposes Bill that Would Suspend ALL Laws
A frightening piece of research was done by valabor on the DailyKos blog last week. This needs to be disseminated far and wide and far again:
GOP proposes bill that would suspend ALL laws
Feb 4th, 2005
This is probably the wrong time of day to post something like this. But it needs to get out there. Please recommend this diary to keep it on the front page.
On January 26, 2005, Rep. Sensenbrenner introduced the REAL ID Act of 2005 (H.R. 418). In the name of homeland security, it includes a number of items changing immigration laws, use of drivers' licenses, etc.
But -- most overlooked -- is Section 102 of this bill. It would empower the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend any and all laws in order to ensure the "expeditious" construction of a set of barriers and roads south of San Diego, to keep illegal immigrants out. It also would prohibit ANY judicial review of the Secretary of Homeland Security's decision to suspend any law. ON EDIT: While the law the bill references mentions barriers and roads "near San Diego," it does not appear to be (technically speaking) limited to that area -- but to any barriers or roads "in the vicinity of the United States border."
From: "David & JoAnn Hopper" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: The Empire of Darkness Series #21: The Bushgernaut
Date: 4 Feb 2005
You know Jean, I read all these reports that you and others compile on the destruction of the environment, the wanton disregard of human life particularly from the Western nations like the US, and in the last quarter century the developing nations like China and others in Asia. But the more I study Bush's "smirky" direction he's taking us (in stark contract to the direction he's NOT taking us, i.e. towards harmonizing with the Earth and all life), I just can't get it out of my mind that he's actually one of those evangelicals like Karl Rove, that want to create a holocaust in the Middle East so that the rapture will happen and all good Christians will then go to heaven. The thought of this to me is nauseating. This would explain so many things happening that he's been doing, even since the Reagan Administration, who with his "self-righteousness" and a very conservative agenda has his own version of madness, but honestly not as bad as Bush jr.
Interesting, how there is so much darkness through thoughts and deeds constantly being planned to thwart the spiritual progress of Humanity. On the other hand, there are so many more light workers in incarnation, including "true" Christians that are doing so much to help - that I cannot conceive what will happen. Will humanity wake up in time to prevent the environmental disasters that are already starting to happen, will we come to our senses and throw out the leaders that are constantly leading us to war, depleting our resources only to reward the selfish few?
What will it take? I think that God Himself or Herself is on the edge of His/Her seat wondering what we'll be doing!
Note from Jean: Here is a most interesting excerpt from Consuelo Luz's biography posted at http://www.consueloluz.com/i_about.htm
(...) Though I have always considered myself socially and politically aware and have been involved in much community and cultural work throughout my life, 9/11 was a wake up call for me. My consciousness was lifted to a new level and I could not rest until I was satisfied that I had thoroughly investigated what was really going on in the world. After months of reading, researching and exploring the Internet, a veil seemed to lift from my brain as I started understanding the true meaning of the events we were witnessing: the virtual coup d'etat by George W. Bush and his cabinet of oil executives, The Free Trade agreements, NAFTA, the Patriot Act, the consolidation of the media which was becoming the most powerful propaganda machine in the history of the planet, the scapegoating of Muslims, the depletion of resources, all these under the umbrella of the growing runaway beast: Corporate globalization and its unsupervised, unfettered branches of administrative power - the multinationals, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and a slew of other quasi secret "groups" and "commissions" who seemed to be deciding the fate of humanity behind closed doors with no seeming accountability.
I started contacting people in my community who were apparently doing the same thing as I was. As we shared information a sense of urgency developed and the need to share what we were discovering with as many people as possible. With my friend and fellow musician, Nelson Denman, we created Freedom Café, a series of events which brought together poets, musicians and speakers on the urgent issues of the day. Volunteers manned tables where we made available petitions, brochures, info on organizations and activities and lists of websites and contacts to expand the surging network of concerned individuals. As more and more people became active, a grass roots self-organized movement emerged in Santa Fe.
This new imperialism threatening to gobble up the planet and reduce humans to consumers or slaves seems to have a life of its own. Who is accountable? As governments become irrelevant it becomes up to the people to take responsibility for our Earth. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We move into this new consciousness with love, grace and joy.
Much more on her and her beautiful songs at http://www.consueloluz.com
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
February 1, 2005
The Fair & Balanced Election
The occupying army manned the polling areas to assure that there would be no voting irregularities. Meanwhile, the population went to the polls and voted in unprecedented numbers. When the votes were counted, to no one's surprise the party in league with the occupying military won the election and began to run the country - while the foreign occupying army got a series of military bases and stayed on and on and on.
Iraq in 2005?
No, it was Poland in 1947, and it was over 40 years before the Soviets left.
But that was different!
Then why did you assume I was talking about Iraq?
I was traveling on Sunday. So I wasn't able to participate fully in the 24-hour television orgy celebrating President Bush's great vindication.
