The Writing on the Wall Series #54: Glimmers of Hope Amidst Gloomy Forecasts
Another hefty compilation for you. Things are moving so fast and there is just so much happening. I believe you'll find much of value in this compilation. Several people expressed their appreciation at the content of my previous compilation. I'll have more in that respect for you next week. Expect something wonderful!...
In the meantime, I'll also email you tonight the new Meditation Focus #178: Shifting Up ( to be archived at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus178.htm ). If you are regularly joining in, I believe you will especially love this one - of course as usual, it is more a matter for the soul than for the analytical mind since this ongoing global awakening/healing/uniting process takes place at soul level, which I'm sure you've already grasped if you have a keen interest in this...
P.S. Your feedback is as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer it is not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2007/WritingWall54.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 33,400 words and 202 links provided.
To unsubscribe from the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver, or change your listing on it when you have a new email address, the simplest way is to do it yourself by sending a blank email at email@example.com -- IMPORTANT: You MUST do it from the email account you wish to unsubscribe otherwise the system won't recognize your request.
In a recent correspondence with Michael Russ (firstname.lastname@example.org), a long-time ERN subscriber commending me for launching the Looking for Solutions Series with a recommendation to help focus even more our collective attention onto the Solutions rather than on the Problems, I made the following comments...
"We each go according to our unique mission parameters and mine has been for a long while (nearly 10 years now on the Web and another 10 years before it) to make sure the worst - and the best! - of what humans do to each other and to their living planet would not go unreported and unseen.
But at the same time, I've dedicated much time and effort, especially in the past 7 years, to foster the change we each want to be in this world, and preparing the Meditation Focuses has been a key element in this regard. If you have ever taken time to actually join with an open heart in this ongoing global healing and awakening work, you know what immense effects and unimaginable reach it has. If you never gave it a try, I'd say you miss something quite interesting to experience.
I have the feeling most people who are uncomfortable with being exposed to the unsavory aspects of some of the material I network are simply missing the larger "picture" provided through the vital spiritual work of the Meditation Focuses. But I trust that, in due time, it will be recognized by more and more people as a key field of service in shifting our world and calling all our spiritual brethren towards the Light that shines through us all when we let It Be.
When we commune together in radiant divine bliss, we open a door through which countless blessings of Love are channeled to reach even the most confused souls among us. All can be redeemed from aeons of self-isolation from the Omniversal Presence from Which we all stem and to Which we will all return with crystal clear awareness. Encompassing all aspects of the human experience through a greater knowledge of it all is a way to remember all that needs healing and thus focus with renewed willingness and ever more clarity on the only divine Reality that IS now reconnecting us all with Who We Really Are."
LAST MINUTE ADDITION
Forwarded by Ed Elkin (EdElkin@aol.com) who urges all U.S. citizens to act immediately on this as he just did!
Date: 8 Nov 2007
From: Leslie Cagan, United for Peace & Justice (email@example.com)
Subject: Impeachment of Dick Cheney
Call the House Judiciary Committee TODAY: 202-225-3951.
Demand full and thorough hearings on H.Res. 799/333, Rep. Dennis Kucinich's bill on the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.
See below for more ways to take action!
There's almost always some strange twist to how things move through Congress. The most recent example was just this past Tuesday, Nov. 6th, when 165 Republicans voted to force a debate on the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, and Democrats voted against it. Somehow both parties thought that an open debate about the crimes of Dick Cheney would embarrass the Democrats.
Here is what happened: As promised, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) requested a floor vote on H.Res. 799 (formerly H.Res. 333), a bill he had introduced to move a process to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney forward. Rep. Steny Hoyer -- who as Majority Leader is in the second highest position in the House -- moved to table the bill. Then all hell broke loose, as 165 Republicans voted with Rep. Kucinich and 85 other brave Democrats to force a debate on impeachment.
Determined to block that debate, Rep. Hoyer moved to send H.Res. 799 back to the Judiciary Committee. That motion passed with the support of all but 5 Democrats (Kucinich, Bob Filner, Marcy Kaptur, Maxine Waters, and Ed Towns). Read a live blog of the proceedings here.
United for Peace and Justice recognizes the significance of this development, and we urge you to help move this process forward. Here are some things you can do:
1. Call the House Judiciary Committee at 202-225-3951 and demand full and thorough hearings on H.Res. 799/333.
2. Sign this petition to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee.
3. If you live in the district of a House Judiciary Committee member, call his or her office and say that you're a constituent and you want immediate hearings on H.Res. 799/333. (Click here to look up your rep and find out if he or she is on the committee.) You can also join a local Congressional District Impeachment Committee and organize activities to keep the pressure on your representative, with letters to the editor, calls to local radio talk shows, and pointed questions at every community forum attended by your representative.
4. If your representative is not on the House Judiciary Committee, call and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.Res. 799/333. (Click here to find his or her office phone numbers.) If your rep is one of the 22 who have already co-sponsored H.Res. 333, call and offer your thanks and urge him or her push for immediate hearings on H.Res. 799/333 in the House Judiciary Committee.
5. Start a media campaign, including op-ed articles on impeaching Cheney, letters-to-the-editor about the Kucinich resolution, and informational picketing in front of the offices of local media. Click here to find a media activism kit.
Kucinich rides wave of improving poll results into Presidential debate http://www.dennis4president.com/go/newsroom/kucinich-rides-wave-of-improving-poll-results-into-presidential-debate/
PHILADELPHIA Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich goes into tonights Democratic Presidential debate riding a wave of positive polling results that put him in fourth place nationally, second in a major California straw poll, and leading among declared Democrats in an online survey sponsored by Democracy for America.His strongest showing to date is in the ongoing DFA Pulse Poll, which has drawn more than 100,000 respondents in the past week. Among declared Democratic candidates, Kucinich is leading with more than 24% of the vote as of noon today. Senator Barack Obama is second with about 18%, and former Senator John Edwards is currently in third place with about 15%. In New Hampshire, site of the nations first Presidential primary, Kucinich is tied for fourth place with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson with 7%, only seven points behind Edwards, according to last weeks Rasmussen Report. Also, the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire just released polling data showing Kucinich and Sen. Hillary Clinton gaining momentum, while support for the other Democratic candidates appears to have peaked and may be in decline in New HampshireLast week, in the largest Democratic straw poll in California, Kucinich finished a strong second to Edwards. Official results from the San Mateo County Democratic Party showed that Edwards received 29% of the total votes cast, Kucinich received just under 24%, and Obama and Clinton came in third and fourth, with 22.5% and 16.8% respectively. The other Democratic candidates were all in low single digits.In a Zogby America poll earlier this month, Kucinich was fourth, six points behind Edwards, and ahead of Richardson and Sen. Joe Biden. The Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll last month also had Kucinich tied with Richardson, and ahead of Biden and Sen. Chris Dodd.Kucinichs success is even more striking when viewed on the context of campaign war chests. He has raised about $2.1million this year. Edwards has raised more than $30 million, Richardson $18.7 million, Dodd $13.6 million, and Biden $8.2 million.
Kucinich tops leading Dems in key CA straw poll http://www.dennis4president.com/go/newsroom/kucinich-tops-leading-dems-in-key-ca-straw-poll/
SAN MATEO, CA - Despite millions of campaign dollars being spent by the poll-leading Democratic Presidential candidates to woo California voters, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich scored a stunning second-place finish in a bellwether Presidential straw poll here today.In a caucus-like setting open to all Democratic voters in the state, Kucinich came in significantly ahead of top-spenders Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and only slightly behind former U.S. Senator John Edwards.Official results released by the San Mateo County Democratic Party this evening showed that Edwards received 29% of the total votes cast, Kucinich received just under 24%, and Obama and Clinton came in third and fourth, with 22.5% and 16.8% respectively. The other Democratic candidates were all in the low single digits. "This is clear and compelling evidence of the strong and rising undercurrent of grassroots support for our campaign, not just in California, but all across the country," Kucinich said. "When independent-minded Democratic voters and activists have the chance to vote their beliefs and their consciences, celebrity and campaign war chests dont matter."While an analysis of the San Mateo straw poll results was not immediately available, attendees reported their support for Kucinich was based on his adamant and longstanding opposition to the war in Iraq, his proposal for a universal, national not-for-profit health care system that would cover all Americans, his opposition to the so-called U.S.A. Patriot Act, his call for a repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and his Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
Dennis Kucinich at San Mateo Straw Poll - MUST SEE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENM1mbpWkZw
When the people are willing to lead, a leader rises than can respond to and truly represent and reflect the will of the people in all his leadership decision. Dennis is truly amazing in this October 21 video. He is an outstanding beacon of hope!
Kucinich's UFO Experience-- An Excuse for The MSM to Pull a "Dean Scream" Media Hit Job? (Nov 1, 2007) http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/print_friendly.php?p=opedne_rob_kall_071101_kucinich_s_ufo_exper.htm
I have to wonder, when Tim Russert asked Dennis Kucinich about his UFO sighting, he was aiming at pulling a Dean Scream media hit on him. After the Iowa Caucus, when Dean let out a whoop, and a videographer with a mike on Dean over amplified the sound, the three second clip was shown thousands of times to mock Dean-- at a time when he was in a position to win the election-- something none of the major networks or mainstream media wanted. Dean had threatened to re-regulate the de-regulated media, forcing them to dis-own radio and TV stations where they had a monopoly, or just too much control of the media in a given metro area. Now, something frightening has happened with Kucinich-- frightening to the mainstream media. He's not only made it past their cut-off requirements-- the ones that cut Mike Gravel out of the debate circuit-- he's actuall pulling strong in polling-- fourth place in New Hampshire, first place in the 100,000+ vote DFA poll. He's pulled to the top of the second tier in a a number of polls and in California's latest straw poll, he came in second, after Edwards, ahead of Obama and Hillary. Mocking, and laughing at candidates is a common strategy used by all the mainstream, lamestream media. That's how they knock down the candidates who have the character and independence to stand out. Expect to see them do it more and more as Kucinich and Ron Paul both stand out-- totally against the war, totally for the constitution. There are huge differences between Kucinich and Paul, but they will both be facing more mocking than the other candidates. CLIP
Jimmy Carter: No Truth to UFO Rumors http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=788703
At the Nexus of Politics and Science Fiction "The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe" Sets the Record Straight With Regards to UFOs. - Jimmy Carter denies any U.S. Government Cover-up of Extraterrestrial Presence and any ET visitations to Earth!!!
Can a president unravel Roswell? (Oct. 26, 2007) http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5250005.html
Richardson says he would try to get to bottom of 1947 UFO saga = ROUND ROCK If he wins his bid for the White House, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson may be just the man to get to the bottom of the 60-year-old Roswell UFO mystery.Answering questions at a townhall meeting Friday, a Dell employee asked Richardson about the 1947 incident in which many people still believe a flying saucer landed near the eastern New Mexico town. "I've been in government a long time, I've been in the Cabinet, I've been in the Congress and I've always felt that the government doesn't tell the truth as much as it should on a lot of issues," said Richardson, who is governor of New Mexico."When I was in Congress I said (to the) Department of Defense ... 'What is the data? What is the data you have?' "He was told that the records were classified."That ticked me off," he said, as the crowd laughed."What do you want me to do? You want me to open up all those files?" he asked the alien enthusiast, who said he did."I'll work with you on that." CLIP Much more on this through http://c3hamby.blogspot.com/ - including "I Asked Gov Bill Richardson About ETs And He Answered" (scroll down to locate it). Check also right after this entry above this fascinating "64 Reasons Why the Government Might Have Chosen not to Disclose the ET Reality " (Actually, 65 are listed)
Clips from "Out of the Blue" http://www.outofthebluethemovie.com/clips/clips.html
Out of the Blue presents unexplained cases from around the world, investigates 50 years of official contradictions and denials, and puts forth possible reasons for secrecy. The film also examines scientific theories regarding interstellar travel and discusses the current movement for official disclosure on the subject of UFOs a subject that has been considered by most government officials to be unworthy of serious investigation.
Korean Freestyle Slalom Rollerblading http://www.glumbert.com/media/koreanfreestyle
This is really amazing to watch! A possible new Olympic sport... Be patient. She contemplates for a bit at first but you'll see why... Amazing isn't strong enough!!!
7 Countries Considering Abandoning the US Dollar http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18680.htm
It's no secret that the dollar is on a downward spiral. Its value is dropping, and the Fed isn't doing a whole lot to change that. As a result, a number of countries are considering a shift away from the dollar to preserve their assets. These are seven of the countries currently considering a move from the dollar, and how they'll have an effect on its value and the US economy.
Sinking Currency, Sinking Country (11/04/07) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18675.htm
The euro, worth 83 cents in the early George W. Bush years, is at $1.45.The British pound is back up over $2, the highest level since the Carter era. The Canadian dollar, which used to be worth 65 cents, is worth more than the U.S. dollar for the first time in half a century. Oil is over $90 a barrel. Gold, down to $260 an ounce not so long ago, has hit $800. Have gold, silver, oil, the euro, the pound and the Canadian dollar all suddenly soared in value in just a few years? Nope. The dollar has plummeted in value, more so in Bush's term than during any comparable period of U.S. history. Indeed, Bush is presiding over a worldwide abandonment of the American dollar. Is it all Bush's fault? Nope. The dollar is plunging because America has been living beyond her means, borrowing $2 billion a day from foreign nations to maintain her standard of living and to sustain the American Imperium. The prime suspect in the death of the dollar is the massive trade deficits America has run up, some $5 trillion in total since the passage of NAFTA and the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994. In 2006, that U.S. trade deficit hit $764 billion. The current account deficit, which includes the trade deficit, plus the net outflow of interest, dividends, capital gains and foreign aid, hit $857 billion, 6.5 percent of GDP. As some of us have been writing for years, such deficits are unsustainable and must lead to a decline of the dollar. A sinking dollar means a poorer nation, and a sinking currency has historically been the mark of a sinking country. And a superpower with a sinking currency is a contradiction in terms.
Dollar Slumps to Record on China's Plans to Diversify Reserves http://snipurl.com/1tb27
The dollar fell the most since September against the currencies of its six biggest trading partners after Chinese officials signaled plans to diversify the nation's $1.43 trillion of foreign exchange reserves.
Oil and gold leap as investors flee dollar http://snipurl.com/1tb2a
The dollar has fallen beyond $1.47 per euro, according to Reuters data, bringing its losses this year to around 10 percent. It also set record lows against a basket of six major currencies .DXY">, on track for its biggest one-day fall since November 2006.
Oil blasts towards $99 on weak dollar http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/137878.html
Oil stormed towards $99 a barrel on Wednesday, closing in on a triple-digit all-time high, driven by a slumping U.S. dollar and concern about a fuel supply crunch heading into the peak demand winter season.
The worst crisis I've seen in 30 years: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2205121,00.html
After more than 15 years of extraordinarily benevolent economic conditions worldwide - cheap oil, cheap money, growing trade, the Asia boom, rising house prices - things are unravelling at bewildering speed. The system might be able to handle one shock; it is undoubtedly too fragile to handle so many simultaneously.
Central bankers see more pain for U.S. economy http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071106/bs_nm/economy_credit_dc_5
Central bankers past and present warned on Tuesday of more pain to come for the U.S. economy and that banks worldwide could take several months yet to reveal full losses from U.S. subprime mortgage lending
Markets fear banks have $1 trillion in toxic debt http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article3132507.ece
A new phase in the credit crunch, one of "$1 trillion losses" seems to be dawning. The crisis at Citigroup and renewed doubts about some of the world's leading banks disquieted stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday, with the fractious mood set to continue.
Rumsfeld memos corroborate targeting of Iran, Kucinich charges ( November 01) http://www.dennis4president.com/go/newsroom/rumsfeld-memos-corroborate-targeting-of-iran,-kucinich-charges/
WASHINGTON, D.C. Public disclosure of private memos from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld provides further evidence, from the highest level, that the Bush Administration has been targeting Iran for aggression for longer than previously acknowledged, Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said today. Rumsfeld, one of the architects and chief advocates of the war against Iraq, wrote in one memo, "Iraq is only one battleground," according to revelations in todays Washington Post. In other memos, termed snowflakes by Administration officials, Rumsfeld wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," and "link Iraq to Iran," according to the newspaper account. Further, the Post reported, Rumsfeld argued, if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran," in an April 2006 memo. From the Oval Office on down, this Administration has been targeting Iran as the next domino it wants to topple, Kucinich said today. They used lies and deceit to take this nation into war, and they have been fabricating justifications to launch a second war against Iran. The criminality of these actions must be addressed by the Congress of the United States of America. Congressman Kucinich, (D-OH), introduced Articles of Impeachment against Vice President Richard B. Cheney earlier this year for his role in laying the groundwork for the Iraq war. In recent weeks, Kucinich has argued that not only Cheney, but also President Bush and other top-ranking members of the Administration must be held accountable for possible crimes under the Constitution, the UN Charter, and international treaties. The Congress has abrogated its responsibility to hold this President and his Cabinet accountable for the deaths of thousands of brave U.S. military men and women and more than one million innocent Iraqi civilians, Kucinich said. We have a moral obligation and the Constitutional authority to end this war and stop the President from bombing this nation into another war with Iran.The Congress is not doing its duty, and the other Presidential candidates are failing to exhibit leadership in addressing this threat of yet another war, Kucinich said. It is possible that the impeachment resolution may reach the House floor as soon as next week.
