MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
January 27, 2004
Miscellaneous Subjects #201: Spinning the Truth
A fairly good portion of this compilation falls into the "Big Brother" category and there are many elements related to the State of the Union Speech last week and the Bush Administration's abysmal environmental record. The only comfort that may be found in reading this material is that, at least, it is all being exposed and thus an aggravation may be prevented or curtailed...
... IF enough people wake up in time to put a stop to all the shenanigans through the ballot box and unrelenting campaigning for the whole truth to come out untwisted and unvarnished...
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. Your comments are most welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation. Circulating this compilation (or parts of it) to others and personally inviting them to join the ERN family of Light Servers would certainly be a useful contribution. Just make sure to include the following note along with your forward:
Free subscription to such compilations by sending a blank email to email@example.com
This whole compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2004/MiscelSubjects201.htm
"There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free."
- Walter Cronkite, 1970
"The great threat to freedom is the concentration of power."
- Milton Friedman, 1962
"And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."
- Lord Acton
"Those who cast their vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
- Josef Stalin
"I believe Dennis Kucinich is the only clear voice for peace and compassion in an otherwise hopeless, fake, made for TV political arena. He is truly the embodiment of what a caring public servant can be, a man of principal above politics."
- Tim Reynolds
Worthy of Your Attention
Friends of Kucinich Network
Endorsement of Kucinich
Kucinich Supporters Worldwide
So far, 23,010 have signed up
Tell your senators to defeat the Bush-Cheney energy bill (Jan 23)
President Bush and his Senate allies have vowed to pass their pro-polluter energy bill into law over the next few weeks. If they succeed, this shameless package of corporate welfare will cost us $50 billion over the next decade and prolong our dangerous reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Thats why it is so important for you to contact your own senators right away and tell them to block this attack on our pocketbooks, our environment, and our health.
Free Press : media reform through outreach, activism, advocacy and networking
Free Press is national media reform organization promoting policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector. HERE IS SOMETHING THEY JUST NETWORKED: " Last week, CBS censored free speech by refusing to sell airtime to the MoveOn Voter Fund for a political ad during the Super Bowl. The ad is critical of the Bush Administration's run-up of the federal deficit. CBS -- owned by media giant Viacom -- says it doesn't run "controversial" ads during the Super Bowl. But it plans to air a White House drug policy spot during the game. The last such ad linked marijuana smoking to terrorism... hardly uncontroversial."
THIS WEBSITE WAS RECOMMENDED BY "Joanne Savoie" firstname.lastname@example.org WHO WROTE: "Are you willing to push for a free press? Looks like those in the money do all they can to divide and conquer, create a bigger chasm between the haves and have not's of "real information" - or simple truth. The Mega-Corporations have practically become our government. They seem to run the White House, so what do you think our chances are in the next few years of having a true democracy?"
Power, Propaganda and Conscience in The War On Terror - by John Pilger (EXCELLENT!)
A useful site that exposes the mind-controlling stories and methods of PR
Recommended by "Leigh"
Website Parody of Officialdom News - Plenty of Bush funny pics!
Mark Fiore's State Of Union Update
Pundit Man (An ERN subscriber's website)
Cutting through fog, exposing lies and unraveling mumbo jumbo
1. The Truth About 911 Candidacy
2. The Real State of The Union
3. Terror Picture
4. RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages
5. Excerpts from WEEKLY GRIST
6. Aspartame - History of fraud and deception
7. Do turkeys enjoy thanksgiving? By Arundhati Roy
8. Computer security
9. The truth, please
Bird flu epidemic is 'worst in history' (Jan 26)
Indonesia has become the latest country to admit that a massive outbreak of bird flu has been ravaging its chicken farms for months. - The scale of the epidemic is unprecedented, says Klaus Stshr, a senior virologist at the World Health Organization. "Never in history have we seen such outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza over such a wide area, simultaneously," he told New Scientist. Stshr warns that if a person becomes infected simultaneously with both bird and ordinary human flu, the viruses could hybridise to cause a deadly global pandemic. With no end to the spread of the avian virus in sight, that risk will continue to rise. So on Tuesday, health authorities and drug companies will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to tackle the daunting task of agreeing and implementing protective measures.
WHO fears major outbreak as Asia fights bird flu (Jan 27)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the apparently rapid spread of a new deadly strain of bird flu in Asia presents a potential threat for a serious human outbreak. A spokesman says the disease is now too serious to leave to individual countries to deal with. Six people have died in Vietnam, and one in Thailand. WHO Geneva spokesman Iain Simpson says protecting people is the organisation's greatest priority.
Newsweek Poll: Campaign 2004 (Jan 24)
Kerry Leads Dems With 30 Percent; Edwards Follows at 13 Percent; Dean Slips, Even With Clark at 12 Percent
52 Percent of Voters Don't Want to See Bush Re-Elected (44% Do), 37 Percent Strongly Want to See Him Re-Elected, 47 Percent Strongly Do Not
But a Large Majority (78%) Says That it is Very Likely (40%) or Somewhat Likely (38%) That he Will Get a Second Term CLIP
'It's Just Wrong What We're Doing' (Jan 24)
In an exclusive interview, repentant Vietnam War architect Robert McNamara breaks his silence on Iraq: The United States, he says, is making the same mistakes all over again. (...) He decided to break his silence on Iraq when I called him up the other day at his Washington office. I told him that his carefully enumerated lists of historic lessons from Vietnam were in danger of being ignored. He agreed, and told me that he was deeply frustrated to see history repeating itself. "We're misusing our influence," he said in a staccato voice that had lost none of its rapid-fire engagement. "It's just wrong what we're doing. It's morally wrong, it's politically wrong, it's economically wrong." While he did not want to talk on the record about specific military decisions made Mr. Rumsfeld, he said the United States is fighting a war that he believes is totally unnecessary and has managed to destroy important relationships with potential allies. "There have been times in the last year when I was just utterly disgusted by our position, the United States' position vis-à-vis the other nations of the world." On Monday night, we heard the United States at its very worst with George W. Bush's caustic State of the Union address, in which he declared, over and over, that America is serving God's will directly and does not need "a permission slip" from other nations since "the cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all mankind." That vision of manifest destiny, stripped of any larger view, has led down some unfortunate roads. The Iraq action, which would have been conducted in some form or another at some point under any imaginable government, would have been far better conceived if its executors had read Mr. McNamara's works instead of the Book of Revelation. CLIP
State Of The Union Speech - A Review (Jan 21)
I had resolved to be a "good citizen" and watch the Lizard in Chief give what I knew would be a State of the Union speech full of lies. What else would one expect from a proven public liar? So, I hunkered down and tuned in. I had my choice of 8 channels to watch it on so I flipped randomly between them now and then as the speech went on, just for something to do. Yes, it was a stream of lies, but I should be used to that by now. Somehow, I am not. It disgusts me. Poor Ted Kennedy. You could see it disgusted him, too, the few times the view cut away to look at him. They must have been following the script because they cut away to Kennedy at just the point where Bush was lying about health care, and later when he was lying about how necessary it was to go to war. Kennedy just sat there at those moments grimly shaking his head back and forth slowly, as if he were completely revolted by what he was hearing. He looked absolutely disgusted and in pain. He wasn't clapping. He didn't stand up. CLIP
Bush Runs Away from His Environmental Record in State of the Union Speech
WASHINGTON (January 21, 2004) -- In last night's State of the Union address, President Bush trumpeted his administration's accomplishments from last year and outlined some of his initiatives for this one. What was most notable was that he said nary a word about the environment. Nothing, for example, about his "Healthy Forests" initiative, which will allow loggers to cut down large, fire-resistant trees miles away from where people live, or his "Clear Skies" initiative, which, if passed, would allow power plants to emit more pollution for a longer time than current law. He did include one sentence about energy policy. "Consumers and businesses need reliable supplies of energy to make our economy run," he said, "so I urge you to pass legislation to modernize our electricity system, promote conservation, and make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy." He did not explicitly call for Congress to pass the energy bill it is currently debating. It's just as well. That bill would not modernize the electricity grid, promote conservation or make the country less dependent on foreign energy sources. NRDC would agree with the president that the criteria he spelled out are necessary ingredients for a sensible energy policy. We called for such a policy three years ago when we released "A Responsible Energy Policy for the 21st Century". The fact that President Bush avoided mentioning his administration's environmental policies could be seen as a tacit admission that his record is deplorable and the issue is a vulnerable one for him (see the Bush Record). Polls show that the majority of Americans believe he is more interested in protecting his corporate campaign contributors than public health and the environment.