Shortly after I returned home late at night, I tuned into Fox TV News and watched the late-night reruns of The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes. According to the fair & balanced network, there were no shades of gray concerning the Iraqi election:
a.. This was an "historic election."
b.. Somehow, although never explained, the election turnout was proof that countries like France and Germany now have to participate in rebuilding all the Iraqi infrastructure destroyed by the American military.
c.. Somehow, although never explained, the election proved that President Bush is right in saying that the world is now a safer place with Hussein out of power.
d.. This was a defeat for the far left in the United States.
e.. This was an "historic election."
f.. Somehow, although never explained, all the American deaths (the Iraqi deaths don't count) have now been justified by the election.
g.. Somehow, although never explained, the 150,000 American troops in Iraq are now much safer.
h.. Somehow, although never explained, "This is obviously a huge blow against worldwide terrorism, which opposes any kind of democracy" (O'Reilly's words).
i.. This was an "historic election."
j.. This election was unprecedented in a Middle Eastern Muslim country.
k.. Failure in Iraq would have made our lives more dangerous.
l.. This was an "historic election."
m.. Iraq will be the leading democratic reformist state in the Muslim world, and other countries will necessarily have to follow suit.
n.. The Democrats in the U.S. are looking very bad now because of their negative statements about Iraq, and they have a "real problem" because they're so out of touch with reality and with the American people.
o.. Did I mention that this was an "historic election"? (They mentioned it over and over and over.)
All this was accompanied by a few film clips of Iraqis voting or dancing - clips that were repeated over and over.
The Other Side
Both Fox shows played clips of Senators Kennedy and Kerry making the following points:
a.. The election in no way changes the fact that Americans were deceived into supporting a war.
b.. The election won't stop the violence.
c.. The election won't change the growing perception of an American occupation.
d.. We shouldn't celebrate the election until we see what it leads to.
e.. It is time to start withdrawing American troops from Iraq.
f.. America is less safe as a result of the war in Iraq.
The Fox hosts were shocked - shocked! - that the Senators would make statements that were so "irresponsible" (a word they managed to repeat frequently during the two hours). The Fox commentators came very close to accusing Senators Kennedy and Kerry of treason.
Although they felt it was important to show the American people several times the film clips of the Senators' statements, no one was invited on the Fox shows to explain or defend those statements. Instead, the fair & balanced network interviewed about ten guests who agreed that such statements were "irresponsible." They even brought on everyone's favorite "moderate," Senator Joseph Lieberman, to register his disapproval of his fellow Democrats.
And they dug up Alexander Haig from somewhere, so they could play the clips for him and ask him whether he thought the statements were "irresponsible." Big surprise, he did.
He also mentioned that George Bush took America into war "to protect our values and our interests." He didn't mention how Saddam Hussein threatened our values or our interests - or even what our interests are.
If there's one thing that politicians and TV commentators know a great deal about, it sure isn't history.
Although the Fox commentators repeated over and over that the election was "historic," none of them mentioned that Iran has regular elections.
Nor did they mention that Iraq has had plenty of elections already. During Hussein's reign, the 220-member National Assembly was elected by popular vote.
The only recognition of this came when someone reporting from Iraq quoted one voter who said something on the order of, "We've had ballots before, but Saddam marked them for us."
Yes, it's true that the choices available in previous Iraqi elections were limited.
But, then, Donald Rumsfeld made it plain on April 15, 2003, that the choices to the people in a "liberated" Iraq would be limited as well. Rumsfeld said that, no matter what the will of the Iraqi people:
a.. Iraq cannot be divided into three separate countries (a plan that many people believe is the only way to bring lasting peace and freedom to the country).
b.. No matter what weapons nearby countries such as Israel, Pakistan, or Russia might use to threaten it, Iraq will not be allowed to have comparable weapons.
c.. Iraq cannot become a fundamentalist Islamic country like Iran.
d.. People who are pro-Iran or pro-Syria cannot participate in the elections or the government, although anyone who is pro-American is of course free to do so.
And speaking of limitations on democracy, the people of California voted in 1996 to make medical marijuana legal, only to have the federal government tell them that their "historic election" was unacceptable - and the Feds convicted Ed Rosenthal for doing what the voters of California had authorized him to do. Also the federal government (the same one bringing democracy to Iraq) decided not to accept the assisted-suicide law passed by a referendum of Oregon voters in 1998.
Along with ancient (pre-September-11th) history, the war hawks have little interest in current history. As a result, the 24-hour "special edition" orgy on the Iraqi elections acknowledged no facts, or even potential facts, that would dampen the celebration.
Here are a few aspects of the election that the Fox TV News boys had no desire to explore:
a.. Many of the Shi'ites who voted may have been doing so because they thought it would hasten the end of the American occupation.
b.. Many Iraqis voted because they had been told their food rations would be cut if they didn't vote.
c.. Estimates of voter turnout started at 72%, and continue to be cited by various commentators, but were reduced several times during the day - and will probably turn out to be significantly less than the figures that formed the basis for the celebration. In fact, it appears that about 30% of the eligible voters didn't register, and over 40% of those registered didn't vote - making a total turnout of about 42% of the eligible voters, roughly on a par with the poorly attended U.S. elections. But then, it's always more fun to celebrate the initial expectation than the final result.
d.. The U.S. occupying authorities have contingency plans to adjust the election outcome if they're not satisfied with it.
e.. Foreign monitors were unable to verify any of the claims made for the election, because it was unsafe for them to visit the polling places.
f.. Turnout was apparently very high in Shi'ite areas because Shi'ites (deprived of power during Hussein's Sunni reign) expect to dominate the new National Assembly and perhaps impose a religious regime on Iraq, while fewer than 1% of the population in Sunni Samarra bothered to vote.
g.. The video clips they showed of the interim Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi, casting his ballot and then issuing a celebratory statement on the election were filmed in a heavily guarded bunker.
h.. Most likely, the soldiers shown in dispatches by Geraldo Rivera in Iraq had been hand-picked to assure that no one appeared on TV who didn't support the war.
i.. Does this celebration remind you of "Mission Accomplished"?
j.. Far from being a great triumph for George Bush, he had to be pressured into holding the election by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
k.. After the U.S. celebrated the end of "ethnic cleansing" in Kosovo and the victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan - and in each case turned its attention elsewhere - all hell broke loose. But here we are, once again celebrating before the results are in.