Poll: Iraq war opposition at record high (November 8, 2007) http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/11/08/cnn-political-ticker-am-90/
WASHINGTON (CNN) Opposition to the war in Iraq has reached an all-time high, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released Thursday morning.Support for the war in Iraq has dropped to 31 percent and the 68 percent who oppose the war is a new record.Despite the drop in violence in Iraq, only one quarter of Americans believes the U.S. is winning the war. There has been virtually no change in the past month in the number of Americans who believe that things are going badly for the U.S. in the war in Iraq.The public also opposes U.S. military action against Iran. Sixty-three percent oppose air strikes on Iran, while 73 percent oppose using ground troops as well as air strikes in that country.Overall, 56 percent, of Americans are dissatisfied with progress in the war on terrorism.
Experts: No Evidence of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110507D.shtml
Jonathan S. Landay, reporting for McClatchy Newspapers, writes, "Despite President Bush's claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger 'World War III,' experts in and out of government say there's no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program."
Manufacturing Consent For War With Iran: 'Iran could have nukes by 2009' http://snipurl.com/1t97r
Iran could have nuclear weapons by 2009, the Head of Military Intelligence's Research Division, Brig. -Gen. Yossi Baidatz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.
U.S. Fifth Fleet in Gulf exercise for possible war in Iran http://snipurl.com/1tb1y
The U.S. Navy launched a series of exercises in the Gulf to enhance skills required in any war with Iran which, according to British press reports, could occur in early 2008.
U.S. Plan Envisioned Nuking Iran, Syria, Libya http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004639.php
Despite years of denials, a secret planning document issued by the U.S. military's nuclear-weapons command in 2003 ordered preparations for nuclear strikes on countries seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including Iran, Saddam Hussein-era Iraq, Libya and Syria.
LOOSE NUKES More On The Minot B-52 By William Thomas http://www.willthomasonline.net/willthomasonline/Loose_Nukes.html
On an dead-end airbase in the American hinterlands, 70 members of the United States Air Force have been punished for accidentally loading six live nuclear weapons onto a B-52. Is this Broken Spear fixed? Has the truth been told? Why did seven service members involved in this incident end up dead within days? -- My first question concerning the Pentagon's recent atomic SNAFU was so instantly obvious, every other U.S. news organization has been careful not to raise a corporate eyebrow and likewise inquire: Does the official story fly?The investigation and punishment were a direct result of the story we published, Hank replied with a release of pent-up intel that sounded like the Halabja dam about to let go.Damn! I thought. This boy wades right in. But could a story as outrageous as Command Override really have scored a direct hit on attentive brass - like the poppers and Chinese microchip stories before it, and Israel's abortive nuclear strike on Iran?Say again, I broke in. Can you confirm what you just said?That's a confirm, Hank said. And that came from multiple sources. People are reading your stuff, dude. It's having an effect.Inquiring minds now want to know: Did 70 Minot minnows deserve to get swallowed by bigger fish that got away? The powers that be, all the way from the Commander-in-Chief down to the people who ran the two bases, all the people, from air traffic controllers - these things have beacons on them - if you were told, ignore it and you did, you are in trouble. Hank's comments came in a characteristic rush of main points and asides that knew my own military mindset was locked in synch. In this case, I knew he was referring to the fact that America's nuclear weapons are equipped with beeping transponders that should have been tracked in flight - and cross-checked with superiors. This did not happen. So the firings were fair?All of the people who got fired should have been fired because they obeyed an illegal order, and they knew it, he replied. And they went outside the chain of command after being told: 'You're going to turn off your alarms that tell people these things are being taken out to the tarmac. You are going to sit on this information until we tell you otherwise We are going to do all these weird things and you are just going to ignore it.' They were taught to obey these things, he added, referring to strict nuclear verification procedures. They had an opportunity to say no, and they decided to go along. Some of the folks who were smacked, let's say they were collateral. A base group of 45 should've got the boot. At least 10 of them should have gone to jail, or been shot. CLIP
Sen. Hagel says U.S. draft may be unavoidable http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10177959
Sen. Chuck Hagel, speaking to an audience of Lincoln High School students, warned Tuesday that the nation may need to turn to compulsory military service "or some kind of draft" to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Lobby, Unmasked by Justin Raimondo (October 31, 2007) http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=11837
The Israel lobby: "We have an 'unwritten contract' with the American media" - What is this "unwritten contract"? I'll tell you what it is: it's an agreement to censor anything and everything that offends the Lobby and its glorified, sanitized view of Israel. Here, after all, is a country that practices apartheid, imprisons children, and was founded on ethnic cleansing and bigoted religious obscurantism - and yet they present themselves to the world as a valiant little "democracy," a beleaguered outpost of "the West" in the midst of an Arab sea. It takes a lot of cosmetics to hide the true face of this dog, and that's what CAMERA is all about - prettifying an increasingly ugly reality. The Lobby reserves the right to censor any material that presents Israel in a more realistic light, and anyone who opposes them in their mission on behalf of a foreign power is smeared as an "anti-Semite."
Israel is real beneficiary of Iraq oil (01 Nov 2007) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=29421§ionid=351020201
The Zionist regime is profiting from Iraq's oil which is being exploited by US occupiers, an official from Iraqi oil ministry has said. Following the US and UK invasion of Iraq 57 months ago, the Zionist regime has been the real beneficiary and acquires 40 percent of its required oil from Iraq, he said on condition of anonymity. The Iraqi official stressed that the crude oil from al-Romayla oil field in southern Iraq, which is under US forces' control, is transferred through pipelines to Kuwaiti oil terminals and then redirected to Israel. Since the beginning of 2007, about 32 oil tankers, mostly Dutch, have carried oil from al-Omayya in northwest of the Persian Gulf to the Zionist regime, he noted. The amount of oil volume which is exported from Iraq is above the announced figure of 2.5 million barrels a day, the official told the Fars News Agency. There are 16 officials and tens of oil experts from Israel who hold US passports and are active in oil deals in Iraq, he concluded.
British think tank agrees with Kucinich on Iraq, Iran http://www.dennis4president.com/go/newsroom/british-think-tank-agrees-with-kucinich-on-iraq,-iran/
A highly respected British think tank issued a report today that underscores and corroborates all of the major points that Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has been making for years regarding the war in Iraq and the disastrous consequences of a war with Iran. The report found that the war on terror is failing and instead fueling an increase in support for extremist Islamist movements It called for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq coupled with intensive diplomatic engagement in the region, including with Iran and Syria. And, said one of the authors, "Going to war with Iran will make matters far worse, playing directly into the hands of extreme elements and adding greatly to the violence across the region. Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs. Read the full story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071008/ts_nm/britain_iraq_afghanistan_dc
Sri Lanka's Government Assassinates Opposition Peace Negotiator http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110307Y.shtml
Agence France-Presse reported early Saturday morning that Sri Lanka "struck a major blow against the Tamil Tigers Friday, killing the rebels' political chief and top peace negotiator in a surgical government air strike."
Soldiers Return, but for Families, Iraq Battlefields Are Not Far Off http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110307F.shtml
Lisa W. Foderaro, The New York Times, writes: "The last time Bobbi Plautz welcomed home her husband, Travis, from Iraq, he was a changed person. He listened to different kinds of music and craved different kinds of food. He stayed up all night and wrestled with nightmares."
Millions Trapped in Their Own Country http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110507T.shtml
Ahmed Ali, Inter Press Service, says that, "At least five million Iraqis have fled their homes due to the violence under the US-led occupation, but half of them are unable to leave the country, according to well-informed estimates."
15,000 want off the U.S. terror watch list (November 8, 2007) http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-11-06-watchlist_N.htm
WASHINGTON More than 15,000 people have appealed to the government since February to have their names removed from the terrorist watch list that delayed their travel at U.S. airports and border crossings, the Homeland Security Department says. TERROR WATCH: List swells to more than 755,000 - The complaints have created such a backlog that members of Congress are calling for a speedier appeal system that would help innocent people clear their names so they won't fall under future suspicion. Among those who have been flagged at checkpoints: toddlers and senior citizens with the same names as suspected terrorists on the watch list."To leave individuals in this purgatory is un-American," says Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., who says she'll introduce legislation to try to streamline the process.The Homeland Security Department says it gets about 2,000 requests a month from people who want to have their names cleared. That number is so high that the department has been unable to meet its goal of resolving cases in 30 days, says Christopher White, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, which handles the appeals. He says the TSA takes about 44 days to process a complaint. CLIP Details on How To File A Complaint given at the URL above.
Gangster Giuliani: The GOP's Worst http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110807P.shtml
Margaret Kimberley writes for Black Agenda Report: "Now Giuliani is running for the Republican presidential nomination and he is the very worst of a bad lot. He unabashedly supports the occupation of Iraq and a military attack on Iran. He doesn't think simulating drowning via water boarding is torture and agrees wholeheartedly with the Bush destruction of civil liberties. If a potential Giuliani presidency in any way resembles a Giuliani mayoralty then the country would be in for a truly awful time."
Rumsfeld Urged Staff to Exaggerate Terror Threat http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110307E.shtml
The Washington Post's Robin Wright reports: "In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid 'physical labor' and wrote of the need to 'keep elevating the threat,' 'link Iraq to Iran' and develop 'bumper sticker statements' to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war."
Arms makers winning war on terrorism (November 4, 2007) http://snipurl.com/1t511
ARMS manufacturers are making record profits from the war on terrorism and unprecedented spending on weapons programs.The massive earnings have drawn condemnation from Australian defence experts, who say expensive weapons such as jet fighters, warships and satellites are not the way to combat terrorism.The world's biggest arms maker, Lockheed Martin in the US, maker of fighter jets including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Australia is buying, announced last week it had increased third-quarter profits by 22 per cent to $US11.1 billion ($12.1 billion). Northrop Grumman, maker of aircraft carriers, submarines and bombers, increased profits 62 per cent to $US489 million. At General Dynamics, maker of the Abrams tank, which Australia has just bought, profits climbed 24 per cent to $US544 million.Britain's BAE said its profits were up 27 per cent to £657 million ($1.23 billion). In Australia profits for the Government-owned naval ship and submarine builder ASC rose 60 per cent last year to $30 million. The company was set up to build the Collins class submarines and is involved in the $8 billion air warfare destroyer project.Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, said the big-ticket weapons were designed to contain China, not combat terrorism."They don't admit to it. They sell it to the people as a response to terrorism, but that is not what they are doing," Professor White said.Professor White said Australia's multibillion-dollar defence purchases such as the Abrams tanks, warships, and Globemaster transport planes would be part of any US military operation in the Middle East or against China.Professor Kevin Clements, director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, said the war on terrorism was a front to keep up arms spending to maintain the US's ability to fight a wars on three fronts - Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Cal physicists make a radio 10,000 times thinner than a human hair (November 1, 2007) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/01/BUTBT44A2.DTL
Physicists at UC Berkeley say they have produced the world's smallest radio out of a single carbon nanotube that is 10,000 times thinner than a human hair.Professor Alex Zettl led a team that developed the minuscule filament, which can be tuned to receive AM or FM transmissions. The first song it played? "Layla" by Derek & the Dominos. Eric Clapton's unmistakable guitar riff can be heard on a scratchy recording of the nanoradio's output posted by Zettl online. Zettl said the device, built by graduate student Kenneth Jensen, is the first radio within the size range of nanotechnology, which covers inventions no larger than 100 billionths of a meter. The nanoradio is 100 billion times smaller than the first commercial radios of the early 20th century. It is a thousand times smaller than the most minute radios in use today, which are based on silicon chip technology.The research team has no commercial partners yet, but Zettl said the practical applications of the nanoradio could include cell phones, climate-monitoring systems and radio-controlled diagnostic probes that could move through the human bloodstream. "Maybe the kids will be wearing these instead of iPods, inside their ears," Zettl said. CLIP
Mexicans Appalled by Scenes From Flooded State http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110507E.shtml
Elisabeth Malkin, reporting for The New York Times, writes, "Mexicans were gripped Saturday by images of dramatic rescues from flooding in the southeastern state of Tabasco, where much of the state capital, Villahermosa, was underwater and the governor said that thousands of people waited on their rooftops for help to arrive."
I appreciate how much you have done to keep tracking the issue of torture. Following is a message that I wrote today.
Republican leaders in the U.S. who support torture are revealing how little anyone can trust the U.S. anymore. The Geneva Convention, which the U.S. has signed onto, prohibits torture. Following is the exact wording from Article 3 on the treatment of prisoners: "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."
It is illegal to support torture or any form of coercion on prisoners of war, whether you call it torture or not. Every individual held and questioned in the purported war on terror is a prisoner of war, no matter what legal maneuvering has been done to assign some other status to those being held prisoner at this time to evade criminal liability.
What has happened to the moral compass of the leaders of this country? I have held for several years that the issue of torture would bring down this administration in the courts for criminal liability in authorizing it; that there would be such widespread support for the use of torture or that people would permit the legal games being played to legitimize it is beyond belief.
Where is the widespread abhorrence for such practices that is natural among civilized people? If I bring up the issue of torture, people usually change the subject quickly or take me to task for focusing on such sordid matters because nobody wants to admit to responsibility for it.
I have advocated for years to get an investigation of the use of torture at the U.S. military base on Diego Garcia, but as of yet, nothing has been done. It is still the darkest, deepest secret on the planet... much worse than waterboarding goes on at Diego Garcia. There have also been a number of deaths in U.S. prisons in Iraq by people tortured to death.
If you don't know anything about this, then you need to educate yourself. Just go to the websites of any human rights organization and read their reports. Do you know how many mercenaries are on the U.S. payroll right now or how little compunction mercenaries have when it comes to torture? Are you aware of how the use of torture has corrupted intelligence agencies around the world? Or how young Americans who serve in the military are corrupted by being trained in torture and ordered to carry it out?
I say all Americans who are passively allowing this administration to continue in power and who are passively allowing the use of torture because they choose not to get involved in politics are culpable.
If you are reading this message and you are opposed to the use of torture, then do something. Make your voice heard -- the Internet makes it easy. Don't concern yourself about whether anyone listens or not. Just go on record that you are against it. Do the right thing, the moral thing, take an action that shows the world that you, at least, know the difference between right and wrong, even if your leaders don't.
Our words can create a firestorm that rages across the nation. There is nothing more important to our future as a free people than this issue. We are not powerless, nor are our concerns represented by the majority of our leaders. We need to stop medicating the body politic and let the fever burn and run its course, or our moral illness will go on destroying the U.S. as a country of the brave and the free.
US Cannot Be Said To Be Said To Be Good http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18662.htm
George W. Bush may indeed be the worst president ever, and Dick Cheney the worst vice-president imaginable but that does not exonerate the American people because Americans have the constitutional right and responsibility to remove miscreants from office. The Bush-Cheney administration has not just given freedom a hollow ring, they have not just made a mockery of American democracy and human rights in the present, and they have not just put future generations at risk with reckless deficit spending, environmental degradation and the burden of war without end, but they have effectively caused the past to be rewritten as well. America is beginning to understand what its like to be on the wrong side of history. (...) America has been diminished to such an extent under the Bush-Cheney unitary presidency that a crime like torture -- once comfortably seen as beyond the pale because it was only associated with the most despicable of enemies-- suddenly resonates in an uncomfortably familiar way. Just as it should be acknowledged that the people of Japan share a certain culpability in Tokyos terrible war, a war that ravaged Asia and eventually Japan itself, Americans have to own up to Iraq. But it can also be said in defense of the average Japanese in the days after Pearl Harbor that there was much they didnt know and couldnt talk about; --the media was completely censored and the Kempeitai dealt brutally with domestic opposition. When the day of reckoning comes for ordinary Americans to assess their culpability in the debacle of Iraq, a hideous and heinous war fought in view of a free media and in the context of relatively unfettered freedom to protest, what will the excuse be? If Bush is unjust, if he is, as they say, the worst ever, then the free people who support, tolerate and enable him cannot be said to be good.
Island paradise or torture chamber? ( July 2, 2005) http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2005/050702-island-torture.htm
From satellite pictures, Diego Garcia looks like paradise.The small, secluded atoll in the Indian Ocean, with its coral beaches, turquoise waters and vast lagoon in the centre, is 1,600 kilometres from land in any direction. A perfect hideaway. But no one is allowed to set foot on it.The little-known British possession, leased to the United States in 1970, was a major military staging post in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It continues to be, in effect, a floating aircraft carrier, housing 1,700 personnel who call it Camp Justice. But intelligence analysts say Diego Garcia's geographic isolation is now being exploited for other, darker purposes. They claim it is one in a network of secret detention centres being operated by the Central Intelligence Agency to interrogate high-value terrorist suspects beyond the reach of American or international law. These prisoners are known as "ghost detainees" or the "new disappeared," and they're being subjected to treatment that makes the abuses at the military-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad and Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba look small-time, say intelligence analysts. Last year, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller said CIA interrogation techniques "violate all American anti-torture laws," and instructed FBI agents to step outside of the room when the CIA steps in.Analysts say there are at least a score of unacknowledged facilities around the world. Among them, several in Afghanistan (one known as "the pit") and Iraq, in Pakistan, Jordan, in a restricted unit at Guantanamo, and one, they suspect, on Diego Garcia, where two navy prison ships ferry prisoners in and out. (...) The White House has said it doesn't consider that the "unlawful combatants" in the war on terror (now referred to as "security detainees") are covered by the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war, which prohibits "violence to life and person, cruel treatment and torture."But critics point out the convention also states "no one in enemy hands can fall outside the law."Moreover, they say the U.S. is also bound by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which it ratified a decade ago. The covenant prohibits incommunicado detention, requires that detention centres be officially recognized, that identities be registered, that families be told of the detention and that the times and places of all interrogations and names of those present be documented.None of these provisions is being met with the ghost prisoners, says David Danzig, spokesman for Human Rights First, a legal advocacy group that has produced two reports on U.S. treatment of suspects, both those in the military system and the unacknowledged phantom system. Danzig says the International Red Cross has a list of 36 individuals, almost exclusively high-value detainees, that the U.S. admits it is holding but will not say where."But our conversations with government officials, former detainees and others suggest it's safe to say hundreds, probably thousands, is more accurate for the number of people being held in secret." CLIP
Blackwater Delves Into Spying (November 3, 2007)
FORMER HUMAN RIGHTS CRIMINALS FOR HIRE TO COUNSEL CORPORATE LEADERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, AND PROBABLY DO SOME VERY BAD STUFF TOO... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110202165.html
The Washington Post's Dana Hedgpeth reports that "The Prince Group, the holding company that owns Blackwater Worldwide ... has assembled a roster of former spooks - high-ranking figures from agencies such as the CIA and defense intelligence - that mirrors the slate of former military officials who run Blackwater. Its chairman is Cofer Black, the former head of counterterrorism at CIA known for his leading role in many of the agency's more controversial programs, including the rendition and interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects and the detention of some of them in secret prisons overseas."
