MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
December 1, 2006
The Cornucopia Series #1: The Mega Smorgasbord
Cornucopia: Symbol of plenty - An abundant supply.
Smorgasbord: A buffet meal featuring a varied number of dishes - A varied collection.
I think it says it all... With the mega size nowadays of my weekly compilations, I thought a new name was in order to try to do justice to the very wide variety of subjects they cover.
And now something I don't mention often enough: a BIG thank you to all the subscribers whose very diverse contributions to my Inbox provide me with plenty of interesting material from which to prepare this "buffet" for you.
Have a good meal ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. Your feedbacks are as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer they are not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.
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STATS for this compilation: Over 37,400 words and 195 links provided.
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"Our Increasingly Insane World - One day's news (November 10, 2006): Russia Tests New Intercontinental Missile - France Tests Ballistic Missile For Nuclear Deployment - India to Test Longer Range Ballistic Missile in 2007 - Boeing Awarded Contract to Upgrade ICBM Weapon System - Iran Tests New Long-Range Missiles - Thought you would like to have this news of our civilization's progress. The same day some 29,000 children died of hunger or easily preventable or curable disease and contaminated water..."
- Mel Hurtig <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"What I read recently is that the Star children and the indigo children are always being lumped together even though there is a vast difference between the two groups. In countries where computer use has increased so have the indigo children numbers exponentially but indigo children are supposedly ones who have developed particular mental and psychic abilities while the Star children are wholly conscious in a spiritual way utilizing both left and right hemispheres fully and are far more advanced than indigos. I think I read that Star children numbers have increased greatly also but nowhere near to the numbers of the indigos which I think Boylan is mistaking for Star children as is usually the case. My guess would be that Chris Angel is a Star Child though judging by his abilities."
- Mark Graffis <email@example.com>
"I was thinking that the American People could start choosing Iraqis to write letters to expressing our compassion for them, and our hopes for helping them form a stable and peaceful nation in a form of their own choosing, so that we can give them their country back. If we could express the desire we have for them to have a happy, peaceful, free, and abundant future, maybe we could reach past the current situation through a heart-to-heart gesture directly from ordinary citizens of this country to ordinary citizens of that country and become pro-peace, and support a free and healthy nation in Iraq?"
- Daniel Stafford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"And who will tell the people that free speech is a ruse. The corporations run the country and then they make the news. Is it media or mind control heroic victories or crime? Who will tell the people... that we are living in these times."
- Song by Willie Nelson - Sent by Christopher Rudy <email@example.com> who also recommended his latest offering: "Retaining the Blessing of "Thanksgiving": The Attitude of Gratitude - From Simple to Profound" archived at http://www.heartcom.org/gratitude.htm
THE AQUARIAN PROCLAMATION
From the Point of Light in the Mind of God,
Light now flows through the mind of Humanity.
A Realm of Light has now emerged on Earth.
From the Point of Love within the Heart of God,
Love now streams forth through the Heart of Humanity.
The Christ is returned to Earth.
From the Center where the Will of God is known,
Divine Purpose now guides the will of Humanity,
The Purpose which Ascended Humanity knows and serves.
From the Center we call the Race of Humanity,
The Plan of Light and Love now governs,
Having forever sealed the door where ego dwells.
Divine Light, Love and Power has restored the Plan on Earth!
And SO IT IS, BELOVED I AM!
(Forwarded by "Doreen Agostino" <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
1. Part of my "mission"
2. The True Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
3. The Bridge
4. CIA role claim in Kennedy killing
5. Will Forests Adapt to a Warmer World?
6. Petition to Stop the chemtrails
7. Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'
8. The White House Criminal Conspiracy
9. Blind Obedience to the Canons of Capitalism
10. Biofuels: A serious threat masked in green
11. Scientists Fear Results of Collapsed Ice Shelf
12. Disemboweled, Then Torn Apart: The Price of Daring to Teach Girls
13. Women in Afghanistan
14. Force-Fed Sharmila Fights On for Freedom From Armed Oppression
15. Boom in Nanotechnology Poses Consumer Risks, NRDC Warns
WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
Interview With George Galloway - 11/21/06 - The Hour - CBC - Video Runtime 7 Minutes
"George Bush and Tony Blair are not Christians" - George Galloway is an outspoken politician. He's vehemently against both the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Vladimir Megre - FASCINATING!!
Vladimir Nikolaevich Megre is the author of the book series The Ringing Cedars of Russia.
According to the English publisher of this 8-book series: "Inspired by the Ringing Cedars, thousands of people are now planting trees, changing their lifestyle and, in search for a spiritual re-connection with the Earth, relocating to new eco-villages that are sprouting up all over Russia and beyond. Thousands of readers have felt a huge creative upsurge and started writing poetry and songs and doing paintings." Recommended by "Huguette Demers" email@example.com">
In Praise of the Tree
The 21st Century's biggest solution - a photo-montage by Palden Jenkins
Continuously Updated Environment News
There are several new and most interesting entries in the ERN guestbook at http://two.guestbook.de/gb.cgi?gid=456912&prot=ccbcsw including a Petition Supporting a Resolution in Congress to End Funding of the Iraq War (by Cindy Sheehan) and an interesting letter about the Faerie Hill ecoark
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the UFO Scene (Nov 21, 2006)
With all the fiction and disinformation circulating in ufology, it seems useful to catalogue some of the good leaders in the field, and distinguish them from those not to be trusted. What follows is a listing of "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of UFOlogy", found on the Internet, with which I happen to agree. - Richard Boylan, Ph.D.
