MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
September 9, 2003
Miscellaneous Subjects #193: Catching Up With Some of the Best... and Worst
It has been a while since I could take time off my numerous other commitments here to prepare and send a compilation, so there is some oldish material in this one - albeit important, of course. For the same reason I'm waaay behind in keeping up with all the emails I receive (1631 unprocessed emails in my In box right now, first ones dating back to May 6, 2003) , so there are lots of requests and info I've not read, and perhaps never will. It is quite sure that this situation will continue for several more weeks. So if you have something very important for me to answer, please send again your email with URGENT JEAN OPEN in your subject field.
Another thing worth mentioning is that a couple subscribers have pointed out to me that someone has apparently been skimming email addresses from the Earth Rainbow Network website (now on a new faster server BTW) and claiming this in his commercial spams. There is nothing I and you can do about this, and obviously I do not condone it. Please simply delete such emails and do not pay attention to them - as we much now do with so much SPAM pestering us all and cluttering our email boxes.
So now on to today's compilation. Have a great day (or evening/night) and back in touch by next week, hopefully ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MiscelSubjects193.htm
Free subscription to such compilations through this website above or by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org
"Love is the answer, Love is the way,
Love is in knowing just what to do and what to say.
Love is the reason, and Love is the why,
Love is in Heaven right here on Earth and deep inside.
Inside your heart, deep in your soul,
Within each part, and in the whole."
Excerpted from "Love is the Answer" one of the last songs of John Denver
1. Year of Truth: A Global Call
2. World Healing Day: this Sept. 10
3. Resounding victory for whales and other marine mammals
4. Operation Pearl on the 911 Deception
5. The worst of times
6. A Resume from the White House
7. The Village Idiot strikes again: Politics and Pollution
8. Thousands of US troops evacuated from Iraq for unexplained medical reasons
9. The $20 bill
WORTHY OF IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Stop media monopoly: 100,000 by Weds
If you're concerned about a few big companies controlling our country's access to news, information, and entertainment, we need your help now. Later this week or early next week, the Senate will likely take up its last major vote on media reform, and it'll be very close. After a grassroots groundswell tipped the balance toward rolling back the FCC rule change that would allow greater media concentration, lobbyists from big media conglomerates have been working around the clock to tip it back. On Wednesday, MoveOn.org will be holding a crucial press conference with Senator Dorgan (D-ND) and Senator Snowe (R-ME) and groups across the political spectrum to highlight the broad opposition to the FCC rule change. We need to show that over 100,000 people have voiced their demand that the Senate vote to roll back the rule change. Please help us reach 100,000 signers by this Wednesday -- you can sign at http://www.moveon.org/stopthefcc/
The Big Lie Of Jessica Lynch (Sept 5)
A $1 mil book deal, zero memory of any "rescue" and the worst book you'll read this year. (...) Jessica Lynch is but a puppet, a toy, a convenient TV-ready canvass onto which we can project our impotent myths of patriotism and war, spit forth by the BushCo military machine to ease America's pain, to assuage that increasingly nagging fear that we have committed this horrible thing, this irreversible atrocity. In short, Jessica's myth helps numb the idea that we have removed a pip-squeak, nonthreatening tyrant from power and left behind a reeking miasma of violence and bloodshed and thousands of dead citizens, more rabid anti-U.S. sentiment and mistrust and global instability than Saddam (or Osama) could've ever dreamed.
THE WAR IN IRAQ IS NOT OVER AND NEITHER ARE THE LIES TO JUSTIFY IT
President George W. Bush's nationally broadcast speech Sunday evening once again was designed to mislead Congress and the American public into supporting his administration's policies in Iraq. Despite record deficits and draconian cutbacks in government support for health care, housing, education, the environment, and public transportation, the president is asking the American taxpayer to spend an additional $87 billion to support his invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is disturbing that President Bush has once again tried to link the very real threat to American security from mega-terrorist groups like al Qaeda to phony threats originating in Iraq. Not only does he try to link the terrorism that has grown out of the post-invasion chaos in Iraq to the devastating al Qaeda attacks on the United States two years ago, President Bush has depicted all the current violence against Americans and other foreigners in Iraq as part of this terrorist threat. (...) However, President Bush now declares that a successful American-led pacification of the anti-occupation resistance in Iraq would be an "essential victory in the war on terror." In linking the legitimate international struggle against al Qaeda with the illegitimate U.S. occupation of Iraq, it becomes possible for the administration to justify the president's determination to "spend what is necessary" in controlling this oil-rich country and to depict those in the United States and elsewhere who oppose the occupation as being soft of terrorism.
IS THE NEOCON AGENDA FOR PAX AMERICANA LOSING STEAM?