Conservatives seem to be good at only two things: (1) They celebrate victory when all they've done is start toward some goal; and (2) They never run out of excuses when the plan fails.
Meanwhile, back at the Foxy TV News network, we can see that the slogan . . .
We report You decide
. . . should be modified to read:
We report one side You decide between it.
Gorbachev Calls Iraqi Elections Fake (January 31)
MosNews - Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev called the Iraqi parliamentary elections a profanation. In an interview with the Interfax news agency, he said the elections are very far from what true elections are. And even though I am a supporter of elections and of the transfer of power to the people of Iraq, these elections were fake. I dont think these elections will be of any use. They may even have a negative impact on the country. Democracy cannot be imposed or strengthened with guns and tanks, the agency quoted Gorbachev as saying. CLIP
WHO'S COUNTING THE VOTE IN IRAQ? (Feb 6)
(...) With so much riding on an election that could see the winning coalition ordering the occupiers to abandon their nine permanent bases and leave Iraq, and despite widespread vote-rigging during the last three US federal elections, the "watchdog" corporate press has yet to get its muzzles far enough out of its feed bowls to question another Bush-sponsored electionthis time being tallied in the US-controlled Green Zone. Speaking for the Association of Muslim Scholars, Muhammad al-Kubaysi wondered how valid the much vaunted elections can be when "the voter goes to the polling stations not knowing who he is voting for in the first place."
Iraqi Elections: Media Disinformation on Voter Turnout?
by Michel Chossudovsky
The media in chorus decided that voter turnout was high.
Reports which contradict the Western media consensus, that "the turnout was high":
1. Cancelled Elections and Low Turn Out
In five out of 18 governates, according to a Russian parliamentary observer, the elections were either cancelled due to the lack of security or were marked by a very low turnout. (Novosti, 30 Jan). This statement contradicts the figures presented by the IECI at the Press Conference, which indicate voter turnout of 50 per cent or more in all the governates. (including Sunni regions where there was a boycott, as confirmed by several press reports). (See Table 1 below)
2. The Boycott was not limited to the Sunni Triangle
The boycott of the elections was not limited to the Sunni areas as conveyed by the Western media. According to Muhammad Ayyash al-Kubaysi, of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), in an Al-Jazeera interview (31 Jan 2005), the boycott was heeded in a number of "dominantly" Shiite areas. It is worth noting the position of Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose supporters "have stopped short of calling for a boycott but insist they are not supporting the election."
According to Xinhua (in a report issued 5 hours before the close of polling stations):
"The turnout was very low during the past few hours in Tikrit, Dujail, Balad and Tuz, much lower than expected," a source in the electoral body told Xinhua. "In addition, no voters showed up in Baiji, Samarra and Dour," said the source, who declined to be identified. The cities of Dujail and Balad have mixed population of Shiites and Sunnis, while Tuz has a mosaic of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen. In Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, 75 percent of the voting stations have not been visited till now. (Xinhua, 30 Jan 2005, 9 AM GMT)
3. Several cities in Iraq did not receive Electoral Materials
"In the city of Mosul, the deputy governor said that four towns did not receive the election process materials. How do you justify this? These towns are Bashqa, Bartillah, Al-Hamdaniyah and Jihan. They did not receive the material for the election process." (Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV, 30 Jan)
4. The Election was used to Promote the Creation of a Separate State in Kurdistan
In a number of polling stations in Kurdistan, the ballot included a referendum on the creation of a separate Kurdish state. this was barely mentioned in news reports:
Outside most polling stations, members of a movement demanded the creation of an independent Kurdish state" (The Independent, 31 Jan 2005)
Many northern polling stations also held an unofficial referendum on independence, asking voters in favor to check a box next to a Kurdish flag, and those against to check an Iraqi flag" (Boston Globe,31 Jan 2005)
5. Sanctions against those who do Not Vote: No Vote, No Ration Card, No Food
The election commission had estimated that 14 million people are eligible to vote, based on the number who received ration coupons through the UN Oil for Food program. In this regard, the international observer mission had recommended. "using the rolls for Iraq's food rationing system as a sort of makeshift census to guide the effort." (NYT 31 Jan 2005).
In the weeks leading up to the election, there were reports that food rations would be cancelled if voters did not show up at the polls. In Fallouja, polling stations were set up "at centers that distribute food, water and cash payments to residents whose homes were devastated by the offensive" (LA Times, 31 Jan 2005).
