MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
November 17, 2005
The Writing on the Wall Series #45: It Ain't Rosy For Many!
One more for you. Here is what I had time to review and compile this past week.
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"Why is it that nations, which expect their own citizens to be law-abiding, often behave like bandits and robbers who are a law unto themselves?"
- Werner Waitkus
Worthy of Your Attention
Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your Every Move with RFID
Spychips is an explosive expose that tells everything we know about RFID and offers up some new, never-before-published information that will prove in the companies' own words their unsavory plans to monitor everything on earth and all of humanity. CLIP Then make sure to read...
Dismantling the RFID Journal's critique of Spychips (Nov 14) http://www.spychips.com/book/roberti-rebuttal.html
(...) The truth is that RFID could soon become one of the most powerful surveillance tools in history, giving its corporate masters unprecedented ability to track and control people. With hundreds of footnotes and impeccable research, Spychips makes an air-tight case that some of the biggest corporations in the world have spent plenty of time and money developing ingenious ways to do just that. CLIP
Video: McCartney singing to astronauts
Over 10 million children die from preventable or treatable diseases
every year. Urge Congress to act today: http://go.care2.com/childact
UFOs and Aliens Spaceships (LOTS of pics, some quite stunning!)
Then click on "NEXT" to see all 230 pictures - Many, MANY repeats though...
This one is really amazing (flying cow under a spaceship)
ALIENS "EXTRATERRESTRIALS" (Some are pretty spooky!)
1. The Rise of America's New Enemy
2. 'Life' in Zimbabwe
3. Disappearance of plankton causes unprecedented collapse in sea and bird life off western US coast
4. Response on France
5. Y. professor thinks bombs, not planes, toppled WTC
6. Horrifying US Secret Weaponry Unleashed in Baghdad
7. This isn't the real America
8. EPA PROPOSES CHEMICAL AND PESTICIDE TESTING ON ORPHANS & MENTALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN
9. EVERYONE MUST MUST MUST ..... buy THIS Book !!!!!!!!!!
10. Lab Tests Find 60 Toxic Chemicals in Canadians' Blood
Methodist Bishops Repent Iraq War 'Complicity' (November 11, 2005))
WASHINGTON -- Ninety-five bishops from President Bush's church said Thursday they repent their "complicity" in the "unjust and immoral" invasion and occupation of Iraq."In the face of the United States administration's rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent," said a statement of conscience signed by more than half of the 164 retired and active United Methodist bishops worldwide. President Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church, according to various published biographies. The White House did not return a request for comment on the bishops' statement.Although United Methodist leadership has opposed the Iraq war in the past, this is the first time that individual bishops have confessed to a personal failure to publicly challenge the buildup to the war. CLIP
Pentagon Admits Use of White Phosphorus on Iraqis
Pentagon officials acknowledged Tuesday that US troops used white phosphorus as a weapon against insurgent strongholds during the battle of Fallujah last November. But they denied an Italian television news report that the spontaneously flammable material was used against civilians.
Dahr Jamail | 'I Treated People Who Had Their Skin Melted'
Some saw what they thought were attempts by the military to conceal the use of incendiary shells. "The Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near Fallujah," said one ousted resident, Abdul Razaq Ismail.... "In the centre of the Jolan quarter they were removing entire homes which have been bombed."
George Monbiot | US Used Chemical Weapons in Iraq - and Lied about It
George Monbiot: Did US troops use chemical weapons in Fallujah? The answer is yes. Saddam Hussein, facing a possible death sentence, is accused of mass murder, torture, false imprisonment, the embezzlement of billions and the use of chemical weapons. He is certainly guilty on all counts. So, it now seems, are the people who overthrew him.
Torture's out. Now they call it abuse - Robert Fisk (November 14, 2005)
(...) American journalists now refer to "abuse laws" rather than torture laws. Yes, abuse sounds so much better, doesn't it? No screaming, no cries of agony when you're abused. No shrieks of pain. No discussion of the state of mind of the animals perpetrating this abuse on our behalf. And its as well to remember that the government of Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara has decided it's quite all right to use information gleaned from this sadism. Even Jack Straw agrees with this. CLIP
Variable Geometry Democracy
The American government, which claims to lead a campaign against terror so that democracy and freedom may triumph in the world, is ever more often forced to explain itself about the way its agents treat prisoners. Arbitrary detentions, secret prisons, torture: accusations against the United States pile up.
173 Prisoners Found Tortured and Starved in Iraq Government Bunker
Iraq's government said Tuesday that it had ordered an urgent investigation of allegations that many of the 173 detainees American troops discovered over the weekend in the basement of an Interior Ministry building in a Baghdad suburb had been tortured by their Iraqi captors.
Former US Army Interrogator Describes the Harsh Techniques He Used in Iraq
With deep remorse, former US Army interrogator Specialist Tony Lagouranis talks about his own involvement with abusing detainees in Iraq and torture carried out by the Navy Seals. He apologizes to the Iraqi people and urges US soldiers to follow their conscience.
Rumsfeld Can Authorize Torture under New Directive
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld can authorize exceptions to a new Defense Department policy on military interrogations that bars torture and calls for "humane" treatment of detainees, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Ramadi: US Strikes Leave 50 Dead in Rubble
As a result of the widely publicized 'Operation Steel Curtain', more than 50 bodies had been found in the rubble of a town near the Syrian border which US-led troops swept through offensively, leaving civilians as victims.
Klare, What Are They Cooking Up in the White House?
(...) After considering these possibilities yourself, think about the context. The signal from the recent hotel bombings in Jordan seems clear enough in its own horrific way. Through its invasion and uniquely inept occupation, the Bush administration has already created a "failed state" not on the failed continent of Africa or in an economically or politically peripheral land like Afghanistan, but exactly in the heart of the richest oil lands of the planet. Iraq is now largely an anarchic world with a central government hardly capable of commanding its own fortified heart -- the Green Zone of Baghdad -- no less much of the rest of the country; where religious militias, terrorist organizations, and fractured insurgent groups have the run of the land; where internecine killing is on the rise; and the delivery of such basics of modern life as electricity and potable water (or water of any kind) are no longer givens. Whether some in the Bush administration meant to turn Iraq into a land of "chaos" or not, they have certainly succeeded in doing so. Now, the chaos is spreading across borders. The Jordanian bombers, after all, were Iraqis. The targets, American hotels, were both soft and symbolic. But in the future, they may be harder and even more vital -- oil pipelines or other facilities outside Iraq, for instance. Add into this formula for disaster, an "administration" in Washington that is "uninterested in governing," as Jonathan Schell wrote recently in the Nation magazine (focusing on what the post-Katrina world has revealed to us, but Iraqis already knew all too well). "We all keep referring to the Bush administration,'" he added, "yet administering seems to be the last thing on its mind... If the Bush outfit is not governing, what is it doing? The answer comes readily: It wishes to acquire, increase and consolidate the power of the Republican Party."If administration is nothing to Bush's people and power is all, the Klare scenarios that follow only seem that much more likely to be used, and what the implementation of any one of them will certainly do is add yet another chaotic pressure to the crumbling structure of our ever less safe and secure world and way of life....
