MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
January 5, 2006
The Empire of Darkness Series #29: The United Police States
This new year of compilation work begins on a sour note as a good portion of the material I received and which came to my attention bears a significantly negative tone, although there are also some very inspiring elements at the end of this nearly 75 page compilation.
Let's hope that as the year unfolds, I'll have increasingly more positive news and inspiring material to share with you as the current shift-in-progress leads to a thinning of the number of bad apples wreaking havoc on Earth and to a firmer involvement in world affairs of those who have a positive contribution and a selfless service attitude to offer and as more and more people are able and willing to step forward to help us all enter a new era of Peace, Love and Harmony for all which is what I wish to all of you in 2006 and beyond...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
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"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
US President Harry Truman
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and
love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time
they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS."
The 2 quotes above were recommended by Christopher Rudy firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Congressman John Conyers is now investigating an action to impeach Bush and others. This is a POLITICAL solution to the treason committed on 911. We are seeking a CRIMINAL solution to their actions on 911. Please sign, post, pass around, publish and promote this action to try Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for treason."
Alfred Lambremont Webre and Leuren Moret
Please sign the petition supporting the The SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 TREASON INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT at this website:
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" email@example.com>
Worthy of Your Attention
Happy New Year
Recommended by Bill Derau firstname.lastname@example.org>
Unfiltered News (LOTS of material to explore)
Recommended by Phyllis Montague email@example.com>
158 Smoking Guns on 911 in Mainstream Media
AMAZING THAT SUCH MASSIVE EVIDENCE CAN BE SIMPLY IGNORED BY THE US MEDIA...
Automated Lobbying Service
Humans are destroying a beautiful, living resource. Time is running out for the biodiversity of life that inhabits our planet and for our quality of life. We are dependant on the health of our planet and if it continues to decline, as it has done over the past century, then human health and wellbeing will decline as well. The window of opportunity for us to organise globally to create a sustainable society is open - but it is closing. The time to act is now! The Information for Action website is a powerful tool for internet activism or cyber activism. We invite you to make full use of all our resources to lobby politicians and business leaders. You can make a difference for the environmental issues you are concerned about.
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Independent World Television
Lots of GREAT interviews to watch! Also recommended by Kathleen
1. Watching As The World Vanishes
2. NSA, the Agency That Could Be Big Brother
3. Police-State Powers Are Our Biggest Threat
4. Big Brother is watching
5. The Harm Principle FEMA Unmasked
6. The Iraq Our Soldiers Are Dying For
7. Toward a Militarist America
8. 10 Good Things about Another Bad Year
9. Indian Ocean Tsunami response: The tsunami of rip-offs
10. The Invention of Abu Musab al Zarqawi
11. HOPI PROPHECIES - THE FINAL WARNING - RE-AIRING
12. End of the year message & A Meditation to Create A New World
13. Top 10 t r u t h o u t Stories of 2005
14. Would the Government Want to Read or Censor Your Mail?
15. Billion Dollar Bunker and 4 Superbases for US in Iraq
16. First Peoples Peace Summit
17. 2006: The Year of the "Flow" and Creating Miracles
18. The Taxi ride
US and Iran: Is Washington Planning a Military Strike? (31 December 2005)
Recent reports in the German media suggest that the United States may be preparing its allies for an imminent military strike against facilities that are part of Iran's suspected clandestine nuclear weapons program. It's hardly news that US President George Bush refuses to rule out possible military action against Iran if Tehran continues to pursue its controversial nuclear ambitions. But in Germany, speculation is mounting that Washington is preparing to carry out air strikes against suspected Iranian nuclear sites perhaps even as soon as early 2006. German diplomats began speaking of the prospect two years ago - long before the Bush administration decided to give the European Union more time to convince Iran to abandon its ambitions, or at the very least put its civilian nuclear program under international controls. But the growing likelihood of the military option is back in the headlines in Germany thanks to a slew of stories that have run in the national media here over the holidays. (...) In a report published on Wednesday, the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel also cited NATO intelligence sources claiming that Washington's western allies had been informed that the United States is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. Of course, Bush has publicly stated for months that he would not take the possibility of a military strike off the table. What's new here, however, is that Washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year. CLIP
'US planning strike against Iran' (Dec. 31, 2005)
THE JERUSALEM POST - The United States government reportedly began coordinating with NATO its plans for a possible military attack against Iran.The German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel collected various reports from the German media indicating that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are examining the prospects of such a strike.According to the report, CIA Director Porter Goss, in his last visit to Turkey on December 12, requested Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide military bases to the United States in 2006 from where they would be able to launch an assault.The German news agency DDP also noted that countries neighboring Iran, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, and Pakistan were also updated regarding the supposed plan. American sources sent to those countries apparently mentioned an aerial attack as a possibility, but did not provide a time frame for the operation. Although Der Spiegel could not say that these plans were concrete, they did note that according to a January 2005 New Yorker report American forces had entered Iran in 2005 in order to mark possible targets for an aerial assault.
Let's Stop a US/Israeli War on Iran
The peace movements of the entire world should be in crisis mode right now, working non-stop to prevent the U.S. and Israel from starting a war against Iran. (See the James Petras article in CounterPunch on December 24, 2005 titled Iran in the Crosshairs for the best summary of the present situation.) The reckless and unnecessary dangers arising from such a war are so obvious that one wonders why normal political forces in the two aggressor countries -- both of whom love to glorify themselves as democracies -- would not prevent such a war from happening. But the "normal political forces" in both the U.S. and Israel have become badly distorted. Democracy has been seriously undermined in both. The cowboy-like personalities and aggressive tendencies of both countries' leaders tend to feed on each other. Domestic political difficulties and coming elections in both countries probably add to the macho inclination of the ruling elites to use force to remove any problems facing them. The glue binding these tendencies together is the ever-strengthening institutional link between defense establishments and military-industrial complexes in both countries, as well as, in the U.S, the growing power and influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) over both major political parties. The entire mix increases the probability, against all common sense, that this absurd war will actually happen. Nothing else more dangerous to the world, to the Middle East, to the oppressed Palestinians, or to the true interests of the United States is happening today -- anywhere. Americans who do not want an eruption of a new world war, started by our own government, ought to be strongly lobbying the Bush administration and all members of Congress against supporting any military action by the U.S. and Israel against Iran. Globally, people who oppose such a war should be lobbying their own governments in similar fashion. (...) Every peace activist on the globe ought to be in the streets and elsewhere lobbying in support of something very simple: do not attack Iran, even if this means allowing Iran to develop its own nuclear weapons. We should put out the message that it is simply not worth a war, with consequences impossible to foresee, to prevent Iran from obtaining such weapons. From 1945 until we invaded Iraq in 2003, we never once took military action to prevent other nations from developing nuclear weapons. We relied instead on deterrence and containment (to prevent other nations from using such weapons after they had been developed). These may not be perfect policies, but they have a successful track record and can probably be applied more successfully than other policies to subnational groups as well as nation-states. The point is that these are still better policies than the recklessness of preemption, and we should use these policies in lobbying against U.S involvement of any kind in military actions or coup attempts against Iran. We should also very definitely support an effort to tie future U.S. aid to Israel to Israel's not engaging in military action against Iran.We are talking here about supporting (by our silence), or opposing (by vociferous lobbying), what could become major, serious warfare -- warfare that could easily become global, and also could easily cause greater difficulties for the peoples of the Middle East than any they have yet faced from U.S. policies. CLIP
The Making of the Enemy Part II: The Myth of the Superhuman Enemy
The manufacture of the war on terror along with the systematic branding of Arabs and Persians as America's enemy has coincided perfectly with the race in a geopolitical chess match to see who can secure the remaining fields of the resource known as the devil's excrement, the black blood needed to run the machines of mankind. Had the vast amounts of oil fields been in Latin America instead of in the Middle East and Central Asia the war on terror would be taking place in Brazil or Ecuador or Venezuela, and Hispanics would be today's bogeymen. Instead, America finds herself having lied and deceived her own people, trying to find justifications to penetrate and control the remaining oil fields, unleashing psychological war on us the easier to manipulate the population and using terror as a pretext to invade and occupy a most important geopolitical and geostrategic prize, Iraq. Subsequently, the occupation of Iraq has opened the door to the rest of the Middle East and has become a gateway to Central Asia and its vast quantities of oil. In its own right, Afghanistan, now in the hands of the Americans, has become a geopolitical prize of grand strategic importance, used for oil and gas pipelines and for the permanent military bases and the presence they provide needed to contain America's next enemies, namely Iran, China and Russia. With Iraq and Afghanistan now for all practical purposes American colonies, its military firmly entrenched in permanent bases designed to protect and control the flow of oil, the high possibility exists of further intervention in Iran and/or Central Asia. CLIP
The Bush Family Coup
James Ridgeway explores President George Bush use of 9-11 to reorganize and increase the federal government's reach far beyond any existing law to delve into the lives of innocent, ordinary people.
Jack Abramoff's 'Cesspool of Corruption'
Top Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff is set to sing, and his long list of former buddies in Congress and the Bush administration are quaking in anticipation of possible indictments stemming from the consummate Beltway hustler's crass reign as the king of K Street.
Lobbyist to Reveal All in Congress Bribes Scandal
A well-connected Republican lobbyist agreed yesterday to give evidence against top politicians whom he allegedly bribed, in what analysts predict may prove to be the biggest congressional scandal in American history.
US Airstrikes Take Toll on Civilians
US Marine airstrikes targeting insurgents sheltering in Iraqi residential neighborhoods are killing civilians as well as guerrillas along the Euphrates River in far western Iraq.
14 Killed in US Air Raid on Single Iraqi Family (January 4, 2006) http://www.envirosagainstwar.org/know/read.php?&itemid=3572
U.S. Airstrike on House Enrages Iraqi Officials
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 3 - United States warplanes killed nine members of an Iraqi family, including women and young children, during a bombing strike Monday night that obliterated a home near the northern industrial city of Bayji, Iraqi officials said today.
US Bombing of Iraq Intensifies
US airstrikes in Iraq have surged this fall, jumping to nearly five times the average monthly rate earlier in the year, according to US military figures. Until the end of August, US warplanes were conducting about 25 strikes a month. The number rose to 62 in September, then to 122 in October and 120 in November.
US Abandons Iraqi Reconstruction
The US government is not planning to continue funding reconstruction projects in Iraq, in what appears to be a major climbdown from the White House's one-time pledge to build the best infrastructure in the region.
Skyrocketing Number of Vets with Post Tramatic Stress
The spiraling cost of post-traumatic stress disorder among war veterans has triggered a politically charged debate and ignited fears that the government is trying to limit expensive benefits for emotionally scarred troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Support for Bush Drops among US Military
Support for President George W. Bush's Iraq policy has fallen among the US armed forces to just 54 percent from 63 percent a year ago, according to a poll by the magazine group Military Times.
US Military 'Shuts Down' Soldiers' Blogs
Troops are detailing their experiences in online journals, but the military says some are revealing too much. US military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan are clamping down on these military web logs, known as milblogs.
Bolivian President Vows to Take Action Against US over Stolen Missiles (Dec 28, 2005)
According to the Washington Times, Bolivia's newly elected President Evo Morales has leveled allegations at the United States claiming that its drug control activities and counterterrorism training advisors secretly removed Chinese-made defensive anti-aircraft missiles from Bolivia. It didn't take long for the newly elected Bolivian President to intensify his verbal attacks against the United States. But the new Bolivian leader, an avowed Socialist and friend of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro of Cuba, is going even further than rhetoric. He's threatening to take action against the US. CLIP
The Magical Victory Tour (15 December Issue of the Rolling Stones magazine)
Matt Taibbi, who followed Bush's national tour for more than a week, concludes that while Iraq burns, the president keeps playing the same old song. "This is how President Bush takes his message to the people these days: in furtive sneak-attack addresses to closed audiences of elite friendlies at weird early-morning hours." (...) The Council on Foreign Relations was good enough to pass out a list of the expected attendees at the speech. Here are some of the names that one could find in Bush's audience: Frank Finelli, the Carlyle Group; Adam Fromm, Office of Rep. Dennis Hastert; Robert W. Haines, Exxon Mobil Corp.; Paul W. Butler, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP; Robert Bremer, Lockheed Martin Corp.; Scott Sendek, Eli Lilly and Co.; James H. Lambright, Export-Import Bank of the United States. The point is obvious; Bush's audience was like a guest list for a Monster's Ball of the military-industrial establishment. And even in this crowd full of corporate lawyers, investment bankers, weapons makers, ex-spooks and, for Christ's sake, lobbyists, the president of the United States couldn't cook up more than two tepid applause lines for his Iraq policy - and one of those was because he was finishing up and, one guesses, freeing the audience to go call their brokers. God bless George Bush. The Middle East is in flames, and how does he answer the call? He rolls up to the side entrance of a four-star Washington hotel, slips unobserved into a select gathering of the richest fatheads in his dad's Rolodex, spends a few tortured minutes exposing his half-assed policies like a campus flasher and then ducks back into his rabbit hole while he waits for his next speech to be written by paid liars. If that isn't leadership, what is? CLIP
Kurds Preparing Takeover; US Exit Strategy at Risk (December 28, 2005)
The US plan for leaving Iraq is in trouble, with more than 10,000 Kurds in the Iraqi army prepared to seize control of northern Iraq for an independent state. Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that US plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops who are formally under US and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable.The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga -- the Kurdish militia -- and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted. CLIP
Bush as Nixon: Both Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably
John W. Dean writes that in acting without congressional approval, Bush has underlined that his presidency is unchecked and utterly beyond the law. Now that he has turned the truly awesome powers of the NSA on Americans, what asserted powers will Bush use next? And when, if ever, will we - and Congress - discover that he is using them?