According to Al-Basa'ir, weekly, of the Muslim Scholars Council in its pre-election Jan 19th issue:
... those who do not take part in the forthcoming elections will be punished.... "sanctions will be taken against those who refuse to vote or go to the polling stations." The article goes on to say: "The Iraqis have become accustomed at the end of each year, specifically in the last month of the year, to replace their ration cards with new ones to cover the months of the new year. However, one notices that December this year has passed without the Iraqis reading in the local papers or hearing in audiovisual media any mention of any invitation calling on them to replace these cards. This gave rise to many rumours as to why the issuance of these cards was delayed. The only plausible reason they found for this is that "the government intends to withhold these cards from the families that will not participate in the elections. Many Iraqis affirm that the new ration card has been printed and that it will be distributed to the head of the family while he votes and that those who do not go to the polling stations will not get their cards, and therefore will not receive the staples that are covered by the card as a punishment." (BBC Monitoring 24 Jan 2005)
5. Voter participation in the overseas ballot was low
According to Xinhua (31 Jan), some 25 percent of those eligible to vote outside Iraq had registered to take part in the historic poll. And of those who had registered in 14 foreign countries, the turnout was placed at 60 percent, namely 15 percent of eligible Iraqi voters of the Diaspora.
THIS ONE IS A MUST READ! ONCE AGAIN THE KING IS NAKED FOR ALL TRULY OPENED EYES TO SEE... AND THIS IS NOT A PRETTY SIGHT...
Forwarded by Paul Prior firstname.lastname@example.org>
By Chris Floyd - Global Eye - The Moscow Times
February 4, 2005
Another day, another accomplice in the construction of the Bush Regime's torture chambers revealed. Nothing new there; the perp walk of top Bushists colluding in torture could stretch a mile. But the remarkable thing about the latest case is that it exposes an even greater depth of official criminality than hitherto suspected -- no mean feat, given the rap sheet of this crew.
The new man on the hot seat is Judge Michael Chertoff, nominated to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Chertoff was hip-deep in creating -- and covering up -- the infamous White House "torture memos": carefully detailed guidelines from the desk of President George W. Bush that instigated a global system of documented torture, rape and murder.
Before Bush elevated him to the federal bench, Chertoff headed the Justice Department's criminal division, where he was frequently consulted by the CIA and the White House on ways to weasel around the very clear U.S. laws against torture, The New York Times reports. Bush and his legal staff, then headed by Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzales, were openly concerned with "avoiding prosecution for war crimes" under some future administration that might lack the Bushists' finely nuanced view of ramming phosphorous lightsticks up a kidnapped detainee's rectum, or other enlightened methods employed in the administration's crusade to defend civilization from barbarity.
Throughout 2002 and 2003, the CIA sent Chertoff urgent questions asking whether various "interrogation protocols" could get their agents sent to the hoosegow. The questions themselves are revelatory of the tainted mindset at CIA headquarters -- officially known as the George H.W. Bush Center for Intelligence. Beyond methods we already know were used -- such as "water-boarding" and "rendering" detainees to foreign torturers -- the Bush Center boys sought legal cover for such additional refinements as "death threats against family members" and "mind-altering drugs or psychological procedures designed to profoundly disrupt a detainee's personality."
However, the Justice Department could only offer advice; final approval of interrogation techniques -- including the Bush Center's requests -- rested solely with the Bush White House. As one senior intelligence official told The New York Times: "Nothing that was done was not explicitly authorized" by the Oval Office. Thus the chain of responsibility is clearly established for the reams of evidence on torture, rape and murder in the Bush gulag -- cases documented by the FBI and the Pentagon's own investigators, as well as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, the Red Crescent, Human Rights Watch and others.
Eventually, Chertoff referred all torture questions to the authority of the "smoking gun" memo drawn up by Bush's office in August 2002. In this, the White House essentially defined "torture" out of existence; practically any interrogation method could be used, Bush said, as long as it didn't cause "organ failure or imminent death." But even here Bush left an escape hatch for atrocity, ruling that an interrogator who killed or permanently maimed a prisoner could still be shielded from prosecution, as long as he claimed he hadn't intended to murder or maim when he commenced the beating.
But Chertoff's involvement in Bush's chamber of horrors goes beyond an advisory capacity. He was also instrumental in the earliest cover-up of Bush's torture system: the trial of John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban" captured in Afghanistan, the Nation reports. In June 2002, Lindh was due to testify about the methods used to extract his confession of terrorist collusion: days of beating, drugging, denial of medical treatment, and other abuses. These were of course standard procedures used -- by presidential order -- from the very beginning of the "war on terror." To stop Lindh from exposing this wide-ranging criminal regimen, Chertoff, overseeing the prosecution, suddenly offered Lindh a deal: The feds would drop all the most serious charges in exchange for a lighter sentence -- and a gag order preventing Lindh from telling anyone about his brutal treatment. Lindh, facing life imprisonment or execution, took the deal. Once again, Bush skirts were kept clean. And the torture system was kept safe for its expansion into Iraq, where thousands of innocent people fell into its maw.
The August 2002 torture authorization was in force until January 2005, when it was ostentatiously replaced by a somewhat broader definition of torture just before Gonzales' confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate. But another 2002 memo - detailing specific, Bush-approved "coercive methods" - remains classified. Is it still in force? Nobody knows.
