December 16. 2005
The Writing on the Wall Series #46: Torturous Genocidal America
This is a 81 page compilation loaded with all kinds of incredible and sometime distressing information, along with two inspiring messages from Matthew.
Please note that the next Meditation Focus - to be issued late Saturday evening will be about Peace.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
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STATS for this compilation: Over 29,400 words and 125 links provided.
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Some essential quotes...
"Awakening is a flowering of your innermost being. It is a revelation of your essence, hidden by long eons of self-delusion, ignorance, unbounded desires. Enlightenment is an ending as well as a beginning: the ending of the old, veiled, dark ego, its longings, illusions, frustrations; the beginning of a vast expanse, an infinite field of the Unknown, an adventure in consciousness. It is a revolution: it represents danger to the old way of life, to old ways of thinking and living. It is freedom from the known and the unknown; from the real and the unreal; from any appearance of division between you and Truth. It is the abandoning of beliefs, dis-beliefs, presumptions and stances,self, ego, call it what you will, or call it nothing, what it is. It is the Path of the golden Dawn, the Path out of the Night of Time into the Bursting daylight of Eternal Now..."
Petros (Sent by Stacey Robyn <42@GoGratitude.com>)
"You wanted to be a part of this glorious ascendance by participating on the planet, and it is a testament to your evolutionary status that your desire was granted. Most of you have no conscious memories of having been victorious in making benevolent changes in other important eras, not only on Earth but in other places too. In time you will know, but in this moment, we urge you to allow your spirit that "enrolled" you in this lifetime to shine with the intensity it IS, and you will successfully meet the challenges of change. Words are weighty in thought forms, so think not of "problems" or "hardships," but of circumstances that you have encountered before and emerged triumphant. And please do not think that your part is less important than any otherEVERY part has a meaningful purpose! You are where you are because at soul level, you know you can do this again. And you know that you aren't alonelight beings throughout this universe are with you."
Matthew - Taken from his latest message archived at http://www.matthewbooks.com/mm/anmviewer.asp?a=46&z=2 (it is also included below) and which covers the following topics: Brilliant light of hope and gratitude; reforms momentum continues; participation in Earths ascendance a tribute to our soul evolution; String Theory; technological devices; Little Greys; easing into the continuum; sex, sexuality, relationships; animals evolution, emotional range.
"Here, in a world quite literally on the brink of a host of unknowns, not only problems arising from what we ourselves are doing, but even more significantly from influences beyond our control, for example, the changing and dynamic nature of our closest star, the Sun... here on Earth in 2005, we are participating in unparalleled ecological devastation, genocide and a "war on the mind". Every day entire species of life are going extinct; every day thousands of children die of malnutrition and many more are born deformed from the effects of radiation poisoning. The entire continent of Africa is ablaze with thousands of deliberately set fires. And who many believe to be the most highly evolved beings on the Earth, the whales and dolphins, are under attack from humanity in many ways... through undersea noise pollution, seismic testing for oil exploration, from whaling (mainly by Japan), trawling, and a new form of sonar used by the US Navy which explodes their inner ears! They are the "people of the sea" and what we are doing to them is beyond belief. We can all pay for a movie ticket and sit there and cry for a giant fictitious ape and a blonde actress... but how many of us can shed a tear, and more importantly, actually DO something tangible and concrete to wake ourselves up to what is REALLY happening in the world, to the plight of the whales and dolphins, of the giant trees, of our brothers and sisters here and in other countries who are being ruthlessly slaughtered and attacked by our "economic" imperatives and our advanced technologies?"
"The terrible lesson the neoCons learned from Vietnam the way they are seeking to fight a symmetrical war is to fight terror with terror. Thus the new calculus: the insurgents become suicide bombers; we level cities the insurgents have already abandoned. The insurgents behead; we waterboard and crucify. The insurgents plant roadside bombs; we incinerate civilians with white phosphorus. For every indiscriminate, random horror they perpetrate, we offer our own in response. This hypothesis is horrifying in its implications, and it is only a hypothesis. But it is a hypothesis that solves a lot of mysteries about our leaders. It explains why they are undaunted by the consensus that torture will not yield useful information they dont expect to get any. It explains why they are so insistent on holding tens of thousands of prisoners whether or not there is a reasonable basis for their incarceration they are not making any attempt to separate combatants from the bystanders. It explains the horror of white phosphorus unleashed on civilians, and aerial bombardment of our supposedly democratic client tactical military concerns are secondary at best. The randomness of the violence, abuse and destruction is not an unavoidable byproduct of an otherwise sane policy; the randomness is itself the very object of the policy. And of course, our descent into such unspeakable tactics explains another, shameful mystery: why the evil we fight has become so difficult to distinguish from the evil we have become."
John Steinberg - Taken from "Fighting terror with terror" below
"Clearly there's all sorts of anecdotal reason to believe that the bombing has gone up exponentially, certainly in the last four or five months in the Sunni Triangle, the four provinces around Baghdad." But he also pointed that, when it comes to the American air campaign, "There's no statistics ... We don't know what's going on with the air war."
Seymour Hersh - Taken from "An Increasingly Aerial Occupation" below
"The real story is that by March 2006 Iran is threatening to have in place an entity called the Iranian Oil Bourse. Trading of Oil on this exchange will be denominated in yes you guessed it Euros. A well choreographed play from Saddams little black book of game day strategies. The Iranian Oil Bourse will go toe to toe and compete for global prominence with NYMEX in New York and the International Petroleum Exchange in London. Oil trading on these exchanges is done in US Dollar terms. That is why when we hear a quote given for Oil it is always basis the US Dollar. Oil is the lifeblood of the global economy, the US Dollar is the global reserve currency and Oil is quoted in US Dollar terms. A simple 1-2-3 argument. But this simple 1-2-3 argument may be about to come under attack. A successful start-up of trading operations on this Bourse could lead to an erosion of the US Dollar. Hence this Bourse is a de facto weapon. A weapon so ferocious, that has the ability to undermine the entire US economy, and topple the US Dollar from its lofty perch. After all, why would Oil importing nations need to keep as many US Dollars in reserve if they can purchase Oil in Euros? The ramifications of a weakened US Dollar are serious."
Taken from A Global Perspective on Energy below
"Israel's armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed. The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations."
Taken from Israel Readies Forces for Strike on Nuclear Iran below
"I just glanced at the latest Earth Rainbow Network. Thank you for all the information you posted on John Lennon and also for posting the song "Imagine." That song still brings tears to my eyes and along with Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" are two songs about how humans if they wanted to could wake up and live more sustainably and more kindly on the planet. These are both songs I grew up with and I am grateful for having grown up with such instructive songs about treating the world and humanity. I mean there was a lot of chaos during my early childhood around the world, but at least there were musicians out to change the world."
"In other words, though invisible to the human eye, we seem to be immersed in a sort of universal ocean of interconnectivity. Just as all creatures in a sea are connected by the cohesive body of water, so the entire world/universe is interconnected in a kind of cohesive psychic sea. There is nothing to which you are not attached in some way. Evidently, even our thoughts are not just isolated ideas waiting to be acted upon, but are actually linked in some fashion to the object(s) of the thought. Sheldrake goes on to say, (1) "Our intentions stretch out into the world around us, and also extend into the future. We are linked to our environment and to each other." If, as Sheldrake says, we are linked to the future, then our thoughts effect what is coming. This means that our mental intentions, or stretching our thoughts outward, actually link to objects and draw them toward us.
Barry Carter - Taken from www.subtleenergies.com/ormus/index.htm - Recommended by Stacey Robyn
Worthy of Your Attention
The White House is pressuring Congress to reauthorize a new version of the Patriot Act that is worse than the original law and doesn't include needed reforms. This could come before the Senate as soon as Thursday. A bipartisan group of senators have agreed to fight the Patriot Act by filibuster if necessary. This is a huge moment. Senators from both parties are standing together to protect freedom and liberty -- and theyre ready to fight. Can you sign this petition to show them and the rest of the Senate that you support filibustering this bad bill? The Patriot Act has to be stopped until it includes reforms. http://political.moveon.org/patriotact/ - Recommended by "Stephanie Sutton"
Martial Law No Longer On The Horizon: It's Already Here - Part One and Two
NGOs Call for Trade Justice at WTO Meeting as Officials Lower the Bar (Dec 9)
Trade justice is essential if we are to end poverty. But the rules of international trade are not working for the almost 3 billion people living on less than $2 /day. Trade rules must contribute to creating decent work, promoting human rights and ending poverty worldwide. As representatives from Make Poverty History head off to Hong Kong for the World Trade Organization Ministerial next week, they are calling on the government to look beyond short-term commercial benefits, and promote measures in trade negotiations that ensure greater global equityeven as the objectives for the Ministerial have been scaled back. CLIP
Take action through http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/e/home.php
Iraq Carnage in pictures
Joytopia Story - and - Flyer Natural Economy
Warning: New credit card Scam http://lists.elistx.com/archives/interesting-people/200510/msg00454.html
Imagine This! (Imagine George Bush singing Imagine... Amazing, yet cringing)
Recommended by "Sandra and Richard"
Journey in spirit website (Beautiful and inspiring!)
Recommended by ERN subscriber "Adele Sands"
1. Recent FDA decision puts drug profits before safety
2. Avian Flu Fright
3. The Soul
4. Climate campaigners claim greatest ever success at Montreal
5. Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'
6. Fighting terror with terror
7. Does 30,000 Mean Anything to Bush?
8. An Increasingly Aerial Occupation
9. The Great Perversion
10. Plutonium Launch Accident Could Have Global Implications
11. Processed Chocolate Contains Dangerous Lead Concentrations, Study Says
12. Invitation to Create a New Civilization
13. GET OFF THE GLOBALIZATION GRID
14. Israel Readies Forces for Strike on Nuclear Iran
15. Europeans Outraged at Schwarzennegger
16. Internet Censorship
17. Latest Message from Matthew
18. "Steps" as a Theme for Crop Circles for 2005
19. A Global Perspective on Energy
20. "KING KONG": FANTASY LOVE AND ACTUAL HORROR
32% Favor Bush Impeachment (December 15, 2005)
Thirty-two percent (32%) of Americans believe that President George W. Bush should be impeached and removed from office. Fifty-eight percent (58%) take the opposite view.However, just 30% of Americans would be more likely to vote for a Congressional candidate who promised to work for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. Fifty-two percent (52%) would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.Results by gender, age, party, income, and other demographic subsets are available for Premium Members.The Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults was commissioned by After Downing Street, a coalition working "to pressure both Congress and the media to investigate whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war."The number who support impeachment is very similar to the 33% who believe it is impossible for the United States mission in Iraq to succeed.Thirty-five percent (35%) of Americans believe Vice President Cheney should be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment of President Bush is favored by a plurality (49%) of Democrats. However, it is opposed by 84% of Republicans and 55% of those not affiliated with either major political party.Democrats, by a 47% to 28% margin, say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports impeachment. Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans are less likely to do so. CLIP -- Take action on this through http://www.impeachbush.org
Fitzgerald forced to cancel grand jury for Conrad Black indictments (Dec 15)
The special prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson canceled a scheduled meeting with his grand jury because he was called back to Chicago to deal with last-minute elements of a case involving erstwhile media tycoon Conrad Black, RAW STORY has learned. As of Tuesday evening, Fitzgerald had intended to meet with the grand jury Wednesday, but on early Wednesday morning, Fitzgerald received word from his staff at his Chicago office that he was needed to deal with the Conrad Black case, attorneys familiar with the case said. In addition to serving as a Special Prosecutor in Washington, he remains the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois. Fitzgerald flew back to Chicago Wednesday. Black, a former newspaper mogul, was indicted by US federal prosecutors Thursday on racketeering and obstruction of justice charges. Fitzgerald announced the indictments after they were returned by a federal grand jury Thursday afternoon. CLIP
Anti-WTO Activists Take the Plunge
People from all around the world have gathered in Hong Kong to protest against policies of the World Trade Organisation. CNN asks what drives these people to make such a big commitment and interviews some of the activists on the streets.
WTO Threatening Last Ancient Forests
Greenpeace warned the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that further opening of forestry trade threatens the remaining ancient forests, particularly in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Brazil. The "World Trade Organisation is pushing for less regulation rather than more ... which would take us exactly into the wrong direction."
2005 warmest ever year in north (Dec 15)
This year has been the warmest on record in the northern hemisphere, say scientists in Britain. It is the second warmest globally since the 1860s, when reliable records began, they say. Ocean temperatures recorded in the northern hemisphere Atlantic Ocean have also been the hottest on record. The researchers, from the UK Met Office and the University of East Anglia, say this is more evidence for the reality of human-induced global warming. Their data show that the average temperature during 2005 in the northern hemisphere is 0.65 Celsius above the average for 1961-1990, a conventional baseline against which scientists compare temperatures. Click here to see northern hemisphere temperature record The global increase is 0.48 Celsius, making 2005 the second warmest year on record behind 1998, though the 1998 figure was inflated by strong El Nino conditions. The northern hemisphere is warming faster than the south, scientists believe, because a greater proportion of it is land, which responds faster to atmospheric conditions than ocean. Northern hemisphere temperatures are now about 0.4 Celsius higher than a decade ago. "The data also show that the sea surface temperature in the northern hemisphere Atlantic is the highest since 1880," said Dr David Viner from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA). CLIP
Pentagon rolls out stealth PR (12/14/2005)
WASHINGTON A $300 million Pentagon psychological warfare operation includes plans for placing pro-American messages in foreign media outlets without disclosing the U.S. government as the source, one of the military officials in charge of the program says. Run by psychological warfare experts at the U.S. Special Operations Command, the media campaign is being designed to counter terrorist ideology and sway foreign audiences to support American policies. The military wants to fight the information war against al-Qaeda through newspapers, websites, radio, television and "novelty items" such as T-shirts and bumper stickers.The program will operate throughout the world, including in allied nations and in countries where the United States is not involved in armed conflict. CLIP
Leuren Moret - Updates on Depleted Uranium/Electromagnetic Harassment
The horror of Depleted Uranium is not limited to Iraq - it may well be at our doorsteps. EMF- Various sources of electromagnetic frequencies are being used on those who oppose the US govt and the New World Order and issues that stand in the way of the goals that the govt/NWO wish to achieve. CLIP
Hon. Paul Hellyer - The Situation with Tucker Carlson' for Dec. 9, 2005
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MSNBC TELEVISION INTERVIEW:
CARLSON: Still to come, aliens of a different sort. Are extraterrestrials among us now? And is the White House trying to start a war with them? Why a former government official says, Oh, yes. It's all true. When the situation returns.CARLSON: Welcome back. According to my next guest, the truth is out there. Actually up there, with our neighbor to the north, Canada.A former Canadian government official is warning we may be on the verge of intergalactic war, saying, quote, The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the comings and goings of visitors from space and to shoot at them if they so decide, end quote.Paul Hellyer is a former minister of defense and deputy prime minister of the country of Canada. He joins us now from Toronto. Mr. Hellyer, thanks a lot for coming on. CLIP
Cheney in Last Throes
Ray McGovern writes that Vice President Dick Cheney, whose unbridled chutzpah has led him to take public as well as private credit for being the intellectual author of US policy on torture, has become such a glaring liability that his tenure may be short-lived. There is a growing possibility that the vice president will resign at the turn of the year "for reasons of health," and that his partner-in-crime - in what Colin Powell's former chief of staff at the State Department, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, has labeled the "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" - will choose to retire to his home in Taos early next year.
War Crimes: The Posse Gathers
Diverse forces are assembling to bring Bush administration officials to account for war crimes. Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Mother for Peace, insists: "We cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail." Paul Craig Roberts, Hoover Institution senior fellow and assistant secretary of the treasury under Ronald Reagan, charges Bush with "lies and an illegal war of aggression, with outing CIA agents, with war crimes against Iraqi civilians, with the horrors of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture centers" and calls for the president's impeachment. Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton and former president of the American Society of International Law, declares: "These policies make a mockery of our claim to stand for the rule of law. [Americans] should be marching on Washington to reject inhumane techniques carried out in our name." Can such disparate forces as the peace movement, conservative advocates of the rule of law, and human rights advocates join to halt high government officials demonstrably engaged in criminal enterprise? Can they reach out and appeal to the deep but vacillating commitment of the American people to the national and international rule of law? Or will the Bush administration divide the posse and retain for itself the mantle of defender of international law and the U.S. Constitution?