President George W. Bush's speech to the nation last night was notable in many ways, most critically for marking what appears to be a weakening of the steep unilateralist trajectory on which neoconservative and right-wing hawks set U.S. foreign policy two years ago. Who would have thought it would lose momentum so quickly after Washington's stunning military victory in Iraq in early April and plummet back to earth? Now, just a week before the second anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Bush administration appears to have decided that Washington really cannot run Iraq, let alone the entire Middle East, by itself and must rely on others--even the much-despised United Nations--to help out. CLIP
Bush Aides Admit Grave Errors on Iraq (Sept 9)
Dalai Lama eyes end to 45-year exile
China: In an exclusive interview, Tibet's spiritual leader says China must allow his return without conditions. Full transcript of interview with Dalai Lama at http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,7369,1035801,00.html
What Were They Thinking?
With bombings, killings, human suffering all around, and nothing in sight in Iraq but the bad choices of continued military dictatorship or fundamentalist Islamic rule, everyone but the war planners now regard Iraq as a disaster. Last spring, most people thought the war planners were decisive geniuses who had pulled off an amazing feat of military management. Donald Rumsfeld boasted: "Never have so many been so wrong about so much." War critics didn't believe him, but it took time for the full evidence of failure to emerge. Today, the war critics are the prophets and the war planners are regarded as hopelessly naïve architects of a quagmire. Bush's wars have not only failed to achieve their stated aims, they have left the world more unsafe, unstable, and violent. (...) This level of arrogance also had an effect on how the Bush administration believed it could fund this war. It is increasingly clear that the total cost of the Iraq war will run into the hundreds of billions, and they proceed as if there are no worries about paying it. Of course the administration benefits by the presence of that great marble palace down the street that promises to print unlimited quantities of dollars to pay for whatever government wants to do. But even then, there are limits. The budget deficit has already passed the $500 billion mark and the national debt is an incomprehensible $6.8 trillion and the Bush administration is completely unconcerned about it. Outside sources now say that there isn't enough money to keep troops in Iraq past March. But by the time the limits become really obvious, the Bush administration may have already packed its bags to leave town. There is something grossly immoral about a regime that saunters into town, bankrupts its host country and destroys a few others in the process, making mess after mess and still not being held accountable for it. Making matters worse is the reality that it and its friends in industry will take off with all the loot. After all, all this money is going somewhere, and it isn't to average Iraqis! This scandal speaks to a larger truth. The war policy of this administration may have failed in every way to achieve its stated aims, but it has succeeded in the one way war does succeed: it has transferred huge amounts of money and power from the private sector to the public sector. In believing that war is good for the ruling regime, rarely have so few been right about so much. May God forbid our being forced to suffer under such rule again. The only way to prevent it is through a broader acceptance of the great truth of our time and all time: the state, no matter who is in charge of it, is always and everywhere the enemy of peace, prosperity, and civilization.
STEVEN GREER (Part One 20:02 / Part Two 20:54)
Now thru Tuesday, September 09, 2003 at http://oasistv.com/screening-room/steven-greer.asp
Dr. Steven Greer is the founder of the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI), a global organization dedicated to establishing peaceful and sustainable relations with extraterrestrial life forms. In this compelling presentation delivered at the Palm Springs Prophets Conference in December of 2000, Greer recounts his personal journey that brought him to create the Disclosure Project, a non-profit research and educational campaign advocating full release by governments worldwide of all known facts about UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligence, and classified advanced energy and propulsion systems.
SPIRITUALITY & POLITICS WITH MARIANNE WILLIAMSON (27:36)
Now thru Tuesday, September 09, 2003 at http://oasistv.com/screening-room/spirit.asp
Marianne Williamson breathes new life into Americas political discourse by applying our spiritual values to the process. In so doing, she predicts our apathy - or, worse, disgust with politics-as-usual will be transformed into a refreshing, empowering force that can change the world. In this inspiring and highly charged speech before a packed audience in Los Angeles, Marianne Williamson will reignite your passion for the possible with her eloquence.
MICHAEL MOORE: THE 5 QUESTIONS (Part One 37:01 / Part Two 55:07)
Now thru Tuesday, September 09, 2003 at http://oasistv.com/screening-room/michael-moore.asp
Michael Moore has five simple, direct questions he wants the White House to answer. In fact, these are the same 5 questions being secretly asked by millions of men and women throughout the world. Only we've been too terrified to demand answers - until now. Michael Moore is one of America's most fearless and inspiring commentators. He's also an award-winning filmmaker (Bowling for Columbine) and best-selling author (Stupid White Men). From OTV News, this is exclusive, uncensored coverage of Michael Moore at his sharpest, wittiest - and most entertaining.