In any event, the Bushists' PR shuffle on torture is meaningless. Gonzales has already declared to the Senate that interrogators in the CIA's secret gulag aren't bound by the new "restrictions" anyway. What's more, he's also asserted -- again openly, to the Senate -- that Bush has the right to break any law or restriction he pleases "while acting in his capacity as commander-in-chief." Thus whatever the Leader orders -- even torture and murder -- cannot be a crime.
This is no hypothetical case, as Gonzales pretended to the Senate. In a series of executive orders beginning in October 2001, Bush has declared his peremptory right to capture, imprison, indefinitely detain or even assassinate anyone in the world whom he arbitrarily and secretly designates an "enemy" -- without any legal process at all, the Washington Post reports. Thousands of such "enemies" have been plunged into the CIA's unrestricted prisons, The Guardian reports; and as Bush himself bragged in his 2003 State of the Union speech, "many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: They are no longer a problem." They were simply killed, in secret, at Bush's order.
This is thug law, a death-cult of blood and domination -- the true religion of the Bushists and their mirror-image crimelords in al-Qaida.
Forwarded by "Meria Heller" email@example.com> on 6 Feb 2005
For those who try to downplay the nature of Operation Paper Clip and related efforts to recruit former Nazis to work for the US, this article makes a very important point. It was not just Nazi "scientists" or experts in anti-Communism that were brought to the US by Reagan's CIA director William Casey and others. It was SS officers who had specialized in the extermination of millions. The ideas of these experts became the seed for policy think tanks like The Manhattan Institute, where both Bush and Giuliani claim to have gotten their ideas. It's no wonder that the Republican party has gradually remade the US into a right wing police state, which exactly like Hitler's Germany has false religious overtones and an extreme patriotism. Likewise, the notion that people like Precott Bush and Rockefeller had only a financial relationship to Hitler and the Nazis is similarly disproven by their long support of eugenics and population reduction programs. They may not have been actual Nazis in the sense of having an undying loyalty to Hitler, but they proved by a lifetime of actions to have gotten their ideas from the same tainted sources.
Documents reveal CIA recruited five of Eichmann's associates
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
Five of Adolph Eichmann's Nazi assistants were recruited and employed by the Central Intelligence Agency after World War II, according to recently declassified intelligence documents.
The information came to light after a lengthy battle waged by the non-profit group, The National Security Archive, whose goal is to expose government documents under the framework of the Freedom of Information Act.
The newly-revealed documents are based on internal investigations in the CIA's history department. The agency has steadfastly refused to make the documents public for fear they would cause embarassment.
The revelations cast a negative light not only on American intelligence activity but also the U.S. Army's conduct in Germany at the conclusion of the war. The military made efforts to recruit members of the SS and the Gestapo into its ranks despite simultaneously waging a campaign of de-Nazification over vanquished Germany, a process which included arresting and trying Nazi war criminals.
The documents also reveal in great detail CIA efforts to recruit Reinhard Gehlen, who was the Wermacht's chief intelligence officer for the eastern front during the war.
The recruitment evolved into a new intelligence sub-organization known as "Gehlen's Organization," which served as the basis for what would later become West Germany's foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).
According to the new findings, Gehlen's Organization employed a number of Gestapo and SS officials. Gehlen and his senior associates secretly operated out of a building with the knowledge of the American occupation forces.
Rumsfeld considers war crime prosecution risk
February 2, 2005
Concern that US leaders and military personnel risk prosecution in Germany for alleged war crimes has become a factor in deciding whether US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will attend an international security conference in Munich, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.
US defence secretaries have rarely missed the Munich conference, an annual gathering of the world's top defence and national security officials and experts for two days of frank debate on major issues of war and peace. Mr Rumsfeld has announced no plans to attend this year's meeting from February 11-13 even though he will be attending a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Nice, France just before it.
Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said it remains to be determined whether Mr Rumsfeld will attend the Munich meeting.
The meeting's organiser, Horst Teltschik, said last month Mr Rumsfeld was not going.
Mr Rumsfeld was among 10 high-ranking US civilian and military officials named in a criminal complaint filed November 30 with a German federal prosecutor by a US legal rights group seeking an investigation into the Americans' role in the torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq.
Under Germany's Code of Crimes Against International Law, which was introduced in 2002, German courts have universal jurisdiction in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Acknowledging US concern about the German law, Mr DiRita told AFP, "It's a factor in the decision" on whether Rumsfeld attends the Munich conference. "It's not just a question of the secretary's travel. We have many thousands of US forces stationed there, some of which are named in this brief. So it's a big, big problem," he said.
He said the issue was being "worked on a government-wide basis". "My impression is the German Government understands the gravity of this matter, but there are some unique aspects that will take time to address," he said.
A Berlin newspaper reported last week that the German federal prosecutor opted not to take legal action against Mr Rumsfeld because no German citizen was a victim of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison.
The New York-based Centre For Constitution Rights, which filed the initial complaint, said on Friday it has filed new documents in the case, contending that attorney-general nominee Alberto Gonzalez had implicated himself in war crimes in Iraq, including torture at Abu Ghraib, in his Senate confirmation testimony.
OMINOUS SIGNS THAT THE BUSH EMPIRE IS INDEED PLANNING TO ATTACK IRAN - FOR ITS OIL, ITS ACCESS TO OIL RICH CASPIAN SEA AND TO PLEASES ISRAEL AND ITS NEOCON ALLIES IN WASHINGTON - A PLAN THAT EUROPEAN COUNTRIES APPARENTLY WON'T HAVE THE GUTS TO OPENLY OPPOSE...