The anthrax vaccine: New questions, weak data (Dec. 09, 2005)
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Pentagon never told Congress about more than 20,000 hospitalizations involving troops who'd taken the anthrax vaccine, despite repeated promises that such cases would be publicly disclosed. CLIP
Bob Barr says military dictatorship close (11 Dec 2005)
"Former Republican Congressman and CIA official Bob Barr says that there is a danger recent developments describe a trend of America slipping into a totalitarian society and that the Bush administration are doing everything in their power to see that this happens. During a radio interview with host Alex Jones, Barr outlined where the country is heading. 'Basically, as long as you smile when you demand to see somebody's ID at gunpoint sitting on a bus I guess it's OK for the government, that's sort of the way they operate. It can be a totalitarian type regime.'" "I think it's a real danger where we have the military becoming involved in all sorts of domestic matters and we have the government being able to seize very private personal records on people without any suspicion that they've done anything wrong. This is a dramatic turn of events that has accelerated greatly since 9/11."Barr made comments very similar to those of current Republican Congressman Ron Paul in stating that natural disasters could be used by the government as a pretext to abolish posse comitatus. CLIP
Cindy Sheehan Takes Fight to the UK
After Cindy Sheehan's son died in Iraq, her protest outside Bush's Texas ranch became a symbol of opposition to the war. Duncan Campbell joins her as she brings her campaign to Britain.
Hunt Continues for 1,300 Children Lost during Katrina
Three months after Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast, the fate of more than 1,300 children remains unknown.
House Defies Bush and Backs McCain on Detainee Torture
In an unusual bipartisan rebuke to the Bush administration, the House on Wednesday overwhelmingly endorsed Senator John McCain's measure to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners in American custody anywhere in the world. Although the vote was nonbinding, it put the Republican-controlled House on record in support of Mr. McCain's provision for the first time, at the very moment when the senator, a Republican, is at a crucial stage of tense negotiations with the White House, which strongly opposes his measure.
Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons
Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq? They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4. Its terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that youre not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.
As Torture Amendment Nears, Pentagon Rewrites Army Rules
With Congress on the verge of passing the sweeping McCain amendment, the Bush administration has taken its drive to permit torture to new depths.
Prisoners Subjected to 'Severe Torture' at 2nd Iraqi Prison
An Iraqi government search of a detention center in Baghdad operated by Interior Ministry special commandos found 13 prisoners who had suffered abuse.
US Envoy: 'Detainee Abuse Worse Than Described'
The American ambassador in Iraq said today that more than 100 detainees had been abused in two Iraqi detention facilities, more than had been previously disclosed.
Row over CIA "Torture" Flights Engulfs Blair
Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw were under pressure last night to refute claims that Britain has been complicit in the alleged use of CIA planes taking suspected terrorists to secret camps for torture.
The Torture Administration
When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933 and proceeded to carry out their savagery, many in the outside world asked how this could have happened in the land of Goethe and Beethoven. Anthony Lewis asks: Would the people of other societies as readily accept tyranny? Sinclair Lewis, in 1935, imagined Americans turning to dictatorship under the pressures of economic distress in the Depression. He called his novel, ironically, It Can't Happen Here.
Torture Degrades Us All
For those who think we live in an age of terror, it is intuitively appealing to believe that torturing one person to save many is the right thing to do. Discussion of torture should not be taboo, but arguments for it must withstand moral scrutiny. The legal meaning of "torture" was drafted by human hands; it is therefore fallible and cannot merely be accepted as divine truthparticularly if the definition of torture is too weak. Terrorism does not demand that we torture to defend ourselves. To the contrary, the threat of terrorism reminds us of the importance of protecting human dignity, even of terrorists. Law necessarily draws moral lines in the sand which cannot be crossed; the inevitability of torturing the innocent is a price too high to pay to save the lives of others. Arguments against torture are not based on alarmism, moral absolutism, or rhetoric. The consequences of forcibly violating the body and the mind are profound and signal an unnecessary return to the blunt techniques of medieval justice. Torture irreparably damages human dignity, devalues human life, and corrupts the institutions of our democracy.
US Denies Red Cross Access to Detainees
The United States said Friday that it would continue to deny the International Committee of the Red Cross access to "a very small, limited number" of prisoners who are held in secret around the world, saying they are terrorists being kept incommunicado for reasons of national security and are not guaranteed any rights under the Geneva Conventions.
US Says 120 Torture Cases Found in Iraq
At least 120 abused prisoners have been found in two detention facilities run by the Shiite-led Interior Ministry, the US ambassador said Tuesday.
The Silence of the Doctors
Jonathan H. Marks: An "assessment" report of detainee medical activities made public by the Army Surgeon General in July raised more questions than it answered. What did the seventy-four medical personnel - in Iraq alone - who admitted witnessing interrogations actually see?
EU Disquiet over 'Renditions' Grows
The German government warned Washington on Wednesday to heed European concerns over allegations of CIA prisons and extra-judicial abductions, or "renditions," on the continent.
Voice Of God Revealed To Be Cheney On Intercom (Hoax or real? You decide)
WASHINGTON, DCTelephone logs recorded by the National Security Agency and obtained by Congress as part of an ongoing investigation suggest that the vice president may have used the Oval Office intercom system to address President Bush at crucial moments, giving categorical directives in a voice the president believed to be that of God. While journalists and presidential historians had long noted Bush's deep faith and Cheney's powerful influence in the White House, few had drawn a direct correlation between the two until Tuesday, when transcripts of meetings that took place in March and April of 2002 became available. In a transcript of an intercom exchange recorded in March 2002, a voice positively identified as the vice president's identifies himself as "the Lord thy God" and promotes the invasion of Iraq, as well as the use of torture in prisoner interrogations. A close examination of Bush's public statements and Secret Service time logs tracking the vice president reveals a consistent pattern, one which links Bush's belief that he had received word from God with Cheney's use of the White House's telephone-based intercom system. Officials privately acknowledged that there is reason to believe that the vice president, as God, urged Bush to sign legislation benefiting oil companies in 2005. CLIP
Congress Expects up to $100 Billion Wartime Request
The Pentagon is in the early stages of drafting a wartime request for up to $100 billion more for Iraq and Afghanistan, lawmakers say, a figure that would push spending related to the wars toward a staggering half-trillion dollars.
Pentagon Spying on Anti-War Activists
A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the US military. A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a "threat," and one of more than 1,500 "suspicious incidents" across the country over a recent 10-month period.
Tehran being 'poisoned' by smog (Dec 12, 2005)
TEHRAN (AFP) A thick blanket of hideous smog covering Tehran has turned residents of the Iranian capital into cranky citizens wracked by permanent headaches, breathing problems and nausea.In short, health experts warn, the sprawling metropolis of 10 million people is being slowly poisoned by the cloud of exhaust emissions -- including deadly carbon monoxide -- churned out by millions of decrepit, gas guzzling cars."Tehran has been trapped in a spiral of sickness. Its people are dying a slow death as a consequence of negligence in sustainable city development," Dr Hassan Laghai, an environmental expert and advisor to Tehran's mayor, told AFP.The consequences of the suffocating smog are alarming: intelligence and brain functions, particularly among children, are being impaired, while cancer is seen as an inevitable hazard of living in one of the world's most polluted cities."Based on psychological studies, the pollution raises tension and violence too," said Laghai, referring to phenomena such as increased "road rage" and the general bad mood sweeping the city."The quality of life in Tehran is less than zero," was Laghai's assessment of one of the Middle East's largest cities. CLIP
Calif. regulators unveil $2.9 billion plan to expand solar power (December 13, 2005)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/12/13/state/n180417S81.DTL- San Francisco (AP) -- State energy regulators on Tuesday unveiled one of the nation's most ambitious programs to expand the market for solar power, proposing to offer nearly $3 billion in consumer rebates over the next decade. The California Solar Initiative, proposed by the state Public Utilities Commission, aims to install 3,000 megawatts of solar energy on 1 million homes, businesses and public buildings over 11 years. The five-member commission was expected to vote on the program next month after a 30-day public comment period. Environmentalists hailed the proposal, which they said would help drive down the cost of solar energy, create jobs and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. "With rising energy prices and continued air pollution, this is exactly the kind of landmark initiative California needs," said Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment California. "From this, we're going to see cleaner air, affordable solar energy and California regaining its world leadership in solar power." CLIP
US Ranks Sixth among Countries Jailing Journalists
The United States has tied with Myanmar, the former Burma, for sixth place among countries that are holding the largest number of journalists behind bars, according to a new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Bees can recognize human faces, study finds (Dec. 9, 2005)
Honeybees may look pretty much all alike to us. But it seems we may not look all alike to them. A study has found that they can learn to recognize human faces in photos, and remember them for at least two days. CLIP
Single Mother Poised to Be Chilean President
Michelle Bachelet, a single mother with three children who was once tortured by the secret police of General Augusto Pinochet, is poised to become president of Chile. Ms. Bachelet has pledged to split her cabinet evenly between men and women, a breakthrough in a country where sexual harassment at work was made illegal only this year.
Castro: Rich Nations Endangering Planet (December 9, 2005)
BRIDGETOWN - Cuban President Fidel Castro accused rich countries on Thursday of squandering the world's natural resources, burning too much energy and endangering the planet. "The unbridled race to waste the planet's natural resources will bring life to an end on Earth. The first to die will be our small island states," Castro warned at a meeting of Caribbean leaders. Castro said the "colossal waste" of capitalist consumer society was not just putting the world economy at risk, but also seriously threatening the global environment with gas emissions. "How will we face the danger of disappearing as a result of global warming and the rise of sea levels?" he said in a speech to leaders of the 15-nation CARICOM bloc in Barbados. The summit was called to increase cooperation with communist Cuba.Castro blamed industrialized societies for the global climate change that scientists have linked to the increasing intensity and frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes. "How will our countries face the damages of the next Atlantic hurricane season and the next years. Who will help us pay the cost?" he asked. Castro spoke days after the close of the busiest Atlantic hurricane season in living memory with a record 14 hurricanes, including Katrina, the costliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States, causing at least $80 billion in damage. Forecasters had warned the season would be hyperactive because hurricanes feed on warm seas and ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic region have warmed by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 2 degrees C). Meteorologists expect another active season in 2006.
DuPont Pays Heavy Price For Teflon Cover-Up
DuPont Co. has reached a settlement with federal officials over the charges that DuPont had concealed the harmful health effects of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used to produce Teflon. Neither DuPont nor the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have disclosed the terms of the deal. The agency could have fined the company as much as $313 million. The EPA has alleged that DuPont covered up important information about health effects and water supply pollution for 20 years. Environmental groups have asked federal officials to impose substantial fines on DuPont for failing to tell the government that PFOA can pass from a mother's blood to her fetus. The chemical has been linked to both cancer and birth defects in animal studies. DuPont has maintained that PFOA has no negative health effects. Earlier this year, DuPont settled a class-action lawsuit over the issue for $107.6 million.In addition to the civil suit DuPont has just settled, there is an ongoing criminal investigation of its actions regarding PFOA pollution.
Date: 9 Dec 2005
Subject: Recent FDA decision puts drug profits before safety
From: Phyllis Montague
It is so important for people to wake up and realize what Big Pharma is doing to them. The drugs are killing us or making us sicker. They all have bad side effects and must can be done away with and natural means used instead (and more safely) Big Pharma runs the FDA and many other groups as well. The best way to stop their greed is to stop buying drugs and learn how to take care of your health. Vaccines are one of the worse things you can put in your body... build your immune system instead! It is not about your health... it is about greed.
Big Pharma has manhandled the FDA once again, and this time it's all about removing requirements for long-term safety testing of new psychiatric drugs. Thanks to this latest decision, mind-altering drugs can now be approved for a lifetime of use after merely two weeks of safety testing.
It gives the phrase, "FDA approved" a whole new meaning...
Full story at: http://www.newstarget.com/015406.html
Date: 09 Dec 2005
From: Greg Daugherty
Here's a great article on the tactics behind the avian flu warnings. Below is just the abstract with much more at this site:
Brightest blessings, and thanks for the work you do for all!
If avian flu becomes more than a threatened pandemic, it will have done so by political and economic design. This thesis is supported by current massive media misrepresentations, profiteering on risky and valueless vaccines, gross neglect of data evidencing earlier similar man-made plagues including SARS, West Nile Virus, AIDS and more; continuance of genetic studies breeding more mutant flu viruses likely to outbreak, inside trading scandals involving pandemic savvy White House and drug industry officials, curious immunity of these pharmaceutical entities over the past century to law enforcement and mainstream media scrutiny, and published official depopulation objectives. With the revelations and assertions advanced herein, the public is forewarned against this physician assisted mass murder best termed "iatrogenocide" [derived from "iatrogenesis," meaning physician induced illness, and "genocide," defined as the mass killing and/or enslaving of people for economics, politics, and/or ideology.] This genocidal imposition is expected to serve mainly economic and political depopulation objectives.
Note from Jean: I'll soon have the privilege of translating in French Suzanne Ward's second book from which comes the following and quite illuminating! excerpt. For those who would like to read a French article about the translation of the first book "Matthew, Tell me About Heaven", entitled Nirvana in French, please go at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2005/Nirvana.htm
Date: 09 Dec 2005
From "Revelations For A New Era" - by Matthew and Suzanne Ward
Chapter PT. II - Our Soul Connection
S: I know the soul is our eternal connection with God and Creator, but I don't know exactly what the soul is, or does.
MATTHEW: The soul is the very essence of life as it first sprang from Creator. It is an indestructible living entity of light energy that may have a physical body, etheric body or astral body, or it may exist in free spirit only. Our souls, manifested by God through His co-creating powers with Creator, are expressions of the love and light of God and contain in microcosm every essence of God. In any of its forms the soul acts with free will independence at the same time it exists inseparably with God and Creator and all other souls.
The soul is the power behind everything that exists on Earth. It is the life force of all its progeny that it created for ever-greater experiencing. At every level of evolvement, from the most minute subdivision of a root soul all the way to the angelic realms, each soul is an independent being with intelligence, characteristics, choices, goals and all the other elements that make each person a unique being.
Each individual lifetime of a soul is its personage. The sum of a soul's personages is its cumulative soul, and all experiencing of all the personages is available to each. Thus, as each personage melds into the cumulative soul, it is increased in wisdom and soul evolution, yet it remains its inviolate independent self.
The consciousness of the soul has the capability to reach all knowingness that exists throughout creation. The universal mind, that entire spectrum of human and godly powers and all experiencing throughout existence -- all of this is within each soul. When we tap into this knowingness we are allowing the soul to see itself and report what it sees to the brain, which is a personal computer for processing data for the mind to assimilate and contemplate. The key to understanding this is to separate your consciousness and allow the thinking process to quiet itself. Then the pictures will come, followed by awareness of what is going on in your mind, which is bringing you the message of your soul.
Your body is only a very fleeting vehicle for use by the soul, which is far stronger and more tenacious in its survival mode than any third density body. And, the body does not hold the soul, the soul holds the body for its use. When the soul is released from the physical body, its etheric body is released in perfection at the same instant, and in that body, the soul makes its lightning-fast journey from Earth to Nirvana.
In other lifetimes, souls now living on the planet had a hand in its formation during its creation. This happened by thought forms, and as previously explained, everything that is created is preceded by the thought of it. Only by the imagery in the thought can the form of that image be created in substance, and the power to generate and access the thought forms rests in the soul.
Although the soul is indestructible, its light energy can be captured by negativity and trapped within density so powerful that the soul is consigned to this realm's basest energy layer. At physical death the energy essence of souls departing from Earth are taken by the most ancient universal laws to their next placement for required healing and learning. The people who lived in the basest energies during their Earth lifetimes are drawn by natural law to the layer of densest energy in this multilayered realm. They are people obsessed with controlling others' lives or inflicting tyrannical brutality, or who are so steeped in anger, greed, deceit or other intense negativity that every aspect of their lives is permeated with thoughts, feelings and actions born of that negativity. Those souls can neither fool anyone and thus be released nor escape from that densest energy placement. Not only is it out of their mental functioning control, it is a province of their energy registration. By means of their free will decisions, those souls have chosen their consistent plunging into the basest density in which they become captive.
S: Does that mean that souls of people like Hitler can't reincarnate to cause more atrocities because they can't get out of that placement?