Rove may walk the plank over Wilson leak -- and Bush with him (by Al Martin)http://www.almartinraw.com/public/column106.htmlThe Ambassador Wilson Affair: The End of Karl Rove - And George Bush? (Sep 2) This is the hottest and most explosive story behind the scenes in Washington in terms of how it could affect the Bush administration. Ambassador Joseph Wilson has been turning up the heat in this situation. He revealed on Friday August 29 in a symposium in Washington the person in the Bush administration, who had leaked it out to the Washington Post that Wilson's wife is a CIA agent of 26 years. As a consequence of this leak, her entire team of overseas assets were liquidated.
THIS IS REEEAAALY IMPORTANT. PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS RENEWED PROPOSAL FROM A LONG-TIME ERN MEMBER, AND HELP MAKE TRUTH THE HALLMARK OF THE RISING AGE OF LOVE, PEACE AND UNIVERSAL HARMONY.
From: "Kiara Windrider" email@example.com>
Subject: Year of Truth: A Global Call
Date: 6 Sep 2003
YEAR OF TRUTH: A GLOBAL CALL
By Kiara Windrider
It was two years ago, September 17, 2001, that the symbolic calendar etched into the measurements of the Great Pyramid ended. Moira Timms, author of Beyond Prophecies and Predictions, saw this time astrologically signifying the ending of long range karmic cycles, the beginnings of a planetary initiation, and changes in earths electromagnetic field with respect to the sun.
The planetary initiation began in that very week, with the events of September 11, and the reign of global terror that has followed. Two months before that fateful day, in light of this Pyramid prophecy, I had sent out a global call for a Day of Truth, encouraging individuals, governments, corporations, and businesses to reflect on the lies, deceptions and illusions that were at the foundation of many of our lives, and to courageously disclose these, laying the foundation for an Age of Truth to come.
The planetary initiation has begun. Whether voluntarily or not, we will be increasingly called to confront our karmic patterns, forcing into the light much that has remained buried under the rug. Difficult questions remain in political as well as individual closets. Who was behind 9-11? What were the reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq? Why the global dependence on oil when free energy alternatives exist that are just as viable, perhaps more so? What about the various extraterrestrials eager to share spiritual gifts and benign technologies with the people of Earth? And on and on
Light always shines in the darkness, said presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in his acceptance speech for the 2003 Gandhian award. And darkness has dropped upon our country, upon our Constitution, upon our highest aspirations for America, upon our historic traditions. The light of truth will shine in that darkness, and the darkness will neither comprehend nor overwhelm it. So we are called upon at this moment, to be witnesses for peace, for truth, for light, for love, for compassion, and for the potential of humanity to evolve from a condition where some believe that war is inevitable, to a condition where our knowledge that peace is inevitable becomes the defining paradigm of a new century and a new world.
When enough people unite with strong intent, truth will be revealed. Many people came together with that intention on September 17 in 2001 as well as 2002. This year, beginning September 17 again, I have been feeling guided to expand this, and put out the call for a Year of Truth. This year, let us each courageously examine who we are and what we have been told. This year, let us continue asking difficult questions of those to whom we have entrusted our planet. This year, let us elect honorable candidates (such as Dennis Kucinich) into office who are not afraid to pursue the answers. This year, let us use the media to share what we know. This year, let us lay the groundwork for the Age of Truth.
Electromagnetic frequencies on the planet are shifting, and a major restructuring of consciousness is taking place. By 2006, according to the Mayan calendar, waves of enlightenment will be sweeping the planet, and we will be expanding into a galactic cycle as never before. We need to prepare ourselves accordingly. I share more about this on my website, doorwaytoeternity.com, and in my book, Doorway to Eternity: A Guide to Planetary Ascension.
The Age of Truth, what the ancient Hindus referred to as Satya Yuga, is being birthed, but it requires active participation on our part. Investigate what is going on from as wide a perspective as possible, including websites such as earthrainbownetwork.com, thespiritoffreedom.com, disclosureproject.org, moveon.org, truthout.org, copvcia.com, davidicke.com, rumormillnews.com, rense.com, and leadingedgenews.com. Listen to the stillness within. Find your place within the web of life. Come together in community. Use the internet and media. And make a commitment to humanity as a planetary citizen, perhaps using the covenant of truth below.
COVENANT OF TRUTH
I am a planetary citizen
Honoring the life of the earth
I honor the sacredness of all life
And all humanity as my family
I am a child of freedom
A unique, creative being of spirit
I embrace my darkness
And celebrate my light
I choose the path of truth
For truth is the purest expression of love
In truth lies my power and my freedom
I claim this now
I speak my truth without fear
I listen to anothers truth without judgement
I am a clear voice of truth
Calling my community and nation to the path of
Justice over revenge
Peace over conflict
Love over fear
Beauty over chaos
Honor over corruption
In affirming the highest truth of our being
Is the awakening of the new humanity
The doorway to the new world
I step through this doorway now
And extend my hand to those who would follow
>From untruth I come into truth
From darkness I come into light
From death I come into immortality
If this message is forwarded to you and you wish to subscribe to my elist, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 7 Sep 2003
Subject: World Healing Day: Final Update
WORLD HEALING DAY WEDNESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER
This is a final reminder that this year's World Healing Day will be held on September 10 - that's just 3 days now (see the end of this email for details).
