The Big Scoop Series #3: The Megasborgpilation

Hello everyone!

One more long weekly report of what I found important to be aware of.

Enjoy whatever you can and share whatever you want

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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STATS for this compilation: Over 20,200 words and 85 links provided.

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"In my humble opinion the world is not over carrying capacity per se. Greed, over-consumption by the filthy affluent rich, waste, stupid technological choices like our life-threatening reliance on oil and coal, meat eating, the fixation with military power for grandiose empire building purpose or out of irrational fears, ideological extremism be it religious, economic or racial, and lots of other such imbalances and poor choices humans make everyday is what is unsustainable. To me there is no way "out" to look for. The only sensible, rationally intuitive choice for a positive, light and love-filled future is to seek a way "in" and finally discover our divinity and thus our Oneness with All That Is, which we will then naturally and spontaneously protect, cherish and honor as most sacred, down to the smallest bit of living matter. It may not look like it but I trust we are gradually getting there and that at some magical point, hundredth-monkey style, this new awareness will jump to the entire human species and we will be over the transition period as we will all suddenly realize and figure out who we are and what we each need to do to repair the damage done and boldly go where no other human species has ever gone before."

- Jean... that's what I replied in an email to a friend last week.

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice's/he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Robert F Kennedy - From his speech on June 6, 1966 at the University of Cape Town South Africa

Worthy of your Attention

An extraordinary gallery of Mt. Shasta photos
Make sure to explore all her galleries. And click on the thumbnails to get the large pics.
Recommended by Mark Graffis

A new celestial glyph design landed

Live from Take Back America!
Thousands of progressive activists gathered in Washington DC to share their visions for our country, make connections, and plan the concrete strategies that will let us take America back from a radical right wing that’s failing – with increasing regularity -- to address the American people’s deepest priorities. Recommended by Rosemarie> as well as...

Birthday Calculator
Find out how many months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds you've lived so far... and more!

New Peacebuilding Website (IPCR)
The goals of the IPCR Initiative are to increase awareness of the countless number of things people can do in the everyday circumstances of their lives which will contribute to peace-building and community revitalization efforts, in their own communities and regions -- and in other parts of the world; to facilitate the practical application of The Seven IPCR Concepts, as a way of contributing to the goals listed in the IPCR Mission Statement; and to bring to the fore what is often hidden: how many good people there are, how many ways there are to do good, and how much happiness comes to those who extend help as well as to those who receive it." Recommended by Stefan Pasti> who created this most excellent initiative. Check also the amazing Statistics he has gathered at as well as the rest of his site.

Hilarious Give Bush a Brain game
Once you succeed and get to hear his various silly quotes you'll be hooked for ever more!
Recommended by Star Light

14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism--A Flash Presentation - No laughing matter...
Recommended by Katie

Lots of videos from the Tsunami


1. Unity Consciousness Essay
2. Blair hoping for crumbs of comfort from Bush
3. Science Academies Urge Greenhouse Gas Cuts
4. Protests Planned For Scottish G8 Summit
5. Understanding the enemy's mind
6. The new scramble for Africa
7. Economic leader predicts global collapse - or did he?
8. Enforcing US Human Rights Laws
9. Zimbabwe Takes Harsh Steps to Counter Unrest
10. Oil Crisis Film Takes Market Fears To Living Rooms
11. Sore Throat
12. Weapons spending tops $1 trillion
13. Haiti’s police ratchet up violence, dismiss human rights concerns
14. Emergency Preparedness against the "Universal Adversary"

See also:

Lights, Climate, Action (Grist summary - EXCELLENT NEWS!)
Schwarzenegger declares war on global warming - "I say the debate is over. We know the science, we see the threat, and the time for action is now." With those words, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) last week defied Bush administration orthodoxy, announcing ambitious plans to reduce his state's emissions of greenhouse gases. The Governator issued an executive order that would set targets -- cut emissions to 2000 levels by 2010, 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 -- that are less stringent than the Kyoto Protocol's in the short-term, but one of the world's most aggressive in the long-term. Some analysts say that if the targets are met (a big if, obviously), California would cut more emissions than Japan, France, or the U.K. Schwarzenegger was vague about how the targets would be met, but his eco-adviser Terry Tamminen said that accelerating current programs and adopting proposals the governor has already made would achieve the short-term goals, and that a cap-and-trade system was not out of the question for the longer term. More details at
(...) Many scientists said Schwarzenegger's goals are important because they could help spur more technological innovations and set the stage for major emission reductions in the future. (...) As the 10th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, California's every action is important, said Jason Mark, California director of the Union for Concerned Scientists. "My sense is the governor's voice adds immeasurably," Mark said. Whether the goals will cost consumers remains to be seen. Automakers have argued that car prices will rise in California with the emissions law and that Schwarzenegger's solar legislation could lead to a slight increase in power rates. But many economists and administration officials argue that decreasing reliance on fossil fuels actually saves money. The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, estimates motorists could save $10 billion between 2009 and 2016 by driving more fuel efficient cars, for example. Schwarzenegger has consistently portrayed himself as an environmental vanguard in his party, and the speech Wednesday seemed to further distance him from Bush and many California Republicans. CLIP

Fifty mayors from around world sign environmental accord (Grist summary)
Marking the culmination of World Environment Day festivities in San Francisco, 50 mayors from cities the world over signed a set of environmental accords some are calling a "municipal Kyoto." Among the 21 commitments therein are increasing clean-energy use, reducing waste sent to landfills, adding affordable public transportation, planting trees, and of course, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Action by urban centers is vital, says David Cadman, deputy mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia: "Cities now cover 2 percent of the world's surface, but they accommodate 50 percent of the world's population and consume 75 percent of its resources." In a separate effort organized by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, 158 U.S. mayors have agreed to help fight global warming in their cities -- all part of a general trend toward the local in addressing climate change. Says Pietro Nivola of the Brookings Institution, "Very often that is the way policy works: When enough major states take action, then eventually the central government follows." More details at

Official Played Down Emissions' Links to Global Warming (June 7, 2005)
A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved.Mr. Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues. Before coming to the White House in 2001, he was the "climate team leader" and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training. (...) Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, who met with President Bush at the White House today, has been trying for several months to persuade Mr. Bush to intensify American efforts to limit greenhouse gases.Mr. Bush has called only for voluntary measures to slow growth in emissions through 2012.Today, saying their goal was to influence that meeting, the scientific academies of 11 countries, including those of the United States and Britain, released a joint letter saying "the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action."

Now Geldof calls up fleet for G8 armada (7 June 2005) GO GELDOF GO!!
Bob Geldof yesterday sparked new fears of G8 chaos as he invited thousands of French protesters to descend on Edinburgh, promising a Dunkirk-style flotilla of small ships to carry them across the Channel. Already reeling from Geldof's call for a "million-man" march through the city's streets, Lothian and Borders Police warned protesters to stay away if they had no accommodation. And the coastguard service, which was not told in advance of Geldof's plans, also expressed concern that his armada would be crossing some of the world's busiest seaways. One Scottish politician also said he was worried that Geldof's plan was being "made up as it goes along". Speaking in Southampton, Geldof urged British boat owners to form a mass flotilla and cross the Channel to pick up French supporters of the anti-poverty campaign on 3 July - the day after the first Live 8 concerts. (...) The Irish singer's appeal received a powerful endorsement from record-breaking British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, who is also planning to join the crossing. Dame Ellen said she supported the "Sail 8" event "because all of us are responsible for the world and the environment we live in". Speaking to Geldof from her yacht off the coast of France, she said: "Anyone who has qualifications and a safe boat to go across the Channel, July is a good time to do it. There are many ways to cross the Channel - the Channel Tunnel, the ferries; it just doesn't have to be boat owners." (...) Geldof claimed that shipping companies, the coastguard, lifeboat rescue and marine safety organisations would all be alerted ahead of the proposed Channel crossing. "We live in a world of timidity and this isn't the time for timidity. If you don't think it will make any difference you are wrong. We urge you to take due caution but not to take unnecessary caution," he said. Geldof's call for a million protesters in Edinburgh sparked concern last week among police commanders. CLIP

Breaking News : Kerry To Push For Bush Impeachment (2005/6/3) YEAH, YEAH...
John Kerry announced Thursday that he intends to present Congress with The Downing Street Memo, reported by the London Times 1 May 2005. As reported by NewsMax, the memo purports to include minutes from a July 2002 meeting with Tony Blair, in which Blair ostensibly said that President Bush's Administration "fixed" intelligence on Iraq in order to justify the Iraqi war. In an interview with the Standard Times, Kerry said: "It's amazing to me the way it escaped major media discussion. It's not being missed on the Internet, I can tell you that." The Boston Globe published an article by Ralph Nader, Tuesday, in which Nader also called for President Bush's impeachment. The story is being carried on Michael Moore's website and the Democratic Underground. Failed presidential candidate Kerry advised that he will begin the presentation of his case for President Bush's impeachment to Congress, on Monday.

Help Hold the Bush Administration Accountable for Their Crimes - BRING THEM DOWN!
Yes. I Vote Bush Guilty of War Crimes

Urge Congress to Investigate Bush's Iraq War Lies
I urge Congress to adopt this Resolution of Inquiry: Whereas considerable evidence has emerged that George W. Bush, President of the United States, has engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people as to the basis for taking the nation into war against Iraq, that George W. Bush, President of the United States, has manipulated intelligence so as to allege falsely a national security threat posed to the United States by Iraq, and that George W. Bush, President of the United States, has committed a felony by submitting a false report to the United States Congress on the reasons for launching a first-strike invasion of Iraq: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary is directed to investigate and report to the House of Representatives whether sufficient grounds exist to impeach George W. Bush, President of the United States. Upon completion of such investigation, that Committee shall report thereto, including, if the Committee so determines, articles of impeachment. Recommended by Katie>

President Bush gratefully received Tony Blair's support for the invasion of Iraq, but that relationship may now be turning sour. As antiwar feeling runs high in Britain, recently leaked secret official documents show both the U.S. and U.K. governments conspired to cook up a case for a pre-planned Iraq war. Days before the British general election, the Sunday Times published a "Secret and Strictly Personal--UK Eyes Only" document written in July 2002 by one of Blair's aides revealing U.S. and U.K. war plans. CLIP