(Also available at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110307Z.shtml)
YOU CAN BE SURE THESE GUYS WILL TRACK THIS... Read this whole article above and you'll understand why.
Democrats Cave In On Torture - Key senators back attorney general nominee http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18659.htm
Two key Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Friday afternoon that they will support the Bush administration's nominee for attorney general, former federal judge Michael Mukasey, virtually assuring his confirmation as head of the US Justice Department.
A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture - By Amy Goodman http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18679.htm
If a U.S. citizen, soldier or official were waterboarded somewhere overseas, would Americans hesitate for a moment to call it torture? A filibuster might give the Mukasey supporters like Schumer and Feinstein pause to reconsider.
Wartime Powers and Mukasey http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110807F.shtml
Peter Grier, reporting for The Christian Science Monitor, writes: "Much of the opposition to retired federal judge Michael Mukasey's nomination to be the next attorney general has centered on his refusal to call the harsh interrogation technique of waterboarding torture. But some senators, both Republicans and Democrats, are concerned about another aspect of Mr. Mukasey's view of the law: his embrace of expanded wartime powers for the president."
Torture By Waterboarding (7 min 17 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkRlFCp490M
"On Friday's Countdown Keith Olbermann talked to Newsweek's Richard Wolfe and Former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean, about Senators Feinstein and Schumer's inexcusable caving on President Bush's Attorney General nominee and an ABC News report that claims former acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin was forced out of the DoJ when he declared waterboarding to be torture - after allowing himself to be waterboarded."
Two Democrats Move to Outlaw Waterboarding http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110807C.shtml
Renee Schoof, reporting for McClatchy Newspapers, writes: "The practice of waterboarding would be outlawed specifically, along with other extreme interrogation techniques, under legislation pushed by two Democratic senators."
VIDEOS | Keith Olbermann: On Waterboarding and Torture - HARD-HITTING TIRADE!! http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110607A.shtml
It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush. All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists... All of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the refocusing of our entire nation, toward keeping this mock president and this unstable vice president and this departed wildly self-overrating attorney general, and the others, from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country. (...) Because, Mr. Bush, in the seven years of your nightmare presidency, this whole string of events has been transformed. From its beginning as the most neglectful protection ever of the lives and safety of the American people ... into the most efficient and cynical exploitation of tragedy for political gain in this country's history ... and, then, to the giddying prospect that you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism would be nearly invisible. But at last this frightful plan is ending with an unexpected crash, the shocking reality that no matter how thoroughly you might try to extinguish them, Mr. Bush, how thoroughly you tried to brand disagreement as disloyalty, Mr. Bush, there are still people like Daniel Levin who believe in the United States of America as true freedom, where we are better, not because of schemes and wars, but because of dreams and morals. And ultimately these men, these patriots, will defeat you and they will return this country to its righteous standards, and to its rightful owners, the people.
I have been trying to read the immense amount of material you send out....and can not absorb it all. I try hard to meditate, and empty my mind of negative thoughts....they crowd in on me and I have to start over again and again. I find that my thoughts are sometimes very dark and hateful and I am in danger of becoming that which I complain about.
I can not stand what the government has been doing. I do not approve of depleted uranium in our weapons.... I am amazed that the thought of bombing one more country would be in the forefront of our leader's brains. I am appalled at the FDA and the Big Drug companies, as well as so many other abominations that have come to my consciousness... these thoughts are dark indeed.... and it is very difficult to summon the light when they crowd in on me. I feel paranoid about the Trilateral commission, and the Bilderberg group or what some call the shadow government. Now is hear the Blackwater militia being called the shadow army.
I pray every night that God will put His mighty hand on our leaders and let them wake up to what they are doing.
With that in mind, let me tell you about God's Mighty hand. My mother was very ill, with a cancerous kidney that needed to be surgically removed. I was tied to my job as a registered nurse in a hospital and could not get away to be there in the state where her surgery was being done .... I had to wait for my days off. All during the time of her ordeal, I was praying...in a somewhat flowery manner though very sincere. My prayer over and over was "Please put your hand on her Lord....so when she comes out of the anesthesia....she does not feel the horrible shock of pain....and maybe have a heart attack because of it." Over and over during my work...and at home and every time I thought of my mother, which was often....I asked God to put His hand on her.
My days off came and I drove to the Sioux Falls hospital....from Saint Paul Minnesota where I was working. I drove through a blinding snow storm. I got there in the middle of the night. My father , who could not afford a motel room, was camping out in the waiting room..... I asked him how mom was.... he said she made it through the surgery, but was not out of the recovery room as yet.... so I settled down on the other waiting room sofa for the rest of the night.
Morning came... they moved my mother out of recovery. I was allowed in to see her. She had pure white hair...and her face was as white as her hair and the bed linens around her.....She seemed weak...but she was alert. I sat down by her bed, and very gently asked her if the pain was "horrible" when she came out of surgery. Her answer nearly pinned me to the floor. "IT was the strangest thing" she said "When I woke up, it seemed as if the doctor had his hand on my dressing.... it was warm and comforting.... I must have dreamed it though, because the hand was way too big to be the doctor's hand..... I felt no pain"
Through my tears I asked her if she was in pain now. She said..."it is starting to hurt a little bit"
Being a militant RN whose mother was in the post operative ward...I stomped down to the nurse's station and demanded that they tell me when she had her last pain shot. The nurses checked the chart. They seemed amazed. It had been at least twenty four hours post surgery since she had anything for pain.
I have no doubt in my mind that God did indeed put His mighty hand on my dear mother.... and that he spared her from what I know in my experience as a nurse, to be severe pain from such surgery.... especially when the anesthesia wears off.
Now, I know, I must let go and let God.... He has his will in everything. It is easier for me to say than to do. I totally believe in Him.... I pray for his Holy Spirit to possess me and fill me with love, and wipe out the hateful thoughts.....sometimes I get a flash of the light, but it is not sustained, for any length of time. I am old now...my mother is dead as is my father... I write to congressmen and women and tell them to fix things....end the wars...feed the hungry...help the sick and the poor... I feel American has lost her way allowing torture. I feel we are being driven by selfishness and greed. I will keep trying to read your messages...and try to keep positive, and keep seeking the light. I ask God to stretch out His Mighty Hand and touch the ones who are ruining our country and stop them ....
That is all I can do......sincerely,
AND MY REPLY WAS:
Thank you so much for sharing with me the powerfully inspiring story of how God's Hand assisted your mother in response to your intense plea and how you came to realize that you now "must let go and let God" as you so clearly summed it up.
I was also quite moved by the inner turmoil you experience when faced with the knowledge of the abhorrent wrongdoings some lost souls are inflicting mercilessly upon others, our beloved planet and, ultimately, upon themselves. I believe you have been shown through God's intervention on behalf of your mother how we are not left alone and helpless to face the growing tribulations our planet and humanity are going through. But what if God's intervention as you witnessed it was in fact entirely of your own making? Your faith - our collective faith - can not only move mountains, but it can also save this planet from ignorance, greed and an abysmal lack of Love.
But for our collective "immune system" to be activated, we first need to have some sort of feedback mechanism that informs our collective intelligence that something hurts badly and that some corrective actions need to be taken. Healing a planet works the same way as healing a human body, only we need first to reach a critical mass of awareness as to our unimaginably powerful abilities, when we feel, think, love and work in concert as One Gaian Consciousness, to reach deep within, pick the dazzling torch of healing Love that burns in our collective soul, raising it high as One, all over the Earth, as millions of fireflies flickering in unison, as millions of Light Bearers holding the Flame of Love, as a universal sprinkling of crystal seeds shining brightly, until our lights join as One, and, acting as the Hand of God, heal this world, heal all souls and stand up, rise up, shift up to be the new Divine Kids on the Block, soon to be ready for assignment to vaster missions throughout our small corner of this Universe.
So yes it hurts to know so much, but I believe that's the way it works for our collective healing powers to be activated. I also trust this knowledge of the darkness deeds would not be imparted to us right now if we were not ready for it and perfectly able to face and master these challenges. We can and we will enable Light, Life and Love to prevail on Earth and beyond. In fact, in the higher dimensions, it is already done and its complete manifestation and externalization within the next 62 months or so is now just a matter of following through with the juggernaut of Love our common global awakening has unleashed.
Kucinich not stopping with Cheney, plans Bush impeachment resolution too
November 6, 2007
(Update at bottom: House Republicans vote against Democratic-led motion to end debate on impeachment measure)
Presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who brought an impeachment resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney to the House floor on Tuesday, says he is also planning a similar resolution to impeach President Bush.
The news came during a conference call Kucinich held with supporters Monday evening, although technical problems kept most on the call from being able to hear the congressman.
But activist David Swanson, who spoke directly with Kucinich during the call, summarized the contents of his conversation in an email:
"He is going to introduce a privileged resolution on the floor of the U.S. House Tuesday morning to force a vote on his resolution to impeach Cheney," confirmed Swamson. "While that bill includes offenses related to Iraq and Iran, Kucinich plans to focus his remarks on Iran and the fact that the current Pentagon bill includes funding to retrofit bombers to carry 15-ton bombs."
Concerning the possible resolution against Bush, Swanson said Kucinich "wanted to let everyone know that he will not only continue pushing for the impeachment of Cheney but will also take up the impeachment of Bush with a new resolution."
It's unclear as to when such a resolution would brought to the floor, or how dependent its introduction would be on the success of today's move against Cheney. The former Cleveland mayor will hold a press conference today at 3:00 p.m.
Swanson added that Kucinich was prepared for a debate on the substance of the charges against Cheney, but also mentioned the measure could be tabled --a move that effectively kills a pending matter by ending debate -- or sent to committee. If the latter option happens, the committee in question will be the House Judiciary.
The Kucinich campaign's website states that the technical problems with the conference call were because "public interest in the issue exceeded technological capacity." The call will be rescheduled.
Kucinich's "privileged resolution" on the Cheney matter is a maneuver which will require a vote from all House members -- and allows him to act in spite of protestations from Democratic leaders, who don't want a vote to come to the floor, according to Politico's Ryan Grim.
According to The Hill newspaper, Kucinich's idea -- which would put legislators on the record about Cheney's impeachment -- is making some Democrats uneasy.
"If he pulls it off, it could make for an uncomfortable situation for Democratic leaders and centrist Democrats," The Hill's Mike Soraghan writes of Kucinich's plan. "Liberal activists are pushing for impeachment, while leaders worry such a move could turn off independent voters. They have made it clear that impeachment of Cheney or President Bush is off the table."
Democrats might be tempted to opt to send the resolution to committee, according to Soraghan, who says that such a move "avoids an immediate floor vote and might be the most appealing option to the Democratic leadership."
Despite its apparent unpopularity among Democratic legislators, the Kucinich proposal is not necessarily out of line with American public opinion: a July poll from American Research Group found that 54% of those surveyed favored the "US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney."
Congress must hold the Vice President accountable," Kucinich said in a statement last week. "The American people need to let Members of Congress know how they feel about this. The Vice President continues to use his office to advocate for a continued occupation of Iraq and prod our nation into a belligerent stance against Iran. If the Vice President is successful, his actions will ensure decades of disastrous consequences.
House Republicans vote against Democratic-led move to table Cheney impeachment measure
In an unexpected move, Republicans in the House of Representatives on Tuesday voted against a measure to table debate on an impeachment measure brought by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).
The motion had been brought by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who sought to effectively kill the resolution.
"Impeachment is not on the agenda," Rep. Hoyer had told Fox News earlier."We have some major priorities. We need to focus on those."
Although the roll call vote had initially appeared to favor Hoyer's motion to table, Congressional Quarterly's Ed Epstein told CSPAN that Republicans had switched their votes at the last minute in an attempt to embarrass the Democratic leadership, who is not keen on seeing further action on the impeachment resolution.
The final vote count on the measure was 251-162. The House later voted to send the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee, where it will be considered Chairman John Conyers (D-MI).
The grounds that Dennis is using are outlined in the following speech:
Last week, after meeting with pro-impeachment activists, Kucinich delivered a speech on the House floor in which he said:
This House cannot avoid its Constitutionally authorized responsibility to restrain the abuse of Executive power.
The Administration has been preparing for an aggressive war against Iran. There is no solid, direct evidence that Iran has the intention of attacking the United States or its allies.
The US is a signatory to the UN Charter, a constituent treaty among the nations of the world. Article II, Section 4 of the UN Charter states, "all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. . ." Even the threat of a war of aggression is illegal.
Article VI of the US Constitution makes such treaties the Supreme Law of the Land. This Administration, has openly threatened aggression against Iran in violation of the US Constitution and the UN Charter.
This week the House Appropriations committee removed language from the Iraq war funding bill requiring the Administration, under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution, to seek permission before it launched an attack against Iran.
Since war with Iran is an option of this Administration and since such war is patently illegal, then impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran.
Debate on Cheney Impeachment Averted (November 6, 2007) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/06/AR2007110601451.html
WASHINGTON -- House Democrats on Tuesday narrowly managed to avert a bruising debate on a proposal to impeach Dick Cheney after Republicans, in a surprise maneuver, voted in favor of taking up the measure.Republicans, changing course midway through a vote, tried to force Democrats into a debate on the resolution sponsored by longshot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the World Affairs Council luncheon Friday Nov. 2, 2007 in Dallas. The World Affairs Council is non-profit, nonpartisan organization established to educate citizens on issues of international affairs and foreign policy. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp) (Tim Sharp - AP)TOOLBOX Resize Text Save/Share + Print This E-mail ThisWho's Blogging?» Links to this articleThe anti-war Ohio Democrat, in his resolution, accused Cheney of purposely leading the country into war against Iraq and manipulating intelligence about Iraq's ties with al-Qaida.The GOP tactics reversed what had been expected to be an overwhelming vote to table, or kill, the resolution.Midway through the vote, with instructions from the GOP leadership, Republicans one by one changed their votes from yes _ to kill the resolution _ to no, trying to force the chamber into a debate and an up-or-down vote on the proposal.At one point there were 290 votes to table. After the turnaround, the final vote was 251-162 against tabling, with 165 Republicans voting against it."We're going to help them out, to explain themselves," said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. "We're going to give them their day in court."Democrats countered by offering a motion to refer the proposal to the House Judiciary Committee for further study, effectively preventing a debate on the House floor. That motion passed by a largely party-line vote of 218-194. (...) The resolution said that Cheney, "in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of vice president," had "purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the U.S. Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests."The 11-page resolution also charged that Cheney purposely deceived the nation about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida and has "openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States." House approval of an article of impeachment sends the issue to the Senate, which has the constitutional authority to try and, with a two-thirds vote, remove a person from office.
Kucinich's Cheney Impeachment Resolution Stays Alive in House, Moved to Committee (November 07, 2007) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,308738,00.html
WASHINGTON Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich expressed satisfaction Tuesday with a series of procedural twists on the House floor that resulted in the Ohio congressman's impeachment articles against Vice President Dick Cheney being sent for committee review. CLIP
NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD VOTES FOR IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY (November 5, 2007) http://nlg.org/news/index.php?entry=entry071106-092734
The National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously and enthusiastically for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney at its national convention in Washington, DC. The resolution lists more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America."The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.The resolution calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office.
Tell Cong. Conyers-Chairman of House Judiciary Com. Yes to Impeachment ! Congressman and Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich's Impeachment Bill passed by a large vote margin in the House of Representatives on Nov. 6. It has now moved on to the House Judiciary Committee, The Chairman of the Judiciary committee is Rep. John Conyers, who has already asked for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney in the past. Contact him here below (daily !) Until he moves the Impeachment forward to the next level.
House Judiciary Committee Statement on Kucinich Impeachment Resolution. Address: http://judiciary.house.gov/newscenter.aspx?A=880
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. Home Page Address: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=400080
Bernie Sanders Speaks to Truthout on Frustration With Congress http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110507J.shtml
The American voters' feelings of frustration at a largely ineffective Congress have beefed up in recent polls creating a tense environment on Capitol Hill. The Independent senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, sat down with Truthout's Geoff Millard to discuss this frustration.
You will understand Elizabeth Kucinich better if you answer one question. How many 18 year-olds do you know who leave their comfortable homes to travel alone to India to work with Mother Teresa's charity? Or another? How many 14 year-olds do you know who have lobbied their national legislature? Or a last one? How many 28-year olds do you know who have traveled to five continents to work on and organize humanitarian projects?
The answer to those questions give a sense of who Elizabeth Jane Kucinich and the dedication to service and social justice that drives her.
To say that Mrs. Kucinich cares about humanity's problems is an understatement. It has been a central part of her life since she was a child. It led her to complete a BA in Religious Studies and Theology and an MA in international conflict analysis. It led her to find a life-partner Dennis Kucinich. Together they share the same vision: to provide leadership to a more peaceful world, to see the rights of all living beings and environmental sustainability as guiding principles.