US-European rift deepens over Iran
By Ulrich Rippert
7 February 2005
Just a few days after her confirmation as the new US secretary of state, Condolizard Rice began a whirlwind tour of Europe. In the space of one week, she is visiting London, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Warsaw, Rome and Ankara, where she also met the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. She has also included stops in Tel Aviv and in Palestinian areas.
While many commentators describe the trip as a "charm offensive," and refer to a relaxation of tensions in transatlantic relationships, the opposite is the case. Behind the exchange of diplomatic niceties, conflicting interests and opinions are being fought out, most central among them the question of Iran.
After veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh exposed US war preparations against Iran, followed by bellicose comments by various US representatives, there is little doubt among European politicians that Washington has begun serious preparations for a military offensive against Teheran. This is a goal that is decisively rejected, not only by Berlin and Paris, but also London.
The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel ran the headline on its front cover last week, "USA against Iran, the next war?" Threats made by US president George W. Bush against Iran in his state of the nation address dominated the headlines of reports on the speech in the German and French press, indicating widespread fear that Washington could take the same approach to Iran as it did toward Iraq.
In London, the first stop of her European trip, the US secretary of state again attacked the Iranian government. She accused it of lacking democratic legitimacy, of supporting international terror and of failing to respect human rights. Questioned by a journalist on whether she could imagine an attack on Iran during the Bush administration's second four-year term, Rice said only that such an attack was "at this time not on the agenda."
The divisions between Europe and the US over military action against Iran are even deeper than their differences over the Iraq war, which has already led to a profound transatlantic crisis and splits across Europe.
Not only Germany and France, but also Britain have vital economic and political interests in Iran. A 30-member-strong delegation of British businessmen travelled to Iran just a few days after agreement was reached last November over the Iranian atomic program between three European Union states and the Teheran government. According to the German Heinrich Böll institute, which has close links to the German Green Party, the British trade and industry minister, Patricia Hewitt, stressed that trade relations between both countries had grown continuously over the past five years and would have great importance for both sides. Her ministry smoothed the way for approximately 100 enterprises to operate in Iran in the past year alone.
According to the institute's report, exports by European Union states to Iran grew by 25 percent last year in comparison to 2003. Teheran's most important European business partners are Germany, Italy and France. At the same time, Iran plays an important role in assuring the energy supplies of many European countries.
European governments are not merely concerned about their economic interests. They are afraid that a military strike against Teheran will politically destabilise the entire region to an even greater extent than the Iraq war.
Even before her trip, Secretary of State Rice had made clear that she expects Europe to directly participate in the US occupation of Iraqa course which is ruled out by Germany and France. In addition, she demanded that the European Union drop its plans to waive the current weapons embargo against China. For their part, the Europeans have called upon Washington to commit itself to a diplomatic solution of the Iran crisis instead of sabre rattling. Behind a multitude of diplomatic initiatives both sides remain firm in their respective positions.
From the standpoint of the geo-strategic interests of the US and its attempt to establish unrestricted control over energy resources in the Middle East and Caspian region, Washington has had Iran in its sights for some time. The country borders directly on the Caspian basin and offers the possibility of transporting oil and gas reserves from the region via a modern pipeline system to the world market. The Bush government already has a military presence in three neighbouring countriesTurkey, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Although the majority of the European governments reject a renewed military adventure in the Middle East, they are not ready to openly oppose the US government and its secretary of state. No one in official circles in Berlin or Parisnot to speak of Londondares to confront the Bush government and its former national security advisor over the war in Iraq, which blatantly contravenes international law, or over the series of subsequent war crimes.
Instead of bluntly explaining to Rice that the European Union is no longer prepared to tolerate the open and disguised threats of war and that any further military adventure, whether against Iran or another country, will be met with an immediate blockade of US military bases on European soil and further sanctions, political circles in Europe have done exactly the opposite.
Following pressure from the US government, the management of Germany's Krupp AG decided to redeem a part of Iranian shares in the company in order to limit Iranian influence in the enterprise. The British energy giant Shell, which together with the Spanish Repsol YPF had finalised a comprehensive natural gas agreement with Iran last summer, has put its production plans provisionally on ice.
On a political level, the European Union also seeks to make the best of a bad deal. Following the lodging of a legal case against US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld on charges of war crimes by a Berlin-based attorney's office in the name of an American human rights organisation, Rumsfeld's German counterpart, Peter Struck (SPD), stated his conviction the case will not even reach the stage of a preliminary investigation. Struck urged Rumsfeld to reverse his decision not to participate next week at the Munich security conference.
German Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD) was even clearer following an unscheduled discussion with President Bush during a visit to the US last week. Schily explained afterwards: "That is an honour, which is not given to every interior minister." Press reports subsequently revealed that Schily had assured Bush that Germany would provide development aid for Iraq.
This cowardly attitude towards Washington is rooted, above all, in fears on the part of European governments that a consistent uncovering and struggle against US war plans could unleash a powerful popular response. They can clearly recall the worldwide mass demonstrations against the Iraq war two years ago, in which several millions took part, and are keen to avoid a repetition.