Wag the Dog: Crisis Scenarios for Deflecting Attention from the President's Woes CLIP
Read the rest at http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=36399
Has American Democracy Died an Electronic Death in Ohio 2005's Referenda Defeats? (November 12, 2005)
While debate still rages over Ohio's stolen presidential election of 2004, the impossible outcomes of key 2005 referendum issues may have put an electronic nail through American democracy. Once again, the Buckeye state has hosted an astonishing display of electronic manipulation that calls into question the sanctity of America's right to vote, and to have those votes counted in this crucial swing state. The controversy has been vastly enhanced due to the simultaneous installation of new electronic voting machines in nearly half the state's 88 counties, machines the General Accounting Office has now confirmed could be easily hacked by a very small number of people. Last year, the US presidency was decided here. This year, a bond issue and four hard-fought election reform propositions are in question. CLIP
Oil execs met Cheney task force (November 16)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A White House document shows oil executives met with Vice President Dick Cheney's 2001 energy task force which critics say secretly formed energy policy favorable to the industry, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. CLIP
FEMA Gives Eviction Notice to 150,000 Staying in Hotels
The Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday warned an estimated 150,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in government-subsidized hotels that they have until December 1 to find other housing before it stops paying for their rooms.
Halliburton's Gulf Coast Slaves
Halliburton and its subcontractors hired hundreds of undocumented Latino workers to clean up after Katrina - only to mistreat them and throw them out without pay.
F 600 Hygenius: Mercedes-Benz Presents New Research Vehicle with Fuel Cell Drive
Stuttgart -- The new F 600 HYGENIUS is the latest in the series of research vehicles from Mercedes-Benz that point the way forwards for the future. Powered by a zero-emission fuel cell drive with an output of 85 kW/114 hp, the compact-class car with a family-friendly design consumes the equivalent of 81 mpg and has an operating range in excess of 250 miles. "This represents a major step towards bringing the fuel cell drive up to full production maturity, a goal that we aim to achieve some time between 2012 and 2015," remarks Dr. Thomas Weber, DaimlerChrysler AG Board Member for Research & Technology and Head of Development at the Mercedes Car Group. "By developing the fuel cell, we are creating a new basis for supplying energy in tomorrow's vehicles which will make a further lasting improvement to their environmental compatibility." In addition to the fuel cell technology, the Mercedes-Benz research vehicle also showcases an operating concept with virtual displays, new-style seats and other pioneering technologies designed to enhance safety and passenger comfort. Fuel cells use the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electrical power in a process that produces no emissions. Professor Herbert Kohler, Director of Vehicle Body and Drive Research at DaimlerChrysler: "We have made some crucial advances to this trailblazing technology. The fuel cell in the F 600 HYGENIUS is around 40 percent more compact than previously, runs more efficiently than ever and is notable for its good cold-start characteristics. This has been achieved thanks to the inclusion of innovations such as the redesigned fuel stacks, an electric turbocharger and a new humidification and dehumidification system."
IMPORTANT NOTE: This above apparently looks good but does not solve the crucial problem of producing the hydrogen fuel in the first place - through water hydrolysis - in a manner that does not create any more CO2, through relying on coal-produced electricity for instance (at-home individual solar-powered water hydrolysis units coupled with every individual fuel cell car on the road would be a sensible option).
Rapidly accelerating glaciers may increase how fast the sea level rises http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-11/uoc--rag111405.php
SANTA CRUZ, CA--Satellite images show that, after decades of stability, a major glacier draining the Greenland ice sheet has dramatically increased its speed and retreated nearly five miles in recent years. These changes could contribute to rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and cause the global sea level to rise faster than expected, according to researchers studying the glacier. (...) "If other glaciers in Greenland are responding like Helheim, it could easily cut in half the time it will take to destroy the Greenland ice sheet," Howat said. "This is a process we thought was only happening in Antarctica, and now we're seeing that it happens really fast in Greenland." CLIP
GOP moderates derail drilling plans for Arctic Refuge and offshore areas (GRIST SUMMARY)
Opponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge got some shocking good news last week: 25 moderate House Republicans, led by Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.), defied pressure from the GOP leadership and vowed to oppose a $54 billion, filibuster-proof budget bill unless provisions allowing drilling in the refuge and in offshore areas around the country were eliminated -- and promises made they would not return. And lo, in late-night negotiations, House GOP leaders blinked; the provisions were removed. This unexpected development of moderate GOP spine is a blow to the Bush administration's plans for expanded dirty-energy production, but the struggle ain't over. Senate drilling monomaniacs Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) say they'll bottle the legislation up well into 2006 if the final version doesn't include Arctic Refuge drilling. But the House coalition avers it'll stand firm. Elephant fight! Elephant fight! Details at http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2005/11/10/bass_led_effort_to_drop_alaskan_wildlife_refuge_oil_drilling_plan/
Thousands of sites in Iraq contaminated with chemicals, uranium, more (GRIST SUMMARY)
Donald Rumsfeld wasn't kidding when he said freedom is messy. More than 20 years of war and neglect have left Iraq with serious chemical spills, heavy-metals contamination, and widespread pollution from depleted uranium -- and the cleaning bill could run up to $40 million. The U.N. Environment Program examined five sites near Baghdad for environmental hazards, part of a program training Iraqis in toxic cleanups, the agency reported on Thursday. Among the grim results: At the Al-Qadyissa metal-plating plant, demolished in 2003 after being bombed and looted, UNEP found several tons of cyanide pellets scattered about the unsecured site -- now used by children as a playground. It's not clear how remediation will be funded. "There are hundreds, probably thousands of other sites with the need of assessment," said Mural Thummarukudy, UNEP's manager in Iraq, who asked for donations to help with cleanup efforts. Details at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4425562.stm
Logging Halted in Sequoia Preserve
A federal judge Monday stopped a logging project in Giant Sequoia National Monument, keeping intact more than 1,000 acres in a preserve that houses two-thirds of the world's largest trees.
Omega-News Collection 12. November 2005
A VERY, VERY POWERFUL ARTICLE BY PILGER AND MUCH NEEDED REALITY-CHECK THAT ONCE AGAIN POINTS OUT WHO THE REAL NEMESIS OF THE WHOLE PLANET AND ALL FREE PEOPLE ARE...
Date: 12 Nov 2005
From: Antares Antares@magickriver.com>
Subject: The Rise of America's New Enemy ~ John Pilger
The Rise of America's New Enemy
by John Pilger on 11th Nov, 05
I was dropped at Paradiso, the last middle-class area before barrio La Vega, which spills into a ravine as if by the force of gravity. Storms were forecast, and people were anxious, remembering the mudslides that took 20,000 lives. "Why are you here?" asked the man sitting opposite me in the packed jeep-bus that chugged up the hill. Like so many in Latin America, he appeared old, but wasn't. Without waiting for my answer, he listed why he supported President Chavez: schools, clinics, affordable food, "our constitution, our democracy" and "for the first time, the oil money is going to us." I asked him if he belonged to the MRV, Chavez's party, "No, I've never been in a political party; I can only tell you how my life has been changed, as I never dreamt."