Eight months after the first death from anthrax inhalation was reported in Florida, someone is finally standing up to liars in public places. On June 7, 2002, Judicial Watch, "the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse," issued a press release headed "Judicial Watch Wants to Know Why White House Went on Cipro Beginning September 11th: What Was Known and When?" "Judicial Watch represents hundreds of postal workers from the Brentwood Postal Facility in Washington, DC. Until the Brentwood facility was finally condemned by the CDC, Brentwood postal workers handled all of the mail for Washington, DC, including the official mail that contained the anthrax-laden envelopes addressed to Senators Daschle and Leahy. While Capitol Hill workers received prompt medical care, Brentwood postal workers were ordered by USPS officials to continue working in the contaminated facility. Two Brentwood workers died from inhalation anthrax, and dozens more are suffering from a variety of ailments related to the anthrax attacks. A variety of legal actions are being planned for the disparate treatment and reckless endangerment the Brentwood postal workers faced." "The American people deserve a full accounting from the Bush administration, the FBI and other agencies concerning the anthrax attacks. The FBIs investigation seems to have dead-ended, and frankly, that is not very reassuring given their performance with the September 11th hijackers, stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. One doesnt simply start taking a powerful antibiotic for no good reason. The American people are entitled to know what the White House staffers knew nine months ago, he added." Judicial Watch asks, "What Was Known and When?" Good question. So why did the White House go on Cipro on the very day of the World Trade Center attacks? Larry Klayman said, "We believe that the White House knew or had reason to know that an anthrax attack was imminent or underway." The American people heard about the first terrorist anthrax attack on October 4, 2001, not quite a month after the World Trade Center attack. On October 4, 2001, Bob Stevens, a photo editor for American Medias tabloid Sun, lay critically ill in a Florida hospital. The doctors diagnosed inhalation anthrax, a rare disease that workers sometimes contract after exposure to infected livestock or animal hides. Even when contracted in factories that process animal hides, inhalation anthrax is a very rare disease. This was the first case reported since 1976. A Bush spin team went into action immediately. (...) Despite a sniping barrage by spinners, many of Dr. Rosenbergs observations have withstood closer scrutiny. She maintains that the FBI knows that the anthrax attack was an inside job, and given the small number of persons with hands-on experience with the anthrax program over the last five years, the number of suspects is under fifty. Dr. Rosenberg stated that a genetic analysis conducted at Northern Arizona University excluded three academic institutions and two foreign defense laboratories, placing "the focus on USAMRID [Ft. Detrick], Dugway and Battelle as the source of the Ames strain for the letters." "The optimal US weaponization process is secret. Bill Patrick, its inventor, holds five secret patents on the process and says it involves a combination of chemicals . There is no evidence that any other country possesses the formula." "The perpetrator must have realized in advance that the anthrax attack would result in the strengthening of US defense and response capabilities. This is not likely to have been a goal of anti-American terrorists, who would also be unlikely to warn the victims in advance. Perhaps the perpetrator stood to gain in some way from increased funding and recognition for biodefense programs. Financial beneficiaries would include the BioPort Corp., the source of the US anthrax vaccine, and other potential vaccine contractors." (...) When the Bush cabinet took a prophylactic dose of Cipro on September 11, what kind of foreknowledge did they have of the immediacy and intensity of the anthrax attacks and why did they downplay the possibility of bioterrorism at the beginning of the attacks? CLIP

Confronting the Evidence: A Call To Reopen the 9/11 Investigation (MUST SEE SITE!!!)
The Video is Mightier Than the Pen. To date, has given away 200,000 copies of "Confronting the Evidence: A Call to Reopen the 9/11 Investigation," a new DVD exposing critical evidence about the 9/11 attacks. "Confronting the Evidence" includes footage of a "town hall meeting" held on September 11, 2004 in New York City. Hosted by actor and activist Ed Begley Jr., the groundbreaking event featured David Ray Griffin, David vonKleist, Barry Zwicker, Webster Tarpley, Kristina Borjesson, Karl Schwartz, Jeff King, Paul Thompson, Jenna Orkin, Christopher Scheer, Dr Robert Bowman, Christopher Bollyn, and JohnPrados. The DVD also includes special selections from Eric Hufschmid's DVD on 9/11, "Painful Deceptions" - Reopen911. org is sending a free DVD to every library, police department, fire department, as well as thousands of other interested patriots across the United States and abroad. For your own Free DVD, please fill out the form below. CLIP - Recommended by Bill Derau>

"Outrageous Conspiracy Theories" and The 9/11 INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR ACT
Charlottesville, Virginia - It is nearly a year since the 9/11 Commission report was finished and the investigation of the events of 9/11 officially came to a close. But unofficially, many Americans have unanswered questions, and at least some of this hesitancy to close the book on 9/11 is because of the long-standing connection between the Bush Administration and the man who was the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Dr. Philip Zelikow.In a new book by Professor Emeritus David Ray Griffin of the Claremont School of Theology (The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Olive Branch Press, 2005), the case is made that the staff of the 9/11 Commission acted as gatekeepers who followed the official explanation of events of 9/11, rather than acting as true independent investigators. Griffin gives detailed and abundant evidence that he feels shows Philip Zelikow and his staff did not thoroughly investigate information that was contrary to what the Bush Administration had already accepted as the facts of 9/11. CLIP

Agents provocateur? By John Kaminski (June 7)
(...) I remember that day all too well. I was standing in front of my TV. I had just awakened and flipped it on, intending to zap the clicker to ESPN to catch the latest sports news, a typical daily habit that occurs just before I stumble into the kitchen to make my coffee. By chance, the tube was set to NBC, where the plastic Today show commentators were talking about a plane that had crashed into the World Trade Center. So I never changed the channel. I just stood there, eyelids glued apart, and watched as plane number two glided into the south tower, and into history.I just stood there, I don't know for how long. Eventually I turned around, made the coffee, and listened to the aghast commentary of the NBC crew. I don't remember now what it was triggered my next verbal outburst, whether it was Katie Couric reporting the government saying it was Osama bin Laden who was behind the attacks, or some vaguer speculation about Arab terrorists. I only know I turned around, stalked into the living room, and then with the most certain self-assured vehemence I have ever shown in my life, started bellowing: "No way! No freaking way!" I knew then, right then and there, that 9/11 was an inside job. That this was not the work of Arab terrorists, unless they played some minor diversionary role in a complex and deliberately confusing cast of characters. That this was done at the behest of the people who control our lives, who wanted to create a stultifying example that would be branded into the minds of the muddled masses in order to create a war mentality to justify their criminal intent to make war on the whole world, and make a handsome profit from it. Nothing I have seen, heard, or read since has caused me to feel even the merest shadow of a doubt about what I felt at that moment. All those millions of words, mostly written by people who have no stake in anything media-related or politically purposeful, have only reinforced my conviction.The highest, most important leaders in our land, and other countries as well, were behind the scheme to kill thousands of American citizens in order to justify an intensified assault on the oil-producing countries of the Middle East and elsewhere. Time and the telling of hundreds of more lies have only deepened my conviction, and proved it far beyond a reasonable doubt. The plans for these wars were drawn up BEFORE 9/11, and the lies utilized to execute them have become well-established in the public eye, at least for those interested enough to take a look. CLIP

Amnesty Defends 'Gulag,' Urges Guantánamo Access (02 June 2005)
Human rights group Amnesty defended its description of Guantánamo prison as a "gulag" Thursday and urged the United States to allow independent investigations of allegations of torture at its detention centers for terrorism suspects. A verbal feud between Amnesty International and Washington has escalated since Amnesty last week compared the prison at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to the brutal Soviet system of forced labor camps where millions of prisoners died. CLIP

Rights Group Leader Says US Has Secret Jails (6 June 2005) US GULAG US GULAG US GULAG
Top GOP senator says Gitmo hearings might be appropriate. Washington - The chief of Amnesty International USA alleged Sunday that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is part of a worldwide network of U.S. jails, some of them secret, where prisoners are mistreated and even killed. William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty's Washington-based branch, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," defended the human rights group's recent criticism of U.S. treatment of detainees at the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "The U.S. is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons, into which people are being literally disappeared, held in indefinite, incommunicado detention without access to lawyers or a judicial system or to their families," Schulz said. "And in some cases, at least, we know they are being mistreated, abused, tortured and even killed." Schulz's comments were the latest in a volley of incriminations and denials between Amnesty and the White House. London, England-based Amnesty International's report, released May 25, cited "growing evidence of U.S. war crimes" and labeled the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as "the gulag of our times." U.S. officials responded with outrage. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld rebuffed such a comparison, saying a gulag was where the Soviets "kept millions in forced labor concentration camps." President Bush said the comparison was "absurd" and Vice President Dick Cheney said he was offended by Amnesty's assertions. Schulz also answered questions about previous remarks in which he labeled Rumsfeld and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as "alleged high-level architects of torture." "Any nation that is party to the Geneva Conventions ... is obligated under international law to investigate those who are alleged to be involved with the formulation of a policy of torture or with its carrying out," Schulz said. He went on: "The United States should be the one that should investigate those who are alleged at least to be architects of torture, not just the foot solders who may have inflicted the torture directly, but those who authorized it or encouraged it or provided rationales for it." CLIP

CCR Action Alert: Shut Down Guantánamo - SHUT DOWN THE PENTAGON INSTEAD!
It's time to shut down the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay once and for all. Guantánamo has become a symbol world-wide of the Bush Administration's arrogant disregard for the most basic of human rights. In a hard-hitting editorial on Sunday, June 5, The New York Times wrote: "The best thing Washington can now do about this national shame is to shut it down. It is a propaganda gift to America's enemies; an embarrassment to our allies; a damaging repudiation of the American justice system; and a highly effective recruiting tool for Islamic radicals, including future terrorists." CLIP

'War on Terror' Has Latin American Indigenous People in Its Sights (June 6, 2005)
SANTIAGO, Chile - The "war on terror," identified in Amnesty International's annual report as a new source of human rights abuses, is threatening to expand to Latin America, targeting indigenous movements that are demanding autonomy and protesting free-market policies and "neo-liberal" globalization. In the United States "there is a perception of indigenous activists as destabilizing elements and terrorists," and their demands and activism have begun to be cast in a criminal light, lawyer Josi Aylwin, with the Institute of Indigenous Studies at the University of the Border in Temuco (670 km south of the Chilean capital), told IPS. Pedro Cayuqueo, director of the Mapuche newspaper Azkintuwe, also from the city of Temuco, wrote that the growing indigenous activism in Latin America and Islamic radicalism are both depicted as threats to the security and hegemony of the United States in the "Global Trends 2020 - Mapping the Global Future" study by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC). (...) In Latin America, the Andean subregion is seen as the "hottest" area, because of the growing political role played by well-organized indigenous movements in Bolivia and Ecuador, but also because of the impact on indigenous peoples of armed conflict and drug trafficking in Colombia. Farther south in the Andes mountains, Mapuche organizations in southern Chile and Argentina have become more and more radical in recent years in their claims to their ancestral territory, demands for autonomy and the creation of indigenous reserves, and defense of the environment, which is threatened by transnational mining and forestry corporations that are granted tax breaks and other incentives by governments. "The indigenous nations exercise and preserve a profound democratic essence in their organizational and decision-making structures, but transnational corporations foment their exclusion from society and push indigenous people to violence, which could translate into armed struggle," Aymara leader Juan de la Cruz Vilca told IPS in Bolivia. In Bolivia, 70 percent of the population of 9.2 million identify themselves as indigenous, and the indigenous movement, along with other sectors, is demanding a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution and "re-found the republic" to grant self-determination to the country's 36 native groups, added de la Cruz Vilca. The activist, the former president of Bolivia's Confederacisn Sindical Unica de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, a peasant farmer union, accused foreign oil companies of backing the demands for regional autonomy put forth by business and large landowners in the wealthy eastern regions of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Pando and Beni, where the country's natural gas reserves are concentrated. "Behind that movement lies a hidden plan aimed at generating a violent reaction by the indigenous movements, in order to justify external military intervention," he maintained. "It's true that indigenous peoples are a threat, from the point of view of the political and economic powers-that-be. They see us as terrorists, but we aren't, because our struggle is open, legal and legitimate," said Ricardo Dmaz, an indigenous lawmaker with the leftist Movement Towards Socialism(MAS), the strongest opposition party in Bolivia. CLIP

Bolivian President Offers to Resign, Citing Mass Demonstrations (07 June 2005)
(...) The offer to resign was the embattled president's second in three months. In March, the former journalist and historian offered to quit in a calculated gamble aimed at rallying support in the face of road-choking protests. The tactic worked, and Congress rejected the offer, giving Mr. Mesa a new start. This time, he also seemed to leave it up to Congress, saying, "I will continue to be president until the Congress makes a decision and defines the future of the country." (...) Mr. Mesa's decision came after more than three weeks of escalating protests by powerful indigenous and anti-globalization groups demanding that the government nationalize the private energy firms that flocked to Bolivia to mine Latin America's second-largest natural gas reserves. Though Congress on May 17 sharply raised taxes on foreign multinationals, among them Petrobras of Brazil, Repsol YPF of Spain and British Gas, the population was not placated. Protests in recent days have blocked most highways, isolating cities and making gasoline and staples like milk and eggs scarce. Mr. Mesa became president in October 2003 after protesters forced President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada to resign. He convened a referendum last year in which Bolivians asked for more state control of the country's natural gas. But Mr. Mesa was rocked by more than 800 protests, as indigenous groups in the western highlands demanded more say in the country's economic future and pro-business groups in the country's affluent east sought more autonomy.

