March 30, 2005

Miscellaneous Subjects #211: A Motherlode of Diverse News

Hello everyone!

This is most likely to be my only compilation for this week. With the coming summertime gardening and many other outdoor activities I love to do, I will slowly reduce the amount of time I spend at the computer and thus the amount of material I can review and network will likewise be more limited.

Also I'm considering to use the following compelling and very moving story - Diving Into Falluja: To Hell and Back with S.B. Documentary-Maker Mark Manning - as part of the material I'll use for the next Meditation Focus on the situation in Iraq. You may want to have a head start and give it a look right away...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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"Basically our job is to create empire, and we have managed to create the first truly global empire in the history of the world. We created it without the military for the most part, and it is an empire that is unique in that there is no emperor, no king. Instead we have what I call a “corporatocracy” — a group of men and a few women who run our biggest corporations, our banks, and our government.There are many ways we have created this empire, but perhaps most typically we identify a developing country that has resources we covet, such as oil. Then we arrange a large loan from the World Bank or its affiliate organizations to that country. Most of the loan goes directly to US corporations, ones that we have heard of, such as Bechtel, Halliburton, Stone & Webster, to build large infrastructure projects such as power plants, harbors, industrial parks and other projects that serve the rich of those countries. The country then is left holding a huge debt, so large that it cannot possibly repay it. At some point the economic hit men go back in and say: “Look, you owe us a lot of money, you can’t pay your debts, so give us a pound of flesh. Sell our oil companies your oil real cheap, or allow us to build military bases on your land, or vote with us at the next critical UN vote, or send your troops to Iraq or some other place where we’d like you to support us.” That type of thing. In that process, we have managed to build this amazing empire."

- John Perkins - Taken from Confessions of an economic hit man
Recommended by Birgitta Storjohann>

Worthy of Your Attention

Red Pill Videos
Recommended by John Kaminski> who also recommended

The mother lode of interesting antiwar songs

Music Against the War

Check all the latest amazing news articles recommended by Mark Elsis


1. Feedback from Meria
2. The Future WATER Situation
3. Help Chart the Course for a New Movement
4. Bush administration clears US troops in slaying of Calipari and wounding of Sgrena
5. Will Truth Rise Again?
7. SFBG 9-11 Cover Story
8. Depleted Uranium Update
9. Depleted Uranium Situation Requires Action
10. Energy body wants brakes on fuel consumption
11. Peak Oil Puts Us in a Different Reality
12. The Savage Carnival
13. Bee killer imperils crops
14. World Bank Dam Threatens Laos Rainforests and Peoples

See also:

Scientists struggle to explain why huge movement failed to cause a tsunami (30 March 05)
Scientists are still grappling with the mystery of why such a large earthquake under the ocean did not produce a sizeable tsunami. One thing is certain, however, the Earth did not move as it did on Boxing Day when 10m-high waves killed up to 300,000 people around the Indian Ocean. CLIP

Zimbabwe Clergyman Urges Mugabe's Ouster (March 2, 2005)
HARARE, Zimbabwe - One of Zimbabwe's most outspoken church leaders on Sunday called for a peaceful uprising against President Robert Mugabe's autocratic rule, days before a parliamentary election that rights groups say already is tainted by years of violence and intimidation. Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Zimbabwe's second-largest city, Bulawayo, said he was willing to put on his vestments and lead a march to Mugabe's residence himself, but feared: "If I do it, I do it alone." "The people are so scared," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "You are not going to get that where people are so cowardly." Police arrested nearly 200 opposition supporters after a rally Sunday in the capital, Harare, the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said in a statement. Mugabe, a former guerrilla leader, has led Zimbabwe since the end of white rule in 1980. Ncube believes Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party will easily win Thursday's poll, which he said is certain to be rigged. "I hope that people get so disillusioned that they really organize against the government and kick him out by a nonviolent, popular, mass uprising," Ncube said in a separate interview with the South African newspaper The Sunday Independent. "Because as it is, people have been too soft with this government." Ncube confirmed the comments to AP, but was more guarded in an interview conducted over Zimbabwe's state-monitored telephone lines. Calls for unauthorized protests are punishable by up to 20 years in jail. While this year's election has been less blatantly violent than previous ones, Ncube said "a kind of tacit violence" persists. He accused the government of denying desperately needed food aid to opposition supporters in rural centers like Filabusi, 250 miles south of Harare, where he said more than 200 hungry families had been turned away. Ncube also was critical of opposition leaders, who have been at pains to avoid bloodshed since at least 200 people were killed during the government's often violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans. "We do not have a leader to lead us. We need someone who is courageous," Ncube said. "People must be ready even to risk losing their lives; everyone wants to keep safe." The tumultuous land reform program, combined with years of drought and a government crackdown on dissent, have plunged the nation of nearly 13 million people into international isolation and economic crisis. Opposition leaders remain hopeful that change can be brought through the ballot box, encouraged by large turnouts at their rallies in recent days. CLIP

Secret tour of Zimbabwean wards shows collapse of health system (30 March 2005)
(...) Zimbabwe's health sector was once the envy of other African countries, but two decades of mismanagement, neglect and theft have left the country short of medical care. The government realises that the health sector is something to be ashamed of - it rarely allows foreigners to enter public hospitals unless they are on an official, state-approved tour. CLIP

An Army Program to Build a High-Tech Force Hits Cost Snags (28 March 2005)
The Army's plan to transform itself into a futuristic high-technology force has become so expensive that some of the military's strongest supporters in Congress are questioning the program's costs and complexity. Army officials said Saturday that the first phase of the program, called Future Combat Systems, could run to $145 billion. Paul Boyce, an Army spokesman, said the "technological bridge to the future" would equip 15 brigades of roughly 3,000 soldiers, or about one-third of the force the Army plans to field, over a 20-year span. That price tag, larger than past estimates publicly disclosed by the Army, does not include a projected $25 billion for the communications network needed to connect the future forces. Nor does it fully account for Army plans to provide Future Combat weapons and technologies to forces beyond those first 15 brigades. Now some of the military's advocates in Congress are asking how to pay the bill. (...) The Army is asking Congress to approve Future Combat while it is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan whose costs, according to the Congressional Research Service, now exceed $275 billion. Future Combat is one of the biggest items in the Pentagon's plans to build more than 70 major weapons systems at a cost of more than $1.3 trillion. CLIP

Under The Skin (February 25 2005)
Comment: This piece is too overwhelmingly sycophantic not to have been paid for by Applied Digital. This video carries a revulsion warning. Losing your wallet these days can quickly sink you into the chaotic world of identity theft. But what if your credit cards, drivers license, even your medical records were hidden under your skin? CLIP

RFID Cards Get Spin Treatment (Mar. 29, 2005),1848,67025,00.html
Conspiracy theorists and civil libertarians, fear not. The U.S. government will not use radio-frequency identification tags in the passports it issues to millions of Americans in the coming years. Instead, the government will use "contactless chips." The distinction is part of an effort by the Department of Homeland Security and one of its RFID suppliers, Philips Semiconductors, to brand RFID tags in identification documents as "proximity chips," "contactless chips" or "contactless integrated circuits" -- anything but "RFID." The Homeland Security Department is playing word games to dodge the privacy debate raging over RFID tags, which will eventually replace bar-code labels on consumer goods, said privacy rights advocates this week. An RFID tag is a microchip attached to an antenna, which transmits unique information to a reader device that can be anywhere from a few inches to several feet away. The technology, with its many names ("contactless chips" has been around for some time), is used in security access cards, E-ZPass automatic toll-paying devices and ski-lift tickets. Computer scientists and data-encryption experts, the editors of an RFID industry journal -- even the makers of the contactless chips themselves -- all agree that the Homeland Security Department is using RFID technology. (...) Privacy rights groups such as the EFF, the American Civil Liberties Union and CASPIAN have for years argued that RFID tags on consumer goods could be used to spy on individuals. That is why Homeland Security is engaging in doublespeak, to dupe Americans into accepting RFID tags on their passports, said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program. "It's a frightening, Orwellian use of the language," said Steinhardt, referring to the "contactless" branding effort. Steinhardt called the RFID tags the Homeland Security Department is using, which have faster processors and more storage capacity than retail tags, "RFID on steroids." Government agents will use reader devices to track individuals wherever they use their RFID-tagged identification documents, Steinhardt and Tien said. (...) Homeland Security's Broghamer insisted that the contactless chips for ID documents are vastly different from RFID tags used in retail supply chains, because contactless chips must be held very close to a reader device to be activated and to transmit their data. RFID manufacturers are typically making radio tags for ID documents that comply with ISO/IEC 14443, the contactless chip industry technology standard. This standard limits transmission ranges to a distance of about 4 inches. Other RFID tags can be read at distances up to 30 feet, making them easier targets for identity thieves trying to capture their data, said Broghamer. CLIP

Even Stephen Roach has it wrong
In his latest commentary, Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Roach, perhaps the only Wall Street economist who at least partially comprehends the looming economic danger, once again lamented that a "co-dependent global economy can’t live without the excess consumption of Americans. " This echoes the popular misconception that Americans are some how doing the world a favor by consuming the fruits of their labor.The world no more depends on American's consumption than medieval serfs depended on the consumption of their lords, who typically took 25% of what they produced. What a disaster it would have been for the serfs had their lords not exacted this tribute. Think of all the unemployment the serfs would have suffered had they not had to toil so hard for the benefit of their lords. What would they have done with all that extra free time?According to modern day economists, if the lords had decided to increase their take, say to 35%, it would have been the equivalent of an economic boom for the serfs, who would have been insured more work. Too bad the serfs did not have economic advisers or central bankers to encourage such progressive policies! CLIP Recommended by "Willy Smith">

Business: Rappers to rake in McBucks (March 29, 2005)
50 Cent is chump change compared to what McDonald's will offer hip-hop stars to drop the words Big Mac into their lyrics. Rappers and hip-hop artists who agree to sing about Big Macs could make $1 to $5 each time one of their songs gets airplay on radio stations, under a new McDonald's marketing plan. But a local coalition battling harmful effects of marketing to children says the Big Mac rap is Ludacris. "It's outrageous,'' said Susan Linn, a founder of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a nonprofit made up of health care professionals, educators, parents, and others. At a time when McDonald's is touting salads and other healthy foods, Linn says the fast-food giant is "dumping Big Macs on the most vulnerable population of all,'' namely children, which would contribute to an obesity epidemic. "That's who listens to rap,'' she said. "It's the music of choice for teens and pre-teens. The hypocrisy is just really astounding.'' McDonald's spokesman Walt Ricker said the possible hip-hop promotions are designed to reach young adults through their music of choice. McDonald's has final content approval of any lyrics that incorporate the Big Mac. CLIP