It is raw witness like this, which I have heard over and over again in Venezuela, that smashes the one-way mirror between the west and a continent that is rising. By rising, I mean the phenomenon of millions of people stirring once again, "like lions after slumber/In unvanquishable number", wrote the poet Shelley in The Mask of Anarchy. This is not romantic; an epic is unfolding in Latin America that demands our attention beyond the stereotypes and cliches that diminish whole societies to their degree of exploitation and expendability.
To the man in the bus, and to Beatrice whose children are being immunised and taught history, art and music for the first time, and Celedonia, in her seventies, reading and writing for the first time, and Jose whose life was saved by a doctor in the middle of the night, the first doctor he had ever seen, Hugo Chavez is neither a "firebrand" nor an "autocrat" but a humanitarian and a democrat who commands almost two thirds of the popular vote, accredited by victories in no less than nine elections. Compare that with the fifth of the British electorate that re-installed Blair, an authentic autocrat.
Chavez and the rise of popular social movements, from Colombia down to Argentina, represent bloodless, radical change across the continent, inspired by the great independence struggles that began with Simon Bolivar, born in Venezuela, who brought the ideas of the French Revolution to societies cowed by Spanish absolutism. Bolivar, like Che Guevara in the 1960s and Chavez today, understood the new colonial master to the north. "The USA," he said in 1819, "appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty."
At the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, George W Bush announced the latest misery in the name of liberty in the form of a Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty. This would allow the United States to impose its ideological "market", neo-liberalism, finally on all of Latin America. It was the natural successor to Bill Clinton's North American Free Trade Agreement, which has turned Mexico into an American sweatshop. Bush boasted it would be law by 2005.
On 5 November, Bush arrived at the 2005 summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina, to be told his FTAA was not even on the agenda. Among the 34 heads of state were new, uncompliant faces and behind all of them were populations no longer willing to accept US-backed business tyrannies. Never before have Latin American governments had to consult their people on pseudo-agreements of this kind; but now they must.
In Bolivia, in the past five years, social movements have got rid of governments and foreign corporations alike, such as the tentacular Bechtel, which sought to impose what people call total locura capitalista - total capitalist folly - the privatising of almost everything, especially natural gas and water. Following Pinochet's Chile, Bolivia was to be a neo-liberal laboratory. The poorest of the poor were charged up to two-thirds of their pittance-income even for rain-water.
Standing in the bleak, freezing, cobble-stoned streets of El Alto, 14,000 feet up in the Andes, or sitting in the breeze-block homes of former miners and campesinos driven off their land, I have had political discussions of a kind seldom ignited in Britain and the US. They are direct and eloquent. "Why are we so poor," they say, "when our country is so rich? Why do governments lie to us and represent outside powers?" They refer to 500 years of conquest as if it is a living presence, which it is, tracing a journey from the Spanish plunder of Cerro Rico, a hill of silver mined by indigenous slave labour and which underwrote the Spanish Empire for three centuries. When the silver was gone, there was tin, and when the mines were privatised in the 1970s at the behest of the IMF, tin collapsed, along with 30,000 jobs. When the coca leaf replaced it - in Bolivia, chewing it in curbs hunger - the Bolivian army, coerced by the US, began destroying the coca crops and filling the prisons.
In 2000, open rebellion burst upon the white business oligarchs and the American embassy whose fortress stands like an Andean Vatican in the centre of La Paz. There was never anything like it, because it came from the majority Indian population "to protect our indigenous soul". Naked racism against indigenous peoples all over Latin America is the Spanish legacy. They were despised or invisible, or curios for tourists: the women in their bowler hats and colourful skirts. No more. Led by visionaries like Oscar Olivera, the women in bowler hats and colourful skirts encircled and shut down the country's second city, Cochabamba, until their water was returned to public ownership.
Every year since, people have fought a water or gas war: essentially a war against privatisation and poverty. Having driven out President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada in 2003, Bolivians voted in a referendum for real democracy. Through the social movements they demanded a constituent assembly similar to that which founded Chavez's Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, together with the rejection of the FTAA and all the other "free trade" agreements, the expulsion of the transnational water companies and a 50 per cent tax on the exploitation of all energy resources.
When the replacement president, Carlos Mesa, refused to implement the programme he was forced to resign. Next month, there will be presidential elections and the opposition Movement to Socialism (MAS) may well turn out the old order. The leader is an indigenous former coca farmer, Evo Morales, whom the American ambassador has likened to Osama Bin Laden. In fact, he is a social democrat who, for many of those who sealed off Cochabamba and marched down the mountain from El Alto, moderates too much.
"This is not going to be easy," Abel Mamani, the indigenous president of the El Alto Neighbourhood Committees, told me. "The elections won't be a solution even if we win. What we need to guarantee is the constituent assembly, from which we build a democracy based not on what the US wants, but on social justice." The writer Pablo Solon, son of the great political muralist Walter Solon, said, "The story of Bolivia is the story of the government behind the government. The US can create a financial crisis; but really for them it is ideological; they say they will not accept another Chavez."
The people, however, will not accept another Washington quisling. The lesson is Ecuador, where a helicopter saved Lucio Gutierrez as he fled the presidential palace last April. Having won power in alliance with the indigenous Pachakutik movement, he was the "Ecuadorian Chavez", until he drowned in a corruption scandal. For ordinary Latin Americans, corruption on high is no longer forgivable. That is one of two reasons the Workers' Party government of Lula is barely marking time in Brazil; the other is the priority he has given to an IMF economic agenda, rather than his own people. In Argentina, social movements saw off five pro-Washington presidents in 2001 and 2002. Across the water in Uruguay, the Frente Amplio, socialist heirs to the Tupamaros, the guerrillas of the 1970s who fought one of the CIA's most vicious terror campaigns, formed a popular government last year.
The social movements are now a decisive force in every Latin American country - even in the state of fear that is the Colombia of Alvaro Uribe Velez, Bush's most loyal vassal. Last month, indigenous movements marched through every one of Colombia's 32 provinces demanding an end to "an evil as great at the gun": neo-liberalism. All over Latin America, Hugo Chavez is the modern Bolivar. People admire his political imagination and his courage. Only he has had the guts to describe the United States as a source of terrorism and Bush as Senor Peligro (Mr Danger). He is very different from Fidel Castro, whom he respects. Venezuela is an extraordinarily open society with an unfettered opposition - that is rich and still powerful. On the left, there are those who oppose the state, in principle, believe its reforms have reached their limit, and want power to flow directly from the community. They say so vigorously, yet they support Chavez. A fluent young arnarchist, Marcel, showed me the clinic where the two Cuban doctors may have saved his girlfriend. (In a barter arrangement, Venezuela gives Cuba oil in exchange for doctors).
At the entrance to every barrio there is a state supermarket, where everything from staple food to washing up liquid costs 40 per cent less than in commercial stores. Despite specious accusations that the government has instituted censorship, most of the media remains violently anti-Chavez: a large part of it in the hands of Gustavo Cisneros, Latin America's Murdoch, who backed the failed attempt to depose Chavez. What is striking is the proliferation of lively community radio stations, which played a critical part in Chavez's rescue in the coup of April 2002 by calling on people to march on Caracas.