Brazilian "psychic" is off-base
Friends, and Star Kids, Recently Brazilian "psychic" Jan Van Ellam aka Rogerio de Almeida Freitas's claim that "official and open contact" between several star races and Earth will supposedly "occur between November 16, 2006 and April 30, 2007" was published in a Brazilian UFO magazine and on the Internet. I requested Star Nations' advisement as to whether Van Ellam's is accurate. An official spokesperson for the High Council of Star Nations, Councillor For the Watchers, responded as follows. He said that "official and open contact" is already occurring. By this he is referring to the fact that Star Nations has been sending official representatives to interact with official governments on Earth for about half a century. The Star Nations have been quite open about this; it is the Earth governments who have wrapped up such contacts in the most stringent clandestine "security" classification. The Star Nations have pressed the Earth Governments to open up with their peoples about star contact, but thus far no governments have done so officially. (Cf. http://www.drboylan.com/1964agreement.html ) Councillor For the Watchers did say that as the Cabal are losing power, the Star Nations will be able to "more openly" address the public, in accordance with the way they are going to reach the New Understanding with the people of Earth. This more openly-public show-of-presence will presumably also result in increasing candor about Star Nations contacts from government officials of goodwill, as these officials come out from under the wilting thumb of Cabal control, and feel free to speak the truth. Bottom line: the Brazilian "psychic" is not making an accurate report. Second bottom line: despite that, Star Nations craft will "soon" be making significantly increased numbers of appearances in populated areas. And the Cabal are planning "something big", an operation as a response to these planned Star Nations increasingly public displays. We are getting closer to the End Game. The Cabal think that the End Game ends up in victory for them. The reality is that the End Game spells Die Gotterdamerung, The Twilight of the "Gods" that the Cabal presume themselves to be. In the light, Richard
Integral Naked Institute is the world's first multimedia portal into Integral Consciousness,featuring hundreds of hours of audio and video conversations with today's greatest thinkers, leaders, artists, and visionaries. Often moderated by Ken Wilber, these discussions span a wide range of topics-- including spirituality, sexuality, psychology, ecology, art,business, and politics. Through the rich diversity of subject matter runs a single thread, a fierce determination to connect the dots of fragmentation and begin to make sense of a world gone more than slightly mad. Integral Naked offers a much more comprehensive, cohesive, and fulfilling way to navigate the rich complexity of the traditional, modern, and post-modern worlds. It is your access point to the community, the conversations, the art, and the vision that is defining what it means to be fully aware in today's world. Recommended by Nadia McLaren firstname.lastname@example.org"> - Make sure also to check Ken Wilber's website at http://www.kenwilber.com/ including http://www.kenwilber.com/multiplex/show/195
DOREEN VIRTUE: ANGELS IN OUR LIVES - Running time: 59:00
She claims we are returning to a New Age of Peace, and with it a profound shift in our consciousness and the fate of the planet. And it is against this canvass that clairvoyant psychologist Dr. Doreen Virtue paints a universe of angels and archangels, nature spirits and guides. Doreen Virtue: Angels in our Lives explores a myriad of metaphysical issues, including Indigo Children, the coming change in the nature of Time, and the role of Lightworkers as models of the higher, smoother way. (...) She claims everyone is born with some form of psychic ability or, in other words, a sixth sense. This ability, like all other God given abilities, needs to be nurtured and exercised to maximize its strengths. Dr. Virtue cites over three hundred scientific studies from Harvard, Cornell and other leading universities supporting her beliefs in people's natural psychic abilities and in the power of prayer in healing.
Planetary Transformation Team
Developing project you may wish to check...
CONTROLLED CHAOS: European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0%2C1518%2C448747%2C00.html
Are streets without traffic signs conceivable? Seven cities and regions in Europe are giving it a try -- with good results.
"NASA Airbrushed UFOs / Lunar Base Towers" Trailer (3 min. 54 sec.)
The "NASA Airbrushed UFOs / Lunar Base Towers" trailer from the "UFO - The Greatest Story Ever Denied" movie, by Jose Escamilla. Please visit http://www.theufomovie.com/ for more information. (Check the right column for more UFO-related videos)
Jerome Murat (8 min.)
The french intro is short....the video that follows is sensational and worth watching!
Scientists Issue Unprecedented Forecast of Next Sunspot Cycle (March 6, 2006)
BOULDERThe next sunspot cycle will be 30-50% stronger than the last one and begin as much as a year late, according to a breakthrough forecast using a computer model of solar dynamics developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Predicting the Sun's cycles accurately, years in advance, will help societies plan for active bouts of solar storms, which can slow satellite orbits, disrupt communications, and bring down power systems. The scientists have confidence in the forecast because, in a series of test runs, the newly developed model simulated the strength of the past eight solar cycles with more than 98% accuracy. The forecasts are generated, in part, by tracking the subsurface movements of the sunspot remnants of the previous two solar cycles. (...) The scientists expect the cycle to begin in late 2007 or early 2008, which is about 6 to 12 months later than a cycle would normally start. Cycle 24 is likely to reach its peak about 2012. CLIP
A motherload of fascinating Light-filled creations! Make sure also to visit http://www.globalpeacefoundation.org and http://www.lightparty.com
Feed three million people in 33 days... Would You Like To Help Feed 3 Million American Children In 33 Days.... For Just One Dollar? If you're in a hurry, just click here to "watch" the story: www.FEED333.com - Sound impossible? It's the dream of a woman named Spryte Loriano. She watched a movie you may also have seen ~ The Secret ~ and was inspired to create something that would make a massive difference in the world, and turn the impossible, possible: Feed 3 million children in 33 days. As soon as I heard her inspiring story, I wanted to help. And I knew that others would too. CLIP - Recommended by "D. Dalton" email@example.com">
December 10th & 11th: Silence + Torture = Complicity (Excellent initiative! Support it!)
On December 10th and 11th, in honor of International Human Rights Day, take a stand against the legalization of torture. Spend the whole day wearing what Guantanamo detainees have to wear everyday. Dress in the orange jumpsuit, hood, shackles, etc. Wear it to school. Wear it to work. Wear it to church or religious services. Pledge to wear the orange jumpsuit. On Dec. 10th and 11th, make the torture that is being carried out by our government in our names a reality that people have to confront in their daily lives. Distribute the World Cant Wait Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime and Silence + Torture = Complicity statement. Challenge people to join you by putting on an orange armband and collect their email address for the movement to drive out the Bush regime. CLIP -- 14,000 people are being detained by the U.S. without charges. What you saw and were disgusted by at Abu Ghraib has continued to go on at "black site" CIA detention centers and military prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Military Commissions Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by Bush on Oct. 17, has made torture, indefinite detention, and taking away the right to habeus corpus legal. YOUR GOVERNMENT is openly torturing people, and justifying it. These simple facts only begin to comprehend what those languishing in torture chambers run by the United States endure everyday. Moreover, as people living in the country carrying out these crimes, we have a responsibility to take a clear stand against torture and stop it from continuing. With a regime bent on and even celebrating its right to torture and an "opposition" party complicit in these crimes, it is all the more imperative that we create the conditions in society where torture is unacceptable, and "normal life" does not continue until it is stopped. If we do not act, then we too are complicit.
Kissinger to Serve As Papal Adviser? (Nov 26) !!!
Pope Benedict XVI has invited Henry Kissinger, former adviser to Richard Nixon, to be a political consultant and he accepted.