European political circles fear that mass protests against war could also take up social questions and turn against governments at home. It is no coincidence that Otto Schily has stressed his personal friendship with the former US attorney general, John Ashcroft. Schily is most impressed by the ruthless law-and-order policies employed by the US government against its own population.
At the same time, Germany and every other European government pursue their own imperialist goals, which they seek to conceal from the mass of the population with the same outpourings and appeals on behalf of democracy and liberty which are so characteristic of the current US government. Under these conditions the conflicts between the great powers are intensifying in a form that recalls the darkest days before the beginning of the First World War.
Forwarded by Nattanya Andersen firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Have your National ID Card ready, or be arrested or even killed?
From: http://oldamericancentury.org/kirwan_00039.htm where there is MORE!!
January 31, 2005
Quoted from "The Fascist State Descends"
Re: Have your National ID Card ready, or be arrested or even killed?
Many people are increasingly concerned about some of the provisions of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations for revision of our Intel setup. Among other provisions, we now have the 9/11 Investigation deception recommending a federally mandated encrypted National ID Card/Drivers license.
This was written into LAW in December 2004 by the Congress. When implemented, it is supposed to make it easier to identify terrorists. Well, baloney!
It's about control of all citizens! It is the full implementation of Patriot Acts I and II and it will spring upon Americans like a tiger-- as in REVELATION 13-14--the Mark of the Beast, just short of a chip in the right hand,. !!!
It's about total control. Without the National ID you won't be able to take an airplane flight, train, bus, buy food and clothing, pay your bills, sell your products and property, apply for a job, or even to get past a check point.
Papers please? This is so obvious, but the vast majority of Americans will bite on it. You shall go like lambs to the slaughter to wherever some degenerate loser working for the Dept. of Transportation or Homeland Security directs you...
It may be only a few months before they gear up to herd us into the police stations, or the post offices, for photos, fingerprints, Iris scans, and whatever data they want to put in the computer chip, which will be in the card. [I notice a large reconstruction project going on at the local postoffice].
Later on, the chip will be implanted in the right hand or wrist, so that when you buy anything or make any transaction, you just pass the card, or later the hand through a scanner like they use in the stores and that will identify you, your health and arrest record, and then subtract the cost from the account that the government will have allotted you in the coming cashless society. There may be a staged attack of some kind very soon to stampede the folks into mass acceptance of martial law. You can imagine the control over you that they would then have.
If you break any rule, such as opposing something at the schools or at any level of government, or disobeying a petty clerk, or objecting to an intrusive body search, or if your name is flagged for any reason at all, they could suspend or cancel your card privileges. Then you would have no way to live except as an outlaw or fugitive.
I would very much prefer death to this kind of tyranny.
The chips have already be made for each and every man, woman and child in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Mexico. They are made of Pyrex and Silicone. They are powered by the human body, which is an electrical being. They include a GPS, ALL of our pertinent credit history, color codings (political associations), travel restrictions, credit info, psychotropic drugs to be given, curfews, re-location information, termination orders, photo id, etc.
They are to be placed in our upper right arm by injection through a simple needle. Yes I have seen one. Slightly larger than a grain of sand, they have propylene outward spiral endings that extract once entering the body so that they will not migrate, but rather imbed themselves into our muscle tissue permanently.
They can be updated externally by programmed impulse from satellite or computer hand-helds using bluetooth-like technology, only extremely encrypted.
This device also senses our physical state. If we attempt to remove the implant, we are
to be terminated immediately through impulses that I do not understand, perhaps you can help me out in this area, but I have the basic info.
But it will be the end of freedom, the final "Coup De Gras and the death of the Republic.""
Dr. Byron Weeks
Colonel USAF, MC,
January 31, 2005
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
Military Says Connection to Death of 37 Animals Is 'Unlikely'
By Marc Kaufman - Washington Post Staff Writer
January 28, 2005
At least 37 whales beached themselves and died along the North Carolina shore earlier this month soon after Navy vessels on a deep-water training mission off the coast used powerful sonar as part of the exercise.
Although the Navy says any connection between the strandings and its active sonar is "unlikely" -- because the underwater detection system was used more than 200 miles from where the whales beached themselves -- it is cooperating with other federal agencies probing a possible link. Government fisheries officials, as well as activists for whales, say the fact that three species of whales died in the incident suggests that sonar may have been the cause. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists "are looking at all the possible causes of this stranding, which was a significant one," spokeswoman Connie Barclay said. Although the number of whales that came ashore is far from a record for mass strandings, Barclay said that "it's very curious to have three different kinds of whales strand, and a number of possible causes are being examined. Sonar is certainly one of them."
The possible connection between naval sonar and the deaths of whales and other marine mammals has become an increasingly controversial issue since the Navy acknowledged that the loud blasts of its sonar helped cause a mass stranding of whales in the Bahamas in 2000. Since then, critics have accused the Navy of involvement in numerous mass strandings in U.S. and international waters, and federal environmental officials have concluded in some instances that the loud pulses from active sonar cannot be ruled out as a cause.
The North Carolina strandings could be especially problematic for the Navy because it hopes to establish a 500-square-nautical-mile underwater sonar testing range off that coast. The Navy says a draft environmental impact statement is near completion, and officials have said the range is a high priority.