While the world looks to Iran and Syria for the next Bush attack, Venezuelans know they may well be next. On 17 March, the Washington Post reported that Feliz Rodriguez, "a former CIA operative well-connected to the Bush family" had taken part in the planning of the assassination of the President of Venezuela. On 16 September, Chavez said, "I have evidence that there are plans to invade Venezuela. Furthermore, we have documentation: how many bombers will over-fly Venezuela on the day of the invasion... the US is carrying out manoeuvres on Curacao Island. It is called Operation Balboa." Since then, leaked internal Pentagon documents have identified Venezuela as a "post-Iraq threat" requiring "full spectrum" planning.
The old-young man in the jeep, Beatrice and her healthy children and Celedonia with her "new esteem", are indeed a threat - the threat of an alternative, decent world that some lament is no longer possible. Well, it is, and it deserves our support.
FAIR USE STATEMENT
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US Pentagon contingency planning for military conflict with Venezuela (November 02, 2005
Writing on National and Homeland Security in today's Washington Post, William M. Arkin says that the Pentagon has begun contingency planning for potential military conflict with Venezuela as part of a broad post-Iraq evaluation of strategic threats to the United States.The planning has been precipitated by general and specific directives issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian policy assistants.
FAR AWAY FROM HOME, NO REST FOR A WEARY PRESIDENT (07 November 2005)
Brasila - George W. Bush sometimes seems to be in a Murphy's Law period of his presidency, when everything that can go wrong will go wrong.So after one of his most miserable weeks at the White House, things did not get a lot better on his messy four-day trip to Latin America.There were violent anti-Bush riots in the streets of Argentina's favorite beach resort, Mar del Plata. There was an anti-American rally of 25,000 people led by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, the show- stealing White House nemesis. Then Mr. Bush abruptly exited an international summit meeting as talks over an American-promoted trade deal hit an impasse. A news conference 5,500 miles from Washington was dominated by questions about Karl Rove and the C.I.A. leak case. (...) Polls indicate that Mr. Bush is the most unpopular American president ever in Latin America, but what has been most striking about watching him on his trip to Argentina, Brazil and Panama, which ends Monday night, is how removed he sometimes seemed from the cacophony around him. CLIP
HOW CAN THE WHOLE WORLD REMAIN UTTERLY SILENT IN THE FACE OF SUCH A MASSIVE AND DELIBERATE GENOCIDE PERPETRATED BY ONE OF THE WORST DICTATORS THE PLANET HAS EVER BEEN DISGRACED WITH?...
From: "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: 'Life' in Zimbabwe
Date: 12 Nov 2005
"You must go," a former market vendor hissed when foreign visitors stopped by recently. "They are watching. It is not safe."
"They" were the secret police. The nervous peddler darted back to his shelter: a few scraps of asbestos roofing propped up with sticks. Ragged market women and their children slumped listlessly in the dust. Some foraged for meals at a local garbage dump. And they were the lucky ones. Hundreds of thousands of other Zimbabweans made homeless by President Robert Mugabe's notorious "Drive out the Filth" urban renewal campaign remain unaccounted for. Many face starvation in the countryside.
"We're talking about mass starvation now," Worswick said. "We're talking about a potential for mass dying. We've gone from being a bread basket to a basket case."
Hunger statistics bear him out. According to the United Nations and private aid groups, a staggering 5 million Zimbabweans will face food shortages this year - roughly half the country's population.
Like the rest of drought-scorched southern Africa, many of the hungry languish in small villages, where families already are reduced to eating one meal of sadza, or corn mush, daily. But in Zimbabwe, politics has spawned a whole new class of the hollow-bellied - some 700,000 urban victims of Operation Murambatsvina, or "Drive out the Filth," a Draconian government slum-clearing campaign.
"My children are now eating out of a garbage dump," said Zvikomborero, a 33-year-old firewood vendor who asked that her full name not be used because she feared police retaliation. "We are washing potato skins and eating them. We are starving."
Bulldozers flanked by platoons of security men flattened her house in Harare's sprawling Mbare market district in June, Zvikomborero said. Today, thugs in the pay of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF Party are harassing any stragglers who dare to camp in the dusty ruins. The militants roar by in pickup trucks, hurling violent threats, she said. Meanwhile, homeless market women are being reduced to prostitution - a fatal vocation in AIDS-plagued Zimbabwe.
"You can say we are dead," Zvikomborero whispered dully.
Mugabe certainly shows no sign of stepping down before the next presidential election in 2008. The wily dictator, in power since 1980, is reputed to work out every morning at a gym in his $9 million mansion roofed with enameled Chinese tiles.
Posted on Nov. 10, 2005
Zimbabwe policies thwart HIV victims seeking help
BY PAUL SALOPEK = Chicago Tribune
HARARE, Zimbabwe - When police arrested Monica Nzou for selling fruit on a slum corner, they taunted her about her AIDS.
Nzou, 34, a shy, painfully thin street peddler and one of 700,000 Zimbabweans uprooted by a government crackdown on informal settlements, begged to be released. She had two young daughters to take care of, she told the officers. She was an HIV-positive widow - her husband had already died of AIDS.
"They laughed and said they were going to charge me with murder for infecting my husband," she recalled softly. "Then they took away my shoes. They told me to walk barefoot back to the countryside. They said, 'Go away and die.'"
That is exactly the fate that confronts not just Nzou, but millions of other HIV-positive people in Zimbabwe, a once-prosperous African state sinking ever deeper into mass hunger, economic ruin and authoritarian rule.
Haunted by one of the world's highest incidence rates of AIDS, Zimbabwe would face a daunting public health challenge even in the best of times. More than a quarter of its 12.7 million citizens are infected with the deadly virus, U.N. statistics show. As many as 3,000 new cases surface in the country every week.
In the past three months, according to a U.N. report, hyperinflation has jacked up the cost of a monthly cocktail of generic AIDS drugs from $7.70 to $17 or more - a fatal hike in a country where the average laborer earns the equivalent of $20 a month.
Nzou, the wraithlike fruit seller, tries to remain optimistic. Now barred by the government from hawking bananas and oranges, she has no hope of obtaining drugs to control her disease.
"Food is my only medicine now," she said at a private feeding center that was quietly supplying the sick with corn. "When I eat, I feel stronger. I must remain strong for my girls."
Hefting a small sack of grain, she stepped gingerly out into the harsh sunlight and set off to a distant plot of land crammed with other homeless slum families - a frail woman swallowed in the folds of her faded dress.
She kept to the back streets, to avoid the police.
This has got to make you wonder about the future ramifications of our recent SCOTUS decision on small landowners being forced to sellout to larger commercial interests. Say a family farm being forced to sellout to an agribusiness like ADM or Cargill.