Palestinian Solidarity Discourse and Zionist Hegemony
A talk given at 11/22/06 in Edinburgh hosted by the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign -- 11/23/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- Lets face it; while the Palestinian and Arab resistance evolves into an absolute example of the ultimate heroism and collective patriotism, the Palestinian solidarity movement in the UK and around the world is not exactly what could be called a profound success story. In fact, it would be erroneous to state that this is really the fault of those who dedicate their time and energy to it. Supporting the Palestinians is a complicated subject. Though the crimes against the Palestinians have taken place in broad daylight and are not some well-kept secret, the priorities of the solidarity movement are far from being clear. (...) I maintain that Palestinian people are largely divided into three main groups and it is actually this division that dictates three different political narratives, with three different political discourses and agendas to consider: The three groups can be described as follows: 1. The Palestinians who happen to live within the Israeli State and possess Israeli citizenship - The Israelis have a name for them; they call them Israeli Arabs. These Palestinians are largely discriminated by Israeli law in all aspects of their lives; their struggle is for civil rights and civil equality. 2. The Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories - In most cases those Palestinians are locked behind walls and barbed wire in Bantustans and concentration camps in the so-called Palestinian Authority Controlled Area (PA). Practically speaking, those people live under a criminal occupation. For three decades these people have been terrorised on a daily basis by Israeli soldiers in roadblocks and incursions, they are subject to air raids and artillery bombardments. Their civil system is shattered, their educational system is falling apart, their health system is extinct. These Palestinian people are craving for a single day with no casualties.3. The Diaspora Palestinians - Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed over the course of the years and denied return to their homes by the racially orientated Israeli legal system (the Law of Return and Absentee Laws). The Israelis do not have a name for them, they simply deny their existence. The Diaspora Palestinians live all over around the world. According to the UN statistics every third refugee is a Palestinian. Millions of exiled Palestinians live in the region in refugee camps, the others can be found in every corner of the globe, many are here may be among us tonight. The Diaspora Palestinians know their rights and they want to be able to come home if they so choose, they demand their right of return. (...) Our problems with Israel have something to do with it being a Fascist State supported by the vast majority of Jewish people around the world. (...) We are afraid to admit that Israel is indeed a Fascist State. CLIP
Refugees Are The Key
Israel should admit its historical responsibility to the Palestinian people and recognize the rights of the refugees.
Israel and Palestinians Reach Agreement on Cease-Fire (Nov 26)
Palestinian Authority security forces began deploying along the Gaza Strip's border with Israel on Sunday, in order to prevent Palestinian militants from firing Qassam rockets at Israel in violation of a newly implemented cease-fire.
Olmert: Ceasefire may lead to "real negotiations" (26 Nov 2006)
JERUSALEM, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday that a ceasefire to end five months of fighting in the Gaza Strip may lead to "real negotiations" with the Palestinians.Olmert said Israel would show restraint in coming days over violations of the ceasefire by Palestinian militants."I hope very much they (Palestinians) will show responsibility and goodwill. This could be the beginning of a serious, real, open and direct negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ... leading towards a full settlement between Israel and the Palestinians," Olmert said.
Unity talks with Hamas collapse, says Abbas (Nov 30) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4f36adfc-8068-11db-9096-0000779e2340.html
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian president, said on Thursday that talks with the ruling Hamas movement on a national unity government had broken down. His announcement came as Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state visited the region in a bid to expand the limited ceasefire agreed over the past the weekend into wider peace moves. It was unclear if Mr Abbas statement was a tactic to break a deadlock with Hamas but aides said he was considering dramatic moves, which could include an emergency government and eventual fresh elections. CLIP All the most recent developments on this at http://news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Mideast_Conflict
UN: Israel breaks border agreement
A UN report has accused Israel of breaking all provisions in a year-old US-brokered agreement on Gaza's border crossings, as Condoleezza Rice visits the region.
Twilight Zone / Shock corridor (Nov 30)
(...) For three months now, the government health services serving Palestinians in the West Bank have been closed down. Dozens of rural clinics are no longer open and government hospitals are barely operating. Health-service workers who have not received most of their salaries for the past nine months - because of the boycott which Israel and the world declared on the Palestinian Authority government - have declared a strike, which has gotten worse: Since Monday the hospitals have only been accepting patients whose life is in immediate danger. Yet another hardship to add to the siege of West Bank locales, with their approximately 1.5 million residents, and the severe economic distress that afflicts them. (...) The checkpoints on the way to Nablus are exhausting. Every five minutes you have to stop and wait, sometimes for hours. The maximum speed limit is one kilometer per hour, and that's on a good day. The scene at the Hawara checkpoint, overlooking Nablus, is terrible: As usual there, a throng of people is crammed into something that resembles a cattle pen. A compassionate soldier gives right of way to mothers with babies who're caught in the chaos. A short line of cars with permits to leave waits, for hours on end. They say this is nothing compared to the Assira Alshmalia checkpoint, also known as Checkpoint 17, on the Nablus-Jenin road. And these are not crossings into Israel, but rather checkpoints between Nablus and Beit Furik, affecting only people going to work and back. With all the focus on the bloodshed in Gaza, daily life in the West Bank has been forgotten. At the offices of the Medical Relief organization in Nablus, the medical director, Dr. Ghassan Hamdan, says that his city is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. He foresees epidemics and needless deaths. The clinics in 65 villages are closed, which has dramatic significance: When Nablus is inaccessible these clinics serve as a substitute, albeit a poor one, for the hospitals on the other side of the checkpoints. But now the two big hospitals in Nablus are practically deserted, so most of the burden is falling on nongovernmental organizations like Hamdan's. The irony: The boycott may end up pushing more of the population into the arms of Hamas, whose clinics are open. CLIP
West Bank and Gaza: ICRC report shows increased levels of poverty (Nov 21)
(...) About 60% of the households in both areas fall into categories described by their own communities as poor or very poor.The situation in Gaza, where extremely high levels of poverty were detected, is especially bad."This confirms the fears expressed repeatedly by the ICRC concerning the consequences in humanitarian terms of the economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza," said Dominik Stillhart, head of the ICRC delegation for Israel and the occupied territories.
France okays firing at Israeli jets over Lebanon
French soldiers in Lebanon who feel threatened by aggressive Israeli overflights are permitted to shoot at IAF fighter jets, a high-ranking French military officer told The Jerusalem Post.
Hezbollah announces its campaign to bring down the Lebanese government (Nov 30) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15786.htm
Big Brother, Big Business - CNBC Special Video Report
Technology is being used to monitor Americans more than ever before. Documentary provides an inside peek at an AOL division that works solely to satisfy the requests of law enforcement for information about AOL's members.
What Will You Do When the Government Demands Your Laptop?
Courtesy of a decision from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Customs officials can seize and copy the contents of any laptop carried across a U.S. border. There's no arrest, warrant or probable cause requiredjust "gimme."
Chad Government Says In State Of War With Sudan
Chad is in a state of war with Sudan and its military is on the highest alert, a government spokesman said Tuesday.