MATTHEW: They can leave only if they move toward the light that is continuously beamed to them from highest light sources. If they do respond to the love within that light, they will be entirely different souls as they rise to successively higher layers of the realm.
But even if that happens, it is not the full story. Their very descent to the basest energy placement has inestimable negative repercussions. The energy set in motion by their Earth lifetimes remains when their physical bodies leave. The influence left by their energy is not diminished. The ripple effect of the soul devastation wrought by just one such individual can be so injurious to civilization that there is no way to assess it separately from the base energies that form from it. So, while the life energy of that soul is held captive, the energy of the negative effects of its lifetime remains. The dark forces gather it unto themselves for rearmament, so to speak.
S: You've said that Nirvana is a realm of independent layers of density, but I can't imagine where this base layer could be. Actually, I can't understand why it's even a part of your world.
MATTHEW: Mother, I know this is not your Presbyterian division of heaven and hell, but where would you have those souls go if not here? This is the only place Earth residents can go after physical death, and our composition is designed to accommodate them all, even including those you consider evil.
Our base energy layer is near your moon, which is surrounded by a density that isn't correctly known to your scientists. After the moon was cut off from its original planetary structure and became devoid of what you would call "real" life, it became a dumping ground for universally-rejected matter. The natural uninhabitability of that area makes it a good place for housing base energy souls.
However, that's not the home of souls with the basest energy. They're confined within a small orbiting body that's not known to your scientists. Unlike our realm's other energy levels, which are flexible in formation, that level is a definite sphere. It is small enough for its orbit to be contained within the first hundred or so miles stretching outward from Earth, and due to its density, it is on a static path that never can touch the planet.
S: That's so close to us, Matthew!
MATTHEW: It's natural that you would think in terms of miles, but distance is not relevant, Mother. Those energies can't fly out and land on Earth. Their density won't permit escape, but this very density does permit influence to be released, like sparks in an overloaded electrical wire. Those sparks are the influencing aspect, and they are attracted to souls whose energy is even somewhat compatible with the base soul energy.
You have heard of the "pawns" of the powers that wish to control the planet, but you don't know the connection between the Earth puppets and the alien puppet-masters. The connection is that spark which is not light, but is a frequency of low vibration that acts something like a decorative net sweeping the ocean floor for sea life that can become entrapped because of curiosity. It is the curious human mind with a dark nature proclivity that is directed into the intriguing aspects of the baser styles of behavior. Satanic worship with its unconscionable tortures and sacrifices of human and animal life is a prime example of the basest density energy.
S: Is that energy derived from Lucifer? Is Lucifer only a name that religion has given to energy that's directed into evil or was he really an angel by that name?
MATTHEW: As for the name Lucifer, or any name given to the archangels and other high light beings, they are indeed proper names of the various entity forces that your science recognizes only as energy forms. Each entity is its own power, some with such vastness that it cannot even be imagined on Earth, so it is understandable that science does not personalize these powers with names. Consider: Why would the myriad souls co-created by God and Creator not have names to distinguish their individual, inviolate selves from all others, just as all relatives in any family do?
Now then, Lucifer was created in Creator's first manifestation of individual parts, the highest realm of angels. Once free will was bestowed upon those entities, they could choose what to co-create in subsequent manifestations. Originally Lucifer had good intent to create equally with Creator, who had only light to impart to Its creations. But eventually he used his free will and curiosity to experiment in making terrible and miserable creatures, which created increasingly baser density. As the Luciferian energy core grew with each experimentation and manifestation, it divided again and again, and with each division aspects voluntarily withdrew more and more from Creator, away from the light into darkness.
What exists on Earth today is a continuation of that withdrawal from the awareness of every soul's connection with the light. People who are carrying out the bidding of the dark forces have their roots in Luciferian energy. Energy is neutral, remember, and Luciferian energy is only a term specifying that energy directed by Lucifer into baser and baser activities.
S: Are the soul descendants of Lucifer born with his darkness and can't help themselves get out of it?
MATTHEW: Lucifer was created of total light, so the first of his lineage could only be of light. However, there is light within every new soul, regardless of its ancestry, just as there is free will to follow the light or not. As Lucifer fell from the light due to his free will choices, his progeny were not automatically drawn down with him, but some exercised their own free will and joined him on his downward pathway. All of those who followed him were exposed to the light continuously all along the way. Some chose to return to the light, some did not, and those who did not are spoken of as the dark forces.
S: I see. Where in the universe do the dark forces reside?
MATTHEW: Wherever they wish within dimensions of density where the vibratory level cannot trap their psyches. The most powerful of the dark energies usually do not embody, although by universal laws, they have the manifesting capability to create bodies of any design and whatever else they wish except souls and light. That is why the light forces ultimately will overcome the dark forces. The dark energies never can spread their darkness enough to snuff out the last vestiges of light.
ALWAYS the most powerful is Creator! If Creator wishes to withdraw the free will choices and extinguish the life force of darkness, this can be done. At any moment Creator so decides, the beings of darkness can be reabsorbed and neutralized as if there never had been a "Big Bang."
THROUGH THEIR SOUL-LEVEL AGREEMENT that includes communication by mental telepathy, Matthew Ward, who died in 1980, and his mother Suzanne have produced books on spirituality and metaphysics. Matthew, "Tell Me About Heaven" describes in detail the soul's transition from Earth to Heaven and the vibrant life in that realm. Our cosmic beginnings and channeled information from extraterrestrial civilizations are featured in "Revelations For A New Era." "Illuminations For A New Era," which explains Earth changes and the role of extraterrestrials in our planet's healing and ascension, has timely messages from God. "Voices Of The Universe" shows how we are creating our lives and our world and simultaneously affecting the universe accordingly.
"Please click here to be added to the free mailing list for Matthew's messages:
Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MessagesFromMatthew
Please go to: Website: http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article332384.ece
Climate campaigners claim greatest ever success at Montreal
By Andrew Buncombe in Montreal and Geoffrey Lean
Published: 11 December 2005
The fight against catastrophic global warming scored its greatest success to date yesterday, when negotiators from more than 180 nations unexpectedly agreed to develop far-reaching measures to combat climate change.
In the process, the delegates to the climate summit in Montreal dealt a humiliating blow to President George Bush's five-year attempt to destroy the Kyoto Protocol. The United States, which tried to sabotage the meeting at the last minute by walking out of the negotiations, was forced to join the agreement after failing to persuade a single nation to join it.
Many delegates - including Margaret Beckett, the UK's Secretary of State for the Environment - were openly in tears when agreement was finally reached yesterday morning after two successive all-night sessions and as many dramas and cliff-hangers as a second-rate soap opera.
Mrs Beckett told The Independent on Sunday that it represented an even greater breakthrough than the original agreement of the Kyoto Protocol almost exactly eight years ago. Environmentalists hailed the agreement - which exceeded the most optimistic expectations - as "historic".
The agreement marks the culmination of a remarkable year for the world's attempts to bring global warming under control before it is too late. Not much more than a year ago, the Kyoto Protocol had yet to come into force, many leading commentators were writing its obituary, and the US administration was blocking any attempts even to talk about future negotiations.
Then Russia - the key hold-out - ratified the protocol, enabling it to come into force in February, and Tony Blair made climate change one of the top priorities of Britain's presidencies of the EU and the G8 group of industrialised nations this year. At the G8 Gleneagles summit this summer President Bush had to agree to further talks.
Yesterday's agreement - far from burying the Kyoto Protocol as the US wanted - has confirmed it and extended it. The 39 nations governed by it - all the industrialised countries apart from the US and Australia - have agreed in principle to make deeper cuts in the pollution emissions causing climate change when their present clean-up commitments run out in 2012.
They have decided to agree the new cuts by 2008, far faster than expected.
Meanwhile the US has, against its will, had to agree to talks with both rich and developing countries to new measures that all nations can take on combating the threat. The resolution is vague and the talks are only "open and non-binding", but it is far more than the US wanted or most people expected.
The atmosphere at the Montreal meeting was far more determined to reach agreement than either the US or its bitterest critics had expected, following a year of constant, alarming evidence that climate change is happening far faster than scientists had predicted. These included a record hurricane season, record melting of sea ice and glaciers in the Arctic, and disturbing signs that the Gulf Stream - which makes Britain inhabitable - may be beginning to fail.
So when the US walked out, it failed to find any support, despite intensive lobbying of delegation after delegation, as the rest of the world resolved to go ahead without it.
At the same time, the Bush administration has come under enormous pressure at home with three-quarters of Americans now demanding action on climate change and nearly 200 cities and many states taking their own far-reaching measures to cut pollution. Bill Clinton also fatally undermined the US position by calling it "dead wrong".
Last night, Tony Juniper, a director of Friends of the Earth, called the deal "excellent". Phil Clapp, head of the US National Environmental Trust, said it was "absolutely extraordinary".
All This Aggravation Ain't Satisfactionin' Us (GRIST SUMMARY)
Montreal summit wraps up with agreement to ... have more summits
The U.N. climate talks in Montreal ended this weekend with plenty of drama but little progress. The big news, such as it is, is an agreement by a coalition of some 150 nations to convene new talks to generate a set of binding greenhouse-gas emissions caps for 2012 when Kyoto expires. The U.S. balked at joining those talks, but it did grudgingly agree to join a coalition of nearly 200 countries in an "open and nonbinding" dialogue. Even that modest commitment almost got scuttled: When it became clear on Thursday that ex-President Bill Clinton was coming to speak in Montreal, Bush officials threw a tantrum and threatened to pull out of the talks entirely. They eventually backed down, but then the U.S. delegation ended up stalking out of discussions Friday night, peeved about word choices. It finally sulked back in less than 24 hours later to agree to the aforementioned dialogue. Anybody out there raising a teenager? Got any tips?
Bill McKibben | No Talk and No Action
McKibben laments the tragic intransigence of the US at the Montreal climate talks, calling it "too painful to watch." Yet he lauds the courageous young people who took to the streets to demand action and "let Harlan Exxon Watson know that they knew he was the lamest sort of tool."
Bill Clinton Says Bush Is 'Flat Wrong' on Kyoto
Former President Clinton told a global audience of diplomats, environmentalists and others Friday that the Bush administration is "flat wrong" in claiming that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to fight global warming would damage the US economy.
The Psychology of Global Warming
Journalism has no precedent for a story of the scale or seriousness of global warming, says Bill Blakemore in his analysis.
Forwarded by Jan
Dec 9, 2005
Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'
By DOUG THOMPSON
Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.
Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.
GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."
"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"
I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper."
And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that "goddamned piece of paper" used to guarantee.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, while still White House counsel, wrote that the "Constitution is an outdated document."
Put aside, for a moment, political affiliation or personal beliefs. It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It doesn't matter if you support the invasion or Iraq or not. Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining document of our government, the final source to determine - in the end - if something is legal or right.
Every federal official - including the President - who takes an oath of office swears to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he cringes when someone calls the Constitution a "living document."
""Oh, how I hate the phrase we have-a 'living document,'" Scalia says. "We now have a Constitution that means whatever we want it to mean. The Constitution is not a living organism, for Pete's sake."
As a judge, Scalia says, "I don't have to prove that the Constitution is perfect; I just have to prove that it's better than anything else."
President Bush has proposed seven amendments to the Constitution over the last five years, including a controversial amendment to define marriage as a "union between a man and woman." Members of Congress have proposed some 11,000 amendments over the last decade, ranging from repeal of the right to bear arms to a Constitutional ban on abortion.
Scalia says the danger of tinkering with the Constitution comes from a loss of rights.
"We can take away rights just as we can grant new ones," Scalia warns. "Don't think that it's a one-way street."
And don't buy the White House hype that the USA Patriot Act is a necessary tool to fight terrorism. It is a dangerous law that infringes on the rights of every American citizen and, as one brave aide told President Bush, something that undermines the Constitution of the United States.
But why should Bush care? After all, the Constitution is just "a goddamned piece of paper."
Its About A Lot More Than A "Goddamned Piece of Paper" (TELLING PICTURE!)
Bush Remark Reiterates Arrogant Globalist/Neocon "Crazies" Insane Lust For New World Order Prevalence And Power . (...) For the President of the United States to verbally wipe the floor with the Constitution and curse it in the way Bush has and it go virtually unreported serves as an indication of the threat America is facing today from an Elite power structure that cares nothing for the country it has usurped and is hell bent on centralizing power globally and undermining the principles America was founded on. CLIP
THE NEW SYMMETRY
Fighting terror with terror
By John Steinberg | RAW STORY COLUMNIST
As our Republican leadership crumbles, I am heartened by increasing signs of rationality shining through the cracks in what has been omnipresent darkness. There is a building consensus that our Iraq crusade has failed. The Republican Man-O-War is becalmed and taking on water. And every day it seems that the previously scale-covered eyes of another segment of our citizenry behold our buck-naked chief executive.
All of which makes some remaining facts puzzling. Who are the 37 35 34 percent of Americans who still support the imploding Bush administration? What successes do they see in the thicket of domestic and foreign failures stretching toward the horizon?
But perhaps the biggest mystery is why the Administration has aggressively pursed torture as policy. Every expert seems to agree that torture is virtually useless as an interrogation technique. John McCain, who occupies the unquestionable moral high ground on this issue, condemns administration policy, as does Colin Powell. Yet the Administration has mounted consistent legal and political defenses of the morally and strategically indefensible.
There is an excellent essay in the November issue of Harpers. William Pfaffs article, What weve lost: George W. Bush and the price of torture, is an important read. It brings together a great deal of familiar information, and paints a bleak picture of the moral failings of our leaders. But I had a terrible flash of insight when I read this:
Terrorism and guerrilla warfare demoralize because they are unpredictable and without rules. There is no predictable way to recognize enemies, no structure to determine what is and is not allowable, and so reciprocal atrocities indiscriminate violence, and the collateral killing of civilians are invited.
Think back on the Vietnam War, the crucible of all current thinking about American military policy. Whether you think the fight was inherently hopeless or that it was lost on the home front, it is not debatable that the asymmetry of the forms of warfare employed by the two sides was a huge factor in the outcome. The conditions Pfaff mentions were all in evidence. And when Americans responded with indiscriminate violence of our own, and massacred all of the residents of a village called My Lai, the resulting blowback at home had a huge effect on support for the war and, eventually, the ability of our government to continue to wage it.
It gives the architects of our current quagmire both too much and too little credit to say that they have not learned from this history. It gives too little credit because the sadistic lessons they choose to extract they learned well; too much because ignorance is less morally culpable than the murderous scholarship now being applied.
I noted the lesson this administration learned from Iraq War One more than a year ago: The lesson George W. Bush learned from his father's experience is now obvious: the mistake was not in ending Operation Desert Storm too soon: it was in letting the war end at all. That conclusion is no less valid today. For a long time I thought Iraq War II showed the Bush Administration had learned no lessons from Viet Nam. But now I realize the terrible lesson they learned was about how to respond to asymmetrical warfare.
The techniques by which small insurgent forces can beat a larger and stronger occupying force through asymmetrical warfare have been understood for more than half a century. They were used by Mao to beat the Chinese Nationalists; they were used by the Viet Cong to wear down the United States; and Colin Powell, Bush Senior and many others foresaw that they would have been used to stalemate us in 1991 if we had tried to occupy Iraq the first time around.
Orville Schell is the author of numerous books on China, covered the war in Indochina and is now Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He wrote in 2003:
Above all, counseled Mao, weaker forces should avoid major engagements and settle instead with a victory of attrition by means of repeated, small-scale raids.
Elaborating on the teachings of classical Chinese strategist Sun Zi, Mao wrote: "The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue."
The effectiveness of these techniques, and of the tactics of terror the insurgents have added to them, is beyond debate. The neoCons grasped that they could not win an asymmetrical war, so they sought to even things up. Even these buffoons knew it would be absurd to bring the battle into balance by converting the insurgents into the military arm of a nation-state. The terrible lesson the neoCons learned from Vietnam the way they are seeking to fight a symmetrical war is to fight terror with terror.
Thus the new calculus: the insurgents become suicide bombers; we level cities the insurgents have already abandoned. The insurgents behead; we waterboard and crucify. The insurgents plant roadside bombs; we incinerate civilians with white phosphorus. For every indiscriminate, random horror they perpetrate, we offer our own in response.