Farm evictions intensify as hunger grips Zimbabwe
By Tererai Karimakwenda
10 November 2005
While starvation due to food shortages continues to grip the nation, Zimbabwe's government officials and ruling party cronies have intensified farm evictions in the Karoi area. The Zimonline news site reports that 18 of the last remaining white farmers in this prime farming district have been ordered to leave. The report said Robert Mugabe's friend Billy Rautenbach is the only farmer in Karoi who has been allowed to stay. The evictions are senseless in a country that is reeling from hunger due to a huge reduction in food production. And despite reassuring rhetoric and threats from Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Vice president Musika, there is no security for white farmers in Zimbabwe anymore.
The 18 farmers were last week ordered to vacate their properties to make way for new black owners, most of them reported to be senior government officials and ZANU PF cronies. Mashonaland West province governor Nelson Samkange confirmed the evictions to ZimOnline, saying that the black farmers taking over were just as good. But the situation on the ground tells a different story. Many farms are lying idle and Zimbabweans are relying on food aid to survive, this only 5 years after the land invasions started. As for Rautenbach, the only Karoi farmer who has been allowed to keep his farm in this fresh round of evictions, he is wanted in South Africa on some criminal charges, and is known to be a personal friend of Robert Mugabe.
The latest farm seizures that come just as the main planting period is getting underway after the country received its first substantial rains about a week ago, flies in the face of assurances two weeks ago by Mugabe's first Vice-President, Joseph Msika, that the government was not out to chase away all white farmers.
Mutasa, who oversees land reforms and food aid distribution, is one of the government hardliners. He was about three months ago quoted by the local media as having said white farmers were filthy and should all be removed from the land.
One of the affected Karoi farmers, Ben Tamblach said a former chief executive officer of a government-owned agro-bank was eyeing his farm and had deployed a number of war veterans to chase him away from the farm.
The farmer said he had 50 hectares of potatoes at the flowering stage and had prepared 200 hectares of maize, while another 100 hectares of winter wheat had already been harvested.
Women Fight State Brutality in Streets of Zimbabwe Run
11/10/05 By Nicole Itano We
Zimbabwe's government has used state-sponsored brutality to quash dissent, and women on the front lines of protest are paying a heavy personal price. Sixth in a series on emerging female leaders in Africa.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (WOMENSENEWS)--In an unlit park in central Harare on the night of Zimbabwe's March parliamentary elections, more than a hundred women gathered to sing and pray for peace.
In this increasingly authoritarian southern African nation even public prayer is deemed a threat to public security.
Several dozen police brandishing batons quickly arrived in tan Land Cruisers and pushed the women into the cars. By the end of the evening 300 women, most ordinary mothers and grandmothers struggling to feed hungry families, were in jail and at least nine had been beaten so badly they required hospitalization.
Among the first to be dragged away was Jenni Williams, a plump, pale-skinned woman who helped to found Women of Zimbabwe Arise, one of the few organizations here that has been consistently willing to take to the streets in protest of their country's destruction.
Thabita Khumalo is a less visible face of Zimbabwe's protest movement, but she too has experienced the brutality of Zimbabwe's regime first hand in retaliation for speaking out against its excesses.
One Saturday in July, the small, dark-skinned woman was about to open a meeting of female trade unionists at a Harare hotel when a group of outsiders stormed the room and began to beat the participants. A man smashed his fist into Khulamo's face, breaking several teeth and giving her a black eye. But the labor activist refused to run away or scream for help.
Khumalo fears how her activism is affecting her children, a 22-year- old daughter and 18-year-old adopted son, who accuse her of ruining their lives.
Bicycle boom pushes Zimbabwe inflation to 411 pct (Nov 10, 2005)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's inflation has spiked higher on the back of the humble bicycle, according to government statisticians. The price of a bike in October was almost twenty times what it was a year earlier, as Zimbabweans frustrated by chronic fuel shortages opted increasingly for pedal power. The 1,838 percent inflation in the two-wheeler market pushed overall annual inflation last month to 411 percent, the Central Statistics Office said on Thursday.
Dysentery downs dozens in Harare (November 11 2005)
Johannesburg - An outbreak of dysentery - believed to be caused by polluted water - has hit Harare and Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on Friday. It said more than 200 cases had been reported in Mbare and at three residential blocks in Chitungwiza in the last few weeks. Chitungwiza was enforcing a strict quarantine of its patients in a bid to prevent a further spread of dysentery. Health officials believed polluted open water was the most likely source of the outbreak. In Chitungwiza, the sewerage system had been a cause of concern with streams of human waste flowing in the town since the beginning of this year. Municipal officials were laying the blame on the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
Disappearance of plankton causes unprecedented collapse in sea and bird life off western US coast
By Geoffrey Lean in San Francisco
13 November 2005
A catastrophic collapse in sea and bird life numbers along America's Northwest Pacific seaboard is raising fears that global warming is beginning to irreparably damage the health of the oceans.
Scientists say a dramatic rise in the ocean temperature led to unprecedented deaths of birds and fish this summer all along the coast from central California to British Columbia in Canada. The population of seabirds, such as cormorants, auklets and murres, and fish, including salmon and rockfish, fell to record lows.
This ecological meltdown mirrors a similar development taking place thousands of miles away in the North Sea, which The Independent on Sunday first reported two years ago. Also caused by warming of the water, the increase in temperatures there has driven the plankton that form the base of the marine food chain hundreds of miles north, triggering a collapse in the number of sand eels on which many birds and large fish feed and causing a rapid decline in puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and other birds.
The collapses in the Pacific are also down to the disappearance of plankton, though the immediate cause for this is different. Normally, winds blow south along the coast in spring and summer, pushing warmer surface waters away from the shore and allowing colder water that is rich in nutrients to well up from the sea bottom, feeding the microscopic plants called phytoplankton. These are eaten by zooplankton, tiny animals that in turn feed fish, seabirds and marine mammals.
But this year the winds were extraordinarily weak and the cold water did not well up in spring as usual. Water temperatures soared to 7C above normal, which delighted bathers but caused the whole delicate system to collapse. The amount of phytoplankton crashed to a quarter of its usual level.
"In 50 years this has never happened," said Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, in Newport, Oregon.
Record numbers of dead seabirds soon washed up on beaches along the coast. There were up to 80 times more dead Brandt's cormorants, a fishing bird, than in previous years.
Tests showed the birds died of starvation. "They are not finding enough food, and so they use up the energy stored in their muscles, liver and body fat," said Hannah Nevins, who investigated similar mass deaths in Monterey Bay.
Many fear the ecological collapse is a portent of things to come, as the world heats up. A Canadian Government report noted that ocean temperatures off British Colombia reached record levels last year as well, blaming "general warming of global lands and oceans". And Professor Ronald Neilson, of Oregon State University, added: "The oceans are generally warming up and there are all sorts of signs that something strange is afoot."
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Henshall)
Subject: Response on France
Date: 13 Nov 2005
You ask who is right on the French riots, I would suggest both Wayne Masden and commondreams could be right. Definitely the overall strategy is to foment a religious war (Wayne Masden), basically because politicians like wars - they play to our primitive irrational instincts and rally people to leaders. On the other hand most of the rioters are undoubtedly genuine, responding to the obvious provocations by Sarkozy (commondreams). The outcome is open: it could be a desperation move by the neocons or it could turn out to be a sound move from their point of view. My guess is they will fail.