Raw Food Vegans Thin But Healthy, Study Finds (March 29, 2005)
WASHINGTON - People who adhere strictly to raw food vegetarian diets are thin but have surprisingly robust bones, US researchers reported on Monday.Although nutritionists and the food industry have warned that a diet without dairy foods can lead to the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, the team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found the vegans they studied had many of the signs of strong bones."We think it's possible these people don't have increased risk of fracture but that their low bone mass is related to the fact that they are lighter because they take in fewer calories," Dr. Luigi Fontana, who led the study, said in a statement."Raw food vegetarians believe in eating only plant-derived foods that have not been cooked, processed, or otherwise altered from their natural state," Fontana's team wrote in this week's issue of the Archives of Internal medicine. CLIP

New Details on F.B.I. Aid for Saudis after 9/11 (27 March 2005)
Washington - The episode has been retold so many times in the last three and a half years that it has become the stuff of political legend: in the frenzied days after Sept. 11, 2001, when some flights were still grounded, dozens of well-connected Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, managed to leave the United States on specially chartered flights. Now, newly released government records show previously undisclosed flights from Las Vegas and elsewhere and point to a more active role by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in aiding some of the Saudis in their departure. The F.B.I. gave personal airport escorts to two prominent Saudi families who fled the United States, and several other Saudis were allowed to leave the country without first being interviewed, the documents show. (...) The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, which provided copies to The New York Times. The material sheds new light on the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, and it provides details about the F.B.I.'s interaction with at least 160 Saudis who were living in or visiting the United States and were allowed to leave the country. Some of the departing Saudis were related to Osama bin Laden. The Saudis' chartered flights, arranged in the days after the attacks when many flights in the United States were still grounded, have proved frequent fodder for critics of the Bush administration who accuse it of coddling the Saudis. The debate was heightened by the filmmaker Michael Moore, who scrutinized the issue in "Fahrenheit 9/11," but White House officials have adamantly denied any special treatment for the Saudis, calling such charges irresponsible and politically motivated. CLIP

Russia, China urge start to space weapons talks (March 22)
GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia and China declared on Tuesday that rapidly advancing technology made it increasingly urgent to start international talks on banning all weaponry from outer space to prevent an arms race. But senior diplomats from the two powers said they were still awaiting a response from the United States -- which argues that no such treaty is needed -- on compromise proposals for negotiations they presented nearly two years ago. "It is urgent to stop the weaponisation of outer space and maintain it for the peaceful use of all humankind," Hu Xiaodi, China's ambassador to the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament (CD), told a news briefing. Russia's deputy chief negotiator at the 65-nation CD, Anton Vasilyev, said it was vital "to start working out a legally-binding instrument (treaty) ... to prohibit the deployment of any kinds of weapons in space". (...) Officials from the U.S. Bush administration, which is creating a National Missile Defence System (NMD) against attacks from "rogue states" or terrorists, routinely insist that there is no danger of a space weapons race and that no treaty is needed. In August 2003, China -- with backing from Russia which has already declared it would not be the first to put arms in space -- announced it was ready for talks even if they were not specifically aimed at producing a binding treaty. CLIP

Lawmakers Seek Plan B for Nuclear Waste (25 March 2005)
Washington - As problems mount with the government's plan to open a national nuclear waste dump in Nevada, lawmakers and industry officials are increasingly pushing for a Plan B. After the most recent setback for Yucca Mountain - a revelation last week that government workers on the planned dump may have falsified documents - a key House Republican urged the Energy Department to look at temporary waste storage solutions. (...) Yucca Mountain, approved by Congress in 2002, is planned as a repository for 77,000 tons of defense waste and used reactor fuel from commercial power plants. The material is supposed to be buried for at least 10,000 years beneath the desert 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. But the project has suffered serious setbacks, including funding problems and an appeals court decision last summer that's forcing a rewrite of radiation exposure limits for the site. Some 55,000 tons of commercial reactor fuel and 16,000 tons of high-level defense waste are already waiting at sites in 39 states. The government, which originally promised nuclear utilities it would begin accepting their spent fuel in 1998, is facing billions of dollars in lawsuits for failing to make good on that pledge. CLIP

Storage of Nuclear Spent Fuel Criticized (28 March 2005)
Science academy study points to risk of attack. A classified report by nuclear experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences has challenged the decision by federal regulators to allow commercial nuclear facilities to store large quantities of radioactive spent fuel in pools of water. The report concluded that the government does not fully understand the risks that a terrorist attack could pose to the pools and ought to expedite the removal of the fuel to dry storage casks that are more resilient to attack. The Bush administration has long defended the safety of the pools, and the nuclear industry has warned that moving large amounts of fuel to dry storage would be unnecessary and very expensive. The report was requested by Congress following the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, as homeland security officials sought to understand the potential consequences of a 9/11 scale attack on a nuclear facility. (...) Most of the spent rods are currently stored in large swimming pool-like structures called spent fuel pools, said David Lochbaum, a nuclear safety engineer at the science and advocacy group, Union of Concerned Scientists, who has worked at several plants. The pools are about 45 feet deep and 40 feet square and are filled with about 100,000 gallons of circulating water to remove heat and serve as a radiation shield, he said. After cooling for about five years, the rods can be moved to dry storage - heavy casks of lead and steel. But the casks are expensive, and commercial reactors have elected to leave the rods in the pools until the polls fill up. Lochbaum said some pools now hold 800-to-1,000 tons of rods. CLIP

Mood Shifting in Favor of Nuclear Power

Bobby Fischer Going Home To Iceland! (22 Mar 2005)
Bobby Fischer has won his unprecedented one-man battle against the sole world superpower, the United States. After his unlawful jailing for over eight months in Japan on U.S. orders, Bobby won his freedom by appealing to the independent people of Iceland to remember and protect an old friend. The Icelanders have responded in a manner that to them is merely normal, but which to the rest of the world constitutes nothing less than outstanding bravery. (...) "This is a historic battle pitting the world's sole superpower-bully against one lone man who had the courage to fight for his own freedom to think and speak as he chooses. Bobby Fischer is standing up as a hero of every oppressed individual in the world," said John Bosnitch. "Freedom of belief and human rights will triumph over tyrannical persecution."The Free Bobby Fischer Committee extends its deepest congratulations and most sincere thanks to the Icelandic Robert James Fischer Committee, the Icelandic Althingi and the courageous people of Iceland. "We dream of a world brave enough to follow your example!"

Bike Riders Complain NYPD Took Bicycles (Mar 28, 2005)
NEW YORK - Some people who rode in Fridays Critical Mass ride in Manhattan say police confiscated their bicycles without justification. The riders say that once police threatened them with arrest, they got off their bikes and began to walk away from the rest of the group. But they were arrested anyway, they say, and their bikes were loaded onto a truck and taken away. Other riders say they locked their bikes but that officer cut the chains with power saws and took them.One protester - Jaimie Favaro - says she uses his bicycle for commuting. About 200 riders showed up for Fridays ride, and 37 people were arrested. Critical Mass organizes large rides through Manhattan on the last Friday of every month to protest pollution produced by vehicle traffic. The city and the group are involved in a court battle over whether permits are needed for the rides. The N-Y-P-D says it confiscated 50 bikes in connection with a law violation. Police say bikes used in violation of the law will be taken regardless if any connection to a protest.

Critical Mass cyclists cry foul (March 27, 2005),0,3457446.story?coll=nyc-homepage-breakingheadlines
Bicycle advocates, 37 of whom were arrested Friday night during the latest Critical Mass ride, vowed Sunday to fight city efforts to require permits for the monthly bicycle rally. (...) The event, held the last Friday of each month in Manhattan, gained notoriety last summer, when police made dozens of arrests at a ride held just before the start of the Republican National Convention. Since then, there have been about 250 arrests related to the event, including those on Friday. As during the convention, police routinely cordon off streets with netting and make arrests during the bike rides. Bicycles are confiscated and those arrested are given desk appearance tickets. Of all the bicyclists arrested, only one has entered a guilty plea.Cyclists argue that since no one claims to organize the event, the issuance of permits is unnecessary. They say they do not need a formal organization because they have the same rights to streets as motorists do.The bike rides are designed to make a statement about cyclists' rights and to protest urban areas' reliance on motor vehicles."I would hope that all of this comes to an end by at least the summer of 2005," Siegel said of the court proceedings.

Roundup Doesn't Poison Only Weeds (12 March 2005)
The most used herbicide in the world: Monsanto's Roundup and its competitors, formulated, like Roundup, on a base of glyphosate, have long enjoyed a reputation for harmlessness to human health and the environment. However, several recent studies seem to indicate that this active ingredient, used by farmers as well as by public road services and Sunday gardeners, could well not be as inoffensive as its promoters claim. The stakes are big, because the usage of glyphosate grows along with that of genetically modified organisms, the great majority of which have been specifically conceived to "tolerate" this active ingredient, fatal to plants. In fact, while Roundup and similar products were originally used against weeds, "they have become a food product, since they are used on GMOs, which can absorb them without dying," maintains the biochemist Gilles-Eric Séralini. A member for years of the French Commission on Biomolecular Genetics (CBG), responsible for preparing the files for requests for field studies, then GMO commercialization, he ceaselessly demands more intense studies on their eventual health impact Also a member of Criigen, an association which has made control of GMOs its passion, he has oriented his own research toward the study of the impact of glyphosate. In an article published February 24 in the American journal Environmental Health Perspective, the biochemist and his team from the University of Caen demonstrate, in vitro, several toxic effects of this compound as well as of the additives associated with it to facilitate its diffusion. CLIP

Auto industry agrees to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in Canada
After years of halting negotiations, the auto industry has reached a deal with the Canadian government to voluntarily reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by some 5.8 million tons by 2010. Canadian Environment Minister Stephane Dion had previously threatened to impose strict fuel-economy standards if the automakers didn't agree to voluntary cuts. According to government sources, the automakers insisted the deal be made in terms of total emission reductions rather than fuel economy (though the end result will be the same); they feared that explicitly agreeing to fuel-economy standards would imperil their pending lawsuit against California, which recently imposed strict standards. Enviros expressed the only sort of optimism of which they are capable -- that is, guarded -- saying that the need to make fuel-efficient vehicles for Europe, California, and now Canada might finally push automakers to just make their entire fleets more efficient. While government officials touted the happy, shiny, voluntary compromisiness of it all, the Sierra Club's Dan Becker was more blunt: "The Canadian government has managed to bludgeon the auto industry into submission."
More details at

OIL TOGETHER NOW (Grist Summary)
Bipartisan coalition presses Bush to get behind oil-use reduction
Lambasting U.S. oil addiction: It's not just for America-hating radical homosexual vegetarian Schiavo-killing eco-terrorists anymore! A growing bipartisan coalition is arguing that U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a serious national security threat. This week, a letter signed by 26 former national-security officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations is winging its way to the White House, bearing a plea for President Bush to kick off "a major new initiative to curtail U.S. consumption." "I don't often find myself in agreement with those at the Natural Resources Defense Council, but ... I do think there is common ground," said neocon Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan administration official. The letter was organized by the bipartisan Energy Future Coalition, which arose in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to advocate for tighter fuel-economy standards and higher subsidies for alternative fuels. Auto-worker unions, automakers, and farming groups -- traditional foes of environmental groups -- are on board, perhaps more comfortable around the manly men of the national-security apparatus.