Bush wants Patriot Act renewed
President Bush on Tuesday evening called for the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, the controversial law that has expanded Internet surveillance powers for police and partially expires next year. One section that will expire permits police to conduct warrantless Internet surveillance with the permission of a network operator. A second section permits police to share the contents of wiretaps or Internet surveillance with the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and other security agencies. Another section makes it easier for prosecutors to seek search warrants for electronic evidence. A fourth, Section 215, became well known after some librarians alerted visitors that it permits the FBI to learn what books a patron read and what Web sites a patron visited--and prohibits the recipient of such an order from disclosing it exists. The section permitting so-called "sneak and peek" warrants, which authorize surreptitious searches of homes and businesses, also does not expire.
Bush's State of the Union: Threats, lies and delusion (Jan 22)
In his third State of the Union address since his installation as president, George W. Bush Tuesday night spelled out an election-year agenda consisting of stepped-up global militarism, the continued looting of the economy to augment the fortunes of America's super-rich and an appeal to social and religious backwardness. It was a speech devoid of any new proposals and lacking even a hint of comprehension of the intense political, economic and social crises that are racking American society. Instead, behind the obvious lies and deliberate distortions, what predominated was the self-delusion of a ruling elite that has never been more distant from the problems facing the vast majority of the American people and believes that reality is whatever it claims it to be. The annual address is supposedly a solemn occasion in which the government gives an accounting to the people. In reality, the spectacle provides the public with a glimpse into a US political system that increasingly resembles a private millionaires club whose wealthy members slap each other on the back and rise in uproarious cheering for statements that they all know are false. In place of the pretense of social vision or the announcement of new political initiatives that are the standard fare of these speeches, Bush's central message was one of fear. In his nearly hour-long speech to a joint session of Congress and the viewing public, Bush used the words
"terror", "terrorist", and "terrorism" no less than 21 times.
The term digital hegemony as a tool utilized by propagandists aptly describes, for lack of a better phrase, the recent phenomenon observed by James Donahue in his article Herding the Sheep: Using Images Of Bush To Manipulate The Minds Of Voters. Donahue asks "Have you noticed the halos and orbs around the head of President George W. Bush in recent press pictures? ... You probably haven't because things like that are designed to be seen by the subconscious mind. And genius Karl Rove, the guy whose job is to make our president look good all of the time, knows just what buttons to push to keep his man in the White House."
Wireless e-voting machines raise concern (Jan 20)
Computer scientists are concerned that new electronic voting machines - already bought by several US states - have been designed to have the capability to transmit vote tallies wirelessly. Critics of e-voting have previously cited uncertified software upgrades or bugs in the programs as problems, but they say the new touchscreen machines' wireless potential poses a novel security threat. The makers of the new machines, Diebold Electronic Voting Systems in Canton, Ohio, point out that none of the AccuVote-TSx machines currently contain the matchbox-sized card required to make a wireless network connection. But, unlike their predecessors, they do have a slot for the card, called a PCMCIA slot. And Diebold spokesperson Mark Radke told New Scientist that wireless capability could be implemented "if required by the jurisdiction" simply by inserting a card and configuring the machine.
Internet voting is vulnerable to tampering, experts warn (Jan 22)
An Internet voting system developed by the Pentagon for U.S. citizens overseas is so vulnerable to attacks it should be scrapped, four computer security experts said in a report released Wednesday. But the Pentagon is standing by the system, which could get its first test Feb. 3 in South Carolina's primary election. The four computer security experts said the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment, or SERVE, could be penetrated by hackers who could change votes or gather information about users. (...) About 6 million U.S. voters live overseas. The computer experts said SERVE is designed to handle about 100,000 votes from the seven states.
Democracy at Risk (Jan 23)
The disputed election of 2000 left a lasting scar on the nation's psyche. A recent Zogby poll found that even in red states, which voted for George W. Bush, 32 percent of the public believes that the election was stolen. In blue states, the fraction is 44 percent. Now imagine this: in November the candidate trailing in the polls wins an upset victory but all of the districts where he does much better than expected use touch-screen voting machines. Meanwhile, leaked internal e-mail from the companies that make these machines suggests widespread error, and possibly fraud. What would this do to the nation? Unfortunately, this story is completely plausible. (In fact, you can tell a similar story about some of the results in the 2002 midterm elections, especially in Georgia.) Fortune magazine rightly declared paperless voting the worst technology of 2003, but it's not just a bad technology it's a threat to the republic. CLIP
Big brother is watching: Internet surveillance
The Bush administration is pushing to ratify an international convention that civil libertarians say would pose serious threats to privacy rights at home and abroad. After delaying for about two years, US President George W. Bush recently asked the US Senate to ratify the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention, a global agreement apparently created to help police worldwide cooperate to fight Internet crimes. They point out that the text fails to define "political offenses, a fault they call a huge omission," since an act considered political in the United States mightbe a criminal matter in another country.
Bush administration expands police spying powers (Jan 10)
Piecemeal enactment of Patriot II - The Bush administration has signed into law an act that grants new powers to US intelligence agencies to spy on the public, and expands the controversial Patriot Act. In a highly unusual move, Bush signed the legislation into law on a SaturdayDecember 13the same day US forces captured Saddam Hussein. The White House was obviously seeking to avoid media coverage of the new legislationand the print and broadcast media dutifully obliged, caught up in the hoopla over the capture of the former Iraqi leader.
New spy tools--for good or evil? (April 21, 2003)
Cisco Systems has created a more efficient and targeted way for police and intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on people whose Internet service provider uses their company's routers. The company recently published a proposal that describes how it plans to embed "lawful interception" capability into its products. Among the highlights: Eavesdropping "must be undetectable," and multiple police agencies conducting simultaneous wiretaps must not learn of one another. If an Internet provider uses encryption to preserve its customers' privacy and has access to the encryption keys, it must turn over the intercepted communications to police in a descrambled form. Cisco's decision to begin offering "lawful interception" capability as an option to its customers could turn out to be either good or bad news for privacy. (...) Still, if you don't like Cisco's decision, remember that they're not the ones doing the snooping. Cisco is responding to its customers' requests, and if they don't, other hardware vendors will. If you're looking for someone to blame, consider Attorney General John Ashcroft, who asked for and received sweeping surveillance powers in the USA Patriot Act, along with your elected representatives in Congress, who gave those powers to him with virtually no debate. CLIP
All US airline passengers to undergo government background checks (Jan 21)
A further attack on democratic rights. (...) Finally, a color code is assigned to each passengergreen for normal screening, yellow for extra searches, and red for not being allowed to fly. In addition, red passengers may be subject to police interrogation and possible arrest. Although dozens of peace activists and other opponents of the Bush administration have found themselves caught up in the do-not-fly lists, up until now the government has claimed that only suspected terrorists were tracked. Now, however, the TSA has expanded the list to include supposedly violent criminals. The TSA has not said whether a conviction or simply an arrest will earn someone a place on the list, nor exactly what crimes are considered violent. This expansion of the list has the effect of making the detention of a passenger seem more routine and even justified. Anyone targeted, either mistakenly or strictly for their political activities, will be even more isolated as they are being led away, since they will be assumed to be a common criminal. CLIP Check also http://news.google.ca/news?hl=en&edition=uk&q=All+US+airline+passengers+to+undergo+government+background+checks&btnG=Search+News
Israeli troops demolishing Palestinian houses kill woman, wound 3 others (Jan 21)
Israeli troops demolishing Palestinian houses kill woman, wound 3 others MARK LAVIE JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli soldiers destroying houses in a Palestinian refugee camp on Wednesday shot and killed a woman and wounded two of her relatives, including a teenage boy, residents said. Another youngster was wounded earlier in the operation. Soldiers moved into the Rafah refugee camp and destroyed five more structures, after knocking down 25 the day before, residents said. Israel said the mission was to destroy a tunnel used by Palestinians to smuggle in weapons. The Rafah camp is divided by the Israel-Egypt frontier. During Wednesday's operation, soldiers exchanged gunfire with Palestinian militants. Mona Ismail, 31, a bystander, was shot in the head and died in a hospital, doctors said. Her sister and another relative, a 13-year-old boy, were also wounded as the three were standing close to their home. An 11-year-old boy was critically wounded earlier when Israeli troops fired machine-guns as cover for bulldozers demolishing houses, witnesses and doctors said. An Israeli army spokesman said troops came under periodic attack from militants firing automatic rifles and anti-tank missiles. In several cases, the troops returned fire. In central Gaza, Palestinian officials said the Israeli army issued eviction orders to 10 Palestinian families living near the Kfar Darom settlement. The families said they were told that their land is being used to establish additional Israeli security facilities. Palestinian human rights workers were preparing an appeal. Also Wednesday, the military stopped building part of a fence around the settlement of Kiryat Arba, next to the city of Hebron, after an Israeli Supreme Court hearing. The military said the fence was a security measure to prevent infiltration by Palestinian attackers. Palestinians appealed to the court, complaining that their land had been confiscated. The two sides agreed construction would be halted while the court considers the appeal. However, Shlomo Lecker, a lawyer representing the Hebron families, said most of the fence is already in place. He said the next court hearing would be in three weeks. This fence project is in addition to the huge security barrier Israel is building along the West Bank, cutting deep into the occupied territories in some places. Israel says the barrier is necessary to keep suicide bombers out. Palestinians say the barrier is a land grab, encircling towns and villages and cutting tens of thousands off from their farms and vital services. CLIP
Palestinians easily scale Israel's $1.9 billion security fence
Palestinian infiltrators have succeeded in breaching Israel's new security fence and barrier system. Israeli security sources said Palestinian infiltrators have scaled the four-meter high concrete fence by using a simple ladder.