'Hundreds killed' in Sudan battle (Nov 29)
At least 300 people were killed in clashes between Sudan's army and former rebels in the south earlier this week, aid workers say.
Baghdad Airport shut at end of bloody day in Iraq
At the end of a day in which attacks killed at least 160 Iraqis and wounded more than 250, comes word that Baghdad's airport is shut.
Iraq Stares Into Face of Civil War
Funeral processions began Friday for the more than 160 people who were killed by car bombs and mortars in Baghdad's largest Shiite district. Hundreds of men, women and children beat their chests, chanted and cried as they walked beside vehicles carrying the caskets of their loved ones. "There is a full-scale sectarian war in the country that the media has not been able to fully project to the world," says Bassam Ali, a political analyst from Arbil.
Iraqi coalition on brink of collapse as country descends towards civil war
The prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was forced to choose between his US protectors and an essential pillar of his coalition, when Moqtada al-Sadr declared his intention to walk out, potentially bringing down the government, if Mr Maliki went ahead with a meeting with President George Bush in Jordan next week.
Iraq Quickly Heading Toward Full-Scale Civil War
Revenge-seeking Shiite militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left Friday prayers, drenched them with kerosene and burned them alive, and Iraqi soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said. The fiery slayings in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Hurriyah were a dramatic escalation of the brutality coursing through the Iraqi capital, coming a day after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 215 people in Baghdad's main Shiite district with a combination of bombs and mortars. The attacks culminated Baghdad's deadliest week of sectarian fighting since the war began more than three years ago.
A Matter of Definition: What Makes a Civil War, and Who Declares It So?
"Is Iraq in a civil war?" asks Edward Wong. "Though the Bush administration continues to insist that it is not, a growing number of American and Iraqi scholars, leaders and policy analysts say the fighting in Iraq meets the standard definition of civil war. The common scholarly definition has two main criteria. The first says that the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second says that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side."
Neighborhood by Neighborhood, Baghdad Descends Into Civil War
Sectarian violence has turned Baghdad into a deadly jigsaw puzzle of contested neighborhoods where armed bands of Shiite and Sunni Muslims battle daily for control, in fighting that is far more similar to an organized military campaign than is generally acknowledged.
Colin Powell Says Iraq in a "Civil War"
Former secretary of state Colin Powell said Wednesday that Iraq's violence meets the standard of civil war and that if he were heading the State Department now, he might recommend that the administration use that term. Many news organizations and analysts are calling the Sunni-Shiite sectarian warfare that exploded this year, killing thousands and causing widespread displacement, a civil war.
'Civil war' doesn't begin to describe the chaos in Iraq (Nov 30)
The reason the White House doesn't want to call the fighting in Iraq a "civil war" is no mystery. Civil war represents the failure of the Bush administration's effort to implant a stable, pro-U.S. democracy in Baghdad. And it's easier to rally public support for fighting terrorists than it is for leaving U.S. troops caught in a murderous struggle among rival religious militias. The sad reality is that "civil war" is too simple a term to describe what's happening inside Iraq, where the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 had the same effect as smacking a beehive with a baseball bat.Life in Baghdad, which the administration has defined as the pivotal battleground, is a nightmare. Iraqi civilians are butchered by the scores every day by car bombs and marauding death squads. U.S. troops are shot at by Sunnis when they try to defend Shiites and by Shiites when they try to defend Sunnis.Neighbors who want to live in peace - and there are still many in a country where Shiites and Sunnis often are intermingled and intermarried - are forced to seek security from religious militias.Were the slaughter controlled by two or three cohesive groups, as was the case in Bosnia a decade ago, the situation might neatly be described as civil war. But Iraq is messier.Shiites and Sunnis are splintered into smaller armed factions, some of which are battling each other. Add to that mix criminal gangs and foreign fighters aligned with the al-Qaeda terror network. CLIP
Civil war could ripple outward
Whether the U.S. military departs Iraq sooner or later, the United States will be hard-pressed to leave behind a country that does not threaten U.S. interests and regional peace, according to American and Arab analysts and political observers.
US Finds Iraq Insurgency Has Funds to Sustain Itself
The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.
Britain May Start Pulling Out of Iraq
Britain said Monday it expects to withdraw thousands of its 7,000 military personnel from Iraq by the end of next year, while Poland and Italy announced the impending withdrawal of their remaining troops. Polish president Lech Kaczynski said his country, a US ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, would pull its remaining 900 soldiers out of Iraq by the end of 2007.
Iraq Study Group to Call for Troop "Pullback"
The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, shifting the US role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.
Learning to Live With the Ayatollahs
Robert Scheer writes: "The White House is desperately twisting itself into knots to find a way out of an Iraq debacle sure to top the political agenda in the '08 presidential election. Having idiotically dug ourselves a terribly deep hole in Iraq - remember when protesters against the war were mocked for using the word 'quagmire?' - Bush is now forced to beg Syria and Iran to throw us a rope."
Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter to the American people (Throwing a rope to Bush!)
If the US Government meets the current domestic and external challenges with an approach based on truth and Justice, it can remedy some of the past afflictions and alleviate some of the global resentment and hatred of America.
Iraq war was good for Israel: Olmert
The Iraq war was a boon for Israel's security, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday, voicing fresh endorsement for a Bush administration sapped by the unpopularity at home of its Middle East policies. The mid-term election losses of U.S. President George W. Bush's Republican Party were widely considered a repudiation of his decision to topple Iraq's Saddam Hussein as part of a vision of democratizing the region and bolstering allies like Israel.Olmert avoided explicit comment on the Republicans' fortunes during Washington talks with Bush earlier this month. But in a speech to visiting American Jews, Olmert made clear he had few regrets about the changes wrought by the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (...) Under Saddam, Iraq backed Palestinian militants and posed a menacing presence to Israel's east. During the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq rained missiles on Israel but Israel held its fire at the behest of Washington, which was wary of alienating Arab allies. But Olmert's views on today's Iraq have not been shared by all Israeli experts.Yuval Diskin, chief of the Shin Bet intelligence service, said in a leaked briefing earlier this year that Israel could come to rue Saddam's ouster if it deepens regional instability."When you take apart a system in which a dictator has been controlling his people by force, you have chaos," Diskin said in a recording broadcast by Israeli television. "I'm not sure we won't end up missing Saddam."
24 Jewish organizations biggest fundraisers in US
At the head of the Jewish organizations on the list was the United Jewish Communities (UJC) which ranked 34. The organization raised nearly USD 334 million in 2005.
US involved for longer time in Iraq than in World War II
The US involvement in Iraq will pass another sad milestone on Sunday, when it overtakes the length of America's engagement in World War II.