Tons of experimental biotech corn inadvertently shipped to farmers

The Mayan Calendar - The World Will Not End
(...) At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. This cosmic cross is considered to be an embodiment of the Sacred Tree, The Tree of Life, a tree remembered in all the world's spiritual traditions. Some observers say this alignment with the heart of the galaxy in 2012 will open a channel for cosmic energy to flow through the earth, cleansing it and all that dwells upon it, raising all to a higher level of vibration. This process has already begun, Mr. Barrios suggested. "Change is accelerating now, and it will continue to accelerate." If the people of the earth can get to this 2012 date in good shape, without having destroyed too much of the Earth, Mr. Barrios said, we will rise to a new, higher level. But to get there we must transform enormously powerful forces that seek to block the way. (...) "Humanity will continue," he contends, "but in a different way. Material structures will change. From this we will have the opportunity to be more human." We are living in the most important era of the Mayan calendars and prophecies. All the prophecies of the world, all the traditions, are converging now. There is no time for games. The spiritual ideal of this era is action. Many powerful souls have reincarnated in this era, with a lot of power. This is true on both sides, the light and the dark. High magic is at work on both sides. Things will change, but it is up to the people how difficult or easy it is for the changes to come about. CLIP Recommended by "Larry Stell">

'Pro-Canadian' Means Much More than 'Anti-American' (March 23, 2005)
Embracing Canadian values goes way beyond resenting our neighbours. George W. Bush and his gang of neo-cons have inadvertently prompted Canadians to more closely examine their own very different take on the world. And they like what they see.There are those, of course, who dismiss this phenomenon either as "mindless"anti-Americanism or narrow nationalism. But both these criticisms miss the mark. First, an attachment to the ideas of tolerance, community, equality and the rule of law is not anti anything. And as for nationalism, in Canada this has almost always been expressed not as blind patriotism or narrow xenophobia, but as pride in and a commitment to broad social democraticideals.The polling firm EKOS, put the following question to a large sample of Canadians: If you were prime minister for a day, and had to pick overall national goals for Canada to achieve by the year 2010, which of the following would you choose? Here is how Canadians responded:
* Best quality of life in the world: 66 per cent
* Best health care system in the world: 64 per cent
* Lowest incidence of child poverty in the world: 62 per cent
* Best-educated population in the world: 57 per cent
* Eliminate public debt: 50 per cent
* Lowest overall tax burden of major industrialized countries: 45 percent
* Highest productivity level of major industrialized countries: 45 percent
* Highest standard of living of industrialized nations: 30 per cent
(...) In a poll done by the Innovative Research Group, 80 per cent of Canadians described the U.S. as a "rogue nation" and fully one third believe it is a "force for evil" in the world. Persistent trade harassment by the US has led 48 per cent of Canadians to the conclusion that"the U.S. cannot be trusted to treat Canadians fairly." While Canada's elites are eager to hand over our sovereignty to ensure our trading relationship with the U.S., Canadians are nearly unanimous in saying they want to maintain that sovereignty no matter what. In a March, 2004 poll Ipsos Reid found that 91 per cent agreed that: "Canada should maintain the ability to set its own independent environmental, health and safety standards and regulations, even if this might reduce cross-border trade opportunities with the United States." CLIP

Vietnam: "The Biggest Chemical War" in History (14 March 2004)
Thirty years after the end of the War in Vietnam, the high-potency dioxin-based herbicides spread by the American Army, and especially Agent Orange, continue to pollute the soil and food and to harm the health of Vietnamese, according to the experts who met Friday March 11 in Paris. "A war of illnesses has followed the war war," summarized one participant at this conference organized by the Franco-Vietnamese Friendship Society. Between 1961 and 1971, the American Army spread more than 100,000 tons of toxic chemical products, making that conflict "the biggest chemical war the world has ever seen," declared Mr. Tran Xuan Thu, Vice-President of the Vietnamese Association of Victims of Agent Orange. CLIP

Civilization Rests on Topsoil
Our lives depend on topsoil. When the tree are removed, sun, wind and rain contribute to the loss of soil. Every morsel of food we eat . . . our clothes . . . our houses and most everything that's in them . . . each scrap of paper, from birth certificates to books to dollars . . . our fuel . . . even the very oxygen we breath: All of it comes from plants, trees . . . and topsoil. When our European ancestors arrived on this continent, our topsoil averaged around 18 inches in depth. With our intensive agricultural practices, we've eroded it to around eight inches . . . that's all that's left between us and world disaster. When that eight inches goes, you and I go. CLIP

EMF-Omega-News 25. March 2005

Omega-News Collection 25. March 2005

Guns and Butter audiofile
Listen to March 23: Part 1 of the upcoming bioengineered flu pandemic. Recommended by "Kathleen Roberts"> who also recommended...

Flu 'Oddities' - U.S. to create a bird flu virus mutation (24 March 2005)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun a series of experiments to see how likely the bird flu virus could result in a human pandemic. The six-month series of experiments seeks to simulate the mixing and matching of genes from the H5N1 avian flu virus that has plagued Asia and a common human flu virus that public-health experts fear could turn avian flu into a pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. CDC scientists inside an ultra-secure laboratory [?!?] have started swapping the genes of the H5N1 avian virus with the genes of an H3N2 virus, the strain behind most recent human flu outbreaks.

Recreating the 1918 flu?

Mixing Bugs and Bombs

Chemtrails and H1N1?



From: "Meria Heller">
Subject: Re: The Writing on the Wall Series #38: Seeing The Darkness And Shining Light On It All
Date: 22 Mar 2005

HI Jean,

I can relate to your revulsion of what is going on for sure. When I was a kid I wrote a piece for school about what people would do if Jesus came to the Earth today. I think you can imagine what would happen to him. A long haired, vegan, environmentalist who actually cared for the poor and indigent. Someone who didn't kiss the asses of the "clergy" at the time. Someone who tossed the tables in temples where animals were slaughtered for money. It wasn't about gambling.

The hypocrites of today would react worse than any King or people could have in the past. Today he'd be in Gitmo, being tortured, raped and photographed.

Those who profess to be Christian and do all these horrific deeds to ALL living things, will soon be tossed and treated the way they deserve. The world is waking up. The new round of anti-war protests are just starting. They will continue to grow. Those who have created this war for profit (and they ALL were) will be found out, and by their own words crucified.

What the phony Christians don't realize is their "Jesus" is here. In many different bodies all over the world. You, my guests, my listeners, the people on the front lines against this fascist regime - all - christs in their own right.

We have no choice but to hold the light for anyone willing to see it, or reach for it. Critical mass will happen, hold onto that my friend.

Much love,


"THE MERIA HELLER SHOW "- 5th yr On The Net- #1 on Net!

"Meria is the best weapon of Mass instruction we have" - Greg Palast


NOTE FROM JEAN: The potential for desalination was neglected in the material I networked in my recent Special Water & Health Compilation and so I'm including this contribution below from long-time ERN subscriber Jens Jerndal as a complement on this issue which I'm sure will be of interest to many.

From: "Professor Jens Jerndal">
Subject: The Future WATER Situation
Date: 25 Mar 2005

Dear Jean,

Undoubtedly, water is the elixir of life, and without it, there could be no life. However, when assessing this problem, I would like to know to what extent the desalination of sea water is being taken into account. It so happens, I have been living for 36 years on the Canary Islands, Spain, where the entire development since the 1970s has been sustained by desalinated ocean water, including an increase in tourists from only thousands a year to something like 20 millions a year (with a permanent resident population of only just over one million).

True, the desalination has been powered by oil-generated electricity, but that is principally because it served vested interests. The original salt industry on the islands that produced sea salt for export, was entirely powered by the Sun and the winds. The winds powered the pumps that pumped the water up from the sea into shallow basins, and the heat of the Sun then evaporated the water, leaving the salt dry and ready to collect and ship. A completely ecological and pollution-free operation. Then the salt was transported by donkeys or camels to the nearest seaport, where (originally) sailing ships transported it to the consumers.

There is nothing to prevent this age-old clean and free energy technology to be used for desalination of water, but there is a limit to the quantity it can produce per area unit, and also it only works for coastal areas. Yet, I think it is an important possibility to keep in mind for the future. Transport is presently a great polluter, but there are plenty of non-polluting alternatives, such as electric or solar driven cars and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The technology exists. It’s all a matter of priorities and will.

The water from desalination is as clean as can be - perhaps too clean in the sense that it contains no mineral salts. On the Canary Islands this has, at least in part, been addressed by adding some water from deposits in the mountains with a high mineral salt content, but in principle the salts needed for a healthy diet can - and perhaps should - be coming from the food, and not from the water.

As for cost of desalination, it was considerably more expensive at the beginning, especially since the cost of building the plants had to be taken into consideration, as well as the oil to fuel it. However, as the technology has been continuously developed, the cost has been coming down. Then, as natural water becomes ever more insufficient to cover increasing demand, and it becomes more expensive and difficult to produce healthy drinking water by recycling residual waters, the cost of desalination is becoming more competitive.

In the final analysis, water being the most needed necessity of all, we may have to get used to the idea that it is indeed worth more than oil, and more than beer, to take just two comparisons. True, this may not help the starving peoples of African deserts, where there is neither oil, nor beer (?) - but surely Coca Cola!? - nor any need for either. But with enough reshuffle of existing resources, it would not be an impossible task to irrigate and cultivate the Sahara desert with desalinated water, along with other arid zones of the Earth, which presumably would considerably ease the global water situation. If thousands of miles long pipelines can be built for oil, why not for water?