Her life has been that of a peacemaker in the midst of poverty and war. The search for methods to alleviate suffering. The BA in Religious Studies and Theology and MA in International Conflict Analysis, mentioned earlier, came from the University of Kent, U.K. She has completed vocational training in U.N. Human Rights Fieldwork, disaster response, and in child protection. Elizabeth is also credentialed in conflict transformation studies through the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in Appreciative Inquiry at Case Western Reserve University, USA and in Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University, U.K. Before coming to America, Mrs. Kucinich was a volunteer British Red Cross refugee caseworker and a support worker for detained asylum seekers, while working for the 150 year old nonprofit organization, the Mission to Seafarers.
Mrs. Kucinich's work has taken many forms. She is engaged in policy and humanitarian issues such as human and animal rights as well as showing how businesses can be agents of positive change in the world. Elizabeth is actively involved in the Congressional Human Rights and Holistic Health Caucuses in the House of Representatives.
It was in India where she began to develop strategies to bring about change. In a community divided by social castes, Elizabeth created an educational project providing a welcome space for children of all backgrounds to socialize and learn together; a place to break down the barriers that separated them.
Elizabeth joined the VSO (Volunteer Service Overseas, the British equivalent of the Peace Corp) and worked in Tanzania. Because of her experiences living with a subsistence farming community in East Africa (2002-2003) and working in education, HIV/AIDS prevention, appropriate water technology and a micro bio gas energy project, have helped in research for models that could be used in under served communities in the United States.
Elizabeth worked with the Forum for Stable Currencies at the House of Lords, London, and organized the American Monetary Institute's first international conference in Chicago. For Elizabeth, the problems she has seen in Africa and India can start to change by reforming the global debt-based money system; the most pressing issue of our time.
Elizabeths work clearly parallels that of her husband, Congressman Dennis Kucinich. She traveled with him to the Middle East in 2006 where they met with leaders of Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine immediately after the Israel-Lebanon conflict. In Lebanon, Dennis and Elizabeth also spent time walking through destroyed towns and villages, over land mines, cluster bombs and missiles, listening to the heartbreaking accounts of death and destruction while at the same time being told time and again about the desire for peace.
They heard a heart-rending story from one man in Qana, Lebanon who said, We love America. We just don't want what your leaders do; we want peace. Dennis and Elizabeth were standing in the crater of a bomb that had destroyed a building sheltering dozens of women and children. His wife and children had also been killed.
One thing is certain, with Elizabeth Kucinich in the White House, there would be a staunch supporter of Dennis' goals of upholding the American dream, reinstating the constitution, having true representation for the people and working for global prosperity and well being.
How Kucinich Found Love (October 30, 2005) http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1030-04.htm
On May 4, Elizabeth Harper walked with her boss into Dennis Kucinich's Capitol Hill office for a meeting and immediately noticed three things. In the reception area, she saw a visiting nun in white robes. In his inner office sat a shelf bearing an illustration depicting "light consciousness" and a bust of Gandhi. She studied the lean and intense congressman and felt an attraction. "Now this is an interesting man," she thought. Elizabeth Harper and Dennis Kucinich Dennis had also closely observed Elizabeth, a statuesque Englishwoman with waist-length red hair. "I saw her eyes go to the light consciousness picture, then to the Gandhi bust, then to me," he says. "It was like one, two, three. That's when I knew."Within an hour, he called his friend, actress Mimi Kennedy, best known for playing Dharma's mother on "Dharma & Greg." "I met her," Dennis said. Kennedy knew exactly what he meant. She gave a little yelp of joy. Elizabeth and Dennis, by most laws of logic and logistics, should never have met. (...) Dennis' bachelorhood became part of his run for president last year, with a contest held to find him a mate. The dates didn't pan out, but something unusual happened in the spring of 2004, a year before he met Elizabeth. A group of supporters he visited in Brooklyn, N.Y., painted an 8-foot-long banner, heralding "Dennis Kucinich, the Peace Candidate." The detailed painting had a series of figures, people of all races and ethnicities forming an even row, from one side of the banner to the other. Dennis put the banner away, and forgot about it until a few weeks ago. Then he took it out of the box and unfurled it to show Elizabeth. Stunned, he said, "Wow." In the middle of the row of painted figures, standing head and shoulders above all of them, is a woman in a white gown, with long red hair.
Elizabeth Kucinich: Delivering Peace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V5Ur2Kgam0
She is just as charismatic and heart-moving as Lady Diana and will be an amazing First Lady and roving ambassador for Peace on Earth
From: James Lawler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Global warming
Date: 4 Nov 2007
In your posting of Nov. 3, you write: "Whether there are undisclosed oil deposits is now irrelevant because we know all too well that a fairly good portion of the critical man-made global warming problem we face (something diehard skeptics have denied for years) is due to our elite-driven dependence on oil as a source of energy. The sooner lack of oil availability will impact our global economy and force our shortsighted civilization to implement on a massive scale alternative means of transportation, the better."
You quote the message of Matthew from Nov. 1, 2005, saying that peak oil is a hoax. In that message Matthew also comments on the ecological problems of oil production: And there is fear in the people who want to preserve the environment about the proposed desecration of pristine areas to drill for oil, just as there is about the vast pollution that has been caused by oil. Note that Matthew does not mention global warming as one of the costs of oil production. This is because Matthew regards global warming as a natural and beneficial process. So in the message of April 7, 2006 he says:
"Now then, the other issue at the forefront of concern is global warming and what it portends. It is true that great changes in climate are coming due to the evidence and reasons given by knowledgeable, honest scientists. However, they do not know the ultimate reason or purpose, that your planet is emerging from the polarity that was necessary for karmic balancing, and part of this is the return to moderate differences in temperatures and climates. During Earths restoration to her original paradise self, glaciers will melt, the sweeping deserts will become arable, rain forests will flourish, variations in temperatures will markedly decrease, and every part of your world will become comfortably habitable."
Matthew here acknowledges the reality of global warming and the validity of scientific evidence for this, but rejects the causal explanation from humanly produced, and so reversible, green-house gas emissions. I recall an earlier posting of yours that contained quite a lot of support for the notion of diehard skeptics that global warming is not primarily or significantly caused by carbon dioxide emissions. (The main argument is that man-made carbon dioxide is only a very small proportion of the total planetary green-house gasses, 95% of which consist of water vapor, and so increases over the past century are very unlikely to have had significant effect in raising temperatures.) At that time you worried that such an idea, even if true, might dampen the positive effects of the explanation by man-made carbon dioxide emissions in sounding the alarm about the ecological crisis.
No doubt theres lots to be concerned about on the ecological front, but if carbon dioxide emission is among the least of them, a misplaced focus on this as the present top priority for the world can only be harmful both in the long and short runs. Governments, even the American one, have come to recognize that it is far easier to pretend that global warming is man-made, and so is fixable by a set of relatively simple and definite measures, than to admit that it is a natural and irreversible process, and so requires much more extensive and complex policy changes.
Also, while publicly focusing on this narrow issue, governments take the spotlight off of many other areas of far greater vulnerability which have clear human causesstarting with the pollution of the oceans. Rather than An Inconvenient Truth, we should be paying serious attention to Happy Feet.
(NOTE: More on Peak Oil - For real of Hoaxed? - below
HUMANITY UNDER A SHORTSIGHTED, CORRUPTED LEADERSHIP IS CONCOCTING A RECIPE FOR ABSOLUTE DISASTER AND A GLOBAL FAMINE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. It is high time to shift our priorities from greed-driven profit-making to human and nature-centered global regeneration and sustainable stewardship of our global commons... Time to shift our sense of self from self-centredness to gaian-centredness... Time to SHIFT UP!
Global food crisis looms as climate change and fuel shortages bite
Soaring crop prices and demand for biofuels raise fears of political instability
John Vidal, environment editor - The Guardian - November 3 2007
Empty shelves in Caracas. Food riots in West Bengal and Mexico. Warnings of hunger in Jamaica, Nepal, the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africa. Soaring prices for basic foods are beginning to lead to political instability, with governments being forced to step in to artificially control the cost of bread, maize, rice and dairy products.
Record world prices for most staple foods have led to 18% food price inflation in China, 13% in Indonesia and Pakistan, and 10% or more in Latin America, Russia and India, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Wheat has doubled in price, maize is nearly 50% higher than a year ago and rice is 20% more expensive, says the UN. Next week the FAO is expected to say that global food reserves are at their lowest in 25 years and that prices will remain high for years.
Last week the Kremlin forced Russian companies to freeze the price of milk, bread and other foods until January 31, for fear of a public backlash with a parliamentary election looming. "The price of goods has risen sharply and that has hit the poor particularly hard," said Oleg Savelyev, of the Levada Centre polling institute.
India, Yemen, Mexico, Burkina Faso and several other countries have had, or been close to, food riots in the last year, something not seen in decades of low global food commodity prices. Meanwhile, there are shortages of beef, chicken and milk in Venezuela and other countries as governments try to keep a lid on food price inflation.
Boycotts have become commonplace. Argentinians shunned tomatoes during the recent presidential election campaign when they became more expensive than meat. Italians organised a one-day boycott of pasta in protest at rising prices. German leftwing politicians have called for an increase in welfare benefits so that people can cope with price rises.
"If you combine the increase of the oil prices and the increase of food prices then you have the elements of a very serious [social] crisis in the future," said Jacques Diouf, head of the FAO, in London last week.
The price rises are a result of record oil prices, US farmers switching out of cereals to grow biofuel crops, extreme weather and growing demand from countries India and China, the UN said yesterday.
"There is no one cause but a lot of things are coming together to lead to this. It's hard to separate out the factors," said Ali Gurkan, head of the FAO's Food Outlook programme, yesterday.
He said cereal stocks had been declining for more than a decade but now stood at around 57 days, which made global food supplies vulnerable to an international crisis or big natural disaster such as a drought or flood.
"Any unforeseen flood or crisis can make prices rise very quickly. I do not think we should panic but we should be very careful about what may happen," he warned.
Lester Brown, president of the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute thinktank, said: "The competition for grain between the world's 800 million motorists, who want to maintain their mobility, and its 2 billion poorest people, who are simply trying to survive, is emerging as an epic issue."
Last year, he said, US farmers distorted the world market for cereals by growing 14m tonnes, or 20% of the whole maize crop, for ethanol for vehicles. This took millions of hectares of land out of food production and nearly doubled the price of maize. Mr Bush this year called for steep rises in ethanol production as part of plans to reduce petrol demand by 20% by 2017.
Maize is a staple food in many countries which import from the US, including Japan, Egypt, and Mexico. US exports are 70% of the world total, and are used widely for animal feed. The shortages have disrupted livestock and poultry industries worldwide.
"The use of food as a source of fuel may have serious implications for the demand for food if the expansion of biofuels continues," said a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund last week.
The outlook is widely expected to worsen as agro-industries prepare to switch to highly profitable biofuels. according to Grain, a Barcelona-based food resources group. Its research suggests that the Indian government is committed to planting 14m hectares (35m acres) of land with jatropha, an exotic bush from which biodiesel can be manufactured. Brazil intends to grow 120m hectares for biofuels, and Africa as much as 400m hectares in the next few years. Much of the growth, the countries say, would be on unproductive land, but many millions of people are expected to be forced off the land.
This week Oxfam warned the EU that its policy of substituting 10% of all car fuel with biofuels threatened to displace poor farmers.
The food crisis is being compounded by growing populations, extreme weather and ecological stress, according to a number of recent reports. This week the UN Environment Programme said the planet's water, land, air, plants, animals and fish stocks were all in "inexorable decline". According to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) 57 countries, including 29 in Africa, 19 in Asia and nine in Latin America, have been hit by catastrophic floods. Harvests have been affected by drought and heatwaves in south Asia, Europe, China, Sudan, Mozambique and Uruguay.
This week the Australian government said drought had slashed predictions of winter harvests by nearly 40%, or 4m tonnes. "It is likely to be even smaller than the disastrous drought-ravaged 2006-07 harvest and the worst in more than a decade," said the Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
According to Josette Sheeran, director of the WFP, "There are 854 million hungry people in the world and 4 million more join their ranks every year. We are facing the tightest food supplies in recent history. For the world's most vulnerable, food is simply being priced out of their reach."
Food for thought Possible scenarios
Experts describe various scenarios for the precarious food supply balance in coming years. An optimistic version would see markets automatically readjust to shortages, as higher prices make it more profitable once again to grow crops for people rather than cars.
There are hopes that new crop varieties and technologies will help crops adapt to capricious climactic conditions. And if people move on to a path of eating less meat, more land can be freed up for human food rather than animal feed.
A slowdown in population growth would naturally ease pressures on the food market, while the cultivation of hitherto unproductive land could also help supply.
But fears for even tighter conditions revolve around deepening climate change, which generates worsening floods and droughts, diminishing food supplies. If the price of oil rises further it will make fertilisers and transport more expensive, and at the same time make it more profitable to grow biofuel crops.
Supply will be further restricted if fish stocks continue to decline due to overfishing, and if soils become exhausted and erosion decreases the arable area.
Western Hunger for Biofuels Causing Starvation in the Poor World http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/110607EC.shtml
The Guardian UK's George Monbiot says, "Even the International Monetary Fund, always ready to immolate the poor on the altar of business, now warns that using food to produce biofuels "might further strain already tight supplies of arable land and water all over the world, thereby pushing food prices up even further." This week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization will announce the lowest global food reserves in 25 years, threatening what it calls "a very serious crisis." Even when the price of food was low, 850 million people went hungry because they could not afford to buy it. With every increment in the price of flour or grain, several million more are pushed below the breadline."
Big Melt Meets Big Empty http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/110607ED.shtml
In Global Public Media, Richard Heinberg writes: "Environmental and development NGOs are now fixated on climate change to the exclusion of nearly every other topic. Discussions in and among these organizations center on capping carbon emissions and trading emissions rights, and doing this internationally in a way that will be deemed equitable by the global South and acceptable to the industrial Northern countries."
The growth in human population and rising consumption have exceeded the planet's ability to support us, argues John Feeney. In this week's Green Room, he says it is time to ring the alarm bells and take radical action in order to avert unspeakable consequences.
We're out of our league, influencing systems we don't understand
We humans face two problems of desperate importance. The first is our global ecological plight. The second is our difficulty acknowledging the first.
Despite increasing climate change coverage, environmental writers remain reluctant to discuss the full scope and severity of the global dilemma we've created. Many fear sounding alarmist, but there is an alarm to sound and the time for reticence is over.
We've outgrown the planet and need radical action to avert unspeakable consequences. This - by a huge margin - has become humanity's greatest challenge.
If we've altered the climate, it should come as no surprise that we have damaged other natural systems. From deforestation to collapsing fisheries, desertification, the global spread of chemical toxins, ocean dead zones, and the death of coral reefs, an array of interrelated declines is evidence of the breadth of our impact.
Add the depletion of finite resources such as oil and ground-water, and the whole of the challenge upon us emerges.
Barring decisive action, we are marching, heads down, toward global ecological collapse.
Web of life
We're dismantling the web of life, the support system upon which all species depend. We could have very well entered the "sixth mass extinction"; the fifth having wiped out the dinosaurs.
Human activity is threatening the web of life, warns Mr Feeney
Though we like to imagine we are different from other species, we humans are not exempt from the threats posed by ecological degradation.
Analysts worry, for example, about the future of food production. Climate change-induced drought and the depletion of oil and aquifers - resources on which farming and food distribution depend - could trigger famine on an unprecedented scale.
Billions could die. At the very least, we risk our children inheriting a bleak world, empty of the richness of life we take for granted.
Alarmist? Yes, but realistically so.
The most worrisome aspect of this ecological decline is the convergence in time of so many serious problems. Issues such as oil and aquifer depletion and climate change are set to reach crisis points within decades.
Biodiversity loss is equally problematic. As a result of their ecological interdependence, the extinction of species can trigger cascade effects whereby impacts suddenly and unpredictably spread. We're out of our league, influencing systems we don't understand.
One thing is certain: continued inaction or half-hearted efforts will be of no help - we're at a turning point in human history
Any of these problems could disrupt society. The possibility of them occurring together is enough to worry even the most optimistic among rational observers.
Some credible analyses conclude we've postponed action too long to avoid massive upheaval and the best we can do now is to soften the blow. Others hold out hope of averting catastrophe, though not without tough times ahead.
One thing is certain: continued inaction or half-hearted efforts will be of no help - we're at a turning point in human history.
Though few seem willing to confront the facts, it's no secret how we got here. We simply went too far. The growth which once measured our species' success inevitably turned deadly.
Unceasing economic growth, increasing per capita resource consumption, and global population growth have teamed with our reliance on finite reserves of fossil energy to exceed the Earth's absorptive and regenerative capacities.
Getting a grip
We are now in "overshoot"; our numbers and levels of consumption having exceeded the Earth's capacity to sustain us for the long-term.
Many regions are experiencing the strain of water shortages
And as we remain in overshoot, we further erode the Earth's ability to support us.
Inevitably, our numbers will come down, whether voluntarily or through such natural means as famine or disease.
So what can get us out of this mess? First comes awareness. Those in a position to inform must shed fears of alarmism and embrace the truth.
More specifically, we need ecological awareness. For instance, we must "get" that we are just one among millions of interdependent species.
It's imperative we reduce personal resource consumption. The relocalisation movement promoted by those studying oil depletion is a powerful strategy in that regard.
We need a complete transition to clean, renewable energy. It can't happen overnight, but reliance on non-renewable energy is, by definition, unsustainable.
But there is a caveat: abundant clean energy alone will not end our problems. There remains population growth which increases consumption of resources other than energy.