This hypothesis is horrifying in its implications, and it is only a hypothesis. But it is a hypothesis that solves a lot of mysteries about our leaders. It explains why they are undaunted by the consensus that torture will not yield useful information they dont expect to get any. It explains why they are so insistent on holding tens of thousands of prisoners whether or not there is a reasonable basis for their incarceration they are not making any attempt to separate combatants from the bystanders. It explains the horror of white phosphorus unleashed on civilians, and aerial bombardment of our supposedly democratic client tactical military concerns are secondary at best. The randomness of the violence, abuse and destruction is not an unavoidable byproduct of an otherwise sane policy; the randomness is itself the very object of the policy.
And of course, our descent into such unspeakable tactics explains another, shameful mystery: why the evil we fight has become so difficult to distinguish from the evil we have become.
John Steinberg is a Senior Recidivist with the Poor Man Institute for Freedom and Democracy and a Pony. He bloviates regularly @ http://www.bluememe.blogspot.com.
Originally from http://progressive.org/radio_13dec05
Does 30,000 Mean Anything to Bush?
By Matthew Rothschild - The Progressive
14 December 2005
On Monday, for the first time, Bush acknowledged that his Iraq War has taken a large toll on the Iraqi people. But he fobbed it off as if it were nothing.
Taking questions after his speech at the Philadelphia World Affairs Council, Bush was asked right out of the chute how many Iraqis have died.
Here's the exchange:
"Q: Since the inception of the Iraqi war, I'd like to know the approximate total of Iraqis who have been killed. And by Iraqis I include civilians, military, police, insurgents, translators."
"Bush: How many Iraqi citizens have died in this war? I would say, 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis. We've lost about 2,140 of our own troops."
Bush may have severely underestimated the total number of Iraqi dead.
Iraqbodycount.net estimates that a minimum of between 27,383 and 30,892 civilians alone have died as a result of Bush's war. But it recognizes that this civilian count, which it bases on published news reports, is lower than the actual figure. "Our maximum therefore refers to reported deaths, which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war."
Then there is the Johns Hopkins study from November 2004 in the Lancet that puts the death toll above 100,000. If that figure is correct, Bush is off by at least a factor of three.
While it's a relief, I suppose, to know that Bush understands that his war has killed at least 30,000 Iraqis, does even that figure mean anything to him?
He acted as though it were a totally acceptable number.
In fact, as David Sirota has noted, Bush in the very next breath made a joke as he interrupted the next questioner to say, "I'll repeat the question. If I don't like it, I'll make it up." The White House transcript reads: "(Laughter and applause.)"
That is the definition of obscenity.
To segue from the deaths of 30,000 Iraqis and 2,140 US soldiers to a poor attempt at humor is to reveal a frightening callousness.
What will it take for Bush to grasp the meaning and the magnitude of 2,140 dead US soldiers and 30,000 dead Iraqis or more?
He has said over and over again that he came to liberate the people of Iraq and deliver them the gift of freedom.
But he didn't liberate those 30,000 or those 100,000. They didn't get to unwrap their gift, or if they did, it blew up in their faces.
Each dead Iraqi has a name.
Each dead Iraqi leaves a family that will never be the same again.
At what point does the President acknowledge the horrific pain he has inflicted on the people of Iraq?
Mentioning a mere number and then blithely moving on does not cut it.
Such indifference permitted their mass killing in the first place.
It should not be blanketed over them again....
Matthew Rothschild has been with The Progressive since 1983. His McCarthyism Watch web column http://www.progressive.org/mccarthy has chronicled more than 150 incidents of repression since 9/11.
Conyers, 7 Reps: 'Casualty Counts Are Off'
In a shocking charge a group of seven House Democrats wrote President Bush this week, accusing the Pentagon of under-reporting casualties in Iraq.
An Increasingly Aerial Occupation
By Dahr Jamail - TomDispatch.com
13 December 2005
The American media continues to ignore the increasingly devastating air war being waged in Iraq against an ever more belligerent Iraqi resistance - and, as usual, Iraqi civilians continue to bear the largely unreported brunt of the bombing.
When the air war shows up at all in our press, it is never as a campaign, but as scattered bare-bones reports of individual attacks on specific targets, almost invariably based on military announcements. A typical example was reported by Reuters on December 4th: "Two US Air Force F-16 jets dropped laser-guided bombs" which, according to a military spokesperson, killed two "insurgents" after they attacked an army patrol near Balad, 37 miles west of Baghdad. On the same day, Reuters reported that "a woman and two children" were "wounded when US forces conducted an air strike, bombing two houses in Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad."
And even this minimalist version of the American air war rarely makes it into large media outlets in the US.
Ignoring the Obvious
Author and media critic Norman Solomon asked the following question recently: "According to the LexisNexis media database, how often has the phrase 'air war' appeared in the New York Times this year with reference to the current US military effort in Iraq? As of early December, the answer is: Zero." Solomon went on to point out that the phrase "air war" had not appeared in either the Washington Post or Time magazine even a single time this year.
Curiously enough, US Central Command Air Force (CENTAF) reports are more detailed than anything we normally can read in our papers. On December 6, for example, CENTAF admitted to 46 air missions over Iraq flown on the previous day - in order to provide "support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities."
Albeit usually broadly (and vaguely) described, and seldom taking possible civilian casualties into account, these daily tabulations by the Air Force often flesh out bare-bones reports with a little extra detail on the nature of the air war. On that December 6th, for instance, the report added that "Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, an MQ-1 Predator and Navy F/A-18 Hornets provided close-air support to coalition troops in contact with anti-Iraqi forces near Balad and Ramadi."
Not surprisingly, given their source, such reports glide over or underemphasize potentially damaging information like the fact that bombing runs of this sort are regularly conducted in heavily-inhabited areas of Iraq's cities and towns where the resistance may also be strongly embedded. Oblique statements like the following are the best you are likely to get from the military: "Coalition aircraft also supported Iraqi and coalition ground forces operations focused on creating a secure environment for upcoming December parliamentary elections."
As a result, aside from reportage by one of the rare western independent journalists left in Iraq or the many Arab journalists largely ignored in the US, the American air assault on Iraq remains devastatingly ill-covered by larger outlets here. This remains true, even as, militarily, air power begins to move center stage at a moment when large-scale withdrawals of American ground troops are clearly being considered by the Bush administration.
I have worked as an independent reporter in Baghdad for over eight months during the US occupation of Iraq thus far and I can confirm that a day never passed in the capital city when the low rumblings of an Apache helicopter or the supersonic thundering roar of an F-16 fighter jet didn't cause me to look up for the source of the noise. Many a night I would be awakened by the low, whumping blades of US helicopters scouring the rooftops of the capital city - flying at almost building height to avoid rocket-propelled grenades from resistance fighters. I would oftentimes wonder where they were coming from, as well as where they were going.
It is impossible, really, to miss the overt signs of the ongoing air war in Iraq when you are there, which makes the lack of coverage all the more startling. At night, while standing on the roof of my hotel in Baghdad during the November 2004 assault on Fallujah, a city some 40-odd miles away, I could see on the horizon the distant flashes of US bombs that were searing that embattled city.
I often wondered how the scores of journalists in Baghdad working for major American papers and TV networks could continue to ignore the daily air campaign the US military was waging right over their heads or within eyesight. Along with countless eyewitness interviews I did on the damage caused from the air, this is what prompted me to write Living Under the Bombs for Tomdispatch some ten months ago. But it has only been thanks to the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, a journalist who has never even been to Iraq, that the important subject of the air campaign there has finally been brought to public awareness on a wider scale. In a recent interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman about his latest piece in that magazine, aptly titled, Up in the Air: Where is the Iraq War Headed Next? he commented, "Clearly there's all sorts of anecdotal reason to believe that the bombing has gone up exponentially, certainly in the last four or five months in the Sunni Triangle, the four provinces around Baghdad." But he also pointed that, when it comes to the American air campaign, "There's no statistics ... We don't know what's going on with the air war."
However, we have at least an idea.
The statistics we can glean from CENTAF indicate a massive rise in the number of US air missions in Iraq for the month of November as compared to most previous months. Excluding weekends - for some reason the Air Force does not make the number of sorties they fly in Iraq and Afghanistan on Fridays and Saturdays known to the public - 996 November sorties were flown in Iraq according to CENTAF.
The size of this figure naturally begs the question, where are such missions being flown and what is their size and nature? And it's important to note as well that "air war" does not simply mean US Air Force. Carrier-based Navy and Marine aircraft flew over 21,000 hours of missions and dropped over 26 tons of ordnance in Fallujah alone during the November 2004 siege of that city.
In his recent article and interview, Hersh rightly reflects the concern of American military men that, in any proposed draw-down plan for American forces, Iraqi security forces are likely to be given some responsibility for Air Force targeting operations. After all, they'll be the ones left on the ground. It's an idea, he reports, that is "driving the Air Force crazy," because they fear it may involve them in a future revenge war of ethnic and religious groups in Iraq.
CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=42286
THIS HELPS EXPLAIN THE ABYSMAL APATHY OF A LARGE SEGMENT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. JOSEF GOEBELL - HITLER'S PROPAGANDA MINISTER - COULD NOT HAVE DREAMED UP A BETTER TOOL TO CONTROL AND SUBVERT THE MINDS OF COUNTLESS PEOPLE...
Recommended by "Rebeca Davis"
The Great Perversion
By Charles Sullivan
Both television and todays sophisticated computer games are powerful psychotropic drugs that alter ones perception of reality. Indeed, they have become a substitute for realitya surrogate for actual experience. Rather than living life, most Americans now experience it vicariously through the medium of television. Hence the proliferation of so many so called Reality Shows. Contrary to public opinion, the purpose of commercial television is not to inform the people with information that is relevant to their lives. It is to substitute fantasy for reality, lies for truth; entertainment for knowledge. The programming that most of us watch is not the primary purpose of television.
Commercialscapitalismare the primary reason for the existence of television. Even public television is not immune from heavy-handed manipulation from the Whitehouse and corporations.
The experience that most Americans live vicariously through television is an utter fraud. As Thoreau said, We have become the tools of our tools. Our lives have become more virtual than real. Fraud does not inform our experience; nor does it provide us with the information we need to make intelligent decisions about life. Like all things American, television has been perverted from a tool with enormous potential for education to the trivial commodity of patent capitalism we call entertainment.
According to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, ninety percent of television is commercial. That makes it ninety percent trivial and about ten percent useful to the growth of human potential. Television is a powerful, seductive, mind numbing drug that renders viewers physically passive, but open to the endless message of blind consumption. It holds the viewers fast while programming the mind to consume and to accept the manifest lies and propaganda spewed forth by the corporate juggernaut that has hijacked both the American government and the public air waves. As a compelling mind altering drug, television is without equal in the annals of human history.
Both television and computer games cajole and control the unsuspecting minds of their subconscious addicts. They reduce the attention span and render us useless as citizens. Those who are seduced and mesmerized by television are not likely to make trouble. They are not going to question corporate Americas version of reality and make waves for the status quo. Television is junk food for the mind that leads to morbid mental obesity. The result is impaired mental function. It stifles free thought and inhibits human potential. Nothing in the history of civilization has been more responsible for dumbing down the American public than commercial television. Television numbs the mind and impoverishes the spirit. It is an essential tool of the corporations that have hijacked the American government and led to the commodification of everything from forests to human labor. Without the commanding and highly addictive drug of television, Americas powerful military industrial complex, with its ambitions for world domination, would be rendered moot.
Introduced to the world as a tool with enormous potential for education, television has been converted into an insidious tool for mindless consumption by unbridled capitalism. This is an important point because the political perception of the average American is shaped almost entirely not by reality or by the evidence, but by the self serving interest of corporate entities driven by an insatiable lust for obscene profits. Tragically, we have allowed those entities to do our thinking for usoften with horrific results.
This point is equally valid for commercial radio where rabid right wing talk show hosts work the airwaves tirelessly in the service of their corporate pay masters. Daily, a cadre of deceitful corporate puppets masquerading as public servants fleeces a gullible American public with their endless drivel and incessant propaganda. They are so effective in selling the public their well coordinated daily talking pointsmany of which emanate from televisions Fox Newsthat they actually convince millions of people to deliberately act against their own self interest. Once the domain of considerable diversity that featured local programming, the public owned radio waves are now the almost exclusive domain of corporations that hold contempt for the public welfare. Corporate entities like Clear Channel have neither heart nor soul. What matters to them are market shares and profit margins. They are raking in billions by tapping into the millions of exploited angry white conservatives who unwittingly do the bidding of corporate America. Here is a news flash for those white, mostly male conservatives: Its the corporations, stupid!
Government is not the problem that conservatives make it out to be. Government is the scapegoat of the corporations that have stolen it from under our inattentive noses. Government becomes a problem when it is run by corporations and millionaires rather than by ordinary people who serve the public interest.
To the extent that any segment of the American public is awake to a reality that adheres closely to the observed evidence, we find ourselves utterly abandoned by those who are supposed to serve us. The government is no longer the servant of the people that it promised to be. It has been bought by ill gotten corporate wealth. It makes a mockery of the very concept of democracy. Let us learn to call the American government what it really is. We use terms like freedom and democracy much too recklessly. We live in a corporate oligarchy or a plutocracy, not a democracy. Its not even close.
This explains why it is so absurd for Americans to talk about bringing democracy to the Middle East. We cannot bring democracy to any nation, to any people, until we demand it here. We cannot liberate anyone until we liberate ourselves from the iron grip of capitalism and its ugly cousin, corporatism. The airwaves, whether pertaining to television or radio, belong to the peoplenot to the corporations that exploit them for private gain. The public air waves should be used in the public interest. The corporations that have stolen them will never give them back unless we force them to. Do not look to the commercially owned puppets in government to help us. They are in the pockets of their corporate pay masters. It is up to us.
Charles Sullivan is a furniture maker, photographer, and free lance writer residing in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelpie Wilson writes: The Washington Post reported that US chief climate negotiator Harlan Watson was essentially nominated for the position by Exxon Mobil. This is just one more indication of the extent to which the United States government has been body-snatched by corporate interests.
Coca-Cola Faces Mounting Pressure over Abusive Practices at Plants Worldwide
Coca-Cola, the multinational soft drink giant, is facing the wrath of rights advocacy groups here in the United States and abroad for refusing to take responsibility for abusive practices at its bottling plants.
THE ARROGANT FOOLISHNESS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT COULD DOOM THE WORLD
From: "Stephanie Sutton"
Date: 14 Dec 2005
And just when you think you've heard it all and are unable to stomach more...... For all of you with Boeing connections, I hope you can make some noise! Peace,
From: Ecological Options Network
December 13, 2005
Plutonium Launch Accident Could Have Global Implications
by Karl Grossman
NASA is again threatening the lives of people on Earth.
On January 11, the window opens for a launch from Cape Canaveral of a rocket lofting a space probe with 24 pounds of plutonium fuel on board. Plutonium is considered the most deadly radioactive substance.
Once it separates from the rocket, the probe, on what NASA calls its New Horizons mission, would move through space powered by conventional chemical fuel.
The plutonium is in a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) that is to provide on-board electricity for the probe's instruments-a mere 180 watts when it gets to its destination of Pluto.
Until after the probe leaves the rocket and breaks from the Earth's gravitational pull, the plutonium endangers life on Earth.
Because a fatal dose of plutonium is just a millionth of a gram, anyone breathing just the tiniest particle of plutonium dispersed in an accident could die.
NASA has divided the sequence into four phases before what it calls "escape" of the probe from the Earth's gravity. It is most concerned about the launch phase.
NASA's Final Environmental Impact Statement for the New Horizons Mission (EIS) says there is "about 6 percent probability" of an accident during launch.
If plutonium is released in a launch accident-and NASA says there is a 1-in-620 chance of that-it could spread far and wide. Some could drift up to 62 miles from the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, says the EIS. And "a portion" of the plutonium could go well beyond that, says NASA, and "two-thirds of the estimated radiological consequences would occur within the global population."
That's because "fine particles less than a micron in diameter" of the plutonium "could be transported beyond 62 miles and become well mixed in the troposphere, and have been assumed to potentially affect persons living within a latitude band from approximately 20-degrees North to 30-degrees North," says NASA.
The troposphere is the atmosphere five to nine miles overhead. The 20- to 30-degree band goes through parts of the Caribbean, across North Africa and the Mideast and then India and China and Hawaii and other Pacific Islands and then Mexico and southern Texas.
But life elsewhere on Earth could be impacted if the plutonium-fueled probe falls back to Earth before its "escape" and flight on to Pluto.