World Healing Day is a global linkup for world peace and healing. It is about uniting to raise world consciousness through the power of collective intent. By dedicating a day to this process, and establishing one or more linkup times, we provide an opportunity for a concentrated focus of positive thought, feeling, and action to be created and held by large numbers of people around the world at the same time. We believe this to be one way of furthering the healing and transformation of the Planet.
Wherever you are on that day, will you join us and help build this focus?
Anyone who wishes to join me at Avebury for World Healing Day can do so - meet at 12.30pm in the Stones (by the Obelisk) for the first linkup and 5pm in the Stones for the second linkup. Bring poems, prayers, words, songs, dances, and musical instruments.
On the website at www.worldhealing.co.uk/whd you will find leaflets, press releases, and further information to download and network, as well as translations of the leaflet and press release, which are currently available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Croation, Japanese, and Urdu.
You do not have long now to list your location on the website if you know where you will be on World Healing Day. You can also list yourself as a contact for the day should you wish.
The astrology of this day is fascinating and indicates that a doorway will open to maximise the opportunity for healing specific issues connected with the split between spirit and matter. An astrology reading is available in the further information section of the site at http://www.worldhealing.co.uk/whd
On the main page at www.worldhealing.co.uk you can find out more about the wider activities of the World Healing Project.
We look forward to linking with you across the World on September 10, a most auspicious day.
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Love and Blessings
World Healing Day Coordinator
WORLD HEALING DAY
WEDNESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2003
A global linkup to raise world consciousness and promote world healing
You are invited to participate in a global event to help further the awakening of planetary consciousness. This is a day for people across the world to unite in spirit and hold a collective vision of universal love and peace, a day for raising our consciousness, and increasing our healing and self-realisation.
Please observe the day in a way that is meaningful to you. Suggestions inclu de journeying to places of beauty and power to connect with the Earth, and gathering at local parks, beaches, or town centres, or at an event dedicated to the theme of the day, such as a peace concert, a seminar, a forum, religious service, or a celebration. You can also honour the day on your own in your own space. Whatever you do, dedicate your intention to the expansion of love and awareness on the Planet, so that healing may occur. Experience your connection with all, and as you do, sense the ripples of what you are doing spreading outwards to uplift all.
Simultaneous worldwide meditations will take place at 12 noon GMT (1pm in the UK) and 16.30 GMT (5.30pm in the UK). Each meditation linkup will last for at least 20 minutes, and will consist of clear and focused positive thought. During this time, keep in your mind and heart a vision of a world in which all live in peace, harmony, and joy. See conflict and suffering being replaced with compassion, forgiveness, and awareness in all areas of life. Visualise light spreading across the Planet as world consciousness is raised.
Leaflets, further information, and a special music CD are available. If you would like to receive any of these or be connected up with others in your area, please let us know, or visit the website.
Note: Afterwards the World Healing Day Coordinator sent this additional info: THE ASTROLOGY OF WORLD HEALING DAY - SEPTEMBER 10 2003 - On September 10, 2003, the layout of the planets and stars in relation to Earth will favour efforts to integrate the physical and spiritual aspects of life, an essential factor in world healing. For those who are interested in the chart, it is included below, cast for the exact time of the Full Moon at 16:36 GMT, during the second global linkup. CLIP - to get the whole document, see www.worldhealing.co.uk.
Forwarded by "Suzy Ward" email@example.com> on August 27, 2003
Subject: Resounding victory for whales and other marine mammals
Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,
A federal court has just handed down its decision in our case against the U.S. Navy and I wanted you to be the first to hear the great news. In a resounding victory for whales and other marine mammals, the court ruled that it will bar the Navy from deploying its high-intensity LFA sonar system across most of the world's oceans.
The LFA (Low Frequency Active) sonar system would have blasted hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean habitat with noise so intense it can maim, deafen and even kill whales. In her historic ruling, Judge LaPorte agreed with NRDC that the sonar's booming noise could "irreparably harm" the marine environment and threaten the very survival of endangered populations of whales, sea turtles and other marine species.
Judge LaPorte has ordered the Navy to begin negotiations with NRDC on a plan for safely testing the sonar system in a limited area.