California becoming nation's new gateway for European enviro laws (July 24, 2003)
SACRAMENTO - California, where some environmentally conscious residents drive the freeways in electric cars or live in trees to frustrate loggers, may be assuming a new role as the nation's port of entry for tough European environmental laws. Environmentalists throughout California, increasingly enthralled by their European counterparts and easily linked to their politics through the Internet, are studying restrictive new European Union policies on chemicals, food and water and air pollution. Rebuffed at home by Bush administration resistance to major environmental programs, many hope to absorb European ideas into California, then leverage the state's clout and size to drive them onto the national stage. "Over and over again, we keep looking at things Europe is doing and saying, 'Why is the U.S. lagging?'" said William Walker, head of the West Coast office of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C., group that monitors issues from U.S. farm subsidies to pollution. Already, in a California where last year the Green Party won 11.5 percent of the vote in one legislative race, a politically powerful environmental movement has driven two key European Union environmental reforms through the Legislature, in both cases making California the nation's first state to adopt them. San Francisco also recently became the nation's first city to adopt what Europe calls the "precautionary principle." Widely criticized by the Bush administration, the principle dictates that approvals for everything from new chemicals to genetically enhanced food should err on the side of caution, even when current available science indicates its apparent safety. Such enthusiasm for European ideas in a state considered more liberal than the nation as a whole, with its beeping street crosswalks for the blind and signs on buildings warning pregnant women of cancer-causing chemicals, has caught the eyes of lobbyists who often duel with the environmental movement. CLIP
Interior Finishes Plan to Open Nearly 9 Million Acres in Alaska to Drilling
PBS Documentary: Silverstein, FDNY Razed WTC 7
In a stunning and belated development concerning the attacks of 9/11 Larry Silverstein, the controller of the destroyed WTC complex, stated plainly in a PBS documentary that he and the FDNY decided jointly to demolish the Solomon Bros. building, or WTC 7, late in the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. This admission appeared in a PBS documentary originally aired in Sept. of 2002 entitled "America Rebuilds". Mr Silverstein's comments came after FEMA and the Society of Civil Engineers conducted an extensive and costly investigation into the curious collapse of WTC 7. The study specifically concluded that the building had collapsed as a result of the inferno within, sparked, apparently, by debris falling from the crumbling North Tower.
German Secret Service: U.S. Warned of 9/11 Attack
Date: 23 Jan 2004
From: IPSGeneva email@example.com
Subject: Fwd: The Truth About 911 Candidacy
Republican Candidate for President takes on the 9-11 issue
We've got a wonderfully bizarre 9/11 visibility gig going on up here in the New Hampshire Primary now and need a lot of web visibility support to alert the legions on the ground.
John Buchanan is the guy who documented the Prescott Bush/Nazi finance story last fall (and got it spilled out from the NH Gazette to AP - see http://tinyurl.com/rfiz ). Last month he was asked by patrician Republican and Earth Day founder, John McConnell to run against Bush in the NH GOP Primary. Having barely enough to pay his South Miami rent, he reluctantly agreed and now he is up here running as the "9/11 Truth Candidate" and making a hell of a noise.
His hardscrabble campaign is starting to get traction and he's certainly shaking up his audiences. Last Monday he walked in cold to the podium at the new England Community Action Association Presidential Forum at the Nashua Sheraton where everybody was waiting for Joe Lieberman . They sat spellbound for 30 minutes and offered massive applause at the windup. Wednesday he spoke at New England College's College Convention in Manchester and the kids gave him a lo-o-ong hooting thumbs up ovation.
So PLEASE get everyone you can to link to our John Buchanan, "9/11 Truth Candidate" site as well as his his own highly skeptical blog. The URLs are: http://johnbuchanan.org and http://www.buchanan04.blogspot.com
We're praying this will break big by next week and the omens are good. Time magazine is talking to him tonight and AP is interviewing him over the weekend. Amazing grace...
un abrazo, david k-
PS: See latest speech below. I know he's no where near as edgy as many of you, but he is talking to Republicans and holding their attention.
SPEECH TO MANCHESTER SUPPORT GROUP 1/7/04
Good afternoon and thank you for welcoming me so warmly.
I stand before you today less as a candidate and more as a messenger and the message I bear is simple and stark. We have all been lied to about 9/11, the country is in mortal danger and only you can make it right.
If you need a label, I stand here as a 9/11 Truth Candidate and some may thus dismiss me as a single-issue candidate and in a narrow sense that is true. But if you consider that 9/11 has led us into fiscal ruin, endless war and constitutional twilight, my issue is the mother issue of our age.
That said let me return to the 9/11 message the first line of which is this:
They wanted it to happen.
They being the neocon members and associates of PNAC, the Project for a New American Century, an ultra-rightwing think tank and mouthpiece for Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and most Bush's handlers these days. Cheney, Wolfowitz and their PNAC fellows had been campaigning publicly for Mideast oil wars since 2000, but also said publicly that the American people were not likely to buy these plans without a quote catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor" unquote
They wanted it to happen.
And despite over 23 warnings from 11 foreign governments in the months preceding the attacks they did NOTHING to protect or warn the country.
They did less than nothing. They quashed 5 different investigations into Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda by FBI teams, and then promoted the FBI official who did most of that quashing after 9/11.
They wanted it to happen.
And the day it finally did they let it run its course. There was a mysterious total collapse of all our air defenses. Even though planes had been routinely scrambled 67 times for far lesser threats in the preceding year, on 9/11 all standard operating procedures inexplicably broke down. With 4 hijacked planes in the air and Flight 77 taking more than an hour to reach the Pentagon, not a single plane was there to intercept its deadly course.
Think about that for a long moment. A trillion dollar defense establishment, over three months of top level warnings, an hour's lead time, fighters based ten minutes away, and they could not even protect their own goddamn headquarters.
So 9/11 happened.
3000 people were instantly killed. The economy was desperately wounded, the country paralyzed with fear.
Madness, you say. Who could possibly benefit from such a tragedy?
Well, let's just recite some facts.
-- The president's poll numbers nearly doubled overnight.
-- Our intelligence and defense services, who neither informed or defended us, got a huge new budget bounce.
-- The FBI got a big cash bonus too plus a secret police wet dream in the form of the Patriot Act.
(And when a couple senators -- Daschle and Leahy say, "Slow down, this act's not exactly patriotic or even constitutional" guess who gets anthrax in the mail?)
-- Arms merchants like Daddy Bush's Carlyle Group reaped billions, no, tens of billions, from new "War on Terrorism" orders. Washington insider firms like Cheney's Halliburton, and GOP cash cow Bechtel harvested hundreds of billions in no-bid contracts as we methodically blow up and renovate both Afghanistan and Iraq.
So 9/11 happened and the administration ordered, "thou shalt not investigate! It will distract us from the fight against terror and all the war we have to make."
White House refusal may seem natural, but where was our crusading press?
It is another simple sad fact that the journalists who should have been investigating this whole peculiar business were now owned and operated by big media corporations who were making so damn much selling these wars that they held their peace instead. They not only did not question the scores of 9/11 lies and contradictions, they never even told the public there were still unanswered questions out there at all.
So 9/11 happened, flags were waved, money flowed and the press shut up.
And there it all would have ended PNAC with its oil wars, Bush with new poll Viagra, the FBI free from the Bill of Rights, the merchants of war rolling in blank checks and the media fat with cash.
A happy ending, no?
Not for the victim families, and if it weren't for a few hundred courageous ones I wouldn't be standing in front of you today.
The government tried to buy their silence too, and offered all 3,000 families fat payments from a Victims Compensation Fund. Each would get about a million bucks if they just promised to shut, stop asking the logical questions and simply go away.
Most did, it is true. But some who were paying attention fought back and demanded a real investigation. They got the National 9/11 Commission instead.