84 Guantanamo Detainees on Hunger Strike
The number of Guantanamo Bay prisoners taking part in a hunger strike that began nearly five months ago has surged to 84 since Christmas Day, the US military said on Thursday.
Covert CIA Program Withstands New Furor, Anti-Terror Effort Continues to Grow (Dec 30)
The effort President Bush authorized shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, to fight al Qaeda has grown into the largest CIA covert action program since the height of the Cold War, expanding in size and ambition despite a growing outcry at home and abroad over its clandestine tactics, according to former and current intelligence officials and congressional and administration sources. The broad-based effort, known within the agency by the initials GST, is compartmentalized into dozens of highly classified individual programs, details of which are known mainly to those directly involved. (...) "Everything is done in the name of self-defense, so they can do anything because nothing is forbidden in the war powers act," said one official who was briefed on the CIA's original cover program and who is skeptical of its legal underpinnings. "It's an amazing legal justification that allows them to do anything," said the official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues. The interpretation undergirds the administration's determination not to waver under public protests or the threat of legislative action. For example, after The Washington Post disclosed the existence of secret prisons in several Eastern European democracies, the CIA closed them down because of an uproar in Europe. But the detainees were moved elsewhere to similar CIA prisons, referred to as "black sites" in classified documents. CLIP
CIA renditions began under Clinton: agent (December 29, 2005)
The US Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) controversial "rendition" program was launched under US president Bill Clinton, a former US counter-terrorism agent has told a German newspaper. CLIP
Bush Prepares to Bypass New Torture Ban
When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.
US No Longer Promoting Landmine Abolition
In 1994, the United States was the first nation to call for the elimination of landmines that killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world. Today, Washington not only stands in opposition to an international treaty banning the use and production of antipersonnel landmines, but intends to make new ones, too.
Review of documentary "Beyond Treason"
Americas ship-of-state is sinking, torpedoed by the totally fraudulent and murderous war in Iraq. And a second torpedo is about to strike the foundering vessel. When the full impact of the use of uranium munitions by US forces in Iraq reaches the public, this just might finish off the American Empire. And Democrats as well as Republicans are responsible. With such a major war crime in progress uncovered and with the economy teeter-tottering, what could follow is an economic collapse that could make the Great Depression of the 1930s seem like a mere, temporary market adjustment. If Cindy Sheehan has an accident or is suicided, it wouldnt even slow Washingtons demise. The Gold Star mother has already awakened enough Americans and given them a transfusion of enough courage to think and speak out louder and more clearly about the outrage that is the war on Iraq. The Armageddon that Christian fundamentalists seem to want so badly may come in a slightly different form but its on the way. You can bank on it. The second torpedo running straight and true at the ship-of-state may be a film produced by the American Gulf War Veterans Association. It is a powerful expose of the absolute criminal insanity of the United States military/industrial complex--not just during the Bush regime but going all the way back to the Truman Administration. The film is an example of the highest and best use of communications technology and is also a tremendous blow to the credibility of the corporate media which has forever been the Ministry of Propaganda for the US government. (...) * I was in Iraq only six weeks and tested positive for radiation when I returned home. At the very least, cancer is knocking at my door. Imagine what the American soldiers in Iraq for six months and longer will have to deal with. In the near future casualties of Gulf War 2003 and the occupation could dwarf those of Desert Storm and could be a third torpedo if the second one doesnt finally sink the country. CLIP Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" email@example.com>
US Opposes Litany of Global Treaties in 2005
The list of UN treaties that Washington opposes goes on and on. US leaders continue to reject the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on nuclear weapons, the Treaty Banning Antipersonnel Mines, a protocol to create a compliance regime for the Biological Weapons Convention, the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, the International Criminal Court treaty and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Constitution in Crisis
The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War
Jane Smiley: A Ten-Step Program (Dec 17)
Is Bush in a bubble? Is Bush a dry drunk? Is Bush a drunk drunk? Is Bush a narcissist? Is Bush an idiot? Is Bush a madman? Does Bush have an Authority Problem? Theories abound about why Bush does the things he does, but most of them assume that he is making mistakes that he could or would correct if he understood how misguided he was. On Monday, there was an editorial in the New York Times lamenting the apparent indifference of the Bush administration to the rebuilding of New Orleans, the levees in particular. On Tuesday, there was another editorial, excoriating the shameful behavior of the Bush negotiators at the Montreal conference on global warming. The gist of both editorials was that without national leadership, two chances are about to be lost--the chance to rebuild the city of New Orleans and the chance to mitigate the effects of global warming. Then at the end of the week, we learned that Bush has been wiretapping the phones of his own citizens--an impeachable offense. The Times writes as if it is possible still to alter the direction of Bush administration policy, but obviously it is not. The Bushies have a pattern and they stick to it in spite of every apparent reason to change course. Its not as if we dont know what pattern it is, and its not as if they havent advertised what the pattern will be--it is to break down the government so completely that it cant be put back together again. Lets take a look at the mistakes the Bush administration is said to have made, and, instead, ask ourselves if they are actually realized intentions: CLIP Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" firstname.lastname@example.org>
European Report 2006: Russia Returns to Dictatorship (December 29, 2005)
Four months ago the Brussels Journal published a piece about Andrei Illarionov, the chief economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illarionov had surprised his fellow members of the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) at a meeting in Reykjavik when he warned them that his boss was abolishing economic and political freedom in Russia. This, he said, was obvious in a number of areas: The Russian authorities are reaffirming their stranglehold on the economy. They have effectively nationalized the oil and gas industry. The bureaucracy and the military are on the rise. The rule of law is diminishing. Yesterday Mr Illarionov handed in his resignation. The 44-year old economist, who came to the Kremlin with Putin six years ago, said that Russias nascent political freedoms have been lost and that he no longer has the ability to influence the governments course. When I took the job, we spoke about conducting a liberal economic policy. Now, the state has evolved in quite the opposite direction, he told reporters. I did not agree to work with a state like this. I did not sign a contract with it. I did not swear to it. I am not going to work with such a state. Its one thing to work in the partially free country that Russia was six years ago and another thing to do so when the country has ceased to be politically free.Mr Illarionovs resignation comes as an embarrassment to President Putin because next Sunday Russia will assume the presidency of the G8, the Group of Eight industrial nations. Illarionov was dismissed from his position as Russias envoy to the G8 early this year after he had criticized the nationalization of the oil and gas industry a move which, he said, showed that Russia had been infected with the Venezuelan disease. Yesterday Illarionov added that Russia now also suffers from the Saudi disease. He defined this disease as the use by a country of its energy exports to pressure other states. In his words, Russias energy reserves have become a weapon.Though Russias democratic neighbours the Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states are worried about this evolution, Western Europe has turned a blind eye to the worsening situation in Russia. Illarionov seems to understand why. He said last week that the Kremlin is introducing a corporatist model of the state. The European Union is in many respects also a corporatist model (in which the political and economic elite collude to force policies upon the people without taking the peoples wishes into account). CLIP
Aid Agencies Predicted Winter Disaster - Now It Is Reality for People of Kashmir
According to Ishfaq Ahmed of the Kashmir International Relief Fund, 100 children have died from exposure to the cold in the past month in the towns of Muzaffarabad and Bagh alone, so the death toll in more remote regions must be higher.
Testing Drugs on India's Poor
Multinational corporations are riding high on the trend toward globalization by taking advantage of India's educated work force and deep poverty to turn South Asia into the world's largest clinical-testing petri dish.
In Burma, a Setback on AIDS
New restrictions imposed by the military government on travel and the importing of medical supplies to Burma has caused the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to cancel their $87 million program to fight the three diseases, resulting in a humanitarian crisis.
Videos everyone should seehttp://www.911busters.com/911_new_video_productions/MOV/Painful_Deception=s.html
Discover the Truth about the Events surrounding 9-11-01 via Video Presentations from some of the top Scholars, Researchers, and Analysts from the International Community.This website has Most of the Presentations from the 1st International Citizen's Inquiry into 9-11 held in San Francisco March 2004.
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" email@example.com>
BUSH CRIME FAMILY LINKS - Bush Family Connection Research Sites http://www.serendipity.li/jsmill/bushcrimefamily.htm
Also recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Omega-News Collection 31. December 2005
POWERFUL WAKE UP CALL AND IMPASSIONED PLEA FOR ACTION NOW
Recommended by "Mark R. Elsis" email@example.com>
Watching As The World Vanishes
by Roxana Robinson
January 1, 2006
It was shameful, everyone agreed afterward, that no one did anything at the time. Because people knew it was happening. There were reports, early on. People saw things, near where it was happening. They knew. Later, they said they hadn't known, really; they hadn't understood the scale of it. They explained their reasons for doing nothing. They said the government was responsible, there was nothing they could do. Certainly the government was determined to carry out its plans, and maybe people felt overwhelmed and helpless. Maybe this was a place where the curves of ignorance, courage, and survival instinct intersected, to exclude the possibility of action.
The affected population knew about it, of course, but they had no political power, no voice. As they diminished in number, they became increasingly less important, which seemed to validate what was happening. How could they be important if they were gone?
Even the people who were distanced from it, and not in danger, knew about it, but they did nothing either. Maybe they didn't believe what they heard. Maybe they felt it did not threaten them, it was too far away and too terrible. There are things too terrible to consider. If you acknowledged their reality, you would be unable to function. And where would we be, if we couldn't function?
The news has actually been coming in for decades -- from the field, from eyewitnesses, from relief organizations. We can even see the evidence ourselves -- it's happening near us, wherever we are -- but we don't believe these accounts, even our own. We don't want to, because they are too terrible to consider. We're afraid we won't be able to function. The more tremendous a threat is, the harder it is to comprehend. As Raphael Lemkin said in 1944, ''. . . reports which slip out from behind the frontiers . . . are very often labelled as untrustworthy atrocity stories, because they are so gruesome that people simply refuse to believe them." What we're hearing is too frightening to believe.
The evidence is still growing, and growing worse, but we're still resisting it. When the scientists grew more serious and more impassioned about the situation, when they began giving numbers, offering proof, asking for action, we decided that we no longer believed in science. We distanced ourselves; we hoped we wouldn't be affected. The population at risk is not our population, at least not right now, so we needn't do anything right now. We might do something later. The government can do something if there's a real crisis. We trust the government to take care of us, to act responsibly. Believing this is easier than taking drastic steps to stop what's happening, particularly since this government is very much opposed to stopping what's happening. This government is very much intent on pursuing its present course, which results, as a side effect -- though the government would not acknowledge this, or even comment on the fact that it is taking place -- in the complete destruction of the affected population. The affected population is one-half of all the species presently living on earth.
Fanaticism is a driving force here, as it often is behind great crimes. This is a crime against nature, and this fanaticism is economic -- the belief that money and profit should outweigh all other considerations, including survival of the species. If we maintain our current rates of consumption and environmental strategies, by the end of this century, one-half of the species now alive on earth may be extinct. We don't know what the specific effects will be, but we know they'll be extreme. We're presiding over the greatest extermination of living species since the end of the dinosaurs. We're eliminating habitat, reliable climate, fresh water, clean air, and nourishment. We're imposing intolerable living conditions on thousands of species. The current rate of extinctions is thought to be at least 1,000 times higher than the natural level. Right now, one-quarter of all mammals are endangered with extinction; one-third of all species, animal and vegetable, may be gone by 2050.
Alerts It may not be evident to us, as we sit in our cubicles, at our laptops, but we need these other species, even those that seem impossibly small and remote. We need the Northern lapwing, the Scottish crossbill, the king protea (South Africa's national flower), the albacore tuna, Boyd's forest dragon (an Australian lizard) -- all of which are in dire straits. We're interconnected to everything. The scrawniest weed in Patagonia absorbs carbon dioxide, which poisons us, and produces oxygen, which we breathe in New York or Houston. Plants provide air, food, and medicine; every living being occupies a niche in the global mosaic. Birds transport seeds and pollen; they destroy insect pests; they clean our harbors and cities and landscapes. All living species perform functions valuable to the ecosystem, to the planet, and to the people who live on it. But species everywhere are being systematically deprived of the possibility of life.
We know what we're doing. We hear the reports, the gruesome stories, but we've decided just to wait and see. We think the scientists -- all of them -- could be wrong. Maybe we'll just do nothing. Short-term self-interest suggests that we do nothing right now. Why should we drive slower cars because of the Scottish crossbill?