Thursday June 6, 1968 The Day The United States Died
Right after delivering a rousing speech to an overflowing ballroom of exuberant campaign supporters thanking them for helping him win the big prize of the California Democratic primary for President, the junior Senator from New York State, Robert Francis Kennedy was shot at by an assassin four times within a couple of inches. He was wounded by three of the bullets with the fourth bullet going through his jacket. The exact time was 12:15am Wednesday morning June 5, 1968. The location was the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. I was only a 10 year old boy back then, but I somehow knew the day Bobby Kennedy died, the next day, Thursday June 6, 1968, was the day the United States died.If this assassination of Bobby Kennedy didn't happen, he would have been the Democratic presidential nominee in 1968, he then would have faced the Republican presidential nominee, Richard Milhouse Nixon, in the November election. Bobby most likely would have won and been the next President of the United States. Since Bobby was opposed to the Viet Nam War ( police action ), this would have put an end to it in 1969 instead of 1975. This death by assassination of Bobby Kennedy occurred only 63 days after the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis and also less then 5 years after his older brother, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas. The United States has never been the same since. The dreams of a better, more democratic life for all Americans was brutally slain over and over and over again. We were then and we still are living in a fascistic country that is run by an evil military industrial corporate complex that assassinate leaders for not playing ball, their war machine ball. On Monday December 8, 1980 the demonic force struck again, this time assassinating the greatest singer songwriter and the most influential political artist of our time, John Lennon.

Collapse of the system and infertility ahead (Grim, grim...)
Burning furniture: future urban energy source.

UN Bid to Aid Niger Yields 'Not a Single Dollar' (June 3, 2005)
UNITED NATIONS - Two weeks after the United Nations launched an emergency appeal for food aid for impoverished Niger, no funds have been pledged, the world body said on Thursday."To date, not a single dollar has been pledged to the flash appeal," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.The effort, launched May 19, sought $16.2 million from governments to help feed 3.6 million people in need of aid after a locust infestation and recurring drought in the western African country.Among the needy are 800,000 children under age 5, including 150,000 who suffer from severe malnutrition."A silent crisis is looming in Niger," the UN office said last month. "All indicators point towards increased poverty due to population increases, desertification, locust infestations and rain shortfalls."Niger, with a population of about 12 million and an average life expectancy of 46 years, ranks as one of the world's least developed, lowest-income countries.Niger's government has a mechanism to combat food crises, but its available stocks and funds already have been used to meet current needs, the UN office said.

Court Investigates Sudan's Darfur Region (June 7)
The Hague - The International Criminal Court said Monday it had begun investigating alleged war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, where an estimated 180,000 people have died and 2 million have been displaced since the conflict began in 2003. The court has a list of 51 potential suspects named by a special U.N. investigative commission, which concluded in January that crimes against humanity had occurred in Darfur. The government in Khartoum, accused of trying to intimidate international aid workers, indicated it would not cooperate with the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal or allow its citizens to be sent abroad for trial. The U.N. Security Council asked the court to take on the Darfur situation two months ago, in what would be the first case to be investigated against the will of the country where the alleged crimes took place. The court also is investigating war crimes in Congo and Uganda. A failure by Khartoum to cooperate with the court could result in economic sanctions, human rights groups said. The investigation is the court's most difficult and dangerous so far as it ventures into the vast desert of western Sudan. (...) The list of 51 potential suspects has not been made public, but it apparently includes Sudanese government officials, anti-government rebels and Janjaweed militiamen. Prosecutors will determine which suspects to indict. It was not clear, however, how arrests would be made or by whom, since the court has no enforcement arm. The court is intended to step in only when countries themselves are unable or unwilling to take action against war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed on their soil. CLIP

US leads in mental illness (June 7)
WASHINGTON, June 7 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States leads in mental illness globally with 46 percent of Americans suffering mental disorders ranging from anxiety, depression to substance abuse in their lifetime, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Within the past year, about 25 percent of all Americans met the criteria for having a mental illness, and fully 25 percent of those had a "serious" disorder that significantly disrupted their ability to function day to day, according to a one-year-and-a-half survey of the country's mental health, conducted by the University of Michigan. CLIP

Media Soft on Bush, Says Conyers (03 June 2005)
Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, says big media, especially cable news channels, are giving the Bush Administration a free pass by focusing on celebrity news and other "trivial matter" rather than examining White House policies. Conyers based his assertion on a new survey of cable news treatment of important or high-profile stories by the Congressional Research Service, which gathers data at lawmakers' request to help them write bills or prepare for hearings. Conyers used the CRS sampling to charge that cable news outlets gave big play to some inconsequential stories while largely ignoring a lot of news casting Bush Administration policies in a negative light. For instance, according to the study, April 28 revelations of a British government memo indicating intelligence services had concluded prior to the start of the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction were ignored by CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports and Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olberman and Fox's Big Story. Days later, those same shows were leading or devoting a lot of time to the runaway bride saga. CLIP

Canada unhappy with U.S. passenger list proposal (June 1)
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is "very worried" by a U.S. proposal that its airlines provide passenger lists for planes flying through American airspace rather than actually landing in the United States, Transport Minister Jean Lapierre said on Wednesday.Lapierre said the proposal could have "a major effect" on Canadian sovereignty since flights between Canadian cities are often routed over U.S. territory to save fuel.Of the 160,000 Canadian flights that enter U.S. airspace every year, around 120,000 are traveling domestically. After the Sept. 11 suicide attacks, U.S. authorities drew up a watch list -- or no-fly list -- of suspected terrorists who were barred from boarding a flight to the United States.Lapierre said Washington was now considering whether to expand the system and demand passenger lists for Canadian aircraft that merely intended to fly through U.S. airspace."I'm very worried about it ... right now we're in discussion with the Americans," he told reporters."We don't think it's a good idea that Canadians traveling from one (Canadian) city to another would have to be checked (against) the American no-fly list."The issue reflects fears among some Canadians that the country's sovereignty could be harmed by the U.S. administration's crackdown on terrorism.Last year the province of British Columbia imposed controls on private data firms to prevent them from sharing information about Canadians with U.S. authorities. The left-leaning New Democratic Party, which is keeping the minority Liberal government in power, said the passenger list proposal was unacceptable."This is certainly a step toward the kind of deeper integration between our two countries that I think a lot of Canadians are concerned about," said party leader Jack Layton. CLIP

U.N. Training Iraqis in Jordan to Measure Radiation from Depleted Uranium
Concerned about depleted uranium and what they say are increasing cancer rates, Iraqi officials are receiving training from U.N. experts on techniques to measure radiation levels according to international standards, a U.N. official Tuesday. (...) Haavisto said the UNEP is concerned that "there has been no proper clean up in Iraq since wars in 2003 and 1991. There is still depleted uranium and other chemicals on the ground. Looting has contributed to the problem," he said."Usually hazardous materials must be cleaned up as rapidly as possible," he added.He said the UNEP had several other concerns about Iraq, such as the presence of toxic materials, heavy metals and oil spills that present environmental and health hazards.UNEP's studies in the Balkans called for monitoring depleted uranium affected areas, cleanup efforts and clearly marking affected sites. CLIP

Snowfall in Somalia reported (June 01, 2005) TESTS FOR THE HAARP SYSTEM ?...
The first snowfall on this part of the world has claimed one life and caused extensive damage to properties. Puntland, northeastern part of Somalia has never recorded snowfall before last night when snow storms with high winds destroyed homes in Rako town. The storm left a blanket of snow on the ground, something residents had never seen in their lives before. Aside from this unexplained snowfall on this tropical land, Somalia has experienced very strange weather in the past few months. Floods killed people and forced rivers to overflow banks in almost all parts of the country. Many cities from Hargeisa in the north to Baladweyn in central were affected badly by heavy rains and floods. Many people were killed and thousands of livestock washed away by this strange weather. The country is still struggling to recover from last month's killer weather. With no effective central government, Somalia doesn't have weather prediction or climate monitoring systems in place. Somalis think this unusual weather and last night's previously unheard of snowfall are part of the global warming phenomena.

Death-squad style massacres For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality (2 june 2005)

PUBLIC ENEMY'S "Son of a Bush" (Flash 10 Megs)
Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts"> Check also

Papua New Guinea Forest Minister Sells Citizens into Slavery by the Malaysian Timber Mafia (June 2, 2005) TAKE ACTION: Ask that the Forest Minister be sacked, the Malaysian Timber Mafia be expelled, and the industry be transitioned to eco-forestry and carbon offset payments
Rainforest policy in Papua New Guinea (PNG) - the Earth's third largestrainforest expanse - has recently gone from bad to worse. The current Forest Minister is completely corrupted, and Malaysian timber interests -acting more like a timber mafia than legitimate foreign investors - have a stranglehold on the government. The Prime Minister and his Forest Minister have refused to act on overwhelming evidence that many logging companies are operating outside the law. The Forest Minister has failed to investigate human rights abuses including slave like labor conditions,and has failed to implement recommendations found in government reviews and compliance audits. He has issued new permits to logging companies with very poor performance records and continually misleads regarding the economic importance of the logging industry - when in fact log exports provide only 4% of government revenues. Local groups have stated that in effect he has sold local populations and timber workers into slavery. It is critical that PNG's Prime Minister sack the Forest Minister, commit to expelling criminal logging enterprises such as Rimbunan Hijau - details to be determined through a Commission of Inquiry, and transition all forest management to community based eco-forestry supplemented with carbon offset payments. Please ask that he do so at:
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Man-made pesticides blamed for fall in male fertility over past 50 years (03 June 2005)
Pesticides and other man-made chemicals may lower male fertility for at least four generations, according to new research. Pregnant rats exposed to fungicide sprayed on vineyards and pesticide sprayed on crops had male offspring with a sperm count reduced by 20 per cent. If confirmed by further experiments, the findings could help explain the decline in human male fertility over the past 50 years. The study was carried out on laboratory rats that received high levels of vinclozolin, a fungicide widely used in vineyards, and methoxychlor, a pesticide used to replace DDT when it was banned more than 30 years ago. Scientists found that the male offspring of the exposed rats suffered a sharp decline in the quality and quantity of their sperm and that these traits continued to be passed on down the male line. (...) "We are mostly describing a new phenomenon... The hazards of environmental toxins are much more pronounced that we realised," Dr Skinner said.

NRDC Sues to Obtain Records of Sonar Harm to Whales (June 3, 2005)
NEW YORK (ENS) - The Bush administration is withholding a large quantity of evidence about harm caused to whales, dolphins and other marine life by high-intensity military sonar, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York federal court.The lawsuit was brought under the Freedom of Information Act by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a national conservation group. It seeks thousands of pages of documents related to mass strandings and mortalities of marine mammals exposed to military sonar. NRDC requested the material from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce more than a year ago, but so far those agencies have turned over only 12 documents totaling fewer than 25 pages. Some of the documents withheld by the administration pertain to a recent mass stranding of whales along the Outer Banks of North Carolina last January. No information from that stranding has been released to the public despite repeated requests. "The Bush administration is sitting on box-loads of data that show the devastating impact of military sonar on whales," said Michael Jasny, a senior policy consultant for NRDC. "The public has a right to know what is happening to these majestic creatures, and the Bush administration is breaking the law by stonewalling. "The Navy's mid-frequency, active sonar systems generate sound of extreme intensity to locate objects in the ocean. Marine mammals have extraordinarily sensitive hearing, and there is no scientific dispute that intense sonar blasts can disturb, injure, and even kill them, according to NRDC. "Whales exposed to high-intensity sonar have been found bleeding from the eyes and ears, with lesions the size of golf balls in their organ tissue. Biologists are concerned that the whales we see dying on the beaches are only the tip of an iceberg and that many more are dying at sea," Jasny said. A report concluding that the association between sonar and whale mortalities was "very convincing and appears overwhelming," was issued last year by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, one of the world's leading bodies of whale biologists. The Navy acknowledged that its use of sonar off the Bahamas in March 2000 resulted in the stranding of 16 whales of three species. The National Marine Fisheries Service has been involved in many of the investigations into sonar-related strandings, but the Bush administration so far has not turned over the large quantity of information it possesses.

Researchers Document Tool-Use by Dolphins (June 07, 2005)
WASHINGTON — A group of dolphins living off the coast of Australia apparently teach their offspring to protect their snouts with sponges while foraging for food in the sea floor. Researchers say it appears to be a cultural behavior passed on from mother to daughter, a first for animals of this type, although such learning has been seen in other species.The dolphins, living in Shark Bay, Western Australia, use conically shaped whole sponges that they tear off the bottom, said Michael Kruetzen, lead author of a report on the dolphins in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science."Cultural evolution, including tool use, is not only found in humans and our closest relatives, the primates, but also in animals that are evolutionally quite distant from us. This convergent evolution is what is so fascinating," said Kruetzen. CLIP

Postwar Iraq Paying Heavy Environmental Price (June 3, 2005)
AMMAN - Iraq's environmental problems - among world's worst - range from alooted nuclear site which needs cleaning up to sabotaged oil pipelines, a UN official said on Thursday."An improvement is almost impossible in these security conditions. Chemicals are seeping into groundwater and the situation is becoming worse and creating additional health problems," said Pekka Haavisto, Iraq task force chairman at the United Nations Environmental Programme. "Iraq is the worst case we have assessed and is difficult to compare." CLIP

Omega-News Collection 4. June 2005



Date: 6 Jun 2005
From: Patty-Lynne Herlevi>
Subject: Unity Consciousness Essay

Bonjour Jean,

I wrote this essay when I received a CD to review. Even though the CD, a soundtrack for a new PBS documentary series with the intent of raising the consciousness of people sounds like a good idea, I found it rather dualistic in its approach. So I wrote this essay. I realize I won't win any popularity contests, but perhaps I might wake a few people up.

Information on the CD can be found at (a wonderful record label, by the way)

And information on the series can be found at the PBS site (sorry I don't have the e-mail address handy--it might be something like

I certainly encourage people to watch the series and make their own decision about it, but watch it with a detached compassion and heartcenteredness. And if they feel in their heart to send money to the various heroes in the documentary to do so.

My point of the essay is to point out the illusion of separation which shows up almost everywhere.




As it appears on Cranky Crow World Music

Essay Christopher Hedge The New Heroes Triloka

When I first heard about a PBS documentary series entitled, The New Heroes hosted by Robert Redford I was both skeptical and curious because I am intrigued by human consciousness projects. However, what many people would consider a human consciousness project is usually something along the lines of heroic underdogs fighting the "bad guys." It is an us verses them mentality that sadly will not bring peace to the earth. Real love and compassion knows no boundaries. It's easy to point the finger at people and call one person virtuous because of their actions and another person corrupt. But the only way we are going to bring peace and unity consciousness to the earth is to realize that there are no bad and good guys and maybe, just maybe we are all one and the same. You also need to ask yourself would we have any virtuous people if there were no grains of sand in the oyster? Transformational astrologers believe that it is the challenging planetary transits and aspects in a chart that cause a person to evolve. And in life, how would we know what to be grateful for if nothing in our lives were ever threatened?

With these notions in mind, I took a listen to the soundtrack from the documentary due out later this month called The New Heroes. Yes, it is commendable that people do risk their lives to save children from prostitution and slavery, that some banks will loan money without interest, that some people are rolling up their sleeves and doing what their hearts dictate to them. But this should not be the exception to the rule. It's possible that each of us hears whispers in our ears of how we can through small or large tasks make a difference in one person or a million people's lives, but how many people listen? It's like the lyrics to Bob Dylan's classic, Blowing in the Wind that refer to how many times do you need to see misery and do nothing about it? How many wars must be fought before people wake up to a higher consciousness that would never allow war? How many protest songs must you listen to, how many documentaries must you discuss and how many articles do you need to read on heroic people before you too wake up and realize that, hey, planet earth is not about suffering but about shared abundance and joy? We just don't see that yet as a collective. We don't see the illusions that we weave through our limited consciousness then we seek others to blame for all of this so-called madness. We only need to look in the mirror.

Okay, so Christopher Hedge and a few phenomenal musicians get together. They watch the documentary footage of people acting from their heart and they compose music to reflect these moments. In the interview that appears on the press release, Hedge goes on about how the musicians are not the real heroes almost to the point of relegating the music to the background, yet when I listened to the disc, the sound bites included from the film were relegated to the background of deeply melancholic music. I had a difficult time listening to this recording because I felt so depressed learning about human suffering and then listening to a soundtrack that reflects that suffering. Wouldn't it have been better to celebrate these heroes with more upbeat music coming from the countries where these stories took place or is it the proper thing to do, framing these seemingly tragic events in our Western frame of mind? After all, people in the East see suffering in a whole different light and even music from the most dire regions on the African continent, come across as more upbeat. I mean if you are already suffering why play dirges? If you're going to save yourself from mental collapse then you had better celebrate what you still have left at least then you can lift your mood and the mood of those around you.

There are some stunning musical moments on this recording such as India Suite which features Alam Khan on the sarod and Debopriyo Sarkar on tabla (a spiritual moment to be sure), the Fiji school girl choir and some gorgeous flute compliments of Paul Horn. Titos Sompa lifts the mood with kalimba, African drums and percussion. I applaud these musicians for caring enough to work on this project and I certainly think that the organizations featured in the documentary deserve your monetary support. But there have been better projects about humanity than this CD such as the film Baraka which featured devastation scenes along side monks meditating and all that is still beautiful about this planet. That film at least gave a broader view of the earthling experience. When I watched it, I felt at one with the entire planetary experience including all creatures. When I listened to the music for this documentary, I just felt like I was receiving half of the story.

And as far as on-the-spot field recordings, Tucker Martine's Bush Taxi Mali in which the music producer recorded various types of music celebrations and every day life in Mali is a far superior recording to this soundtrack. Martine wasn't just thinking outside of the box, he also wasn't framing his experiences through a Western gaze. He simply set out the microphone and recorded what was in front of him, mostly some of the most exquisite music on the planet. He didn't make any comments about the poverty in Mali, war that ravaged the African nation, but simply said, hey, look, here is a slice of the human experience. It is time to stand back, record without framing situations as good or bad and just say, okay, life happens, it's not always fair and it's true that we cannot ignore any longer what is staring us in the face. However, if we truly want a loving planet, we need to love everyone and stop the illusion of separation.

It's too easy to wring our hands and cry tears of outrage. It's easier than looking into our own darkness which lurks in our souls. It's too easy to judge others as perpetrators of everything that is wrong in the world instead of going out and doing what we feel is right. Granted, that is what these new heroes have done (making necessary changes) but I'm not so sure that this soundtrack will inspire any more new heroes. Money will be raised to assist the "new heroes" and other leaders will pop up around the planet out of necessity, not inspiration. After all, when a community doesn't have clean drinking water or when a community has been lost due to a natural occurrence or through human intervention, someone has to stand up and lead the people. It is survival instinct and not something many Western Europeans or North Americans will ever fully grasp unless their child is threatened or their freedoms stripped away or a war comes to their doorstep. We are too fortunate to judge anything going on in the world and that includes me who has been unemployed for a very long time and have had to do without many things others take for granted. And yet, I choose love over everything. It is only a matter of time before others reach the same conclusion. We do not need to choose between good or evil because neither exist within unity consciousness. If we truly wish to preserve this planet and its inhabitants, then unity consciousness is key. Perhaps you do not believe this today, but tomorrow you might change your mind. Tomorrow when you have nowhere to go except to transcend. (Listening to The New Heroes CD did inspire me to spend my Sunday afternoon writing this essay--that's something. May someone hear my words).

Unity consciousness is what avatars have been trying to teach for ages. It reflects on what Chief Seattle called the web in which we are all a part and also the teachings of Buddha, Christ and many others throughout time. Avatars are still teaching unity consciousness today. I feel this one with all consciousness at music festivals or when I am in nature.


Note from Jean: If you feel like giving a helping hand to Patty - who has being going through a rough time lately after hurting herself in a fall and having precious little money to survive - I'm sure she will appreciate any donation you might be able to send her way. Just ask for her mailing address at> - This way she will know tangibly that the universe is listening to her needs. If you need to hire a writer and excellent story-teller, she would also be a great choice! You may find a bit more about Patty and see her recent movie trailer "Crow Tales" at



Blair hoping for crumbs of comfort from Bush

07 June , 2005

Washington: British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Washington looking for some hints of compromise from US President George W. Bush during crunch talks on African aid and climate change.

Blair, who touched down in the US capital just gone midnight after flying from London, was scheduled to meet Bush at the White House on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a joint press conference.

When the duo line up before the television cameras, the British leader would very much like to be able to announce a new transatlantic accord over moves to tackle poverty in Africa and global warming, ahead of the G8 summit Blair hosts next month in Gleneagles, Scotland.

However, there seemed to be few immediate signs Bush would trim his long-standing scepticism over British-led moves to boost international aid for Africa, or his reluctance to sound the alarm bell over global warming.

Blair has pledged to make the issues the twin focuses of the Scottish summit, at which the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations will gather at the Gleaneagles resort from July 6-8.

Africa in particular will figure prominently, not least due to the massive "Live8" rock concerts, four days before the summit opens, intended to raise global awareness about fair trade and developing world debt.

Ahead of Blair's arrival in Washington for the whirlwind visit, his Chancellor Gordon Brown has been pushing hard to get international backing for London's so-called "Marshall Plan" for Africa.

This scheme, named after the programme to put Europe back on its feet following World War II, would see aid massively increased and many debts written off.

However, while it has received backing in Europe, Bush has been publicly cool, notably over the International Finance Facility (IFF) scheme to use the global money markets to raise aid.

v Such is the US wariness -- even when pressured by a leader who risked his political future by backing the American-led war in Iraq -- that Downing Street officials were warning against overly-high hopes ahead of Blair's departure.

"This visit is part of the preparation for Gleneagles, not Gleneagles itself," the prime minister's official spokesman said on Monday.

"So we are not expecting ... to see the final US position tomorrow. That will come at Gleneagles."

Nonetheless, there were "large areas" in which London and Washington agreed, he added, notably in viewing Africa as a priority.

The trip is Blair's first US visit since he was returned for a third straight term in office at the British general election in early May.

His parliamentary majority was heavily reduced at the poll, in part because of continued anger over Iraq, and some pundits have predicted Blair will try hard to cash in some of this accrued political credit in Washington on Tuesday.

Most agree that even over something viewed as Blair's attempt to secure a global legacy during what he has promised will be a final term in office, Bush will not budge to much of a significant degree.

However, it would not be impossible for Bush to offer some smaller concession as a reward to his closest international ally.


See also:

Blair Lobbies Bush on Aid for Africa (June 7);_ylt=A86.I2P15aVC9uUAdRGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2bW85OXIzBHNlYwNwbA--
WASHINGTON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair, lobbying world leaders on his plans to tackle global warming and lift Africa out of poverty, sees President Bush's promise to provide $674 million for famine relief a small step. ADVERTISEMENTBush aides say the United States wants to ensure that Blair's hosting of this year's economic summit of the world's seven richest industrialized nations and Russia is deemed a success. But Blair has made global warming and dramatically stepped-up aid to Africa the main topics of the July gathering, and Bush opposes most of what the British leader wants to do — or how he wants to do it.Both sides tried to minimize differences Tuesday as Bush and Blair prepared to confer in the Oval Office and over dinner. Their talks also were expected to touch on Iraq's halting progress toward stability and efforts to turn Iran away from nuclear weapons pursuits.The White House let it be known the two countries are launching an African famine relief initiative, with the United States to provide $674 million, the British to put in an unknown, but lesser, amount, and both to call on other nations to increase their contributions, too. Primarily aimed at addressing the food needs of 14 million people vulnerable to famine in Ethiopia and Eritrea, some of the money will fund humanitarian relief in Somalia and Djibouti.There also was talk of an impending agreement among industrial nations to provide the poorest African countries complete relief from the debts they owe multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. "We are a significant way toward a deal," Blair said before his meeting with Bush.With four weeks to go before the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, Blair suggested he expected no breakthroughs during his Washington visit and still had plenty of time to win the support he needed from Bush and other world leaders. CLIP

Money for Africa drying up, aid agencies say (June 5, 2005)
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Despite a new drive in the west to focus attention on Africa, aid agencies say accounts are dwindling as money is diverted elsewhere or channeled directly through governments. The Group of Eight rich nations are expected to call for more help for Africa at a summit next month. But on the ground, aid workers say they are having to cut programs, either because money has been diverted to victims of the Asian tsunami or because official help is being increasingly channeled through governments as debt relief or direct aid."We've certainly seen some cuts in funding in the last year," said Dave Snyder, spokesman for U.S.-based agency Catholic Relief Services. "We've had to cut back some programs." Those cut included school feeding programs in Malawi and Madagascar aimed at persuading parents to send children to school rather than keeping them at home to work or sending young girls off to get married, he said.While aid agencies welcome debt relief and direct aid, they say local civil society organizations and international NGOs must also get a share to make sure the money reaches the people who need it. "The biggest fear is corruption," said David Sanderson, southern and west Africa co-ordinator for Care International UK." If you only give money to government, you end up not holding government to account. There needs to be a mixture. But there's also a fear people are getting bored with Africa." Aid workers say while attracting aid for high-profile disasters such as the tsunami or Sudan's Darfur region is still relatively easy, attracting money for longer-term problems such as the AIDS pandemic or chronic food shortages is much harder. CLIP

More related news at



Science Academies Urge Greenhouse Gas Cuts

June 7, 2005

LONDON (AP) -- The U.S. National Academy of Sciences joined similar groups from other nations Tuesday in a call for prompt action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning that delays will be costly.

The statement was released as British Prime Minister Tony Blair was meeting with President Bush in Washington.

Blair has made action on climate change a priority for the July G-8 summit. Bush opposes the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, and his administration questions scientists' views that man-made pollutants are causing temperatures to rise.

Lord May, president of Britain's Royal Society, said in releasing the statement that Bush's policy on climate change was ''misguided'' and ignored scientific evidence.

The statement called on G-8 countries to ''identify cost-effective steps that can be taken now to contribute to substantial and long-term reductions in net global greenhouse gas emissions.''

It urged the G-8 nations to ''recognize that delayed action will increase the risk of adverse environmental effects and will likely incur a greater cost.''

Besides the U.S. and British academies, the statement was published by those in France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, along with ones in Brazil, China and India.

''It is clear that world leaders, including the G-8, can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an excuse for not taking urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions,'' Lord May said.

He noted the statement was endorsed by scientists in Brazil, China and India -- nations ''who are among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world.''

''The Bush administration has consistently refused to accept the advice of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The NAS concluded in 1992 that, 'Despite the great uncertainties, greenhouse warming is a potential threat sufficient to justify action now,' by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases,'' May said.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit society of scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research.

''Getting the U.S. on board is critical because of the sheer amount of greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for,'' May said.

He said the Royal Society had calculated that the 13 percent rise in greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. between 1990 and 2002 was bigger than the overall cut achieved if all the other parties to the Kyoto Protocol reach their targets.

The statement signed by the academies said evidence of global warming included ''direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems.''

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect without United States support, targets carbon dioxide and five other gases that can trap heat in the atmosphere and are believed to be behind rising global temperatures that many scientists say are disrupting weather patterns.

The Bush administration opposes the treaty because officials believe it would raise energy prices and cost 5 million U.S. jobs.

The statement urged G-8 leaders and others to:

--Acknowledge the threat of climate change is ''clear and increasing.''

--Launch an international study to help set emission targets to avoid unacceptable impacts.

--Identify cost-effective steps to take now to contribute to ''substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.''

--Work with developing nations to build there scientific and technological capacity.

--Take a lead in developing and deploying clean energy technologies.

--Mobilize the science and technology community to enhance research and development.


On The Net: Statement:
National Academy of Sciences:


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Protests Planned For Scottish G8 Summit

June 3, 2005

LONDON - The G8 protest movement is growing, boosted by a call from Bob Geldof for 1 million people to march through Edinburgh as leaders of the world's richest nations meet some 40 miles (65 km) to the northwest.

The following is a list of some of the planned protest events around the Group of Eight industrialised nations summit to be held from July 6-8 at Scotland's Gleneagles hotel, famous for its world-class golf courses.

SATURDAY JULY 2 - Make Poverty History campaign march through Edinburgh. Organisers expect more than 100,000 people to take part. Stop The War Coalition also plans a rally in Edinburgh. Live 8 concerts, organised by Irish rocker and campaigner Geldof, to be held in London, Philadelphia, Rome, Berlin and Paris to raise awareness of poverty in Africa.

SUNDAY JULY 3 - Anarchist street carnival expected in Edinburgh. G8 Alternatives, umbrella organisation of anti-globalisation and anti-war groups, to hold its own "summit" in Edinburgh.

MONDAY JULY 4 - G8 protest bicycle caravan from London expected to arrive in Edinburgh. Blockade planned of Faslane nuclear submarine base in western Scotland, about 50 miles (80 km) from Gleneagles. Parade through central Edinburgh.

TUESDAY JULY 5 - Demonstration planned at Dungavel failed asylum seekers detention centre in Scotland. Beacons to be lit on hills to the south of the Gleneagles Hotel. Other beacons to be lit across Britain.

WEDNESDAY JULY 6 - Start of summit. Protest activities expected worldwide, coupled with attempted blockade of summit venue itself. G8 Alternatives to hold rally in Auchterarder village next to Gleneagles. They have also asked for permission to march inside the Gleneagles security zone but police have refused. Hill Walkers protest group expected to stage an event near Gleneagles during the summit, as is Queer8 gay protest group. Pop concert/rally to take place at Edinburgh's Murrayfield rugby stadium.

THURSDAY JULY 7 - Attempts to blockade summit venue expected to be maintained. A protest group called the People's Golfing Association plans a golf tournament at Gleneagles.


Also forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


The new scramble for Africa

David Leigh and David Pallister

June 1, 2005

A new "scramble for Africa" is taking place among the world's big powers, who are tapping into the continent for its oil and diamonds.

Tony Blair is pushing hard for African debt relief agreements in the run-up to the G8 summit in Scotland in July. But while sub-Saharan Africa is the object of the west's charitable concern, billions of pounds' worth of natural resources are being removed from it.

A Guardian investigation beginning today reveals that instead of enriching often debt-ridden countries, some big corporations are accused by campaigners of facilitating corruption and provoking instability - so much so that organisations such as Friends of the Earth talk of an "oil curse".

Simon Taylor, director of Global Witness, which has been prominent in urging reform, said: "Western companies and banks have colluded in stripping Africa's resources. We need to track revenues from oil, mining and logging into national budgets to make sure that the money isn't siphoned off by corrupt officials."

Looting of state assets by corrupt leaders should become a crime under international law, he said.

"The G8 should take the lead in this."

The original Scramble for Africa took place in the late 19th century, when Britain, France and Germany competed to carve Africa into colonies.

Today corporations from the US, France, Britain and China are competing to profit from the rulers of often chaotic and corrupt regimes.

Our investigations in three African countries rich in resources - Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia - show how British-based companies have negotiated deals that critics say are against the interests of some of the poorest and most traumatised people on earth.

The Guardian's inquiries focus on a big gas project in Equatorial Guinea; plans to exploit Liberia's diamonds, and western banks' readiness to provide Angola with huge oil-backed loans.

In Equatorial Guinea, BG plc (formerly the British Gas state company) has closed a deal with the regime of President Teodoro Obiang to buy up the country's production of liquefied natural gas for the next 17 years.

Britain's HSBC bank has been accused by a US Senate committee of helping Mr Obiang move cash from the country's oil revenues into financial "black holes" in Luxembourg and Cyprus. The country is threatened with repeated coups by outsiders keen to get their hands on the oil wealth.

In Liberia, which has been beset by civil war, LIB, a private London bank, was behind attempts to monopolise alluvial diamond production and the country's telecommunications. The UN and the World Bank have criticised the schemes as secretive and against the country's interests. LIB has now withdrawn.

And in Angola, the victim of an even more destructive internal war, one of the UK's leading development banks, Standard Chartered, has been accused of damaging the country's economy by providing record multibillion dollar loans which give a stranglehold over future oil production.

A succession of scandals has already revealed how oil wealth was looted in billions from the former Abacha military regime in Nigeria with the assistance of western banks and bribes paid by US oil firms.

In Sudan and Chad, Chinese companies are moving in, backing and arming military rulers and building pipelines.

And in France, the then state oil company Elf has been accused in corruption investigations of having paid kickbacks and encouraged regimes to run up debts as part of a deliberate "African strategy".

Congo-Brazzaville, the fourth-largest sub-Saharan oil producer, was dominated by Elf, and now has the highest per capita debt in the world.

Global Witness says in a 2004 report: "Oil wealth [there] has left a legacy of corruption, poverty and conflict."

The British government is pushing an international plan for disclosure by companies of how much they pay African rulers for their natural resources. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has been praised by anti-corruption bodies.

But campaigners say that on present evidence improvements in western behaviour so far appear slight. And they fear the chances of these issues being raised as priorities at the G8 summit at Gleneagles in July remain bleak as EU countries quibble about levels of aid and the US balks at innovative schemes for debt relief.

Gareth Thomas, the international development minister, said Britain hoped to have 20 African countries signed up to the transparency code by the end of the year. "There is big political support for this programme and we will be addressing the issue in the G8 summit communique," he said.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Understanding the enemy's mind

by Don Nash

May 31, 2005

The sun breaks free of the eastern horizon and a man greets his day, resigned to his dread and apprehension. Being awake is worse than the nightmares that are his dreams.

The man's morning prayers are for release, release from his misery and worries.

Lord, keep my family safe for just today, tomorrow is another day of death and I can't think about that now. Give us a little something to eat even if it is only bread. Just a little to keep my children from their tears of hunger. Lord, keep us safe from the bombs and the bullets. Keep us safe from the soldiers.

Lord, forgive me but, I hate the soldiers. These foreigners that have taken our home and killed so many. I hate these soldiers even more than the soldiers that were here before. Lord, these soldiers feast on death and it is a horrible thing to have to witness. When are they filled? When are they satisfied with their killing?

Welcome to the cradle of civilization. Iraq is old, as old as history itself. Much has taken place in this old land, and much continues to take place. Only now, what takes place in the cradle of civilization is destruction and chaos and death.

See that building over there on that slight rise? The building that is shattered and crumbling? It wasn't always like that, but the soldiers were here.

The soldiers came after the raining. The raining is an evil thing. The bombs fall almost silently. You don't even know they are falling until the explosions. So many explosions, and the bombs birth more bombs and the bombs spread the fire. The fire is a curse from hell and it sticks to skin. For a little while, at least. Soon the skin turns crisp and falls from what used to be a person. This raining is without conscience, it kills men, women, and children, old and young, and how is such a horror devised by men? Someone created this evil, by design, with only one design in mind, to kill and kill as horrifically as is possible.

When these foreign soldiers came at first, they promised us liberation, but they were lying. They promised us democracy, but they have only given us death, and they have destroyed everything as far as an eye can see in every direction.

In a time not so long ago before these foreign soldiers came here to destroy our homes, we could grow our own food. The land was green and truly it was beautiful. My children could eat. And now they cannot eat, because we cannot grow any food. There is nothing left and certainly there is no green thing. Not a living green thing. You see, it all has turned brown or burned black and everything is charred and the bullet holes are some kind of soldiers' decoration. The soldiers leave us their bullet holes to remind us that they have brought us liberation or democracy or whatever in hell this is. If this is what liberation or democracy looks like, I don't want any more of it. This is too much for a people to have to bear.

There was a town here. A town filled with real people who laughed and cried. There was birth and even death, a natural part of life. Now, though, the death is horrendous and capricious. Death no longer takes just one soul, death takes whole villages and towns and when the death comes no-one cries out of grief or mourning. There are no tears left to spare. When death comes now, it is suffered. We will not let the soldiers see our tears.

The soldiers take our homes and our children and then they shame our wives and women. The soldiers leave us destruction and holes where there were once fine trees and fields. How are we to grow food in craters?

The soldiers break down the gates of the few homes that are left, and they ransack a man's home, and they will even beat women and children. Is this bravery or honor? They come in their machines of war, and they carry their guns, and they don't speak our language. Yet they will beat or even shoot anyone who does not kneel when they yell whatever it is the soldiers yell at us. Why must they yell at us?

When Saddam was in power, things were sometimes bad, but even Saddam did not destroy what little we possess. Saddam did not steal away with our women. Saddam did not shame our children.

The soldiers tell us that Saddam is now in prison. He must pay for his crimes against Iraq. But when will these soldiers and their commanders pay for their crimes against Iraq and the Iraqi people? Will they have to pay for what they have done?

The soldiers tell us that they have done a good thing for Iraq and the Iraqi people. These soldiers have a strange idea as to what is good. I think that the children of the soldiers must eat, and they must eat well. They must still have homes that are not destroyed. We have nothing to eat and our homes are gone. I hate these soldiers.

Iraq is the home of the two great rivers. The Euphrates and the Tigris are well known in history. The rivers carry only the dead now, always the waters are filled with bodies. Waters that once gave life to Iraq now carry only death.

When these soldiers came, death came with them. The soldiers said they are bringing us democracy and that is ridiculous. The soldiers bring us death and misery. The soldiers have polluted the mighty rivers with the foul pollution of death.

Iraq is not the cradle of civilization any longer. Iraq is a casket, an open tomb. Iraq is the killing field for the soldiers unquenchable urges to kill and then they kill more and more.

These soldiers curse us and then they kill us. Saddam was not as murderous as these soldiers, and Saddam did not curse us. These soldiers look at us as if we are not human. These soldiers see us as lowly animals that are fit only for slaughter.

What could Saddam have done that the soldiers would want to punish us? What could Saddam have done to these soldiers home? Did Saddam kill these soldiers' children and destroy their homes? Saddam is in prison now, so why don't these soldiers go to the prison and punish Saddam? The soldiers punish us, over and over, and that is hard to understand.

There has been much destruction in my land and there has been much death. I know of no-one that has not been touched by the icy hand of death. But it is worse for those that have disappeared. For them, life is far worse than death. Death is final.

What could we as a people have done to be treated in this way? The soldiers take those that they do not like and those taken are considered to be worse than having died. We have all heard the stories of those that have disappeared. It is too horrible to speak of. There is nothing that I can think of that could make the soldiers want to take the Iraqi people and then commit the Iraqis to horrors that are worse than death. What could Saddam have done to make the soldiers take Iraqis and do these unspeakable things to them?

What could the Iraqi people have done to these soldiers that these soldiers would hate us as they do? The soldiers hate us and they kill us and they take some of the Iraqi people to the place for the disappeared.

I pray that someday I may find an answer. I pray that someday I might not hate these soldiers like I do on this day. What could Saddam have done that these soldiers would hate us and kill us and destroy the cradle of civilization? These soldiers do not know civilization. I hate these soldiers.

When I am awake, life is worse than the nightmares that I dream every night. I spend my days with the fear that soldiers will come and take my children to the place for those that are not dead. I spend my days praying that the soldiers will not drop their bombs with the fire that spreads and sticks to those that are in the bombs way. I pray that my home is spared. I pray that my children are spared. I pray that these soldiers will go back to where they came from and that they will take their horror with them.



Forwarded by "Stephanie Sutton">

Date: May 31, 2005
Subject: Economic leader predicts global collapse - or did he?

HOST NOTE: Please read these dire predictions with caution. Please check credibility before becoming alarmed. The source has not been verified and there is no link or reference. You may wish to verify and report back your findings. Thank you. L.A.

Renowned Funds Manager Predicts Global Economic Collapse



June 03, 2005

Global Economic Collapse

Al Martin of has written an article about an interview on CNBC with the renowned funds manager Julian Robertson. Julian Robertson formerly ran Tiger Management, the world's largest hedge fund. Al Martin says the interview took place on the 24th of May 2004.

Al Martin said "‘Never Been Wrong’ Robertson. He has predicted every economic cycle, every debacle, every bull market, and every bear market. Of course, he’s a very old man now. But his reputation on the Street is like nothing you could imagine. When the segment of his interview was through, his comments alone took the Dow Jones down 50 points. Just on his comments alone. That’s how powerful this man’s reputation is."

Al Martin quotes Julian Robertson talking about a coming global economic collapse he predicts.

We have found an interview from the 24th of May 2004 with Julian Robertson on CNBC which is very different to the one that is quoted on

Watch Julian Robertson Interview on CNBC posted at the Wall Street Journal apparently from the 28th of May 2004

Here is some of what Julian Robertson said in the video :

He said "I am more disturbed than I have ever been in my investment life about what lies ahead, the American consumer has driven the world and the American consumer is out of gas and he is also involved in a housing bubble that puts his very dwelling at risk, and it worries me about what lies ahead because I don't see any easy way out. I really don't know. I think there will be an effort made to inflate our way out. I think that effort is being made, has been made and that's why the dollar has weakened so much against other currencies..."

Perhaps Al Martin watched a different interview ?




Enforcing US Human Rights Laws

By Marjorie Cohn

t r u t h o u t | Perspective

01 June 2005

Challenging US Human Rights Violations Since 9/11
Ann Fagan Ginger, ed., Prometheus Books, 2005, 574 pp.

The Bush administration is using the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as an excuse to launch a massive assault on the human rights of people throughout the world. From the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to the torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners in US custody, and the insidious profiling and harassment of Arabs and Muslims in the US, Team Bush has engaged in unprecedented violations of US and international law, under the guise of fighting "the war on terror."

Bush has done nothing to hide his contempt for the United Nations and our treaty commitments, which are part of US law under the Constitution. When Security Council approval for his war on Iraq was not forthcoming, Bush threatened the UN with becoming "irrelevant." Nothing exemplifies Bush's disdain for the United Nations better than his nomination of John Bolton, avowed UN-hater, for US ambassador to the UN. And although the 60-year anniversary of the founding of the United Nations will take place later this month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former President George H.W. Bush will not attend, and George W. Bush has not announced that he plans to travel to San Francisco for this momentous occasion.

The administration's terrorizing of people at home and abroad has been chronicled by Prof. Ann Fagan Ginger, Executive Director of Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, in her new book, Challenging US Human Rights Violations Since 9/11. For the first time, a listing of Team Bush's breaches of our laws since Sept. 11 has been amassed in one place. Ginger presents reports of 180 alleged violations, in 30 categories, by the White House; the Pentagon; the Departments of State, Justice, and Labor; the FBI; the Attorney General; immigration officials; and state and local police against people in the United States, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, and elsewhere. Each report includes the sources for the allegation, and each section lists the specific US and international laws allegedly violated.

In this unique book, Ginger has collected reports on the basic rights of all peoples under US jurisdiction: the right not to be killed or disappeared; the right not to be tortured or ordered to torture; the right peaceably to assemble and petition the government; the right to equal protection regardless of race or national origin; the right to equal protection for women; the right to free exercise of religion; the right of the media to report facts and not be killed; the right to privacy vs. surveillance and registration; the right of libraries not to report on readers; the right of universities to accept foreign scholars and students; and the right to travel.

Some examples of violations include the "disappearing" of 3,000 men in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban; the use of napalm in Iraq, cluster bombs in Afghanistan, and depleted uranium in both Iraq and Afghanistan; the killing and torture of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo, and abuse of prisoners in US prisons; the arrest of animal rights activists, hailed by the Bush administration as a blow against terrorism; the pepper spraying of environmental and antiwar activists in Portland, OR; the firing of journalists for criticizing Bush; and the failure of the US government to comply with its duty to report human rights violations to the US Civil Rights Commission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and the UN Human Rights Committee. Judge Richard Margolis said he personally saw police commit 20 felonies during anti-globalization demonstrations in Miami.

The US government has corresponding duties to we-the-people, also listed in Ginger's reports. They include the duty to count the votes accurately and report to the people honestly; the duty to obey the Constitution, the law of nations, and the laws of war; the duty to protect people's rights; the duty to properly fund the general welfare; and the duty to report violations to Congress and the UN.

Ginger cites the specific laws violated, and documents what people are doing to challenge those violations, both in the courts and in the political arena. She provides the basic text of the US Constitution, the UN Charter, and other ratified human rights and antinuclear weapons treaties. The specific statutes at issue, including the Patriot Act, are listed in each report.

The City Council of Berkeley, CA passed a resolution to submit Ginger's reports to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. On March 31, representatives of the National Lawyers Guild, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Gold Star Families for Peace, and Center for Constitutional Rights, whose work is memorialized in the reports, were on hand for the presentation in New York.

Ann Fagan Ginger has compiled a shocking compendium of human rights violations by the Bush administration. But, unlike prior works, she presents remedies for these transgressions in a well-organized book accessible to activists, lawyers, students, teachers, union members, government officials and judges. This gripping work is an indispensable tool for citizens and lawyers defending civil liberties in the era of the Patriot Act and the War on Terrorism. Prof. Ginger is making several presentations per week, inviting listeners to share their experiences of violations, and fight backs, following some of the new paths for action in the book. She can be contacted at


Marjorie Cohn, a contributing editor to t r u t h o u t, is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists.



Zimbabwe Takes Harsh Steps to Counter Unrest


June 2, 2005

JOHANNESBURG, June 1 - Facing rising unrest over a collapsing economy, Zimbabwe's authoritarian government has apparently adopted a scorched-earth policy toward potential enemies, detaining thousands of people, burning homes and street kiosks and routing large numbers of people from makeshift homes in major cities.

The scope of the operation, which began in mid-May, is unknown, in part because a nationwide gasoline shortage has prevented some of those following events in Zimbabwe from monitoring the impact firsthand. But reports in the local press and from witnesses indicate that the police have detained or arrested as many as 30,000 residents in big cities and evicted hundreds of thousands more from shantytowns on the fringes of most cities.

The Movement for Democratic Change, an opposition party that was crushed in March elections that Western observers said had been rigged, contended at a news conference in the capital, Harare, on Wednesday that the police and soldiers had forced 1 million to 1.5 million people from their homes. Experts estimate Zimbabwe's population at 10 million to 11 million people.

Journalists and human rights advocates interviewed by telephone on Wednesday recounted scenes in which large numbers of the evicted people were camped beside major highways, unable to return to the city but equally powerless to reach rural relatives because of the gasoline shortage. Some of them, one human rights advocate said, had been there for a week or more.

"I don't think anyone has any idea of the scale - it's big," said that person, who refused to be identified because of the potential for government retaliation. "As things have rolled out, it's clear that they probably will clear every vendor and every unregulated selling site and, probably, every shantytown in Zimbabwe. If you do that, you're talking about a quarter of the population."

The government has said in state-run newspapers that the sweep is intended to rid Zimbabwe of its ragtag element and to shut down black-market operators who, the government claims, are buying up goods to create artificial shortages and drive up prices.

Ordinary Zimbabweans speculate, though, that the campaign is intended to make way for merchants from China, Zimbabwe's new and close ally, or to punish urban residents who voted against the government in parliamentary elections on March 31. The governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party was drubbed in major cities, but officially won most of the vote in a nation that remains primarily rural.

Some political analysts say President Robert G. Mugabe's government is making a pre-emptive move against urban unrest over the economic collapse, which has left store shelves empty of basic foodstuffs and made gasoline all but unobtainable. The economy, always perilous, has sharply worsened since the elections as a shortage of foreign exchange has stopped businesses from buying imported components and kept food imports well below needs.

The police and soldiers have been called frequently in the last two weeks to put down protests and near-riots by consumers waiting in lines and by residents whose shanties were being demolished. In Harare this week, as many as 3,000 people rioted as bulldozers knocked down shanties that the government insisted were illegal structures.

"Overnight, Zimbabwe has been turned into a massive internal refugee center with between 1 million and 1.5 million people displaced in Harare alone," Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, said at the news conference. "Property worth millions of dollars has gone up in flames. Families are out in the open without jobs, without shelter."

A journalist in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-biggest city, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that people there were seething over police sweeps that had removed street vendors who supplied the poor with many of their basic needs.

"There's tension," he said. "The police are driving around with dogs in their trucks. They're expecting the worst. They know that things can't go on like this. Something is going to ignite in a fuel queue, or something like that."

Mr. Mugabe met Wednesday with the executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, James Morris, to discuss emergency food relief for the poor. Last year Mr. Mugabe ordered most United Nations food deliveries to Zimbabwe halted, saying the country was "choking" on its own grain, but now has said that the nation will need 1.2 million tons of food to make up shortfalls in the next year.

At a news conference on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Mr. Morris said that Mr. Mugabe had made "a strong commitment" to permit deliveries of food aid for as many as four million Zimbabweans.

Mr. Morris said the government's campaign in shanties and informal markets was not discussed, because it was outside his agency's mandate.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Oil Crisis Film Takes Market Fears To Living Rooms

June 3, 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Think $55 a barrel oil is bad? Wait till a hurricane knocks out a U.S. pipeline and a port at the same time that militants are killing hostages in Saudi Arabia, sending oil prices over $150 a barrel.

That's the premise of "Oil Storm,'' a television docudrama set to premiere in the United States on Sunday. The movie uses exaggerated real life events and fictional characters to examine America's dependence on oil and the havoc a major disruption in supply could wreak on ordinary people.

The movie depicts -- albeit in the extreme -- what energy markets have spent much of the past year fretting about: hurricanes that can rip apart oil infrastructure and war and turbulence in the Middle East, which have driven crude prices to record highs.

And the writers aim to show why the intricacies of oil rigs and oil reserves should be as much a concern for average Americans, with their taste for gas guzzling SUVs and summer road trips, as they are for traders at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Everything is so interconnected that anything that happens in Saudi Arabia or China will have an impact on oil, and therefore an impact on you or I in terms of what happens at the pump,'' said Caroline Levy, its British producer and co-writer.

Levy is well aware that the movie could be criticized for fanning fears of a doomsday scenario, similar to last year's Hollywood blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow,'' in which New York was flooded by a tidal wave before being frozen solid, in a series of events that defied the laws of physics.

Few specialists expect a chain of events to occur any time soon that would lead to oil at $150 a barrel, although investment bank Goldman Sachs did send shockwaves into the market in March when it warned oil prices could hit $105 a barrel under a "super-spike'' scenario.

"None of what we're saying is so out of the realms of belief,'' said Levy, adding the movie is based on numerous interviews with energy experts and only a slight exaggeration of past events. "The purpose is to show how vulnerable the infrastructure of the oil industry in America is.''

In the movie, which will be aired on Fox's FX network, a powerful hurricane reminiscent of last year's Ivan smashes into Port Fourchon, Louisiana, cutting off a majority of the nation's oil imports and crippling production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. administration turns to its ally and top world exporter Saudi Arabia, which boosts supplies but then is forced to deal with an unfolding crisis of its own, involving "Shoot first, ask questions later'' security forces and hostages.

The movie depicts panic spreading across oil markets, sending oil prices above $150 a barrel, while cars across the United States line up outside gas stations, and everyone's lives are thrown into disarray.

"At the end of the movie, prices go back to pretty much what they were at the start of the year,'' said Levy. "But the film is basically saying 'What we can we learn from this?



Sore Throat

By Billmon

June 03, 2005

There was a time when the exposure of Deep Throat's identity would have grabbed my attention in a big way: At last!

The answer to all those boozy guessing games at all those journalistic watering holes of my younger days. Al Haig? John Dean? Martha Mitchell . . . no wait, wasn't she dead by then?

But it doesn't really matter any more. Anonymous whistleblowers have become little more than curious anachronisms, as likely to turn out to be bumbling fools or cynical disinformation artists (paging Michael Isikoff) as dedicated civil servants wiling to risk their careers to save the Republic.

The Republic is rather obviously beyond saving now -- even George Lucas understands that. Which is why the self-outing of Mark Felt had about as much relevance to our current slow motion coup d'état as a late-night cable rerun of All the President's Men.

It was, however, a very contemporary story in that it was clearly less about filling in the historical record and more about about cashing in on it. Felt and his family get a shot at a book/movie deal; the Washington Post gets to recall past glory (and use all that material it thought it would have to sit on until Deep Throat died) and various Watergate has-beens get to pontificate (or in Pat Buchanan's case, foam at the mouth) in front of a camera, thereby shoring up their honorarium value on the lecture circuit.

Like everything else these days, Deep Throat had become a media commodity. And things being as they are, I can't blame Felt and his family for deciding it was time to bring it to market.

But reading all the liberal pundits and bloggers moaning and groaning about the death of investigative reporting, and the pusillanimity of the corporate media, and the pure Nixonian evil of the Bush administration, and the crying need for more hero-patriots like Mark Felt, made me feel like screaming Buster Keaton's anti-nostalgia line from Limelight: "If one more person tells me this is just like ol' times, I swear I'll jump out the window."

The truth is that we do have heroic whistleblowers such as Mark Felt today. Their names are Richard Clarke and Sibel Edmonds and Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter -- and even Paul O'Neill, the former Treasury Secretary.

You want well-placed anonymous sources? How about the military officers who fed CBS and Sy Hersh their Abu Ghraib scoops, or the lawyers in the Judge Advocate General's office who spilled the beans on the torture memos, or whoever leaked the Downing Street memo.

You want ordinary Joes and Janes willing to risk the wrath of the powers to do what's right? How about the enlisted man who walked into the Army IG's office in Baghdad and told them the Marquis de Sade was making house calls at Abu Ghraib prison, or the Pentagon auditors who refused to sign off on the Haliburton payola, or the former detainees and the families in Afghanistan who risked their lives -- not just their careers -- by talking to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

You say we need indefatigable investigators, willing to follow the truth no matter where it leads? How about General Taguba or the International Red Cross or the ACLU lawyers who've been using the Freedom of Information Act to pry out far more information than I thought we would ever know about the inner workings of the Guantanamo gulag. you could even thow in David Kay -- the WMD true believer who tried mightly to prove Bush's case, but finally accepted and admitted that the primary rationale for the Iraq invasion was completely false.

Even the corporate media, for all its fawning cowardice, hasn't been as derelict as blog rhetoric would paint it. The Watergates of our time have been covered -- yes, timidly and halfheartedly, not to mention incompetently, but not nearly as timid and halfhearted and incompetent as the Nixon-era media establishment, which left the Post hanging out there, almost entirely alone, for almost a year before reluctantly accepting that the original Watergate was a real story that had to be covered.

And they didn't have Fox News, a Republican puppet Congress and a mob of crypto-fascist bloggers breathing down their necks.

No, as I wrote quite early in the Abu Ghraib saga, what's remarkable about our current situation is that unlike past scandals such as Watergate and Iran-Contra, we already know the essential details of the crime - the who, what, where, when and how - even though there hasn't been anything that remotely qualifies as a serious official investigation.
And yet, as this week's nostalgic caterwauling over Deep Throat indicates, justice has not been done, and isn't likely to be done in our lifetimes.

I can think of some specific, institutional reasons for that failure:

Bush's crimes are more deeply embedded in his presidential war powers than Nixon's were (although heaven knows Nixon also tried to hide behind those same powers.)

One party rule has choked off investigations armed with the subpoena power to go where journalists and the ACLU cannot tread.

The administration's cunning use of extra-territoriality and military secrecy has made it vastly harder for any would-be Judge Siricas to pierce the veil of executive privilege.