We are in a war run by Al Qaeda and Bush/Bair/Sharon jointly against ordinary peaceful people everywhere. How consciously they are collaborating is hard to estimate, but the Bin Laden - CIA meeting in Dubai shortly before the 911 attacks seems pretty well established.
On this theme here's a plug for my book 911 Revealed, co-authored with Rowland Morgan. It is top of the State Department hate list on their "misinformation" page (along with the "misinformation" that the US used chemical weapons in Fallujah, now confirmed by the corporate media and stated by the resistance at the time). It is a best seller here in the UK and selling fairly well in the US and Canada with no media support. People say it is a persuasive introduction to the subject, good price, lots of pics with quite a lot of new bits for 911 buffs. Jim Hoffman, 911 WTC researcher, has denounced it as misinformation but we think he's a bit jealous as he has a book of his own. Some 911 people have emailed us to say he is a disinformation agent, who knows. Anyway a reputable physics prof has now come out to say the Towers were brought down with explosives, as I'm sure you will have in your newsletter anyway.
For Hoffman's article; our response to it; the peace people who still believe the official story; etc etc http://www.911dossier.co.uk/updates.html
So please could you ask people to approach media contacts to help plug our book. Email me at crisisnewsletter with the addresses and phone numbers to get review copies sent to media people who have asked for them. Some mainstream media here in the UK are endorsing it because we don't claim to know exactly what happened and can't be dismissed as conspiracy theorists. If your local bookshop is not stocking it, ask them to, it will sell. (Don't just ask them to order it for you, or other people will not get to see it). The Publisher is Carol and Graf.
Thanks and best wishes
From Ian Henshall, co-author 911 Revealed, publisher of Crisis Newsletter
and http://www.911dossier.co.uk. He is also proprietor of Coffee Plant
(http://www.coffee.uk.com) and chair of INK, the trade organisation for the UK
alternative print media (http://www.ink.uk.com).
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/ for Iraq and more
http://www.legitgov.org/ for US/UK politics and voter frauds
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ for censored stories
http://english.aljazeera.net/ for mainstream arab opinion
http://www.freearabvoice.org/index.htm for Iraqi resistance reports
http://www.juancole.com/ for detailed reports from Iraq
http://www.uruknet.info/ for detailed reports from Iraq
http://globalresearch.ca for global power politics
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ for peak oil, 911, green issues
http://www.911truth.org 911 truth campaigners - political issues
http://www.911wasalie.com 911 truth campaigners - physical issues
"William Blum" email@example.com ("Rogue State") for geopolitics
firstname.lastname@example.org weekly news digests or visit http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com
MUST READ AND NETWORK!
Y. professor thinks bombs, not planes, toppled WTC
By Elaine Jarvik - Deseret Morning News
The physics of 9/11 including how fast and symmetrically one of the World Trade Center buildings fell prove that official explanations of the collapses are wrong, says a Brigham Young University physics professor.
In fact, it's likely that there were "pre-positioned explosives" in all three buildings at ground zero, says Steven E. Jones.
In a paper posted online Tuesday and accepted for peer-reviewed publication next year, Jones adds his voice to those of previous skeptics, including the authors of the Web site http://www.wtc7.net, whose research Jones quotes. Jones' article can be found at http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News
"It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three (WTC) buildings," BYU physics professor Steven E. Jones says. Jones, who conducts research in fusion and solar energy at BYU, is calling for an independent, international scientific investigation "guided not by politicized notions and constraints but rather by observations and calculations.
"It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three buildings and set off after the two plane crashes which were actually a diversion tactic," he writes. "Muslims are (probably) not to blame for bringing down the WTC buildings after all," Jones writes.
As for speculation about who might have planted the explosives, Jones said, "I don't usually go there. There's no point in doing that until we do the scientific investigation."
Previous investigations, including those of FEMA, the 9/11 Commission and NIST (the National Institutes of Standards and Technology), ignore the physics and chemistry of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, to the Twin Towers and the 47-story building known as WTC 7, he says. The official explanation that fires caused structural damage that caused the buildings to collapse can't be backed up by either testing or history, he says.
Jones acknowledges that there have been "junk science" conspiracy theories about what happened on 9/11, but "the explosive demolition hypothesis better satisfies tests of repeatability and parsimony and therefore is not 'junk science.' "
In a 9,000-word article that Jones says will be published in the book "The Hidden History of 9/11," by Elsevier, Jones offers these arguments:
The three buildings collapsed nearly symmetrically, falling down into their footprints, a phenomenon associated with "controlled demolition" and even then it's very difficult, he says. "Why would terrorists undertake straight-down collapses of WTC-7 and the Towers when 'toppling over' falls would require much less work and would do much more damage in downtown Manhattan?" Jones asks. "And where would they obtain the necessary skills and access to the buildings for a symmetrical implosion anyway? The 'symmetry data' emphasized here, along with other data, provide strong evidence for an 'inside' job."
No steel-frame building, before or after the WTC buildings, has ever collapsed due to fire. But explosives can effectively sever steel columns, he says.
WTC 7, which was not hit by hijacked planes, collapsed in 6.6 seconds, just .6 of a second longer than it would take an object dropped from the roof to hit the ground. "Where is the delay that must be expected due to conservation of momentum, one of the foundational laws of physics?" he asks. "That is, as upper-falling floors strike lower floors and intact steel support columns the fall must be significantly impeded by the impacted mass. . . . How do the upper floors fall so quickly, then, and still conserve momentum in the collapsing buildings?" The paradox, he says, "is easily resolved by the explosive demolition hypothesis, whereby explosives quickly removed lower-floor material, including steel support columns, and allow near free-fall-speed collapses." These observations were not analyzed by FEMA, NIST nor the 9/11 Commission, he says.
With non-explosive-caused collapse there would typically be a piling up of shattering concrete. But most of the material in the towers was converted to flour-like powder while the buildings were falling, he says. "How can we understand this strange behavior, without explosives? Remarkable, amazing and demanding scrutiny since the U.S. government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon."
Horizontal puffs of smoke, known as squibs, were observed proceeding up the side the building, a phenomenon common when pre-positioned explosives are used to demolish buildings, he says.
Steel supports were "partly evaporated," but it would require temperatures near 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit to evaporate steel and neither office materials nor diesel fuel can generate temperatures that hot. Fires caused by jet fuel from the hijacked planes lasted at most a few minutes, and office material fires would burn out within about 20 minutes in any given location, he says.
Molten metal found in the debris of the World Trade Center may have been the result of a high-temperature reaction of a commonly used explosive such as thermite, he says. Buildings not felled by explosives "have insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large quantities of metal," Jones says.
Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were reported by numerous observers in and near the towers, and these explosions occurred far below the region where the planes struck, he says.
Jones says he became interested in the physics of the WTC collapse after attending a talk last spring given by a woman who had had a near-death experience. The woman mentioned in passing that "if you think the World Trade Center buildings came down just due to fire, you have a lot of surprises ahead of you," Jones remembers, at which point "everyone around me started applauding."