Can you imagine a 9/11 investigative commission where most of the commissioners have ties to the oil, airline and arms industries if not to the White House itself?
Where the witnesses are not even asked to testify under oath?
Where interrogations of FBI, FAA and NORAD insiders are all supervised by White House chaperones called "minders" ?
Where the executive director worked for years with Condi Rice, head of the National Security Council who herself refuses to testify under oath?
Where the latest appointed commissioner is an Iraq war hawk who publicly said he thought the most important role of the commission was quote "not to embarrass the president" unquote?
Could you believe in an investigation like that? Can you believe the shit that is going down?
Well, neither can I and that is why I am here today to ask you to join with the desperate victim families and demand belated truth.
The country has been swindled into endless war, repression and financial collapse. Thousands of people have been murdered and we still don't know the facts.
I am just one voice saying these things up here in New Hampshire today, but if you would just do some homework you would see there are thousands like me working in shadow on the internet trying get out what the victim families want to say.
One great crusader in this struggle is your own Ellen Mariani, a Derry 9/11 widow who is suing Bush, Cheney and their neocon kin for knowingly letting her husband die for personal and political gain.
I beg you to rally around her as one of the heroes of this cause, I also beg you to read some vital texts like Nafeez Ahmed's "The War on Freedom" or the 9/11 timeline at cooperativeresearch.org And finally I ask you to vote for me to send a message of your own -- that this land is our land and it's time for gestapo-minded war profiteers to get hell out.
I thank you for sitting here and pray you will now begin to move.
Good night and god bless what's left of our democracy.
Date: 23 Jan 2004
From: IPSGeneva firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Fwd: The Real State of The Union
Regarding the State of the Union (SOU) address:
First, as historian Robert Dallek pointed out, in the 20s and 30s, SOUs were actually just that, factual accounts of the country's progress, not justifications of past actions, and not timed for the greatest political punch. They were written reports, not orations served up with cunning and charm.
In the SOU, Bush called for students to develop strong math and science skills. I suggest that the president and his aides develop the same. To wit:
The deficit. The IMF, the cool-headed former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin, and Peter Orzag of the Brookings Institution, both say oh-oh, trouble ahead. A real leader is fiscally responsible.
Economy in general. Bush said, "the economy is strong and growing stronger", but since his first tax cut, in 2001, we've lost a net of 2.75 million jobs. The Wall Street Journal describes the rebuilding of Iraq as "the largest government reconstruction effort since World War II." Recent estimates now put the final figure somewhere between $200 billion to half a trillion dollars over the next ten years. And the choker is that while corporations are reaping the benefits, the taxpayers are reaping the costs. A real leader looks out for all the citizens, not just the wealthy.
Jobless recovery. Last month, whereas economists expected up to 150,000 new jobs, only 1,000 jobs were created. In August the Christian Science Monitor reported that employment growth was the lowest for any recovery since the government started keeping such statistics in 1939. Discouraged workers stopped seeking employment. The number of people employed fell by more than a million since the "recovery" began in the fall of 2001. A real leader does not misstate facts.
Oil. Geologists, from the Dept. of Energy to international groups, agree that a peaking of conventional oil production could well occur between 2010 and 2020. Production outside OPEC would peak before OPEC production. Hubbert and others point out that "when the energy cost of recovering a barrel of oil becomes greater than the energy content of the oil, production will cease, no matter what the monetary price may be." That's why E. King Hubbert predicted wars over oil, when the supplies peaked, in the fifties. We can argue ad nauseum over just when this would happen, but the point is, oil supplies will be phased out.
A real leader looks into the alternatives, for the sake of the children. http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/gas.html#ogra
Global warming. Bush called for a scientific study on global warming, then omitted the lines containing bad news when releasing information to the press. A real leader plans ahead for the children and for their children.
Tort reform. Bush has said, "everybody pays more for health care" because of "excessive litigation," But the Congressional Budget Office found that "even radical reform "would have a relatively small effect on total health plan premiums." This is because, in part, medical malpractice insurers have raised rates on doctors well beyond the cost of payouts. Litigation has actually decreased over the past decade. A real leader does the math.
Health coverage. Bush promised that retirees would keep their coverage because the bill would provide a subsidy for companies to do so. Three months later a provision was quietly added that allows companies to severely reduce retirees' drug coverage without losing out on the new subsidy. A real leader sees that the citizens has adequate health care-if not equal to his own.
Education. Bush promised to leave no child behind shortly before cutting funds to Head Start, and he mandated educational reforms without providing funding. A real leader understands the importance of the nation's youth and sets their education as a priority over handing out tax cuts to the wealthy.
The war. Bush said it would cost little and reconstruction would be paid for by Iraq's oil. Not only has $166 billion already been spent, but the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments reports that another request, for $50 billion, "won't come until after the Nov. 2 presidential election". Wolfowitz dismissed commentaries asserting high war costs, then despite the public record, told Congress that "No one said we would know anything other than [that] this could be very expensive."
Bush misled us on the reasons for bombing Iraq, as substantiated by the many excuses for several switches in rationales as each was exposed as false. Instead of WMD, we now have "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities." And even the War College has published a report stating that the Iraq war was actually a detour in the fight against terrorism. Kenneth Pollack now admits in the Atlantic Monthly that the "rush to war was reckless."
Our troops. Despite all the talk about support for our troops, Bush cut programs for vets and gave orders to stop outreach, to let vets know about their benefits. He staged a photo-op to thank veterans at Walter Reed and then on the same day announced his proposal to cut off 164,000 veterans from the prescription drug discount program. A real leader values those who serve his decrees.
Afghanistan. Bush said we liberated women there, but the Taliban have regrouped without comment from him, and the Iraq Governing Council just gave control of marriage and divorce laws to religious authorities. A real leader follows through on past actions.
Free speech zones. La piece de resistance. Bush talks about our freedoms. Yet when he travels around the country, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" where people opposed to his policies are quarantined. These zones keep protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event. A real leader isn't afraid of dissent.
Today we have more government secrecy and less citizen privacy than ever before. This isn't Bush-bashing, it's looking at the record.
From: "Joe Bryant" email@example.com
Subject: Terror Picture
Date: 22 Jan 2004
Please stop and try to imagine the terror depicted in this single photo. Then try to imagine the terror of bombs dropping all around, or aromatic rifle fire getting closer by the minute. The ask yourself why support war and terror of any sort in any place, especially when all is driven by greed. Ask, Who breeds terrorism? Why is terrorism tolerated when it is carried out by governments and only objectionable when is an act of desperation by a powerless few? Where are the TV cameras that tell us the truth?
Have we given thought to the fact that we are the terrorists.
Have we given any, that alone enough thought, to the very real option of neutrality? Well I suggest it is time we did.
Humanity is on leave from Rafah. The barbarians have taken over.
SEE MY NOTE AT THE END OF THIS TO UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE
RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages
January 13, 2003
By Declan McCullagh
Could we be constantly tracked through our clothes, shoes or even our cash in the future?
I'm not talking about having a microchip surgically implanted beneath your skin, which is what Applied Digital Systems of Palm Beach, Fla., would like to do. Nor am I talking about John Poindexter's creepy Total Information Awareness spy-veillance system, which I wrote about last week.
Instead, in the future, we could be tracked because we'll be wearing, eating and carrying objects that are carefully designed to do so.
The generic name for this technology is RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification. RFID tags are miniscule microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from the initial radio signal to transmit their response.
You should become familiar with RFID technology because you'll be hearing much more about it soon. Retailers adore the concept, and CNET News.com's own Alorie Gilbert wrote last week about how Wal-Mart and the U.K.-based grocery chain Tesco are starting to install "smart shelves" with networked RFID readers. In what will become the largest test of the technology, consumer goods giant Gillette recently said it would purchase 500 million RFID tags from Alien Technology of Morgan Hill, Calif.
Alien Technology won't reveal how it charges for each tag, but industry estimates hover around 25 cents. The company does predict that in quantities of 1 billion, RFID tags will approach 10 cents each, and in lots of 10 billion, the industry's holy grail of 5 cents a tag.
It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything you buy that's more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags, which typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about 18 thousand trillion possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into clothing. And according to EE Times, the European central bank is considering embedding RFID tags into banknotes by 2005.
That raises the disquieting possibility of being tracked though our personal possessions. Imagine: The Gap links your sweater's RFID tag with the credit card you used to buy it and recognizes you by name when you return. Grocery stores flash ads on wall-sized screens based on your spending patterns, just like in "Minority Report." Police gain a trendy method of constant, cradle-to-grave surveillance.