Cutting fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gases would save many species from vanishing, but we're not committing ourselves to that strategy. One hundred eighty-two nations ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity; the United States -- largest producer of greenhouse gases -- is the only industrial country that refused. We didn't want to be subject to any regulation over our destruction of the air, the water, the habitat, and the voiceless inhabitants of the earth. Others agree. Many developing countries wanted nothing in the treaty that might limit their freedom to exploit -- and destroy -- their natural resources. So the treaty is neither very powerful or effective, since almost everyone involved places short-term economic goals ahead of the long-term health of the planet. Similar issues affect the Kyoto Agreement. It seems we're all in this together, this destruction of species. This is an international effort.
Do we not think we need a healthy planet? Do we think that the animals dying all around us means nothing? That this wholesale destruction won't affect us? Where are the birds, most common and vivid form of wildlife? Intensive agriculture destroys hedges, woods, and wetlands that birds need for feeding and nesting; toxic chemicals poison the pests and the seed-bearing wild plants they need for food. Logging destroys whole regions of habitat; industry pollutes air around the globe. The birds can't build nests, they can't find food, they can't feed their young. They're dying off. Migrating birds used to move in flocks of thousands. Now they straggle past in groups of 20 or 30. Remember the passenger pigeons? Once they darkened the entire sky, across the prairies; we wiped them out in a few decades. We're watching life being extinguished all around us.
The use of fossil fuels, and the resulting climate change, is wreaking havoc everywhere. Monster storms, temperature spikes, and erratic, destructive weather all take their toll on agriculture, construction, transportation, and communication, as well as wildlife. Do we still think we don't belong to the affected population? What if the group we're destroying turns out to include our own? Don't we remember the canary in the coal mine? The canaries are dropping like flies. Why are we standing here, holding the cage?
Whom will we believe, if not these scientists -- experts in the field -- with their gruesome and alarmist facts? How long will we keep denying the evidence? What will we say to our children, and their children, when they learn about the beautiful, rich, and varied life on earth that we were privileged to know? The fields of rippling grasses, the graceful trees, the strange and marvelous wild creatures -- how will we explain that we stood by and watched all this vanish? What kind of courage do we need, to respond to what's happening?
And this time, there's no one else to blame. It's us.
Roxana Robinson is a novelist, most recently of ''A Perfect Stranger."
The Greening of Goldman Sachs
One of the world's leading investment banks concedes there are real financial costs to ignoring the environment. They have drafted a corporate environmental policy based on the idea of "ecosystem services," which is a way of looking at the environment in terms of what it provides for humans.
20 Years On and Whales Are Under Threat Again
Dust down the slogan, it's needed once again: Save the Whales. Twenty years on from the introduction of the international whaling moratorium that was supposed to protect them, the great whales face renewed and mortal dangers in 2006.
Climate Shock: We're on Thin Ice
Kelpie Wilson reviews Mark Bowen's "Thin Ice" as an imperative read for comprehending the severity of climate change, and how it will shortly, if it has not already, affect our lives. Bowen chronicles the scientific investigations of researcher Lonnie Thompson and his team as they spend two decades drilling ice cores in mountain glaciers.
Racing Toward Climate Disaster
Several climate research studies released in December show that the impacts of climate change are coming faster than predicted. This suggests that the worst case disaster scenarios may be the most likely unless there is concerted global action to reduce emissions.
British Biologist Uses Carbon Trading to Grow Forests
British biologist Ian Swingland took up the cause of trading carbon credits to fund reforestation programs after he witnessed the devastation caused by logging in the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo in 1998. His company has bought about 25,000 acres of Kangaroo Island, Australia's third-largest island, to demonstrate his idea.
Tigers dying, census confirms
Every warning on tiger poaching was correct. Every news story on disappearing tigers was correct. Results of the first count are in and officials say there may be a shortfall of 150 tigers or more poisoned, trapped or killed. The figures look dismal - 3,500 tigers compared to 3,646 in 2001. It is not just 150 tigers less. Officials say because of all the efforts going into Project Tiger their population was expected to rise by 500 so the shortfall is possibly in the range of 650. The number of surviving tigers is being put anywhere between 3,200 and 3,500. "There can be some changes once the second round of census is completed and computerised examination of pugmarks is done," said an official. But don't expect a surge. Reports in recent months have shown a decline in some of the best-known reserves such as Ranthambhore and Sariska. Alarmed by these reports Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a task force in 2005 to look at all the 28 reserves. The current figures are the result of pugmark identification done in November and December. Now these figures are being double-checked through ground inspections and a computerised system. The tiger population has gone down for the second consecutive census. In 1997, there had been 3,836 tigers.
Originally from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/25/weekinreview/25bamford.html?th=&adxnnl=1&emc=th&adxnnlx=1135927289-JD2fRttgKEwwawsVoIrSgg
NSA, the Agency That Could Be Big Brother
By James Bamford - The New York Times
25 December 2005
Washington - Deep in a remote, fog-layered hollow near Sugar Grove, W.Va., hidden by fortress-like mountains, sits the country's largest eavesdropping bug. Located in a "radio quiet" zone, the station's large parabolic dishes secretly and silently sweep in millions of private telephone calls and e-mail messages an hour.
Run by the ultrasecret National Security Agency, the listening post intercepts all international communications entering the eastern United States. Another NSA listening post, in Yakima,Wash., eavesdrops on the western half of the country.
A hundred miles or so north of Sugar Grove, in Washington, the NSA has suddenly taken center stage in a political firestorm. The controversy over whether the president broke the law when he secretly ordered the NSA to bypass a special court and conduct warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens has even provoked some Democrats to call for his impeachment.
According to John E. McLaughlin, who as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the fall of 2001 was among the first briefed on the program, this eavesdropping was the most secret operation in the entire intelligence network, complete with its own code word - which itself is secret.
Jokingly referred to as "No Such Agency," the NSA was created in absolute secrecy in 1952 by President Harry S. Truman. Today, it is the largest intelligence agency. It is also the most important, providing far more insight on foreign countries than the CIA and other spy organizations.
But the agency is still struggling to adjust to the war on terror, in which its job is not to monitor states, but individuals or small cells hidden all over the world. To accomplish this, the NSA has developed ever more sophisticated technology that mines vast amounts of data. But this technology may be of limited use abroad. And at home, it increases pressure on the agency to bypass civil liberties and skirt formal legal channels of criminal investigation. Originally created to spy on foreign adversaries, the NSA was never supposed to be turned inward. Thirty years ago, Senator Frank Church, the Idaho Democrat who was then chairman of the select committee on intelligence, investigated the agency and came away stunned.
"That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people," he said in 1975, "and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide."
He added that if a dictator ever took over, the NSA "could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back."
At the time, the agency had the ability to listen to only what people said over the telephone or wrote in an occasional telegram; they had no access to private letters. But today, with people expressing their innermost thoughts in e-mail messages, exposing their medical and financial records to the Internet, and chatting constantly on cellphones, the agency virtually has the ability to get inside a person's mind.
The NSA's original target had been the Communist bloc. The agency wrapped the Soviet Union and its satellite nations in an electronic cocoon. Anytime an aircraft, ship or military unit moved, the NSA would know. And from 22,300 miles in orbit, satellites with super-thin, football-field-sized antennas eavesdropped on Soviet communications and weapons signals.
Today, instead of eavesdropping on an enormous country that was always chattering and never moved, the NSA is trying to find small numbers of individuals who operate in closed cells, seldom communicate electronically (and when they do, use untraceable calling cards or disposable cellphones) and are constantly traveling from country to country.
During the cold war, the agency could depend on a constant flow of American-born Russian linguists from the many universities around the country with Soviet studies programs. Now the government is forced to search ethnic communities to find people who can speak Dari, Urdu or Lingala - and also pass a security clearance that frowns on people with relatives in their, or their parents', former countries.
According to an interview last year with Gen. Michael V. Hayden, then the NSA's director, intercepting calls during the war on terrorism has become a much more complex endeavor. On Sept. 10, 2001, for example, the NSA intercepted two messages. The first warned, "The match begins tomorrow," and the second said, "Tomorrow is zero hour." But even though they came from suspected al Qaeda locations in Afghanistan, the messages were never translated until after the attack on Sept. 11, and not distributed until Sept. 12.
What made the intercepts particularly difficult, General Hayden said, was that they were not "targeted" but intercepted randomly from Afghan pay phones.
This makes identification of the caller extremely difficult and slow. "Know how many international calls are made out of Afghanistan on a given day? Thousands." General Hayden said.
Still, the NSA doesn't have to go to the courts to use its electronic monitoring to snare al Qaeda members in Afghanistan. For the agency to snoop domestically on American citizens suspected of having terrorist ties, it first must to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, make a showing of probable cause that the target is linked to a terrorist group, and obtain a warrant.
The court rarely turns the government down. Since it was established in 1978, the court has granted about 19,000 warrants; it has only rejected five. And even in those cases the government has the right to appeal to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which in 27 years has only heard one case. And should the appeals court also reject the warrant request, the government could then appeal immediately to a closed session of the Supreme Court.
Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the NSA normally eavesdropped on a small number of American citizens or resident aliens, often a dozen or less, while the FBI, whose low-tech wiretapping was far less intrusive, requested most of the warrants from FISA.
Despite the low odds of having a request turned down, President Bush established a secret program in which the NSA would bypass the FISA court and begin eavesdropping without warrant on Americans. This decision seems to have been based on a new concept of monitoring by the agency, a way, according to the administration, to effectively handle all the data and new information.
At the time, the buzzword in national security circles was data mining: digging deep into piles of information to come up with some pattern or clue to what might happen next. Rather than monitoring a dozen or so people for months at a time, as had been the practice, the decision was made to begin secretly eavesdropping on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people for just a few days or a week at a time in order to determine who posed potential threats.
Those deemed innocent would quickly be eliminated from the watch list, while those thought suspicious would be submitted to the FISA court for a warrant.
In essence, NSA seemed to be on a classic fishing expedition, precisely the type of abuse the FISA court was put in place to stop.At a news conference, President Bush himself seemed to acknowledge this new tactic. "FISA is for long-term monitoring," he said. "There's a difference between detecting so we can prevent, and monitoring."
This eavesdropping is not the Bush administration's only attempt to expand the boundaries of what is legally permissible.
In 2002, it was revealed that the Pentagon had launched Total Information Awareness, a data mining program led by John Poindexter, a retired rear admiral who had served as national security adviser under Ronald Reagan and helped devise the plan to sell arms to Iran and illegally divert the proceeds to rebels in Nicaragua.
Total Information Awareness, known as TIA, was intended to search through vast data bases, promising to "increase the information coverage by an order-of-magnitude." According to a 2002 article in The New York Times, the program "would permit intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials to mount a vast dragnet through electronic transaction data ranging from credit card information to veterinary records, in the United States and internationally, to hunt for terrorists." After press reports, the Pentagon shut it down, and Mr. Poindexter eventually left the government.
But according to a 2004 General Accounting Office report, the Bush administration and the Pentagon continued to rely heavily on data-mining techniques. "Our survey of 128 federal departments and agencies on their use of data mining," the report said, "shows that 52 agencies are using or are planning to use data mining. These departments and agencies reported 199 data-mining efforts, of which 68 are planned and 131 are operational." Of these uses, the report continued, "the Department of Defense reported the largest number of efforts."
The administration says it needs this technology to effectively combat terrorism. But the effect on privacy has worried a number of politicians.
After he was briefed on President Bush's secret operation in 2003, Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney.
"As I reflected on the meeting today and the future we face," he wrote, "John Poindexter's TIA project sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern regarding the direction the administration is moving with regard to security, technology, and surveillance."
Senator Rockefeller sounds a lot like Senator Frank Church.
"I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge," Senator Church said. "I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
James Bamford is the author of Puzzle Palace and Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency.
Bush-NSA Spying in Defiance of Congress, Court
President Bush says he has the legal authority to authorize the National Security Agency to continue eavesdropping on citizens and monitoring emails without judicial oversight, but many Democratic and Republican lawmakers are questioning whether the president violated the law in doing so.
Big Brother Bush Is Listening
Marjorie Cohn writes that in an assertion of executive power that rivals the excesses of the McCarthy era of the late 1940's and 1950's, and the dreaded COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence program) of the 1950's and 1960's, George W. Bush's National Security Agency has been secretly spying on United States citizens without warrants for the last three years.
Domestic Surveillance and the Patriot Act - by Ron Paul (December 26, 2005)
Recent revelations that the National Security Agency has conducted broad surveillance of American citizens' emails and phone calls raise serious questions about the proper role of government in a free society. This is an important and healthy debate, one that too often goes ignored by Congress. Public concerns about the misnamed Patriot Act are having an impact, as the Senate last week refused to reauthorize the bill for several years. Instead Congress will be back in Washington next month to consider many of the Act's most harmful provisions. (...) Conservatives who support the Bush administration should remember that powers we give government today will not go away when future administrations take office. Some Senators last week complained that the Patriot Act is misunderstood. But it's not the American public's fault nobody knows exactly what the Patriot Act does. The Act contains over 500 pages of detailed legalese, the full text of which was neither read nor made available to Congress in a reasonable time before it was voted on- which by itself should have convinced members to vote against it. Many of the surveillance powers authorized in the Act are not clearly defined and have not yet been tested. When they are tested, court challenges are sure to follow. It is precisely because we cannot predict how the Patriot Act will be interpreted and used in future decades that we should question it today.