Bush Says US Won't Pull Out of Iraq
President Bush, under pressure to change direction in Iraq, said Tuesday that he will not be persuaded by any calls to withdraw American troops. Recent US elections added fuel to the argument from Democrats that US soldiers need to come home. But Bush has resisted that, even while projecting the need for a different approach.
ANALYSIS-Iraq's oil industry in grip of despair (29 Nov 2006)
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The present state of Iraq's collapsing oil sector, its economic lifeline, is bleak and its future looks far worse, despairing officials say.Another damaging oil attack this week, the prospect of British troops handing over the oil city of Basra and virtual civil war have all but crushed hope for Iraqi officials battling to keep exports flowing to world markets."One thing is sure. The worst is yet to come," an Iraqi oil industry source said by telephone from Baghdad.His task is made harder still by gross mismanagement at the oil ministry and chronic underinvestment in the vital sector -- already neglected for decades due to sanctions and wars. "There is no line of authority at the oil ministry," said an oil official in the capital. "We are crippled. We have the resources and the finances and we are still failing." With Baghdad in chaos, technocrats fear the oil producing regions in the Shi'ite south and in the north near Kurdistan may seize control of exports and effectively dismember the country that holds the world's third biggest oil reserves. (...) Whoever does lay claim to Kirkuk will inherit an 80-year-old oilfield that pumped 800,000 bpd or nearly a third of Iraq's output under Saddam Hussein.Rates have slowed to a trickle since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 as relentless sabotage along the northern export pipeline to Turkey has kept exports mostly idle. The field was dealt another blow on Monday when a mortar attack ignited nearby oil tanks and cut Kirkuk production to about 100,000 bpd from 300,000 bpd.
US carried out madrasah bombing
THE bombing of a Pakistani madrasah last month, in which 82 students were killed, was carried out by the United States, a Pakistani official has admitted.
US hawk judges war on terror a mistake (Nov 23, 2006)
(...) Despite his hawkish reputation, Mr Iklé is tough on the White House, calling GWOT the global war on terror a distraction and a rallying cry that unites enemies of the US, not divides them. As for Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, his speeches warning of a generational GWOT are defeatist and anodyne.Rejecting calls to arms by the same neo-conservatives who advocated invading Iraq, he says a pre-emptive attack on Iran would be a catastrophic failure. Asked if he had been opposed to the war on Iraq, he answers somewhat ruefully: I wish I could say I was. Enormous and incredible mistakes in Iraq may end up driving us out, but if we handle the exit correctly it will not make the US more vulnerable, and can be made worse for our jihadist adversaries who are killing each other.Pulling out of Iraq will lead to feelings of guilt, with some justification. In some ways we have made things worse than under Saddam Hussein, he concludes.
Expert: Bush can't attack Iran: Security expert tells forum (Nov. 22, 06)
US President George Bush does not have sufficient credit to initiate a military strike on Iran, Giora Romm, senior researcher for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, told a forum attended by members of the Foreign Ministry and delegates from the American Jewish community in Jerusalem Tuesday. Romm was a former Air Force pilot, Assistant Director of IDF operations, defense attache to Washington and a former head of the Jewish Agency. He recently returned from Washington, and described how senior American officials were completely preoccupied with the war in Iraq. "Iraq is sitting very heavily on them," Romm said, adding that the problems of the Iraq war have robbed President Bush of any credibility. Quoting a senior American official, Romm told the forum, "If Bush does something physical to Iran, he will be impeached." "Bush has no military credit. Don't delude yourself by thinking that Bush has a military option (regarding Iran). I don't think the average American is convinced that his country is in danger (from Iran), and isn't moved by dangers in the Middle East. After 3.5 years in Iraq, he won't be convinced by wishy washy intelligence," Romm said. He added that the same source, from the Democratic Party, said, "If there isn't a change in Iraq within six months, I'm told, people will take to the streets like in Vietnam." Speaking to Ynetnews, Romm said he "could see a situation where we would attack Iran and the United States won't, but I can't estimate that now." Romm added that the American-Israeli alliance has not been endangered following the Democratic upswing in the US elections. CLIP
Revolutionary Guards Head: 'US Forces in Middle East 'Extremely' Vulnerable (Nov. 23, 2006)
Revolutionary Guards Head: 'US Forces in Middle East 'Extremely' Vulnerable (...) At the end of his talk, asked about the aim of the latest US military maneuver, Safavi said: America has fallen into the quagmire of Iraq and Afghanistan and it can neither make headway nor retreat, and if it attacks Iran, it 200,000 troops and 33 bases in the region will be extremely vulnerable and both American politicians and military commanders are aware of it. Safavi went on: Americans can start a war, but its ending will not be in their hands, taking into account that we have not yet asked the people of Iraq to take any action (as published).The general's words were met with enthusiasm by the students, and continuing with his talk, he added: After the military exercises, one of the American generals in Kuwait said the same way that the combatants of Hezbollah and their missiles took us by surprise, so did Iran's missile capability.In reply to another question about the defeat of the American plan for the Greater Middle East, the IRGC commander stressed: They have tried hard and so far have spent 400bn dollars in Iraq, but we are the beneficiaries. Moreover, two of our major adversaries, Saddam and the Taliban, are no longer there and our influence in the region has increased to the extent that we are the strategic winner in the Middle East. CLIP
U.S.- Iran history, beyond the fear
So warm, gracious and welcoming were the people of Iran, in just two days I felt safer walking the streets of Tehran, a city of 16 million, than I did in Albany. Where was this "axis of evil"?
US could bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2007: analysts
President George W. Bush could choose military action over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities next year, political analysts in Washington agree.
'No proof' of Iran nuclear arms
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has not found conclusive evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, a US magazine has reported.
China nearing deal to develop huge Iran field
China's Sinopec Group is near to clinching one of its biggest overseas deals, to develop Iran's giant Yadavaran oilfield, a top Chinese industry official said yesterday.
Gates & the Iran Arms Sales (November 23, 2006)
Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates narrowly escaped legal fallout from the Iran-Contra scandal 20 years ago. But new evidence from his former CIA colleagues suggests Gates was more interested in serving his political masters at the White House than in reporting accurate intelligence. Gates's actions from that shadowy period are relevant again as the Senate evaluates whether Gates has the right stuff to stand up to George W. Bush.
Pentagon delays chemical weapons disposal
The Pentagon has extended its timeline to destroy its aging chemical weapons arsenal until 2023. the military won't eliminate its stock of deadly nerve gases and skin-blistering agents until 11 years after the 2012 deadline set by the international Chemical Weapons Convention.
U.S. is ranked 17th in level of democracy
Sweden is the most democratic country, according to the research, with 9.88 average score. Ireland, 9.71 points, the Netherlands, 9.66, and Norway, 9.55 follow the Scandinavian kingdom. The US is ranked 17th while Japan is 20th and the United Kingdom 23rd.