You can imagine nightmare legal scenarios that don't involve the cops. Future divorce cases could involve one party seeking a subpoena for RFID logs--to prove that a spouse was in a certain location at a certain time. Future burglars could canvass alleys with RFID detectors, looking for RFID tags on discarded packaging that indicates expensive electronic gear is nearby. In all of these scenarios, the ability to remain anonymous is eroded.
Don't get me wrong. RFID tags are, on the whole, a useful development and a compelling technology. They permit retailers to slim inventory levels and reduce theft, which one industry group estimates at $50 billion a year. With RFID tags providing economic efficiencies for businesses, consumers likely will end up with more choices and lower prices. Besides, wouldn't it be handy to grab a few items from store shelves and simply walk out, with the purchase automatically debited from your (hopefully secure) RFID'd credit card?
The privacy threat comes when RFID tags remain active once you leave a store. That's the scenario that should raise alarms--and currently the RFID industry seems to be giving mixed signals about whether the tags will be disabled or left enabled by default.
In an interview with News.com's Gilbert last week, Gillette Vice President Dick Cantwell said that its RFID tags would be disabled at the cash register only if the consumer chooses to "opt out" and asks for the tags to be turned off. "The protocol for the tag is that it has built in opt-out function for the retailer, manufacturer, consumer," Cantwell said.
Wal-Mart, on the other hand, says that's not the case. When asked if Wal-Mart will disable the RFID tags at checkout, company spokesman Bill Wertz told Gilbert: "My understanding is that we will."
Cantwell asserts that there's no reason to fret. "At this stage of the game, the tag is no good outside the store," he said. "At this point in time, the tag is useless beyond the store shelf. There is no value and no harm in the tag outside the distribution channel. There is no way it can be read or that (the) data would be at all meaningful to anyone." That's true as far as it goes, but it doesn't address what might happen if RFID tags and readers become widespread.
If the tags stay active after they leave the store, the biggest privacy worries depend on the range of the RFID readers. There's a big difference between tags that can be read from an inch away compared to dozens or hundreds of feet away.
For its part, Alien Technology says its RFID tags can be read up to 15 feet away. "When we talk about the range of these tags being 3 to 5 meters, that's a range in free space," said Tom Pounds, a company vice president. "That's optimally oriented in front of a reader in free space. In fact if you put a tag up against your body or on a metal Rolex watch in free space, the read range drops to zero."
But what about a more powerful RFID reader, created by criminals or police who don't mind violating FCC regulations? Eric Blossom, a veteran radio engineer, said it would not be difficult to build a beefier transmitter and a more sensitive receiver that would make the range far greater. "I don't see any problem building a sensitive receiver," Blossom said. "It's well-known technology, particularly if it's a specialty item where you're willing to spend five times as much."
Privacy worries also depend on the size of the tags. Matrics of Columbia, Md., said it has claimed the record for the smallest RFID tag, a flat square measuring 550 microns a side with an antenna that varies between half an inch long to four inches by four inches, depending on the application. Without an antenna, the RFID tag is about the size of a flake of pepper.
Matrics CEO Piyush Sodha said the RFID industry is still in a state of experimentation. "All of the customers are participating in a phase of extensive field trials," Sodha said. "Then adoption and use in true business practices will happen...Those pilots are only going to start early this year."
To the credit of the people in the nascent RFID industry, these trials are allowing them to think through the privacy concerns. An MIT-affiliated standards group called the Auto-ID Center said in an e-mailed statement to News.com that they have "designed a kill feature to be built into every (RFID) tag. If consumers are concerned, the tags can be easily destroyed with an inexpensive reader. How this will be executed i.e. in the home or at point of sale is still being defined, and will be tested in the third phase of the field test."
If you care about privacy, now's your chance to let the industry know how you feel. (And, no, I'm not calling for new laws or regulations.) Tell them that RFID tags are perfectly acceptable inside stores to track pallets and crates, but that if retailers wish to use them on consumer goods, they should follow four voluntary guidelines.
First, consumers should be notified--a notice on a checkout receipt would work--when RFID tags are present in what they're buying. Second, RFID tags should be disabled by default at the checkout counter. Third, RFID tags should be placed on the product's packaging instead of on the product when possible. Fourth, RFID tags should be readily visible and easily removable.
Given RFID's potential for tracking your every move, is that too much to ask?
Declan McCullagh is CNET News.com's Washington, D.C., correspondent. He chronicles the busy intersection between technology and politics. Before that, he worked for several years as Washington bureau chief for Wired News. He has also worked as a reporter for The Netly News, Time magazine and HotWired.
VeriSign To Run New RFID Root Directory (Jan 13)
VeriSign has successfully managed the root DNS (define) directory for .com and .net for years, serving over 10 billion lookups per day -- and navigating its way through recent controversy over privacy concerns. Now, the company is looking to leverage its work in the Internet development even further. It was awarded a contract to manage the Object Naming Service (ONS) for EPCglobal. The ONS will be the root directory for the EPCglobal Network, a system that will combine Radio Frequency ID (RFID) (define) technology with electronic product codes (EPC) to create a standard way for partners to trade information about supplies, eventually replacing the bar codes that are used to transmit and receive product information today. CLIP
RFID - An Internet of Things
Retailers like Wal-Mart are beginning to use Radio Frequency Identification tags and other technologies to link into the Elecronic Product Code (EPN) Network raising questions about creating "an Internet of things."
IP Addresses For Coke Cans? (September 5, 2003)
VeriSign is quickly making plans to hook every can of Coke -- and box of screws and shirt -- into the Internet. The digital security company and domain registrar Friday said its EPC Network Services Suite, to be unveiled September 15, could give every product its own IP address, so that manufacturers and retailers could identify each individual can of soda or GAP shirt. EPCs, or electronic product codes, would give a unique number to each item manufactured. (...) RFID tags are tiny transponder that can communicate at short distances with reading devices. They carry a unique number, which can be understood by matching it with a database. So, in the Coke example, an RFID tag on a can could automatically signal the bottler when it went through the loading dock door, when it went onto a truck, off the truck, into a warehouse, onto a forklift, onto a shelf in the store, and out the door in a shopping bag. WalMart (Quote, Chart), the world largest retailer, has mandated the use of the RFID radio tracking technology by all of its suppliers by 2005, and many other large retailers outfits are expected to follow its lead. RFID technology could automate many inventory and tracking process, automatically logging the movement of goods and sending that info directly into electronic business systems. (...) Privacy advocates howled when they got wind of such tests and Tesco stores were beset by demonstrators. Last month, a California Senate subcommittee held an initial hearing on privacy issues relating to RFID technology. This universal registry is just what they fear: It could give let manufacturers track their shopping habits even better than they do now, and even let third parties find out purchase information.
Google search with "RFID threat to privacy"
'Wi-fi' poised to overturn the way world communicates (Jan 14)
America is getting "unplugged" faster than an MTV musician as the revolution in wireless communication picks up speed. What started a century ago with Marconi's radio and became the now- ubiquitous cell phone is now taking shape around a two-way radio technology called wi-fi (short for "wireless fidelity"). It promises to unplug more communications devices by making the Internet available just about everywhere and letting people talk to each other more easily than ever before. The new wireless could transform not only the way we communicate but also how we pay for it. Some analysts think today's cell-phone model - a private network of towers that charges for access - is looking a little dated in the face of "infrastructure-free" networks where devices would talk directly among themselves. Not everyone believes wi-fi will go that direction, and the technology faces big obstacles. But if it does reach critical mass, it could storm the cell-phone industry with the same momentum that carried cheap IBM clones past Apple personal computers two decades ago. Consumers will benefit no matter what. Competition will force down the price of wireless Internet access. "The market will push us toward a wireless future," says David Reed, an adjunct professor at MIT's Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass., who is studying the future of wireless communications. And its arrival looks much more certain than that of the paperless society, which never materialized, he adds. "People love paper, but I can't find a single person who says that about wires." Signs of the new wireless technologies abound. Consumers are setting up wireless local-area networks (WLANs) in their homes. These allow multiple computers to hook up to one fast Internet connection or laptop users to connect from the comfort of the sofa or the back patio. Some 20 percent of homes with such fast Internet connections (known as broadband) now have WLANs. Away from home, wi-fi access points, so-called hotspots that permit wireless connections to the Internet, are popping up everywhere: in bookstores, coffee shops, truck stops, marinas and airports. Even a bench in a shopping mall or a public park may be a place to connect to e-mail or the Web. Limousines are offering wi-fi service for customers on the go, and within the next year, major airlines are expected to announce the availability of wi-fi connections during flights. Cerritos, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb, plans to become one big wi-fi hotspot by placing transmitters all over the town of 51,000 residents. Think of a wi-fi hotspot as a miniature cell-phone tower. A low-power radio transmitter connected to the Internet sends out a signal that reaches at best a few hundred feet. Any computer or personal digital assistant (PDA) equipped with an inexpensive receiver can hook up at broadband speeds. An ever-growing number of new laptop computers have wi-fi capability built in. Estimates vary as to the number of hotspots in the world today, but everyone agrees the number is multiplying rapidly. In a conservative estimate, ABI, a technology think tank in Oyster Bay, N.Y., predicts worldwide hotspots will grow in the next five years from 28,500 to 208,000. (...) Even the question of powering up unplugged devices is solvable. Reed sees a time when they could operate "parasitically by living off the radio waves of things that happen to be plugged into the wall." Others envision wi-fi transmitters embedded in every power strip in an office, making a whole company one big hotspot. "Who knows?" analyst Yunker says. Wi-fi is a disruptively inexpensive way to communicate "and it's hard for anything else to compete with that," he said.