Following several months of study, he presented his findings at a talk at BYU in September.
Jones says he would like the government to release 6,899 photographs and 6,977 segments of video footage for "independent scrutiny." He would also like to analyze a small sample of the molten metal found at Ground Zero.
Why Indeed did the WTC Buildings Collapse?
(...) 6. Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were heard and reported by numerous observers in and near the WTC Towers, consistent with explosive demolition. Firemen and others described flashes and explosions in upper floors near where the plane entered, and in lower floors of WTC 2 just prior to its collapse, far below the region where the plane had struck the tower (Dwyer, 2005). For instance, at the start of the collapse of the South Tower a Fox News anchor reported: There is an explosion at the base of the building
white smoke from the bottom
something happened at the base of the building! Then another explosion. (De Grand Pre, 2002) Firefighter Edward Cachia independently reported: [We] thought there was like an internal detonation, explosives, because it went in succession, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tower came down
It actually gave at a lower floor, not the floor where the plane hit. CLIP
The Twin Towers' Demolition (and then click on "NEXT" etc.)
Horrifying US Secret Weaponry Unleashed in Baghdad
Bill Dash Far Shores August 24, 2003
A nightmarish US super weapon reportedly was employed by American ground forces during chaotic street fighting in Baghdad. The secret tank-mounted weapon was witnessed in all its frightening power by Majid al-Ghazali, a seasoned Iraqi infantryman who described the device and its gruesome effects as unlike anything he had ever encountered in his lengthy military service. The disturbing revelation is yet another piece of cinematic evidence brought back from postwar Iraq by intrepid filmmaker Patrick Dillon.
In the film, al-Ghazali, whose english is less than fluent, describes the weapon as reminiscent of a flame thrower, only immensely more powerful. It is unclear what principle the weapon is based on. Searching for a description, al-Ghazali said it appeared to be shooting concentrated lightning bolts rather than just ordinary flames. Drawing on his many years as a professional engineer, al-Ghazali speculates that radiation of some kind probably figures into the weapon's hideous capabilities. Like all men in Saddam's Iraq, al-Ghazali was compelled to serve in the Iraqi equivalent of the Army National Guard and fought in three wars over the past thirty-odd years. Via email, he told me he has seen virtually every type of conventional weapon employed in battle, and is well acquainted with their effects on people and machines, but nothing in his extensive combat experience prepared him for the shock of what he saw in Baghdad on April 12th.
On that date, al-Ghazali and his family sheltered in their house as a fierce street battle erupted in his neighborhood. In the midst of the fighting, he noticed that the Americans had called up an oddly configured tank. Then to his amazement the tank suddenly let loose a blinding stream of what seemed like fire and lightning, engulfing a large passenger bus and three automobiles. Within seconds the bus had become semi-molten, sagging "like a wet rag" as he put it. He said the bus rapidly melted under this withering blast, shrinking until it was a twisted blob about the dimensions of a VW bug. As if that were not bizarre enough, al-Ghazali explicitly describes seeing numerous human bodies shriveled to the size of newborn babies. By the time local street fighting ended that day, he estimates between 500 and 600 soldiers and civilians had been cooked alive as a result of the mysterious tank-mounted device.
In a city littered everywhere with burned-out civilian and military vehicles, US forces were abnormally scrupulous about immediately detailing bulldozers and shovel crews to the job of burying the grim wreckage. Nevertheless, telltale remnants remained as Dillon found when al-Ghazali later took him to the site. Dillon said they easily uncovered large puddles of resolidified metal and mounds of weird fibrous material that, al-Ghazali explained, were all that remained of the vehicles' tires. Dillon, who accumulated plenty of battlefield experience as a medic in Viet-Nam, and has since covered a number of wars from Somalia to Kosovo, told me that he has witnessed every kind of conventional ordnance that can be used on humans and vehicles. " I've seen a freaking smorgasbord of destruction in my life," he said, "flame-throwers, napalm, white phosphorous, thermite, you name it. I know of nothing short of an H-bomb that conceivably might cause a bus to instantly liquefy or that can flash broil a human body down to the size of an infant. God pity humanity if that thing is a preview of what's in store for the 21st century."
For Majid al-Ghazali, images of the terrifying weapon and its victims haunt his every day. In addition to his work as an engineer, he is also a highly accomplished classical violinist, occupying the first chair in the Baghdad Symphony. He is widely acknowledged as one of the preeminent violinists in the Middle East. Besides his family, one of his greatest joys is teaching at Baghdad's premier music conservatory. Unfortunately, the conservatory was utterly destroyed. Yet somehow, despite the war's horrors and its seemingly endless privations, he manages to maintain a remarkably hopeful outlook. He recently informed me that the Baghdad Symphony continues to exist and has been invited to perform in the United States in December.
Forwarded by "Larry Stell" email@example.com> on Nov 15
This isn't the real America
By Jimmy Carter [JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States. His newest book is "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," published this month by Simon & Schuster.]
IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.
These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.
Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.
At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.
Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.
Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.
These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.
Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.
Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.
Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.
Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.
Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.
Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).
I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.
As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.
It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.
THIS IS TERMINALLY INSANE - AND IT'S NOT A PRANK!!
Forwarded by BILL Derau firstname.lastname@example.org>
ORGANIC BYTES #69
Health, Environment and Consumer News Tidbits with and Edge!
Subscribe to this Bi-weekly Email Newsletter: http://www.organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.htm
ALERT: EPA PROPOSES CHEMICAL AND PESTICIDE TESTING ON ORPHANS & MENTALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN
Public comments are now being accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its newly proposed federal regulation regarding the testing of chemicals and pesticides on human subjects. Earlier this year, Congress had mandated the EPA create a rule that permanently bans chemical testing on pregnant women and children, but the EPA's newly proposed rule puts industry profits ahead of children's welfare. The rule allows for government and industry scientists to treat children as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments in the following situations:
1. Children who "cannot be reasonably consulted," such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns may be tested on. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be exposed to chemicals for the sake of research.
2. Parental consent forms are not necessary for testing on children who have been neglected or abused.
3. Chemical studies on any children outside of the U.S. are acceptable.
Learn more and take action now: http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa6.cfm
Lab Tests Find 60 Toxic Chemicals in Canadians' Blood
OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada, November 15, 2005 (ENS) - Only 11 Canadians had their blood tested for toxic chemicals in a new study by an environmental nonprofit organization, but they came from across the country and every person's blood tested positive for a wide range of chemicals. Stain repellants, flame retardants, mercury and lead, DDT, and PCBs are among the 60 contaminants detected by blood tests.
The report, released Thursday by Environmental Defence, is the first in Canada to test for a broad range of chemicals in average Canadians from across the country. The testing demonstrates that toxic chemicals contaminate Canadians no matter where they live in the country, how old they are or what they do for a living, concludes the report, "Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadians."
If you can walk, talk and breathe, youre contaminated, said Dr. Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence. Canadians are exposed everyday and in incredibly insidious ways to harmful toxic chemicals. We are guinea pigs in a massive, uncontrolled, chemical experiment, the disastrous outcome of which is measured in disease and death.