The Hidden State Steps Forward
Jonathan Schell: With Bush's defense of his wiretapping, the hidden state has stepped into the open. The deeper challenge Bush has thrown down, therefore, is whether the country wants to embrace the new form of government he is creating by executive fiat or to continue with the old constitutional form. Members of Congress have no choice but to accept the challenge.
At the sound of the beep . . .December 31, 2005
I've included a sample script below that may be helpful to your readers when recording an outgoing message on their answering machine in the future in light of President Bush's determination to continue to use the NSA to spy on American citizens: Hello, you've reached 407- -------- . I'm sorry I'm not available to take your call at this time.It's really not necessary to leave your name, number, time you called, where you called from, date of birth, place of employment, mother's maiden name, Social Security number or shoe size; the government already has that information.Please just leave a brief message after the beep and the National Security Agency will record the call and get back to you at its earliest possible convenience. BEEP. . . .
Many more related (and unrelated) news at the Citizens for Legitimate Government website http://www.legitgov.org/
December 28, 2005 - New York Observer
Police-State Powers Are Our Biggest Threat
by Martin Garbus
What has happened in this country?
The Pentagon has a secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA). The courtroom is in a windowless room on the top floor of the Department of Justice. There are seven rotating judges. The court meets in secret, with no published opinions or public records. No one, except the FISA judge involved and the Department of Justice, knows what is done. No one, except the government and the FISA judge, knows at whom the warrants are aimed. There is no review by anyone. Over 12,000 search warrants permitting eavesdropping, surveillance and break-ins have been sought by the government. Only once has the FISA court denied a warrant.
The FISA court has issued more warrants than the more than 1,000 district judges in the federal system.
The Pentagon has already expanded its domestic-surveillance activity beyond any previous time in history. It breaks into homes, wiretaps and eavesdrops at will, and builds secret dossiers on citizens while arguing that there can be no judicial review of its activities. President George W. Bush argues that there can be no judicial review of any decision he makes when he decides whether an alien or an American citizen is or is not an enemy combatant. Congress supports this; so does the judiciary.
The expansion of Presidential powers and the expansion of police powers is the single most important issue facing this country. It is safe to say the new Supreme Court and a majority of Congress (both Democrats and Republicans) are prepared to give Mr. Bush a blank check. On Nov. 15, Carl Levin, the liberal Democratic Senator from Michigan and an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, joined his Republican counterpart from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, in supporting legislation validating the Presidents Alice-in-Wonderland legal system and the expansion of his police powers. The Senate vote was 79 to 16 in favor.
Whats more, the Patriot Act had been extended. For the last three years, the President has justified torture, and Congress will soon give him legal permission to use it.
If or when theres another terrorist attack, the government will seek more powers, claiming that it shows current laws are inadequate. We will certainly see, as we recently saw in Britain, the head of government ask for 90-day detentions of terror suspects without access to court. The attempt to end habeas corpus started at Guantánamo; it is now spreading to the rest of America.
Five years after we opened the Guantánamo prison, not one person in that prison has been found guilty of anything.
The legal system to treat the new prisoners of the war on terror, created out of thin air, disgraces us. No one ever before suggested such a legal systemnot during the Civil War, not during World War I or World War II, and not during the Cold War.
We are better than military commissions, Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, the Patriot Act and renditionthe sending of prisoners overseas to be tortured at C.I.A.-controlled prisons.
This country is approaching a dangerous turning point. There has long been a desire and a political movement in America for restrictions on democratic rights, for an authoritarian government propelled by a combination of religious and nationalistic fervor. The helplessness caused by the events of Sept. 11 and the domestic and international war against Muslim terrorists deepened this desire. Never before was there such a possibility of such long-term constitutional violations, because there has never before been such an open-ended war.
In Weimar Germany, a feeling of helplessness led to Hitlers rise and the creation of the ultimate police state. There are similaritiesand, of course, very significant differencesbetween America in the 21st century and Germany in the 1920s.
Mr. Bush has suggested that he was chosen by God to lead the United States in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The Nazi government, against religion, saw the salvation of the German people in messianic terms.
Many liberals and conservatives are concerned where all of this might lead. Professor Fritz Stern, a professor of German studies at Columbia University, pointed out that Hitler saw himself as the instrument of providence who fused his racial dogma with Germanic Christianity. Paul Craig Roberts, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a former Wall Street Journal editor, writes of the brownshirting of American conservatismhe says the hype about terrorism serves little or no purpose other than to build a police state that is far more dangerous to Americans than terrorists.
The pressure for fascism comes not just from the top. Without the peoples support, the Weimar government would not have been overthrown.
The change here is incremental and harder to see.
How we conduct the war on terror tells the American people who we are and what this country stands for. America has the oldest and most dynamic democracy in the world. It can right itself if the people want it bad enough to fight harder.
Why Would Bush Change the Order of Succession Yesterday?! Could it Be That He Sees a Coup Coming? Executive Order: Providing An Order of Succession Within the Department of Defense
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Big Brother is watching
IT took 21 years longer than expected, but the future has finally arrived.
And we don't like it. Not one bit.
We are fighting a war with no end to create a peace with no defined victory.
We occupy a foreign land that doesn't want us, while at home our civil liberties are discounted.
We are told that it's better not to know what our government is doing in our name, for security purposes. Meanwhile, our government is becoming omnipresent, spying on us whenever it deems it necessary.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
George Orwell was right after all.
In 1949, Orwell penned "1984," a dark, futuristic satire in which the totalitarian government used indoctrination, propaganda and fear to enforce order and conformity. His "Big Brother" the face of this all-knowing regime was never wrong, and to make sure of it, history was constantly being rewritten.
Orwell wrote his book as a cautionary tale to underscore the insidious danger of slowly eroded individual liberties. His Thought Police may not yet be on the march, but it's not hyperbole to point out the eerie parallels with today's America.
In America today, Big Brother is watching.
He's watching because President Bush told him to. Shortly after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens making or receiving international calls and e-mails.
When it comes to fighting terror, Bush is totalitarian remember, you're either with us or against us. Trust me to get it right, he says. Debate on the law is not only not needed, it's evil.
"An open debate about the law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.'" Bush said recently. "The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy."
Then there's the Patriot Act, also created in the days immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. The Senate and House of Representatives voted Thursday to extend the law by a month. President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales insist it's an indispensable tool in the war on terror and want it extended permanently.
"I'm as concerned about the privacy of American citizens as anyone, but we cannot allow libraries and use of libraries to become safe havens for terrorists," Gonzales said in July, defending one of the act's most controversial provisions.
Remember, too, that we invaded Iraq primarily because we were told Saddam Hussein was an immediate threat with his weapons of mass destruction. Now the Bush administration acknowledges that wasn't so, but insists there were (are?) other reasons to invade. History is malleable.
Orwell wrote of war without end; we're told the war on terror will last decades at least. Orwell wrote of a dumbed-down "Newspeak," and who could argue that our national discourse hasn't slumped? Orwell's "Ministry of Love" tortured dissidents real or imagined; our government decries Iraq's secret torture prisons while arguing over whether to ban torture. Meanwhile, we maintain our own secret CIA prisons.
Bush is unapologetic. The president believes he has the legal authority to spy on American citizens without a warrant, and he plans to continue to reauthorize the program "for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens." But when the enemy is poorly defined, who determines when the threat is over? In this case, the same government that secretly taps our phones.
Turns out the truth is no stranger than fiction.
We think it's time for Congress to heed the warning of George Orwell.
To that end, we're asking for your help: Mail us or drop off your tattered copies of "1984." When we get 537 of them, we'll send them to every member of the House of Representatives and Senate and to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Feel free to inscribe the book with a note, reminding these fine people that we Americans take the threat to our liberties seriously. Remind Congress that it makes no sense to fight a war for democracy in a foreign land while allowing our democratic principles to erode at home.
Remind President Bush that ours is a country of checks and balances, not unbridled power.
Perhaps our nation's leaders can find some truth in this fiction and more carefully ponder the road we're traveling.
Bring or mail your books to the Oakland Tribune, 401 13th St., Oakland CA 94612. Doors are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Forwarded by "John T. Linnell" email@example.com>
December 2005 Idaho Observer
The Harm Principle FEMA Unmasked
by Clyde Lewis
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."
John Stewart Mill
Lately there have been an unprecedented number of natural disasters and political upheavals in the United States. The thoughts and beliefs of the majority of Americans have been challenged. Their emotions stand at a precipice teetering back and forth between stability and thoughts of paranoia and dread.
Critical masses of people have awakened to the realization that perhaps it is time to take a long last look at the America we once knew. It is time we understood that the America of the present is no longer the America of the past, and the future, while under the control of madmen, may become far more frightening than we realize.
The United States just barely understands the fragility of its existence.
I hope that you have been paying attention to what has happened with both the Hurricane Katrina Disaster and the Hurricane Rita dog and pony show.
The corporate media has engineered an interesting story regarding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They depicted the agency as being bumbling and inept, a bureaucratic leviathan wrapped up in red tape during the Hurricane Katrina Disaster.
Names have been called and blame has been thrown around, but we are slowly getting back into the norm of watered-down euphemistic jargon on the nightly news, touting the dependability of government and its ability to save us from ourselves.
The corporate media and the vacuum of leadership in the United States has not given us any real answers as to why FEMA turned away first responders to the tragedy, why it told Wal-Mart supply trucks to go away, and refused aid from the Red Cross.
The only change that has been made as a result is that Michael Brown, the original director of FEMA operations during Katrina, resigned his post. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen later replaced him.
FEMA still is in operation even after it went out of its way to refuse help to the dying, the starving and those that were in need of medical help.
FEMA is still in operation because it did nothing wrong. FEMA was not created to respond to natural disasters. FEMAs true purpose is to maintain continuity of government during and after a national emergency. It also has the power to suspend the Constitution and declare martial law during any crisisreal or perceived.
FEMA has broad powers in every aspect of the nation in times of crisis or emergency and has been called "The Shadow Government."
According to General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMAs Civil Security Division in 1993, "FEMA provides a new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis."
FEMA has only spent about six percent of its budget on emergency preparedness. The other 94 percent goes into the building of underground facilities and maintaining areas that are designated as REX 84 detainment camps.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 52, authorizing the mass detention of 400,000 people in the event of "civil unrest" protesting a U.S. invasion of Central America. It was part of a plot, code-named Rex-84 Alpha, created by the National Security Council under the direction of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. It called for suspending the Constitution, placing the nation under martial law and canceling the 1984 election.
Rex 84 is short for "Readiness Exercise 1984." It was originally a classified plan by the United States federal government to accommodate the detention of large numbers of American citizens in case of massive civil unrest or national emergency.
FEMA, in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, conducted civil readiness exercises in April, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84 and Garden Plot, a worldwide military command post exercise including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS.
The drills and operations were based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the CIA, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the FBI, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the overturning of the Posse Comitatus Act, an action that makes the military a police force.
During the Iran Contra hearings, Colonel Oliver North was questioned by Texas Democratic Representative Jack Brooks about the REX 84 program. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, chair of the hearings, reminded Brooks that it was a classified operation and that the hearings were not the place to discuss it.
There are over 600 FEMA camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive detainees. There are other facilities that can be converted into detainment areas if the military and/or FEMA decide to seize the property for operations.
Actions louder than words
After Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama there were FEMA camps on the ready to receive refugees/detainees to be housed and taken into custody by the government.
Many people were told that they were being sent to Houston. However, they ended up in concentration camps thousands of miles from their homes.
There were at least 152 evacuees that arrived at the Camp Williams, Utah, Army National Guard training site. Camp Williams occupies 25,000 acres in northcentral Utah, 26 miles south of Salt Lake City. It sits on the west slope of the Traverse Mountains. The area is a virtual no mans land near the Utah State Prison.
Many of the victims of the Katrina disaster were taken aboard military planes and none of the frightened passengers knew where they were being taken. All they knew was that they were landing in a strange place complete with soldiers carrying large guns. Barbed wire and watchtowers surrounded the compound.
This is what it is like living in America with the shadow government setting up business during a crisis. The examples of how FEMA and homeland security are behaving in times of natural disasters are only a prologue to what may be in store for the future.
Whos really in charge?
Reuters reported that, when Hurricane Rita headed for Texas, George W. Bush was planning to arrive to oversee the relief efforts and have another heroic photo opportunity. However, a little change in plans took place and the president detoured to Colorado Springs where the U.S. Northern Command is located.
Apparently, the president felt that he "would just be in the way" of the search and rescue teams and decided to be safe and comfortable at the command center.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that FEMA decided to reposition the search-and-rescue teams from San Antonio closer to where Hurricane Rita was battering Texas and said that they didnt want to slow down that decision in any way. So the president and his entourage made the decision that they would go straight to Colorado.