This is truly a banner day for the Earth's environment. The court has granted a life-saving reprieve to dozens of species of magnificent marine mammals. But its ruling also sends a message loud and clear to the White House that it is not above our nation's environmental laws. The Bush administration trampled all over those laws when it gave the Navy a blank check to operate the deadly LFA sonar system virtually anywhere in the world.
It's also a banner day for hundreds of thousands of NRDC members and activists like you. When we began this fight eight years ago, we were told that our chances of stopping the military's classified LFA program were slim to none. But that conventional wisdom seriously underestimated the collective power of a determined citizenry.
Your financial contributions and online activism fueled an NRDC legal strategy that prevailed, in the end, over the world's most powerful military establishment. There is no finer example of democracy in action.
The fight to protect our oceans against high-intensity sonar is not over. The Navy could appeal the court's ruling. And right now the Bush administration is trying to get exemptions for the Navy from some of the very environmental laws NRDC used to block deployment of the LFA system. With your help, NRDC will do everything it can to ensure that these efforts do not succeed.
But all that lies ahead. For today, at least, we've won a significant victory, one worth savoring and celebrating. On behalf of our entire legal team, I want to thank you for coming to the defense of marine mammals around the world.
John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC Press Release: http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/030826.asp
Washington Post story: http://www.nrdc.org/news/newsDetails.asp?nID=1075
BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.savebiogems.org
Date: 10 Sep 2003
Subject: Operation Pearl on the 911 Deception
From: Serendipity firstname.lastname@example.org>
You may have heard of Professor A. K. Dewdney's "Operation Pearl" article, in which he elaborates on the Valentine-Plissken Hypothesis about September 11th, according to which the four Boeing passenger jets were diverted to a military airport while substitute planes crashed into the Twin Towers and a small jet (not a 757) or a cruise missile hit the Pentagon. The passengers on three of the jets were loaded onto the fourth (UA 93), which was then shot down over Pennsylvania (and the other three jets ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic). Prof. Dewdney's web site (containing this article and another about an experiment he did which shows the impossibility of the alleged cellphone calls) went down yesterday and is still down. (Due to a "terrorist attack"?) It seems that somebody doesn't want you to read about the only account of the events of September 11th which stands up to critical examination. (The Bush-Cheney story collapses as soon as one begins to think critically about it, which some people are very reluctant to do.) But you can still read Prof. Dewdney's article anyway, because it has been republished at this URL: http://www.serendipity.li/wot/operation_pearl.htm If you haven't read it, now's your chance. Save a copy.
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
The worst of times
In the first of a three-part series on trade, George Monbiot argues that the rich world's brutal diplomacy is worsening the plight of poor nations
George Monbiot Tuesday
September 2, 2003
The world is beginning to look like France, a few years before the Revolution. There are no reliable wealth statistics from that time, but the disparities are unlikely to have been greater than they are today. The wealthiest 5% of the world's people now earn 114 times as much as the poorest 5%. The 500 richest people on earth now own $1.54 trillion - more than the entire gross domestic product of Africa, or the combined annual incomes of the poorest half of humanity.
Now, just as then, the desperation of the poor counterpoises the obscene consumption of the rich. Now, just as then, the sages employed by the global aristocrats - in the universities, the thinktanks, the newspapers and magazines - contrive to prove that we possess the best of all possible systems in the best of all possible worlds. In the fortress of Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay we have our Bastille, in which men are imprisoned without charge or trial.
Like the court at Versailles, the wealth and splendour of the nouveau- ancien regime will be on display, not far from the stinking slums in which hunger reigns, at next week's world trade summit in Cancun in Mexico. Between banquets and champagne receptions, men like the European trade commissioner Pascal Lamy and the US trade representative Robert Zoellick will dismiss with their customary arrogance the needs of the hungry majority. There we will witness the same corruption, of both purpose and execution, the same conflation of the private good with the public good: le monde, c'est nous. As Charles Dickens wrote of the ruling class of that earlier time: "the leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in attendance."
The unreality begins in Mexico with the World Trade Organisation's statement of intent. It will, its director general says, ensure that "development issues lie at the heart" of the negotiations. The new talks, in other words, are designed to help the people of the poor nations to escape from poverty. In almost every respect they are destined to do the opposite. Every promise the rich world has made the poor world is being broken. Every demand for the further expropriation of the wealth of the poor is being pursued with ruthless persistence.
Take, for example, the issue of "tariffs", or taxes on trade. A new report by Oxfam, published today, shows that the poorer a nation is, the higher the rates of tax it must pay in order to export its goods. The United States imposes tariffs of between 0-1% on major imports from Britain, France, Japan and Germany, but taxes of 14 or 15% on produce from Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nepal. The British government does the same: Sri Lanka and Uruguay must pay eight times as much to sell their goods over here as the United States.