The demand for more goods means we need more energy
We have to rethink the corporate economic growth imperative. On a finite planet, the physical component of economic growth cannot continue forever.
In fact, it has gone too far already. As a promising alternative, the field of ecological economics offers the "steady state economy".
We must end world population growth, then reduce population size. That means lowering population numbers in industrialised as well as developing nations.
Scientists point to the population-environment link. But today's environmentalists avoid the subject more than any other ecological truth. Their motives range from the political to a misunderstanding of the issue.
Neither justifies hiding the truth because total resource use is the product of population size and per capita consumption. We have no chance of solving our environmental predicament without reducing both factors in the equation.
Fortunately, expert consensus tells us we can address population humanely by solving the social problems that fuel it.
Implementing these actions will require us all to become activists, insisting our leaders base decisions not on corporate interests but on the health of the biosphere.
Let's make the effort for today's and tomorrow's children.
John Feeney PhD is an environmental writer and activist in Boulder, Colorado, US. His online project is http://growthmadness.org (MUCH good stuff there!)
The Green Room is a series of opinion pieces on environmental topics running weekly on the BBC News website
NOTE: If the following is true as it seems it is, then the governmental push for increased biofuel production - mentioned in the article above - is not only criminally irresponsible and the result of a cabal-driven conspiracy, but it also paves the way for a global genocide through famine...
Date: 4 Nov 2007
Subject: More on Hoaxed Oil Scarcity
From: Stephen Calkins (email@example.com)
Thanks for the reply from your friend on the peak oil, and the comments on global warming!
Global warming is clearly occurring on other planets, (including a loss of half of the polar ice cap on Mars in just the last 5 years.) This is visible in NASA photos. Thus, the premise that global warming being manmade is on shaky ground. (CO2 for an example, is only 1/3rd of 1% of the total atmospheric gases, and even if it doubles, it is unlikely to be the major source of the change here, and their are no burnt fossil fuels on Mars.
There are many that would seek to have us believe that we have limited resources, so that they can extort large fees out of the public for supposedly scarce material, and thus get rich and also have control of everyone's needs. (Exxon this past month, for example, made its single largest profits ever! A little greedy? I would say so.
Yet it clear to those that research alternative energy inventions, that water powered cars, 100-200 mpg carburetors, free-energy devices, (such as the recent 'Joe Cells' in Australia), etc., all exist in total functional fashion, and are not allowed to be marketed, by the energy controllers. Several inventors have been killed recently, (James Black: Canada, Stan Deyo: US, etc.). Some others have been threatened with death (to them and or their families), if they continue with their work. (ie: the Joe Cell builders in Australia this year.) What does this tell us about their potential honesty concerning peak oil, coming from people that apparently murder their competition?
The energy scarcity, (and the energy monopoly), are being artificially created for the benefit of a few.
If we allow inventors to be killed (or threatened), and allow intentionally created scarce commodities, (with jacked up prices), to continue to exist, when we know this is happening, then who is the fool?
I sincerely doubt that Lindsey Williams is lying about Gull Island oil field, the Prudhoe oil field, and the abundance of quality oil there. He isn't the only source on this information either. Williams is a brilliant, and highly ethical man. The Rockefellers, Exxon, on the other hand, are the same people that are behind the false flag operations, the illegal wars, the bankrupting of this nation, and the willful murder of all the people that they operations and wars are dead as a result of.
Gull Island just proved what the oil companies have believed for some time. It authenticated the seismographic findings. Seismographic testing has indicated that there is as much crude oil on the North Slope of Alaska as in Saudi Arabia. There are many hundreds of square miles of oil under the North Slope of Alaska. Just west of Gull Island, the Kuparuk oil field has been drilled. This is a totally separate pool of oil from either the Prudhoe Bay field or the Gull Island field. The Kuparuk field is approximately 60 miles long by 30 miles wide and contains approximately the same amount of oil as the Prudhoe Bay field. The sulphur content of the Prudhoe Bay Alaskan oil is low in comparison to oil from other sources in the U.S., as well as many foreign oils. Prudhoe Bay can produce two (2) million barrels of oil every 24 hours for 20 to 40 years at artesian pressure. Imagine what the production of the Kuparuk and Gull Island fields could be. Energy Crisis?!! No, the oil companies have the game rigged.
Alaskas Gull Island Oil Fields Could Power U.S. for 200 Years Issue #33, August 14, 2006 By Mark Anderson http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/gull_island_oil.html
Crude oil is the real currency of the world, said Lindsey Williams at a gathering of the Midwest Concerned Citizens group in Kansas City on July 22. But Americans will never hear about huge oil and gas reserves in the United States, which, if ever tapped, would bring todays fuel prices at least as low as $1.50 per gallon and make America more energy independent. As a Baptist missionary in the 1970s, Williams said he rubbed elbows with members of the worlds power elitewho boasted of detailed 30-year and 50-year plans to control the flow of oil and information. A huge quantity of crude oil and natural gas exists under Gull Island, located in the waters of Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, says WilliamsThe big event in that three-year period was in 1977 when an Atlantic Richfield oil executive told him, We have just drilled into the largest pool of oil in North America[and] in the world! That pool was Gull Island. It was said that there was enough natural gas to supply America for 200 years. But to this day, not one drop of that oil has been released to American refineries, Williams said. Williams said the executive had warned him that the Gull Island find was highly classified. Do not repeat any of this, he was told. clip..
Seismographic testing has indicated that there is as much crude oil on the North Slope of Alaska as in Saudi Arabia. The Gull Island find proved to be seismographically correct. There are many hundreds of square miles of oil under the North Slope of Alaska.
The government permitted the oil companies to drill and prove many sites (subsequently making them cap the wells and keep secret the proof of the finds), but they do not allow them to produce from the wells. Production is only permitted is from the small area of the North Slope. Gull Island is located five miles off shore from Prudhoe Bay. It is in the Beaufort Sea. The chemical structure of the oil at Gull Island is different from that of the oil in the Prudhoe Bay field and the pressure of the field is different, proving that it is a totally different pool of oil from that at Prudhoe Bay. The Gull Island burn produced 30,000 barrels of oil per day through a 31/2 inch pipe at 900 feet. For forty miles to the east of Gull Island, there has not been a single dry hole drilled, although many wells have been drilled. This shows the immensity of the size of the field. The Gull Island oil find is even larger than the Prudhoe Bay field, which is presently producing more than two million barrels of oil every twenty-four hours.
Only recently, just west of Gull Island, the Kuparuk oil field has been drilled. Again, this is a totally separate pool of oil from either the Prudhoe Bay field or the Gull Island field. The chemical make up of the field and the pressure of the field is different from the others, proving it to be a totally separate pool of oil. In an entirely different area of the North Slope than the 100-square-mile area of the Prudhoe Bay field, the Kuparuk field is approximately 60 miles long by 30 miles wide and contains approximately the same amount of oil as the Prudhoe Bay field. There is as much crude oil on the North Slope of Alaska as in all of Saudi Arabia is because the oil companies have drilled all over the North Slope and have proven there is that much oil there, but still they are only allowed to produce from the small area. An August 11, 1980, analysis of the Prudhoe Bay crude oil, which is flowing in the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, reads as follows: Sulphur content - 0.9% Flash point of the oil - 35 °F Wax content - 6% Asphalt content - 2% Crude oil freeze temperature (better known as pour point) - 15 °F The Alaskan Prudhoe Bay oil can be refined by any major refinery in America without damage to the ecology. Imagine what the production of the Kuparuk and Gull Island fields could be. Field At least four times the size of Prudhoe . . . Estimates are that it is the richest oil field on the face of the earth.
Oil Scarcity, Post at Yahoogroups: There will always be a glut of oil. I remember the dozens of tankers sitting off shore around LA in 1973 when they engineered the first oil "crisis." It was just to get the gullible public ready to accept big price increases. It's all a big scam, and the public will always buy it.... clip..
O.K. Jean, have a great day!
Note from Jean: Steve's argument appears to be flawed with regard to his reliance on Mars' apparent global warming trend as an indicator that this is a natural cosmic phenomenon also affecting Earth ...
Global warming on Mars? (5 October 2005) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=192
Recently, there have been some suggestions that "global warming" has been observed on Mars. These are based on observations of regional change around the South Polar Cap, but seem to have been extended into a "global" change, and used by some to infer an external common mechanism for global warming on Earth and Mars. But this is incorrect reasoning and based on faulty understanding of the data. (...) Thus inferring global warming from a 3 Martian year regional trend is unwarranted. The observed regional changes in south polar ice cover are almost certainly due to a regional climate transition, not a global phenomenon, and are demonstrably unrelated to external forcing. There is a slight irony in people rushing to claim that the glacier changes on Mars are a sure sign of global warming, while not being swayed by the much more persuasive analogous phenomena here on Earth
And as for peak oil, real or not real? Your pick!
ALL PEAKED OUT AND NO PLACE ELSE TO GO BUT DO-O-O-W-N (05.11.07) http://tinyurl.com/28abyp
"PEAK oil is now", proclaims a hard-hitting study of global resources by the German-based Energy Watch Group. Its predictions are dire: global oil output peaked in 2006 at 81 million barrels per day, will slide to 58 million bpd by 2020 and 39 million bpd by 2020 and 116 million by 2030, though off line, there is a growing view at the IEA that its projections are too optimistic. CLIP
To me this Energy Watch Group group seems like a most reliable source. It was founded at the instigation of Hans-Josef Fell, member of he Green Party (Die Grunen) in Germany and is independent from the governments and the companies, that is, the perennial liars... see below...
Energy policy needs objective information http://www.energywatchgroup.org/Mission.11+M5d637b1e38d.0.html
The Energy power industry and Government organisations keep up the belief of the unlimited availability of cheap energy from conventional sources. But energy policy needs objective information. For this reason the Energy Watch Group was founded due to the initiative of the German parliamentarian Hans-Josef Fell and further parliamentarians from other countries. It is supported by the Ludwig-Bölkow-Foundation. In this project scientists are working on studies independently of Government and company interests concerning- the shortage of fossil and atomic energy resources, development scenarios for regenerative energy sources as well as strategies deriving from these for a long-term secure energy supply at affordable prices. The scientists are therefore collecting and analysing not only ecological but above all economical and technological connections. The results of these studies are to be presented not only to experts but also to the politically interested public.
The Peak Oil Crisis (8 November 2007) http://www.fcnp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2048&Itemid=35
On Monday, our colleagues over at the Washington Post ran a front-page story in an effort to explain to official Washington why oil prices have soared by $25 a barrel in the last ten weeks and just what it might mean. Now anyone who follows the peak oil story knows the answer already. World Oil production stopped growing two years ago; consumption of oil in China, India, and the major oil producing countries themselves continues to grow rapidly; a gap between demand and supply is opening which for a while will be filled by drawing down world stockpiles; increasing prices are forcing the poor nations to get by with less oil.Those who follow peak oil also know that within the next few years, unless a really bad economic recession cuts consumption massively, depletion from existing oilfields will run ahead of efforts to develop new oil fields and alternatives. Liquid fuels production then will begin to drop. If, however, you have not taken on-board these easily observable facts of life in the 21st century, you must search for other explanations to account for rapidly rising oil prices. Sadly, this is the course that the Washington Posts 1,800-word story takes.The Post starts out by asking the rhetorical question How high can [oil prices] go? This of course is an irrelevant question, for the answer is as high as necessary to keep supply and demand balanced. Oil will eventually be $100 a barrel, $200 a barrel, and ultimately many hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars a barrel. The key point is that the era of unlimited oil supplies is over and from here on there will be increasingly severe supply limitations. CLIP
Beyond the Age of Petroleum (October 25, 2007) http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071112/klare
This past May, in an unheralded and almost unnoticed move, the Energy Department signaled a fundamental, near epochal shift in US and indeed world history: we are nearing the end of the Petroleum Age and have entered the Age of Insufficiency. The department stopped talking about "oil" in its projections of future petroleum availability and began speaking of "liquids." The global output of "liquids," the department indicated, would rise from 84 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) per day in 2005 to a projected 117.7 mboe in 2030--barely enough to satisfy anticipated world demand of 117.6 mboe. Aside from suggesting the degree to which oil companies have ceased being mere suppliers of petroleum and are now purveyors of a wide variety of liquid products--including synthetic fuels derived from natural gas, corn, coal and other substances--this change hints at something more fundamental: we have entered a new era of intensified energy competition and growing reliance on the use of force to protect overseas sources of petroleum.To appreciate the nature of the change, it is useful to probe a bit deeper into the Energy Department's curious terminology. "Liquids," the department explains in its International Energy Outlook for 2007, encompasses "conventional" petroleum as well as "unconventional" liquids--notably tar sands (bitumen), oil shale, biofuels, coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids. Once a relatively insignificant component of the energy business, these fuels have come to assume much greater importance as the output of conventional petroleum has faltered. Indeed, the Energy Department projects that unconventional liquids production will jump from a mere 2.4 mboe per day in 2005 to 10.5 in 2030, a fourfold increase. But the real story is not the impressive growth in unconventional fuels but the stagnation in conventional oil output. Looked at from this perspective, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the switch from "oil" to "liquids" in the department's terminology is a not so subtle attempt to disguise the fact that worldwide oil production is at or near its peak capacity and that we can soon expect a downturn in the global availability of conventional petroleum. CLIP
18 Years Later, Exxon Still Won't Pay $2.5 Billion for Valdez Spill http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/110507ED.shtml
On AlterNet, Riki Ott writes: "The Supreme Court's recent decision to hear Exxon Mobil's reasons to void the $2.5 billion punitive award in the Exxon Valdez case hit the town of Cordova, Alaska, hard. This small coastal fishing community - my hometown - along with the Alaska Native villages in Prince William Sound have borne the brunt of the largest crude oil spill in America's waters, a spill that took place more than 18 years ago, but one that continues to hold the region hostage."
ExxonMobil: Profits and discontent (May 29 2007) http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/25/news/companies/pluggedin_gunther_exxon.fortune/index.htm
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- ExxonMobil's stock is up by 35 percent in the last year. The oil giant made $39.5 billion in profits in 2006, tops in the Fortune 500. But don't expect a roomful of smiling faces at Exxon's annual shareholder meeting tomorrow. Instead, Greenpeace, gay-rights groups, critics of bloated CEO pay, religious shareholders and some of the nation's biggest public pension funds will assail the company for its lack of responsibility. They've filed a dozen shareholder resolutions on environmental, governance and social issues. Rarely has there been such a stark disconnect between a company's outstanding financial performance and its not-so-stellar reputation as a corporate citizen. CLIP
COSMIC DECEPTION: LET THE CITIZEN BEWARE by Steven M. Greer http://www.disclosureproject.org/cosmicdeception.htm
(...) The testimony of hundreds of government, military and corporate insiders has established this: That UFOs are real, that some are built by our secret 'black' shadowy government projects and some are from extraterrestrial civilizations, and that a group has kept this secret so that the technology behind the UFO can be withheld - until the right time. This technology can - and eventually will - replace the need for oil, gas, coal, ionizing nuclear power, and other centralized and highly destructive energy systems. This 5 trillion dollar industry - energy and transportation - is currently highly centralized, metered and lucrative. It is the stuff that runs the entire industrialized world. It is the mother of all special interests. It is not about money as you and I think of it, but about geo-political power - the very centralized power on which the current order in the world runs. The world is kept in a state of roiling wars, endless poverty for most of Earth's denizens and global environmental ruin, just to prop up this evil world order. CLIP
REALLY GOOD NEWS!
Recommended by Kelley Elkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels.
Anil Sethi, the chief executive of the Swiss start-up company Flisom, says he looks forward to the day - not so far off - when entire cities in America and Europe generate their heating, lighting and air-conditioning needs from solar films on buildings with enough left over to feed a surplus back into the grid.
The secret? Mr Sethi lovingly cradles a piece of dark polymer foil, as thin a sheet of paper. It is 200 times lighter than the normal glass-based solar materials, which require expensive substrates and roof support. Indeed, it is so light it can be stuck to the sides of buildings.
Rather than being manufactured laboriously piece by piece, it can be mass-produced in cheap rolls like packaging - in any colour.
The "tipping point" will arrive when the capital cost of solar power falls below $1 (51p) per watt, roughly the cost of carbon power. We are not there yet. The best options today vary from $3 to $4 per watt - down from $100 in the late 1970s.
Mr Sethi believes his product will cut the cost to 80 cents per watt within five years, and 50 cents in a decade.
It is based on a CIGS (CuInGaSe2) semiconductor compound that absorbs light by freeing electrons. This is then embedded on the polymer base. It will be ready commercially in late 2009.
"It'll even work on a cold, grey, cloudy day in England, which still produces 25pc to 30pc of the optimal light level. That is enough, if you cover half the roof," he said.
"We don't need subsidies, we just need governments to get out of the way and do no harm. They've spent $170bn subsidising nuclear power over the last thirty years," he said.
His ultra-light technology, based on a copper indium compound, can power mobile phones and laptop computers with a sliver of foil.
"You won't have to get down on your knees ever again to hunt for plug socket," he said
Michael Rogol, a solar expert at Credit Lyonnais, expects the solar industry to grow from $7bn in 2004 to nearer $40bn by 2010, with operating earnings of $3bn.
The sector is poised to outstrip wind power. It is a remarkable boom for a technology long dismissed by experts as hopelessly unviable.
Mr Rogol said he was struck by the way solar use had increased dramatically in Japan and above all Germany, where Berlin's green energy law passed in 2004 forces the grid to buy surplus electricity from households at a fat premium. (In Britain, utilities may refuse to buy the surplus. They typically pay half the customer price of electricity.)
The change in Germany's law catapulted the share price of the German flagship company SolarWorld from ¤1.38 (67p) in February 2004 to over ¤60 by early 2006.
The tipping point in Germany and Japan came once households twigged that they could undercut their unloved utilities. Credit Lyonnais believes the rest of the world will soon join the stampede.
Mike Splinter, chief executive of the US semiconductor group Applied Materials, told me his company is two years away from a solar product that reaches the magic level of $1 a watt.
Cell conversion efficiency and economies of scale are galloping ahead so fast that the cost will be down to 70 US cents by 2010, with a target of 30 or 40 cents in a decade.
"We think solar power can provide 20pc of all the incremental energy needed worldwide by 2040," he said.
"This is a very powerful technology and we're seeing dramatic improvements all the time. It can be used across the entire range from small houses to big buildings and power plants," he said.
"The beauty of this is that you can use it in rural areas of India without having to lay down power lines or truck in fuel."
Villages across Asia and Africa that have never seen electricity may soon leapfrog directly into the solar age, replicating the jump to mobile phones seen in countries that never had a network of fixed lines. As a by-product, India's rural poor will stop blanketing the subcontinent with soot from tens of millions of open stoves.
Applied Materials is betting on both of the two rival solar technologies: thin film panels best used where there is plenty of room and the traditional crystalline (c-Si) wafer-based cells, which are not as cheap but produce a higher yield - better for tight spaces.
Needless to say, electricity utilities are watching the solar revolution with horror. Companies in Japan and Germany have already seen an erosion of profits because of an effect known "peak shaving". In essence, the peak wattage of solar cells overlaps with hours of peak demand and peak prices for electricity in the middle of the day, crunching margins.
As for the oil companies, they are still treating solar power as a fringe curiosity. "There is no silver bullet," said Jeroen Van der Veer, Shell's chief executive.
"We have invested a bit in all forms of renewable energy ourselves and maybe we'll find a winner one day. But the reality is that in twenty years time we'll still be using more oil than now," he said.
Rally pushes higher awareness of climate change (November 4, 2007) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/04/BAOIT5IL7.DTL&tsp=1
San Francisco - Anti-war politics and the environmental movement came together at a rally in San Francisco Saturday. The event in United Nations Plaza was among 1,000 planned nationwide as part of Step It Up 2007, a national day of action against climate change. More than 40 rallies were scheduled to be held in California alone. Serious topics were treated with typically antic San Francisco style. On the plaza, where the words of the U.N. charter are carved in stone, the master of ceremonies stood at a microphone - wearing a gorilla costume without the mask due to the unseasonably warm weather - near where the charter promises "... to promote social progress and better standards of life." Rally participants carried colorful signage - "Draft Gore" and "No Nukes! No Coal! No Problem!" Booths were manned by representatives of Greenpeace - who distributed free fruit smoothies made in solar-powered blenders - and other environmental groups, while the plaza was ringed by an array of demonstrations of various forms of sustainable energy, from algae to solar panels to electric cars to a truck that runs on walnut shells. CLIP
Berkeley going solar - city pays up front, recoups over 20 years (October 26, 2007) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/10/26/MNAIT0DQO.DTL
Berkeley is set to become the first city in the nation to help thousands of its residents generate solar power without having to put money up front - attempting to surmount one of the biggest hurdles for people who don't have enough cash to go green. The City Council will vote Nov. 6 on a plan for the city to finance the cost of solar panels for property owners who agree to pay it back with a 20-year assessment on their property. Over two decades, the taxes would be the same or less than what property owners would save on their electric bills, officials say. "This plan could be our most important contribution to fighting global warming," Mayor Tom Bates said Thursday. "We've already seen interest from all over the U.S. People really think this plan can go." The idea is sparking interest from city and state leaders who are mindful of California's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Officials in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica and several state agencies have contacted Berkeley about the details of its plan."If this works, we'd want to look at this for other cities statewide," said Ken Alex, California deputy attorney general. "We think it's a very creative way to eliminate the barriers to getting solar panels, and it's fantastic that Berkeley's going ahead with this." This is how Berkeley's program would work: CLIP
Cutting car emissions saves lives: T.O. report (Nov 03, 2007) http://www.thestar.com/News/article/273199
A new study on the health effects of air pollution from traffic in Toronto says a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle emissions could save nearly 200 lives a year and $1 billion in health costs.The Toronto Public Health report, to be released Monday, also estimates that "mortality-related'' costs associated with traffic pollution in the city are about $2.2 billion annually.The report uses a Health Canada computer-based method called the Air Quality Benefits Tool to calculate the "burden of illness'' and economic impact from traffic-related smog. Authored by Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's medical officer of health, the study claims this pollution contributes to about 440 premature deaths and 1,700 hospitalizations a year in Toronto. While most cases involve the elderly, the pollution is also significantly affecting children, the report says, adding they experience 1,200 acute bronchitis episodes a year as a result, and 68,000 instances of asthma-related symptoms. Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, works committee chair and an environmentalist, said he's convinced vehicle emissions are leading to more children having breathing problems and asthma. CLIP
COULD YOU IMAGINE HOW FAR AHEAD THE US - WORST CO2 PRODUCER ON EARTH - WOULD BE TOWARDS IMPLEMENTING GREEN ENERGY (AND FREE ENERGY) SOLUTIONS IF A MAN LIKE KUCINICH WAS PRESIDENT INSTEAD OF THE CURRENT BUNCH OF MAFIA CROOKS BENT ON FILLING THE DEEP POCKETS OF THEIR CROONIES AND BUDDIES?...
While Dick Cheney has been talking tough over the years about Iran's alleged nuclear activities, the vice president has been quietly pursuing nuclear ambitions of his own.
For more than two years, Cheney and a relatively unknown administration official, Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell, have been regularly visiting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to ensure agency officials rewrite regulatory policies and bypass public hearings in order to streamline the licensing process for energy companies that have filed applications to build new nuclear power reactors, as well as applications for new nuclear facilities that are expected to be filed by other companies in the months ahead, longtime NRC officials said.
Before being sworn in as deputy energy secretary in March 2005, Sell, a lawyer whose roots extend to Bush's home state of Texas, was a White House lobbyist working on energy issues. He had also participated in secret meetings with Cheney's Energy Task Force.
In April, Sell and Cheney had both met with NRC officials to sign off on the final regulatory policies related to new nuclear reactors. Following the meeting, Sell had alerted a group of energy companies they could begin to take advantage of the faster application process, NRC officials said.
NRC officials said that Cheney has expressed a desire to see applications for nuclear reactor projects approved by the NRC when he and Bush leave the White House in January 2009.
The energy corporations Cheney and Sell have been personally lobbying the NRC on behalf of this year have advised the vice president and his staff on energy policy in a way that would boost their companies' profit margins. These corporations have also donated millions of dollars to President Bush's and Cheney's past presidential campaigns.
One of the cornerstones of President Bush's National Energy Policy, released in May 2001, but never wholly adopted, was "the expansion of nuclear energy in the United States as a major component of our national energy policy." Cheney said that reviving the nuclear power industry would be long-term solution to the country's increasing thirst for electricity.
At a time when public awareness surrounding renewable energy resources, the devastating effects of global warming and the importance of conservation is at an all-time high, the Bush administration has steered tens of billions in taxpayer dollars toward revamping the dormant nuclear power industry, touting it as the only proven technology to combat climate change.
Behind the scenes, Cheney and Sell have worked in tandem with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a powerful industry organization whose members include some of the country's largest energy corporations, to get the NRC to rewrite long-standing environmental review policies and limit oversight of new nuclear projects, thereby simplifying the application process, and significantly cutting down the time it takes to get new nuclear projects off the ground, an NRC official said.
The Nuclear Energy Institute spent $680,000 during the first half of 2007 lobbying the White House, Congress, the Department of Energy, and other federal agencies, according to a disclosure form posted online August 13 by the Senate's public records office. Cheney's longtime friend, Tom Loeffler, a former lobbyist and Republican congressman, represented the NEI. Loeffler's former aide, Nancy Dorn, worked as a Congressional liaison for Cheney, and later became a lobbyist for General Electric.
Cheney and Sell's behind-the-scenes efforts have been a boon for the nuclear energy industry - and to Westinghouse Electric, a nuclear reactor designer whose AP1000 reactor unit was certified by the Department of Energy. The company stands to earn tens of billions of dollars in profit through the sale of just a few of its nuclear reactor units. Cheney has said publicly he wants to see dozens scattered across the US.
In September, Princeton-based NRG Energy Inc., having emerged from bankruptcy proceedings, became the first company in 30 years to submit an application to build two new General Electric-designed nuclear reactors at its Bay City, Texas, nuclear power plant facility, a move that came as a direct result of several private meetings NRG lobbyists and executives held with Cheney and Sell, according to company officials. NRG's former president, David Peterson, traveled to Washington on two occasions in 2001 to help Cheney's Energy Task Force shape the country's energy policy, according to government records.
Prior to NRG's application, there had not been a filing for a new nuclear power plant in the United States since before the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor meltdown three decades ago.
NRG Chief Executive David Crane told investors recently that massive federal tax incentives and federal loan guarantees included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was the deciding factor in steering the company toward the $6 billion nuclear project.
"The whole reason we started down this path was the benefits written into the [Energy Policy Act] of 2005," Crane said.
That legislation calls for upwards of $125 million in annual tax credits for a nuclear plant, in addition to loan guarantees that would cover about 80 percent of construction costs. Furthermore, the federal government provided $2 billion in risk insurance for application costs, thereby protecting energy companies in the event they would not be able to finance a nuclear project due to regulatory obstacles.
The federal loan program automatically requires taxpayers to cover any defaults on the loans. In a February report to Congress, the Government Accountability Office said failure to properly account for default risks in the loan program was one factor that "could result in substantial financial costs to the taxpayer."
A 2003 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report said the risk of utilities defaulting on loans for new nuclear plants is "very high - well above 50 percent."
AMID GENERAL INDIFFERENCE, ANOTHER BIG, FAT NAIL IS BEING PUT INTO THE COFFIN OF US DEMOCRACY AND ITS CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. THERE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY NO SCRUTINY OR IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THIS ORWELLIAN, EXTREMELY MALEVOLENT LAW IN ANY MAJOR US MEDIA AND ONLY A HANDFUL OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA HAVE MENTIONED IT SO FAR. THIS IS TRULY MIND-BOGGLING!! THIS CONGRESS IS LEADING ITS CITIZENS DIRECTLY TO AN AUSCHWITZ-LIKE INFERNO AND HARDLY ANYONE KNOWS ABOUT THIS... THIS LAW IS UTTERLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THEORETICALLY, IT COULD BE CHALLENGED IN THE SUPREME COURT, BUT HOW MANY YEARS WOULD THAT TAKE ... IF IT EVEN ACCEPTS TO HEAR THIS CASE???
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution.
First let's take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill.
The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn't specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.
`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
The definition of homegrown terrorism uses equally vague language to further define thought crime. The bill includes the planned use of force or violence as homegrown terrorism which could be interpreted as thinking about using force or violence. Not only that but the definition is so vaguely defined, that petty crimes could even fall into the category of homegrown terrorism. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.
`(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Section 899B of the bill goes over the findings of Congress as it pertains to homegrown terrorism. Particularly alarming is that the bill mentions the Internet as a main source for terrorist propaganda. The bill even mentions streams in obvious reference to many of the patriot and pro-constitution Internet radio networks that have been formed. It also mentions that homegrown terrorists span all ages and races indicating that the Congress is stating that everyone is a potential terrorist. Even worse is that Congress states in their findings that they should look at draconian police states like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom as models to defeat homegrown terrorists. Literally, these findings of Congress fall right in line with the growing patriot community.
The biggest joke of all is that this section also says that any measure to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism should not violate the constitutional rights of citizens. However, the definition of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as they are defined in section 899A are themselves unconstitutional. The Constitution does not allow the government to arrest people for thought crimes, so any promises not to violate the constitutional rights of citizens are already broken by their own definitions.
This bill is completely insane. It literally allows the government to define any and all crimes including thought crime as violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. Obviously, this legislation is unconstitutional on a number of levels and it is clear that all 404 representatives who voted in favor of this bill are traitors and should be removed from office immediately. The treason spans both political parties and it shows us all that there is no difference between them. The bill will go on to the Senate and will likely be passed and signed into the law by George W. Bush. Considering that draconian legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act have already been passed, there seems little question that this one will get passed as well. This is more proof that our country has been completely sold out by a group of traitors at all levels of government.
Here is a relevant comment taken from http://amsam.org/2007/10/violent-radicalization-and-homegrown.html
Does the U.S. Government have a reason to believe that the American people are about to snap out of their zombie trance and actually do something? Maybe Just maybe the USG knows that the situation on the ground is going to change substantially and that the general level of comfort is going to drop. In other words, less bread and fewer compelling enough circuses. If that was the case, increasing numbers of people could become radicalized. The USG will do what all other governments do as they collapse: Turn inward. As the level of sociopolitical cohesion falls, the state increasingly views the people as a national security problem. Yes, indeed. People are about to become very uncomfortable indeed. When that happens, there will almost certainly be troubledemonstrations, protestsand riots. Sounds like homegrown terrorism is intended to cover any form of protest by US citizens, whether peaceful or otherwise: the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.So, how do they define force? I suppose that could include blocking a public road or sidewalk, or even making a forceful statementor perhaps even planning to do these things.
Examining the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (November 1, 2007) http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3388/examining_the_homegrown_terrorism_prevention_act/
(...) One of the findings of the bill is that, the Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.A chief problem is radical forms of Islam, but were not only studying radical Islam, Harman says. Were studying the phenomenon of people with radical beliefs who turn into people who would use violence.That worries Mike German, policy counsel for the ACLU, who calls the legislation wrongheaded because it focuses on ideology, rather than criminal activity. The bill calls for heightened scrutiny of people who believe, or might come to believe, in a violent ideology. German wants the government to focus on people who are actually committing crimes, rather than those who are merely entertaining violent ideas, something perfectly legal. (...) The bills broad language and loose definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism also arouse the concerns of many civil libertarians.The broad wording of the bill leaves open many questions. If homegrown terrorism is defined to include intimidation of the United States government or any segment of its populationcould the Commission or the Center of Excellence task itself with investigating groups advocating boycotts, general strikes, or other forms of non-violent intimidation? CLIP
WHY HR 1955 WAS RAMMED THROUGH UNDER COVER OF FIRE (October 29, 2007) MANY LINKS at this URL... http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd318.htm
Last week while the horrific fires were burning up Southern California and every major news network, including cable were providing non-stop coverage, a very dangerous bill to liberty and freedom was passed by 404 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Called the 'Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007', this bill is perfectly summed up here:"First let's take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill. The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn't specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime." (...) Many times I have reminded Americans that back in 1984, Lt. Col. Oliver North, directly helped draft a plan in 1984 at the direction of Ronald Reagan to impose martial law in the United States in the event of an emergency. This secret plan would suspend the U.S. Constitution and turn over control of the government to the little known agency at that time: FEMA. This plan would appoint military commanders to run state and local governments - remember Katrina? Implementation of this plan would have been triggered by violent and wide spread internal dissent, disagreement with government policy or national opposition to any U.S. military invasion abroad. Essentially, it amounted to a complete and total suspension of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Many times I have reminded Americans about a 1997 essay in the Sacramento Bee titled: Our Civilian-Military Face off, which also carried a sub headline: Bill of Rights No Obstacle for the [Marine] Corps. This piece exposed the mindset way back then that at some point due to: "...the rising potential for civil disobedience within the inner cities it is 'inevitable' the U.S. military will be employed more often within American borders." In my March 10, 2005 column, I said that at some point, it was a given that posse comitatus is likely to be thrown out the window. WACO was the test case in violation of posse comitatus which resulted in our military burning and gassing to death 74 Americans, 17 of them children. For the most part, America was silent and sickeningly, large numbers felt the outcome was "necessary." (...) Back in 1999, the International Association of Undercover Officers held a conference and put out a manual titled 'Homegrown Extremists.' This manual will shock you, i.e,. the Fully Informed Jury Association which teaches people about their serious responsibilities as a juror is blasted as an extremist organization. This is the kind of propaganda that was being jammed down the throats of law enforcement almost a decade ago. Most certainly there are dangerous groups in this country, but through toxic organizations like the Southern "Poverty" Law Center, this type of propaganda is now standard fare for law enforcement. Constitutionalists are deliberately lumped in with the KKK and wacky cults. Pg 52 begins "Know your enemy" and they are white, educated Christians. The full manual is scanned here.The timing of the passage of H.R. 1955 was no accident; see roll call of votes here. The fact that 404 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for it tells me this collective body of dangerous individuals that have taken this country, with the blessing of every past president since Roosevelt, to the brink of financial ruin are now very afraid of what's going to happen when the peasants (that's us) find themselves left with nothing. Additionally, the push for a new, unbiased investigation into 911 is turning into an unmanageable situation for the shadow government. Tens of millions of Americans do NOT want Bush to unconstitutionally invade and bomb Iran, a non threatening country and should the peasants, commonly referred to as the "working man", refuse to support this insanity, a new draconian law will be in place to crush we the people. CLIP
THE FOLLOWING TYPE OF WRITING, EVEN IT IT IS OF A FICTIONAL NATURE - WELL NOT ENTIRELY! - WOULD LAND ITS AUTHOR IN PRISON OR WORST
From: John Kaminski (email@example.com)
Sent: November 06, 2007
Subject: Kaminski: The evening news
The evening news : How it would sound in a world that sought peace instead of war
By John Kaminski - firstname.lastname@example.org
Indictments for treason, conspiracy to commit mass murder, and obstruction of justice were handed down Friday against the entire U.S. Congress by the newly reconstituted U.S. Supreme Court, which was named earlier in the week by the provisional national government under the authority of the governors of the 50 states, several of whom were recently replaced by grassroots rebellions.
This unprecedented and peaceful takeover of the U.S. government earlier this week was necessitated when it was revealed to all that the former Bush 2 administration was guilty not only of complicity but the actual planning of the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001. The son of a former president who became president himself made the startling admission during a drunken and drug-addled tirade at a press conference during which his walkie talkie communication with handler Karl Rove was jammed by Act Up activists, and the frustrated president admitted that his vice president wouldn't tell him what the real plan was.
Now, all of America and the world knows the Twin Towers and Building 7 were brought down by precise controlled demolitions, the hijackers were fictional characters made Arab to inflame hatred of Muslims, and the U.S. government and all of the mainstream media have done nothing but lie about that day ever since. They have impeded investigations, destroyed evidence, and killed people who threatened to talk. In a story still unraveling, Bush also admitted that the dreaded fictional menace Al-Qaeda was actually a creation of a consortium of Western intelligence services designed to create a permanent enemy against which profitable wars would always be necessary.
The false flag deception of 9/11 resulted in the needless deaths of more than a million people in Afghanistan and Iraq alone, and brought into question the entire nature of U.S. history, because this ostensibly democratic country had now morphed into a criminal state that enthusiastically condoned torture, and boasted of it. Thus, principled patriots in the military, in concert with the governors and the patriotic factions of the CIA and FBI, arranged for the immediate arrests of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, their staffs and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff on charges of capital mass murder and treason. Also arrested were the Clintons and the Democratic leadership for their complicity in the Bushes' pathological policies of full spectrum destruction.
The Congress shared the guilt of this colossal perfidy by abdicating its authority to wage war to a drunken patrician and former homosexual cheerleader who due to America's completely corrupt political system became its president. One need only contemplate that one fact to assess the rapid decay of American culture.
The new Supreme Court also ordered state legislatures throughout the United States to reconvene and vet themselves of traitors complicit in the Bush/Clinton national suicide agenda, which was revealed by key bankers high-up in the international Rothschild money machine that rules the world.
Governments around the world crumbled Thursday as financial markets collapsed and millions went into the streets screaming. In a futile attempt to prevent bloodshed, the Army was ordered to stand down by the new provisional government, but crime became rampart in urban areas as the fabric of society shattered. Still, encouraging signs of neighborhood cooperation and compassion were numerous but went mostly unreported by the pro-war, pro-conflict mainstream media.
The provisional government immediately appointed a blue-ribbon panel with a three-day deadline to establish a new monetary system after it shut down the nation's banks and began the nationwide arrest of thousands of top banking and corporate executives.
The initial plan
And in the nation's heartland, local governments worked to set up food banks while state legislatures pondered ways to keep the electricity flowing while the international financial system teetered on the brink of collapse.
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Do I have the right to say what I want, based on empirical evidence? Of course I do. No law can prevent me saying what I believe is the truth. Any law that tries to is clear evidence of a societal sickness that needs to be eradicated before it eradicates us.
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida whose Internet essays have been seen on hundreds of websites around the world and has been banned on almost as many for his insistence that the main obstacle to happiness for us all has been our inability to identify the truly nefarious forces that diminish our lives. More writings from Kaminski through http://www.rense.com/Datapages/kaminski.htm and http://www.rudemacedon.ca/kaminski/kam-index.html (scroll down a bit for all his articles from 2003 to 2006)
IS THE SITUATION IN PAKISTAN A HARBINGER OF THINGS TO COME IN A REAL-LIFE THEATRE NEAR YOU?...
Date: 06 Nov 2007
From: "Paul Hilder - Avaaz.org" (email@example.com)
Subject: Pakistan on the brink
Add your name to the global Pakistan emergency petition by clicking below:
"We, the undersigned, call on all nations to condemn General Musharraf's crackdown, and to suspend military aid to Pakistan until the constitution is restored and free, fair elections are ensured."
Pakistan is on the brink: unpopular president General Pervez Musharraf has imposed a state of emergency, sacked the Supreme Court, shut down the media and basic freedoms, and imprisoned democratic opposition leaders. The general blames his actions on an imagined coalition of terrorists and independent-minded judges -- but his real fear may be losing absolute power.
Elections are planned for January 2008 -- they must not be postponed. But martial law and the imprisonment of democratic opposition leaders don't make for a free and fair vote either. So we're calling on the international community -- particularly the US Congress, which has voted Musharraf billions of dollars in military aid over the last six years -- to use all its leverage for swift elections and restoring constitutional protections. Click below to sign our petition immediately, then tell your friends so they can do the same --
We just received this email from Asma Jahangir, head of the Pakistani Human Rights Commission and the UN's Special Rapporteur for freedom of religion worldwide. Now under house arrest in Lahore, she's one of many Pakistanis urgently asking the world community to raise our voice:
There is a strong crackdown on the press and lawyers... The Chief Justice is under house arrest (unofficially). The President of the Supreme Court Bar (Aitzaz Ahsan) and 2 former presidents, Mr. Muneer Malik and Tariq Mahmood have been imprisoned for one month under the Preventive Detention laws...
There are other scores political leaders who have also been arrested. Yesterday I was house arrested for 90 days... the President (who has lost his marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular minded people, while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires.
Lawyers and civil society will challenge the government and the scene is likely to get uglier. We want friends of Pakistan to urge the US administration to stop all support of the instable dictator, as his lust for power is bringing the country close to a worse form of civil strife... --Asma Jahangir
General Musharraf claims that martial law is necessary to combat extremist terror. But it just doesn't add up. Musharraf retains strong links with the Pakistani Taliban (see PS below). His emergency powers are being directed only against the democratic opposition, free press and judiciary just days before a scheduled ruling on whether Musharraf could run for president while remaining army chief. In an August poll, too, Pakistanis rated "ensuring an independent judiciary, free press and free elections" as their top priority.
Right now, leaders around the world are deciding how to respond. The General is dressing up his crackdown in the rhetoric of "anti-terrorism" because Musharraf and his military supporters depend on foreign military aid and international recognition to maintain their legitimacy. That's why we have to speak out now.
The world can't ignore the threat of chaos in Pakistan, or the voices of our fellow democrats there. Let's come together as we did on Burma, and move our governments to act. In these crucial early days, the voice of the world's people has tremendous power. Let's use it. Sign the petition and tell your friends today -
Fresh Unrest as Pakistan Mulls Elections http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110607K.shtml
The Associated Press reports, "Stone-throwing lawyers again clashed with baton-wielding police as President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's government considered Tuesday when to hold elections amid growing international pressure to end emergency rule and restore democracy."
Thousands Face Down Pakistani Police http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110507S.shtml
Munir Ahmad, The Associated Press, writes: "Police fired tear gas and clubbed thousands of lawyers protesting President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's decision to impose emergency rule, as Western allies threatened to review aid to the troubled Muslim nation. Opposition groups put the number of arrests at 3,500, although the government reported half that."
J. Sri Raman | Nuclear Fallout From Imploding Pakistan? http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110607L.shtml
J. Sri Raman writes for Truthout: "The fears voiced following Musharraf's declaration of martial law, which he and his flock prefer to call an emergency, are not about an India-Pakistan nuclear flashpoint. They are about Pakistan's nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands or those of warring Pakistani groups."
Bhutto skeptical about Musharraf's ability to control nukes http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/nov/06pakemergency9.htm
Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto [Images] has cast doubts on President Pervez Musharraf's ability to prevent extremists from getting hold of the country's nuclear arsenal.
The latest October Reuters/Zogby Index shows record low approval ratings for George Bush and Congress - 24% for the president that looks almost giddy compared to the bottom-scraping 11% level for the nation's lawmakers. It's more evidence that the criminal class in Washington is bipartisan and hoping November, 2008 will change things is pure fantasy.
A voter groundswell sent a message last November to end the Iraq war and occupation. Instead, the Democrat-led 110th Congress continues to fund it generously. In May, the House overwhelmingly passed HR 1585, the FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. It calls for $506.8 billion for DOD plus $141.8 billion (of the $150.5 billion White House request) for ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The Senate followed with a similar bill on October 1 with only three opposing votes against it. Neither bill proposed an Iraq withdrawal timeline, and final legislation has yet to be sent to the president.
Add on further amounts like George Bush's latest $46 billion request putting FY 2008 supplemental war-funding above $196 billion and rising. Congress will approve it and more in spite of Democrats signaling a protracted budget showdown ahead. The only showdown will be over how much pork will be added to the final appropriation and for what purpose.
Democrats also back the administration's push to attack Iran by echoing what the Israeli Lobby calls "The Iranian Threat." War with Iran is AIPAC's top priority, and key Democrats in Congress are on board hyping a non-existent threat to prepare the public for what may be coming. Earlier in March, Speaker Pelosi removed a provision from an appropriations bill that would have required George Bush to get congressional approval before attacking Iran. Then in July, the Senate unanimously (97 - 0) passed the Lieberman amendment that practically endorses war if it's declared. It affirmed George Bush's baseless charges that Tehran funds, trains and arms Iraqi resistance fighters "who are contributing to the destabilization of Iraq and are responsible for the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces."
The House added its voice on September 25 by voting 397 - 16 for the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007 that imposes sanctions on non-US companies investing in Iran's oil sector. The next day the Senate acted again by overwhelmingly (79 - 22) passing the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that calls for US policy to "combat, contain and (stop Iran by use of) diplomatic, economic, intelligence and military instruments." Other bellicose language in the resolution stated:
-- "the United States should designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp as a foreign terrorist organization....and place (it) on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists....it should be the policy of the United States to stop inside Iraq the violent activities and destabilizing influence of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its foreign facilitators such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and its indigenous Iraqi proxies."
This measure helped smooth the way for George Bush's October 25 unilateral imposition of sanctions discussed below. It was an unprecendented move against another nation's military Senator Jim Webb (voting no) said provides "a backdoor method of gaining congressional validation for military action, without one hearing (or) serious debate (and that the action) is Dick Cheney's fondest pipe dream."
George Bush acted provocatively twice. At his October 17 news conference, he menacingly said he believes Iran "want(s) to have the capacity, the knowledge in order to make a nuclear weapon....it's in the world's interests to prevent them from doing so....If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace....So....if you're interested in avoiding World War III" this possibility must be prevented implying war (potentially using first-strike nuclear weapons) is the way to do it.
On October 25 Bush acted again to counter China and Russia's opposition to sweeping UN Security Council measures. He unilaterally imposed harsh new sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), its Quds Force, three state-owned banks and over 20 Iranian companies. The IRGC was named as "proliferators of weapons of mass destruction," and the Quds Force was called a "supporter of terrorism."
Democrats buy this stuff and ignore IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei's latest October 28 statement that repeated his earlier ones. He said he had no evidence Iran is building or seeks to build nuclear weapons and accused the Bush administration of adding "fuel to the fire" with its bellicose rhetoric. The "loyal opposition" prefers instead to accept White House press secretary Dana Perino's October 29 charge that Iran "is a country that is enriching and reprocessing uranium and the reason one does that is to lead towards a nuclear weapon."
This accusation and new administration sanctions ratchet up tension further and amount to what one analyst called "a warning shot across the bow (that stops short of) a signal we're going to war," but it's got other observers thinking the likelihood is greater than ever with Congress on board. The move also caught Vladimir Putin's attention in Lisbon where he was attending an EU leader summit. "Why worsen the situation and bring it to a dead end" with sanctions or military action," he said. He then added a pointed reference to George Bush stating: "Running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around, is not the best way to resolve the situation."
Newly imposed sanctions won't affect US companies. They're already barred from doing business directly in Iran, but they do target their foreign subsidiaries and other foreign-based ones with threats of penalties and exclusion from the US market. It remains to be seen how effective they'll be as key EU countries as well as China, Russia, India and others have growing economic ties to Iran. They won't be eager to sever them or join the US campaign for a wider Middle East war. In addition, Iran is a major oil supplier. With the price of crude touching $96 a barrel on November 1 (and December futures up to $125), any cutoff or severe reduction of supply guarantees it'll top $100 and make a global economic slowdown or recession much more likely.
Nonetheless, the Bush war machine presses on with congressional Democrats aboard. Presidential candidates from both parties support Bush's move, and Democrat front runner Hillary Clinton is as hawkish as Joe Lieberman and John McCain. They both endorse attacking Iran, and McCain believes striking Iran's nuclear sites "is a possibility that is maybe closer to reality than we are discussing tonight."
Clinton is just as bellicose, is close to AIPAC, and in an earlier speech said: "The security and freedom of Israel must be decisive and remain at the core of any American approach to the Middle East. (We dare not) waver from this (firm) commitment." She was also quoted in the current issue of Foreign Affairs saying: "Iran poses a long-term strategic challenge to the United States, our NATO allies and Israel. It is the country that most practices state-sponsored terrorism, and it uses its surrogates to supply explosives that kill US troops in Iraq....(Iran) must not not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran (won't comply with) the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table."
The only give in her position (that's hardly any at all) is wanting congressional approval for any future military action. Up to now, that's been pro forma rubber stamp. It'll be no different if George Bush orders an attack as congressional Democrat leaders, including Hillary Clinton, have already signaled their approval.
John Richardson wrote on October 18 in Esquire.com that two former high-ranking Bush administration National Security Council officials fear the worst. They're Middle East experts Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann, and they're reacting publicly. They believe war with Iran has been in the cards for years, and we're "getting closer and closer to the tripline." Key for them was the unprecedented move to name Iran's Revolutionary Guard Quds Force a terrorist organization.
Richardson lays out what they think will happen: UN diplomacy will fail because Russia and China won't agree to harsh sanctions. Iran's policies won't change without "any meaningful incentive from the US. That will trigger a....White House (response with) a serious risk (George Bush) would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone." This, in turn, "would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on US (Iraq) forces, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from....Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran's resistance." Attacking Iran "could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world." The article also quotes former CIA officer and author Robert Baer (from Time magazine) saying an unnamed highly placed White House official believes "IEDs are a casus belli for this administration. There will be an attack on Iran."
The London Times raised the betting odds further for one in its October 21 report. Columnist Michael Smith wrote: UK defense sources disclosed that "British (Special Air Service - SAS) forces have crossed into Iran several times (along with other special forces, the Australian SAS and American special-operation troops) as part of a secret border war against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Al-Quds special forces." They engaged in "at least half a dozen intense firefights" along the Iran-Iraq border in what looks like deliberate US-UK efforts to provoke Iran into providing justification for a major American attack.
Speculation one looms has been around for some time, and if it comes, it won't surprise observers like Iran expert Gary Sick. He was a military advisor to three US presidents and was recently quoted in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine saying: The recent shift in US emphasis to "Iran's support for terrorism in Iraq....is a complete change and is potentially dangerous." That's because it's much easier proving (true or not) Iran supports Iraqi resistance fighters than it poses an imminent nuclear threat to the world.
Der Spiegel also reports on a leak "by an official close to" Dick Cheney that he's "already asked for a backroom analysis of how a war with Iran might begin (and in) the scenario concocted by (his) strategists, Washington's first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran's (Natanz) uranium enrichment plant." That would provoke Iran to retaliate and give the Bush administration the excuse it needs "to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran." That's OK with Democrats if it comes including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Black Agenda Report writer Margaret Kimberly calls a "Quisling" and an "absolute disaster for the Democrat Party and....the entire nation (because of her) eagerness to cooperate with the Bush regime (and) her incompetence in leading Congress."
Other key Democrats share those qualities and that assures extremist Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey's confirmation won't be challenged. That's in spite of reports top Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Chairman Leahy and Majority Whip Durbin say their votes depend on his admitting waterboarding is torture. During his confirmation hearing, Mukasey was evasive and noncommittal.
When asked during questioning, he incredulously claimed not to know what waterboarding is even though it's been around for centuries and what it entails is common knowledge. Mukasey would only say "IF (waterboarding) is torture, it is unconstitutional." He then repeated the White House line "We don't torture" even though he knows DOJ legal opinions confirm the Bush administration condones the practice by endorsing "the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency."
He should also know about the ACLU's new "Administration of Torture" book based on FOIA requested evidence. It documents that "marching orders" for torture came from Donald Rumsfeld so the White House had to be involved as well. That includes George Bush and Alberto Gonzales, who in 2002 as White House Counsel, called the Geneva Conventions "quaint" and "obsolete" and as Attorney General authorized physical and psychological brutality as official administration policy.
Mukasey promises business as usual as AG and confirmed it by claiming "I don't think (Guantanamo prisoners) are mistreated." He also supports the president's right to imprison US citizens without charge and deny "unlawful enemy combatants" their habeas rights, but that's OK with Democrats on the Judiciary Committee with a large party majority sure to agree.
In a follow-up letter Senator Leahy requested, Mukasey was just as evasive and noncommittal as during his confirmation hearing. He sidestepped commenting on presidential surveillance powers limits beyond what FISA allows and continued to avoid admitting waterboarding is torture. Instead he said: ...."there is a real issue (whether) the techniques presented and discussed at the hearing and in your letter are even part of any program of questioning detainees."
He then added if confirmed he'll concentrate on "solving problems cooperatively with Congress," advise George Bush appropriately on any "technique" he determines to be unlawful, and the president is bound by constitutional and treaty obligations that prohibit torture. This man and the president defile the law and practically boast about it, but Democrats will confirm him anyway as the next Attorney General.
House Democrats Pass New Terrorism Prevention Law
Almost without notice, the House overwhelmingly (404 - 6) passed the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR 1955) on October 23 some are calling "the thought crime prevention bill." It now moves to the Senate where if passed and signed by George Bush will establish a commission and Center of Excellence to study and act against thought criminals.
The bill's language hides its true intent as "violent radicalization" and "homegrown terrorism" are whatever the administration says they are. Violent radicalization is defined as "adopting or promoting an extremist belief system (to facilitate) ideologically based violence to advance political, religious or social change." Homegrown terrorism is used to mean "the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily with the United States or any (US) possession to intimidate or coerce the (US) government, the civilian population....or any segment thereof (to further) political or social objectives."
Along with other repressive laws enacted post-9/11, HR 1955 may be used against any individual or group with unpopular views - those that differ from established state policies even when they're illegal as are many under George Bush. Prosecutors henceforth will be able to target anti-war protesters, believers in Islam, web editors, internet bloggers and radio and TV show hosts and commentators with views the bill calls "terrorist-related propaganda."
If this legislation becomes law, which is virtually certain, any dissenting anti-government action or opinion may henceforth be called "violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism" with stiff penalties for anyone convicted. This bill now joins the ranks of other repressive post-9/11 laws like Patriot I and II, Military Commissions and Protect America Acts that combined with this one are grievous steps toward a full-blown national security police state everyone should fear and denounce.
Blame it on Congress and the 110th Democrat-led one that was elected to end these practices but just made them worse....and there's still 14 months to go to the term's end with plenty of time left to vaporize Iran and end the republic if that's the plan.
The REAL Reasons You Want to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
Make sure to watch this One Hour video at the URL above - MOST interesting en enlightening. Make sure to watch at least from 34 minutes into the video. Animals are more instinctively intelligent than humans as they refuse to eat genetically modified food when offered the choice between normal feedstock and GMO feedstock!! Jeffrey Smith lecture is loaded with shocking revelations on the genetically corrupted food most people in North American are almost forced to ingest.
In this lecture, Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, summarizes the contents of his book, which explains how genetically modified foods cause health problems, and their potential for creating a vast array of unforeseen and surprising illnesses. He also sheds light on how the corruption within the U.S. government, the FDA, and the GMO industry has allowed, and perpetuated, the cover-up.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the largest threats that we have against the very sustainability of the human race. Let's face it, how long can your descendants survive if there isn't any food to eat?
Although Monsanto doesn't believe this is a possibility, their shortsighted focus on profits is blinding them to the very real threats that this technology is posing to the viability of the human race.
Jeffrey Smith does a great job of summarizing his main findings in this fascinating video series, recounting how GMO health problems have indeed been recorded as far back as 1989. At that time, several people started seeking medical attention for severe and puzzling health problems such as:
Muscle weakness, and uncontrollable muscle spasms
Hardening of the skin
Through a series of events, these symptoms were traced back to genetically modified strains of L-tryptophan. Up to 10,000 people were affected and some 100 of them died. Uncovered documents revealed that the FDA knew about these health problems for about five years prior to the "epidemic," which only became known as an epidemic after the story was published in the New York Times, and people began coming out of the woodwork displaying these symptoms that no one had been able to diagnose before.
To illustrate this point - that GMOs may very well be wreaking havoc with your health and you don't even know it's the source of your problems - is the fact that the toxic L-tryptophan was only discovered because its symptoms were acute, rare, and had a very fast onset. These things are what get doctors curious about unearthing the cause. But as Jeffrey Smith points out - what if the damage doesn't occur overnight? What if the symptoms are milder?
Thousands of genetically modified products are now on the market, creating potentially life-threatening problems, but no one knows what to look out for.
Because no one knows the full extent of what happens to the end product when you splice in new genes. The only thing that is guaranteed is that it will create surprise side effects. However, according to Smith's research, what we do know is that between 1994 and 2001 - at the same time as GMO's flooded the market - food related illnesses DOUBLED.
GMO foods can be:
It may also create brand new diseases that weve never seen before, in addition to spurring on the disease rate of some we already have, such as cancer.
Although the major food giants are carrying on with their claim that GM foods are no different from conventionally grown varieties, the research begs to differ. Here is just a sampling of the unsavory findings associated with GM foods:
Smith mentions the superior work of Arpad Pusztai, PhD, a (formerly pro-biotech) scientist who was hired to evaluate the safety of GMO food, and then fired for his negative findings and his outspoken criticism of the industry's shoddy science.
Fortunately, he finally managed to get his animal feeding study published in the journal Lancet in 1999 (see the Lancet October 16, 1999;354(9187):1353-4 for the full PDF article).
Despite the efforts of concerned scientists like Pusztai, you may be surprised to learn that you have a 75 percent chance of picking a food with genetically modified ingredients in the United States. This is because at least seven out of every 10 items have been genetically modified!
Many of you probably try to avoid genetically modified foods, but very few know what they really are, since there are no labeling requirements identifying GMO ingredients. To get an idea of how widespread these ingredients are, I recommend taking a look at The GMO Food Guide I published a couple of months ago.
Jeffrey Smith's website www.seedsofdeception.com also gives you a more in-depth overview of GMO laced products, but the four main culprits are:
The offspring of these products include items such as maltodextrin, soy lecitin, and high fructose corn syrup. Other GMO products include:
Some varieties of zucchini, crookneck squash, and papayas from Hawaii
Milk containing rbGH
Rennet (containing genetically modified enzymes) used to make hard cheeses
What Can You Do?
Along with using the GMO Food Guide and avoiding the products mentioned above, theres other tricks you that can use to figure out if something is genetically modified in your fresh produce aisles:
- Examine produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers; organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine; and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.
- Buy organic produce as often as you can. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms.
- Stay away from all processed foods, as most of these contain corn and soy ingredients.
Fortunately, as a consumer you do have power. You can choose not to be a victim of deception, and you can choose what you feed your family. Large portions of Europe have already succeeded in squashing GMO's out of their food supply, forcing food manufacturers to use real ingredients in their European product lines. But here in the U.S. were still stuck with it to a very large degree.
You can be the change you want to see in America, by educating yourself, spreading the word, and refusing to buy GMO products.
Share this article with your friends and family, and if you haven't yet taken the time to watch The Future of Food, please do so now. It is perhaps one of the most important videos on this subject, and one that everyone in American should watch and pass on to others.
A UNIQUE SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE ON OUR PLANET'S HIGH FEVER FROM LONG-TIME ERN SUBSCRIBER LOU BOGNON
From: Lou BOGNON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Re: Looking for Solutions
Date: 5 Nov 2007
Beloved Brother - as always you have outdone yourself in this extraordinary labour of love that your compilations have become. I have written the second article on the elements dedicated to Fire - trust you will love it too.
Again my love and gratitude for your love and for just being there always - SHINE!!!
Your sister in the Light
Johannesburg, South Africa
FOR BIOPHILE MAGAZINE - FROM A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE NO.2
The first article of this series I set out to write on the four elements of nature: water, fire, air and earth, ended by saying that Mother Earth was bathing, and that her bath was running over And what do we do when we come out of a long running bath? We reach out for warmth of course - just like she is doing.
Focused on the fire element, I can not help but think how Her elements seem to be working not just in intelligent sequence but also in perfect sync: all over the news we have been witnessing the fires devastating Southern California, where some of the most rich and famous earthlings live.
And yet not too long before the Californian inferno, the lungs of our planet were literally chocking with fire - yes the Amazon was burning but the same corporate mass media the world over (that had showed us California burning), had not found its fires news worthy. Why should they? How many celebrities live in the Amazon anyway?
Plus who cares about the what is its name? zone, the more it burns the more land is freed for grazing so that the masses of the world can continue to eat hamburgers This reminds me about the disconnected thinking, which was literally decapitated during the French revolution, saying of the then starving masses: if there is no bread let them eat cake. Now the thinking goes: let them eat hamburger. Yeah! 21st century Hallucinating I agree.
According to the UKs Independent article of 5 October 2007, by Daniel Howden and Jules Steven: Vast areas of Brazil and Paraguay and much of Bolivia are choking under thick layers of smoke as fires rage out of control in the Amazon rainforest, forcing the cancellation of flights.( ) Roberto Smeraldi, head of Friends of the Earth Brazil, said the situation was out of control: "We have a strong concentration of fires, corresponding to more than 10,000 points of fire across a large area of about two million sq km in the southern Brazilian Amazon and Bolivia."
Experts Say Climate Change Threatens National Security
By Deborah Zabarenko
05 November 2007
Washington - Climate change could end globalization by 2040 as nations look inward to conserve scarce resources and conflicts flare when refugees flee rising seas and drought, national security experts warned on Monday.
Scarcity could dictate the terms of international relations, according to Leon Fuerth of George Washington University, one of the report's authors.
Global cooperation based on a resource-rich world could give way to a regime where vital commodities are scarce, Fuerth said at a forum to release "The Age of Consequences."
"Some of the consequences could essentially involve the end of globalization as we have known it ... as different parts of the Earth contract upon themselves in order to try to conserve what they need to survive," said Fuerth, who was national security adviser to former Vice President Al Gore.
Rich countries could "go through a 30-year process of kicking people away from the lifeboat" as the world's poorest face the worst environmental consequences, which he said would be "extremely debilitating in moral terms."
"It also suggests the kinds of hatreds that build up between different groups will be accentuated as these groups attempt to move to more clement locations on the planet," Fuerth said.
Published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the report offers three scenarios for security implications of climate change, starting with the middle-ground estimate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This scenario, which the report said could be expected, forecasts global warming of 2.3 degrees F (1.3 degrees C), with sea level rise of about 9 inches by 2040.
"We predict a scenario in which people and nations are threatened by massive food and water shortages, devastating natural disasters and deadly disease outbreaks," said John Podesta, President Bill Clinton's former chief of staff and now president of the Center for American Progress think tank.
Podesta called this outcome inevitable, even if the United States - the world's biggest emitter of climate-warming carbon dioxide - enters immediately into an international system to cap and trade credits for the potent greenhouse gas.
This is unlikely, though a bill to limit carbon emissions is up for debate, possibly as soon as this week, in the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. President George W. Bush has opposed mandatory caps on emissions, saying they would hurt the U.S. economy.
Climate change will force internal and cross-border migrations as people leave areas where food and water are scarce. They will also flee rising seas and areas devastated by the droughts, floods and severe storms that are also forecast consequences of climate change.
South Asia, Africa and Europe will be particularly vulnerable to these mass migrations, notably from countries where Islamic fundamentalism has grown, Podesta said.
In the Middle East, he said, the politics of water will hold sway, with the Jordan River creating a physical link to the interests of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Steinmeier: climate change growing threat to peace (October 23, 2007) http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/24024
BERLIN (Reuters) - Climate change is a growing threat to world peace and has led to rival territorial claims in the Arctic that could turn into a Cold War, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday. Political solutions are needed now to problems posed by climate change that threaten peace in areas ranging from Africa to the Middle East and even the Arctic, Steinmeier told a conference on climate change. "There's a 'Cold War' at the North Pole that we have to prevent," he said. "Climate change is a threat to worldwide peace and security."Policies to fight climate change can, and will, become an important part of peace policies. We have to be aware of it and look for solutions..." he added.
According to the United Nations, Market Privatizations Would Be the Worst Scenario for the Environment (27 October 2007) http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110607H.shtml
The planet's ecological future directly depends on the political choices that will be exercised: this observation had never before been clearly spotlighted by a United Nations decision-making body. Now it's done: the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) asserts in a thick report, the so-called "GEO 4", published Thursday October 25, that generalized privatization of resources and services would be the worst scenario from an environmental perspective. That's the conclusion of an original approach to possible futures that a group of international experts has been conducting the last two years: it models each scenario as a function of the type of policies put into place. The point of departure for this modeling effort is the major ecological crisis, which the planet is already experiencing. By actualizing the description through numerous sources, the UNEP report synthesizes changes in climate, biodiversity, soils' health, water resources ... It highlights the shrinkage in available resources per inhabitant, with the available earth surface for each human being going from 7.91 hectares in 1900 to 2.02 hectares in 2005. The rapidity of the phenomenon is emphasized: the breadth and the composition of terrestrial ecosystems that "are being modified by populations at an unprecedented speed." The experts insist on the concept of a threshold: "The cumulative effects of the continuous changes in the environment may reach thresholds that will manifest themselves as abrupt and irreversible changes." This idea of "tipping points" is applicable not only to climate change, but also to the phenomena of desertification, drops in water tables, collapse of ecosystems, etc. CLIP
BROOKLIN, Canada, Nov 6 (IPS) - Plants are the only source of oxygen on Earth -- the only source. And studies around the world show that as plant species become extinct, natural habitats can lose up to half of their living plant biomass.
Half of the oxygen they produced is lost. Half of the water, food and other ecological services they provide are lost.
If a forest loses too many unique species, it can reduce the total number of plants in that forest by half, says Bradley Cardinale, lead author of the meta-analysis published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
"Those unique species are not replaceable. Nothing takes their place. It was a really shocking finding for me," Cardinale, a biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told IPS. "That's how much biodiversity matters."
An ecosystem is like a soccer team needing both star athletes and supporting players that act as defence and make passes to be successful. Highly productive and important "star" species in an ecosystem, such as trees, need many unique and complementary "supporting" species for the forest to remain healthy, he said.
Currently, one species goes extinct every three hours. And the rate is accelerating.
The PNAS study summarised the results of 44 experiments from around the world that simulated plant species extinction and showed that ecosystems with fewer species produce up to 50 percent less plant biomass than those with more "natural" levels of diversity.
"Our analyses provide the most comprehensive evidence yet that natural habitats with a greater variety of plant species are more productive," said co-author Michel Loreau of McGill University in Montreal.
The importance of biodiversity is not well appreciated by policy-makers or the public, says Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
"They are unaware of the consequences nor the urgency of the biodiversity crisis," Djoghlaf told IPS last September.
Many people have lost their connection to nature and think there are infinite resources. That relationship has to change, he said.
And that change could be upon us since environmental issues have never been more at the forefront of people's minds.
"It is crucial to seize the moment to engage people in the preservation of species that are the foundation of life on Earth," Djoghlaf said.
The CBD has a Biodiversity Target -- to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level.
Biodiversity science is relatively new and cannot answer the crucial question of how much diversity, i.e. how many species, a particular ecosystem needs to remain healthy, says Cardinale.
"I think we're going to need at least another 10 years to be able to answer how many species are needed," he said.
The answer will be difficult to tease out, not only because of the complex interrelationships of living things, but because we are living in a rapidly changing world where species vanish before being discovered and climate change alters the conditions for life.
Climate change is pushing species south and north as temperatures rise, and that has the potential to drive extinction rates higher, Cardinale says. About 40 percent of all human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are absorbed by plants on land and phytoplankton -- tiny plants -- in the oceans. The balance remains in the atmosphere, warming the planet.
As species go extinct, and the productivity of forests and grasslands and phytoplankton blooms decline, much less CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere, in turn ratcheting up levels in the atmosphere in a destructive, positive feedback loop.
All the more reason to dramatically slow the rate of extinctions, says Cardinale. And the biggest single threat is loss of habitat due to deforestation, followed by expansion of agricultural areas and cities.
Up to 30 percent of all species on Earth could vanish by 2050 due to unsustainable human activities, according to the 2006 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, an unprecedented international four-year research effort.
Without knowing how many species are "enough", it is impossible to know how many ecosystems will experience massive declines in the total mass of living plants.
"I have no idea how this will affect oxygen levels but it is something we should be thinking about," Cardinale said.
A physicist and his biologist son destroyed a common virus using a superfast pulsing laser, without harming healthy cells. The discovery could lead to new treatments for viruses like HIV that have no cure.
"We have demonstrated a technique of using a laser to excite vibrations on the shield of a virus and damage it, so that it's no longer functional," said Kong-Thon Tsen, a professor of physics at Arizona State University. "We're testing it on HIV and hepatitis right now."
Tsen and his son Shaw-Wei Tsen, a pathology student at Johns Hopkins University, came up with the idea while strolling in the park and discussing the need for antiviral treatments that go beyond vaccinations. Tsen senior has long experimented with ultrashort-pulse lasers (USPs), devices increasingly used outside of physics.
Raydiance, a USP laser manufacturer, signed a deal with the FDA in July to explore laser therapies. As Wired News reported earlier this year, an FDA official estimated there could be a hundred medical uses for USP lasers, from common laser eye treatments to cell-by-cell tumor ablation.
In the latest research, Tsen and his son demonstrated that their laser technique could shatter the protein shell, or capsid, of the tobacco mosaic virus, leaving behind only a harmless mucus-like mash of molecules.
The laser shattered the capsid at low energy: 40 times lower, in fact, than the energy level that harmed human T-cells. Other types of radiation, like ultraviolet light, kill microbes on produce, but would damage human cells.
The virus-deactivating laser works on a principle called forced resonance. The scientists tune the laser to the same frequency the virus vibrates on. Then they crank up the volume. Like a high-pitched sound shattering glass, the laser vibrates the virus until it breaks.
The USP laser releases energy in femtosecond pulses -- one millionth of a nanosecond -- at a time.
"The extreme brevity of these pulses is creating a physical effect that traditional lasers and other types of non-laser approaches can't do," said Scott Davison, president of the venture-backed USP laser company, Raydiance. "What we see is a new wave of exploration and discovery in applying USP in a whole bunch of industries and applications."
Unlike lasers used to burn through flesh in surgery, USP lasers don't generate a lot of heat. Tsen says the technology could provide immediate benefits for clearing viruses in blood stored in blood banks. Some viruses, like HIV, have a window during which they are very difficult to detect.
"This technique will be very useful to disinfect all the viruses, known or unknown," Tsen said. "This will make blood transfusion very safe."
The Tsens' technology has seen success only in test tubes. It must be tested in animals and then humans. Treatments are still far in the future. But with more strolls in the park, anything seems possible.
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