On September 25, 2005, President Bush called on Congress to consider a larger role for U.S. armed forces in responding to natural disasters, as he completed what White House aides called a weekend "fact-finding" mission to determine whether the Pentagon needs more control.
The truth behind this watered-down explanation from the White House is that the president wanted to arrive at U.S. Northern Command to oversee the efforts of a military exercisea military exercise where military troops are called up to police their fellow American citizens.
This exercise was called "Granite Shadow." The military would be mobilized on American soil in order to restore order during a possible terror attack of biological and/or nuclear weapons or during natural disasters such as what has happened with Katrina and Rita.
The Washington Post reported that Granite Shadow is yet another new Top Secret and compartmentalized operation related to the militarys extra-legal powers regarding the policing of American citizens. It allows for emergency military operations in the United States without civilian supervision or control.
The report outlines the preparations for martial law takeover in the U.S. It is alleged that the Granite Shadow is an unclassified name for a classified contingency plan where deployments of "special mission units" will take place in Washington, D.C. and other domestic areas where a real or perceived crisis is taking place.
These "special mission units" include the so-called Delta Force, SEAL teams, Rangers, and other special units of the Joint Special Operations Command.
It is also proposed that Granite Shadow conduct domestic military operations, including intelligence collection and surveillance, unique rules of engagement regarding the use of lethal force, the use of experimental non-lethal weapons, and federal and military control of incident locations that are highly controversial and might border on the illegal.
Standing domestic army
Bush is literally asking Congress to consider overturning the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. The act generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or the Congress. Coupled with the Insurrection Act, the powers of the federal government to use the U.S. military for law enforcement are limited.
"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a Posse Comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." ~Sec. 1385. - Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus.
We also are beginning to see the bigger picture as Granite Shadow seems to have many different provisions, potentially including a shifting of federal responsibility for the management of major natural disasters from the Department of Homeland Security to the nations top military generals.
We can see that deployment has begun. The disasters have prompted a sense of urgency to test and demonstrate the power of FEMA as the military arm of Homeland Security.
Granite Shadows full impact is allegedly going to be felt during the winter of 2005-2006, with full command powers and executive orders to be enacted upon by April, 2006.
>From these vague rumors we can only speculate that the winter of 2005/2006 is going to be a rough one, considering the impact of the two hurricanes on our economy and on the ability for people to pay for food and heat this winter.
In the aftermath of the hurricanes, supplies of oil and natural gas have been cut down twice in one month and the price of natural gas will probably rise to $20.00 per unit by Christmas 2005. That would be a 700 percent increase since 2002.
Medical martial law
Also, the winter brings with it the cold and flu season. This years disease scare campaign from the Centers for Disease Control is generating fear for an outbreak of the H5N1 virus (avian flu virus).
This news story has been cleverly clouded by the hurricane stories and could very well be the next crisis waiting in the wings. The truth of the matter is that the United States government has been overseeing contingency plans for the next phase of a whole series of disasters, and that is the policing of Americans who may be carriers of a strain of flu.
The Granite Shadow exercise could be seen as a preparation drill for a military response to a possible bird flu pandemic that "experts" say could kill up to 200,000 Americans.
Granite Shadow could also be used to enforce a proposal called the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. The draft bill has been lingering for some time after the attacks on September 11, 2001. The bill was first recommended as a means to help states protect citizens against bio-terrorist attacks and deal with national defense issues.
However, the bill seems to go much further, calling for new police powers all in the name of controlling epidemics of infectious diseases during public health emergencies.
Under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, upon the declaration of a "public health emergency," governors and public health officials would be empowered to:
Force individuals suspected of harboring an "infectious disease" to undergo medical examinations.
Track and share an individuals personal health information, including genetic information.
Force persons to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined for infectious diseases. This includes arresting, imprisoning and forcibly examining, vaccinating and medicating you and your children without your consent. The government will not be held liable if these actions result in your death or injury.
As with Hurricane Katrina we saw the implementation of REX 84 where evacuees were sent to FEMA camps. If there is a flu pandemic the same procedures would again go into effect. This time the camps would be used for quarantine and as examination facilities.
Literal colonies of sick individuals would be placed in camps far from civilization. The government could mandate that all health care providers report all cases of persons who harbor any illness or health condition that may be caused by an epidemic or an infectious agent and might pose a "substantial risk" to a "significant number of people or cause a long-term disability."
Pharmacists would be required to flag or report any unusual demand or any increased prescription rates that may be caused by epidemic diseases.
All existing state laws, rules and regulations, including those relating to privacy, medical licensure, and property rights, would be suspended. The government would then have the right to seize your house, car, telephones, computers, food, fuel, clothing, firearms and alcoholic beverages for their own use. Once again, they will not be held liable if these actions result in the destruction of your personal property.
The military, with the blessing of FEMA and Homeland Security, can and will control public and private property during a public health emergency, including pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, nursing homes, other health care facilities and communications devices.
The military would be used as a police force to enforce the states order, asking for the surrender of any firearms or survival supplies, among other commodities. The state government would then have the right to impose fines and penalties to enforce its orders.
This is all covered with the recent revelation of the Granite Shadow exercise.
The Seven Revolutions
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank run by Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski among others, has produced a list of seven trends that will challenge world leaders and cause change until 2025.
Called the "Seven Revolutions," it lists as priorities one and two, population growth and resource management.
Listed in full, The Seven Revolutions are:
1. Population Control
2. Resource Management
4. Information and Knowledge Flow
5. Economic Integration
"Each of these revolutions," wrote the CSIS, "embodies both promise and peril and it is up to every one of us to determine the trajectory that these revolutionary forces will follow."
Editors note: With Katrina and Rita we have seen FEMA in action and can say with absolute certainty that the agencys actions did not prioritize helping Americans in need of assistance. Quite to the contrary, the displaced masses were rounded up, often at gunpoint, and herded like animals to detainment-type facilities where they were kept under guard and treated like criminals. See Sec. 5, 14th Amendment, page 11.
Hundreds of Children Still Missing after Katrina
Controversy brewed Friday over FEMA's reluctance to release information on evacuees, data that some agencies have said could speed up the process of finding children missing since Hurricane Katrina. It was not until the FBI began requesting information that FEMA this month turned over the records, which are protected by privacy laws.
The Iraq Our Soldiers Are Dying For (Excerpt)
by Thomas R. Eddlem
January 9, 2006
The new Iraqi government has a network of torture chambers and death squads run by a secret police network of Shi'ite militias loyal to "axis of evil" nation Iran.
"In just over two-and-a-half years, the Iraqi people have made incredible progress on the road to lasting freedom. Iraqis have gone from living under the boot of a brutal tyrant, to liberation, free elections, and a democratic constitution. "
-- President George W. Bush, in remarks before cadets at the U.S. Naval Academy, November 30, 2005
Let us take a closer look at this government of supposed "lasting freedom" President Bush has established in Iraq -- at what would happen if the Bush/Cheney policy succeeds and we "win" in Iraq by upholding the new government.
The new Iraqi Constitution contains few of the categorical rights protected in the U.S. Constitution. For example, in the Iraqi Constitution there are no unqualified guarantees for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, trial by jury, or the right to keep and bear arms.
Ironically, one of the few rights categorically protected under the new Iraqi Constitution is the prohibition against torture. Unlike most provisions of the Iraqi Constitution's bill of rights, which contain exceptions clauses nullifying the supposed guarantee of individual rights, the prohibition against torture contains no exceptions: "All forms of torture, mental or physical, and inhuman treatment are forbidden."
Yet recent revelations have documented that the prohibition against torture has been routinely ignored by the new Iraqi government. Interior Minister Bayan Jabr has been running a network of secret torture prisons throughout Iraq, with one right under the nose of the American encampment in Baghdad.
According to the December 11 Washington Times, Jabr's ministry had been running a torture camp "in Baghdad's Jadriya district, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood directly across the Tigris River from the U.S.-protected green zone in downtown Baghdad." After American forces raided the prison on November 17, U.S. Army spokesman General Rick Lynch noted that U.S. leaders "saw 169 individuals that had been detained. Some of those individuals looked like they had been abused, malnourished and mistreated." Even Alisha Ryu of the U.S. government-funded Voice of America was forced to admit that many of the 169 prisoners looked "like concentration camp victims" and that about a third had cuts or bruises on their faces. The December 11 Times story relayed that one prisoner -- released by an Iraqi judge -- described "Jadriya's cell walls as being covered with blood, with prisoners sitting on the ground and groaning after torture sessions."
The Washington Times concluded on November 18, a day after the initial raid: "The discovery of a secret Iraqi Interior Ministry torture chamber confirms what has been an open secret in Baghdad for months: Pro-Iranian militia have deeply infiltrated the ministry and are acting as a law unto themselves." The Times even quoted an Iraqi police officer, who told the newspaper on condition of anonymity: "I am more scared of the Ministry of Interior than I am of the insurgents." Meanwhile, Jabr was busy denying -- and later minimizing -- the findings. "Okay, there were signs of torture," Jabr admitted after the U.S. raid on the Jadriya prison, "but there were no killings or beheadings." Even that may not prove true. Photos purporting to show torture at Jadriya show both torture-swollen bodies and corpses. If these photos should prove authentic, Jabr -- who initially denied the existence of torture chambers -- would be proven wrong again.
By December 11, word of additional torture chambers had leaked into even the compliant U.S. press, as Iraqi forces searched a second torture chamber in Baghdad, which held 625 prisoners. Thirteen of the detainees had to be hospitalized as a result of the beatings they endured under captivity. The December 12 Washington Post summarized conditions in the prison: "An Iraqi official with firsthand knowledge of the search said that at least 12 of the 13 prisoners had been subjected to 'severe torture,' including sessions of electric shock and episodes that left them with broken bones. 'Two of them showed me their nails, and they were gone,' the official said on condition of anonymity because of security concerns." The December 11 Washington Times identified four additional torture prisons in Baghdad alone, at least one of which housed more than 1,000 prisoners.
The Washington Post notes that the prisons are only one symptom of a Shi'ite terrorist regime gone wild. CLIP
US to Restrict Iraqi Police
After a series of prison abuse scandals that have inflamed sectarian tensions, US officials announced plans Thursday to rein in Iraqi special police forces, increasing the number of American troops assigned to work with them and requiring consultations before the Iraqis mount raids in Baghdad.
Toward a Militarist America (Excerpt)
by William Norman Grigg
January 9, 2006
The Framers of our republic warned of the dangers posed by overgrown military establishments. Could our nation someday succumb to a military dictatorship?
The year is 2012. Prisoner 222305759, a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, has been convicted of sedition and condemned to die. Armed with smuggled research notes and a small sheaf of writing paper, the Prisoner composes a lengthy letter to a classmate describing in detail how the United States, once a constitutional republic with a military establishment under civilian control, had succumbed to military dictatorship under the reign of General Thomas E.T. Brutus, self-designated "Commander in Chief of the Unified Armed Forces."
"It wasn't any single cause that led us to this point," writes the Prisoner. "It was instead a combination of several different developments, the beginnings of which were evident in 1992." Chief among them was an increasing tendency of America's political class to task the military "with a variety of new, nontraditional 'missions,' and vastly escalating its commitment to formerly ancillary duties." These included not only foreign "peacekeeping" and "operations other than war," but also a variety of domestic missions, from law enforcement to environmental clean-up to educational initiatives. Military personnel became "an adjunct to almost all police forces in the country"; social and economic problems -- from deteriorating public infrastructure to bankrupt commercial airlines -- "were transformed into 'national security' issues," and eventually brought within the military's sphere of influence.
With the rapid and apparently painless victory over Iraq in 1991, it seemed as if the military -- unlike practically every other branch of the federal government -- was a bottomless well of competence. "I am beginning to think that the only way the national government can do anything worthwhile is to invent a security threat and turn the job over to the military," wrote Atlantic Monthly commentator James Fallows in 1992, capturing the prevailing mood.
Infusing the military into the warp and weave of everyday life, the Prisoner ruefully reflects, meant that "people became acclimated to seeing uniformed military personnel patrolling their neighborhood.... Even the youngest citizens were co-opted.... [We have] an entire generation of young people who have grown up comfortable with the sight of military personnel patrolling their streets and teaching in their classrooms."
Even as it became nearly ubiquitous in American society, the military became increasingly alienated from the civilian political class and mainstream society. It subtly "evolved into a force susceptible to manipulation by an authoritarian leader from its own select ranks."
"What made this all more disheartening was the wretched performance of our forces in the Second Gulf War," continues the Prisoner's account. "Consumed with ancillary and nontraditional missions, the military neglected its fundamental [reason for being].... When Iranian armies started pouring into the lower Gulf States in 2010, the U.S. Armed Forces were ready to do anything but fight."
With military morale collapsing and the political class thoroughly discredited, General Brutus exploits the death of the president in February 2012 by persuading the vice president not to take the oath of office. Invoking the "power vacuum" that he created, Brutus moves into the White House, "postpones" elections indefinitely, and engineers a referendum to ratify his new status as military ruler of the United States.