Assault on Press Freedom (November 26, 2006)
In a nation that preaches the virtues of democracy, the United States government has consistently eroded the media's ability to report. U.S. press freedom has been slipping away since Sept. 11, 2001. Many other countries are now ranked freer than the United States. In the most recent survey by Freedom House [the U.S.] tied for 17th place. International free-press advocates Reporters Without Borders ranked us 53rd, tied with Botswana, Croatia and Tonga. Now that we are in a seemingly permanent "war" on terrorism, the government claims wartime powers that result in restricting press freedom. The Bush administration has multiplied exponentially the number of documents it classifies as secret. The office of Vice President Dick Cheney claims to be exempt from reporting even the numbers of records it brands with the "classified" stamp. Within weeks after 9/11, President Bush issued Executive Order 13233, allowing him to veto public release not only of his own presidential papers but those of former [presidents]. (...) It is hard to stomach the hypocrisy of claiming to spread democracy abroad while restricting at home the very freedoms that make democracy possible. Recommended by Fred Burks firstname.lastname@example.org"> - Many more such news excerpts through http://www.WantToKnow.info/061127newsarticles
Chertoff's 'Chilling Vision' (Nov 22)
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who runs the giant agency that keeps track of threats to the United States, has shared what he calls his chilling vision of the future a time when U.S. government actions might be constrained by international law.Chertoff outlined his nightmare scenario in a Nov. 17 speech to the Federalist Society, an organization of right-wing lawyers who spearheaded the legal arguments for granting President George W. Bush authority unbound by any law, including the constitutional rights of Americans. But the focus of Chertoffs warning was that the United States is under growing pressure from legal scholars and the world community to comply with international law, especially on war crimes and humane treatment of detainees in the war on terror. The fact is, whether we like it or not, international law is increasingly entering our domestic domain, Chertoff said. The culprits, according to Chertoff, include a narrow majority of the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has begun to bring it through cases like Hamdan, a reference to Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in which the high court cited the Geneva Conventions in ruling that hundreds of suspects being held without charges at Guantanamo Bay had legal rights. Chertoff objected to the Supreme Courts reference to the Geneva Conventions despite the fact that the U.S. Constitution states that treaties entered into by the U.S. government are the supreme law of the land and all four Geneva Conventions were long ago signed by the U.S. Executive and ratified by the U.S. Senate. Chertoff also protested the mounting worldwide legal criticism of the U.S. government. International law is being used as a rhetorical weapon against us, Chertoff said. We are constantly portrayed as being on the losing end, and the negative end of international law developments. CLIP
Rumsfeld Approved of Torture Says Former US General
Outgoing defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib, the prison's former US commander said in an interview on Saturday.
1,245 Secret CIA Flights Revealed by European Parliament
The Parliament's draft report concludes "member states had knowledge of the programme of extraordinary rendition and secret prisons."
MEPs condemn Britain's role in 'torture flights' (Nov 30)
Britain's role in CIA "torture flights" was roundly condemned yesterday by the European parliament in a scathing report which for the first time named the site of a suspected secret US detention centre in the EU - at Stare Kiejkuty in Poland.
The Torture Society
The United States is trying to burnish its nasty image as one of the world's leading torture states--not by eliminating torture, but by silencing its victims. In a remarkable bit of legal sang-froid, the Bush Administration has filed a brief in its case against Majid Khan asking a federal court to seal its torture of him as "top secret."
School of the Americas Opponents Seek New Vote (Video)
Opponents of the School of the Americas think that with the new make-up of Congress, they might have the votes to shut down the controversial training center for foreign military officers. Last weekend, thousands of protesters returned to Fort Benning, Georgia, for the 17th consecutive year to call for the closure of the school, whose training manuals advocate torture, extortion and execution. Rebecca MacNeice was there and filed this report for Truthout.
Despite a Year of Ire and Angst, Little Has Changed on Wiretaps
For all the sound and fury in the last year, the National Security Agency's wiretapping program continues uninterrupted, with no definitive action by either Congress or the courts on what, if anything, to do about it, and little chance of a breakthrough in the lame-duck Congress.
E-mail users warned over spy network
Computer users across Europe should encrypt all their e-mails, to avoid being spied on by a UK-US eavesdropping network, say Euro-MPs. The tentacles of the Echelon network stretch so far that the UK's involvement could constitute a breach of human rights, they say. The Euro-MPs have been studying Echelon for almost a year, after allegations that it has been used by the US to commit industrial espionage against European firms. They conclude that Echelon - whose existence is not officially acknowledged - is reading millions of e-mails and faxes sent every day by ordinary people. The US has denied the system even exists, and the UK refuses to give details, except to say that communications interception is a vital tool in the fight against "dangers to society". The Echelon operation is based at Fort Meade in Maryland, America, and at the UK's spy centre, GCHQ in Cheltenham. Note: For another revealing BBC News report on Echelon, go at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/503224.stm.
When Votes Disappear
"There were many problems with voting in this election - and in at least one Congressional race, the evidence strongly suggests that paperless voting machines failed to count thousands of votes, and that the disappearance of these votes delivered the race to the wrong candidate," writes Paul Krugman. "As far as I can tell, the reason Florida-13 hasn't become a major national story is that neither control of Congress nor control of the White House is on the line. But do we have to wait for a constitutional crisis to realize that we're in danger of becoming a digital-age banana republic?"
Missing Votes in FL-13 Favored Dems
The group of nearly 18,000 voters that registered no choice in Sarasota's disputed congressional election solidly backed Democratic candidates in all five of Florida's statewide races, an Orlando Sentinel analysis of ballot data shows. Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat - agriculture commissioner candidate Eric Copeland - outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes.
Experts Concerned as Ballot Problems Persist
After six years of technological research, more than $4 billion spent by Washington on new machinery and a widespread overhaul of the nation's voting system, this month's midterm election revealed that the country is still far from able to ensure that every vote counts.
Fresh Nuke Threats Follow India-Pakistan "Peace Talks"
J. Sri Raman writes: "Diplomats of India and Pakistan spent two days resuming 'peace talks' last week. Within four days of the talks, the security establishments of the two countries have test-fired two nuclear-capable missiles, sending tremors through the entire region."