Many of the chemicals discovered in the bodies of Canadians are associated with cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive disorders, respiratory illnesses and harming the development of children, Smith said. Nycole Turmel lives in Gatineau, in southern Quebec. Fifty-one of the 88 chemicals tested were detected in Turmel's blood, including 34 carcinogens.
Two volunteers were tested in British Columbia, one in Alberta, one in Manitoba, three in Ontario, three in Quebec and one in Newfoundland and Labrador. Most eat organic foods, and some are vegetarian. Only two smoke tobacco.
On average, 44 chemicals were found in each volunteer. I think of myself as a healthy person, so of course I found my test results to be unsettling," said Nycole Turmel, national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, based in Ottawa. The tests found 51 chemicals in Turmel's blood.
"No one wants to learn that they have heavy metals, PCBs or other toxic chemicals in their blood, said Turmel. But more importantly, my tests results have underlined for me the importance of strengthening CEPA." The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) is Canadas national pollution law.
Qualified laboratories in Quebec and Texas tested the volunteers for 88 different chemicals and found a total of 60 of the 88 chemicals tested (68 percent).
Of the chemicals detected, 53 can cause reproductive disorders and harm the development of children, 41 are suspected cancer-causing chemicals, 27 are chemicals that can disrupt the hormone system, and 21 are chemicals associated with respiratory illnesses.
Chief David Masty lives in Whapmagoostui, in northern Quebec. The study found 51 of 88 chemicals in Masty's blood, including 36 cancer causing chemicals.
I am very alarmed by the results of my blood tests for pollutants, said David Masty, Chief of the Whapmagoostui First Nation in northern Quebec. Chief Masty had the highest levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides. These findings are further evidence for the fact that many chemicals tend to accumulate in the North, despite its distance from most stationary sources of industrial pollution.
The movement of pollutants through the atmosphere is a reality we are concerned about in the North as it harms our lands, waters and air, and affects the wildlife resources we depend on for our way of life," said Chief Masty. "If other countries have taken action to reduce or eliminate some pollutants, Canada should follow suit."
One of the British Columbia volunteers is the renowned artist and naturalist Robert Bateman, who makes his home on Salt Spring Island. Participating in this testing program was very important to me, Bateman said. Not only am I curious about my own chemical contamination, but it is even more vital that the public as a whole pays attention.
The Toxic Nation study found 48 chemicals in Bateman's blood. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act was passed in 1999, and includes a mandated five-year review of the progress Environment Canada and Health Canada have made in assessing and categorizing 23,000 substances during the past five years.
Before changes to the law, if any, are finalized, Environmental Defence is using the Toxic Nation report to call on the federal government to virtually eliminate the use of toxic chemicals, starting with some of the most harmful.
The organization cites the dangers of brominated flame retardants (PBDEs). Preliminary evidence suggests that high concentrations of PBDEs may cause neurobehavioral alterations and affect the immune system in animals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified one PBDE, decabromodiphenyl ether, as a possible human carcinogen.
The report mentions the hazards of phthalates, which are chemicals that make plastics soft. When soft plastic toys are sucked or chewed, the phthalates can leach into the saliva. One phthalate, DEHP, is considered by the U.S. EPA to be a probably human carcinogen, based on the liver cancers developed by rats and mice that were exposed to the substance.
Environmental Defence is calling on the government of Canada to make industry accountable for its chemicals and to regulate chemicals in consumer products through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
The government should create a special section in CEPA to focus on pollution reduction in the Great Lakes basin, the nonprofit group recommends, and most of all the law must be effective.
"We need a pollution law with teeth - one that is comprehensive and enforceable. We need a law that will hold polluters accountable and help create a cleaner environment," Turmel said.
Our report demonstrates clearly the urgent need for the federal government to act now to break the cycle of human contamination, said Smith. The federal Minister of the Environment has a new deadline: when can we expect, as a society, to be able to produce toxin-free babies?
"Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadians," including test results of the individual volunteers, is online at: http://www.toxicnation.ca.
Individual Canadians can act to reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals by taking the Chemical Reduction Pledge on the Toxic Nation site. By filling out the pledge, people can choose five ways to reduce their exposure to chemicals through simple changes in their daily lives.
Is plastic killing us? It's a chemical controversy
RECOMMENDED BY SUZY WARD who found this "Nice little surprise" in her emails...
Blogin Service Trusted News Trader
EVERYONE MUST MUST MUST ..... buy THIS Book !!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: TNT MadDog
Date: 15 November 2005
Dear Friends and Foes,
I rarely (and I mean RARELY) do I encourage a person to read a particular book.
I have read many spiritual new age type books, physics books, historical and religious books, etc. (I favor the spiritual books).
After having read Matthew, Tell Me About Heaven
I was engrossed and liberated. It was a book that every single person should purchase, read and then pass on to their loved ones. I am endorsing this book highly!!!! I do not make one penny from their sales... so please take my endoresment of this book for what it is..... an extreme recommendation that you READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is worth it, I promise!
Matthew, Tell Me About Heaven
READING MATTHEW, TELL ME ABOUT HEAVEN brought me tears of joy, moments of elation and a profound new "innerstanding" of what life on Earth is all about and what happens to us after we die. In her first book compiled from material she telepathically received from her deceased son Matthew, Suzanne Ward first describes how terribly painful has been for her and her family their sudden separation from Matthew. Then she goes on to share with us a detailed account of the transmissions received from her son over the course of several years as she sat at her computer, recording the astounding revelations given by Matthew about where we all go when we die in preparation for yet another incarnation on Earth or elsewhere in the universe.
As I was reading, I suddenly realized that this opening of the Veil and revelation of what had been hidden to mankind for so long has the power to change the world beyond our wildest imaginings. Indeed! How could someone continue disregarding the consequences of every single thought, word and action when considering that for the rest of eternity we each have to live with them? How could it be life-and-business-as-usual after having been shown the importance of preparing for what is to be, once again, the most joyful reunion of souls sharing the wondrous experience of life in paradise?
This world will never be the same once this knowledge takes hold in a growing number of hearts and minds as it will spark the most profound spiritual revolution to ever grace this planet, just in time to achieve what French author André Malraux had predicted when he wrote "The 21st century shall be spiritual or won't be." As we all know deep within, something primordial has to change in the way we view each other and identify ourselves, for otherwise our world is not going to make it very far in the 21st century now just underway. It is my deeply-held belief that this book, and undoubtedly the second equally amazing book of Suzanne and Matthew, Revelations for a New Era, are being made available just in time to further stimulate this collective awakening to our true divine nature as children of the Universal Life emanating from the One God at the origin of all Creation.
This is not about religion or another new age fad. This is about the most vital awareness that can emerge only when we allow our divine Self to shine through unobstructed by ego-centered thoughts and the dampening density of the physical realm where we live for a given time, learning as we go that there is so much more to life than what our collective cultural trance has allowed us to grasp so far.
Jean Hudon (Quebec - Canada)
Author, The Immortal Child
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
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