NOTE FROM JEAN: In a few years from now with RFID tags embedded in most products we will buy, including Wi-Fi capable computers, cell phone etc., and with Internet-connected hot spots multiplying everywhere, Big Brother will have it real easy to stealthily track most people without the need to resort to implanted chips... Just a thought.
Date: 21 Jan 2004
From: Grist Magazine firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Excerpts from WEEKLY GRIST, 21 Jan 2004
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A SOLUTION
Supporters Claim $300 Billion Energy Plan Would Create 3.3 Million Jobs
A coalition called the Apollo Alliance released a report last week proposing and outlining a 10-year, $300 billion investment in alternative energy sources, which it claimed would create 3.3 million jobs and more than pay for itself through energy savings and economic stimulation. The 10-point plan -- which contains prescriptions for everything from more efficient factories to modernized electrical plants to hybrid cars -- contrasts sharply with the Bush administration's proposed energy plan, which would heavily subsidize the oil, gas, and nuclear industries. The report prompted criticism from economists and analysts at conservative organizations and statements of support from Democrats, including the candidates for president. In a statement, Howard Dean used the report to criticize Bush, saying, "This administration's fealty to its corporate benefactors in the oil industry has caused our nation to fall behind in what will be one of the most important new industries of the 21st century."
MSNBC.com, 14 Jan 2004
KEEN ON DEAN
Babbitt Joins With Other Enviros to Endorse Dean
Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt has thrown his weight behind Howard Dean, making Babbitt the first top environmental official from the Clinton administration to publicly back a candidate in this year's presidential campaign. Babbitt joined three prominent environmental activists and writers -- Paul Hawken, Terry Tempest Williams, and Bill McKibben -- in penning an impassioned endorsement of the former Vermont governor. Find out why Dean's their man -- only on the Grist Magazine website.
Babbitt, Hawken, and other enviros throw their weight behind Dean
MISSTATE OF THE UNION
Bush State of the Union Speech Silent on Environment
In a State of the Union speech that found time to discuss the evils of steroid use among athletes -- an issue entirely outside the purview of the federal government -- President Bush did not mention the environment, or the environmental challenges facing the country, a single time. Foreign policy loomed large, dominating the first half of the speech. The latter half, which focused on domestic policy, was bereft of new proposals and any mention of clean air, clean water, threatened species, or public lands. (In contrast, in his 2003 SOTU address, Bush lauded his "Healthy Forests" and "Clear Skies" initiatives, as well as his support for hydrogen-fueled cars.) The Democratic response to the speech, delivered by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), addressed Bush's conspicuous omission by ... also failing to mention the environment.
Slate, Timothy Noah, 21 Jan 2004
THE BIG APPLE OF OUR EYE
World Trade Center Reconstruction Will Set New Eco-Friendly Standard
Reconstruction of New York City's World Trade Center area -- site of the 2001 terrorist attacks -- is set to make a green splash as one of the largest eco-friendly building projects ever undertaken. Under environmental guidelines expected to be released today for public comment, new structures on the massive site (which will contain as much commercial space as the city of Indianapolis) would have, among other features, roofs that catch rainwater for use in toilets and in efficient cooling systems. The guidelines would also encourage builders to use renewable and recycled materials, recycle construction wastes, and use cleaner fuels in construction equipment and trucks. "We're talking about building an environmentally sensitive city. That's never been done before," said Daniel Tishman, chair of a construction company doing work at the site. Enviros in the city plan to push for even higher standards than those laid out in the guidelines.
The New York Times, Anthony DePalma, 20 Jan 2004
The rebuilt World Trade Center complex could be a model of sustainable building -- in Powers That Be
Date: 22 Jan 2004
From: IPSGeneva - Rudolf Schneider email@example.com
Subject: The Truth on Aspartame (Nutrasweet)
Aspartame - History of fraud and deception
Today we have "Nutra-Sweet", which is widely used in a plethora of consumables, despite a demonstrated neurological reaction in some people. In February 1996, it was decided to also use the product name "Benevia". It is estimated that as many as 20,000,000 people cannot metabolize phenylalimine, and this inability is genetically inherited by children. The inability to metabolize phenylalinine can lead to mental retardation in children. This means a risk of retardation for millions of children. A multi-billion dollar enterprise, this substance is said to be "refined" from "natural"substances. Like other "refined" substances, it represents a health threat to the general public. No long term studies have been performed to evaluate the physiological effects of this substance, yet the public is lead to believe it is absolutely safe. Technically, the chemical is called aspartame, and it was once on a Pentagon list of biowarfare chemicals submitted to Congress.  Aspartame is in over 4,000 products worldwide and is consumed by over 200 million people in the United States alone. What follows is a skeletal examination of the chronology related to aspartame. A more detailed chronology is given later in this chapter based on information provided to us by the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network.
Aspartame is produced by G.D. Searle Company, founded in 1888 and located in Skokie, Illinois. Searle is now owned by others. It is about 200 times sweeter than the refined sugar that it is meant to replace, and it is known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory. It is essentially a chemical weapon designed to impact populations en masse. It is an rDNA derivative made from two amino acids, L-phenylalanine, L-aspartic acid and methanol. Originally discovered during a search for an ulcer drug in 1966, it was "approved" by the FDA in 1974 as a "food additive".
Approval was followed by a retraction based on demonstrated public concern over the fact that the substance produced brain tumors in rats. According to the 1974 FDA task force set up to examine aspartame and G.D.Searle, "we have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searles operations and practices, which undermine the basis for reliance on Searles integrity in conducting high quality animal research to accurately determine the toxic potential of its products." The task force report concluded with the recommendation that G.D. Searle should face a Grand Jury "to identify more particularly the nature of the violations, and to identify all those responsible." 
In 1976, an FDA "task force" brought into question all of G.D. Searles aspartame testing procedures conducted between 1967 and 1975. The final FDA report noted faulty and fraudulent product testing, knowingly misrepresented product testing, knowingly misrepresented findings, and instances of irrelevant animal research. In other word, illegal criminal activity. Understandably scared, Searle officials sought to suppress the FDA findings and obstruct justice. They turned to Nixon and Ford administration operative Donald Rumsfeld and elected him "chairman of the Searle organization." In 1977, the Wall Street Journal detailed the fact that Rumsfeld made efforts to "mend fences" by asking "what Searle could do" in the face of the changes. Also in 1977, Dr. Adrian Gross, a pathologist working for the FDA, uncovered evidence that G.D.Searle might have committed criminal fraud in withholding adverse data on aspartame. 
CLIP - Read the whole article at http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/fraud.htm
FDA Ignores Complaints of Neurological Symptoms
In 1989, the FDA received over 4,000 complaints from people who described adverse reactions. Because the FDA conveniently lists aspartame as a "food additive", it removes the legal requirement for adverse effect reporting to any Federal agency and the necessity for safety monitoring processes. Research also indicates that aspartame, when combined with glutamine products (such as MSG, widely used in foods) increase the likelihood of brain damage occurring in children.
Aspartame Affecting Airline Pilots
Some of the more interesting developments in 1989 surfaced in the Palm Beach Post on October 14th, where an article by Dr. H.J. Robert described several recent aircraft accidents involving confusion and aberrant pilot behavior caused by ingestion of products containing aspartame. Soft drink makers were notified of this problem in 1991. It is interesting to note that after Samuel Skinner left Sidney & Austin, Searles law firm, he was appointed Secretary of Transportation. Hence, he was in charge of the FAA, just in time to head off complaints from pilots affected by aspartame. His wife was employed by Sidney & Austin. Later as George Bushs Chief of Staff in 1991, during the Gulf War, he was in a position to head off all inquiries relative to aspartame, no matter where they were directed - to the FDA, FAA or Department of Defense. This constitutes criminal negligence and racketeering. George Bush, of course, was an ex-director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
British News: "Nutrasweet Tests Faked"
On July 20, 1990, an article in the national British newspaper The Guardian, entitled "NutraSweet test results faked", revealed that the British government had finally been persuaded to review the safety of aspartame after "receiving a dossier of evidence highlighting its potential dangers." According to The Guardian, the dossier alleged that laboratory tests were falsified, tumors were removed from laboratory animals and animals were restored to life in laboratory records. The dossier against NutraSweet was compiled by Erik Millstone, a lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University and author of two books on food additives. It was based on thousands of pages of evidence, much of which was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The COT, Committee on Toxicity, was at the time looking into consumption of artificial sweeteners and did not possess the key documents covering alleged mishandling of the safety tests which Millstone was asked to provide.