Child database 'will ruin family privacy' (23/11/2006)
Parents will be devalued and family privacy shattered by the mass surveillance of all 12 million children in England and Wales, says a report today commissioned by Parliament's Information Commissioner.In what is likely to be a major embarrassment to Tony Blair, it says proposals for a £224 million database containing details of every child will waste millions of pounds, undermine parental authority and actually put children in more danger. Family privacy is in danger from new government database. The report comes amid Government fanfare about "supporting" parents with parenting classes backed by a "super nanny" army of child psychologists. Mr Blair defended the super nanny idea saying it was right to give families a "helping hand". "No one's talking about interfering with normal family life," he added.But experts in child protection, law and computers, who have written today's report, express astonishment that a Government which emphasises the importance of good parenting also plans to devalue the status of the mother and father with a Big Brother surveillance system which violates the law and is not secure.Such a system may also hold inaccurate information, tarnishing families or children unfairly. "Families' privacy and autonomy is being shattered as the Government puts them all under surveillance," they say. "Government policy proposes treating all parents as if they cannot be trusted to bring up their children."Doctors, schools and the police will have to alert the database to a wide range of "concerns". Two warning flags on a child's record could trigger an investigation. CLIP
Suspect Nation - Channel 4 UK - Video
Since Tony Blair's New Labour government came to power in 1997, the UK civil liberties landscape has changed dramatically. The right to remain silent is no longer universal. Our right to privacy, free from interception of communications has been severely curtailed. The ability to travel without surveillance (or those details of our journeys being retained) has disappeared.
Repeating: So why won't the New York Times cover Project Censored? (NOVEMBER 22, 2006)
This is an important journalistic and public policy question. The Times claims to be the world's pre-eminent newspaper, it publishes the International Herald Tribune, has a major news service, and owns a batch of media properties, including the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the daily "of record" for the project, which is housed at nearby Sonoma State University. Yet, in the project's 30 year history, the Times has neither published nor written about the Censored Project and its list of serious stories the mainstream media censored or ignored. Peter Philips, the project director, told me that the awards ceremonies were held for a number of years in New York (l996-2000) and that Times reporters would often attend. Phillips remembered one reporter in particular who said, "Keep it up, we post your list in the newsroom every year." CLIP Check also 30 years of Project Censored at http://www.ringnebula.com/index_Censorship.htm
The Money Masters: History of the Federal Reserve
Online Free Video: The Money Masters (2 hr.) - Amazing history of our monetary system and how our government is controlled by the Federal Reserve bankers. Here's a well-researched documentary on the money system (even back to Roman times) and how we got to where we are financially being controlled by a private corporation (the so-called Federal Reserve).You might think (like I did) that the Federal Reserve Bank was somehow a governmental institution, especially because the President appoints the chairman. However, this documentary points out that he appoints only two board members out of 7. And the name is just a scam. It's as governmental as Federal Express and is similarly listed as such in the White Pages phone book. It's not listed in the governmental section.I'd heard various bits and pieces of this stuff over the years, and it sounded pretty fantastic, so I figured a good bit of it might be just a wild conspiracy theory. But this video really puts things into perspective with lots of historical references and quotes by famous people.
London stock trader urges move to 'amero' (Nov 28, 2006)
Says many unaware of plan to replace dollar with N. American currency. - In an interview with CNBC, a vice president for a prominent London investment firm yesterday urged a move away from the dollar to the "amero," a coming North American currency, he said, that "will have a big impact on everybody's life, in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico."Steve Previs, a vice president at Jefferies International Ltd., explained the Amero "is the proposed new currency for the North American Community which is being developed right now between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico."The aim, he said, according to a transcript provided by CNBC to WND, is to make a "borderless community, much like the European Union, with the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso being replaced by the amero."Previs told the television audience many Canadians are "upset" about the amero. Most Americans outside of Texas largely are unaware of the amero or the plans to integrate North America, Previs observed, claiming many are just "putting their head in the sand" over the plans. (...) The speculation on the future of a new North American currency came amid a major U.S. dollar sell-off worldwide that began last week. Yesterday, the dollar also reached new multi-month low against the euro, breaking through the $1.30 per euro technical high that had held since April 2005. CLIP
Struggling U.S. dollar triggers currency concerns
The sudden weakness of the U.S. dollar began late last week, soon after Chinese officials suggested that holding a lot of dollars might be a losing investment strategy. Investors read that as a signal that the massive trade and financial imbalances between Asia and the U.S. may be about to unwind.
Venezuela and Peak Oil: New Estimate of Oil Reserves Makes Venezuela the Grandest of Grand Prizes for the US (May 23, 2006)
(...) From what we know for sure plus what we think we may know about Venezuelan "total" oil reserves, I suggest the reader first take a seat and buckle up. In previous articles, I reported Venezuela may have reserves of about 350 billion barrels if all their known heavy and light crude are counted. That total is far more than is now officially recognized by OPEC which means unofficially the country has greater reserves than Saudi Arabia by that number alone.But wait, there's more, a lot more. Palast reports a US Energy Department expert believes Venezuela holds 90% of the world's super-heavy tar oil reserves - an estimated total of 1,360,000,000,000 (1.36 trillion) barrels. Let me repeat that - 1.36 trillion barrels. That alone is more oil than Hubbert believed 50 years ago lay under the entire planet. Again, back to the key issue. Whatever the true highest estimate of reserves is from all varieties of oil, those reserves are only available at a price. If it ever gets too low again, which looks unlikely, those heavy reserves and tar sands oil will again go off the charts and be uncounted. However, with today's heavy demand and the likelihood of it continuing to grow in the future, the price of oil may continue to rise and all reserves from all sources may be needed and used to supply the market.So with a report like this coming from an apparent credible source (according to Palast) in the US Energy Department, it takes little imagination for VHeadline readers to understand more than ever that Venezuela is likely viewed by any US administration as the world's most important source of future oil supply. And to readers who understand US imperial intentions, it takes even less insight to realize the Bush administration intends to go all out to get its hands on it even if it takes a war to do it. The US goal isn't access to the oil. It's control of the supply and its price, what countries get it and how much and which ones don't, what companies profit from it, and overall how this ocean of oil can be used as a strategic resource and weapon. Beyond question, the stakes are enormous, and the battle lines are now drawn more clearly than ever. I've reported before on VHeadline that the US is now planning a fourth attempt to oust Hugo Chavez by whatever means it has in mind. I think the wheels of its plan are now in motion, but we won't know what will unfold until the fireworks begin. With the information now available and published here, I feel more certain than ever that US instigated serious trouble is heading toward Venezuela and maybe harsher than we might expect. Venezuela's likely total oil reserves are potentially so great that the country has to be the grandest of grand prizes for the US. It's a virtual certainty the US will do anything it takes to try to seize and control it. For those of us who respect the sovereign rights of all nations and the obligation their leaders have above all else to serve the needs of their people, we can only hope Hugo Chavez is prepared for what he knows is coming and will again succeed in deterring it.