NASA says the "probability of an accident" releasing plutonium "for the overall mission is estimated to be approximately 1 in 300."
An "enormous disaster" could result with the spread of the plutonium, says Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The issue is how much plutonium is released in respirable particles, he explains.
"The problem is it takes so little plutonium," says Dr. Sternglass.
The NASA EIS acknowledges that in the event of plutonium release "costs may include: temporary or longer term relocation of residents; temporary or longer term loss of employment; destruction or quarantine of agricultural products.land use restrictions which could affect real estate values, tourism and recreational activities; restrictions or bans on commercial fishing; and public health effects and medical care."
The EIS says the cost to decontaminate land on which the plutonium falls would range from "about $241 million to $1.3 billion per square mile."
But, it notes, compensation would be subject to the Price-Anderson Act, a U.S. law first enacted in 1957. It sets a cap on how much people can collect for property damage, illnesses and death resulting from a "nuclear incident." Under the Energy Bill passed this year, the cap in the United States was increased to $10 billion.
But the cap for damage from a "nuclear incident occurring outside the United States shall not exceed $100 million," the law stipulates. This is the limit in the original Price-Anderson Act. It has never been raised.
And it is in violation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the basic international law on space-which the U.S. has signed and was central in drafting-which declares that "states shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects."
Demanding that the New Horizons mission be cancelled is the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (http://www.space4peace.org). Bruce Gagnon, its coordinator, says "one thing we know is that space technology can and does fail and when you mix deadly plutonium into the equation, you are asking for catastrophe."
NASA, he charges, is "playing nuclear Russian roulette with the public."
Indeed, NASA is planning a series of additional launches of plutonium-fueled space probes and other shots involving nuclear material. And under its $3 billion Project Prometheus program, the agency is working on nuclear reactors to be carried up by rockets for placement on the moon and the building and launching of actual atomic-propelled rockets.
Disaster may or may not strike on the New Horizons mission but if these nuclear missions are allowed to proceeded, some will inevitably result in accidents dispersing radioactive material.
Indeed, accidents have already happened in the U.S. space nuclear program. Of the 25 U.S. space missions using plutonium fuel, three have undergone accidents, admits the NASA EIS on New Horizons. That's a 1-in-8 record. The worst occurred in 1964 and involved, notes the EIS, the SNAP-9A RTG with 2.1 pounds of plutonium fuel. It was to provide electricity to a satellite that failed to achieve orbit and dropped to Earth. The RTG disintegrated in the fall, spreading plutonium widely. Release of that plutonium caused an increase in global lung cancer rates, says Dr. John Gofman, professor emeritus of medical physics at the University of California at Berkeley.
After the SNAP-9A accident, NASA pioneered the development of solar energy in space. Now all satellites-and the International Space Station-are solar-powered.
But NASA keeps insisting on plutonium power for space probes-even as the Rosetta space probe, launched this year by NASA's counterpart, the European Space Agency, with solar power providing all on-board electricity, now heads for a rendezvous with a comet near Jupiter.
Along with the U.S. military, which for decades has been planning for the deployment of nuclear-energized weapons in space, NASA seeks wider uses of atomic power above our heads.
In its New Horizons EIS, NASA maintains the risks to people from the mission are not so bad in view of a chart it presents titled "Calculated Individual Risk and Probability of Fatality by Various Causes in the United States." The chart lists the probability of getting killed by lightning or in a flood or by a tornado as higher than someone dying of cancer because of plutonium dispersed in New Horizons.
Of course, we can't control lightning or floods or tornadoes. These are involuntary assaults. NASA's space nuclear gamble using tax dollars (the cost of New Horizons: $650 million) is being carried out by choice.
An additional wrinkle: the Boeing machinists who were to install the New Horizons probe on the Atlas rocket that is to carry it up are on strike-and warning that the company's bringing in of replacement workers poses a safety risk. Because of the strike, other NASA missions at Cape Canaveral have been grounded. But NASA is continuing with the New Horizons launch. "If it's not safe to work on all the other projects with replacement workers, it's irresponsible to continue with New Horizons," says Robert Wood, a spokesperson for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Gagnon says his organization is "building opposition to New Horizons and all missions that launch nuclear power in space. The public needs to know more about this issue and we need the grassroots to pressure Congress and NASA and others responsible. We say that NASA should be developing alternative, non-nuclear power sources for space travel."
Paul Gunter of the Washington, D.C.-based Nuclear Information and Resource Services comments: "The fact that both the planet Pluto and the manmade isotope plutonium are named after the god of hell lends bizarre insight into NASA's fascination with launching this hideous stuff into the heavens at the risk of fouling the very nest of all humankind."
New Horizons and the rest of NASA's deadly-dangerous nuclear space operations must be stopped.
If space is to be explored, let that be done safely. To destroy a portion of life on Earth to explore space makes no sense.
Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, is the author of The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet (Common Courage Press) and wrote and narrates the TV documentary Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens (EnviroVideo, http://www.envirovideo.com).
EON The Ecological Options Network "What's Working Where, Worldwide"
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts"
Processed Chocolate Contains Dangerous Lead Concentrations, Study Says
November 17, 2005
As if the sugar content wasn't enough reason to stay away from processed chocolate.
Now, a new study, in Environmental Health Perspectives, reveals that chocolate can be contaminated with very high quantities of lead.
What's interesting is that cocoa beans tested had an average lead concentration of < 0.5 ng/g, "one of the lowest reported values for a natural food," the study points out. But, by contrast, "lead concentrations of manufactured cocoa and chocolate products were as high as 230 and 70 ng/g."
In fact, a team of American and Nigerian researchers found that lead levels in raw cocoa beans were 60 times lower than lead levels observed in processed chocolate products, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Talk about a worrisome statistic.
Researchers suspect that this lead contamination doesn't come from the producer but rather during the shipping and/or manufacturing of the cocoa beans into cocoa and chocolate products.
For example, they speculate that one source of contamination of the processed, finished chocolates might be atmospheric emissions of leaded gasoline.
"Because of the high capacity of cocoa bean shells to adsorb lead, contamination from leaded gasoline emissions may occur during the fermentation and sun-drying of unshelled beans at cocoa farms."
Regardless of the source of contamination, "there is no excuse for a product that is about to be consumed by children to contain lead, period," Dr. John Rosen, a pediatrician and lead program director at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, told the Chicago Tribune.
Lead exposure can be quite dangerous, particularly to children. For example, it can lead to permanent developmental deficits. High lead levels can harm a child's ability to think, plan, organize and memorize, Rosen explained. "And lower levels of lead may produce intellectual deficits that are with a child forever."
Yikes, this is scary.
But, as I stated previously, you can still reap chocolate's anti-oxidant and other benefits by eating raw cacao beans.
Furthermore, as popular physician Dr. Joseph Mercola.com points out, you also can "derive a majority of these benefits by consuming blueberries, apples and grapes, and most vegetables, including broccoli, greens and onions.
Thanks to Mercola.com for the lead on this new study.
FIRST TIME I READ SUCH A COGENT ARGUMENT ABOUT OIL AS A GLOBAL SCOURGE
Date: 10 Dec 2005
From: Ethan X
Invitation to Create a New Civilization
By Oilwatch International (a network of civil society organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America)
[Published in November/December 2005, 25th Anniversary Issue of Earth First! Journal -- The Radical Environmental Journal]
Never before have the limits of the current development model based on hydrocarbons been seen so clearly. Never have the relationships between oil and the networks of power that control the world been so clearly understood. Never have the relationships between oil and the principal causes of misery which afflict humanity been so evident.
Behind the worst wars of the last century and the current,
Behind the waste of industrial, economic and financial resources,
Behind the instability and impoverishment of many nations,
Behind innumerable state coups, dictatorships and manipulations of democracy,
Behind the age-old exploitation of workers,
Behind the most dangerous chemical industries,
Behind the systematic extinction of uncountable indigenous peoples,
Behind the contamination of the world's fresh water, the water of the seven seas and the air of our cities,
Behind the accumulation of enormous amounts of chemical and plastic wastes,
Behind climate change that includes ever more extreme cyclones, floods and hurricanes,
Behind the appearance and manifestation of numerous degenerative illnesses and,
Behind the extinction of species on planet Earth,
The 20th century was the century of poisoning and mass death of people and life all over the planet. This poisoning is the product not only of the wastes caused during extraction of oil, oil spills on land and sea and acid rain; it is also the consequence of agrochemicals, persistent pollutants, fuels, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, hospital wastes and other components produced from oil. These are being accumulated and dumped on the planet and they are killing the Land.
We have suffered severe and repeated threats to the sovereignty of our nations due to wars and intrigues caused by oil. The large empires define their economic and military power in relation to their possibilities of obtaining secure access to their coveted black gold, in far-flung regions around the globe.
The 20th century created, from its industrial oil bases, a culture founded on a pattern of addictive energy and material consumption that has poisoned, sickened, crippled and killed hundreds of millions of people, while confronting and exterminating thousands of traditional communities, separating them from their healthy and ecological customs. Only a very few have managed to survive, in a way that is ever more one of isolation, impoverishment and defenselessness.
While this occurred, we have accepted these aggressions as separate nations or communities. Or worse still, we have fought among ourselves: inhabitants of one country against another, people from the North against those from the South, the urban poor against indigenous and peasant people, those ill from consumption against pacifists, those who propose against those who criticize...
Looking at each struggle from a distance, it is difficult not to see the profound connections between them.
The struggle to stay healthy and eat well, the fight for clean sources of energy, the fight for a sustainable and sovereign agriculture, the fight for decontamination and against global warming, the fight against transnational companies that expropriate and evaporate our natural resources, the fight for peace in the world... winning these fights depends to a great extent on our ability to jointly resist the oil industry and the civilization it sustains.
The crisis of the oil civilization has reached its climax. But the way forward to free ourselves from this crisis is hardly being carried out. To the contrary, our exit is delayed while the effects of this crisis increase in a manner which is ever more lethal. It seems evident that the transition into a new civilization requires the diffusion of alternative scientific and environmental technologies for sustainable energy systems -- as well as new economic, political, and cultural mechanisms that will allow the reconstruction of peace and equality among peoples, recover our health, restore our environment, absolve international debt, compensate for the pillaging of the countries of the South, and assure justice and true democracy everywhere.
For us, a clear path is shown by the fight of the peasant, fishing and indigenous communities that face a frontline battle against globalization and neoliberalism--defending their right to live on their lands with autonomy and without physical, cultural or environmental aggressions, even those that are considered "symbols of progress." But we need to listen to each other, so that we may imagine solutions that take into account, in a global form, the problems of us all.
Which are the organizations and networks that could start a positive collaboration in the fight against the oil civilization? Which are the most important local and global movements that we cannot ignore in our efforts? Which are the new initiatives that we could and should invent?
To answer these and other questions, Oilwatch International is inviting sympathetic networks to participate in a joint dialogue of our struggles and launch a global Campaign against the civilization based on oil. We invite you to send your opinions, considerations and ideas that may help consolidate this concept, so that we can create a way forward together. Please send your comments to the International Secretariat of Oilwatch at
See also: http://www.oilwatch.org.ec/
[Issued on September 19, 2005 and published in November/December 2005, 25th Anniversary Issue of Earth First! Journal -- The Radical Environmental Journal ]
OILWATCH INTERNATIONAL is a network of civil society organizations in Africa, As! ia and Latin America that promotes a post petroleum civilization, with its International Secretariat located in Quito, Ecuador. The Oilwatch network was born inspired by the necessity to develop global strategies for communities affected by oil operations, and to support the resistance struggles of communities against those operations. Among the network's functions is the exchange of information regarding oil companies operating in affected countries, about their practices as well as the different resistance movements and international campaigns against specific companies. Oilwatch makes an effort to raise, at the global level, the environmental conscience of humanity, to expose the impacts of oil operations on tropical forests and local populations, and to reveal the relationship between oil activities and the destruction of biodiversity, climate change and unpunished violations of human rights. Oilwatch members include CLIP
Recommended on Dec 10 by "'Stephanie Sutton'"
GET OFF THE GLOBALIZATION GRID
August 23, 2005
Each and every day, people around the world are realizing that the one-world government is based upon a hybrid Socialism-Communism economics system a system of corporate governance and ownership of natural resources, land, water, and complete control of human beings. It is a system based upon the marriage of corporations, science, and politics. It is a system that is funded by us, the worlds people.
But what do knowing people do? We cant fight manufactured super viruses, HAARP and psychotronic weapons, and we certainly cannot fight global nuclear arsenals. But we can, however, refuse to think and participate in the global economics systems, which were set up to literally enslave humankind. For instance, the usury system, which was implemented to keep us in a perpetual state of un-payable and unsolvable debt, can go unused.
We have been sold a bill of goods that we are successful if we owned things including homes (remember the push several years ago by our leadership that declared all Americans should own homes). In fact, ownership does not exist under the current Federal Reserve System and centralized wealth banking system. The usury system actually began with the birth of our nation. Ownership in America actually means that you, yourself, are owned and that anything you have accumulated, including land, homes, automobiles, and other possessions, can be taken. We are now realizing the truth of this system. The usury system also identifies people as bank-owned commodities. This comes in handy as the world switches to global Socialism and perceived rights are eliminated one by one.
It is time to reinvent America, but we cannot do so using the current bastardization of our Constitution. Congress has become corrupted in unimaginable senses, and representation has been steadily eroded over the last 200+ years. We have seen a steady march toward government by corporate aristocracy for 200+ years, but we allowed the taking of freedom in exchange for a perceived ownership of stuff. It is time to understand government for the first time in American history, and it is time to create the government of our choosing. To even have the chance to do so, we must stop thinking like controlled subjects and we must stop living under bureaucratic regulations of control. We must recreate ourselves by recreating our patterns of thinking and living. There is simply no other alternative but globally regulated enslavement by global aristocrats and they have arrived fully armed and loaded to the teeth with weapons and taxation cash. Their entire system is based upon our money and their interest rates. We have to stop funding our enslavers.
Have you ever wondered why our nation is insanely bankrupt when supposedly genius economists have been in charge of our economy for a century or two? Whole teams of Ivy League aristocrats and their political buddies who are responsible for economic policies, and who have managed to collapse the most successful nations in the world? Well, the answer is quite clear all governance is changing into their hands and their desired system of economic siphoning. American people must understand that this is not an American phenomenon but a global initiative. And these global initiatives are very specific:
No private ownership of property
No private ownership of water including wells
No mass mobility rights
No private ownership of guns
No religion minus environmental sustainability or Gaia
No privacy rights
Mandatory military and/or volunteer service
No personal opinion
No rights, whatsoever, to disagree with government or to dissent
No rights to designated wilderness areas, Biosphere Reserves, historical designations, conservation easements, or buffer zones.
No rights to proven safe food and water or genetically unmodified food or seed
No rights to protection from rampant taxation
No voting rights, which are 1) completely corrupted and 2) being usurped by NGO take-overs
No right, whatsoever, to knowledge in public education
No right, whatsoever, to the development of personal opinion, philosophy, or individualism due to public education
No right, whatsoever, to economic responsibility, due to the Federal Reserve System
These are not futuristic nightmares to come. We are living this governmentally imposed system as we speak. And there is only one way to fight this system, and that is to refuse to participate 100%. So the decision for American people, and all the worlds people, is to fight for freedom in the only possible way that we can, or to agree to be a slave to the worlds wealthiest few. If you think like a slave, you are a slave, and global elites get wealthier and more powerful with each payment you make to them and their corporations. Those are the global facts.
Fascism is simply the marriage of corporation to government. That is its definition in full, and Fascism demands that the masses have no power to challenge or conquer its system. We know very well, for instance, that the FTAA will pass. We know, full well, that national borders are being dissolved for corporate work forces and profits. We know, full well, that public education is preparing American children for one-world corporate wages. And we know, full well, that there are global initiatives in the works in every nation on the planet to massively reduce the global population. We know that many corporations around the world are working to find and manufacture more super viruses.
We know that wars are manufactured to bring profits to the tables of multi-national corporations, to control natural resources, and to control people. We know that illegal drug trades fund wars and weapons, and are tied to the teeth to governments. We know that multi-national corporations control all mass media outlets all of them. Do you still subscribe to cable TV, newspapers, and magazines?