CLIP Read the whole article at http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/fraud.htm
Dosing of the Military in the Gulf War
During the 1991 Gulf War, all military personnel were provided free supplies of aspartame-laced soft drinks together with experimental vaccines, nerve gas antidotes and personal insecticides. They were also treated to direct biochemical warfare compounds. The result is Gulf War Syndrome, which is communicable and deadly, and 50,000 military personnel and their dependents are wasting away before our eyes. Criminal negligence? Of course. Criminal conspiracy? Yes. Genocide? Probably - were waiting to see.
Aspartame Alters Brain Chemicals That Affect Behavior
Independent tests on animals have shown that aspartame alters brain chemicals that also affect behavior. The chemical nature of aspartame was also shown to defeat its own alleged "purpose" as a "diet aid", since high doses instill a craving for calorie-laden carbohydrates. Then, the aspartame-carbohydrate combination further increases the effect of aspartame on the brain.
Fraudulent Claims of Aspartame as a "Diet Aid"
Interestingly, even the American Cancer Society confirmed that users of artificial sweeteners gained more weight than those who didnt use the products, further undermining the supposed "purpose" for the existence of aspartame in the food. Havent we heard this kind of criminal fraud before?
The major selling point of aspartame is as a diet aid, and it has been demonstrated that the use of this product actually causes people to consume more food. Normally, when a significant quantity of carbohydrate are comsumed, serotonin levels rise in the brain. This is manifested as a relaxed feeling after a meal. When aspartame is ingested with carbohydrates, such as having a sandwich with a diet drink, aspartame causes the brain to cease production of serotonin, meaning that the feeling of having had enough never materializes. You then eat more foods, many containing aspartame, and the cycle continues. Monsantos profit from its NutraSweet Division was $993 million in 1990.
Governments Continue Suppression and Coverup on Aspartame
In 1991, the National Institutes of Health. listed 167 symptoms and reasons to avoid the use of aspartame , but today it is a multi-million dollar business that contributes to the degeneration of the human population, as well as the deliberate suppression of overall intelligence, short-term memory and the added contribution as a carcinogenic environmental co-factor. The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control continue to receive a stream of complaints from the population about aspartame. It is the only chemical warfare weapon available in mass quantities (should keep the cone-heads happy) on the grocery shelf and promoted in the media. It has also been indicated that women with an intolerance for phenylalinine, one of the components of aspartame, may give birth to infants with as much as a 15% drop in intelligence level if they habitually consume products containing this dangerous substance.
FAA Collusion in Suppression of Facts on Aspartame
The March 1995 issue of The Pacific Flyer published a pro-aspartame article in which it stated, "the Federal Aviation Administration conducted its own cognitive research and, according to experts, found no contraindications that would prevent pilots, or anyone, from ingesting aspartame." This flies in the face of consistent reports from pilots who maintain they have suffered severe and dangerous repercussions in the air after drinking soft drinks containing aspartame. Virtually every time, symptoms disappeared when aspartame-laced drinks were discontinued. Over 600 pilots have reported this problem.
FDA "Findings" on Aspartame Remain Based on Faked Tests
So, the faked Searle tests remain. The FDA bases its findings on the faked Searle tests, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, examining the FDA findings, based on the faked Searle tests, announced "the consumption of aspartame poses no health risk for most people." Searle officials argue that the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener "has been officially approved not only by the FDA, but by foreign regulatory agencies and the World Health Organization" - based on Searle-sponsored aspartame research, not independently conducted tests.
Symptoms of Aspartame Intoxication: Minimal to Severe
The symptoms of aspartame intoxication include severe headaches, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, loss of control of limbs, blurred vision, blindness, memory loss, slurred speech, mild to severe depression often reaching suicidal levels, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, skin lesions, rashes, anxiety attacks, muscle and joint pain, numbness, mood changes, loss of energy, menstrual cramps out of cycle, hearing loss or ringing in the ears, loss or change of taste, and symptoms similar to those in a heart attack. In addition, aspartic acid chelates (combines) with chromium - which is a necessary element for proper operation of the thyroid gland. People who consume large quantities of aspartame may end up with a false diagnosis of Graves disease and suffer allopathic irradiation of their thyroid gland for no reason. Complaints about aspartame represent 80-85% of all food complaints registered with the FDA. More than 6,000 complaints have been made concerning the effects of aspartame. Thirty independent doctors and scientists have conducted research on the adverse effects of aspartame or have compiled supporting data against its use.The use of NutraSweet® or Equal® should be seriously curtailed or stopped.
Aspartame Use Part of Planetary Biomedical Genocide
The fact that tons of aspartame is pumped into the world population each year, knowingly and deliberately, especially with the historical and documented record of fraud and misrepresentation, constitutes a conspiracy of the highest order, as well as criminal negligence. The rewards of continued use are increased profits for the medical and pharmaceutical industries and chemical companies who produce aspartame and treat people suffering from the effect of it. Aspartame is the only biochemical warfare product on grocery shelves. And, the band plays on ....
Foregone conclusions (January 13)
The public is being regularly deceived by the drug trials funded by pharmaceutical companies, loaded to generate the results they need - Drug companies spend hundreds of millions of pounds to bring a new drug to market, and tens of millions of pounds to do the clinical trials that are necessary for both registration and marketing. Understandably, they would prefer not to get results from these trials that are unfavourable to their drug. And, despite the ubiquitous uncertainties of science and medicine, they rarely do. How do they manage it?
Do turkeys enjoy thanksgiving?
By Arundhati Roy
Jan 18, 2004
WSF 2004 : Text of Arundhati Roy's Speech - Opening Plenary
It's not good enough to be right. Sometimes, if only in order to test our resolve, it's important to win something. In order to win something, we need to agree on something." After a tour d'horizon, the author of The God of Small Things calls for a " minimum agenda" as well as a plan of action that prioritises global resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Here is the text of her speech at the opening Plenary of the World Social Forum in Mumbai on January 16, 2004:
(...) No individual nation can stand up to the project of Corporate Globalisation on its own. Time and again we have seen that when it comes to the neo-liberal project, the heroes of our times are suddenly diminished. Extraordinary, charismatic men, giants in Opposition, when they seize power and become Heads of State, they become powerless on the global stage. I'm thinking here of President Lula of Brazil. Lula was the hero of the World Social Forum last year. This year he's busy implementing IMF guidelines, reducing pension benefits and purging radicals from the Workers' Party. I'm thinking also of ex-President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Within two years of taking office in 1994, his government genuflected with hardly a caveat to the Market God. It instituted a massive programme of privatisation and structural adjustment, which has left millions of people homeless, jobless and without water and electricity.
Why does this happen? There's little point in beating our breasts and feeling betrayed. Lula and Mandela are, by any reckoning, magnificent men. But the moment they cross the floor from the Opposition into Government they become hostage to a spectrum of threats - most malevolent among them the threat of capital flight, which can destroy any government overnight. To imagine that a leader's personal charisma and a c.v. of struggle will dent the Corporate Cartel is to have no understanding of how Capitalism works, or for that matter, how power works. Radical change will not be negotiated by governments; it can only be enforced by people.
This week at the World Social Forum, some of the best minds in the world will exchange ideas about what is happening around us. These conversations refine our vision of the kind of world we're fighting for. It is a vital process that must not be undermined. However, if all our energies are diverted into this process at the cost of real political action, then the WSF, which has played such a crucial role in the Movement for Global Justice, runs the risk of becoming an asset to our enemies. What we need to discuss urgently is strategies of resistance. We need to aim at real targets, wage real battles and inflict real damage. Gandhi's Salt March was not just political theatre. When, in a simple act of defiance, thousands of Indians marched to the sea and made their own salt, they broke the salt tax laws. It was a direct strike at the economic underpinning of the British Empire. It was real. While our movement has won some important victories, we must not allow non-violent resistance to atrophy into ineffectual, feel-good, political theatre. It is a very precious weapon that needs to be constantly honed and re-imagined. It cannot be allowed to become a mere spectacle, a photo opportunity for the media.