This scenario -- alternately fanciful and plausible, but entirely horrifying -- was laid out in "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012." That essay, a "darkly imagined excursion into the future," was published by military analyst Charles J. Dunlap in the Winter 1992-1993 issue of Parameters, the journal of the U.S. Army War College. CLIP
10 Good Things about Another Bad Year
By Medea Benjamin
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
29 December 2005
As we close this year, a year in which we were pummeled by the Iraq war, attacks on our civil rights, and Mother Nature's fury of hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis, there is no shortage of reasons to feel bruised and beaten. But to start the New Year with a healthy determination to keep on fighting, we need to reflect on the good things that happened. And there are plenty.
One continent alone - South America - could provide more than ten examples of wonderful progressive victories, but I'll just list some of the highlights.
1. Hugo Chavez has shown how an oil-rich nation can use the country's wealth to provide education, healthcare and small business opportunities for its people - and we here in the US have discovered an oil company we can feel good about buying gas from: Venezuela's CITGO.
2. Bolivians have, for the first time in their history, elected an indigenous president, Evo Morales. The former llama farmer and coca grower has fought against "free trade" and the privatization of his nation's resources, and has brought new hope to indigenous people throughout the continent.
3. Anti-war activists - who once represented a much-maligned minority - now represent the majority of Americans who agree that the war in Iraq was a mistake and the troops should come home as soon as possible. And with Cindy Sheehan and Cong. Jack Murtha, we finally had spokespeople the mainstream media listened to!
4. In an historic blow to the Bush administration's five-year attempt to destroy the Kyoto Protocol, the climate summit in Montreal ended with even stronger measures to combat global warming. At home, nearly 200 cities are taking their own Kyoto-type actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
5. The Senate ended the year with a spurt of defiance, refusing to permanently extend the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, blocking the Republican maneuver to attach Arctic oil drilling to a defense spending bill, and passing John McCain's anti-torture amendment.
6. Despite a concerted offensive to lift the president's sagging public support, George Bush's approval ratings are still below 50 percent, his economic agenda (from the privatization of social security to the repeal of the estate tax) has unraveled, key cronies from Lewis Libby to Tom DeLay have fallen from grace, and 2006 might just put impeachment back into the congressional lexicon.
7. Labor, community activists and women's groups have mounted a spirited campaign against the behemoth of behemoths, Wal-Mart. And a California jury awarded $172 million to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., who were denied such basic rights as lunch breaks, with 40 similar lawsuits pending in other states.
8. With the wild swings in gas prices, SUV sales have plummeted (Ford Explorer down 52%, Chevrolet Suburban down 46%), the sale of hybrids has doubled, and the US House of Representatives actually held a forum on the "peak oil theory."
9. In a great win for farm workers, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers forced the fast food giant Taco Bell to raise the price for picking tomatoes (nearly doubling many workers' salaries), and now they're ready to take on an even bigger bully: McDonald's.
10. The global movement for peace and justice proved it was alive and kicking: witness Argentina during the Free Trade Agreement meetings, Hong Kong around the World Trade Organization ministerial, and the ongoing rallies against the war. The steady growth of the fair-trade movement also shows that we are not just protesting, but we're also building a more sustainable economy.
Let's make 2006 the year we broke the right-wing tide, refused to give pro-war, free-trade Democrats a free ride, and built a "people's movement" with some muscle to it. We might just get some lessons from our southern neighbors. If Mexico City's progressive mayor Manuel Lopez Obrador becomes Mexico's next president, Latin America's revolutionary fervor will be smack up against the Texas border. Que viva el poder popular en 2006!
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace.
Indian Ocean Tsunami response: The tsunami of rip-offs
By Judi McLeod
December 30, 2005
Tip-offs passed to canadafreepress.com by Sri Lankan journalists during the past year were right on target: The promised money from Canada for victims of the December 26 tsunami never came.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, who made a January 3, 2005 photo-op of tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka, guaranteed $425-million for tsunami relief that has yet to arrive.
Forty million dollars of the $425-million pledged by Martin was donated by average Canadians.
And now we know, courtesy of the Financial Times, "a year after the Indian Ocean tsunami, up to a third of the $590-million so far spent under the United Nations $1.1-billion disaster flash appeal appears to have gone on administration, staff and related costs."
The Canadian $425-million was to have been administered by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). Canadian Maurice Strong, an advisor to both UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Prime Minister Paul Martin is the founder of CIDA.
With the whitewash of the UN Oil-for-Food scandal ongoing, should anyone be surprised that a two-month investigation by the Financial Times has also found that several UN agencies are still refusing to disclose details of their relief expenditurein spite of earlier pledges of transparency by senior UN officials?
The international response to the Boxing Day tragedy that last year killed more than 220,000 people and displaced untold legions of others was unprecedented. According to UN estimates, governments, companies and individuals pledged more than $13-billion to help affected countries.
Long before the international press delivered exposes on the tsunami relief scandal, award-winning Canadian documentary journalist Garth Pritchard was asking questions.
"Last night, Padre Captain J.B. Hardwick received a telephone call from Pastor Sunil Sagadavan of Smyrna Church Samagipura, of Hinguranaa small town in the Ampara district where the Canadian DART (Disaster Assistance Relief Team) spent 40 days helping the victims of the tsunami," Pritchard wrote in CFP, on May 5, 2005. "Pastor Sunil reported that the peoplethose affected by the tsunamiwere in exactly the same situation now as they had been after DART left."
"Canadians contributed a minimum of $40-million from their own pockets. Where is it?" Pritchard asked.
Pritchard, in Sri Lanka at the invitation of DART, says Canadian soldiers watched in disbelief as white SUVs roared up and down the coastal highway with the UN flag and the UN logo in black letters on the doors.
"They were showing their UN presence, but they never stopped. In the end, the local people formed human barricades to stop these vehicles. They were worried that the SUVs were traveling at such a high speed, they posed a danger to children."
One year later, many tsunami victims are still exposed to the elements scrounging for food.
"Billions of dollars are out there somewhere, but the people are still with nothing," Pritchard says.
"It seems that the meager food that they had been allotted was to be cut off in December. One man states the obvious: `I live in a tent. I scrounge every day. My family is dead. I cant say that Ill be in a house soon, because they keep saying theyre going to build some housing for us. But they havent started yet. And really, we dont know if they will."
For politicians like Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and bureaucrats like Kofi Annan, the year 2005, like all others, was 365 days. For the victims of the December 26, tsunami, still languishing without shelter and scrounging for scraps of food, 2005 was a century.
Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the media. A former Toronto Sun and Kingston Whig Standard columnist, she has also appeared on Newsmax.com, the Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and World Net Daily. Judi can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Wave of Memories (Dec 25)
(...) Much has been lost in Lamteungoh and all of Aceh province, where an estimated 167,000 people were killed in the area hit hardest by the tsunami, which pummeled coastal communities in a dozen countries. But people here are taking solace from the security that comes with peace. For the first time in a generation, they do not fear military checkpoints or ransom demands by rebels. A 30-year conflict between the government and the separatist Free Aceh Movement ended with a peace accord on Aug. 15, partly as a result of both groups setting aside differences after the tsunami to work on reconstruction. "This is what the Acehnese people have always dreamed of - peace," said Marwadi, a fisherman and preacher whose new wife is two months pregnant. Not long ago, he said, soldiers would barge into his house, accusing him of supporting the rebels, demanding to see identification. "Now, there's no one checking our ID," he said. "We are free to go anywhere." CLIP
Recommended by "Stephanie Rudd" email@example.com>
The Invention of Abu Musab al Zarqawi
The presumed head of Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Jihad), the group supposedly responsible for a string of atrocities in Iraq including the videotaped decapitation of American Nicholas Berg and the ruthless killing of Shia pilgrims, has become the Wests new poster boy of international terrorism.
Abu Musab al Zarqawi is rapidly becoming in the public mind the new face of international terrorism, eclipsing Osama bin Laden into second place.
But according to some researchers, if Zarqawi didnt exist the US government would have invented him. In fact, its increasingly possible they did invent him.
According to Mustafa Alani, a Gulf-based terrorism expert, Zarqawi might be someone invented by politicians and the security services to point the finger of blame at.
Not only has his presence in Iraq never been convincingly proved, but even his whereabouts has never been corroborated by anyone other than American Generals who prefer to bomb first and look later.
As the Anglo-Americans escalate their war on terrorism which in reality is a war on Islam, the need to escalate disinformation and propaganda is also paramount, particularly when the public is losing its stomach for the battle, when American lives are being lost each day, and when Western leaders continue to be caught red handed in one scandal after another.
To rouse public opinion to support the neocolonial war effort, the US intelligence community has created it own terrorist organisations. War propaganda, disinformation and counterterrorism are braided together to achieve the maximum result, for terrorism must remain front and centre in the minds of citizens if the Anglo-Americans are going to reach foreign policy objectives.
Heres how it works. Disinformation is circulated to the news media and then the intelligence community creates its own terror warnings concerning the very organisations it created.
In some cases, the disinformation appears in advance, in order to pave the way for an up and coming act of terror that brings about a desired political outcome. This problem/solution equation always appears when the war effort is waning and serves to give a face to terror via an expensive advertising campaign.
And this is precisely what we have in Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the Wests new public enemy No 1. Zarqawi and his group are now responsible for every dark deed carried out against Anglo-American goals in Iraq, including the latest barbaric videotaped beheadings.
The US State Department has increased the reward for his arrest from $10 million to $25 million, which puts his market value at par with that of Osama.
Since early 2004, Zarqawi has been in the news almost on a daily basis. In contrast to Osama bin Laden, Zarqawi has no family history and he supposedly comes from an impoverished Palestinian family in Jordan. His parents are dead. He emerged out of the blue.
He is described by CNN as a lone wolf who is said to act independent of Al Qaeda. He seems to be in several places at the same time. He is described as the chief US enemy, a master of disguise and bogus identification papers. We are led to believe this lone wolf manages to outwit the powerful US intelligence operatives.
According to the Weekly Standard which is known to have a close relationship to the Bush administration:
Abu Musab al Zarqawi is hot right now. He masterminded not only Bergs murder but also the Madrid carnage on March 11, the bombardment of Shia worshippers in Iraq the same month, and the April 24 suicide attack on the port of Basra. But he is far from a newcomer to slaughter. Well before 9/11, he had already concocted a plot to kill Israeli and American tourists in Jordan. His label is on terrorist groups and attacks on four continents. (Weekly Standard, 24 May 2004)
In Iraq, he is said to be determined to ignite a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. But this is precisely what US intelligence is aiming at (divide and rule) as confirmed by several analysts of the US led war. Pitting one group against the other with a view to weakening the resistance movement.
The CIA, with its $30 billion plus budget, pleads ignorance. They say they know nothing about him; they have a photograph, but, according to the Weekly Standard, they apparently do not know his weight or height.
There is an aura of mystery surrounding this individual which is part of the propaganda ploy. Zarqawi is described as so secretive even some operatives who work with him do not know his identity.
According to Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research, almost immediately in the wake of a terrorist event or warning, the media says we think this mysterious individual Abu Musab al Zarqawi is behind it, invariably without supporting evidence and prior to the conduct of an investigation by the relevant police and intelligence authorities.
In some cases, upon the immediate occurrence of the terrorist event, there is an initial report which mentions Zarqawi as the possible mastermind. The report will often say, yes we think he did it, but it is not yet confirmed and there is some doubt on the identity of those behind the attack, Chossudovsky reports.
The first time Abu Musab al Zarqawis name is mentioned was in relation to the thwarted attack on the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman, Jordan, during the millennium celebrations in 1999.
According to the New York Times, Zarqawi fled Afghanistan to Iran in late 2001, following the entry of US troops. Official US reports suggest he was protected at the highest levels of the Tehran government.
Now we hear the US administration has concluded Syria is working to destabilise the interim government in Iraq and harboring senior operatives of Abu Musab al Zarqawi (World Tribune, 28 September 2004).
In post-September 11 doctrine speeches George W. Bush has warned that states harboring terrorists are subject to attack. The omnipotent Zarqawi now conveniently provides an excuse for the US to strike more countries at its time of choosing.
The same propaganda process took place with the demonisation of Iraq before the Anglo-American invasion. In the months leading up to the war, Zarqawis name re-emerged, almost on daily basis, with reports focusing on his sinister relationship to Saddam Hussein.
We are told Zarqawis group is composed of many foreign fighters, but this claim which underlies the misinformation foreigners are directing the Iraqi resistance is also unsupported by evidence.
USA Today admits, Suspected foreign fighters account for less than 2% of the 5,700 captives being held as security threats in Iraq, a strong indication that Iraqis are largely responsible for the stubborn insurgency... the figures also suggest that Iraq isnt as big a magnet for foreign terrorists as some administration critics have asserted. (USA Today, 5 July 2004)
An article for the Iraqi resistance web site Al Moharer by Hanna Kildani also refutes the existence of Zarqawi:
The story of Zarqawi is another invention. It is the creation of the Bush administration, and unfortunately it found wide acceptance in the Western media
This lie was formulated to justify the American aggression in Iraq... The resistance in Iraq is not Zarqawi neither is it made of thugs and foreigners but genuine Iraqis.