We are standing at the crossroads of history. What happens in the next week to 10 years will determine the condition of humankind for what may be centuries. If you are a religious person, of just about any faith, you may believe that humanitys last battle is upon us, and that fate is pre-determined. However, I suggest to you that the Heavenly Father expects faith and action not compliancy with deeds that clearly undermine the intellectual and spiritual potential of mankind. Think people. We are standing at the crossroads. We have to go one way or the other. If you remain tied to the current system, your potential is already gone. Sadly, many realize the truth but choose to serve the elite. So be it, but if you cherish freedom and the right to your mind and its potential, but must act today and for the rest of your lives.
Nancy Levant is a life-long writer, a believer of God, country, Constitutional and individual rights. She resides in rural Southwestern Ohio. She has worked professionally with children since 1974 and is an ardent supporter of home schooling. Nancy Levant has done radio and television interviews, has been a guest speaker in many venues including college campuses, schools, Indian reservations, human service organizations, and has been the president of a youth sports organization. Ms. Levant just completed 'The Collapse of Intuition', a non-fiction book about the decline of instinctual and intuitive abilities in American women. Equally, she is a writer for freedom and land rights issues and opposes the United Nation's Agenda 21 implementation in America.
Also from http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121205J.shtml
Israel Readies Forces for Strike on Nuclear Iran
By Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter
The Times UK
11 December 2005
Israel's armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.
The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.
Iran's stand-off with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over nuclear inspections and aggressive rhetoric from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who said last week that Israel should be moved to Europe, are causing mounting concern.
The crisis is set to come to a head in early March, when Mohamed El-Baradei, the head of the IAEA, will present his next report on Iran. El-Baradei, who received the Nobel peace prize yesterday, warned that the world was "losing patience" with Iran.
A senior White House source said the threat of a nuclear Iran was moving to the top of the international agenda and the issue now was: "What next?" That question would have to be answered in the next few months, he said.
Defence sources in Israel believe the end of March to be the "point of no return" after which Iran will have the technical expertise to enrich uranium in sufficient quantities to build a nuclear warhead in two to four years.
"Israel - and not only Israel - cannot accept a nuclear Iran," Sharon warned recently. "We have the ability to deal with this and we're making all the necessary preparations to be ready for such a situation."
The order to prepare for a possible attack went through the Israeli defence ministry to the chief of staff. Sources inside special forces command confirmed that "G" readiness - the highest stage - for an operation was announced last week.
Gholamreza Aghazadeah, head of the Atomic Organisation of Iran, warned yesterday that his country would produce nuclear fuel. "There is no doubt that we have to carry out uranium enrichment," he said.
He promised it would not be done during forthcoming talks with European negotiators. But although Iran insists it wants only nuclear energy, Israeli intelligence has concluded it is deceiving the world and has no intention of giving up what it believes is its right to develop nuclear weapons.
A "massive" Israeli intelligence operation has been underway since Iran was designated the "top priority for 2005", according to security sources.
Cross-border operations and signal intelligence from a base established by the Israelis in northern Iraq are said to have identified a number of Iranian uranium enrichment sites unknown to the the IAEA.
Since Israel destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, "it has been understood that the lesson is, don't have one site, have 50 sites", a White House source said.
If a military operation is approved, Israel will use air and ground forces against several nuclear targets in the hope of stalling Tehran's nuclear programme for years, according to Israeli military sources.
It is believed Israel would call on its top special forces brigade, Unit 262 - the equivalent of the SAS - and the F-15I strategic 69 Squadron, which can strike Iran and return to Israel without refuelling.
"If we opt for the military strike," said a source, "it must be not less than 100% successful. It will resemble the destruction of the Egyptian air force in three hours in June 1967."
Aharon Zeevi Farkash, the Israeli military intelligence chief, stepped up the pressure on Iran this month when he warned Israel's parliament, the Knesset, that "if by the end of March the international community is unable to refer the Iranian issue to the United Nations security council, then we can say the international effort has run its course".
The March deadline set for military readiness also stems from fears that Iran is improving its own intelligence-gathering capability. In October it launched its first satellite, the Sinah-1, which was carried by a Russian space launcher.
"The Iranians' space programme is a matter of deep concern to us," said an Israeli defence source. "If and when we launch an attack on several Iranian targets, the last thing we need is Iranian early warning received by satellite."
Russia last week signed an estimated $1 billion contract - its largest since 2000 - to sell Iran advanced Tor-M1 systems capable of destroying guided missiles and laser-guided bombs from aircraft.
"Once the Iranians get the Tor-M1, it will make our life much more difficult," said an Israeli air force source. "The installation of this system can be relatively quick and we can't waste time on this one."
The date set for possible Israeli strikes on Iran also coincides with Israel's general election on March 28, prompting speculation that Sharon may be sabre-rattling for votes.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the frontrunner to lead Likud into the elections, said that if Sharon did not act against Iran, "then when I form the new Israeli government, we'll do what we did in the past against Saddam's reactor, which gave us 20 years of tranquillity".
Tehran Minister Met Militants before New Offensive
Iran's foreign minister met leading figures from three Islamic militant groups to co-ordinate a united front against Israel days before a recent escalation of attacks against Israeli targets shattered fragile ceasefires with Lebanon and the Palestinians, writes Hugh Macleod in Damascus.
The minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, held talks with leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah in Damascus on November 15.
Among those who attended the meeting were Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader, and a deputy leader of Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for last Monday's suicide bombing of a shopping mall in Netanya that killed five Israeli citizens.
Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command, was also present. "We all confirmed that what is going on in occupied Palestine is organically connected to what is going on in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Lebanon," said Jibril.
Seven days after the talks, Hezbollah fired a volley of rockets and mortars at Israeli targets, sparking the fiercest fighting between the two sides since Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon five years ago.
Running Away, Full Steam Ahead (15 December 2005)
The Iranians are in the process of realizing that they have elected a complete madman to the presidency of their republic. After having called recently for Israel to be "wiped off the map, he has just repeated his crime by drumming that his country will not cede "one iota on the nuclear issue a week away from the resumption of negotiations on his nuclear program with the big European countries, and by qualifying the Holocaust as a "myth on Wednesday, even demanding that Israel be transplanted "to Europe, the United States, Canada, or Alaska. Statements that have aroused a general outcry, all the more so, as - according to General Dan Haloutz, Israeli Defense Forces Chief of General Staff - Iran could endow itself with a nuclear bomb three months from now. The soldier explained that Iran will have acquired the technical expertise necessary to produce such a bomb between now and then, as he evoked the necessity for a preventative military action. The Sunday Times asserted on Sunday that the Israeli Armed Forces had "received the order from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to prepare for possible strikes against the secret sites for uranium enrichment in Iran for the end of next March, along the lines of the Israeli attack that destroyed Iraq's nuclear installations in 1981. Threats all the more serious as Iran has had long range missiles that could reach Israel at its disposal for the last several months. It remains the case that efforts to dissuade Teheran from conducting its nuclear program as it pleases are at an impasse. This former Guardian of the Revolution - Ayatollah Khomeini's militia - succeeded in seducing the poorest Iranians by promising them "a free shave tomorrow, and that he would hunt down growing corruption. He was only elected thanks to the support of the regime's most conservative machine - panicked by young people's broad opposition to the Puritanical theocracy of the mullahs' regime. But now, not only is he frightening the whole world, but he is also beginning to worry those who made him king by his ever more totalitarian desire to put his own men in place everywhere. To such a point that the battle is raging among conservatives themselves, the President's statements are betraying the runaway, full-steam-ahead nature of a new team that hasn't succeeded in initiating a single one of the reforms promised during the presidential campaign last May.
Also from http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121505O.shtml
Europeans Outraged at Schwarzennegger
By Vanessa Gera - The Associated Press
13 December 2005
Leaders of Austria's pacifist Green Party went as far as to call for Schwarzenegger to be stripped of his Austrian citizenship.
Vienna, Austria - California's execution of Stanley Tookie Williams on Tuesday outraged many in Europe who regard the practice as barbaric, and politicians in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's native Austria called for his name to be removed from a sports stadium in his hometown.
At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI's top official for justice matters denounced the death penalty for going against redemption and human dignity.
"We know the death penalty doesn't resolve anything," Cardinal Renato Martino told AP Television News. "Even a criminal is worthy of respect because he is a human being. The death penalty is a negation of human dignity."
Capital punishment is illegal throughout the European Union, and many Europeans consider state-sponsored executions to be barbaric. Those feelings were amplified in the case of Williams, due to the apparent remorse they believe the Crips gang co-founder showed by writing children's books about the dangers of gangs and violence.
Leaders of Austria's pacifist Green Party went as far as to call for Schwarzenegger to be stripped of his Austrian citizenship - a demand that was quickly rejected by Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel despite his government's opposition to the death penalty.
"Whoever, out of political calculation, allows the death of a person rehabilitated in such an exemplary manner has rejected the basic values of Austrian society," said Peter Pilz, a Greens leader.
In Schwarzenegger's hometown of Graz, local Greens said they would file a petition to remove his name from the southern city's sports stadium. A Christian political group went even further, suggesting it be renamed the "Stanley Tookie Williams Stadium."
"Mr. Williams had converted, and unlike Mr. Schwarzenegger, opposed every form of violence," said Richard Schadauer, the chairman of the Association of Christianity and Social Democracy.
Williams was executed early Tuesday at California's San Quentin State Prison after Schwarzenegger denied Williams' request for clemency. Schwarzenegger suggested that Williams' supposed change of heart was not genuine because he had not shown any real remorse for the killings committed by the Crips.
Criticism came quickly from many quarters, including the Socialist Party in France, where the death penalty was abolished in 1981.
"I am proud to be a Frenchman," party spokesman Julien Dray told RTL radio. "I am proud to live in France, in a country where we don't execute somebody 21 years later."
"Schwarzenegger has a lot of muscles, but apparently not much heart," Dray said.
In Italy, the country's chapter of Amnesty International called the execution "a cold-blooded murder."
"His execution is a slap in the face to the principle of rehabilitation of inmates, an inhumane and inclement act toward a person who, with his exemplary behavior and his activity in favor of street kids, had become an important figure and a symbol of hope for many youths," the group said.
In Germany, Volker Beck, a leading member of the opposition Greens party, expressed disappointment. "Schwarzenegger's decision is a cowardly decision," Beck told the Netzeitung online newspaper.
From London, Clive Stafford-Smith, a human rights attorney specializing in death penalty cases, called the execution "very sad."
"He was twice as old as when they sentenced him to die, and he certainly wasn't the same person that he was when he was sentenced," Stafford-Smith said.
Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said the city would keep Williams in its memory the next time it celebrates a victory against the death penalty somewhere in the world.
Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of Italy's anti-death penalty stance. Since 1999, the monument has been bathed in golden light every time a death sentence is commuted somewhere in the world or a country abolishes capital punishment.
"I hope there will be such an occasion soon," Veltroni said in a statement. "When it happens, we will do it with a special thought for Tookie."
ALL AOL SUBSCRIBERS SHOULD READ THE FOLLOWING...
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts"
By Wayne Madsen
Internet censorship. It did not happen overnight but slowly came to America's shores from testing grounds in China and the Middle East.
Progressive and investigative journalist web site administrators are beginning to talk to each other about it, e-mail users are beginning to understand why their e-mail is being disrupted by it, major search engines appear to be complying with it, and the low to equal signal-to-noise ratio of legitimate e-mail and spam appears to be perpetuated by it.
In this case, "it," is what privacy and computer experts have long warned about: massive censorship of the web on a nationwide and global scale. For many years, the web has been heavily censored in countries around the world. That censorship continues at this very moment. Now it is happening right here in America.
The agreement by the Congress to extend an enhanced Patriot Act for another four years will permit the political enforcers of the Bush administration, who use law enforcement as their proxies, to further clamp censorship controls on the web.
Internet Censorship: The Warning Signs Were Not Hidden
The warning signs for the crackdown on the web have been with us for over a decade. The Clipper chip controversy of the 90s, John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness (TIA) system pushed in the aftermath of 9-11, backroom deals between the Federal government and the Internet service industry, and the Patriot Act have ushered in a new era of Internet censorship, something just half a decade ago computer programmers averred was impossible given the nature of the web. They were wrong, dead wrong.
Take for example of what recently occurred when two journalists were taking on the phone about a story that appeared on Google News. The story was about a Christian fundamentalist move in Congress to use U.S. military force in Sudan to end genocide in Darfur. The story appeared on the English Google News site in Qatar. But the very same Google News site when accessed simultaneously in Washington, DC failed to show the article. This censorship is accomplished by geolocation filtering: the restriction or modifying of web content based on the geographical region of the user. In addition to countries, such filtering can now be implemented for states, cities, and even individual IP addresses.
With reports in the Swedish newspaper Svensa Dagbladet today that the United States has transmitted a Homeland Security Department "no fly" list of 80,000 suspected terrorists to airport authorities around the world, it is not unreasonable that a "no [or restricted] surfing/emailing" list has been transmitted to Internet Service Providers around the world. The systematic disruptions of web sites and email strongly suggests that such a list exists.
News reports on CIA prisoner flights and secret prisons are disappearing from Google and other search engines like Alltheweb as fast as they appear. Here now, gone tomorrow is the name of the game.
Google is systematically failing to list and link to articles that contain explosive information about the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, Al Qaeda, and U.S. political scandals. But Google is not alone in working closely to stifle Internet discourse. America On Line, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are slowly turning the Internet into an information superhighway dominated by barricades, toll booths, off-ramps that lead to dead ends, choke points, and security checks.
America On Line is the most egregious is stifling Internet freedom. A former AOL employee noted how AOL and other Internet Service Providers cooperate with the Bush administration in censoring email. The Patriot Act gave federal agencies the power to review information to the packet level and AOL was directed by agencies like the FBI to do more than sniff the subject line. The AOL term of service (TOS) has gradually been expanded to grant AOL virtually universal power regarding information. Many AOL users are likely unaware of the elastic clause, which says they will be bound by the current TOS and any TOS revisions which AOL may elect at any time in the future. Essentially, AOL users once agreed to allow the censorship and non-delivery of their email.
Microsoft has similar requirements for Hotmail as do Yahoo and Google for their respective e-mail services.
There are also many cases of Google's search engine failing to list and link to certain information. According to a number of web site administrators who carry anti-Bush political content, this situation has become more pronounced in the last month. In addition, many web site administrators are reporting a dramatic drop-off in hits to their sites, according to their web statistic analyzers. Adding to their woes is the frequency at which spam viruses are being spoofed as coming from their web site addresses.
Government disruption of the political side of the web can easily be hidden amid hyped mainstream news media reports of the latest "boutique" viruses and worms, reports that have more to do with the sales of anti-virus software and services than actual long-term disruption of banks, utilities, or airlines.
Internet Censorship in the US: No Longer a Prediction
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Cisco Systems have honed their skills at Internet censorship for years in places like China, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, and other countries. They have learned well. They will be the last to admit they have imported their censorship skills into the United States at the behest of the Bush regime. Last year, the Bush-Cheney campaign blocked international access to its web site -- www.georgewbush.com -- for unspecified "security reasons."
Only those in the Federal bureaucracy and the companies involved are in a position to know what deals have been made and how extensive Internet censorship has become. They owe full disclosure to their customers and their fellow citizens.
From: "Suzanne Ward"
December 11, 2005
S: Matthew dear, I'm here with pages of questions from people in many countries. So, how would you like to start?
MATTHEW: Mother, dear soul, I start by thanking you for your diligence to this in your busy time preparing for your trip and by lovingly greeting all souls who are reading.
Now I say, that even as much sorrow and despair is the lot of many on Earth, this holy-day season is emanating light more brilliant than in any years of your recorded history. This is from energy heights of hopefulness and thankfulness not previously seen, a reflection of your greater spiritual awareness "side of the coin," and I can hardly tell you how joyfully we welcome this! The other side of the coin is conscious awarenessthe growing acceptance of the truth that is being revealedand this too is significant in its ever-widening scope.
We heartily applaud your steadfastness in the light even as patience is being sorely tested. In linear time, progress seems at a standstill on vital fronts where reforms are so deeply desired and desperately needed, and without the perspective from these higher stations, you cannot see the momentum toward Earth's magnificent "future." This makes all the more noteworthy the light of your grander hope and gratitude in these days, and you shall see its unimaginably rich rewards!