Just a few musings on the theme.

Best wishes

Jens Jerndal

Let's expand our awareness horizon
to where the invisible becomes visible
in a world without fear
where we can feel at one

with all of Creation.


NOTE FROM JEAN: Several people sent this to me. Now it is too late to sign up to join this exceptional project but it is worth knowing it is taking place as it provides some hope that this issue won't fade away from the public conscience in the U.S.

From: "TrueMajorityACTION">

Help Chart the Course for a New Movement

Action Required by Tomorrow, March 29th, at 12 noon

I know we've contacted you a lot in the past week, but something special is going on concerning the Iraq war, and we were pretty sure you'd want to know about it.

This Wednesday, people all across the country will meet online -- we're expecting hundreds of thousands. Working together, we'll create a written Declaration for peace and justice and against the war (a smart new online collaboration tool will make it possible for such a huge group to work together easily). The goal is to articulate the progressive vision we all share for America, and to launch a determined, on-going nationwide effort to end the war and realize that positive dream.

Here's the link to sign up for the meeting:

That declaration of values -- YOUR values -- will be read in a televised "Beyond Iraq" interfaith service from historic Riverside Church in New York on April 4th, the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1967 speech against the Vietnam War. Then our friends from the Peace Not Poverty campaign will take the message on the road with a nationwide bus tour to connect with people of conscience across America.

It's a one-of-a-kind event, and we're grateful to our friends at for helping make it happen. No matter what your faith or belief system, if you feel our nation's moral mission is to promote peace, justice and equality, this is your movement. Help write the Declaration of it's principles.

In order to participate YOU MUST SIGN UP BY TUES, MARCH 29 AT NOON at

Glad to be in this with you,

Ben Cohen,
President, TrueMajorityACTION

Participation is open to anyone with an internet-accessible computer, anywhere in the world. We'll use a unique web-based technology that enables groups to work collaboratively and find consensus online in a few hours.


Forwarded by Paul Prior>


Special Report

Bush administration clears US troops in slaying of Calipari and wounding of Sgrena

By Wayne Madsen Online Journal Contributing Writer

March 15, 2005

The Bush administration took specific legal steps that cleared a U.S. Special Forces assassination team in Iraq from any future criminal proceedings arising from their assassination of Italian SISMI intelligence number two man Nicola Calipari.

Calipari, the deputy head of SISMI and an experienced Iraqi expert, was accompanying freed hostage Giuliana Sgrena to Baghdad International Airport when their Toyota Corolla was fired on by well-trained U.S. sharpshooter assassins. Calipari was on the phone to the office of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome, where his wife also works, when he was shot in the head. Sgrena and the driver, a Carabiniere officer, were injured in the attack.

Pentagon officials claim the car was speeding past a checkpoint and that shots were fired only into the engine block. The Italians claim the interior light in the car was on, the car was traveling at only 30 miles per hour, and prominently displayed the Italian flag. Italian intelligence officials also believe that the Americans identified the Italian vehicle because National Security Agency systems had intercepted Calipari's cell phone signals and triangulated its specific location.

The legal protection for the American assassination team stems generally from the refusal of the Bush administration to recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC), but more recently and specifically from a new counterintelligence doctrine outlined by National Counterintelligence Executive Michelle Van Cleave, who was once a member of Ronald Reagan's National Security Council staff. That strategy, announced by Van Cleave at a March 5 speech at Texas A&M University in College Station, calls for "attacking" foreign intelligence services by using counterintelligence operations. The immunity from ICC jurisdiction, the new counterintelligence strategy, the Pentagon's approval of special assassination teams in Iraq and elsewhere, as well as approval of a CIA "Worldwide Attack Matrix," now authorizes U.S. military forces and intelligence agents to assassinate those deemed a threat to the United States.

Calipari and Sgrena, according to well-placed Italian sources, had irrefutable evidence of U.S. war crimes in the siege of Fallujah, involving the use of napalm, mustard gas, and nerve gas. Sgrena works for the Italian daily, Il Manifesto.

Calipari's intelligence collection efforts and previous hostage rescue missions in Iraq were supplemented by assistance from the Vatican's own intelligence services, which maintained close ties to Eastern Catholic members of Saddam's government, including former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz. Calipari's brother is a well-connected monsignor in the Vatican Secretariat.

Calipari maintained liaison with Iraqi resistance fighters, who were formerly members of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard, to secure Sgrena's release. This did not sit well with the Bush administration.

According to Italian sources, the ex-Republican Guard members have worked with Italian intelligence to combat the alleged al Qaeda and Abu Musad Al Zarqawi "terrorists" who took Americans, Italians, and others hostage. The Bush administration and its neo-conservative architects of the Iraq war do not want it widely known that the Iraqi resistance is split between ex-Republican Guards, who have worked with the Italians, and fanatic Islamists.

The U.S. hit team wanted to kill Calipari and Sgrena because they had intimate knowledge of the Iraqi resistance and how some loyalists of the U.S.-supported Iraqi regime may have cooperated with the alleged Zarqawi forces to seize Western hostages and decapitate them on videos for propaganda purposes. Many of the beheading videos show masked men who do not appear to be extremist Muslim Iraqis or even Arabs from their build, stance, sporting of jewelry, and, in one case, speaking Russian.

According to Italian sources, the ex-Republican Guardsmen view the alleged Zarqawi and his alleged al Qaeda allies as "monsters," but also know that the ex-Republican Guard members, many of whom are secular Muslims, had nothing to do with the hostage taking and beheadings as often claimed by neoconservatives in the Bush administration.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based journalist and columnist, and the co-author of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II."


More such news from Paul Prior's Global Net News service through subscribing by sending a blank email at


Recommended by Wayne Umbertis> who wrote: "A thoughtful, illuminating piece by a bright guy. Do hope these kinds of concerns and commitments are reaching the journalists coming up. We really need Internet power to bring a semblance of balance to the control corporate media has established."


Will Truth Rise Again?

By Danny Schechter

NEW YORK, March 28, 2005 -- Maybe because it was the Easter weekend, or because I was replaying Bruce's 911 hymn "The Rising," or, maybe, because I was meditating on the difficulty we journalists have in reporting or establishing "truth" but I thought back on a famous saying which I first heard come out of the always eloquent lips of Martin Luther King, Jr., in a union hall in lower Manhattan early in the 1960's.

He closed a sermon of a speech that I will never forget with a famous quotation: "Truth crushed to earth will rise again."

Let's hope so.

Today, we live in two worlds of news and information. One is "fact based," the other "faith-based." In the former, we cling to a world of objective reporting and verifiable evidence even as we know how facts are skewed by media outlets with undisclosed agendas; in the latter, we only acknowledge facts that support our opinions and often don't let facts get in the way of a "good argument."


On Good Friday, Amy Goodman interviewed writer Naomi Klein who just visited with Giuliana in a Rome Hospital.

Here's part of what she said -- more evidence of how long it takes for truth to trickle out much less rise. Naomi Klein:

"Her injuries were (at the time) described as fairly minor; she was shot in the shoulder. …She was fired on by a gun at the top of a tank, which means that the artillery was very, very large. It was a four-inch bullet that entered her body and broke apart. And it didn't just injure her shoulder, it punctured her lung. And her lung continues to fill with fluid, and there continues to be complications stemming from that fairly serious injury. So that was one of the details.

"She told me a lot about the incident that I had not fully understood from the reports in the press. One of the most - and at first, the other thing I want to be really clear about is that Giuliana is not saying that she's certain in any way that the attack on the car was intentional. She is simply saying that she has many, many unanswered questions, and there are many parts of her direct experience that simply don't coincide with the official U.S. version of the story.

"One of the things that we keep hearing is that she was fired on on the road to the airport, which is a notoriously dangerous road. In fact, it's often described as the most dangerous road in the world. So this is treated as a fairly common and understandable incident that there would be a shooting like this on that road. And I was on that road myself, and it is a really treacherous place with explosions going off all the time and a lot of checkpoints. What Giuliana told me that I had not realized before is that she wasn't on that road at all. She was on a completely different road that I actually didn't know existed. It's a secured road that you can only enter through the Green Zone and is reserved exclusively for ambassadors and top military officials.

"And the other thing that Giuliana told me that she's quite frustrated about is the description of the vehicle that fired on her as being part of a checkpoint. She says it wasn't a checkpoint at all. It was simply a tank that was parked on the side of the road that opened fire on them. There was no process of trying to stop the car, she said, or any signals. From her perspective, they were just -- it was just opening fire by a tank. The other thing she told me that was surprising to me was that they were fired on from behind. Because I think part of what we're hearing is that the U.S. soldiers opened fire on their car, because they didn't know who they were, and they were afraid. It was self- defense, they were afraid. The fear, of course, is that their car might blow up or that they might come under attack themselves.

"And what Giuliana Sgrena really stressed with me was that she -- the bullet that injured her so badly and that killed (Agent Nicola) Calipari came from behind, entered the back seat of the car. And the only person who was not severely injured in the car was the driver, and she said that this is because the shots weren't coming from the front or even from the side. They were coming from behind, i.e. they were driving away."

File this away: one more example of how you can't trust what you first hear or how it is spun.

In the absence of an independent investigation, we may never know the full truth of what happened. You will notice that the great investigators of so- called "liberal" (sic) media, ABC, NBC and CBS, have been silent on this issue even though one of their own, a journalist, was a victim. Why bother to follow up in the time of Terri?

This story once again underscores why we need independent journalism and reporters committed to finding the truth, as hard as that sometimes is.



Forwarded by "Roz Powell"> on March 24


We've won on missile defence, making the point we oppose both weapons in space and states maintaining big nuclear arsenals. But now, a new challenge! The biggest anti-nuclear weapons conference in five years starts on May 2nd in New York! It is a gathering of the states who have agreed to disarm nuclear weapons under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or "NPT". The World Court has said that all states are legally obligated to negotiate and conclude an agreement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. But this is not happening!
Here are 4 steps you can take to call for action in May:

1) Sign Declarations of Conscience:

Let the Ambassadors at the UN know you want negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons started! Here's how:

a) Download, print and share with your friends the World Court Project Declaration at

To ensure your declarations get to the UN Ambassadors, return them by MONDAY APRIL 25th to:
Physicians for Global Survival (PGS), 145 Spruce, #208, Ottawa, K1R 6P1

b) Link the Declaration to your website. Mention it in listserves and newsletters.