By focusing everything on Zarqawi the media is diverting attention away from the fact that every major city and town in Iraq including large chunks of Baghdad are no-go areas for the occupation forces.
Unwilling to admit that what is really happening in Iraq is a national uprising against the occupation, they have no other choice but to create an alternate reality, with the invaluable assistance of the mass media.
Source: Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi? by M. Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO405B.html
Al-Zarqawi, An American False Flag Operative, by B. Kennedy,
http://www.prisonplanet.tv, June 25
Date: 31 Dec 2005
Subject: HOPI PROPHECIES - THE FINAL WARNING - RE-AIRING
For Immediate Release:
December 30, 2005
NOTE: Dr. Robert Ghost Wolf was aware, before his untimely passing, of the scheduled re-airing of his last TV appearance .....The show is being re-broadcast because it took the server out the three times it previously was presented, so log on early....
This broadcast is available on the internet and in the Tucson Area... and will be aired the country-over as seen appropriate by various affiliates nationally.
A Special Television Presentation
Dr. Robert Ghost Wolf and
Host, Jim Rodger
The Hopi Prophecies - A Final Warning
TONIGHT, DEC. 31, 2005
6:00 PM Mountain - ONLINE
http://www.accesstucson.org (Ch. 72)
An intimate discussion with Dr. Ghost Wolf about the Hopi Elders, The Sinom ... the high spiritual priests, and keepers of the 10,000 year old traditions of the Original Teachings .
Their visions of the future reality are unfolding this very moment.
The Hopi have some final warnings, along with MESSAGES of HOPE for these times of Change, Times of Transition and FINAL AWAKENING. This Special Television Presentation will be presented exclusively for
The Final Prophecies of the late Chief Dan Evehema, the oldest Hopi, Personal friend and Elder Teacher to Dr. Ghost Wolf and the Elders who shared their wisdom foretelling of the times we are now experiencing, and the Promise of a New World that would result if we heed the lessons of our past.
Go to: http://accesstucson.org
Click on: Watch live - next click on: Ch72
Additional replays of this show will air on Sun. Jan. 1 and Sun Jan. 8, 2006
Both at 1:00 PM MST
Cutting Edge TV - Reaching Over 5.2 Million
Presented exclusively on CUTTING EDGE TELEVISION with host Jim Rodger.
End of the year message & A Meditation to Create A New World
1135 Makawao Avenue, Suite 144, Makawao, Maui, Hawaii 96768
808-573-3280 * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 24, 2005
As another wonderful year comes to a close and a new year begins, I give thanks for all the blessings this past year has brought and the opportunity to create anew an even more wonderful year.
At this sacred time of year, we are reminded of who we aresons and daughters of the most high, made in the image and likeness of our Creator. In every person, in every atom is the Divine Presence. We have come to earth to manifest in flesh the glory of God. For our very presence in the earthly realm brings a bit of heaven to this earth, so in need of Gods heavenly grace. As we focus on that Divine Presence within ourselves and our neighbor, we create peace on earthstarting within our own hearts and minds.
Just as the Judeo-Christian Bible tells us that Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons and daughters of God, being a bringer of peace not only changes our lives for the better, it transforms everyone around us. What if we lived from the Divine Presence within us, being a source of love and joy, and recognizing the Divine Presence in others? What a glorious world we would create! Everything would change in an instant. We would create peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, and peace in the world.
As the wise ones have taught, we each hold the key to our own life and to the piece of the divine plan that we have agreed to build into form. We came with such joy and excitement to bring the very highest of the heavenly and angelic realms to earth for the glory of all humankind. For when we saw the extreme pain and suffering upon this planet, we knew there was a better way. We have come to show this better waynot only for ourselves, but for all around us as well. And it is the same with all others.
In the midst of our busy world, nothing is as important as feeling the peace and love of the Divine Presence within our hearts and minds and extending that out to everyone around us. As we draw the circle large enough to embrace all of humanitynot just the ones in our select circle that we have allowed to be includedwe all get to live in this loving, peaceful embrace.
What if we practiced the sacred words given to us from on highpeace on earth, goodwill to men? We would live in a paradise, a heaven on earth and all of our days would be spent in glorious sacred union with the Divine.
What if we treated each other as the sacred Beloved, seeing with the eyes of Mother Father God? What if we truly opened our hearts and minds in holy communion with each other and allowed ourselves to rise in love into the holy sanctuary of the Divine? What if we opened our hearts and minds to the ones we feel conflict with until there is only love and forgiveness in our hearts, where once there was hate and separation?
What if we daily engaged in the practice of blessing the earth and all the people residing thereon? What if we spent our days praising each other and living in constant thanksgiving and gratitude for all that we have been given?
What if we began each day by lifting our thoughts to the heavenly realms and re-connecting with our sacred Source, creating from the highest place only what will bring about heaven on earth? What if we use our every thought and word and action to create peace on earth? Then at the end of the day, as we rest our head upon the pillow, we will know that we have contributed this day to bringing heaven to earth.
What if we took the time each day to replace complaining with blessing everyone who has lost their way? What if we all built a bridge with our prayers and blessings that allowed the ones that are still asleep to awaken to the glory of who they are and the divine plan of creating peace on earththat starts by seeing the God-given goodness in another and praising and nurturing that goodness until it blossoms and blooms?
We all know that it is a universal truth that wherever we place our focus expands. What if we placed our focus on the goodness and consciously and consistently nurtured that goodness into full bloom? What kind of world could we create by using our love to bring forth the very best in everyonestarting with those closest to us and then extending it out to include the ones we call our enemies. For as Abraham Lincoln said, The way to handle your enemy is to make him your friend.
During this blessed holiday season, when so many traditions celebrate their high holy days, let us extend forgiveness to everyone and fill our hearts with the love and compassion that brings about peace on earth.
Lets use the power of the Divine Presence within us to create the abundant, peaceful world that we all long for in our heart of hearts. For just as the moon appears each night against the darkened sky, so do we appear into this darkened world to lift it up into the light. Each one of us can shine our light and bring to earth a great light such as the world has never known, transforming this planet and lifting humanity into the heavenly realm that brings to earth the glory and majesty of Heaven on Earth. Right here, right now.
I invite you to gather your family and friends together once a month at the time of new beginnings, the New Moon, to focus our combined spiritual energy to create this new world. Enclosed is a meditation I began fourteen years ago that is now being done by groups of people all over the world. Please join us. And pass it on to everyone you know.
Thank you for gracing my life with your Presence, and for being an uplifting force in the world.
With love and aloha, I send you blessings of peace and joy,
A Meditation to Create A New World
Purpose: To join together in heart, mind and spirit to create a better world.
When: Each new moon: Dec. 30; 2005; Jan. 29, Feb. 27, Mar. 29, April 27, May 26, June 25, July 24, Aug 23, Sept. 22, Oct. 21, Nov. 20, Dec 20, 2006.
How: By yourself or with a group of family and friends, offer a prayer or meditation for the creation of a more loving, peaceful, abundant world.
The following is offered as a suggestion. Add your own vision of heaven on earth.
Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and breathe in the love deep at the center of your heart. Breathe love into every cell of your body.
Send love out from your heart to everyone you know and to the places in the world that need healing, until your loves reaches around the world.
Hold our precious Earth in your hands and send love and gratitude to this beloved planet that is our home.
Create in your minds eye the paradise this planet was always meant to be.
Envision clean air and pure water, rivers, lakes and oceans...lush green forests and farmlands...people living in dignity and abundance in harmony with each other and the Earth.
Hear the sounds of forgiveness as old enemies become friends...the sounds of joy and laughter as communities formerly divided by hate become whole again.
Feel the warmth of acceptance and the safety of our homes and neighborhoods as our world becomes united with brotherly and sisterly love.
Envision peace beginning in the heart of every individual and spreading heart to heart across the land, finally encircling the globe.
See clearly this new world that honors everyone as well as the Earth, and feel how it feels to live in this new world. See it clearly and feel it intensely.
Release it to the angels with joy and gratitude and begin today to live it. So be it!
Adapted from Passport to Paradise copyrighted by Sharon Rose
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From: "t r u t h o u t" email@example.com>
Subject: Top 10 t r u t h o u t Stories of 2005
Date: 01 Jan 2006
In 2005 TruthOut brought you exclusive coverage of the year's most important stories including much original content. This New Year's edition showcases the top 10 TruthOut stories of 2005.
Browse our continually updating front page at http://www.truthout.org
Join fellow bloggers at the t r u t h o u t Town Meeting. Get perspective on today's important issues from TO's editorial team and prominent guest bloggers.
Join the debate! http://forum.truthout.org/blog
t r u t h o u t | Mr. Fitzgerald Calling
One of the years biggest stories, federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's dramatic quest to bring White House officials to justice for revealing the name of under cover CIA agent Valerie Plame needed special coverage. TruthOut was there.
Steve Weissman | Dead Messengers: How the US Military Threatens Journalists
2004 was the deadliest year for reporters since 1980. At the time many reporters believed that the military was purposely targeting journalists. As a result TruthOut Director, Marc Ash asked Steve Weissman to investigate this claim. In this award winning five part series that came out early 2005, Steve Weissman reports his findings.
William Rivers Pitt | Nail It to the White House Door
On the eve of the Conyers hearing on June 16th, William Rivers Pitt writes on the Downing Street Minutes -the document leaked by a British version of Deep Throat that describes in plain language the manner in which the Bush and Blair administrations planned to manipulate their way into an invasion of Iraq. A collection of more than 120 organizations and news outlets came together for the purpose of nailing the facts of the Downing Street Minutes to the White House door.
Marjorie Cohn | Abu Ghraib General Lambastes Bush Administration
In this exclusive TruthOut interview Marjorie Cohn talks with Janis Karpinski, the Army Reserve Brigadier General who was in charge of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq when the now famous torture photographs were taken in fall of 2003.
t r u t h o u t | MayDay Mississippi Delta
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina the TruthOut staff created a special page to provide our readers with around the clock coverage of the events unfolding. In addition to providing coverage from a variety of sources our page also provided resources and information for prospective donors and hurricane victims in need of help.
t r u t h o u t | One Mother's Stand
In August and September TruthOut's Managing Editor, Scott Galindez spent three weeks at Camp Casey providing our readers with exclusive coverage. As a result TruthOut created this special page "One Mother's Stand." TruthOut also followed Camp Casey to Washington DC for a historic mobalization against the Iraq war http://truthout.org/campcaseydc.shtml.
Bill Moyers | There Is No Tomorrow
Bill Moyers looks at what he calls one of the biggest changes in politics in his lifetime: the delusional is no longer marginal. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. The offspring of ideology and theology are not always bad but they are always blind. And that is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.
Confessions of a Marine
TruthOut's French correspondent, Leslie Thatcher, translated this piece that appeared in Le Nouvel Observateur. It was the story that no American publisher wanted. In this excerpt, Master-Sergeant Jimmy Massey tells about his mission to recruit for, then fight in, the war in Iraq. He tells why he killed. And cracked.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. | We Must Take America Back
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. delivered this speech at the Sierra Summit 2005 in San Francisco in acceptance of the William O. Douglas Award. " This is the worst environmental president weve had in American history. The White House has used all kinds of ingenious machinations to try to conceal its radical agenda from the American people including Orwellian rhetoric. But most insidiously, they have put polluters in charge of virtually all the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution."
Harold Pinter | The Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth and Politics
Harold Pinter gave this lecture when he received the 2005 Nobel prize for literature in early December. "The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public."
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From: "Kathleen Roberts" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Would the Government Want to Read or Censor Your Mail?
Date: 1 Jan 2006
Below are someone's suggestions for getting past Homeland Security Filters....
Here is a way to test the censorship:
Apparently the Department of Homeland Security has determined that there is an objective that is even more important than censoring any specific message.
That objective is PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM BECOMING AWARE OF THE CENSORSHIP
I think that I may have found a way to back them down. Putting away the text, and just using a URL, keeps most of the censorship filters from flagging it.
When massive numbers of people are hitting the URLS, then they do not want to appear conspicuous. Here are the URLs for three messages, that were initially being censored:
Some of the people, who tried to access these URLs, were denied access because "too many people have tried to download from this site". Such massive numbers of people would be a major awakening of the people.
In the case of these particular messages, the censorship is no longer POSSIBLE; since the messages have already gotten out, and are now being posted on web pages.
Department of Home Land Security now controls the Federal Communications Commission. The Federal Communications Commission NOW claims to regulate the internet. Both of whom are trying to force ISP's to install the Department of Home Land Security filter.
Many of these ISP's would install the Department of Home Land Security filter immediately, except for the danger of enraging the American people.
Unfortunately the American people do not have a clue what is being done, and that is the way that "Big Brother" wants to keep it.
The delivery of email involves a pathway of servers. If the Department of Homeland Security filter is installed on any one of those servers, the message will be blocked. If there is a pathway of servers; which is free of Department of Homeland Security filter, the message will be delivered.