Mother, I know that many questions on your list, even from people in lands far from the United States, pertain to that country's government, so I shall continue without your need to type any of those. We had felt that changes within the current administration could be known to you prior to the end of your calendar year, and it appears now that such may not be the case even though the legal process to achieve this is steadily progressing. To explain, the energy each of you puts forth is registered in your individual field of potential, and collectively, your fields constitute Earth's. It is from these collective fields that action is generated in the direction of combined energy focus. For a time your fields were rife with energy pertaining to those leadership changes, and although the nature of your feelings about them is the same, the intensity is not.
During the past several weeks your thoughts and activities were and still are focused elsewhere, so it is not a decrease in the collective interest, but an increase of momentum in other areas of Earth's field of potential. Please do not feel that this is giving short shrift to the reforms you wantquite the contrary! The change in focustravel to family reunions, gatherings with friends, choosing gifts for others, sharing with those in need, the cheer of holiday decorations, greetings to dear ones distant in milesall of this is generating the unprecedented brilliance of light I mentioned. When you enter the new year and once again direct energy toward manifesting the reforms you desire, you will see corresponding action.
It will clearly reflect the growing numbers of formerly dark ones within and beyond that administration who have embraced the light, but not as clearly the overwhelming fear of those who have not. The latter don't know that the energy racing toward the end of their power can be neither reversed nor remain static, but they fear they are on their way out because they do know that their power base is dissolving. None on Earth can see, as we do, the intensity of light and technological assistance of our benevolent space family on, above and within Earth that is vanquishing the influence of the off-planet darkness that has been controlling its Earth puppets, who in turn have been controlling all of you, in part through manipulations by the US government.
However, it may interest you to know that CIA-associated monitors are giving keen attention to the multitude of Internet sites and postings of our transmitted messages in this regard. Of course they are attempting to counteract the plethora of spiritual information with their disinformation, but this is meriting them nothing in the hearts and minds of all who know the truth from the lies, and daily more of you are opening not only to discernment as to which is which, but also to your own telepathic connections.
About this natural development in the higher planes of energy Earth has reached, we caution again about the need for utmost care in the sources who contact you. It is with sadness that we see some who once actively worked within the light have fallen away due to lack of diligence in this respect. Throughout universal history the battle between the light and the dark forces has been for souls, because it is through capturing souls that all other dark attainment and power come. So, while this situation is no different in this moment from any other point of "time," it is critical for you to know because you are there to participate in this unique era on Earth. It is the dark ones goal, however of dimming hope, to hold onto their power by misinforming those whose telepathic abilityand this is the innate capacity of every soulis emerging. Dark tentacles are looking for tiny entrances through self-doubt as well as the huge entries of fear, and once into the psyche, they can be tenacious. But even the dark entities are bound by cosmic laws, and we urge you to learn how to connect with only light sources. Guidance has been given in many messages from high stations, and I cite one that is of special recommendation, so if you will please, Mother, insert that here. ["Bridging the Gap" on a href="http://www.awakenedhearts.com/">http://www.awakenedhearts.com/]. Thank you.
Since I was "in on" your organizing the questions, I do know that many others also are pertinent to the activities of the Bush administration. However, I am choosing not to address those beyond repeating my assurances in previous messages: In all instances of deception, fraud and terrorism, the truth about the perpetrators will come out and both legal and spiritual justice will prevail; unjust laws and policies will be rescinded; all repressive aspects of any governance will be replaced by light-filled measures.
I say to you who don't live in the United States, the very same applies to your nations governments. In this regard, I wish to amend a statement in my last message wherein I said that leaders of all countries with economic status are Illuminati. I should have more correctly stated that they are Illuminati or they share those primary traits of greed and lust for power. I continued by saying that some Illuminati have responded to the light and will initiate reforms or be replaced. This will become evident in one country after another as the spirit of freedom and fairness pervades all peoples. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that it is the momentum of the light you are generating wherever you live that is steering your world out of fear and oppression into the era of peace, understanding and harmony.
Mother, I know that individuals still are asking for counsel as to stock markets, real estate, gold and other investment areas. I can only say again that I am not an investment adviser, but I do want to address the global economic issue. Because the grossly unequal distribution of all resources, which includes the money that is your commercial exchange for goods and services, must cease, serious reforms are required. The current situation cannot remain static in any event, but certainly not since it has long been the cause of such vast suffering on your planet. I want to go further than assuring once again that the knowledge and wisdom of ones now in place and those who will be taking leadership roles will provide adjustment relief to the extent possible in remedying the profound global economic imbalance.
We empathize with your interest in keepingor findingjobs and having enough to pay bills so that you don't lose your homes or cars and can afford food and health needs, education and utilities. Remember, many souls in Nirvana, and those who have evolved beyond, have experienced the very same. So we know that far better it would be for you to give thanks for what you have than to be preoccupied with losing it or lamenting what has been lost. What you think about, you create, so we urge you to not only stay out of fear about lack of money, but to lift your thoughts to abundance for ALL, not only selves or even country. Very little of the wondrous world on your horizon will be rooted in your systems to datethis is WHY you are creating your new world!
Let me tell you why you can weather the transition from today's unsustainable economy that consigns billions to bare subsistence livingit is the same reason that you will triumph in every area of the world you are creating. The completion of the karmic experiencing that Earth needed for balance, which included mass impoverishment, is propelling her movement into the higher planes of energy vibration. Countless souls who know and love her as the sentient being she is are assisting in her ascension out of third density because the karmic time of the darkness that has so long thrived there is over.
Most of these helpers are unknown to you except as we speak of them and in some cases, their own messages sent forth, yet some of the strongest, most experienced light warriors in the universe are right there among you, working behind the scenes to guide the necessary changes so that as many as possible of Earth's residents will accompany her into the higher planes. This is how beloved and significant universally your current homeland isand how beloved and important YOU are!
You wanted to be a part of this glorious ascendance by participating on the planet, and it is a testament to your evolutionary status that your desire was granted. Most of you have no conscious memories of having been victorious in making benevolent changes in other important eras, not only on Earth but in other places too. In time you will know, but in this moment, we urge you to allow your spirit that "enrolled" you in this lifetime to shine with the intensity it IS, and you will successfully meet the challenges of change. Words are weighty in thought forms, so think not of "problems" or "hardships," but of circumstances that you have encountered before and emerged triumphant. And please do not think that your part is less important than any otherEVERY part has a meaningful purpose! You are where you are because at soul level, you know you can do this again. And you know that you aren't alonelight beings throughout this universe are with you.
Now, Mother, shall we proceed with other questions?
S: First I want to thank you for that encouragement. Sweetheart, you're right that we don't remember past victories, and we need reassurance that "you out there" are with us. I know a few people who do remember, but I hear from many hundreds who don't . OK, the questions are: Does the "String Theory" that may unite gravitation, electromagnetism and weak and strong universal forces actually achieve this? Is this a step closer to seeing spirituality and science as one? Is using fractals to perceive reality related to the String Theory, or is one more "truthful" than the other?
MATTHEW: Mother dear, one would have to know that you have no knowledge of physics, not to mention astrophysics, to appreciate your struggle to correctly summarize the writer's material and pose those questions. As a foreword, I tell you that although at these higher stations we are familiar with universal laws, just as on Earth, we have souls with specialized expertise. I am not one of those with extensive knowledge in this field, but I can speak to this extent: The "String Theory" is the closest yet your science has come to interpreting universal forces, and yes, fractals are related, so both have break-through truth that will lead to understanding that science and spirituality are One. The enlightened individuals who have come up with these insights were selected by greatly advanced scientific minds beyond Earth who "filtered" this information that the scientists regard as their ideas and pose as new hypotheses.
S: Thank you, but what a tattletale you are, Mash! Here are more scientific questions. Someone is asking if a "free energy" device developed long ago that taps into "zero-point energy" will be reconstructed?" Another writer proposed putting plans to construct "free energy" equipment on the Internet to combat corporate attempts to suppress it.
MATTHEW: I can't speak about an unidentified device, but yes, "free energy" devices based on past developments are coming, as are more advanced technologies that will be introduced by your ET family during the transitional phase into the Golden Era. Some technological inspirations were filtered prematurely. The intent, of course, was to advance Earth scientists awareness of the workings of the universe, but the tight grasp of the darkness was not given its full due. Scientists in diverse fields have been killed, confined to asylums, imprisoned or otherwise discredited, and their developments or discoveries have been used for harmful purposes, hidden, and/or ridiculed.
In addition, a civilization that you commonly know as the "Little Greys" shared their technological knowledge that by soul level agreement was in exchange for human DNA samples, which include the emotions that that civilization lost in its intellectual struggle to keep from dying out. Their intent was to integrate human emotions into their progeny, but without emotional ingredients in their makeup, they had insufficient frame of reference for evaluating the character of those whom they approached, and to a considerable degree, they were betrayed. While it is true that some "abductions" happened, most of the Greys adhered to the contracts provision that the humans had to consciously remember their agreements. A few humans did not, and in some cases the "abductors" knowingly carried out the experiments anyway and were harsh indeed. At the same time giving a deaf ear publicly, some within government encouraged the revealing of the frightening and painful abductions. They performed some themselves to lend more credibility and thus more fear to the existence of the Greys, who now live underground, captive of Earth's third density atmosphere.
Considering what I wrote about the treatment of scientists whose knowledge the dark ones find threateningand this is still happeningthe intuition of your knowledgeable scientists to keep a low profile about their abilities and equipment for the moment is sound.
S: Well, some products are on the market now. Can you comment on them?
MATTHEW: In comparison with what is in your "future," not only technologically, but your discovering your innate capabilities for manifestation, these are elementary. However, some are of high standard and can be excellent tools if both the user and the "patient" believe in their efficacy, while others are designed with built-in ineffectiveness to discredit the valid instruments, so both deceptive ploys and greed are at work here.
S: Thank you, and this wraps up the science category: "What will happen the exact moment linear time collapses?" and "Will we find ourselves instantly into circular time or will there be a kind of blackout?"
MATTHEW: Linear time has been collapsing unnoticeably for several decades; however, with much more recent infusion of higher energies, the sense of time passing more quickly than previously is undeniable, and you are adjusting to this. The cellular programming that makes it impossible for you to conceive of everything past, current and future as NOW, is being changed within light-receptive people not only for physical survival in the higher frequencies, but also the greatly heightened spiritual clarity and consciousness that will enable you to continue adjusting to "circular time"the continuum where both "time" and distance are unlike your conceptsas you move into fourth and fifth densities. So this is an "easing into" process without an abrupt "arrival."
S: Now for a real change in topic, a number of people are interested in your comments about sex now and what it will be later. These are from the same person: "Is there some addictive quality to sex that we need to be aware of? Isn't sex and sexuality meant to be joyful, rejuvenating and a way to connect with God"?
MATTHEW: I am glad for these questions because this is a vitally important area for soul evolution. All of you are sexual by nature, whether heterosexual or homosexual, as an essential aspect of your souls and the choice of orientation in each incarnate lifetime to achieve balance. Your sexual aspect is generated by sexual energy, with androgyny being the ideal balance of male and female energies.
Sexual "practice" is totally different. In your population, this ranges from the sublime joy of sexual union in a loving relationshiporgasms are as close as you can come physically to feeling the Oneness of Allto unspeakable perversion of the sexual energy itself. The perversions are not "sex," they are efforts to show one's control over another through causing emotional and physical pain through rape or molestation of children and adults, torture, satanic ritual abuse, and death through satanic sacrifices and some murders. Behind all of these is the work of the dark forces, and obsessions with sex also are the unrecognized influence of those forces.
Along a vast scale between those two extremes of a loving sexual relationship and the perversions of sexual energy are the controversies about the rights of your homosexual population; birth control and abortion; sex education in schools; pornography in films and printed material; proliferation of sexually-based advertising; sexual promiscuity; sexual prohibition in some religions; young unwed mothers; mate-swapping; sex toys and drugs to improve performance; and even fashions meant to flaunt or promote interest in sex.
So to say that you as a civilization are "addicted" to sex and that most don't understand either sexuality or sexual energy is an understatement. As you travel with Earth into the higher vibrations, the increased spiritual clarity will transmute the energy of the current preoccupations with sex as I noted into the sensual pleasure of sexual relationships within love bonds.
S: That covered some of the others questions, but not these from one writer. He has several, and I think they're important.
MATTHEW: Mother, excuse me, please. I am aware of these questions, and they are important. They are from a deeply searching consciousness, and I want to do justice to my replies not only for this young man, but for all souls who are pondering much the same as he. Earth is a schoolhouse for experiencing the range of human emotions, and learning how to treat each other in relationships of every kindfamilies, co-workers, friendships, teams, colleagues in organizationsis why you are there. I'll say more of this, but now, please type the first question.
S: What are the most important aspects of a romantic relationship for someone whose spiritual priority is being a light worker?
MATTHEW: Loving even more deeply when the full bloom of romance fades, shared values and beliefs, honesty, trust and trustworthiness, mutual respect, kindness, and clear communication are aspects of the most fulfilling relationships. When these are the components of a relationship, the two people are, in tandem and in harmony, generating light and thus automatically are "light workers."
S: Does pursuing physical pleasure interfere with or prevent accomplishing a soul contract's purpose?
MATTHEW: Not unless the contract specifies abstinence, and since sexuality is inherent in your makeup, this would be a most unusual contract. Physical pleasure is an integral part of a relationship unless illness or incapacitation precludes it, and when this is the case, the aspects in my reply to the first question can sustain a strong relationship.
S: Can a light worker have a successful relationship with someone who is not awake spiritually or ignores their soul contract?
MATTHEW: Regarding "awake spiritually," since the universal law of "like attracts like" applies across the board, it is more likely that a light worker would be attracted to a kindred spirit when a lasting relationship is at issue. Few of you know your own soul contracts, much less another's, so someone "ignoring" theirs would not be known even to the person. Often we have urged you not to judge others according to how you perceive their behavior. You needn't condone the behavior, but please do not judge the person, who may be fulfilling his or her contract to a "T."
S: How do you know when you've met a fellow light worker or simply someone with whom you can have a happy, lasting relationship?
MATTHEW: Feeling immediately comfortable with a "stranger" is the "like attracts like" law in action, so again it is kindred spirits connecting, but this applies to all associations and doesn't imply a "happy, lasting [romantic] relationship." Those are "works in progress," so to speakand please refer to my previous answers.
S: Do soul contracts provide for fulfilling, soul mate type relationships?
MATTHEW: They may, they may not. It depends on what the soul needs to fill gaps in experiencing or to balance previous lifetimes. It is essential that you feel whole within yourselves and not look for "completion" in another; do not look for a mate to fill a void that can be filled only within self. I think that "soul mate" has been misunderstood by those who believe only one soul in the universe is the intended mate for only one other. All souls have spent many, many lifetimes together in various roles, and it doesn't seem reasonable that out of countless soulsto me, countlessonly two know each other so well that only with each other can they have the ideal fulfilling partnership.
These questions about sex, sexuality, relationships, mates are poignant and important at this stage of your evolution, but as you rise with Earth into the higher vibrations, these and many other areas of uncertainty where you are searching for satisfying answers, will become knowingness.
We have told you that along with Earth's changes that will restore her health and beauty, you, as microcosms of Earth, will experience inner urgings to change aspects of your lives that no longer feel meaningful, comfortable or uplifting. Some of you already have responded to your intuition to change jobs, residence locations or relationships. When those situations no longer "fit," most likely your chosen karmic lessons that required them have been completed, and your soul is motivating you to move on to experience other aspects of your pre-birth agreement.
It is logical to ask: What of the children's feelings when their parents separate to follow their inner voices? Do not underestimate the spiritual awareness of children. Not only do they have the emotional flexibility to adjust to a new arrangement when parents behave civilly, but they, too, need to experience what they chose. When family pre-birth agreements are made, the factors that will provide soul growth of parents and children may include experiencing the disharmony within the family that leads to separation and the learning situations for all that follow.
S: You know these next questions really touch me! "What are our responsibilities toward the evolution of our pets? Can they interact with us in spiritual exercises such as meditation or energy therapy?"
MATTHEW: Oh yes, my dear mother, and I knew you would include this even though we are nearing the end of this message with many questions still on your list.
Let me first say, at one time all animals lived peaceably on Earth. Because the energy of the force field we commonly refer to as the dark forces cannot abide areas of brilliant light, which Earth was then, they managed to instill ferocity in some animals, which led to a change in their diet as well as temperament, and the predator/prey chain was established. A parallel to the nature of humans, who also were influenced by those forces, is it not? And into the human capacity for brutality to each other fell the same regarding the treatment of animals. This no longer can be tolerated, so your responsibilities extend throughout the animal kingdom, not only loving attentiveness to all the care needed by pets. Although some improvements in the treatment of animals have been made, such as rescue shelters and large preserves and efforts to stop whale slaughter, much more awareness is needed, and it is coming.