2) Attend the May 1st Demonstration in New York City

Contact for information on buses being organized to go from Canada to New York City. There are numerous educational events scheduled at the UN the week starting May 2, however you must be accredited with a UN pass to attend. For info:

3) Encourage your Mayor to attend the Mayors for Peace activities in New York during the NPT Review Conference. For info, watch the website for information on the Mayors for Peace campaign.

4) SIGN and send the letter below to Prime Minister Paul Martin encourage the Prime Minister to direct the Canadian delegation to play a leadership role in meeting the goals of the NPT Review Conference. Copy the letter to your MP. BETTER YET, write a personalized letter using the information provided.


To The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Prime Minister's Office
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6

Dear Sir:

I write as a citizen to express my deep concern about the threat posed by the current world arsenal of 29,000 nuclear weapons. Some 4000 of those weapons are maintained "on high alert" by the U.S. and Russia, ready to be launched in minutes upon a computer warning of an incoming missile with a high risk of error. This places all humanity in grave danger.

The Government of Canada must direct the Canadian Delegation to take a leadership role in working for a positive outcome to the NPT Review Conference. I urge the Government to publicly call for:

- Urgent steps for nuclear weapons to be taken off high alert, (including an immediate end to policies of launch-on-warning)

- A start on negotiations on nuclear disarmament and on controls of materials used to build these weapons

- No backtracking on the progress made at the Review Conferences in 1995 and 2000.

I encourage all efforts possible toward the creation of a nuclear weapon-free world.

Sincerely yours,



Date: 25 Mar 2005
From: Carol Brouillet>
Subject: SFBG 9-11 Cover Story

After a series of successful premieres of Barrie Zwicker's 9-11 Documentary (see Report at for the perspective of the organizer), here is the 9-11 Cover Story of the San Francisco Bay Guardian that came out Wednesday, March 23, 2005.


"The most disturbing thing about the 9/11 truth movement, something you learn when you really dissect their most compelling evidence, is that the activists are raising critically important questions about the Bush administration's lies, cover-ups, and geopolitical strategy—questions that are being almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media."

[We are supposed to believe]... "that one of the most secretive and manipulative administrations in U.S. history is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth about an event it has aggressively exploited to implement long-standing and far-reaching political plans, from the USA PATRIOT Act to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq."

"To blindly believe the U.S. government at times like these is to ignore history and dismiss warnings from people in positions to know how power is really wielded in this country."



We're all paranoid

Sure, the people with the 9/11 conspiracy theories are a little odd. But not everything they're saying is entirely crazy.

By Steven T. Jones

THE GRAND LAKE Theater in Oakland was filled almost to capacity March 10, just as the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park was the night before and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco would be the next night, all for a documentary with bad production values and even worse leaps of logic.

This was the local premiere of The Great Conspiracy: The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw, a benefit screening for the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, whose activists have been laboring for more than three years to dispel popular belief in the government's version of the events on that fateful day.

And to fill that void, they offer a wide variety of alternative theories, carefully laid out in the dozens of books and DVDs that local truth-movement leader Carol Brouillet sold from a table in the theater lobby, or in the hundreds of Web sites devoted to debunking the official story.

Brouillet is what most people think of when they use the term "conspiracy theorist." Ever since she saw the Oliver Stone film JFK ˆ which she describes as her moment of awakening ˆ she has been trafficking in the dark world of a shadow government executing secret plots. She's been gathering every relevant document she can find, meticulously connecting every dot into an elaborate proof.

It is a worldview in which there are no tragic accidents or strange coincidences, no pieces that don't fit into the puzzle, only a carefully orchestrated grand plan by powerful interests to achieve world domination. And for those who tend to see the world in this way, as Brouillet and others told me, "9/11 is the mother of all issues."

The film by Canadian television producer Barrie Zwicker rehashed much of the disparate "evidence" that has been developed since 9/11: indications of an intentional military stand-down on the morning of 9/11, the belief that the World Trade Center's Twin Towers and Building 7 couldn't have fallen the way they did without being laden with explosives, speculations as to what really hit the Pentagon.

The crowd at the Grand Lake was mostly true believers who had heard it all before and seemed a little bored by the event. After all, the presidential election is over, and the best opportunity to do something with this evidence has passed, turning the whole movement into little more than a giant echo chamber. More than half the crowd left after the film without staying for the discussion afterward with the filmmaker and other researchers.

Yet Zwicker and Brouillet feel hopeful that things are about to change, that the mainstream media will have to deal with this stuff at some point, that somehow, in some way, the people will rise up and finally demand a real investigation into 9/11.

"Belief in the official story is a mile wide and an inch deep," Zwicker told me. "There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that the movement is gaining ground."

They may be wrong about their chances for success anytime soon. Some of their theories are completely ridiculous. And when you talk with many of the people in this movement, they are passionate to the point of seeming crazy.

Yet the most disturbing thing about the 9/11 truth movement, something you learn when you really dissect their most compelling evidence, is that the activists are raising critically important questions about the Bush administration's lies, cover-ups, and geopolitical strategy - questions that are being almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media.

And they may well be right that more went down on 9/11 than the government wants us to know.

Pick a theory

Everyone who has seriously considered the 9/11 attacks is a conspiracy theorist. To not try to put the pieces together is to be incurious about the most profound event of this new American century.

The Bush administration offered its conspiracy theory while the buildings were still ablaze, has done little since then to deviate from it - and has done almost nothing to prove its veracity beyond a shadow of a doubt.

It goes like this: Nineteen fanatical Muslims conspired with Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders to plan and execute the hijacking of four commercial airplanes using box cutters and the element of surprise, and to fly those planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and probably the White House.

Three of those planes hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy before the U.S. military could react - two of them causing the most catastrophic structural failures of steel skyscrapers in history - while a passenger rebellion in the fourth airplane forced the hijackers to crash it into a Pennsylvania field. All this was unexpected and couldn't have been prevented. The attacks were an act of war launched by a well-organized and well-funded international terrorist operation.

To believe this theory, you must accept that, despite receiving an unprecedented flurry of intelligence warnings about imminent terrorist attacks on the United States, the military was caught so off guard that it couldn't even pull the commander in chief out of his elementary-school photo op or get fighter jets in place during the 34 minutes between when the second tower and the Pentagon were hit - even though everyone knew that the United States was under attack and that Flight 77 was known to have been hijacked and was being tracked on radar the entire time it barreled toward the nation's military headquarters. (Each of these facts is from the official 9/11 Commission Report.)

And you have to believe that the Bush administration cover-ups that came next - from denying information requests from the commission, Congress, and criminal courts to telling lies about its intelligence and actions - were entirely about avoiding political embarrassment or for some undisclosed national security reason, and that nothing more ominous (or related to the geopolitics of oil) was remotely intertwined with any of this.

You have to believe, in other words, that one of the most secretive and manipulative administrations in U.S. history is telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth about an event it has aggressively exploited to implement long-standing and far-reaching political plans, from the USA PATRIOT Act to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The 9/11 truth movement has it own theories, which range from the plausible to the preposterous. One of them goes like this: A pair of Texas oilmen become president and vice president in 2000, thanks to support from the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, and neoconservative ideologues determined to have the United States retain its dominance as the last remaining superpower.

Those political leaders and strategists believe the key to continued U.S. economic and military supremacy - indeed, the American way of life - is control of Eurasia and its vast oil reserves. It's a belief they've openly expressed in lectures, papers, and books. And their meetings with top energy officials confirm that the United States will need to have that control sooner than later, despite rising anti-Americanism in an area that also happens to be the center of the Islamic world.

CLIP - Read the rest - VERY LONG! - at


Date: 26 Mar 2005
From: ICIS-Institute for Cooperation in Space>
Subject: Depleted Uranium Update


peaceinspace radio: Leuren Moret: “Depleted Uranium: Update”

GUEST: Leuren Moret was an Expert Witness at the International Criminal Tribunal For Afghanistan At Tokyo. She is an independent scientist and international expert on radiation and public health issues. She is on the organizing committee of the World Committee on Radiation Risk, an organization of independent radiation specialists, including members of the Radiation Committee in the EU parliament, the European Committee on Radiation Risk. She is an environmental commissioner for the City of Berkeley. Ms. Moret earned her BS in geology at U.C. Davis in 1968 and her MA in Near Eastern studies from U.C. Berkeley in 1978. She has completed all but her dissertation for a PhD in the geosciences at U.C. Davis. She has traveled and conducted scientific research in 42 countries. She wrote a scientific report on depleted uranium for the United Nations sub commission investigating the illegality of depleted uranium munitions. Marian Falk, a former Manhattan Project scientist and retired insider at the Livermore Lab, who is an expert on radioactive fallout and rainout, has trained her on radiation issues. 

International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan written opinion of Judge N. Bhagwat : also at

HOST: Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd

Full Article below at:

Depleted Uranium: Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets

Details on Depleted Uranium

The details about Depleted Uranium are emerging from the deep hole the US Department of Defense has put them. Rumor has it that the BBC will break the story over the next few days. If that happens, US mainstream media will likely pick up the story.

What I want to know is why its taken so long. Who put the blackout on US Media? I've found internet links to documents produced by the government as early as 1990 on DU and its potential consequences. There are extensive resources on-line on DU. There are also government commissioned studies that minimize it's risks. The Federation of American Scientists has a good set of links.

Remember all the discussion about Anthrax powder? The CDC describes how small particles of Anthrax the size of 5-10 micrometers can easily become airborne again when disturbed:

Although resuspension of certain settled particles requires substantial amounts of energy, lower energy activities (e.g., paper handling, foot traffic, mail handling, and patting of chairs) can reaerosolize settled B. anthracis spores (9,10). The clinical and epidemiologic presentations of anthrax after an intentional release vary by the population targeted, the characteristics of the spores, the mode and source of exposure, and other characteristics.

The size of the particles of DU are nanometers and therefore even easier to disturb and stay airborne for longer periods. The problem with even Rands conclusions are based on the assumption of episodic exposures where the body can purge itself of the particles as it do with natural occuring uranium. I can imagine battlefields that are occupied indefinitely producing continuous exposure that builds up in the body. I recall discussions of dust always in the air in Iraq. I can imagine a gradually increasing continuous exposure to DU in certain locations. With troops rotating in and out of hot areas, they receive continuous exposure while there. The numbers exposed would be very high.

DU along with the exposure of many troops to the traces of chemical weapons in southern Iraq early in the invasion when a munitions dump was burned probably accounts for much of the 56% disability rate in Gulf War II Veterans.

Explaining How

“The numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get worse,” Robert C. Koehler of the Chicago-based Tribune Media Services wrote in an article about DU weapons entitled “Silent Genocide.”