This happens for two reasons. The first is that the poorer nations can't fight back. The second is that, without taxes, the poor would outcompete the rich. The stiffest tariffs are imposed on goods such as textiles and farm products, in which the weak nations possess a commercial advantage.
The current trade talks were launched with the promise that tariffs would be reduced or eliminated, "in particular on products of export interest to developing countries". The deadline for producing an agreed text for the Cancun meeting was May 31. Because the rich nations have blocked every attempt to agree upon the wording, nothing has been produced. Instead, last week the European Union, the US and Canada submitted a new paper. It proposes that the poorest countries must do the most to cut their trade taxes. Bolivia and Kenya must reduce their tariffs by 80%, the EU by 28% and the US by just 24%. It appears to be a calculated insult, designed to prevent any agreement on this issue from taking place.
Nor has any progress been made on farm subsidies. In 1994, the rich countries agreed that they would phase them out, if the poor countries promised to open their markets to western corporations. The poor nations kept their promise, the rich countries broke theirs. The new round of talks is supposed to lead to the "phasing out [of] all forms of export subsidies", and a negotiating text to this effect was meant to have been produced by March 31. Again, the promise has been broken, and again the poor have been told that only if they grant the rich world's corporations even greater access to their economies, farm subsidies will come to an end.
But the powerful nations, while refusing to address the demands of the poor, press their own claims with brutal diplomacy. They now insist that the "development round" be used to force nations to grant foreign corporations the same rights as domestic ones; to open their public services to the private sector and to invite foreign companies to bid to run them. What this means, as nearly all the big multinational corporations are based in the rich world, is a rich world takeover of the poor world's economy.
Lamy and Zoellick and the governments (such as ours) they represent must know that these demands are impossible for the weaker countries to meet. They must know that the combination of their broken promises and their outrageous terms could force the weaker governments to walk out of the trade talks in Cancun, just as they did in Seattle in 1999. They must know that this will mean the end of the World Trade Organisation. And this now appears to be their aim.
Subverted and corrupted as the WTO is, it remains a multilateral body in which the poor nations can engage in collective bargaining and, in theory, outvote the rich. This never happens, because the rich nations have bypassed its decision-making structures. But the danger remains, so the EU and the US appear to wish to destroy it and to replace world trade agreements with even more coercive single-country deals. The narrow path campaigners have to tread is to expose the injustices of the proposed agreements without assisting the rich world's underlying agenda by demanding that "the WTO has got to go".
But eventually, as in France, there must be a revolution. It is likely to happen only when there is a globalised crisis of survival: a worldwide shortage of grain, for example (like the deficit which followed the bad harvest of 1788) or - and this is currently more likely and more imminent - a shortage of fossil fuel. In previous columns I have suggested some of the means (such as a threatened collective default on the debt) by which this revolution can take place. Until the nouveau-ancien regime has been overthrown, and Lamy and Zoellick and their kind are (metaphorically) swinging from the lampposts, the rich, like the aristocrats of France, will devise ever more inventive means of dispossessing the poor.
- Next week: How do we best support the demands of the poor world?
New models for helping the south (Sept 3)
George Monbiot usefully points to the central hypocrisy of the EU's position in the run-up to the World Trade Organisation talks in Cancun
EU farm chief slams poor nations' demands
World: European commission dismisses calls for big cuts in Europe's farm protection regime as extreme demands couched in "cheap propaganda". (...) "Rich countries can't preach free trade abroad and have protectionism at home. There is a danger of locking developing countries into poverty because we lock them out of our markets."
Special report: the WTO summit in Cancun
Special report: the World Trade Organisation
From: "The Light Bearers" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: A Resume from the White House
Date: 28 Aug 2003
Bush's Good Deeds and Family Alliances
George W. Bush
The White House, USA
Past Work Experience
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.
I produced a Hollywood slasher B movie.
I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas; the company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.
With my father's help and name, I was elected Governor of Texas.
Accomplishments as Governor
I changed pollution laws in favor of the power and oil companies and made Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
I replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog-ridden city in America.
I cut taxes and bankrupted Texas government to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
I set the record for the most executions by any Governor in American history.
I became U.S. President after losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes with the help of major Enron money and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court.
Accomplishments as President
I attacked and overtook two countries.
I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.
My record for environmental issues is the least of my concerns.
I am the first president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one year period.
After taking-off the entire month of August, I then presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
I am supporting development of a "Tactical Bunker Buster" nuke, a WMD.
I am getting our troops killed, under the lie of Sadam's procurement of Yellow Cake Nuke WMD components, then blaming the lie on our British friends.
I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. president.
In my first year in office over 2-million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any president in U.S. history.