As consciousness-raising continues, people will learn that the souls of animals, not only human souls, evolve, and they deserve the same care and respect as humans. Some animalsusually those who are petsare aspects of human souls who chose to experience in an animal body, and even when this isn't the case, they have emotional and characteristic ranges similar to humans lacking only acquired traits such as tact, deception and wiliness. The higher orders of animals need to give and receive love as much as humansin many cases, they do so more readily and loyallyand even those in the lower orders form bonds with people who tend to their needs.
Indeed, including your pets in meditations and energy therapy is uplifting to them in their awareness of your recognizing their true selves. When we tell you that every soul is a part of God and all souls are One, this includes animals!
With the holy-day season near at hand, it may seem appropriate to mention the religions that observe these occasions, especially since some questions pertain to those. But they celebrate the differences that divide us, and I choose to end my message with what unites us: the limitless and eternal love of Godby whatever name you call the highest power of our universefor every soul in this universe. As a part of God, you too have an infinite capacity for lovelet it flow boundlessly in these days and henceforth for all time.
LOVE and PEACE
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From: "Mark Graffis"
Date: 10 Dec 2005
Various "steps" became a theme this year
The first 2005 UK crop circle formation
The Manton (or Boreham) Down formation
The Woolstone Hill formation
Woolstone Hill detail
Similar steps at Boreham Down, Woolstone Hill, and 2004 Wayland's Smithy
One of the "Checkerboard" Patterns, of the Greene County, Pennsylvania formations
Carved Wall on Mayan Ruins Mexico
The Interrelated 2005 Crop Circle Formations - Part Twelve
The Incredible Woolstone Hill Formation and the End of the Cycle of Time
The Crop Circle Music Wheel
Joseph E. (Joe) Mason
A Global Perspective on Energy
December 10th, 2005
If one stops for a moment to reflect on the use of weaponry over the course of history, we see that as a civilization we have indeed made tremendous strides. From hand to hand combat with sticks and stones we moved into bows and arrows. The invention of gunpowder then heralded yet another new age. Since black powder muskets in the Civil War timeframe, we have now engineered and refined our way to high velocity precision rifles. Along the way, advances in aeronautics gave us the ability to shoot at our foes from high above the ground. Advances in science then gave us the ability to exploit the power inherent in the atom. Once combined with aeronautics, we were able to drop atomic bombs from an overhead aircraft not onto an individual below but onto an entire city below. Advances in computer controlled guidance systems now see us launching so called smart bombs from great distances using stealth type flying crafts. But, the best is yet to come. We are about to see a radical new type of weapon unveiled on the global stage. This weapon will not rely on explosive technology or flying aircraft. This weapon will not kill enemy troops. This weapon will not see one army invading the territory of another. No, instead this weapon will simply rely on supply and demand, the basic concepts that underpin Economics 101. This new weapon will be a financial weapon. In fact this weapon will be so powerful it will be able to inflict serious harm on the financial stability of an entire adversarial nation. This weapon is the BOURSE. Thats right the BOURSE. The dictionary defines BOURSE as follows:
BOURSE: a word of French origin meaning a stock exchange for securities trading.
If I have totally confused you, dont run away. Keep reading and follow my argument
If you think the invasion of Iraq was about 9-11 and Al-Qaida then I urge you to think again. Cast aside all that the major television networks have programmed into your daily thinking, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Now, think real hard. Were any WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) ever found in Iraq? Has any connection between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein been solidly proven? The answer to both queries is a resounding NO. So why then would the US, the worlds largest economic entity, undertake an invasion of Iraq to capture and remove leader Saddam Hussein? The answer is all about economics. More specifically, Currency. Thats right, Currency. You see, Saddam Hussein had developed a very serious, very viable plan to sell Oil from his country in exchange for Euros. Had he succeeded in putting this plan into action, the damage to the stature of the US Dollar as the global reserve currency would have been un-fixable. Oil importing nations would have reduced their holdings of US Dollars and added Euros to their vaults. The damage to the US economy which is entirely predicated on US Dollar supremacy could have been quite serious indeed. So, in the immediate aftermath of 9-11, the US launched a major offensive under the rather attractive name Operation Iraqi Freedom to trounce any Oil for Euros plans once and for all. But CNN told you a different story. Over and over, night after night you were reminded that Saddam Hussein was a monster. He was sitting on a massive cache of destructive weapons that threatened your safety. He was intimately linked to Al Qaida and global terror. Carefully crafted stories by embedded reporters and film footage of US and British troops moving triumphantly towards Baghdad made the while thing seem larger than life.
Now, fast forward to December 2005. As I write this edition of the Meridian Report, there is a growing sense of deja-vu. This time, it is Iran that is causing problems. But, CNN will have you believe that Iran is causing nuclear problems by refusing to scale back its nuclear program. The real story is that by March 2006 Iran is threatening to have in place an entity called the Iranian Oil Bourse. Trading of Oil on this exchange will be denominated in yes you guessed it Euros. A well choreographed play from Saddams little black book of game day strategies. The Iranian Oil Bourse will go toe to toe and compete for global prominence with NYMEX in New York and the International Petroleum Exchange in London. Oil trading on these exchanges is done in US Dollar terms. That is why when we hear a quote given for Oil it is always basis the US Dollar. Oil is the lifeblood of the global economy, the US Dollar is the global reserve currency and Oil is quoted in US Dollar terms. A simple 1-2-3 argument.
But this simple 1-2-3 argument may be about to come under attack. A successful start-up of trading operations on this Bourse could lead to an erosion of the US Dollar. Hence this Bourse is a de facto weapon. A weapon so ferocious, that has the ability to undermine the entire US economy, and topple the US Dollar from its lofty perch. After all, why would Oil importing nations need to keep as many US Dollars in reserve if they can purchase Oil in Euros? The ramifications of a weakened US Dollar are serious. Global purchasers of US debt instruments may begin to shy away from a weaker currency in favor of Euro denominated debt instruments. This would place upward pressure on US interest rates and the serious imbalance of the US economy would be laid bare for all to see (as if we dont already see it). After all, the US has no choice but to keep foreign investors interested in buying US debt. Management of the trade deficit and budget deficit depends on it. The housing market would surely collapse under the weight of higher interest rates. With mortgage rates now above 6% we are already seeing the signs of weakness of the housing market. Now imagine mortgage rates at 8% or even 9%. Given this scenario, it should come as little surprise that China recently moved all of a sudden to re-position its Renminbi currency away from the US Dollar and instead to a basket of global currencies. The Chinese are definitely not stupid. They have excellent relations with Iran and are well aware of the threat this new Bourse poses. Notice how the Chinese still have not told us the exact makeup of this basket? However, you can bet the Euro figures very prominently in the weighting of this basket.
With Operation Iraqi Freedom seemingly stuck in the mud and going nowhere what is the US to do? Sadly, the answer may be that there is little the US can do. The most powerful military force on the planet may be paralyzed. A simple Bourse an exchange where Oil is bought and sold may prove to be the ultimate weapon.
There are rumors floating about that a repeat of a 9-11 type attack is in the offing in the US. This would pave the way for the US to unilaterally launch an all out attack on Iran in the interests of protecting the world from terrorists. One of the consequences of this type of action would surely be a rapid deterioration of relations with other industrialized nations and a move by central bankers to quickly reduce US Dollar holdings. Such a move would also add more fuel to the already raging inferno of Muslim / US relations. So, not a likely strategy.
The US could try to garner support on the world stage for a group of Allies to stage an invasion of Iran to thwart further development of the Iranian nuclear program. However, given the problems with the Iraqi situation and with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair still smarting from his involvement in the Iraqi debacle, it is highly unlikely that this approach would work.
The US could simply decide to go it alone and launch a shock and awe attack on Iran to restore democracy and rid the world of one of the pivot points of the oft touted axis of evil. This no doubt would quickly degrade into mass chaos in the Middle East and global terrorism would quickly ratchet itself to new heights. While such a move would surely delight the Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz neo-conservative crowd, in all practicality an all out offensive would not be a good move.
This leaves us with the only other possibility and that is careful negotiation. But, the Iranians and for that matter all the European importing nations are in the drivers seat and really have no motivation to even come to the negotiating table. Who says Oil has to be priced in US Dollars? Who says the world needs a single reserve currency? Maybe the world needs two reserve currencies. Maybe the days of US Dollar supremacy are over. Maybe it is time for the US to change its ways. Trim the debt, scale back operations in Iraq.
The US could well be boxed in to a corner. A simple Oil Bourse in a Muslim country half-way around the world could be the straw that breaks the proverbial camels back. The day of financial reckoning could be at hand. We may be about to witness the next chapter in the story of the Rise and Fall of the American Empire. The Euro could be about to assume its spot as the #2 global reserve currency. As the US Dollar begins to falter under the weight of Oil being sold in Euros on the Iranian Bourse we will surely see a rise in the value of Oil Futures on Nymex. In fact we could see a rise in the value of all commodity futures that trade on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile and the New York Board of Trade. Not because these commodities are in scarce supply, but simply because it will take more units of a weakened US Dollar to buy a contract of Live Cattle or a bushel of Oats or a barrel of Oil. This will leave newly minted Fed Governor Ben Bernanke with a few inflationary conundrums of his own. Lets hope Mr. Bernanke knows what he is doing and is up to the challenge left for him by his mentor, Easy Al.
Date: 11 Dec 2005
From: Jeff Wefferson
Last week I went to see a very interesting exhibition on the work of film-maker Stanley Kubrick. It's definitely worth checking out if it comes to a location close to you. This showing in Melbourne is only the third place it's been to, the first two are in Germany. It really takes you inside his mind...from his early still images as a photographer for Look magazine, into his early films, most of which I'd never heard of before, and onto the ones he is well-known for, like A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Dr. Strangelove, Barry Lyndon, Full Metal Jacket. The exhibition has several screens showing film clips with interviews with people like Gyorgi Ligeti, the composer and Kubrick's lens expert. There's a whole case of his specialized camera lenses, many of which he had specially built for or adapted to his movie cameras, some even from NASA satellites or Hasselblad moon cameras.
It also has props from some of the films, like an ape suit, space helmet, and the "star-child" from 2001, the little ghost twin girls dresses from The Shining; also his research library on Napoleon (a film that was not finished), notebooks and correspondence...one I liked was from IBM concerned about the public relations aspect of having a "psychotic" computer in 2001!!! And a great photo of Kubrick sitting in his 2001 "command center" with entire walls covered with clipboards, notes, charts, etc...like some kind of intelligence operation! Other film-maps are displayed as well, showing his extremely methodical and meticulous approach to movie-making.
I spent almost four hours checking it out, and I still missed the music section... have to go back. Well worth checking out... I felt like I had just come from seeing all his movies at once.
And yesterday my friends took me to see an advance screening of Peter Jackson's King Kong. I won't tell you too much about it, except to say that from an entertainment perspective, it's absolutely superlative. Heaps of mind-blurring action, really freaked out dinosaurs and critters, amazing effects and realistic sets. It's really a love story, and Kong himself becomes VERY alive... you definitely get to know him as a "being." Naomi Watts is great as the femme fatale. Be prepared to cry a lot!
Even in the most intense moments, I found myself thinking "here I am crying over the relatiohship between a giant fictitious ape and an equally fictitious female character." For anyone living in a "reality-based community"... I'm not sure how many of us there actually are... this is actually quite scary. Millions... maybe tens or hundreds of millions... of people are going to see this same giant fictitious ape and blonde actress and will certainly shed thousands of liters of tears over all this. BUT... how many of us care about all the REAL LIVING beings of the Earth, our fellow humans included, and the Earth herself... enough to shed any tears about what is happening to them, to her, to US?
In one sense King Kong is a magnificent piece of cinematographic art, an epic fantasy-love story and science-fiction classic spectacularly re-made by a team of film wizards. From another, and what I consider to be more realistic perspective, this film is symbolically very much a true horror story.
When you consider the reality of the world we live in... the reality of what human industrial civilization is doing to the Earth, the reality of what humans are inflicting on each other and all of our fellow life-forms, the reality of the UNREALITY being perpetrated on our minds by mass-media in general, whether it's fabrications in the form of "news" or distractions in the form of "entertainment"...when you consider the REALITY of all this, if you dare or are able... you may be able to see King Kong as a true horror story.
Here, in a world quite literally on the brink of a host of unknowns, not only problems arising from what we ourselves are doing, but even more significantly from influences beyond our control, for example, the changing and dynamic nature of our closest star, the Sun... here on Earth in 2005, we are participating in unparalleled ecological devastation, genocide and a "war on the mind". Every day entire species of life are going extinct; every day thousands of children die of malnutrition and many more are born deformed from the effects of radiation poisoning. The entire continent of Africa is ablaze with thousands of deliberately set fires. And who many believe to be the most highly evolved beings on the Earth, the whales and dolphins, are under attack from humanity in many ways... through undersea noise pollution, seismic testing for oil exploration, from whaling (mainly by Japan), trawling, and a new form of sonar used by the US Navy which explodes their inner ears! They are the "people of the sea" and what we are doing to them is beyond belief.
We can all pay for a movie ticket and sit there and cry for a giant fictitious ape and a blonde actress... but how many of us can shed a tear, and more importantly, actually DO something tangible and concrete to wake ourselves up to what is REALLY happening in the world, to the plight of the whales and dolphins, of the giant trees, of our brothers and sisters here and in other countries who are being ruthlessly slaughtered and attacked by our "economic" imperatives and our advanced technologies?
In the quantum psychological universe, we are each not only observers in the spectrum of reality, we are also participants. We are each helping to CREATE what is really happening. And we are each RESPONSIBLE for everything that humans are doing anywhere in the world. The whales and dolphins, the trees, all of the children...they are all US.
Peter Jackson's film King Kong uses state-of-the-art technologies to carry our minds into a very engaging and realistic fantasy world; it's a moving and entertaining story BUT what actual relevance does any of this have to where we are as humans on the Earth at this moment? From the perspective of a "reality-based community", the vast majority of any kinds of mass-media bonanzas function primarily as DISTRACTIONS from what is really happening in the world. And they generate loads of revenue as well.
Literally, we cannot afford to be distracted any more. The "age of entertainment" is over. We MUST use our systems of communication to create awareness of the REALITY of our situation here on planet Earth. Why can't someone like Peter Jackson do a film of similar proportion about the Earth and her life-forms and what is REALLY happening? Is there NO ONE out there at the top of the hierarchy who cares?
To me, what is really scary about this film is the new digital special effects they use, a thing called "digital doubles." With this, they are able to create a VERY realistic looking image of anyone doing anything. They shoot sets of hi-res still photos of someone's face, then integrate that into the digitally-created format to create what to the indiscriminating eye would look EXACTLY LIKE a real person doing something that they didn't really do, or couldn't do!
Think of the implications of this technology when used by a psychological operations team fabricating "news" of "terrorists" planting explosives!!! Think of the implications of having imagery like this used as "evidence" of "terrorist plots" to justify police-state legislation in your country!
Seeing is NOT believing. We as humans are quite literally in a denial-driven cognitional nose-dive into oblivion. All our fellow life-forms on the Earth are crying out to us to please wake up and stop our ecocide and genocide on them and on ourselves. Much of this is happening through the side-effects of our day-to-day lives! Asleep at the wheel and with our heads in the sand, how are we to navigate the Earth- and cosmic changes we are now well within?
We are allowing ourselves to be amused to death, in the words of Neal Postman. Moreover, we actively seek it out and are willing to pay for it.
If we don't show signs of major awakenings soon, I truly fear for the future of human life on this planet. Just because Mother Earth has nurtured us for millions of years does not guarantee that tomorrow she couldn't have a change of heart for "man, the wise."
For information on someone who IS creating REALITY-BASED films of great relevance, see http://www.21paradigm.com
Vanessa Schulz is working on a film called "Africa Burning" and we are working on raising funds for her documentary on Capt. Paul Watson, the Sea Shepherd...a "direct action conservationist" who puts his life on the line to protect marine life from criminal activity around the world.
More on these and other projects coming soon.
Cheers and awakenings
"I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's."
"On Spaceship Earth, there are no passengers: everyone is crew."
R. Buckminster Fuller