“DU dust does more than wreak havoc on the immune systems of those who breathe it or touch it; the substance also alters one’s genetic code,” Koehler wrote. “The Pentagon’s response to such charges is denial, denial, denial. And the American media is its moral co-conspirator.”

The U.S. government has known for at least 20 years that DU weapons produce clouds of poison gas on impact. These clouds of aerosolized DU are laden with billions of toxic sub-micron sized particles. A 1984 Department of Energy conference on nuclear airborne waste reported that tests of DU anti-tank missiles showed that at least 31 percent of the mass of a DU penetrator is converted to nano-particles on impact. In larger bombs the percentage of aerosolized DU increases to nearly 100 percent, Fulk told AFP.

DU is harmful in three ways, according to Fulk: “Chemical toxicity, radiological toxicity and particle toxicity.”
“Exposure pathways for depleted uranium can be through the skin, by inhalation, and ingestion,” Moret wrote. “Nano-particles have high mobility and can easily enter the body. Inhalation of nano-particles of depleted uranium is the most hazardous exposure, because the particles pass through the lung-blood barrier directly into the blood.

“When inhaled through the nose, nano-particles can cross the olfactory bulb directly into the brain through the blood brain barrier, where they migrate all through the brain,” she wrote. “Many Gulf era soldiers exposed to depleted uranium have been diagnosed with brain tumors, brain damage and impaired thought processes. Uranium can interfere with the mitochondria, which provide energy for the nerve processes, and transmittal of the nerve signal across synapses in the brain.

“Damage to the mitochondria, which provide all energy to the cells and nerves, can cause chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Hodgkin’s disease.”




Explaining How Depleted Uranium Is Killing Civilians, Soldiers, Land 

Nano-particles pinpointed

Christopher Bollyn – American Free Press January 7, 2005

Depleted uranium weapons and the untold misery they wreak on mankind are taboo subjects in the mainstream media. There are indications, however, that the media embargo is about to be breached.

Despite being a grossly under-reported subject in the mainstream media, there is intense public interest in depleted uranium (DU) and the damage it inflicts on humankind and the environment.

While American Free Press is actively investigating DU weapons and how they contribute to Gulf War Syndrome, the corporate-controlled press virtually ignores the illegal use of DU and its long-lasting effects on the health of veterans and the public.

In August 2004 American Free Press published a ground-breaking four-part series on DU weapons and the long-term health risks they pose to soldiers and civilians alike. Information provided to AFP by experts and scientists, some of it published for the first time in this paper, has increased public awareness of how exposure to small particles of DU can severely affect human health.

Leuren Moret, a Berkeley-based geo-scientist with expertise in atmospheric dust, corresponds with AFP on DU issues. Recently Moret provided a copy of her correspondence to a British radiation biologist, Dr. Chris Busby, about how nanometer size particles of DU – less than one-tenth of a micron and smaller – once inhaled or absorbed into the body, can cause long-term damage to one's health.

CLIP - read the rest at



Campaign for Cooperation in Space


Date: 28 Mar 2005
Subject: LET'S ENSURE COMPLIANCE! - Depleted Uranium Situation Requires Action


Don’t forget to sign the On-Line DEPLETED URANIUM PETITION at

LISTEN TO Archived 4-HOUR DEPLETED URANIUM SPECIAL - Hear Maj. Doug Rokke, PhD, Ret., article below, tell his story, along with 5 other DU Experts -
Leuren Moret, Bob Nichols, Dennis Kyne, Sue Riordan, Karen Parker......


Now let's ensure compliance - this is all so simple yet ignored. Once more for the record...


Depleted Uranium Situation Requires Action By President Bush and Prime Minister Blair

Submitted by: Major Doug Rokke, Ph.D. Ret - A Warrior. The Pentagon's man in charge of Depleted Uranium Project and clean up. Till he said "Oh my God, we can't use uranium weapons. It kills our own troops." 

July 12, 2004

While U.S. and British military personnel continue using uranium munitions- America's and England's own "dirty bombs" U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Defense officials continue their unrelenting personal attacks against me, a lawyer who serves as a United Nations Special Rapporteur, physicians who are conducting research and providing medical care, nurses, political leaders, and others who have spoke out regarding the documented adverse health and environmental effects of depleted uranium munitions. They want to disrupt our efforts to ensure compliance with mandated medical care and environmental remediation requirements because they want to be always able to use effective depleted uranium munitions during combat. 

These same officials still continue to deny that there are any adverse effects to avoid liability for the willful and illegal dispersal of a radioactive toxic material - depleted uranium. They arrogantly refuse to comply with their own regulations and directives. They willfully ignore existing U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) directives that require prompt and effective medical care Be provided to "all" exposed individuals [Medical Management of Unusual Depleted Uranium Casualties, DOD, Pentagon, 10/14/93 and Medical Management of Army personnel Exposed to Depleted Uranium (DU) Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command 29 April 2004)]. 

They also refuse to clean up dispersed radioactive Contamination as required by Army Regulation- AR 700-48: "Management of Equipment Contaminated With Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities" (Headquarters, Department Of The Army, Washington, D.C., September 2002) and U.S. Army Technical\Bulletin- TB 9-1300-278: "Guidelines For Safe Response To Handling, Storage, And Transportation Accidents Involving Army Tank Munitions Or Armor Which Contain Depleted Uranium" (Headquarters, Department Of The Army, Washington, D.C., JULY 1996).

Army Regulation-AR 700-48 requires that:
(1) "Military personnel "identify, segregate, isolate, secure, and label all RCE" (radiologically contaminated equipment).
(2) "Procedures to minimize the spread of radioactivity will be implemented as soon as possible."
(3) "Radioactive material and waste will not be locally disposed of through burial, submersion, incineration, destruction in place, or abandonment" and
(4) "All equipment, to include captured or combat RCE, will be surveyed, packaged, retrograded, decontaminated and released IAW Technical Bulletin 9-1300-278, DA PAM 700-48" (Note: Maximum exposure limits are specified in Appendix F).

The past and current use of uranium weapons, the release of radioactive components in destroyed U.S. and foreign military equipment, and releases of industrial, medical, research facility radioactive materials have resulted in unacceptable exposures. Therefore, decontamination must be completed as required by U.S. Army Regulation 700-48 and should include releases of all radioactive materials resulting from military operations. The extent of adverse health and environmental effects of uranium weapons contamination is not limited to combat zones but includes facilities and sites where uranium weapons were manufactured or tested including Vieques, Puerto Rico, Colonie, New York, and Jefferson Proving Grounds, Indiana. Therefore medical care must be provided by the United States Department of Defense officials to all individuals affected by the manufacturing, testing, or use of uranium munitions. Thorough environmental remediation also must be completed without further delay.

In conclusion: the President of the United States- George W. Bush and The Prime Minister of Great Britain -Tony Blair must acknowledge and accept responsibility for willful use of illegal uranium munitions- their own "dirty bombs"- resulting in adverse health and environmental effects.

President Bush and Prime Minister Blair also should order:

1. medical care for all casualties,
2. thorough environmental remediation,
3. immediate cessation of retaliation against all of us who demand compliance with medical care and environmental remediation requirements,
4. and ban the future use of depleted uranium munitions.




Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">

Energy body wants brakes on fuel consumption

By Adam Porter in Perpignan, France

24 March 2005

Vehicular fuel accounts for a big chunk of global oil consumption

The International Energy Agency is to propose drastic cutbacks in car use to halt continuing oil-supply problems. Those cutbacks include anything from car-pooling to outright police-enforced driving bans for citizens. Fuel "emergency supply disruptions and price shocks" - in other words, shortages - could be met by governments. Not only can governments save fuel by implementing some of the measures suggested, but in doing so they can also shortcut market economics.

An advance briefing of the report, titled Saving Oil in a Hurry: Measures for Rapid Demand Restraint in Transport, states this succinctly.

"Why should governments intervene to cut oil demand during a supply disruption or price surge? One obvious reason is to conserve fuel that might be in short supply.

"But perhaps more importantly, a rapid demand response (especially if coordinated across IEA countries) can send a strong market signal." The report goes on to suggest a whole series of measures that could be used to cut back on fuel consumption. They are cutting public-transport costs by a certain amount to increase its usage while simultaneously dissuading car use.

Sweeping proposals

Then more radically the idea of going further and cutting public-transport costs by 100%, making them free to use. Car-pooling, telecommuting and even corrections to tyre pressures are also suggested. But the most hardline emergency proposals come in the form of drastic speed restrictions and compulsory driving bans. Bans could be one day in every 10 (10%) or more stringently on cars with odd or even number plates. They would be banned from the roads on corresponding odd or even days of the month (50%).

The report says public transport should be made free to use

In forming its conclusions the IEA tacitly admits that extra police would be needed in these circumstances to stop citizens breaking the bans. Even the cost of those extra patrols are part of the IEA's study.

"Policing costs are more substantial and may consist of overtime payments for existing police or traffic officers or increases in policing staff. We assume this cost at one officer per 100 000 employed people."

As an example that means that the US workforce, currently around 138 million people, would need an extra 1380 officers to help enforce the bans. It may seem an optimistic figure. But even if this were so, the IEA is not put off. "If our policing cost estimates are relatively low ... results clearly show that even a doubling of our estimate would make (bans) a cost-effective policy. The more stringent odd/even (day) policy is also more cost-effective than a one-day-in-ten ban, as the costs are the same ... maintaining enforcement is critical."

Tough love

Yet despite these measures, that many citizens would find quite draconian, the IEA concludes that tough love is better than none at all.

"Our main conclusion finds that those policies that are more restrictive tend to be most effective in gaining larger reductions in fuel consumption. In particular, driving restrictions give the largest estimated reductions in fuel consumption."

High oil prices are spurring talk of conservation and cutbacks in use

Here, however, they do strike a word of warning for governments and those in power. "Restrictive policies such as this can be relatively difficult to implement and thus may come at higher political costs."

According to the IEA's little-known emergency treaty, the Agreement on an International Energy Programme (IEP), "measures to achieve demand restraint fall into three main classes - persuasion and public information, administrative and compulsory measures, and finally, allocation and rationing schemes".

This would mean that countries who signed up to the treaty, including the five biggest economies of the world - US, Japan, Germany, UK and France - would all have to institute cuts.

"In the event of an activation of IEP emergency response measures, each IEA Member country will be expected to immediately implement demand restraint measures sufficient to reduce oil consumption by 7% of normal demand levels. In a more severe disruption, this could be raised to 10%."

Effective ban?