The filter also has a variety of settings; which can be adjusted from one moment to the next. The actions of the filter may also be manually over-ridden. This can cause it to appear inactive in one case, but censor in another case. The number of recipients is one of those settings. The filter might stop large distributions, while allowing messages to a few recipients.
The filter can also behave differently in the blocking of certain domains. Egroups have distinctive domains. It would be possible to allow private communications, while still blocking public postings. Another tactic is directly the censored message into the spam folder.
This is a direct copy and past from the web page of the "company" which provides the filter: http://www.surfcontrol.com/products/
Spooky AOL Ad Says Big Brother Is Watching the Internet
Why is a company that profits from Internet use demonizing the Internet? (...) It is clear that AOL is playing its part in introducing the idea of censorship of the Internet, under the false notion of having a 'debate' about it. (...) The ad revels in the specter of big brother watching us all and warns us that everything we do on the Internet is under surveillance. CLIP
From: "Kathleen Roberts" email@example.com>
Subject: Billion Dollar Bunker and 4 Superbases for US in Iraq
Date: 4 Jan 2006
This, hot upon the heels of the U.S. saying it will not continue to fund Iraq reconstruction. Thanks to http://www.legitgov.org for this item.
EXCLUSIVE: BILLION DOLLAR BUNKER
U.S. plans Baghdad embassy more secure than Pentagon
By Chris Hughes Security Correspondent
AMERICA is to spend £1billion on an embassy in Baghdad "more secure than the Pentagon".
Plans for the hi-tech complex are being kept secret because of the terrorist threat in Iraq.
The exact location is not being released until later this year but it is likely to be built in the heavily fortified Green Zone area where the Iraqi government and US military command is based.
The embassy will be guarded by 15ft blast walls and ground-to-air missiles and the main building will have bunkers for use during air offensives.
The grounds will include as many as 300 houses for consular and military officials.
And a large-scale barracks will be built for Marines who will protect what will be Washington's biggest and most secure overseas building.
A US source in the Middle East said last night: "Plans for the embassy building are being kept behind closed doors because of the terrorist threat.
"It will be more secure than The Pentagon because it will be under constant threat from attack." The Green Zone is the safest part of Baghdad, surrounded by concrete blast walls and checkpoints.
The US also wants to build four massive military superbases around Iraq's capital.
The plans will fuel speculation they want to keep a firm foothold in Iraq for many years.
An Iraqi security source said last night: "The plans for the embassy building will make it the largest and best protected diplomatic building overseas for the US.
"You may as well move the Pentagon to Iraq. It will be amazingly secure but it also flies in the face of claims American is preparing to leave Iraq to be policed and governed by Iraqis.
"Plans for four superbases across the country will only reinforce the view that the US is here to stay for the duration."
The move comes despite Donald Rumsfeld revealing last week that US troop numbers in Iraq are to be reduced by 7,000 to 153,000.
Tony Blair has also predicted British troops could start pulling out this May.
Backing among the American public for President Bush's action in Iraq has fallen. Despite the opposition a Kuwait-based construction company has already been handed £175million ($300 million) of the building deal.
Plans for four huge military bases placed strategically around Baghdad are also being drawn up.
The superbases will be in central Iraq, close to the capital, and also to the north, west and east of Baghdad.
Several other Middle Eastern and American building firms are tendering for the remaining budget.
Funding will probably come from Iraqi oil revenues channelled into redeveloping the country.
America has a string of 'secret' military bases throughout the Gulf states, including Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
The huge desert complexes, including airstrips and aircraft hangars, are up to 20 miles square and are not featured on civilian maps.
They started to appear after the first Gulf War 15 years ago, infuriating Islamic extremists and the al-Qaeda terror network.
First Peoples Peace Summit
International Call for Departments of Peace in Governments throughout the World.
Its not a matter of simply getting another Department of Government. Youre speaking of an entire philosophical revolution.
Walter Cronkite, former CBS TV News Anchorman
Following a two-day summit at the Houses of Parliament, the first Peoples Peace Summit launched an international initiative for the creation of Departments of Peace in governments throughout the world. The Declaration was presented to a packed public meeting in the Grand Committee Room and hosted by John McDonnel MP.
There is a rapidly growing international movement to establish Departments or Ministries of Peace everywhere. The idea is to support the emergence of a culture of peace, where non-violence would become one of the organising principles of society.
The meeting was attended by people from 11 countries and opened with video greetings from US Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, the originator of the concept. He said that more than 60 members of Congress have now signed on to co-sponsor his Bill, which is calling for a Department of Peace in the House of Representatives.
We can conceive of peace as not simply the absence of violence but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of human awareness. We may all tap the infinite capabilities of humanity to transform, not only consciousness, but the conditions that impel violence at a personal or national level, and instead create understanding, compassion and love.
The campaign has attracted the support of veteran TV news anchorman, Walter Cronkite, who interviewed the Congressman at the US conference. The highly respected newsman said: What is quite clear, and will become clearer as you go along with the campaign, is that you are trying to create not only a massive, but a basic change in our culture and our entire approach to our relationships with other human beings. Its not just a matter of simply getting another department of government. You are speaking of an entire philosophical revolution.
As a result of lobbying by those who attended the US Department of Peace conference in Minnesota, Senator Mark Dayton introduced the Bill into the Senate. Feedback, both from people who attended, as well as people in Congressional offices, was tremendous. Our campaign to establish a Department of Peace took a quantum leap forward, as hundreds of attendees left Washington feeling their experience of citizenship had been expanded and revitalized, said Dot Maver, Peoples Peace Alliance.
When the London Summit ended, Zoughbi Zoughbi, from Palestine, and Shiri Barr, from Israel, expressed their pleasure in standing together calling for peace, while John McDonnel MP said he would read the Declaration into the official record of the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity.
We can bring forth new understandings where peace and not war, becomes inevitable, said Congressman Kucinich. And he asked: Can we move from war to end all war, to peace, to end all war?
The next Peoples Summit for Departments of Peace, will be held in June, in Victoria, prior to the 1st World Peace Forum, in Vancouver.
More such good news at http://www.gvnr.com/
The Energies for January 2006
2006: The Year of the "Flow" and Creating Miracles
Archangel Michael through Celia Fenn
Dearest Lightworkers, after the turbulent energies that you have experienced in the last few months, you will be glad to know that you are entering a relatively quieter period in which you can relax a little and begin exploring your new Inner Landscape.
The New Earth or Paradise Grids that were activated in March of 2005 are now fully ready to support the Creation and Manifestation of the New Earth. The challenge for you is to begin this process of Manifestation, and to create the Abundance and Peace that will be the dominant energy of the New Earth.
You will find, dear ones, that 2006 will be challenging in many ways. The Old Earth grids and the New Earth grids will no longer "overlap" as they have in the past. Now, you will not be able to live with a foot in each world, so to speak. Now is the time when you will have to make a firm commitment to this new way of life.
The Old Earth grids will continue to crumble and disintegrate, and as this happens, people will become more and more angry and frustrated. There will be unrest and continued economic instability. In some places, it will seem as though complete chaos has taken over. In fact, chaos will be a key factor in the disintegration of the Old Earth energies. Wherever Old Earth energy predominates, you will find chaos. The New Earth energies will be characterized by Peace, Calm and innate Order or Flow.
Where you find yourself will be your choice in the next year.
Making the Choice
Many people say to us, "...but we have made that choice, and yet we still cannot create abundance and love in our lives." And we would say, yes, dearest souls, you have made that choice, but you have made it with your Head and not fully with your Heart. Part of you is still aligned with and clinging to the Old Earth grids.
This can usually be seen in your expectations. You are still expecting that the economic system will provide your abundance and peace, and you have not yet moved fully into the "flow" of Divine Prosperity. For the Old Earth was based on a rigid third-dimensional structure that controlled resources and abundance according to rules and regulations. You gave your power and trust to this system and followed the rules, and you expected that system to care for you. The New Earth energies move through a free-flowing fifth-dimensional grid in which the "flow" of Divine Prosperity is available to all. It is your birthright to be personally connected to that flow and to be able to manifest what you need and desire from it through your personal power. And the joy of the New Earth is that you can help each other to achieve Manifestation. You can create Miracles together. For Divine Intelligence loves to bring together beings who desire to create miracles and "play" in the abundant flow of this energy.
And so, as you begin this year, we will ask you, dear ones, to see how in the last several months you have had to "give up" everything that was not in alignment with who you truly are. Friends, partners, relationships, jobs......yes indeed, many changes and shifts, some heart-breaking in themselves. But now, you are in alignment with your Inner Integrity. Now you are ready to create from an alignment of Head and Heart, fully choosing the New Earth flow of Abundance and Love!
What is the "Flow"
Dearest ones, this is a key concept for you in this coming year as you step into the New Earth of Prosperity and Peace! You will need to be ever mindful of the "Flow" and your connection to it as you work with the new grids. After a while, it will become easier for you, once you have found the Flow and "mastered" the techniques of "Flow management".
We would define the "Flow" as the DIVINE CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE that moves through all things. It is loving, supportive and beneficent, and it seeks your Highest Good in Love and Joy. The Ancients knew this energy, before the third-dimensional grids were locked into place. They called it "The Way"! They knew that to follow the "way" was the path to Prosperity and Wisdom.
The "Flow" is, however, not just something that is "out there", an external source that must be found. It is within every cell in your body, and every atom of your being. You are Divine Creative Intelligence. And so, aligning with the "Flow" means aligning with the Divine Creative Intelligence within yourself.
Can you see, dearest Lightworkers, how all the deep work that you have done in the last few years has had the purpose of disconnecting you from dependence on the artificial third-dimensional systems and grids, and returning you to the Natural Flow of Abundance!
Aligning with the Flow
Learning to align with the Flow cannot be done with the mind alone. It is a choice that is made at levels far deeper than the ego or mind. It is a choice where the ego or mind aligns with the Higher Aspect as it works with the Flow Of Divine Creative Intelligence.
The only way to find this path forward is to go within and listen to the Inner Voice of the Heart. For it is the Heart and the Feelings and the Intuition (not the emotions), that will show you the "way" to the Flow of Divine Creative Intelligence. This is because the Intuitive Wisdom of the Heart is far wiser and more ancient than the mind and the emotions. There is room for mind and emotions in life, but they should not lead, but be the followers of the True Voice of the Heart!
Following this path will often lead you to make choices that will not seem "rational" or "logical". They will be choices of the Heart and the Creative Energies. And out of these seemingly "irrational" choices, miracles of Love and radiant Blessings can arise!
For the Flow of Divine Creative Intelligence loves to provide miracles that emerge from a Magical World of Love and Trust that has no basis in sequential logic.
You will know when you are aligned with the Flow. Miracles will happen. When you are not, then you will encounter obstacles and chaos, and nothing will "come together". Then you will have moved out of alignment with your Heart and into your Head of Ego space. But know, dearest ones, that your Higher Aspect is always aligned with the Flow of Divine Creative Intelligence. It is simply a matter of realigning with your Higher Aspect through your Heart.
Creating the Miracles
Dearest Lightworkers, once you have aligned with the Flow is a simple matter to create miracles with the New Earth grids.
The path to Manifestation is well known to you! Simply create an Intention and Focus your energy. This is the "Masculine" side of manifestation. Then be accepting, patient and grateful. This is the "Feminine" aspect of manifestation.
Know that your miracle will arrive. You have begun the process. As your Manifestation Skills improve through practice with the new grids, you will find that the time required to wait for Manifestation will become less.
So, beloved ones, let 2006 be the year in which you Manifest Miracles!
Important Energy Aspects in January 2006
Pluto is still transiting the Galactic Center, so you can expect the powerful energies of transformation to continue, bringing tensions and chaos to Old Earth economics and politics. This will continue for most of the year and into next year, and will bring significant social changes in many parts of the Planet. This will enable the creation of new groups and structures more aligned with the flows of New Earth energy. Many Lightworkers will be involved in the creation of these new Group structures that will emphasize personal and group empowerment rather than systemic control and compliance.
The first major energetic events in 2006 will be in March, when there will be Lunar and Solar eclipses, and the Equinox. But we will speak more of these shifts at a later stage.
The Full Moon will be on the 14th of January. This will be a Cancer/Capricorn moon. It will be an ideal time for balancing the Inner Male and Female energies represented by Cancer (the mother) and Capricorn (the father). Equally, it is a good time to work with the Water element (Cancer) and the Earth element (Capricorn), bringing them into balance. Call on the Cetaceans and the Mer elementals, and the Fairies and the Devas, to bring Earth and Oceans into balance and harmony.
The New Moon will be on the 29th of January. The New Moon will be in Aquarius, an Air sign. Allow the "winds of change" and the Sylphs to work with you to usher in the New Energies of New Earth!
It is indeed a Blessed Time to be on Planet Earth!
Date: 01 Jan 2006
From: "John T. Linnell" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Taxi ride
Something to help with your New Years Resolutions
The Taxi Ride ..
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.
! So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
"It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated".
"Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.
"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice".
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
"What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.
They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I said.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
"There are other passengers," I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light.
Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
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