I set the record for least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
I signed more laws and executive orders effectively amending or ignoring the Constitution than any president in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history and refused to use national reserves as past presidents have done.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in war time.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people) shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.
I've dissolved more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.
I've made my presidency the most secretive and unaccountable of any in U.S. history.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history.
My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have almost all 50 states of the Union simultaneously suffer massive financial crisis.
I presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in history.
I am the first president in U.S. history to order a pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation, and I did so against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
I created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
I set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in history.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Elections Monitoring Board.
I removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in U.S. history.
I rendered the entire United Nations viewpoints irrelevant.
I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. "prisoners of war" (detainees) and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.
I am the first president in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation) presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. history. My political party used the Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
I have spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most resented country in the world, possibly the largest failure of diplomacy in World history.
I am actively working on a policy of "disengagement" creating the most hostile of Israel-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
I am first president in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
I am the first U.S. president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the U.S. than by their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I set an all-time record for the number of administration appointees who violated U.S. law by not selling their huge personal investments in corporations bidding for U.S. contracts.
I failed to fulfill my pledge to capture Osama Bin Laden, dead or alive.
I failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country at the U.S. Capitol Building. Even after 18 months I have no leads and no credible suspects.
In the past 18 months following the World Trade Center attack I have successfully prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
I removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any president in U.S. history.
In a little over two years, I created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided since the Civil War.
I entered my office with the strongest economy in U.S. history and have turned every single economic category downward all in less than two years.
Records and References
I have at least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine. My Texas driving record has been erased and is not available.
I was AWOL from the National Guard.
I refuse to take a drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.
All records of my tenure as Governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed, and unavailable for public view.
All records of SEC investigations into insider trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
From: "Mr. E" email@example.com>
Subject: The Village Idiot strikes again: Politics and Pollution
Date: 28 Aug 2003
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it."
- Mark Twain
Politics and Pollution
President Bush's critics have watched with mounting frustration as his administration has compiled one of the worst environmental records in recent history without paying any real political price. One reason may be that the issues at stake are too regional, like forest fires or salmon recovery, or too remote, like global warming. But the administration itself may now have witlessly altered this dynamic with its reckless and insupportable decision to eviscerate a central provision of the Clean Air Act and allow power plants, refineries and other industrial sites to spew millions of tons of unhealthy pollutants into the air.
The proposed changes in the act, formally announced yesterday, are so transparently a giveaway to Mr. Bush's corporate allies and so widely unpopular among the officials responsible for air quality in the individual states that they have already assumed a place in the nascent presidential race. Democratic candidates are competing to see who can express more outrage John Kerry, for instance, calls the changes a " `get out of jail free' card" for polluters. Moderate Republicans are dismayed and embarrassed. The issue will acquire even greater momentum when the new rules are published as a fait accompli in the Federal Register, and a dozen or more states sue in federal court to have them stayed and then overturned.
These suits could easily succeed. The new rules are a clear violation of Congress's intent in 1977, when it required utilities and other polluters to install modern pollution-control technology whenever they modified their plants in ways that increased emissions. The Justice Department identified 51 plants that were in violation of the 1977 rule because they had been upgraded without the required pollution controls. Several of these cases have been resolved in the government's favor, but the administration's action clearly jeopardizes the remaining lawsuits.
As the administration's defense takes shape, the public should beware of half-truths and artful demagogy. One specious line of argument is that the old rule inhibited companies from doing routine maintenance and making plants more efficient. The administration has offered no compelling evidence to support that beyond the anecdotal say-so of a few utilities. A companion argument, made by apologists for the White House, is that the old rule contributed to the blackout. This, too, is nonsense. The blackout was caused by deficiencies in the transmission grid or its management and had nothing to do with environmental regulations or a shortage of power.
This line of reasoning is eerily reminiscent of the efforts to blame environmentalists for the California energy crisis, and is equally as hollow.
Thousands of US troops evacuated from Iraq for unexplained medical reasons
By James Conachy
9 September 2003
Citing the US military Central Command as its source, the Washington Post reported on September 2 that more than 6,000 service members had been medically evacuated from Iraq since the launch of the war. At the time, the number of combat wounded stood at 1,124. A further 301 personnel had been injured in non-combat incidents such as vehicle accidents. The figure of more than 6,000 supplied to the Post therefore implies that over 4,500 US troops have required evacuation from Iraq for medical reasons other than combat or non-combat injuries.
The Washington Post article did not include any further information on what is a staggering admission by the military. At no point in the last six months have the American people been told that for every soldier who has been killed in Iraq, at least another 15 have fallen so ill that they had to be flown back to the United States. The Post described the unexplained evacuations simply as the thousands who became physically or mentally ill.
The obvious questions that must be answered are: what were they diagnosed with; what units are they from; what duties were they were performing; what long-term effects have they suffered; and what treatment are they receiving?