There are some interesting asides in the report. As Americans have the most cars, the driving bans could be got around by having one car with an odd, and one car with an even number plate.

Proportionately it makes the ban less effective than in other countries.

For Opec members, high prices have meant budget surpluses

As well as this older cars may be kept in service longer if they have "useful" number plates which the IEA admits is "counter-productive from an air-pollution reduction perspective, as older vehicles would tend to pollute more".

However, curtailing the working week and home working would be more effective in the US as more people travel to work alone in their cars. As would correct tyre pressures. In Japan speed reductions are less effective as there are less motorways on which to travel fast.

Families with only one car would also be hit harder than their richer friends as "bans may have some additional costs in terms of reduced accessibility and mobility options particularly for single-vehicle households with limited access to alternative modes".

Without doubt this report signifies that the IEA is searching for new ways to maintain supply security in a volatile oil market. Whether it can achieve its aims with this radical report is another matter.


See also:

The Long Emergency (March 24, 2005) RECOMMENDED BY MANY!
Also from
What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle? - A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above fifty-five dollars a barrel, which is about twenty dollars a barrel more than a year ago. The next day, the oil story was buried on page six of the New York Times business section. Apparently, the price of oil is not considered significant news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in the span of ten days. That same day, the stock market shot up more than a hundred points because, CNN said, government data showed no signs of inflation. Note to clueless nation: Call planet Earth. Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, famously remarked that "people cannot stand too much reality." What you're about to read may challenge your assumptions about the kind of world we live in, and especially the kind of world into which events are propelling us. We are in for a rough ride through uncharted territory. It has been very hard for Americans -- lost in dark raptures of nonstop infotainment, recreational shopping and compulsive motoring -- to make sense of the gathering forces that will fundamentally alter the terms of everyday life in our technological society. Even after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, America is still sleepwalking into the future. I call this coming time the Long Emergency. CLIP

The Energy Crunch to Come: Soaring Oil Profits, Declining Discoveries, and Danger Signs (March 22, 2005)
Data released annually at this time by the major oil companies on their prior-year performances rarely generates much interest outside the business world. With oil prices at an all-time high and Big Oil reporting record profits, however, this year has been exceptional. Many media outlets covered the announcement of mammoth profits garnered by ExxonMobil, the nation's wealthiest public corporation, and other large firms. Exxon's fourth-quarter earnings, at $8.42 billion, represented the highest quarterly income ever reported by an American firm. "This is the most profitable company in the world," declared Nick Raich, research director of Zacks Investment Research in Chicago. But cheering as the recent announcements may have been for many on Wall Street, they also contained a less auspicious sign. Despite having spent billions of dollars on exploration, the major energy firms are reporting few new discoveries and so have been digging ever deeper into existing reserves. If this trend continues -- and there is every reason to assume it will -- the world is headed for a severe and prolonged energy crunch in the not-too-distant future. To put this in perspective, bear in mind that the global oil industry has, until now, largely been able to increase its combined output every year in step with rising world demand. True, there have been a number of occasions when demand has outpaced supply, producing temporary shortages and high gasoline prices at the pump. But the industry has always been able been able to catch up again and so quench the world's insatiable thirst for oil. This has been possible because the big energy companies kept up a constant and successful search for new sources of oil to supplement the supplies drawn from their existing reserves. The world's known reserves still contain a lot of oil -- approximately 1.1 trillion barrels, by the estimates of experts at the oil major BP -- but they cannot satisfy rising world demand indefinitely; and so, in the absence of major new discoveries, we face a gradual contraction in the global supply of petroleum. (...) The worldwide decline in new discoveries has profound implications for the global supply of energy and, by extension, the world economy. Given a recent surge in energy demand from China and other rapidly-developing countries, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) predicts that, for all future energy needs to be satisfied, total world oil output will have to climb by 50% between now and 2025; from, that is, approximately 80 million to 120 million barrels per day. A staggering increase in global production, that extra 40 million barrels per day would be the equivalent of total world daily consumption in 1969. Absent major new discoveries, however, the global oil industry will likely prove incapable of providing all of this additional energy. Without massive new oil discoveries, prices will rise, supplies will dwindle, and the world economy will plunge into recession -- or worse. CLIP

Battle for Canada's Underground Resources (24 March 2005)
Some tribes oppose pipeline to tap land rich in oil reserves. While Congress debates whether to allow oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a similar battle with much higher stakes is under way in northwest Canada. The $6 billion Mackenzie Pipeline project would open the Canadian Arctic for natural gas drilling and send the gas 800 miles south down the Mackenzie River Valley to Alberta. There, much of this fuel would be used to throttle up production in a huge but hard-to-tap supply of petroleum dispersed in underground gravel formations. These so-called oil sands hold petroleum reserves that are second in size only to Saudi Arabia's, and analysts say they could supply a large portion of U.S. energy needs for decades to come. (...) Contained in the oil sands are vast quantities of so-called bitumen, or super-heavy oil, underneath an area of northern Alberta as big as Florida. One extraction process is similar to strip mining, in which sand is scooped out and cooked at high heat to extract the sludge. Another process pumps steam into the underground deposits, dissolving the bitumen and allowing it to be piped to the surface. Under both methods, the resulting goo is refined into commercial grades of crude oil and piped to customers, mostly in the western United States. About 2 tons of sand have to be dug up, heated and processed to make a single 42-gallon barrel of oil. The crucial ingredient in this process is natural gas. Although other fuels have been used to cook the oil sands, such as coal and the bitumen itself, none works as well as gas. Production of gas from long-established fields in Alberta is expected to decline in coming years, and because demand for gas is rising fast, expansion of the oil sands will require new supplies. The nearest major source is in three well-explored yet untapped gas fields in the delta of the Mackenzie River on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. If the pipeline is built, gas from the delta can be funneled down to Alberta, where it will connect with the province's pipeline system to reach the oil sands. With international oil prices soaring over $50 per barrel and likely to remain high for years to come, the oil sands are a bonanza in the making. The oil sands are estimated to contain 174 billion barrels of oil, second only to Saudi Arabia's 260 billion barrels. In contrast, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge contains only about 10 billion barrels.(...) But environmentalists say the process of burning large amounts of energy just to get more energy is reckless. "The oil sands are the world's dirtiest source of oil," said Stephen Hazell, director of the Sierra Club of Canada's campaign against the Mackenzie pipeline. The oil sands expansion is expected to increase Canada's emissions of greenhouse gases by as much as 12 percent of the country's total allotment under the Kyoto Protocol, making it almost impossible for the government to meet its commitments for reducing emissions, Hazell said. CLIP

Beyond the Peak
Excerpted Closing Address, by Richard Heinberg, to the First US Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions, Yellow Springs Ohio, (for the entire speech go to ) (...) So what do you do if you are living at the end of an empire? I suppose one rational response would be to eat, drink, and be merry. Why not? It sure beats worrying oneself to death over events one can't control, and thus squandering whatever moments of normalcy and chances for happiness may remain before the end comes. Somehow, I think that you here have other ideas about what to do. I suspect that if you had been passengers on the Titanic, you would not have been drinking yourselves into a stupor at the bar; you'd have been strapping deck chairs together, finding a way to increase the signal strength of the ship's radio, or inventing waterproof buoyant suits that could be remanufactured from hemp ropes using equipment commandeered from the ship's machine shop.I probably can't tell you anything you should be doing that you are not already doing about as well as you can under the circumstances. We all know the drill - grow more of your own food, conserve energy, become active in your local community, learn useful arts and skills, stock up on hand tools. In essence: we must plant the seeds for what can and will survive, for away of life as different from industrialism as the latter is from the medieval period, a way of life whose full flowering we ourselves may never see in our brief lifetimes. CLIP


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Peak Oil Puts Us in a Different Reality

by Marvin Gregory

March 28, 2005

Matthew Simmons, a highly respected investment banker and adviser to the Bush administration, is quoted in Al-Jazeera (Feb. 22) as saying that "we may have passed peak oil." This is significant in that peak oil represents the dividing line between cheap oil and expensive oil, or, put another way, between a supply of oil we don't have to worry about and a supply of oil that may lapse into shortages and place our economy and the world economy in jeopardy.

Simmons recently investigated Saudi Arabia's ability to continue producing large quantities of oil and has a book scheduled to appear at the end of May titled "Twilight In The Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock And The World Economy."

Peak oil goes back to a concept introduced by M. King Hubbert that oil production follows a bell-shaped curve, reaching a peak in production similar to a rollercoaster slowing as it reaches the top of the curve and picking up speed again as it plunges off the other side.

Much debate has been spent on this point recently between those who believe that we will have an adequate amount of petroleum extending into the future and those who believe that the peak in production is nearly upon us or, in fact, may have already occurred.

The downside of this debate is that once the peak occurs, the price of oil will no longer be controlled from the production side, by the oil producers and the market, but instead will be controlled ruthlessly by the law of supply and demand. Oil will skyrocket in price and instead of selling for $35, $40 or even $50 a barrel, will quickly go to $100 or more a barrel. Such prices will injure economies the world over but will especially harm ours in that we consume a prodigious amount of oil each day, some 20 million barrels a day, or one-quarter of the world's supply.

We have not made any preparation for this coming shortfall. President Carter, as one example, ordered the placement of solar hot-water panels on the White House roof to save energy. President Reagan, upon taking office, ordered that the panels be taken down and junked.

One might say we have a difficult time ahead of us, but in my view this understates the case: We will have a monstrously difficult time ahead of us. We are terribly in debt and a crippled economy will only make this problem much harder to manage. We have continued our high level of immigration and population growth. We are choosing to make China our enemy at a time when China has bought Boeing airliners and holds a considerable amount of our debt and promises to buy more of our debt into the future.

We have made no effort to curtail our use of petroleum or the size of our vehicles yet everything, including the dollar, is balanced precariously on the edge of a cliff. We have chosen force and belligerency to maintain our place in the world and our access to oil when cooperation and the rule of law are the only real options open to us. Peak oil means that we are entering into a reality far different and much more threatening than the one to which we are accustomed.

Marvin Gregory lives in Renton.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


The Savage Carnival

By John Cory

28 March 2005

America has become a savage carnival of freak show religiosity and circus clown politics.

Let's call them what they are: Ghoulish Obscene Panderers. How else to describe Tom Delay and Bill Frist, et al., as they crawl into bed with a brain-dead woman to pose for a political Polaroid?