Most of the animals that died in the latest incident were pilot whales, which stranded around the Oregon Inlet of the Outer Banks on Jan. 15. One newborn minke whale also beached at Corolla that day, and two dwarf sperm whales came ashore at Buxton on Jan. 16, locations about 60 miles north and south of the inlet. Six of the pilot whales were pregnant when they died, Barclay said.
None of the three whale species is considered endangered, though NOAA officials say their populations are relatively small and little understood in the Atlantic. But other endangered marine animals -- including right and humpback whales and numerous species of sea turtles -- regularly migrate through the waters off North Carolina.
Navy officials said that the USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group, based in Norfolk, was conducting an anti-submarine exercise about 240 nautical miles from the Oregon Inlet on Jan. 14 and 15.
In e-mailed answers to questions, the Navy said a review of activities after following the strandings concluded that "no Navy ships were using active sonar within 50 nautical miles radius" of the inlet on Jan. 15 or the four days preceding -- although one ship not associated with the strike group did use sonar for seven minutes about 90 nautical miles south-southeast of Oregon Inlet. The strike group was on its way to a deployment after the training exercise, the Navy said.
Sonar acts as the underwater eyes and ears of the Navy, and intermittent bursts are often used in transit to detect potential enemies and other dangers. In addition, Navy officials increasingly believe that inexpensive quiet submarines from hostile nations pose a potential threat and want to upgrade sonar tracking systems to protect against intrusions into U.S. coastal waters. The Navy now uses mid-frequency sonar for its tracking but wants to deploy a new generation of low-frequency sonar that travels much farther underwater and is more powerful.
The Navy has sometimes been slow to acknowledge that its ships were in an area where strandings occurred and has accepted responsibility only in the Bahamas event. Environmental activists said that track record makes them skeptical of the Navy's statements about the North Carolina strandings. "The circumstances are troubling," said Michael Jasny, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has sued the Navy on other sonar-related issues. "After so many whale deaths caused by sonar, these latest strandings are a red flag. . . . Unfortunately, the Navy has a long history of denial."
The Outer Banks area is close to the Norfolk base and on the general course to where the exercises were held.
Most of the stranded whales were dead when they were found, and NOAA scientists are conducting necropsies of many of the animals to try to determine a cause of death. Although pilot whales travel in herds and are prone to strandings, the other two whale species are not, officials said. Pilot and dwarf sperm whales are both deep-diving animals that feed off the ocean floor and slopes of the continental shelf. The other whale strandings linked to sonar use have also involved deep-diving species, such as the beaked whale. Researchers have theorized that the loud sounds of sonar can damage the whales' sensitive hearing system and cause them to surface too quickly from fright. After another stranding off the Canary Islands in 2002, researchers found unusual gas bubbles in some whale organs -- leading them to conclude that the animals suffered from a form of decompression sickness similar to the bends.
The Navy's plan for an East Coast underwater sonar testing range was first announced in 1996. Since then, the plan has been discussed internally and work on an environmental impact statement has proceeded, with some input from NOAA.
A Navy spokesman said last year that a final decision had not been made on where to locate the test site. But in April, the Atlantic Division of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command said in a statement: "The Navy's preferred site for the range is in the Cherry Point Operating Area located in Onslow Bay, southeast of New River, North Carolina, and approximately 105 km (57 nautical miles) from the North Carolina shoreline."
Forwarded by Paul Prior firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE U.S. IS BOOSTING ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL
Institute for Public Accuracy 915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045 (202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * email@example.com
February 8, 2005
While the United States Makes Demands on Iran, Budget Calls for Boost of U.S. Nuclear Weapons The New York Times reported Monday that U.S. scientists "have begun designing a new generation of nuclear arms meant to be sturdier and more reliable and to have longer lives, federal officials and private experts say." [See: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/020705B.shtml]
JACQUELINE CABASSO, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://wslfweb.org Executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, which focuses on nuclear policy, Cabasso said today: "While the U.S. turns its sights on Iran, accusing that country of pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program, U.S. nuclear weapons spending has quietly grown by 84 percent since 1995 -- several years after the Cold War ended. This year the U.S. will spend nearly $7 billion to maintain and modernize nuclear warheads, usable for decades to come, and many billions more to operate and modernize its delivery and command and control systems. Altogether, the United States is spending about $40 billion annually on nuclear forces. Ten thousand nuclear warheads, with some 2,000 on hair-trigger alert, remain in the U.S. arsenal, each one many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped 60 years ago."
ALICE SLATER, email@example.com, http://abolitionnow.org, http://gracelinks.org/nuke President of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, Slater said today: "In this 60th anniversary year of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it boggles the mind to think that our Dr. Strangeloves are now pushing for a whole new design effort for a 'sturdier and more reliable' nuclear bomb. In 1970 the U.S., together with Russia, China, the UK, and France, signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, promising to give up our nuclear weapons if other countries promised not to acquire them. The world watched in horror the inexorable spread of nuclear weapons to India, Pakistan, and Israel and more."
Slater, who wrote an oped entitled "'Peaceful' Nuclear Strategy an Easy Target for Abuse," in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, added: "The tattered Non-Proliferation Treaty will be reviewed this May at the United Nations. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are bringing 100 mayors from around the world to join in their call for immediate negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons."
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
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