It was wonderful that on February 15th last year, in a spectacular display of public morality, 10 million people in five continents marched against the war on Iraq. It was wonderful, but it was not enough. February 15th was a weekend. Nobody had to so much as miss a day of work. Holiday protests don't stop wars. George Bush knows that. The confidence with which he disregarded overwhelming public opinion should be a lesson to us all. Bush believes that Iraq can be occupied and colonised - as Afghanistan has been, as Tibet has been, as Chechnya is being, as East Timor once was and Palestine still is. He thinks that all he has to do is hunker down and wait until a crisis-driven media, having picked this crisis to the bone, drops it and moves on. Soon the carcass will slip off the best-seller charts, and all of us outraged folks will lose interest. Or so he hopes.
This movement of ours needs a major, global victory. It's not good enough to be right. Sometimes, if only in order to test our resolve, it's important to win something. In order to win something, we - all of us gathered here and a little way away at Mumbai Resistance - need to agree on something. That something does not need to be an over- arching pre-ordained ideology into which we force-fit our delightfully factious, argumentative selves. It does not need to be an unquestioning allegiance to one or another form of resistance to the exclusion of everything else. It could be a minimum agenda.
SOME USEFUL ADVICES FROM A GOOD FRIEND. MY OWN ADVICE IS THAT NEXT TIME YOU NEED TO BUY A COMPUTER, TRY A MAC AND THUS AVOID MOST OF THE DIFFICULTIES LISTED BELOW. MACs ARE NOT PERFECT, OF COURSE, BUT SO MUCH BETTER AND SINCE ONLY 3% OF COMPUTER OWNERS HAVE A MAC, THE VIRUS MAKERS AND ALL PESKY INFILTRATORS DON'T WASTE THEIR TIME FOR SUCH A SMALL SEGMENT OF THE "MARKET". GOING WITH LINUX AS AN OPERATING SYSTEM IS ANOTHER OPTION ONE MAY CONSIDER I SUPPOSE, BUT HAVING NO PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF THAT KIND OF SHIFT I DON'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF OUTCOME YOU'D GET.
Date: 20 Jan 2004
From: Palden Jenkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Computer security
I sent this out to my friends today, and thought I'd send it to you for your lists, if it's useful and you haven't sent one like this round recently. You may add or adapt things if you wish if you know something I don't. I'm not copyright-fussy on this e-mail, and not a great expert, only a hard user who just went through the mangle!
All the best to you, from a grey and actually-should-be-colder-but'y'know-climate-changed England!
Sorry about this longish, unsolicited e-mail. Read it only if you use MS Windows and are concerned about your computer's security, and if you feel you perhaps haven't done enough towards it.
I have recently had major computer problems (wipe-out!). In my case this arose from 'damaged DLLs' in Windows - it took three full days of reinstalling Windows ME and all programs to fix it. So here are some tips on what I have learned. It is worth doing these security measures if your computer is getting slow or crashes, if you don't like online intrusions or, if like me, you're involved in 'interesting' activities.
- When you install any program, make sure you keep its serial number - keep the e-mail in a dedicated box, and also establish a (paper) book with your serial numbers, passwords and other critical data. This saves you having to contact the suppliers or re-buy software if/when things go wrong (which they do).
- Backup. Always back up your stuff. If you arrange your computer so that all your work is easily found, back up onto a zipdisk or writeable CD. If you don't, you will one day pay a big price.
- If you don't have virus-protection (pref Norton or McAfee), you're dancing with computer-death! Keep it updated well, and do a complete virus-check at least once a month, and whenever you feel susceptible. Some servers (such as BTOpenworld) are now doing virus-protection, but have your own too. Set your virus protection program to do automatic updates, since new viruses can be nifty and aggressive.
- E-mail. I use Eudora (www.eudora.com) instead of Outlook Express, because many viruses are geared to attack Microsoft products (though this is now declining in favour of fraud - which is why the Windows Update note below is important, to eliminate security weaknesses in your programs). Using a non-Microsoft e-mail program means you bypass many of the viruses, worms and other attacks geared at MS products. If you wish to continue using MS Outlook or Outlook Express, see the Windows Update note below.
- I have found Norton SystemWorks very useful. It maintains all the internal links, registry structure and health of your computer - preventing crashes, tangles or weaknesses. It sits well alongside Norton Anti-Virus. If you search on the Web, you might be able to get a cheap package deal of both programs (sometimes software dealers offload last year's version at a cheap price and, once installed, you can get the latest updates to upgrade it).
- It is important to do a full Windows update. Go to START/Windows Update and go through the process of downloading security updates and other upgrades to Windows products - there's also a download section for MS Office products. If you're on a pay-for phone line, do this during cheap-rate time, since you possibly have megabytes of downloads to do. It's really worth it.
- If you don't want to do that, then get BigFix, a free download from www.bigfix.com, which will internally analyse your computer, flash up things you need to download or do, and install them for you. It keeps you busy in the first few weeks, then settles down (once this is done, you can uninstall BigFix if you find it slowing your computer).
- Firewalls. Very important. A firewall stops hackers and their programs from getting in without your permission. Norton and McAfee do firewalls at a price, or you can get a good free one at http://www.sygate.com . With a firewall, you must 'train' it at first - when you go online, it flashes up options to accept or reject connection with your ISP and other places you visit, but this settles down after a while.
- Windows settings. In 'Internet Options', go through the security, privacy and content options. I recommend setting to reject or ask about third-party cookies, but to accept other cookies. Do a manual cookie clean-up periodically - manual because some are useful and important for you.
- Spyware, data-miners etc. These are insidious - you'll be shocked how much of this is in your computer. They co9me with e-mails and when you're cruising the Web. Many of them are just commercial 'data-miners' that watch where you go on the Web, and send info elsewhere about it, with the main disadvantage of slowing your computer and trying to go online when you don't want it. Some are spyware, lodged with you by hackers, intel services and others. Get rid of it! Try getting Ad-Aware (www.lavasoft.de) which eliminates them - don't just do the 'smart' search, but go into the 'customise' setting and set it for the full whack. Very valuable.
- Popup blockers. These stop unwanted popups when you're cruising the web - they're annoying, and some download programs and spyware into your computer. You can download a free blocker from http://www.safeguardprotect.com - ah, relief!
- Spam-blockers. Spam-blocking programs can filter for spam, but they can also slow you down. I've chosen not to use one - especially since useful forwarded messages (such as my own) with a longish list of recipients can be blocked too. On my own and some other ISPs they do spam-blocking, which catches 80-90% of it. If you get regular spams from a recognisable source, you can establish a filter or 'message rule' in your e-mail program that automatically consigns the e-mail to the bin. Don't reply to spams, even to 'unsubscribe' - this can be taken by spammers to constitute permission to send other crap. This problem will eventually get solved on an industry-wide level. To handle the legal spammers and callers, you can enlist on the Direct Marketers' Assn lists for phone, fax and e-mail - in UK go to www.tpsonline.org.uk and register on all their 3-4 different lists. If you have a website and do search-engine registration, it can be worth opening a special free e-mail address to receive junkmail.
- General detritus. Over time, your computer can get clogged with general clutter after a few years. Simple fixes are done by using Windows Disk Cleanup in Programs/Accessories/System Tools, or a Norton cleanup in SystemWorks. However, a deeper trawl and cleanup can be done with Cleaning Agent, found at http://www.tucows.com/highlight_B-preview.html
There might be more, and others might have other opinions but, if security matters to you, the above measures will sort you out quite well. Good luck!
Forwarded by Michael Joseph email@example.com
The truth, please [a test]
Youre in Florida. In Miami, to be exact. There is great chaos all around you, caused by a major hurricane and fierce floods. There are towering walls of water looming over you. You are a CNN photographer, and are caught up in this disaster.
The situation is nearly hopeless - youre trying to get some really impressive shots of
collapsed houses and people disappearing in the torrent as it hurtles past. Nature is revealing herself in all her destructive power, ripping up everything in her path.
Suddenly you notice a man in the water. He is fighting for his life, struggling not to be swept away by the masses of water and mud. You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar. Now you now know who it is - its the President himself, George W Bush! At the same time you realise that the raging torrent is about to take him away forever.
You have two options: You can dive in an attempt to save him - or you can take the most dramatic shot of your life, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo showing the death of the worlds most powerful man.
So heres the question [and please give an honest answer]:
Would you select color film, or go with the simplicity of classic black and white?
SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EARTH RAINBOW NETWORK E-LIST
If you would like to subscribe to the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver and regularly receive similar compilations covering a broad range of subjects, including each new Meditation Focus issued every two week, simply send a blank email at firstname.lastname@example.org from the email account to which you want to receive the material compiled and networked by the Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator. Subscription is FREE!
BACK TO THE FIRST HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE