January 6, 2005

Miscellaneous Subjects #209: Did You Hear About This One?

Hello everyone

This compilation has been in the work for over 10 days which is why its content covers a wider span of time than usual. It is cram full with a gushing and dizzying array of various information that are sure to keep you busy for a couple hours, especially if you explore a bit the numerous and vital links provided.

Oh! One more thing! Give a peek at the latest messages on the ERN guestbook at, especially the one from Carolyn Fumia who wrote (amongst other things and THANKS Carolyn!) "I was told this morning through an audient vision that George Bush is fearful of those whom he is loyal to and that he wishes to see beyond the veil. I was told that he may indeed shift to be in align with the will of the people, and the veil is thin to the completion of him doing right action for the good of the whole. I was told the tsunami was the beginning of a major shift of consciousness and that we were all recalibrated to a new grid. The man made grids have no ability to oppress the peoples' spirituality and knowing of their Divinity."

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Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.


From: "Daniel Kolos">
Subject: Re: In Memoriam
Date: 4 Jan 2005

Dear Jean,

I had an unusual vision on the night of the 27th of December and if you find it something your readers might share in compassion, please send it out with one of your compilations.


Daniel Kolos


8.9 on the Richter Scale

In Memoriam

I woke up from a dreamless sleep. Fear has paralyzed every limb,

even my breathing. Only my heart and my mind were alive, both of them racing, running in place but getting nowhere. I stared at the ceiling, and to my horror, a skull stared back at me. I am no Hamlet, but when I see a skull, either death is imminent, or the dead have something to say.

I waited for the former but my heart refused to stop, my mind refused to slow down. Assured that it was not my turn to die, I looked back up to the ceiling to see if the skull was still there.

Which dead did it represent?

"Who are you? What do you want?" I asked. My questions received immediate answers: "You cannot know nor comprehend!"

"Why are you here then?" I asked. "We cannot help it," the 'voices' from the skull replied. "You are able to see, we are able to manifest."

"Who are you?" I asked again, a little less timidly, but I only saw the wind blowing through the empty shell of bone, whistling in and out of the eye sockets. Whatever it was, it was not threatening. I watched fascinated and felt the fear recede from my limbs, warm blood having replacing it; felt the softness of my bed. I could even see the full moon outside my window.

The skull remained bright on the ceiling above me. As my mind slowed down, my feelings took over. I began to sense that it was not the wind that whistled through those dried-up teeth, played hide and seek between the ears, but rather thousands of souls floating through the ether.

A part of me retreated in horror at this realization, but another part of me rose towards this living skull in compassion for these newly released souls: they seemed uncertain of their status, didn't know their place; they were looking for closure, congregating wherever they were recognized, seeking whatever seemed familiar.

"Where do you come from?" I asked, but they didn't want to be questioned. I nevertheless felt they were looking for home.

I kept watching them, invisibly flying, creating the impression of wind, yet carrying the sensibilities of fear, panic, insecurity, of discontent and horror. It was the intensity of their collective feelings that must have woken me up in the first place!

I figured that if they could send emotions then they could also receive them. I communed with my heart. It led me to create a realm of peacefulness, a place where Allah blesses the faithful, where St. Peter welcomes the wary traveler, where the Buddha has ascended, where the Hindu gods take roll as to who has arrived and how and where they will return.

I even created a philosophers‚ corner where contentious souls can debate where they are till eternity: they were now free and I sent out to them a sense of freedom and a sensation of welcome and happy arrival along with a consciousness of self-discovery.

The skull began to fade from the ceiling, the 'wind' subsided as throngs of souls continued their journey elsewhere.

I looked at my wife, she was as pale as the full moon, a crone in her own right. She said: "Unbelievable! I was there with you, sending them love, gratitude for their manifesting, felt honored by their presence, respected their newfound freedom, and blessed them as much as my own heart would gather."

We kissed good night and went back to sleep, wondering what kind of dreams will follow?

Daniel Kolos
December 27, 2004
Priceville, Ontario

Worthy of Your Attention

Crisis press release
If you have an affinity with the communities in Auroville India, this is a site where you may assist them directly through a donation in support of their local relief effort providing assistance to hundreds of tsunami refugees.

"The Perfect Enemy"
"The Perfect Enemy" reveals that the al-Qaeda terror network is a fictional creation of the bloodthirsty maniacs who have seized control of the United States of America and now threaten the health and well-being of everyone in the world. It is also the title of the pivotal essay in John Kaminski's second collection of Internet essays, which have been featured on hundreds of websites around the world. Featuring the landmark screeds "9/11 is a hoax" and "Solving the enigma of media manipulation," "The Perfect Enemy" is a collection of horrified observations and incisive reporting about the shocking decline in the safety of the world, and a penetrating look at the dark future that awaits us if we do not regain control of our destinies and overcome the evil corporate forces that aim to enslave and destroy us. Author of "America's Autopsy Report" and the seminal booklet about 9/11, "The Day America Died," Kaminski has been a rare inspiration to thousands of readers whose hope in a just world has been rekindled by his unflinching pursuit of honesty in human affairs and penetrating insights into the corruption of human nature that now jeopardizes all life on this planet. As public consciousness evolves toward a better understanding of the vicious forces that control and diminish our lives, Kaminski's incendiary rhetoric has served as a rallying point for those with integrity who seek to get involved in the productive pursuit of justice, understanding, compassion, and peace.

"John Kaminski continues his fearless voyage into areas of thought and inquiry where most journalists fear to tread. The truth has never been less accessible - or pleasant - and John pulls no punches in telling the story exactly like he sees it. His writing is passionate, intense, loaded with hard data - and is often downright unforgettable. John is succeeding marvelously in journalism's highest calling: to encourage people to think."

- Jeff Rense, The Rense Program
Much MUCH more - all Kaminski's essays and more - at

911 In Plane Site -Directors Cut
Recommended by Meria who got the author on her show today, and who wrote: "Everything we were told on 911 was a LIE. Seeing is believing. Although we are trained (like Pavlov's dogs) to believe different than our eyes, brains and ears tell us, a picture is worth a thousand words. If they lied to us about Oklahoma City, JFK, Flight 800 and more, why not about 911? It was a military event, no doubt. What was under the plane? What kind of planes were they? Why was a report that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland for a bomb threat over an hour after we were told it was brought/shot down? Rumsfelds slip of the tongue on the missile; What hit the Pentagon? Was it a missile? Did the "plan" go awry? ; The explosions at the WTC; The van with explosives at the WTC; Pulling Building #7; Larry Silverstein's WINDFALL on the WTC; Eternal war on invisible "terror" - who benefits?; Danger of thermonuclear war; Hear actual audio clips of witnesses; Pearl Harbor, Northwoods, Lusitania and 911; NBC owned by GE, 1 of the top 10 defense contractors; Bin Laden? Hussein? WMD's?; what's the REAL conspiracy theory?; who is the war on freedom created by?; Condi Rice said she had evidence on Bin Laden - where is it?; What do people fear so much in Dave's video? Why the slams? Who is really the disinfo experts?; what about the suspicious device found by police at WTC that could cause another EXPLOSION? and so much more. "

On January 6, 2005, Congress will certify the November 2, 2004 election Electoral College vote count, unless at least one Representative and one Senator contests the election. Several Representatives stand ready to do this.Only one senator is needed now.Please encourage Democratic Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia -- currently the most outspoken critic of Bush administration policies in the U.S. Senate -- to stand against U.S. election fraud and contest certification of the Electoral College vote count. Email Senator Byrd at: Or, phone Senator Byrd at: 202-224-3954, or fax: 202-228-0002 (MUCH MORE ON THIS below in Votergate Update)

The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range (31 Megs Flash) by Roger Waters

The Idiot Son of an Asshole - song and flash animation
Recommended by Meria>

Say No to Torture
I hate to start the New Year with bad news, but the Senate is about to consider Alberto Gonzales' nomination to become Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft. Gonzales is the White House counsel notorious for opening the door to torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons. Senators should view the Gonzales nomination very skeptically, given this radical history. As part of the upcoming hearings, we can call on Senators to ask Gonzales to unequivocally renounce torture as an instrument of American policy. Join me in asking Gonzales and Senators to prohibit torture by going at -- Sent by "Larry Stell">
Check also... Gonzales and the Horse He Rode In On
Backing Gonzales Is Backing Torture
Former Military Leaders Challenge Gonzales Nomination



1. Many Thousands Cut Off from Relief - Small Fraction of Food Aid Has Been Delivered
2. Many Governments Knew About the Quake/Tsunami - But Didn't Issue Warnings
3. Elephants Saved Tourists from Tsunami
4. Tsunami Disaster Highlights Corporate Media Hypocrisy
5. The Role of U.S. Criminal Negligence on a Global Scale



1. Celebrate & Resist!
2. Kerry to Enter Ohio Recount Fray


1. Harrison Ford To Star in "Battle of Falluja" Film
2. Poison Pen
3. What happened in Kurdish Halabja?
4. A Not So Wonderful Life
5. Will The GOP Nuke The Constitution?
6. U.S. Cutting Food Aid Aimed at Self-Sufficiency
7. Human rights group demands U.S. accountability in Afghanistan
8. China urged to donate to World Food Program: report


Did New York Orchestrate The Asian Tsunami? (Jan 5) ASTOUNDING CLAIM BY JOE VIALLS!!
With Afghanistan and Iraq already lost, the Wall Street bankers were all desperately looking for other ways to control our world, when suddenly and very conveniently, the Sumatran Trench exploded. Trick or Treat?

Was the Christmas/Boxing Day 2004 Earthquake-Tsunami Event Caused by Seismic (Tectonic) Warfare? (1-5-05 Update)
This comprehensive research and analysis seems to substantiate Joe Vialls' assertion above...

Earthquake: Coincidence or a Corporate Oil Tragedy? (Dec 28, 2004)

Tsunami Earthquake: Tragedy Or Oil Drilling Disaster? (January 03, 2005 - same as above)
According to independent reporter Andrew Limburg reporting for Independent Media TV, it would worthwhile asking ourselves some questions before discounting the Asian tsunami tragedy as a simple coincidence of uncontrollable earthly forces. (...) Whale Beachings in Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand on November 30th, 2004. The cause for these beachings is not known, but Bob Brown, a senator in the Australian parliament, said "sound bombing" or seismic tests of ocean floors to test for oil and gas had been carried out near the sites of the Tasmanian beachings recently. CLIP (The additional comments posted there are worth reading too)

Earthquakes, Tsunamis And Nuclear Testing (Jan 1, 2005 - comprehensive analysis)
(...) Q: Is it possible for a nuclear explosion to have triggered the Macquarie quake in some way and indirectly caused the changes that led to the Sumatra quake and the Asian tsunami? A: It is possible that a very large explosion might have triggered the first quake directly in some way or that repeated prior testing could have induced changes that led to the quake indirectly, but research on the fall-out of nuclear testing is so highly classified that little is known of the possible impact. The U.S. has not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, leaving the door open to future U.S. testing despite an extended moratorium. There has already been a strong move toward resumption of testing since 2002. Now earth-penetrating nukes (bunker busters) and mini-nukes might provide the pretext.

Many Governments knew but did nothing to evacuate coastal areas – global conspiracy, UFO threats or concerted failure?
(This article is included in full below)

See also:

Last Six Months Deadliest for U.S. Forces in Iraq (Jan 1, 2005)

U.S. Wounded in Iraq Reaches 10,000

Death in Fallujah Rising (Jan 4)
Fallujah - "It was really distressing picking up dead bodies from destroyed homes, especially children. It is the most depressing situation I have ever been in since the war started," Dr Rafa'ah al-Iyssaue, director of the main hospital in Fallujah city, some 60 km west of Baghdad, told IRIN. According to al-Iyssaue, the hospital emergency team has recovered more than 700 bodies from rubble where houses and shops once stood, adding that more than 550 were women and children. He said a very small number of men were found in these places and most were elderly. Doctors at the hospital claim that many bodies had been found in a mutilated condition, some without legs or arms. Two babies were found at their homes, who are believed to have died from malnutrition, according to a specialist at the hospital. Al-Iyssaue added these numbers were only from nine neighbourhoods of the city and that 18 others had not yet been reached, as they were waiting for help from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) to make it easier for them to enter. He explained that many of the dead had been already buried by civilians from the Garma and Amirya districts of Fallujah after approval from U.S.-led forces nearly three weeks ago, and those bodies had not been counted. CLIP

White House May Want $100 Billion More for War (04 January 2005)
Washington - Congress expects a new White House request for as much as $100 billion this year for war and related costs in Iraq and Afghanistan, congressional officials say. It would be the third and largest Iraq-related request from the White House yet, and could push the cost of the Iraq war over $200 billion - far above the initial White House estimates of $50 billion-$60 billion. So far, the Iraq war has cost about $130 billion, according to the White House's Office of Management and Budget. CLIP

SCOTT RITTER: Rude awakening to missile-defense dream (January 4, 2005)
DELMAR, N.Y. (CSM) - On Christmas Eve 2004, the Russian Strategic Missile Force test fired an advanced SS-27 Topol-M road-mobile intercontinental ballistic Missile (ICBM).This test probably invalidated the entire premise and technology used in the National Missile Defense (NMD) system currently being developed and deployed by the Bush administration, and at the same time called into question the validity of the administration's entire approach to arms control and disarmament.

Shredded: Hundreds of thousands of government documents (Dec 23, 2004)
(...) Hundreds of thousands of secret Whitehall files are being shredded before the public gains the right to see them under the Freedom of Information Act on 1 January.Figures obtained by The Independent show a dramatic escalation in the destruction of confidential papers before the new rights of access come into force. Whitehall departments, including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), have almost doubled the number of files they have destroyed since the Freedom of Information Act became law. Although the legislation was passed in 2000, Whitehall was given more than four years to prepare for its introduction. Ministers are bracing themselves for a flood of demands to see confidential documents. Freedom of Information will give the public unprecedented access to previously secret files, including details of ministers' diaries and confidential briefing papers.But MPs accused the Government last night of racing to shred compromising information in a desperate attempt to hide it from the public. Julian Lewis, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, warned that the frantic activity could deprive academics and historians of potentially vital information about the run-up to the Iraq war and previous conflicts such as the Falklands. Mr Lewis said: "There has been a dramatic and disturbing increase in the number of files that have been shredded. The steep rise in shredding in some departments is hard to account for other than the awareness that information in these files will no longer be classified as confidential. In the past, the Government could say nothing until 30 years had elapsed. CLIP

Euro Trash: Even Drug Dealers Are Ditching The Dollar (Dec 28)>1=5986&MSID=9E2002E880FD494694DC43BAC0F525A9
The dollar's decline against the euro shows no sign of ending. Clearly, currency traders have made a long-term judgment about the relative value of the currencies of the Old and New Worlds. That sounds bad enough. But now there are signs that we're losing some of the most devoted fans of the greenback: drug dealers, Russian oligarchs, and black-market traffickers of all kinds. CLIP

Christmas Eve of Destruction
(...) The U.S. military can't even protect our troops when they're eating lunch in a supposedly secure space - even after the Mosul base commanders had been warned of a "Beirut-style" attack three weeks before - because the Iraqi security forces and support staff have been infiltrated by insurgency spies. Each milestone, each thing that is supposed to enable us to get some traction and change the basic dynamic in Iraq, comes and goes without the security getting any better. The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that a major U.S. contractor, Contrack International Inc., had dropped out of the multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild Iraq, "raising new worries about the country's growing violence and its effect on reconstruction." The Bush crowd thought it could get in, get out, scare the Iranians and Syrians, and remove the bulk of our forces within several months. But now we're in, and it's the allies, contractors and election watchdogs who want out. Aside from his scintilla of candor, Mr. Bush is still not leveling with us. As he said at his press conference on Monday, "the enemies of freedom" know that "a democratic Iraq will be a decisive blow to their ambitions because free people will never choose to live in tyranny." They may choose to live in a theocracy, though. Americans did.

Families of Slain Troops Raise $600,000 for Fallujah Refugees
Los Angeles - Families of US troops killed in the offensive on the Iraqi city of Fallujah are to travel to Jordan next week with 600,000 dollars worth of humanitarian aid for refugees of the attack. The November assault on Fallujah left 71 US military dead, according to the families, and the Iraqi government said more than 2,000 Iraqis were killed. "This delegation is a way for me to express my sympathy and support for the Iraqi people," said Rosa Suarez of Escondido in California. "The Iraq war took away my son's life, and it has taken away the lives of so many innocent Iraqis. It is time to stop the killing and to help the children of Iraq," she added in a statement released by the families. The families said with peace groups, physicians' organisations and relatives of the September 11, 2001 attacks victims, they raised 100,000 dollars in an internet appeal. Humanitarian groups such as Middle East Children's Alliance and Operation USA contributed 500,000 dollars worth of medical supplies. The families are to fly to Amman on December 26 and hand over the supplies to humanitarian and medical workers there.

Iraq Battling More Than 200,000 Insurgents: Intelligence Chief (Jan 3)
Baghdad - Iraq's insurgency counts more than 200,000 active fighters and sympathisers, the country's national intelligence chief told AFP, in the bleakest assessment to date of the armed revolt waged by Sunni Muslims. "I think the resistance is bigger than the US military in Iraq. CLIP

Wal-Mart & Supermarket Giants Crush Latin American Farmers (Dec 28)
(...) Across Latin America, supermarket chains partly or wholly owned by global corporate goliaths like Ahold, Wal-Mart and Carrefour have revolutionized food distribution in the short span of a decade and have now begun to transform food growing, too. The megastores are popular with customers for their lower prices, choice and convenience. But their sudden appearance has brought unanticipated and daunting challenges to millions of struggling, small farmers. The stark danger is that increasing numbers of them will go bust and join streams of desperate migrants to America and the urban slums of their own countries. Their declining fortunes, economists and agronomists fear, could worsen inequality in a region where the gap between rich and poor already yawns cavernously and the concentration of land in the hands of an elite has historically fueled cycles of rebellion and violent repression. CLIP

7 Palestinian youths killed by Israeli tank (January 5, 2005)
JERUSALEM Responding to Palestinian shelling, an Israeli tank on Tuesday fired at suspected militants in a farming area. But the strike killed seven Palestinian youths, aged 11 to 17, harvesting strawberries in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian hospital officials and witnesses.

US and Ukraine - Are we on the brink of a new cold war (Dec 27)
Are we on the brink of a new cold war? On both sides of the Atlantic, media commentators see the crisis in Ukraine as comparable to the Berlin crises, involving the US and the Soviet Union, which kept the world on tenterhooks for decades. In this supposed drama, a resurgent Kremlin under an ex-KGB colonel is suppressing freedom at home and encroaching on ex-Soviet republics around his country's vast rim. (...) America's drive to dominate the old Soviet Union represents a gamble by today's only superpower to seize the highest-value chips on the table before China and India join the game. If China can add access to post-Soviet energy to the Chinese hand, it will be game on for a real new cold war. Many of the predictions among Washington neoconservatives about China's growing power recall the fear among German militarists that the window of opportunity for a global role was closing by 1914. Washington's drive to seize maximum advantage before the inevitable waning of US power recalls the Kaiser's cry 80 years ago: "Now or never!"

Why Progressives Must Embrace the Ukrainian Pro-Democracy Movement
Some elements of the American left have committed a grievous error, both morally and strategically, in their failure to enthusiastically support the momentous pro-democracy movement in the Ukraine. After more than three centuries of subjugation under Russian rule--first under the czars and then under the communists--followed by a dozen years of independence under corrupt and autocratic rule, the Ukrainian people appear to be on the verge of a new era of freedom. This development is significant, given that--with a population and land mass comparable to France, rich in minerals, fertile farmland, and modern industry--a democratic Ukraine could become a pivotal, independent player in European and international affairs. But rather than embracing this inspiring triumph of the human spirit against authoritarianism and repression, much of the left media has focused instead upon the opposition's shortcomings and on the double standards and questionable motivations of the Bush administration's support for the movement. Although these concerns are not without merit, they miss the fact that we are witnessing one of the most notable popular democratic uprisings in history. Furthermore, the left's lukewarm response has given both the right and the mainstream media an opportunity to brand the entire progressive community with allegations that we oppose freedom and democracy. CLIP

2004 sets records for heat and natural disasters
From WEEKLY GRIST 21 Dec 2004
2004 may be the fourth warmest year on record and the most expensive to date for insurance companies stuck with the tab for cleaning up after natural disasters, according to new data released last week. Extreme weather conditions in many parts of the world, including a record 10 typhoons in Japan and the first-ever hurricane in South America, are being blamed on global warming. Flooding, drought, hurricanes, and other weather events cost insurance companies $35 billion in the first 10 months of the year -- $26 billion of that in the U.S. Following the release of the data, climate experts and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan urged representatives at an international climate conference in Buenos Aires to stop dilly-dallying and take some action to combat climate change. U.S. reps weren't warm to the notion. "There's no scientific direct evidence connecting storms to climate change," said Conrad Lautenbacher, U.S. commerce undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere.
Details in Climate change hits bottom line

Hopi prophecy pointed to climate change (November 05, 2004)
Beginning about 70 years ago, some traditional Hopi formulated a message to the rest of the world that there was a rising danger that humankind's lack of spiritual attention to the world was going to lead to disaster. The form this disaster would take was that there would be violent storms and all kinds of disruption that would eventually threaten human beings around the world. It had happened before, they said, and all signs, including ancient prophecies, are that it will happen again. The individual who emerged as spokesperson for this was Thomas Banyacya. A very interesting element to the message was that proof of their message was to be found in the American's own libraries and scientific papers. There is every evidence that this is happening, just as the traditional Hopi predicted, and the major leadership of the world is not acting in an effective way to meet the threat. This August, the Bush administration finally issued a statement acknowledging that human activity may be contributing to global warming. If you think that radical Islamic terrorism is scary, wait until you see global warming. CLIP

Human Extinction Within 100 Years Warns Scientists,1478,3099128a10,00.html

We Are Facing The End Of Civilisation As We Know It By The End Of The Century

2004 Fourth Hottest Since Records Began

Climate Change Will Push Wildlife Northward and Upward

Resolution of cold war, India-Pak peace talks, control of terrorism and only one time travel of mankind to moon – all linked to bizarre outer space effect! (August 25, 2004)
Have you ever thought why America went to moon for just one time? Why did the Russians never go to the moon? Why all astronauts’ travels only up to a few hundred miles above the earth and never cross an imaginary limit in space? What made America and Soviet Union resolve the cold war? In spite of all hostilities why is Pakistan and India conferring on the same peace table? Why is America so eager to get a handle on suitcase nukes (nuclear bombs) that terrorists can use?Answer to all these came out in Coast to Coast AM program with George Noori in a very bizarre way! A special guest, Dr. Richard Boylan has some interesting answers. CLIP

"Palestine-Israel 101" The two state solution explained for Americans (MOST EXCELLENT!)
(...) The OneVoice poll of 23,000 Palestinians and 17,000 Israelis as reported in AP and Ha’aretz found that 76% on each side endorsed the two-state concept - a Palestinian state existing beside a Jewish state, "each recognizing the other as such, both democratic and respecting human rights, including minority rights." Recommended by "Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)"> on Dec 23

Sperm whales suffer the bends (23 December 2004)
Natural bone damage highlights need to protect whales from military sonar.

Believe it or not, they're all the same species (26/12/2004)
It is one of the best-known stories in science: the evolution of mankind from ape-like creatures to modern humans via knuckle-grazing cave-dwellers. Now it has been blown apart by the first comprehensive study of all the fossils, which has revealed that they are probably all variants of Homo sapiens.The discovery comes as fossil-hunters in Indonesia continue to defend claims to have found yet another new species of human, dubbed "Hobbit Man". If true, the diminutive creature would join such famous specimens as Lucy, Java Man and the The findings have significant implications for the often bitter debates between fossil-hunters about the significance of their finds. While they no longer bicker over the so-called "Missing Link" - the now-derided idea of a creature linking humans to chimpanzees - experts continue to argue over the relationship between Australopithecines and early humans, and between Neanderthals and modern humans. The number of human species claimed by fossil-hunters now stands at around 10, while the total number of human-like species exceeds 50. Such claims have long been based on supposedly significant differences in sizes and shapes of fossil bones. Now they have all been thrown into doubt by research showing that the differences lie within the range expected for just a single species. Professor Maciej Henneberg, of the University of Adelaide, a world authority on fossil human anatomy, made the discovery after analysing the skull sizes and estimated body weights for all of the 200 identified specimens of human-like fossils known as hominims. These span the entire history of humans, from the emergence of so-called Australopithecines with an upright stance more than four million years ago to neolithic modern humans from around 10,000 years ago.Prof Henneberg found that the fossils show clear evidence of evolution, with substantial increases in both skull sizes and body-weight. However, he also found that the fossils show no evidence of being anything other than a single species which had grown bigger and smarter over time. CLIP

Omega-News Collection 17. December 2004

Omega-News Collection 26. December 2004


To get all the last Tsunami news check the Yahoo full coverage on this at

Doctors Warn of Health Woes From Tsunami (Jan 6)
Even as world leaders gathered Thursday to coordinate billions of dollars in tsunami relief, doctors warned of a looming catastrophe from ever-more serious health woes, including gangrenous wounds that require amputations, children with diarrhea and pneumonia spread by dirty water. (...) Besides how to distribute about $3.8 billion in pledged aid, world leaders also discussed the establishment of an Indian Ocean tsunami warning system. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said that if basic needs particularly access to safe drinking water are not restored by the end of this week, there would be a risk of infectious disease outbreaks that could kill 150,000 people doubling the tsunami's direct impact. CLIP

Europe pays respects to tsunami victims Asia Quake (January 6)
Europe has paid tribute to those killed in the tsunami disaster by observing three minutes' silence at midday. As Big Ben chimed in London, people across Britain stopped in their tracks. In schools and shops, mosques and churches, Buckingham Palace and the London stock exchange they observed the silent tribute to the dead. An hour earlier, the rest of Europe had done the same, millions of people stopping to remember and mourn - in offices and city squares in every country except Denmark, which had already held its own silent vigil. Cars, buses and trains came to a standstill in honour of all those killed, including the hundreds of European tourists who lost their lives and the thousands still missing.



Many Thousands Cut Off from Relief - Small Fraction of Food Aid Has Been Delivered

04 January 2005

Banda Aceh, Indonesia - U.N. relief officials warned Monday that tens of thousands of people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia had not received help and that some were at risk of dying because ruined roads and bad communications were preventing the distribution of supplies.

International relief groups have delivered only one-eighth of the 400,000 tons of food flown and trucked into the Indonesia city of Banda Aceh by the U.N. World Food Program, said Michael Elmquist, chief of the U.N. office coordinating the rescue effort in the country. He said the delivery of lifesaving food and medicine has been slowed by impassable highways, severed telecommunications and airports unable to accommodate enough relief flights.

"I have witnessed a buildup of aid on a scale that has never happened before," Elmquist said. "This effort has been hampered very seriously."

Early Tuesday, a Boeing 737 was left stranded on the runway at the Banda Aceh airport, delaying other relief shipments, after the plane reportedly hit a buffalo when it tried to land.

At the United Nations, Jan Egeland, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, said Monday that it was impossible to estimate how many people had not received emergency aid since the Dec. 26 earthquake that generated the tsunami off the northern coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island.

"My heart goes out to those along the Sumatra coast, because we're not even there, and those were the hardest hit," Egeland said. "Are they tens of thousands, are they hundreds of thousands that we're not reaching? I don't even know."

Egeland estimated that fatalities from the catastrophe now exceeded 150,000. The official death count is about 139,000, including more than 94,000 in Indonesia and 30,000 in Sri Lanka, the island nation off the southern tip of India. The tsunami killed people in coastal areas in nine other countries around the Indian Ocean. Throughout the region, about 500,000 people may have been seriously injured and millions left homeless, U.N. officials said.

"The death toll will grow exponentially on the western coast of Sumatra," Egeland said at a news conference.

The World Food Program reported Monday that 30,000 people in Burma needed emergency help, despite milder assessments from the country's secretive military government. International aid agencies have estimated that as many as 90 people were killed in Burma, but some experts said the toll could be significantly higher. A computer model by Steven N. Ward, a geophysicist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, indicated that the wave hit Burma as hard as adjacent areas of southern Thailand, where at least 5,000 people are reported to have been killed.

U.S. military helicopters on Monday ferried dozens of victims from isolated zones in Aceh province, located in northern Sumatra, to the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, the Associated Press reported. Those rescued included children, elderly people and two pregnant women. Doctors said victims suffered from pneumonia, broken bones, infected wounds and tetanus, and many were in critical condition or traumatized. CLIP


See also:

Tsunami: Aerial shots reveal extent of devastation (5 Jan 2005)
Sunday 26 December 2004 was a day that changed Asia forever. Trillions of tonnes of water roared across the Indian Ocean, and the force with which they struck the surrounding coastlines is all too apparent in these satellite images. Seaside resorts and villages have been reduced to mud; entire beaches are gone. The disaster has left a blot on the landscapes of Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, both physically and in terms of the 150,000 lives that it has claimed so far. These photographs were captured by a range of Earth-observation satellites including IKONOS, SPOT 2, SPOT 5 and RADARSAT-1, and by the Indian National Remote Sensing Agency. The pairs of images show devastated regions before and after the tsunami.

Crush Injuries Pose Post-Tsunami Challenge (January 4, 2005)
Survivors of last week's Indian Ocean tsunami are suffering not only from diarrhea, mental trauma and dehydration but also from horrific crush injuries, one charity said on Monday. People risk infections such as gangrene as well as lung complications after being tossed by the waves and hit by the debris that washed ashore during the Dec. 26 tsunami, said Dr. John Howe, president and chief executive officer of Project HOPE. (...) "The crush injuries or blunt injuries can come from the force of water," said Howe. They are often similar to those seen in car accident victims, he said. "The end result is crushed tissues and crushed bones," he said." The people that inhaled the water -- that led to impaired or damaged functioning of the lung and an inability to expand the lung as well as to contract the lung. In that case you have a perfect setting for infection. "Surgical equipment and antibiotics will both be needed, Howe said. Thai health officials in hard-hit Phuket have asked for surgical gowns, gloves and masks, while Indonesia's health ministry has asked for antibiotics, Howe said. "We are preparing an airlift to respond to both of these calls for help," he said.Howe said FedEx Corp. would ship the supplies for free, and "a host of companies" was donating the medical supplies, including antibiotics from GlaxoSmithKline, bandages from Johnson&Johnson and gloves and syringes from Becton Dickinson and Co.

Animals Across South Asia in Danger after Tsunami Muddies Water, Kills Owners (Jan 04)
BANGKOK, Thailand — The tsunami that pounded South Asia last week has created a second tier of victims: animals. Dogs are homeless in Thailand. Cows, water buffalo and goats have died in Sri Lanka. A number of farm animals are roaming destroyed grazing land and drinking polluted water since their owners have died, said Sherry Grant, Asia director for Humane Society International.

Rains, Floods Hamper Tsunami Relief (Jan 4)

EU Considers Creating Disaster Reaction Force (Jan 4)

Germany Plans Disaster Early Warning Conference (Jan 4)

UN Hails Tsunami Aid Despite Problems (Jan 4)

Tsunami Summit to Discuss Alert System, Show Support (Jan 4)

Thousands Need Water in Aceh, Disease Emerges (Jan 4)

UN Says 54,000 Somalis Stricken by Tsunami (Jan 4)

Rains Maroon Survivors of Sri Lankan Tsunami (Jan 4)

Coastal 'Green Belts' Seen as Tsunami Life Savers (Jan 4)

Scientists: Volcano Could Swamp U.S. with Mega-Tsunami (Jan 4)
A wall of water up to 55 yards high crashing into the Atlantic seaboard of the United States, flattening everything in its path -- not a Hollywood movie but a dire prophecy by some British and U.S. academics.

Tsunamis and a Nuclear Threat in the South of India (02 January 2005)
Chennai, India - This coastal city in south India has just survived a double peril - the tsunami disaster and a nuclear threat. The waves of tidal height, which hit Chennai last Sunday, did not stop with destroying fishermen's hamlets and flooding out thousands of other homes and lives. The tsunamis also inundated a part of the nuclear plant located in the city outskirts and close to the sea. We have to wait for a full report on the damage. And, we may only wait in vain for an official report of this description. It needs no further investigation, however, to see that the Kalpakkam nuclear complex and the tsunami made a deadly combination indeed.

Leading Geologist Gave Repeated Quake/Tsunami Warnings (1-4-5)
A leading geologist repeatedly warned Indonesian officials that an earthquake and tsunami would soon strike their shores, it emerged this weekend. Kerry Sieh, professor of geology at California Institute of Technology, has been studying the region for nearly a decade. Last July he became so concerned at the likely massive loss of life that he printed and distributed 5,000 posters and brochures around some of the islands later hit by the earthquake. He addressed church congregations and schools to tell people what to do in an earthquake. His main advice was for people to live away from shorelines. Sieh had been due to meet Indonesian officials last month to discuss a wider education programme but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute because the officials said they had no money.   Two weeks ago he expressed his fear that a big earthquake and tsunami were overdue in the region at a conference in San Francisco. Sieh said this weekend: "No one can predict exactly when an earthquake will happen but it was clear that this area was at relatively high risk and such an event would definitely happen one day. "We told them it would kill people, wreck infrastructure and destroy livelihoods. But our warnings were falling on deaf ears. "My team and I decided to bypass the national and local government and start warning people directly. I hope our efforts saved some lives." Ten years ago Sieh installed monitors on islands off Sumatra. His research focused on the Mentawai Islands, a chain 100 miles south of the epicentre of the Boxing Day quake. Communication has not been re-established with the islands since the tsunami. At his speech to the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, he pointed out that, historically, such events have occurred in clusters. Sieh believes this means another quake could be on the way: "There is some evidence that the stresses on the tectonic plates south of the epicentre may now have increased and raised the chances of another major earthquake."



(Also from

Many Governments knew but did nothing to evacuate coastal areas – global conspiracy, UFO threats or concerted failure?

By Sudhir ChaddaSpecial Correspondent

India Daily News


Now it is slowly coming out that almost all the Governments affected by the Tsunami knew about the earthquake and possible Tsunami hours before their countries were hit. by the killer tidal waves. The only local Government that did not have a chance to react or evacuate was in Sumatra and Andaman Nicobar islands.

Based on the analysis of the time sequence in which these Governments received information and failed or decided not to act is alarming. In Sri Lanka, India, Maldives and Thailand rumors in the main street are rampant that their respective Governments were told not to act by someone or some entity.

Indian Military, for example, clearly got the information two hours before the Tsunami hit the India's mainland. An Indian Air Force base was wiped out in Andaman Nicobar island near Sumatra close to the epicenter if the earthquake two hours before the Tsunami hit the mainland India. When Indian Military tried to inform the Government, the Government did nothing as if they did not hear.

Same story is being repeated in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Maldives. How can all the countries decide to let Tsunami come and not evacuate a single human being?

Some are concluding that the Governments knew of some experiments by some country, agency or entities. They were clearly told not to react because it was in a controlled environment. Or, they may have just asked to keep quiet.

Recent alien contacts have been reported with the South Asian Governments especially India. UFO sightings have been rampant over the region affected. Some in Nicobar Island say that it was an experiment conducted by the alien extra-terrestrial entities to correct the wobbly rotation of the earth. And some of the Indian scientists are actually seeing that wobbly rotation of the earth has been corrected since the massive underwater earthquake and Tsunami.

In Indian capital of New Delhi, faxes were being sent to wrong fax numbers so that nothing much is done even though the Government clearly knew about the coming Tsunami. People have started asking the question - was this utter failure or global conspiracy to accommodate some entity or interest or was this for the good of the earth?

If this was an utter failure, how do you justify that all six Governments failed separately in their own domain one by one.

According to some extraterrestrial UFO observers, the UFO sightings before the earthquake and Tsunami were very unusual in that part of the world. They claim the world's Governments were told not to act for some reason.

The most amazing thing is that United States Geological Survey and Ocean Monitoring agencies came to know about the Tsunhe Tsunami and earthquake but decided not to do anything. Well it seems the whole world decided to fail to do anything together at the same time. Are we missing something?

Can it be that all the Government Agencies knew what was happening but were told not to do anything? Who told them? Or is this just a tragic coincidence?

In Thailand, some in the Government said they decided not to act because it would just scare people. Really? Are we not supposed to get scared of scary things?



Elephants Saved Tourists from Tsunami

By Mark Bendeich

04 January 2005

Khao Lak, Thailand - Agitated elephants felt the tsunami coming, and their sensitivity saved about a dozen foreign tourists from the fate of thousands killed by the giant waves.

"I was surprised because the elephants had never cried before," mahout Dang Salangam said on Sunday on Khao Lak beach at the eight-elephant business offering rides to tourists.

The elephants started trumpeting - in a way Dang, 36, and his wife Kulada, 24, said could only be described as crying - at first light, about the time an earthquake measured at a magnitude of 9.0 cracked open the sea bed off Indonesia's Sumatra island.

The elephants soon calmed down. But they started wailing again about an hour later and this time they could not be comforted despite their mahouts' attempts at reassurance.

"The elephants didn't believe the mahouts. They just kept running for the hill," said Wit Aniwat, 24, who takes the money from tourists and helps them on to the back of elephants from a sturdy wooden platform.

Those with tourists aboard headed for the jungle-clad hill behind the resort beach where at least 3,800 people, more than half of them foreigners, would soon be killed. The elephants that were not working broke their hefty chains.

"Then we saw the big wave coming and we started running," Wit said.

Around a dozen tourists were also running towards the hill from the Khao Lak Merlin Resort, one of a line of hotels strung along the 10 km (6-mile) beach especially popular with Scandinavians and Germans.

"The mahouts managed to turn the elephants to lift the tourists onto their backs," Kulada said.

She used her hands to describe how the huge beasts used their trunks to pluck the foreigners from the ground and deposit them on their backs.

The elephants charged up the hill through the jungle, then stopped.

The tsunami drove up to 1 km (1,000 yards) inshore from the gently sloping beach which had been so safe for children it made Khao Lak an ideal place for a family holiday. But it stopped short of where the elephants stood.

On Sunday, the elephants were back at work giving rides to the tourists on whom the area depends.

German Ewald Heeg, who said he came from a small town near Frankfurt, said his charter company had offered his family - wife, two daughters and one of their boyfriends - the chance to go straight home, but he had turned it down.

"Our family is OK so we stay here to make our holiday," he said.

"Today, we make a safari. We go by elephants at first, then we make a boat trip."



The Role of U.S. Criminal Negligence on a Global Scale

Casualties of a policy of war, negligence, and corporate greed

Statement from the International Action Center

December 28, 2004--While earthquakes and tsunamis are natural disasters, the decision to spend billions of dollars on wars of conquest while ignoring simple measures that can save human lives is not.

At least 55,000 people (NFJ: Now it is more than 150,000) were killed by the tsunami that devastated coastlines from Indonesia to Somalia. Almost a third of the dead are children. Thousands are still missing and millions are homeless in 11 countries. Hundreds of thousands have lost everything, and millions face a bleak future because of polluted drinking water, a lack of sanitation and no health services, according to UN undersecretary Jan Egeland, who is in charge of emergency relief coordination.

Egeland said, "We cannot fathom the cost of these poor societies and the nameless fishermen and fishing villages and so on that have just been wiped out. Hundreds of thousands of livelihoods have gone."

No money for early warning system

Much of this death and destruction could have been prevented with a simple and inexpensive system of buoys. Officials in Thailand and Indonesia have said that an immediate public warning could have saved lives, but that they could not know of the danger because there is no international system in place to track tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

Such a system is not difficult or expensive to install. In fact, the detector buoys that monitor tsunamis have been available for decades and the U.S. has had a monitoring system in place for more than half a century. More than 50 seismometers are scattered across the Northwest to detect and measure earthquakes that might spawn tsunamis. In the middle of the Pacific are six buoys equipped with sensors called "tsunameters" that measure small changes in water pressure and programmed to automatically alert the country's two tsunami-warning centers in Hawaii and Alaska.

Dr. Eddie Bernard, director of the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, says just a few buoys could do the job. Scientists wanted to place two more tsunami meters in the Indian Ocean, including one near Indonesia, but the plan had not been funded, said Bernard. The tsunameters each cost only $250,000.

A mere half million dollars could have provided an early warning system that could have saved thousands of lives. This should be compared to the $1,500,000,000 the U.S. spends every day to fund the Pentagon war machine. This means that for what the U.S. is spending for less than one second of bombing and destruction it could construct a system that could have prevented thousands of needless deaths. Lack of funding for an inexpensive, low-tech early warning system is simply criminal negligence.

Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said, “If the country had such an alert system in place, we could have warned the coastal areas of the imminent danger and avoided the loss of life.” But there is no room in the Bush budget for such life-saving measures; the U.S. government's priorities are corporate profit and endless war.

At a meeting of the UN Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in June, experts concluded that the "Indian Ocean has a significant threat from both local and distant tsunamis" and should have a warning network. But no action was agreed upon. Geologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey said, "Sumatra has an ample history of great earthquakes, which makes the lack of a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean all the more tragic. Everyone knew Sumatra was a loaded gun."

U.S. government failed to warn region

Although the local governments had no real warning, the U.S. government did, and it failed to pass along the information. Within minutes of the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia, U.S. scientists working with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suspected that a deadly wave was spreading through the Indian Ocean. They did not call anyone in the governments in the area. Jeff LaDouce, an official in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that they e-mailed Indonesian officials, but said that he wasn’t aware what happened after they sent the e-mails.

In this day of instant communications, controlled in a large part by the U.S., it is possible to communicate within minutes to every part of the globe. It is beyond belief that the officials at the NOAA could not find any method to directly and immediately contact civilian authorities in the area. Their decision not to do so may have cost thousands of lives.

Even a few minutes warning would have given the inhabitants a chance to seek higher ground. The NOAA had several hours notice before the first waves hit shore. Tim Walsh, geologic-hazards program manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, said, "Fifty feet of elevation would be enough to escape the worst of the waves. In most places, 25 feet would be sufficient. If you go uphill or inland, the effect of the tsunami will be diminished." But the inhabitants of the area weren't given the warning - as a result, television and radio alerts were not issued in Thailand until nearly an hour after the waves had hit and thousands were already dead.

The failure to make any real effort to warn the people of the region, knowing that tens of thousands of lives were at stake, is part of a pattern of imperial contempt and racism that has become the cornerstone of U.S. policies worldwide.

The NOAA immediately warned the U.S. Naval Station at Diego Garcia, which suffered very little damage from the tsunami. It is telling that the NOAA was able to get the warning to the US Navy base in the area, but wouldn't pick up the phone and call the civil authorities in the region to warn them. They made sure that a US military base was notified and did almost nothing to issue a warning to the civilian inhabitants who were in the direct path of the wave--a warning that might have saved thousands of lives. This is criminal negligence.

Disease may kill tens of thousands more

The 55,000 deaths directly resulting from the tsunami are just the beginning of the tragedy. Disease could claim as many victims as have been killed in the weekend's earthquake-sparked tsunami, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Medical experts warn that malaria, cholera and dengue fever are expected to pose serious health threats to survivors in the area, where waves spoiled drinking-water supplies, polluted streets and homes with raw sewage, swept away medical clinics, ruined food stocks and left acres of stagnant ponds where malaria-carrying mosquitoes can breed.

"The biggest threat to survivors is from the spread of infection through contamination of drinking water and putrefying bodies left by the receding waters," said Jamie McGoldrick, a senior U.N. health official.

"Within a few days, we fear, there is going to be outbreaks of disease," Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said. "Cholera is going to be a problem. This is going to be the most important thing in a few days."

The response of the U.S. government to this emergency is to offer a paltry $15 million "aid package." To put this in perspective, this is one tenth of one percent of what Washington has spent thus far on the war against the people of Iraq.

Money for human needs, not for war

The U.S. and British governments owe billions of dollars in reparations to the countries of this region and to all other formerly colonized countries. The poverty and lack of infrastructure that contribute to and exacerbate the scope of this disaster are the direct result of colonial rule and neo-colonial policies. Although economic and political policies cannot control the weather, they can determine how a nation is impacted by natural disasters.

We must hold the U.S. government accountable for their role in tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of deaths. We must demand that it stop spending $1.5 billion each day for war and occupation and instead provide health care for the victims of this tragedy, build an early warning system, and rebuild the homes and infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami.

Sara Flounders
Dustin Langley
for the International Action Center


Date: 30 Dec 2004
From: Peter Phillips>
Subject: Tsunami Disaster Highlights Corporate Media Hypocrisy

Tsunami Disaster Highlights Corporate Media Hypocrisy

By Peter Phillips

The terrible earthquake/tsunami disaster, along coastlines of the Indian Ocean, left tens of thousands dead and many times more people homeless and weakened. Front pages news stories swept the US corporate media -12,000 dead, 40,000, 60,000 and 100,000 made progressive day by day headlines. Twenty-four hour TV news provided minute by minute updates with added photos and live aerial shots of the effected regions. As the days after unfolded, personal stories of survival and loss were added to the overall coverage. Unique stories such as the 20 day old miracle baby found floating on a mattress, and the eight year old who lost both parents and later found by her uncle, were human interest features. Individualized reports from Americans caught in the catastrophe made national news and numbers of Europeans, and North Americans involved were a key part of the continuing story. US embassies set up hotlines for relatives of possible victims to seek information. Quickly added into the corporate media mix was coverage on how the US was responding with relief aid and dollars. In Crawford, Texas President Bush announced that he had formed an international coalition to respond to the massive tsunami disaster.

The US corporate media coverage of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, for most Americans, was shocking, and emotional. Empathic Americans, with the knowledge that a terrible natural disaster of huge significant to hundreds of thousands people had occurred, wanted to help in any way they could. Church groups held prayer sessions for the victims, and the Red Cross received an upsurge of donations.

The US corporate media coverage of the tsunami disaster exposes a huge hypocrisy in the US press. Left uncovered this past year was the massive disaster that has befell Iraqi civilians. Over 100,000 civilians have died since the beginning of the US invasion and hundreds of thousands more are homeless and weakened. In late October 2004 the British Lancet medical journal published a scientific survey of households in Iraq that calculated over 100,000 civilians, mostly women and children, have died from war related causes. The study, formulated and conducted by researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University and the College of Medicine at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, involved a complex process of sampling households across Iraq to compare the numbers and causes of deaths before and after the invasion in March 2003. The mortality rate in these families worked out to 5 per 1,000 before the invasion and 12.3 per 1,000 after the invasion. Extrapolate the latter figure to the 22 million population of Iraq, and you end up with 100,000 total civilian deaths. The most common cause of death was aerial bombing followed by strokes and heart attacks. Recent civilian deaths in Fallujah would undoubtedly add significantly to the total.

The Iraqi word for disaster is museeba. Surly the lose of life from war in Iraq is as significant a meseeba as the Indian Ocean tsunami, yet where is the US corporate media coverage of thousands of dead and homeless? Where are the live aerial TV shots of the disaster zones and the up-close photos of the victims? Where are the survivor stories - the miracle child who lived thought a building collapsed by US bombs and rescued by neighbors? Where are the government official's press releases of regret and sorrow? Where is the international coalition for relief of civilians in Iraq and the upsurge in donations for Red Cross intervention? Would not Americans, if they knew, be just as caring about Iraqi deaths as they are for the victims of the tsunami?

The US corporate media has published Pentagon statements on civilian deaths in Iraq as unknown and dismissed the Lancet Medical Journal study. It seems US media concerns are for victims of natural disasters, while the man-made disasters, such as the deliberate invasion of another country by the US, are better left unreported.

Peter Phillips is a professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored a media research organization.


Peter Phillips Ph.D.
Sociology Department/Project Censored
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928


A guy is driving around and he sees a sign in front of a house: "Talking Dog For Sale" He rings the bell, and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a Labrador retriever sitting there."You talk?" he asks. "Yep," the Lab replies." So, what's your story? "The Lab looks up and says, "Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young, and I wanted to help the government. So, I told the CIA about my gift. In no time at all, they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger, so I wanted to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired." The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog."Ten dollars."The guy says, "This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?" "Because he's a liar. He didn't do any of that shit."

Recommended by Maireid Sullivan>



Date: 24 Dec 2004
Subject: Celebrate & Resist!

A Better World Is not only Possible, it’s Under Construction! That’s the gift we give ourselves and the world when we stay engaged. Taking a break for the holidays to be with family and friends is important to renew our commitment and energy for the year ahead. The year was full of disappointments, but we’ve also laid solid foundations for the future. Consider the tens of thousands of people who came out to support free and fair elections in 2004. Many are still working on the front lines to ensure all our votes are counted, pressure Congress to make the needed reforms in our imperfect electoral system, and be a visible force to bring about the changes we need. Take heart in what we’ve accomplished this year and face the New Year with renewed optimism about our movement for peace and justice. We’re energized, organized and mobilized!

As the New Year approaches, make a New Year’s resolution to be the most effective activist you can be! Here are three important actions:

January 3: Pro-Democracy Count Every Vote Rally in Columbus, Ohio
January 6: Act on Election Violations as Congress Meets to Certify the Vote!
January 20: Mark Bush’s inauguration by inaugurating the Second term of the Peace and Justice Movement

January 3 - Join The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, along with a coalition of grassroots organizations from across the nation, including CodePink, in a “Pro Democracy Count Every Vote Rally,” in Columbus, Ohio.

The rally will be held at the Capitol Theater, 77 S. High St, across from Ohio State Capitol, starting at 2 p.m. Coalition partners include Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones,, Progressive Democrats of America, the anti-war coalition United for Peace and Justice, and the Green Party. For more information link to:

January 6 - Take Action on Election Violations as Congress Meets to Certify the Vote!

On January 6, 2005, Congress will meet in joint session to certify the 2004 presidential election. On that day, if one member of the House and one member of the Senate object to the certification of the vote, then all members of Congress will finally discuss these issues. On January 6, 2001, not a single Senator would join with the Representatives who demanded an inquiry into the Florida recount. This year, let’s make our Senators take a stand!

The following seven Senators are some of the most progressive members of the Senate. Please call them immediately, and urge them to defend democracy on January 6. *SPREAD THE WORD TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW TO DO THE SAME UNTIL JANUARY 6.*

Senator Barbara Boxer, (202) 224-3553,
Senator Dick Durbin, (202) 224-2152,
Senator Russ Feingold, (202) 224-5323,
Senator Tom Harkin, (202) 224-3254,
Senator Jim Jeffords, (202) 224-5141,
Senator Edward Kennedy, 202/224-4543,
Senator Patrick Leahy, (202) 224-4242,


While our Senators and Representatives are inside Congress, tallying the electoral college vote, We the People must have a presence outside, bringing attention to the disenfranchisement, suppression and fraud that pervaded the 2004 election and demanding real reforms to extend and protect democracy in America. Please join us at a vigil and rally on January 6th to demonstrate our support for our leaders inside. Check or for more information.

If you can’t come to DC, we urge you to organize a protest outside a Senator’s office in your community, and list your event at

January 20 – Reminder to inaugurate the second term of the Peace and Justice movement by participating in a counter-inauguration. Make your reservations, pack your pink, and join us in Washington D.C. Sign up to join CODEPINK on January 20th:
CODEPINK action plans for the counter-inauguration in Washington, DC will be updated regularly.
FYI: The inaugural parade is open to the general public. Bleacher seats are available from the Presidential Inaugural Committee for $15, $60, and $125, but seats are limited. For more information, call Ticketing Hotline at 202-314-2600 during the hours of 9:00am to 6:00 pm EST, Monday-Friday, or visit (Could be another CodePink RNC-like infiltration!)

If you can’t come to DC, we encourage you to organize a counter-inauguration in your community. See for local inauguration protests that are already in the works, and be sure to tell us about yours so we can help get the word out.

Peace On Earth, Goodwill to All. Celebrate. Resist.

Andrea, Carol, Claire, Dana, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Tiffany
December 24, 2004



Kerry to Enter Ohio Recount Fray

By William Rivers Pitt

23 December 2004

2004 Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will file today, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, papers in support of the Green Party/Libertarian Party recount effort. Specifically, Kerry will be filing a request for expedited discovery regarding Triad Systems voting machines, as well as a motion for a preservation order to protect any and all discovery and preserve any evidence on this matter.

Triad Systems has come under scrutiny recently after Sherole Eaton, deputy director of elections for Hocking County, swore out an affidavit in which she described her witnessing the tampering of electronic voting equipment by a Triad representative. Rep. John Conyers, the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, has requested an investigation into this matter by the FBI and the Hocking County prosecutor.

Truthout will have more on this specific Triad allegation later in the day.

Previously, the Green Party and Libertarian Party have not fared well in their efforts to get emergency orders regarding this matter in Ohio. In order to pass muster with a judge, the individual or group requesting an emergency order for such a recount must show both irreperable harm as well as a substantial chance for success on the merits. While Green and Libertarian representatives have been able to show irreparable harm, they could not establish a substantial chance for success on the merits, because no recount would deliver Ohio to either party.

Kerry's entry into this recount effort changes the math on this matter dramatically. He can likewise show irreperable harm, and unlike the Green and Libertarian candidates, he can also prove a substantial chance for success on the merits because he lost the Ohio vote by a statistical whisker.

It should be noted that Kerry's filing of these requests does not indicate his complete entry into the recount process, but does clearly indicate that he is moving decisively in that direction. His previous stance on the matter was based simply on his desire to defend the right to have a recount in the first place. The evidence of election tampering in Ohio, specifically surrounding Triad, has motivated him to actively join the fight. The Democratic Party is also quietly putting financial resources into the Ohio recount effort.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of all this, from the activist point of view, has been the effectiveness of the telephone calls and letters to Kerry. The activist push to get him involved had a very significant effect on his decision to enter this effort. Likewise, calls to other Senators in order to convince them to join House members in challenging the election have likewise had significant effect. If such an effort continues, the activists involved will very likely see the desired result unfold.


See also:

Just One Senator... An Open Letter to the U.S. Senate from Michael Moore (January 4)

Final Notice to Senate Democrats

Must! Do NOW !-1 Focus 1 Mission 1 Goal 1 RESULT=NewVote by J20 (Jan. 02, 2005)
HOW DARE THEE? Democracy IS Deliberately Criminally, Hastily being frog-marched to the GallOWs. Adding insult to injury it's Horribly OutRageous that, Insidiously it is AN OFFICIAL State-Secret! The powers that be have coldly calculated that America and Americans will lie to themselves, tell themselves lies and Live with a Lie. For the most part they may be right, many are physically & emotionally energy-sapped, distracted, conTrolled, apathetic, demoralized and even Zombified. Many millions though, are ascending to that MounTain Top where the view is so grand, omniscient and the scent wafting from the grounds of our election system, smells FOUL with falseness, fraud and an unholy alliance of corporations, judges and elected? officials AND money twisting, unsportsmanlike a process requiring fairness, transparency, integrity into an abomination - a crime syndicate having undue control of the Public and Human right to Vote. The basic Way to petition Our Servant, elected governments, for a redress of grievances. This Liberty Lover has written a Paul Revere-esque chain letter, a powerful invocation to Clot the Bleeding Wound inflicted by a felonius assault on Democracy. We will NOT or canNot Live with a comfortable, despicable LIE. If you say it's crazy to expect a NewVote, take your lazy negativeness over to Ukraine, the real loser over there needs supporters. You know what's crazy, Bush's approval rating has been at 48%-for months, 50% of 118million voters is 59mil, partisan claims of 60.7mil are being bandied about in the cuckoos-nest money-motivated manipulated Media. 48% =56.6mil! It's ENABLING to Allow the habitual theft to happen over and over. What's really crazy is snuffing out the life of an 180-pound Human with a 500-pound missile! (excerpt); America faces an apocalyptic moment. On November 2nd, at least thirty three million Americans (John Conyers estimates more than half of all who voted) lost their right to vote; their votes are indeterminate since they cannot be verified by hand count! This is an amazing and historically disastrous fact! Most of us were forced to vote on computers lacking paper evidence of who we voted for. Can any election be more than a sham under such a condition? Even worse, our votes could have been secretly and invisibly changed to favor George Bush or other Republican congressional candidates by the Republican owned business entities that secretly counted them. And all this after publicly promising their Republican associates they'd win! The bottom line: we really cannot know which Congressman, Senator or President was actually elected on November 2, for the vote-counting was able to be secretly and privately manipulated and then blocked from audit because there were no paper trails required. Thus, the entire national election of November 2 was fundamentally and uncorrectably flawed! CLIP - Forwarded by Jefree Alchemy>

Pollsters, Media Implicated In Vote Fraud (Jan 1)
While Congress has yet to decide if there will be a formal inquiry into the U.S. election of 2004, its preliminary investigation is exposing the most serious flaws in the system. But don’t expect to hear about it in the mainstream media-it’s part of the problem. Rep. John Conyers of Detroit, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, is investigating the possibility of computer vote fraud being perpetrated through remote access to the vote tabulators. He is also looking into how the media and pollsters use exit polling data on Election Day. While the body of evidence that vote fraud occurred during the election is growing by the day and is easily found on the Internet, the mainstream media has largely avoided the story. CLIP

The Conyers Report: What Went Wrong in Ohio

David Swanson | Media Whites Out Vote Fraud

Jesse Jackson | 'Kerry Won the Election'

Jesse Jackson | Senators Should Object to Ohio Vote

Bush Asks Court to Quash Ohio Election Challenge (Jan 4, 2005)
President Bush's re-election campaign asked the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday to throw out a challenge of the election in this swing state, saying the case resembles "a poorly drafted script for a late night conspiracy-theory movie." The court filing was made as the Rev. Jesse Jackson held a rally before hundreds of people in Columbus to support the challenge and urge the U.S. Senate to debate Ohio's results on Thursday when Congress is in joint session for the official tally of the electoral votes. CLIP

Jesse Jackson: Election Fight 'Biggest Deal Since Selma'

Ohio's Official Non-Recount Ends amidst New Evidence of Fraud, Theft and Judicial Contempt Mirrored in New Mexico (31 December 2004)

TV Networks Officially Refuse to Release Exit Poll Raw Data; Mainstream media finally displays true colors (Dec 22)

Yang (YEI) attorneys threaten Seminole Chronicle with legal action (Dec 29)
(...) After receiving a faxed letter from Congressman Tom Feeney's (R-FL) attorneys last week threatening legal action, The Seminole Chronicle has now received a second such letter, this time from the attorneys of Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI).The language in both letters to The Chronicle is remarkably similar, and in some cases, virtually identical suggesting a collusion between the two different parties in an attempt to silence the local weekly in Feeney's hometown from reporting on the growing "vote-rigging" scandal. CLIP

Kerry Preparing Grounds to Unconcede Election Challenge likely on Jan 6th (Dec 24)
If you haven't been following John Kerry closely, get ready to hear of surprising developments. The vote-defrauded, potential president-in-waiting has just indicated through his lawyer that the validity of George Bush's reelection is no longer a given. CLIP

Kerry Files Motion to Protect Ohio Vote Evidence

In Ohio, 1 in 50 Votes Didn't Count

Video Supporting Ohio Vote Fraud Claim Revealed

Complete US Exit Poll Data Confirms Net Suspicions

Poison Pen

By Chris Floyd

December 24, 2004

According to agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, President George W. Bush has signed a secret executive order approving the use of torture against prisoners captured in his "war on terror" -- including thousands of innocent people rounded up in Iraq and crammed into Saddam Hussein's infamous Abu Ghraib prison.

FBI documents, obtained in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and reported this week in the Los Angeles Times, detailed the agents' "disgust" at the "aggressive and improper" methods used by military interrogators and civilian contractors against prisoners, and the widespread, ongoing pattern of "serious physical abuses" they found at the American concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Iraq.

Most of the offences occurred long after the initial public scandal over "a few bad apples" at Abu Ghraib. For example, in June 2004, an FBI agent informed top officials in Washington that he had witnessed such torture techniques as "strangulation, beatings, [and] placement of lit cigarettes into the detainees' ear openings." The agent added that military officials "were engaged in a coverup of these abuses."
Also in June, the FBI reported that a prisoner in Abu Ghraib was cuffed, trussed up in a "stress position," then "doused with cold water, dropped onto barbed wire, dragged by his feet and punched in the stomach."

In August 2004, the date of the latest reports, an FBI agent reported that detainees in the Guantanamo concentration camp were often kept chained in "stress positions" on the floor, "with no chair, food or water. Most of the times they had urinated or defecated on themselves and had been left for 18-24 hours or more." One detainee was found "almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him," said the agent. "He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night."

The Guantanamo abuses occurred in front of FBI witnesses at what is considered the showcase of the new worldwide prison system Bush has established to process his captives in the "terror war." But there are a number of "secret prisons" -- including a special enclosed facility at Guantanamo itself -- where "special" interrogations are carried out by the CIA without any outside witnesses, The Washington Post reports. By presidential order, the CIA does not have to say who these prisoners are, how or why or where they were taken prisoner, or what happens to them behind the impenetrable walls.

According to the official documents, FBI agents said that military interrogators and their corporate mercenaries in Guantanamo and Iraq routinely went "far beyond the restrictions of the Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture," but were acting under an executive order signed by Bush authorizing the use of dogs and other aggressive physical and psychological techniques on prisoners.

Bush officials denied such an executive order exists; they say the agents confused it with an earlier order for "aggressive techniques" issued by Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, which was then supposedly rescinded and softened in March 2003 after complaints from military lawyers. But the abuses described in the new FBI memos occurred long after the first Rumsfeld order was invalidated. Thus the Administration's denial is based on a clear falsehood.

What's more, the FBI papers state repeatedly and unequivocally that Bush himself had authorized the aggressive techniques. They also note that in May 2004, after the scandal at Abu Ghraib, Bush had specified that "certain techniques can only be used if very high-level authority is granted." Thus some of the most disturbing abuses -- actions which the interrogators nonetheless felt comfortable enough to commit in front of FBI agents -- have been carried out with direct White House or Pentagon approval.

Earlier this year, a cache of White House memos was uncovered revealing a systematic effort to provide "legal" underpinning for the abrogation of the Geneva Conventions on treatment of prisoners and support for a deliberate policy of disregarding U.S. laws forbidding torture, kidnapping, assassination and indefinite detention, The Washington Post (and many others) report. These memos also claimed an unprecedented extension of presidential powers, arguing that the "Commander-in-Chief" cannot be constrained by any law whatsoever in the prosecution of a war. One main goal of this legal analysis, the memos admitted, was to help Bush and his top officials avoid prosecution for war crimes, since the actions being recommended by Bush and the Pentagon were clearly criminal under international and U.S. law.

When the memos surfaced, the White House declared that the Bush Administration would never do anything illegal. However, they never directly repudiated the memos -- which, after all, argue that nothing a president orders in wartime, including torture, is actually illegal. As the documentation of prisoner abuse grows larger and larger with each passing month, it is obvious that such a system of widespread -- and ongoing -- atrocities could not be sustained without approval at the very highest levels.

Now FBI agents, in official reports, have traced the responsibility for these crimes directly to the pen of George W. Bush. Despite the patently false White House denials, the torture directive cited by the FBI not only echoes the legal briefs cited above, it also perfectly complements Bush's earlier executive orders allowing the secret execution of anyone on earth, including American citizens, whom Bush or his designated agents arbitrarily declares a "terrorist" -- without charges, evidence or trial. These orders were first reported in November 2001 by The Washington Post and have been repeatedly confirmed by Administration officials.

The evidence is credible, compelling and abundant. The lines of authority are clear. The blood of the tortured is on Bush's hands.


Forwarded by Ken>


What happened in Kurdish Halabja?

by Mohammed al-Obaidi

The truth of what happened in Halabja had always been hidden from the public, and many who knew exactly what happened in this Kurdish village in the second half of March 1988 disputed the western media coverage of the story.

It is a fact that key Kurdish leaders aided by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad have used a wide network of public relations companies and media outlets in the west to manipulate and twist the truth of what happened in Kurdish Halabja in 1988 in favour of the Kurdish political parties.


The most prominent of these purported attacks was the March 1988 "chemical assault" on the town of Halabja, in which the number of dead, according to Human Rights Watch "exceeds 5000".

It is known that both Iran and Iraq used chemical weapons in their eight-year war from September 1980 to August 1988. Most of Iraq's alleged assaults on the Kurds took place while this war was raging, although Human Rights Watch claims the attacks extended into September 1988.

Iraq has acknowledged using mustard gas against Iranian troops to overwhelm the human waves tactic used by Iranians who wanted to benefit from the fact that they outnumbered Iraqis, but has consistently denied using chemical weapons against civilians.

The only verified Kurdish civilian deaths from chemical weapons occurred in the Iraqi village of Halabja, near the Iran border, are several hundred people who died from gas poisoning in mid-March 1988.

Iran overran the village and its small Iraqi garrison on 15 March 1988. The gassing took place on 16 March and onwards; who is then responsible for the deaths -- Iran or Iraq -- and how large was the death toll knowing the Iranian army was in Halabja but never reported any deaths by chemicals?

The best evidence to answer this is a 1990 report by the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. It concluded that Iran, not Iraq, was the culprit in Halabja.

"The Iraqi army allegedly used chemical weapons in "40 separate attacks on Kurdish targets" during a campaign that HRW labels as genocide. While the War College report acknowledges that Iraq used mustard gas during the Halabja hostilities, it notes that mustard gas is an incapacitating, rather than a killing agent, with a fatality rate of only 2%, so that it could not have killed the hundreds of known dead, much less the thousands of dead claimed by Human Rights Watch.

According to the War College reconstruction of events, Iran struck first taking control of the village. The Iraqis counter-attacked using mustard gas. The Iranians then attacked again, this time using a "blood agent" -- cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide -- and re-took the town, which Iran then held for several months.

Having control of the village and its grisly dead, Iran blamed the gas deaths on the Iraqis, and the allegations of Iraqi genocide took root via a credulous international press and, a little later, cynical promotion of the allegations for political purposes by the US state department and Senate.

Stephen Pelletiere, who was the CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq war, closely studied evidences of "genocide in Halabja" has described his group's findings:

"The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them. Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds."

Pelletiere's report also said that international relief organisations that examined the Kurdish refugees in Turkey failed to discover any gassing victims.

After 15 years of support to the allegations of HRW, the CIA finally admitted in its report published in October 2003 that only mustard gas and a nerve agent was used by Iraq.

The CIA now seems to be fully supporting the US Army War College report of April 1990, as a cyanide-based blood agent that Iraq never had, and not mustard gas or a nerve agent, killed the Kurds who died at Halabja and which concludes that the Iranians perpetrated that attack as a media war tactic.

Despite the doubt cast by many professionals as well as the CIA's recent report, and after years of public relations propaganda made for the Kurdish leaderships by the assistance and support of the Israeli Mossad, the issue of genocide has been marketed to the international community.

In a telephone interview with the Village Voice in 2002, Stephen Pelletiere said: "There is to this day the belief -- and I'm not the only one who holds it -- that things did not happen in Halabja the way Goldberg wrote it.

"And it is an especially crucial issue right now. We say Saddam is a monster, a maniac who gassed his own people, and the world should not tolerate him. But why? Because that is the last argument the US has for going to war with Iraq."



Op-Ed Columnist: A Not So Wonderful Life

December 19, 2004


EXTERIOR BRIDGE OVER POTOMAC RIVER - NIGHT CLOSE SHOT - Rummy is standing by the railing, staring morosely into the water. The snow is falling hard. Feeling a tap on his shoulder, he wheels around and wrestles an old man with wings into a headlock.

OLD MAN: Ouch! Tut, tut. When will you learn that force doesn't solve everything?

RUMMY: Who the dickens are you?

OLD MAN: Clarence, Angel First Class. I've been sent down to help you.

RUMMY, squinting: You're off your nut, you old fruitcake. You can't help me. I was a matinee idol in this town, a studmuffin. Now everyone's turned on me - Trent Lott, Chuck Hagel and that dadburn McCain.

CLARENCE: No more self-pity, son. I'm going to show you what the world would have been like if you'd never been born. Clarence, who can fly now, takes Rummy's hand and they soar over the icy Potomac to the Pentagon. Beneath the glass on the desk of the defense secretary is a list of members of Congress and their phone numbers.

RUMMY: Who put that there?

CLARENCE: Sam Nunn. He's the defense secretary. Sam consults with Congress. Never acts arrogant or misleads them. He didn't banish the generals who challenged him - he promoted 'em. And, of course, he caught Osama back in '01. He threw 100,000 troops into Afghanistan on 9/11 and sealed the borders. Our Special Forces trapped the evildoer and his top lieutenants at Tora Bora. You weren't at that cabinet meeting the day after 9/11, so nobody suggested going after Saddam. No American troops died or were maimed in Iraq. No American soldiers tortured Iraqis in Abu Ghraib. No Iraqi explosives fell into the hands of terrorists. There's no office of disinformation to twist perception abroad. We're not on the cusp of an Iraq run by Muslim clerics tied to Iran. Here's Sam. He's with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. GENERAL SHINSEKI: We got some good news today on the National Guard, sir. Recruiting is up 40 percent. With the money we saved killing that useless missile defense system, we up-armored all our Humvees.

RUMMY, fists and jaw clenched: Grrrrrrr...I want to see Wolfie!

CLARENCE: Sam never hired any of those wacko neocons. Wolfowitz is a woolly headed professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a consultant to Ariel Sharon. Richard Perle was never in charge of the Defense Policy Board, so he was unable to enrich himself through government connections, or help Ahmad Chalabi con the administration. Perle stayed an honest man, running a chain of soufflé shops. His soufflés were so fluffy he became known as the Prince of Lightness. Doug Feith never worked here, either, so he never set up the Office of Special Plans to spin tall tales about W.M.D. and Qaeda ties to Saddam. And he never bungled the occupation because there was no occupation. Without you to swoon over in a book, neocon doyenne Midge Decter became a fallen woman, like Violet.

RUMMY, dyspeptic: Holy mackerel! Take me to Dick!

CLARENCE: Dick and Lynne run a bait, tackle and baton-twirling shop in Casper, Wyo. You didn't exist, so you never gave him those jobs in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and he never ran for Congress or worked for Bush 41 or anointed himself 43's vice president. W. chose Chuck Hagel as his running mate. So without you and Dick there to dominate him, he was guided by his dad and Brent Scowcroft, who kept Condi in line. Colin Powell was never cut off at the knees and the U.N. and allies were never bullied. There was never any crazy fever about Iraq or unilateralism or "Old Europe." Here's Colin now, heading for the Oval Office.

POWELL: Merry Christmas, Mr. President. With the help of our allies around the world, we have won the war on terror. And Saddam has been overthrown. Once Hans Blix exposed the fact that Saddam had no weapons, the tyrant was a goner. No Arab dictator can afford to be humilated by a Swedish disarmament lawyer.

RUMMY: Goodness gracious, I've heard enough now. I'm going home. Unless you're going to tell me my wife is an old maid, because I wasn't around to marry her.

CLARENCE: Oh, no. Joyce lives across the street from your old house on Kalorama Road. She's happily married to the French ambassador.

"Auld Lang Syne" swells as we FADE OUT.



December 21, 2004

Will The GOP Nuke The Constitution?

The plan to do away with judicial filibusters is an out-and-out power grab by the president and his Congressional accomplices.

By Arianna Huffington

Right now, somewhere in the White House, administration strategists are hatching plans to go to war. Battle plans are being drawn. Timing and tactics are being finalized. A nuclear option is even being openly discussed.

The designated target? Iran? Syria? North Korea?

No, much closer to home: the United States Senate.

Salivating at the chance to radically remake the Supreme Court, the president and his loyal lapdogs in the World's Most Exclusive Club are plotting to obliterate over 200 years of Senate tradition by eliminating the use of filibusters against judicial nominees.

The Robert's Rules of Disorder scheme would involve ; who else? Vice President Dick Cheney, in his role as presiding Senate officer, ruling that judicial filibusters are unconstitutional and Majority Leader Bill Frist squashing the Democrats' inevitable objection to such an edict by tabling the motion. As long as we're "spreading democracy" abroad, no reason to leave out the home front, right?

This is the so-called "nuclear option," embraced with a wink and a nudge by Frist in November when he told the conservative Federalist Society: "One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end."

Invoking this parliamentary dirty trick would eliminate unlimited debate on judicial nominations and lower the number of votes needed before a nominee can be confirmed from the 60 necessary to break a filibuster to a simple majority of 51, and would drive a stake through the heart of the Senate's longstanding commitment ; indeed one of its founding purposes to defending the rights of the minority.

This scorched-earth approach is entirely in keeping with what Time magazine lauds this week as President Bush's "ten-gallon-hat leadership" style, a my-way-or-the-highway approach rooted in arrogance and laced with an intolerance of dissent that has already delivered him a rubber stamp Cabinet. Now he wants a rubber stamp Senate.

Over the course of his first term, 204 of Bush's judicial nominees received Senate approval; just 10 were blocked. This is the highest number of lower-court confirmations any president has had in his first term since 1980 including President Reagan. But, apparently, the highest is not enough. This president wants total approval of his every wish.

One small problem: That's not the way the Founding Fathers designed things. They had these funny notions about three separate but equal branches of government, free and open debate, and the value of checks and balances to ward off the overreaching for power by those in the majority. They built an entire system of government to counteract the abuse that inevitably goes with overreaching.

Yet that is precisely what the plan to do away with judicial filibusters is: an out-and-out power grab by the president and his Congressional accomplices. An underhanded scheme to kneecap the Constitution and take away the only weapon vanquished Democrats are left with to defend against Bush's "ten-gallon hat" juggernaut.

It would be impossible to overstate the importance of this battle. It is nothing less than a fight for the soul of our democracy for what kind of country we want to live in.

"George W. Bush," Ralph Neas, President of People for the American Way, told me, "has made it clear, both through his public comments and through the judges he has nominated to appellate courts, that he is committed to advancing an ideological agenda that would roll back many of the social and legal gains of the last century."

According to Neas, who has been at the forefront of judicial battles since the fight against Robert Bork in 1987, this is not just about Roe vs. Wade ; it's also about turning the clock back to a time when states' rights and property rights trumped the protection of individual liberties and the ability of Congress to act in the common good on issues as far-ranging as civil rights enforcement, environmental protection, and worker health and safety.

This is not overheated partisan rhetoric but a realistic appraisal of the rulings handed down by the federal judges Bush has already appointed and of the written opinions of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court Justices the president has cited as his models for future nominees to the High Court. "Courting Disaster 2004," a study by People for the American Way Foundation, found that adding just one or two Scalia/Thomas clones to the Supreme Court would put at risk more than 100 precedents and the legal protections they safeguard.

We're talking about the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, worker protections, access to contraceptives and legal abortions, laws protecting our clean air and drinking water, and on and on.

Senate rules regarding filibusters are not something most Americans will find themselves discussing over a glass of eggnog during the holidays. But the impact these rules can have on our lives is staggering. And it must be made clear right now , not when Chief Justice Rehnquist resigns and Cheney and Frist team up to push the nuclear button. By then it will be much too late, and all Harry Reid will be able to do is duck and cover. True leadership is being able to see not just the crisis staring you in the face but the one lurking just around the corner.

President Bush is pulling on his oversized Stetson and gearing up for battle. And here, unlike Iraq, he's making sure his political troops have all the armor they need. The Democrats need to pre-emptively launch an all-out campaign to educate the American people about what will be at stake during the coming assault on our democratic values.

If they succeed, they will have the public with them, even if it becomes necessary to resort to threats of Mutually Assured Legislative Destruction. Let's hope that's not what it will take to protect the Senate, the Constitution, and over 65 years of hard-won social victories from the GOP's looming nuclear winter.


Forwarded by "Joy Frink">

From: TrueMajority
Sent: December 23, 2004
Subject: And so this is Christmas

Everybody is giving gifts. Big gifts. Little gifts. We give these gifts as tokens of our love. We're sending and receiving cards, cards that express our common yearning for peace on Earth, goodwill to all, tidings of kindness and joy.

And so it is doubly disheartening at this time when the spirit of Christmas is in the air that we open the newspaper to find:

"U.S. Cutting Food Aid Aimed at Self-Sufficiency"

It turns out that while the number of the world's people who go hungry is rising for the first time in years, the Bush administration can find no better way to reduce spending than to cut $600 million from global food aid programs aimed at helping millions of people climb out of poverty.

That belt-tightening of $600 million doesn't make much of a dent in a federal discretionary budget of $965 BILLION (it's 0.0001 percent), but in the developing world it's emergency food to prevent the starvation of millions, and long-term agricultural development to help people feed even more people themselves.

Or put another way, it's 1/60th of the $35 BILLION that remains in the budget to maintain America's Cold War nuclear weapons—equivalent to 150,000 of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima.

This is so outrageous that there's now a BIPARTISAN effort in Congress led by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Missouri) to convince the administration that global food aid should not be cut.

Let's make our voices really count this Christmas and give the most important gift we can, the gift of life for millions of our hungry brothers and sisters around the world.

And we can make it happen. Forward this e-mail far and wide so that we flood Congress with faxes and so the world and our government will know that it's really Christmastime and that many of us are heeding Jesus' haunting words: "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

If you are a member of TrueMajority, just click "Reply" and "Send" in your e-mail program, and we'll send a fax (text below) to your senators and representative. If you'd like to edit your letter or if this e-mail was forwarded to you, click this link to send a message .

Merry Christmas from all of us at TrueMajority, with love and appreciation for allowing us to give voice to your voice.

Aaron, Andrew, Barbara, Ben, Darcy, Dave, Duane, Dusty, Ed, Elliot, Emily, Gary, Jack, Jason, Marian, Matt, and Natalie


Here's the letter we'll send to your senators and representative:

Dear [Senator/Representative]:

It was recently reported that a last-minute deal cut $600 million out of programs that help desperately poor people around the world become self-sufficient. This was a tragic mistake.

In the coming weeks you will vote on a supplemental appropriation to fund the continuing war in Iraq. The relatively small sum needed to fully fund these antipoverty programs will strengthen our nation's security and I ask you to make sure it is included in this bill. Furthermore, it appears the president may continue or even deepen these cuts in next year's budget proposal. No matter what the initial proposal, please work to fully fund these programs.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

(We'll put your name and address here.)



Human rights group demands U.S. accountability in Afghanistan

13 Dec 2004

WASHINGTON - The Asia Division of Human Rights Watch has sent a letter to U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding accountability in Washington for crimes allegedly committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The group says it knows about two new cases of prisoners dying in U.S. military custody in Afghanistan and it is calling for an investigation into a third death that occurred three months ago.

"The government's failure to hold its personnel accountable for serious abuses has spawned a culture of impunity among some personnel. And as you know, some of the personnel involved in earlier abuses in Afghanistan have now been implicated in later abuses in Iraq," says the letter signed by the group's executive director Brad Adams.

Human Rights Watch says it has heard testimony that U.S. forces have hung prisoners upside down, hit them with sticks, soaked them in cold water, and forced them to lay in snow and administered electric shocks to their toes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has ruled out scaling back its 16,000-member force in Afghanistan in spite of mounting pressures on overstretched forces in Iraq.

The U.S. leads a coalition of international troops hunting Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants who are waging an open revolt in the south and southeast.

U.S. forces have launched a winter offensive dubbed Operation Lightning Freedom to prevent insurgents from gathering strength ahead of parliamentary elections in May 2005.

NATO has also ruled out cutting back its 8,400 multinational peacekeepers in Kabul ahead of next year's elections.



China urged to donate to World Food Program: report

13 Dec 2004

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations World Food Program is urging China to become a donor to the organization instead of a recipient, according to the BBC.

James Morris, executive director for the UN agency, will visit Beijing to ask Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao for increased donations, according to the report.

The agency, which has provided roughly $1.1 billion US to China since 1979, plans to phase out its aid programs to China by the end of 2005.

Now the world's seventh-largest economy, China can address its own problems, says the UN food relief agency.

"Our job is to feed the hungriest, poorest people, wherever they are in the world," Morris told the BBC. "China is no longer one of those countries."

The move is an example of how China, as a growing economic power, will be asked to take on more international responsibility, says the BBC.

The World Bank estimates the number of impoverished people living in China has dropped from 600 million in 1981, to 132 million in 2004. The World Bank's extreme poverty benchmark means living on less than $1 US per day.

"By the mid-1990s, China had achieved its major target of ensuring sufficient food production at the national level," says the World Food Program's website.

However, pockets of extreme poverty remain, mostly in the interior provinces of northern, northwestern and southwestern China.

China now has the financial ability to import grain to feed their poor, says the BBC report.



A call out now! March to Central Park on Sun. March 20th, 2005: The whole world will be marching and watching


The world-wide antiwar movement has called for massive demonstrations against the war on the weekend on March 19-20, 2005-- the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. We have a responsibility to respond with renewed determination and commitment in the face of the Bush Administration's launching of a new phase of the war against the Iraqi people.

A few months ago, Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD, and Bush told us that we could not march to and rally in Central Park. We do not accept this decision and are determined to challenge it by assembling tens of thousands of people to retake Central Park --our Park. The antiwar movement cannot afford, and must not allow, this infringement on our rights, especially in a city as important as NYC.

We call on all antiwar and progressive activists, organizations, and coalitions to work towards building a massive march on Sunday March 20th to Central Park under the slogan OUT NOW!

We propose to set up an OUT NOW coalition, open to all individuals and organizations willing to work together to stop the war. The reason why we are proposing that we call this movement “OUT NOW!” is because these two simple words convey the absolute zero tolerance for the occupation of Iraq that must drive our organizing hence forth. We need everyone to know that the mass movement is re-opening a full-scale campaign to stop the war and end the occupation and that the movement means business.

We encourage you to endorse this call.


The following points are not submitted as the basis for unity that all must agree to before working together. They are points of discussion that merit movement-wide attention at this crucial juncture.

* WE NEED TO Demand the Immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. occupation troops from Iraq. The occupation’s sole purpose is to control the natural resources of Iraq and render the Iraqi people and its institutions subservient to US corporate interest by military force. The principal function of the occupation is the destruction of all who dare to resist it, no matter the cost in Iraqi lives, in the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, and the resulting devastation of Iraqi society.

* The most important thing to know about the January 30 “elections” that are being organized under the US-created Allyawi regime, is that their purpose is to legitimize the occupation and the objectives of the occupiers. In the days ahead it will become more important for us to reject and expose any excuses put forward to justify the continuation of the colonial occupation of Iraq for even one more day, or the sending of more troops which is already under way. There is only one issue and that is ending the criminal occupation - immediately.

* We must support politically, morally and organizationally members of the U.S. armed services who are resisting the war, moreover, we must encourage this resistance.

* We must organize to fight any attempt by the Bush Administration to re-instate the draft and prepare to support resistance if conscription returns.

*It is time for the antiwar movement to acknowledge the absolute and unconditional right of the Iraqi people to resist the occupation of their country without passing judgment on their methods of resistance. Even the founding charter of the United Nations clearly affirms the right of an occupied people to resist by force of arms.

* Bush’s doctrine of preemptive war, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the growing threats against Iran and North Korea make it incumbent upon us to reject that notion that smaller countries must disarm and leave themselves defenseless at the demand of Bush and the Pentagon. Such demands are not only hypocritical, irrational and unjust; they amount to little more than a pretext for more invasions and occupations.

* We must continue to draw the connections between and build solidarity all of the people in every part of the world that are resisting the empire – in Korea, the Philippines, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Haiti, where the people are actively resisting the “coupnapping” of President Aristide.

* There must no longer be any hesitation on the part of our movement regarding our support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to free themselves from occupation. As a movement we have made a huge step forward in this regard. There must be no turning back.

* We must work to facilitate the widest unity between all of the forces that are seriously organizing against the war and occupation. The world demands no less of us inside of the US. If there is a will to forge unity, then those with wide differences in political positions and even a history of poor working relations will find the basis to unite in the interest of the struggle to stop the war.

* Now that the election is over, it is clear more than ever that only a peoples’ mass movement can stop the war. The antiwar movement should never again sacrifice its independence and demobilize itself on behalf of a political party that supports the war. The first and most immediate task of the antiwar movement is to be back in the streets.

* It is up to us to revitalize the mass struggle against the war and to insure that it is serious, uncompromising, unrelenting and supportive of a wide array of tactics from the mass marches to the militant tactics of the youth, to the tactics that are most effective for the inclusion of workers, labor unions and people of color.

* One way of accomplishing greater fusion between the antiwar movement and the working class and the poor is through linking of the issues that affect the mass of the people with the struggle against the war in a much more strategic and substantive way. For example, very soon the Bush administration will ask congress to approve between $70 and $120 billion more for the war on top of the more than $200 billion that has already been allocated for it. Congress will be voting to fund the war and occupation at the same time that students, workers, single parents, the unemployed and retirees are being hit with the most sweeping budget cuts in the government programs that they depend on since the Reagan years. Our challenge: Can we help galvanize those who will be outraged by the specter of their money being stolen from critical needs to pay for more death and destruction into a struggle against the war budget vote? The time frame for this struggle will the period between the counter-inauguration protest in DC and around the country on Jan.20 – through the 2nd anniversary of the start of the war on the March 19/20 weekend.

* We propose to strategize and reach out to other forces with the goal of implementing this perspective. The Million Worker March Movement has issued a call for all of the various antiwar organizations and workers struggles to unite on the weekend of March 19-20 and we endorse this call for broad unity.



In just a few weeks, there will an opportunity to mobilize large numbers of people for a visible show of opposition to the war and to the other anti-people policies of the Bush administration.

On Thursday, January 20, 2005, Bush's inauguration will be the date of demonstrations around the world. People are planning to come from all over the country to line the inaugural route, and let the world see that the people of the United States are taking a stand against the criminal war in Iraq and in defense of people's rights at home. Every national anti-war group, including the International Action Center, is involved in mobilizing people to go to DC.

Our demonstrations will be a powerful statement in solidarity with all those who are under attack by the Bush administration -- from Cuba to Palestine to Haiti to the Philippines to Iran and elsewhere -- as well as here in the US.

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From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Amzaning
Date: 25 Dec 2004

Reading Test

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