If Bill Frist is the paragon of compassionate-conservative medicine in this country, it is no wonder the GOP wants to do away with trial lawyers and medical malpractice awards. I mean, if Dr. Frist can diagnose via video, surely we can all be diagnosed and healed by touching the magic screens of our televisions, powered by the celebrated and all knowing all-powerful Dr. Oz and his media-evangelists, cured through Our Lady of the Sacred Cable Cathedral and the Holy Order of St. Arbitron, all included in our monthly satellite and cable subscription fees. Better than national healthcare. God is good.

And while the circus of life unfolds before us, notice how no one acknowledges the rampage of giant pink elephants. The media, like a good Ring Master, barks and waves, diverting our attention to the death-defying trapeze artists, the bearded lady, the two-headed boy, and the miniature fire engine loaded with seltzer-spraying pundits fresh from clown college. Modern journalism under the Big Top.

No one wants you to see what just happened. They hide the fact that Congress passed legislation that 80 percent of America thinks is wrong and invasive, that Congress passed this act with only a minimum of congressional and senate membership present, which should scare the living bejeebers out of all of us. What about separation of powers? GOP is the power. What about the rule of law? Only the GOP makes the law. Constitution? Just another dead document. What about activist courts and judges? The GOP will tell you when activism is good and when the evil liberals do bad activism, and never mind the difference!

Wake up America! The Republic is dead. Welcome to the United States of Jesus, sponsored by the GOP Gospel Hour Medicine Show.

It's all a cheap savage carnival on the midway of mendacity. If you want to know these people's moral values, look no further than their pocketbook. And remember, George Bush says their money is our money. Our values are their values.

For every $1 we spend on education in this country, we spend $6 on the defense industry. Are we really six times more dedicated to killing than educating?

While Congressional Christian Conservatives fight to keep a brain-dead woman alive, they cut millions and millions of dollars of VA Healthcare for the treatment of brain-injured soldiers returning from the Iraq war, as well as dozens of programs intended to help the wounded veterans and their families. Why are they so eager to bury the living while digging up the dead for political fundraising?

Helping the poor and homeless is called "entitlements," while tax cuts for the wealthy and tax-subsidies for corporations are considered the "America way." Sort of like saying that kicking people while they are down is the best way to get a good shoe shine.

They fight to keep a brain-dead woman alive while allowing our youngsters easier access to guns than to mental healthcare. But hey, it's only ten little Indians in Red Lake, and besides, Terri Schiavo is a true American.

And like that old adage, "follow the money," if you watch the deposits and withdrawals of our moral leadership, you'll see exactly where their values are, and in turn, why they couldn't care less about your values. Because it is not about values, it is about power and winning and ruling. Values are like congressional ethics, flexible moral standards based on convenience and financial contribution. How else to explain Democratic support of the vile and onerous bankruptcy legislation? I guess it's true that a conservative Democrat is just a Republican in cheap clothing.

These folks hold the Constitution as irrelevant and Catechisms as the only key to America's greatness. They want the Ten Commandments in all public buildings and the 12 Apostles in Congress. They want the Virgin Mary to teach sex education, and they believe in the Holy Trinity of Bush the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Rove.

Money is free speech for those who can afford it, while "silence is golden" applies to the middle class and working poor.

So here we are, in a nation that claims to value the sanctity of life above all else - even as Justice Scalia bemoans no longer being able to put teenagers to death - but content with enforcing capital punishment on mentally retarded prisoners.

It's a freak show, folks. For one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar, you can dance with Christian cannibals while being baptized in the healing waters of the Potomac and witness the second coming of GOP's chosen children - them that's got.

It is a savage carnival that fights to keep a brain-dead woman alive, while pulling the plug on democracy and the Constitution.

John Cory is a Vietnam veteran. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with V device, 1969 - 1970.


Forwarded by Willy Smith>


Bee killer imperils crops

A tiny parasite, colloquially known as a 'vampire mite,' is devastating honeybees. That worries experts because honeybee-pollinated crops are valued at more than $15 billion a year.

By Susan Salisbury

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

March 28, 2005

More than $15 billion in U.S. crops rides each year on the tiny legs of an insect.

The honeybee is the major carrier of pollen for seeded fruits and just about anything that grows on a vine. Everything, in other words, from apples to zucchini.

"If honeybees ceased to exist, two-thirds of the citrus, all of the watermelons, the blueberries, strawberries, pecans and beans would disappear," said Jerry Hayes, apiary inspection chief with the state's Division of Plant Industry.

But now it's the bee itself that is disappearing.

Under attack from a Southeast Asian parasite, vast numbers of the creatures are dying off, worried industry experts say. More than 50 percent of the bees in California, critical to the success of the Golden State's almond crop, have died during the past six months. Frantic growers there have sent out the call around the world, including Florida, for hives.

Not only California is suffering the ravages of the determined pest. As many as 40 percent to 60 percent of the bees nationwide have perished during the same six-month period, experts say.

"It's the biggest crisis that has ever faced the U.S. beekeeping industry," said Laurence Cutts of Chipley, president of the Florida State Beekeepers Association and a retired apiary inspector with the state Department of Agriculture.

Cutts lost two-thirds of his beehives to the predator, an eight-legged animal no bigger than a grain of salt that attaches itself to a bee and slowly sucks out its internal fluids.

The pest is the varroa mite, which has been in the United States since 1986, when it first showed up in Florida. But the pace of devastation has increased only during the past year. An entire hive can be wiped out within less than a year as the parasites, colloquially known as "vampire mites," lodge in a hive and begin to reproduce.

"The varroa mites have become resistant to the chemicals we use to kill them," said Loxahatchee beekeeper Mark McCoy.

McCoy is one of hundreds of beekeepers from around the country and as far away as Australia who responded to California's need for an additional 400,000 hives. He packed up more than 1,500 hives, housing 30 million-plus bees, last month and shipped them west on two flatbed semis.

"The bees are the only tool we have to pollinate the trees," said Colleen Aguiar, a spokeswoman for the California Almond Board, based in Modesto.

The state grows about 80 percent of the global almond crop, which is some 1 billion pounds of nuts a year. It takes 1.2 million hives to pollinate those groves, Aguiar said.

And almonds are only the beginning of the crisis. Apple growers in Virginia normally call on their own state's beekeepers for pollination help, but not this year, said Troy Fore, executive director of the 1,200-member American Beekeeping Federation Inc., based in Jesup, Ga.

"Now those apple growers have also turned to Florida beekeepers to provide pollination because they have lost bees in Virginia to the mite," Fore said.

But Florida itself needs its bees, and some industry observers suggest it might already have given away too many.

"I really think you will see a crunch here in Florida in a couple of months," said David Hackenberg, who operates hives in Dade City and Lewisburg, Pa. "A lot of guys have lost a lot of bees. The watermelon guys are just starting and they are already scrambling for bees."

Hackenberg and others in the business said the state's largest beekeeper, Horace Bell of DeLand, sold his more than 40,000 hives to companies in California this year and went out of business. That automatically reduces Florida's 200,000 bee colonies by 20 percent.

A spokeswoman at Bell's office said she could not confirm that Bell had left the business, but did say he was "semi-retired." Bell did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The honeybee emergency has not gone unnoticed in the scientific community.

Hundreds of researchers across the globe are looking for a solution, either through new treatments or by breeding mite-resistant bees. So far, the search hasn't yielded much success, said Jay Evans, a geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Md.

"Beekeepers need something this year or next to keep their colonies going," Evans said. "For the longer-term focus, we need to understand how the mites are so successful as parasites and breed bees that have a defense against them."

The loss of bee hives during the past year has been so catastrophic, Evans said, that researchers are questioning whether factors other than the varroa mite are at work.

Officials are scrambling for money to get to the heart of the problem.

The state Agriculture Department is seeking $300,000 from the legislature for bee research. As of Thursday, the request was heading for a conference committee, said Carolee Howe, assistant director of agriculture policy at the Florida Farm Bureau in Gainesville.

The American Bee Federation has asked the federal government for help. The group wants the USDA to spend $16 million a year, twice what it now allocates, on bee research.

Howe said the mite problem is getting worse.

"These mites are getting stronger," she said. "One day you will have a healthy hive. The next day your hives can be dead."

Those who work in the bee industry feel that the crops that don't need bees sometimes get more attention than they do. It's also admittedly difficult to evoke a passion for bees in the public mind, which often views them only as a stinging nuisance.

"We have this wonderful insect that can do marvelous things. It's not warm and fuzzy," said Hayes, the state apiary inspection chief. "It's not like a manatee. You can't cuddle and pet it.

"Yet without it, we have a negative impact on how our society eats. Maybe we can help people not love the bee, but at least appreciate it more."


From: "">
Subject: FORESTS ALERT: World Bank Dam Threatens Laos Rainforests and Peoples
Date: 28 Mar 2005

World Bank Dam Threatens Lao Rainforests and Peoples

By, a project of Ecological Internet, Inc.


Stop the Nam Theun 2 Dam

In the next month, the World Bank Board of Directors will decide whether or not to support the controversial Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in Laos. You can influence whether the World Bank supports Nam Theun 2 by asking the United States government to oppose the project when it comes to the Bank's Board for approval. The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project would flood the rainforest habitats of numerous endangered species, including one of the last wild herds of Asian elephants. Shockingly, it would displace several thousand indigenous people living on the Nakai Plateau and would destroy the livelihoods of another hundred thousand people living downstream. Past experience shows the Laos government lacks the capacity and the political will to manage a large and risky hydropower project like Nam Theun 2. As a result of dams built over the past 8 years, tens of thousands of Laos citizens lack sufficient food to eat, clean water to drink and income to meet basic needs. Apparently the World Bank is back in the business of ill-conceived and highly damaging large dam construction. Please forward widely, and take action now at:

Networked by Ecological Internet,


See also:

Wolfowitz, the Bad Surprise (28 March 2005)
It's practically certain that Paul Wolfowitz, the candidate proposed by George W. Bush, will be approved by the World Bank's (WB) Board of Directors next week and will become its new president. Wolfowitz's nomination has made many teeth grit, as much in Europe as among intellectuals and the American left, right up to WB employees, who console themselves by posting jokes on the Internet ("It will no longer be necessary to prepare an action plan after signing a debt agreement with a government: if an action plan wasn't necessary in Iraq, why would it be anywhere else?"; "The WB's watchword will changefrom: 'Our dream, a world without poverty' to 'Our dream, a world without the poor ... we'll send them all to Guantanamo.'"). Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman and Jeffrey Sachs have all come out against this choice. In Europe, an appeal launched by a group of economists, including Daniel Cohen, regrets a choice that "at the very least, is contentious." The NGOs scream at the provocation and developing countries worry. CLIP


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