Last but hardly least, the weapons of information warfare in the Bush White House propaganda armory are infinitely more subtle, powerful and effective than the Nixon stonewall. Or, as Salon puts it:

The Bush administration has developed so many ways of manipulating information that anonymous sourcing would now be of little use. Secret "military" tribunals, indefinite detention without charge, torture, kidnapping, dressing up official press releases as news stories for complicit publishers -- these all make the Watergate coverup seem quaint.
All this may just be a long-winded way of saying that 9/11 changed everything. But it's still hard to escape the conclusion that the American people have had, generally speaking, plenty of opportunities to learn the filthy truth about this administration and this war -- that is, if they were actually interested in the truth, which many of them (up to 51%, judging from the last election) apparently are not.

What the health of the Republic requires, in other words, may not be a new crop of leakers and whistleblowers, or a fresh young generation of Woodwards and Bernsteins -- or even a more independent, aggressive media. What it may need is a new population (or half of a population, anyway), one that hasn't been stupified or brainwashed into blind submission, that won't look upon sadistic corruption and call it patriotism, and that will refuse to trade the Bill of Rights for a plastic Jesus and a wholly false sense of security.

That's a much taller order than asking the Gods to send us another Deep Throat -- or even a Luke Skywalker. It's also not an easy thing for liberals, with their old-fashioned faith in democracy, to face: That the Evil Emperor might have a majority (a narrow one, but still a majority) on his side. But a truth isn't any less true for being politically unpalatable.

Which is why right now it's easy for me to imagine Richard Nixon, looking up from the inner circle of hell and lamenting his immense bad luck in being elected to the presidency 30 years too soon.

Posted by billmon at June 3, 2005

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Weapons spending tops $1 trillion

June 7, 2005

Spending on weapons around the world topped $1 trillion (£560bn) for the first time in 2004, a new report says.

A study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) found that countries around the world spent $162 on weapons for each person alive.

The US alone accounted for 47% of the global total, mainly because of soaring spending on its "global war on terror".

Arms companies were benefiting from the demand, with sales at the top 100 firms up 25% in 2003 on the year before.

The pace of mega-mergers in the arms trade in recent years had slackened, Sipri said, but had left major military suppliers comparable in size and influence to top multinational corporations.

Driven by the US

According to the 2005 yearbook published by Sipri, a well-respected think-tank on war and peace studies, the total spending on weapons in 2004 grew 8% to $1.035 trillion - the highest dollar value yet.

Adjusted for inflation, the figure falls just 6% below the all-time peak of spending in 1987-88, the last gasp of the Cold War.

The US was the primary driver behind the 2004 growth as the massive budget allocations on fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and rearmament elsewhere were spent.

In all, its extra spending on the "war on terror" between 2002 and 2004 - some $238bn - exceeded the combined military spending of the developing world including China.

"The main explanation for the current level of, and trend in, world military spending is the spending on military operations abroad by the US and to a lesser extent its coalition partners," the report said.

But other countries too were rearming rapidly, notably in the Middle East.

China and India were key recipients of conventional weapons in 2004, Sipri found. Both relied extensively on Russia as a supplier, but were now keen to diversify their spending.

Long-running wars

The report went beyond military spending to look at trends in military activity and warfare.

It identified 19 conflicts which had cost more than 1,000 lives in 2004. All but three - against Al-Qaeda, in Darfur and in Iraq - were more than a decade old, Sipri said.

The institute also noted the perception that unilateral action was overtaking multi-nation measures to deal with global security issues.

"Many actions of the USA and other 'northern' powers since 2001 seem rather to have polarised attitudes further" in the face of transnational threats," the report said.

But it also noted that many other states were seeking to pool sovereignty or work through systems of international regulation - and the limitations the US experienced in working in Iraq without institutional backing.

"It would be hasty to assume that the unilateral rather than the multilateral approach to wielding power will shape the globe's future," the report said.

Check the Sipri 2005 yearbook at


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Haiti’s police ratchet up violence, dismiss human rights concerns

Port au Prince, Haiti (HIP) - Haitian police continued attacks against a pro-Aristide neighborhood for a third straight day. The area, known as Bel Air, has been a launching site for recent large demonstrations demanding the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It is also said to be a home to what Haitian police have alleged is a growing "urban guerilla" movement to destabilize the government before upcoming elections.

According to several residents, the police raids began on Friday evening and have been followed by several waves of armed assaults on the community. Residents also reported being unable to flee indiscriminate shooting by the police without running into roadblocks and checkpoints set up by U.N. forces surrounding the area. Many complained of arbitrary arrests of relatives by U.N. forces collaborating with the Haitian police as they tried to escape the gunfire.

Journalists entering the neighborhood were shown huge pools of blood where victims were reportedly shot without warning and early reports indicate that more than 30 people have been killed during the police raids. Gunfire could still be heard throughout Bel Air Sunday night as police launched another deadly assault.

"They are killing us. They are trying to slaughter us all," shouted an unidentified woman whose home was burned to the ground after police set fire to the area. More than 12 homes were reportedly burned to the ground in what many human rights observers have described as a "scorched earth" policy being used by the Haitian police.

The police raids come one day after a spokesman for Aristide's Lavalas movement in Haiti's capital, Mr. Sanba Boukman, condemned a recent attack and firebombing against a popular market in Port au Prince. At least 10 people are reported to have died in last week's blaze that was started after unidentified gunman began shooting in the area. This prompted U.S. Ambassador James B. Foley to join Haiti's business elite in calling for tougher measures to be used against what they have characterized as "armed gangs loyal to Aristide."

Haiti's latest wave of violence and insecurity began after the Haitian police fired on thousands of peaceful demonstrators in the capital demanding the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Feb. 28 and April 27. At least 11 unarmed demonstrators were killed in the two attacks forcing U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to echo demands of human rights organizations for an official investigation. The U.S.-installed government of Gerard Latortue has dismissed the allegations despite statements made by Brazilian General Heleno Ribera and video footage taken by a local television station confirming the unprovoked attacks. The video footage also shows members of Haiti's police force planting guns on corpses to justify the slayings on April 27.

Recent violence in Haiti's capital has also decreased the chances of holding elections scheduled to begin in October of this year. The body overseeing the election process, the Provisional Election Council, announced on May 30 that only 60,000 people have registered out of an eligible 4.5 million potential voters since the process began more then a month ago.

The current crisis in Haiti also prompted an editorial in a California newspaper on Saturday, the Contra Costa Times, to conclude, "Rushing to hold elections in the midst of anarchy is a formula for disaster. The United States must use its leverage to force the Latortue government to negotiate with Aristide and Lavalas. Aristide remains the country's most influential political figure and there will be no solution to the current crisis without his participation." Such positions are said to infuriate U.S. policy makers who are accused along with France and Canada of fomenting a coup against Aristide Feb. 29, 2004.

More related news on Haiti at


Date: 07 Jun 2005
From: "">
Subject: Emergency Preparedness against the "Universal Adversary"

Emergency Preparedness against the "Universal Adversary"

by Michel Chossudovsky

7 June 2005


Orwellian "Scenarios"

A recent Report of the Homeland Security Council entitled Planning Scenarios describes in minute detail, the Bush administration's preparations in the case of a terrorist attack by an outside enemy called the Universal Adversary (UA).

The Universal Adversary, is identified in the scenarios as an abstract entity used for the purposes of simulation. Yet upon more careful examination, this Universal Adversary is by no means illusory. It includes the following categories of potential "conspirators":

"foreign [Islamic] terrorists" ,

"domestic radical groups", [antiwar and civil rights groups]

"state sponsored adversaries" ["rogue states", "unstable nations"]

"disgruntled employees" [labor and union activists].

According to the Planning Scenarios Report :

"Because the attacks could be caused by foreign terrorists; domestic radical groups; state sponsored adversaries; or in some cases, disgruntled employees, the perpetrator has been named, the Universal Adversary (UA). The focus of the scenarios is on response capabilities and needs, not threat-based prevention activities." (See Planning Scenarios )

The domestic radical groups and labor activists, which visibly constitute a threat to the established political order, are now conveniently lumped together with foreign Islamic terrorists, suggesting that the PATRIOT anti-terror laws together with the Big Brother law enforcement apparatus are eventually intended to be used against potential domestic "adversaries".

While the Universal Adversary is "make-believe", the simulations constitute a dress rehearsal of a real life emergency situation:

"The scenarios have been developed in a way that allows them to be adapted to local conditions throughout the country"

Fifteen Distinct Scenarios

The scenarios cover the entire array of threats:

15 distinct threat scenarios to the Security of America carried out by four categories of enemies: Islamic terrorists, radical groups, rogue adversaries and labor activists.

The scenarios simulate operations carried out by the Universal Adversary (UA). They include inter alia a nuclear detonation (with a small 10-Kiloton improvised nuclear device, anthrax attacks, a biological disease outbreak including a pandemic influenza, not to mention a biological plague outbreak. Various forms of chemical weapons attacks are also envisaged including the use of toxic industrial chemicals, and nerve gas. Radiological attacks through the emission of a radioactive aerosol are also envisaged. (See Text box below)

What is revealing in the "doomsday scripts" is that they bear no resemblance to the weaponry used by clandestine urban "terrorists". In fact, in several cases, they correspond to weapons systems which are part of the US arsenal and which have been used in US sponsored military operations. The description of the nuclear device bears a canny resemblance to America's tactical nuclear weapon ("mini nuke") , which also has a 10-kiloton yield, approximately two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb. That Homeland Security should actually envisage a make believe scenario of large scale nuclear attacks by 'domestic radicals' and/or Islamic terrorists borders on the absurd.

With regard to the nerve gas attack scenario, in a cruel irony, it is the same type of nerve gas (as well as mustard gas) used by the US military against civilians in Fallujah. 

Building a Consensus

These simulations are applied to sensitize and "educate" key decision makers. The simulated data, the various categories of 'conspirators", the types of deadly weapons envisaged in the simulations are part of this knowledge base. The political objective of the Bush administration is to create a broad consensus: a feeling of allegiance and commitment within the emergency preparedness community.

The nature of the adversaries and the dangers of the attacks (ranging from nuclear detonations to nerve agents and anthrax) become "talking points". In the scenarios, the conspirators including the "domestic radical groups" and "disgruntled employees" are described as being in possession of "weapons of mass destruction".

CLIP - Read the missing part at

Financing the Police State Apparatus

A large amount of "real money" from tax payers pockets is used to protect America against a non-existent enemy, the Universal Adversary.

Under the guise of emergency preparedness, the administration has allocated more than of 40 billion dollars to beefing up the police state apparatus, an amount broadly equivalent to the "official" budget of the CIA.

The scenarios and exercises of terror attacks are being used by Homeland Security Sec Michael Chertoff, to push "risk-based planning" as a central theme of the DHS, also with a view to boosting the Homeland Security budget.

Out of the $41.1 billion, some $27 billion are allocated to discretionary expenditures. A hefty $3.6 billion are allocated "to train and equip first responders [i.e. consensus building], such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians." (

A multibillion dollar Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is envisaged, with a mandate to "detect and report attempts [by conspirators] to import, assemble or transport nuclear explosive devices, fissile material, or radiological material intended for illegal use"

The ultimate result (and intent) of these various counterterrorism initiatives, is not to "make America safer" against possible attacks by a non-existent Universal Adversary. Quite the opposite, emergency preparedness is the pretext for the militarization of civilian justice and law enforcement (See Frank Morales, "Homeland Defense" and the Militarisation of America, Frank Morales, Sept 2003 -
The Homeland Security agenda consists in breaking within America, all forms of social resistance and opposition to the "war on terrorism".)


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