While large numbers of the evacuations may well be for routine medical reasons, such a detailed breakdown is essential. Apart from providing an insight into the true impact of the war on the American troops, it may provide evidence that supports the concerns among military personnel and their families that service in Iraq is exposing them to long-term and potentially fatal medical problems. In particular, there are fears that soldiers have already died or are falling ill due to their exposure to depleted uranium (DU) or the anthrax vaccine they have been compelled to take.
On July 31, the Army Surgeon General announced an investigation into the deaths of two soldiers, Michael Tosta and Josh Neusche, and the hospitalisation of another 100, diagnosed with severe pneumonia. It has been established that inhaling large concentrations of DU-contaminated particles damages the lungs and kidneys and can cause respiratory illness. There are also recorded medical suspicions that the US militarys anthrax vaccine can trigger pneumonia. In August 2002, three military doctors noted in the Cardiopulmonary and Critical Care Journal that a case of pneumonia in a healthy 39-year-old soldier may be due to the anthrax vaccine.
The US Department of Defense has only made public one progress report on the pneumonia investigation. On August 22 it announced that it was making significant progress in eliminating SARS and vaccines as a possible cause. It revealed that 10 alleged pneumonia cases showed a higher than normal number of the white blood cell eosinophils. It also reported that none of the 19 most severe cases belonged to the same units, that 13 had fallen ill in Iraq and that the remaining six fell ill in Kuwait, Qatar, Uzbekistan, and Djibouti. The Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner was reportedly investigating the specific cause or causes of death of Tosta and Neusche.
Since July 31, however, another soldier, Zeferino Colunga, has died allegedly from pneumonia while Sergeant Richard Eaton has died from a pulmonary edema or fluid in the lungs. Two other soldiers have been found dead in their beds for as yet unexplained reasons.
Such is the distrust of the military that the families of both Josh Neusche and Colunga have demanded access to their loved ones medical records, personal effects and blood and tissue samples, so that independent medical opinions can be sought on the cause of death. The families sent letters on August 12 to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stating: We as a family are concerned that we are not being told the truth.
Stephanie Tosta, the 22-year-old widow of Michael Tosta, has publicly speculated the military is lying about the cause of her husbands death. She told United Press International last month: More and more I think it was the [anthrax] shots. I think they [the Army] might be lying about this stuff. I really feel like it. Nobody can tell me anything. If it is the shots, then of course they are lying. We just want to know what happened and we have a right to know. But the Army is acting like they are trying to hide something, and that just makes it harder.
The family of Rachael Lacy, a young soldier who died in Kuwait on April 4 from a pneumonia-like illness but whose death is not included in the military investigation, is also alleging her death was due to the anthrax vaccine. Connecticut congressman Chris Shays, who chaired hearings last year on the possible side-effects of the anthrax vaccination program, is reportedly monitoring the investigation into the death of Sergeant Richard Eaton.
The website of Bring Them Home Nowan organisation of military families demanding the immediate withdrawal of US forces from the Middle Eastbluntly warns soldiers that the only guaranteed way to limit the medical consequences from exposure to DU is to get out of Iraq or Afghanistan.
The groups statement of purpose declares: Not one more troop killed in action. Not one more troop wounded in action. Not one more troop psychologically damaged by the act of terrifying, humiliating, injuring or killing innocent people. Not one more troop spending one more day inhaling depleted uranium. Not one more troop separated from spouse and children. This is the only way to truly support these troops, and the families who are just as much part of the military as they are. (http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/)
The National Gulf War Resource Center (NGWRC), an advocacy organisation for veterans of the first 1991 US war on Iraq, is assisting the military families who believe they are being lied to. Among the suspected causes of a range of illnesses commonly referred to as Gulf War syndrome are DU exposure and complications triggered by vaccinations. By 1999, as many as 110,000 Gulf War veterans had reported health problems that they believe are due to their service in Iraq.
The sensitivity of the military hierarchy to the suspicions among rank-and-file troops, families and veterans is demonstrated by the reassurances on the official Army medical website that neither DU nor the anthrax vaccine pose a health risk. (http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/default2.htm) The US government also rejects any link between Gulf War syndrome, DU and vaccines. In 1998 however, the US military did finally admit that at least 436,000 American troops entered into areas during the first Gulf War that were contaminated to some extent by DU radioactive dust.
Why are they dying? More questions over US military fatalities in Iraq
[20 August 2003]
Are American soldiers in Iraq dying due to depleted uranium?
[4 August 2003]
Americas maimed come home from Iraq
[30 July 2003]
Forwarded by John Kaminski firstname.lastname@example.org>
The $20 bill
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up.
He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.
My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special - Don't EVER forget it."
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