Russia Arming Venezuela in Anticipation of an Expected U.S. Invasion? (July 29, 2006)
The Russian Federation and Venezuela on July 27, 2006 have negotiated and approved the sale of 24 aircraft and 53 helicoptersabout a $1 billion (U.S.) dealto Venezuela, as part of an ongoing landmark event, defying the American threats and demands to halt all weapons transfers and any future deals between Russia and Venezuela. Russia has already supplied and started delivering portions of a 100,000 Kalashnikov automatic rifles ordered by Venezuela and Russian attack helicopters to Venezuela. This deal has further entrenched Russian-Venezuelan cooperation, partnership, and the strategic shift of Russia replacing the United States as the military hardware supplier of Venezuela. The securing of this military hardware agreement between Russia and Venezuela is a sign of the fermenting geo-strategic confrontation or rivalry between the Russia and the United States. (...) A statement released on March 8, 2005 and signed by almost 400 Venezuelan journalists accused the U.S. government and media of a campaign to prepare the basis for a U.S. military attack on Venezuela to control it natural resources, namely oil. Tensions were further heightened when Venezuela detected the secret presence of US Marines, along with military planes and amphibious vehicles on the Caribbean island of Curacao, part of the Dutch Antilles, just 75 km from the Venezuelan mainland during March, 2006, which the U.S. Ambassador in Caracas apologized for as a lack of communication between the Venezuelan and American governments.Since the start of 2005, Venezuela has laid the strategic foundations of a new national security doctrine and an expanded military capability that is based on the core assumption that the greatest threat to Venezuelan sovereignty is the United States. Venezuela has also created a military reserve program that is projected to mobilize 2.6 million citizens in the defence of Venezuela from an American attack. CLIP
Russia starts supplies of Su-30 fighters to Venezuela (Nov 30)
Russia has shipped the first two Su-30MK2 multi-role fighters to Venezuela under a contract signed in July 2006, an aircraft manufacturing industry official said Thursday.
Hugo Chavez Holds Commanding Lead Eight Days Before Election (Nov 25, 2006)
Hugo Chavez holds an insurmountable lead in two late November polls - one by Ipsos Venezuela/the AP-Ipsos Poll and the other by Zogby International-University of Miami. Both were released on November 24 and are the most current and reliable data available and are consistent with most independent poll results for months.[More:]This is in stark contrast to several fraudulent US National Endowment of Democracy (NED)-financed oligarch-run ones published to create a false perception of public sentiment in preparation for cries of fraud once the election results are in. This is now standard US operating practice in all developing countries when Washington fears an unacceptable electoral outcome, so it tries to subvert the democratic process by engineering one in its favor. That's how it's playing out in Venezuela now where things are in place to create the myth of what's impossible to achieve in fact to help Washington pull off its scheme to remove the main "threat" to its hegemony in the hemisphere. It's not likely to work any better now than in the failed 2002 coup attempt, but there will be mass-staged street protests that may get violent before it's over proving it. (...) Both polls thus show Chavez with an insurmountable 2 - 1 lead with eight days to go before the election. Moreover, these polls are consistent with nearly all independently-run pre-election surveys showing Washington-selected Rosales has no chance to win (something he knows), and Hugo Chavez will be reelected for another six year term as president with an impressive margin of victory - because the great majority of Venezuelans love him and won't allow anyone else to serve as their president as long as he wants the job.Here's the rub. That's not what the Bush administration wants, virtually guaranteeing post-election cries of fraud followed by staged street protests with likely violence and a fourth Washington-directed attempt to oust Chavez to prevent him from continuing as president. The people of Venezuela won't tolerate this kind of interference, and that sets the stage for a turbulent period just ahead - the many millions of Venezuelans vs. George Bush and his failed administration visibly consumed in the burning sands of Iraq. If some variety of that template is the way to defeat a hegemon, it bodes well for democracy in Venezuela but not without a struggle to achieve it. History shows even superpowers are no match for mass people-action when it's determined enough to prevail. We'll soon know if it proves so Venezuelan-style again.
AIDS Pandemic Gains Renewed Strength (Nov 22)
Report highlights reversal of prevention in Uganda · Improvement in Europe and US 'not sustained' - The spread of the HIV/Aids pandemic continues unabated, with the number of people infected rising once more in some countries which had been thought to be beating the disease, according to the UN.There are now 39.5 million living with HIV infection, according to the annual UNAIDS report, released ahead of World Aids Day on December 1, and 4.3 million of those were infected in 2006. That is 400,000 more than were infected in 2004. Most alarming is the increased prevalence in Uganda, long held up as a showcase to the world of what could be achieved in Africa with campaigning, education and widespread condom use. The report shows a rise from a low of 5.6% infection among men and 6.9% among women in 2000 to 6.5% in men and 8.8% in women in 2004. The reasons for the increase are not clear, but there has been a shift in the message from Uganda's leadership. Between the early 1990s and early 2000s, HIV prevalence fell sharply in major cities among pregnant women - the group most commonly monitored because they have contact with health services - as President Yoweri Museveni worked to raise awareness of the dangers of HIV and put the authority of his office behind condom use.But in recent years the message on condoms has been diluted in favour of greater emphasis on sexual abstinence until marriage - in line with the thinking of the Bush administration, which is spending millions of dollars on HIV prevention and treatment. Critics say many women are not in a position to abstain from sex and that many are infected by their husbands. CLIP
AIDS Set to Become One of Top Three Killers Worldwide
Within the next 25 years, AIDS is set to join heart disease and stroke as the top three causes of death worldwide, with estimates that at least 117 million people will die from the disease by 2030, according to a study published online Monday.
Bush Fails Women With Global AIDS Plan
The President's relief plan ignores the gender dimensions of the AIDS epidemic, and women are paying for it with their lives.
Catholics Urge Pope Benedict XVI to Lift Ban on Condoms
In recognition of World AIDS Day, Catholics from around the globe are calling on the pope to lift the ban on condoms in order to help stem the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The American Thanksgiving: Rejoicing in Genocide and White Supremacy (Nov 26, 2006)
"Thanksgiving as presently celebrated is an affront to civilization. Nobody but Americans celebrates Thanksgiving. It is reserved by history and the intent of the founders as the supremely white American holiday, the most ghoulish event on the national calendar. No Halloween of the imagination can rival the exterminationist reality that was the genesis, and remains the legacy, of the American Thanksgiving. It is the most loathsome, humanity-insulting day of the year - a pure glorification of racist barbarity. We should all be thankful that the time grows nearer when the almost four centuries-old abomination will be deprived of its reason for being: white supremacy. Then we may all eat and drink in peace and gratitude for the blessings of humanitys deliverance from the rule of evil men. The near-erasure of Native Americans in Massachusetts was the true mission of the Pilgrim enterprise Act One of the American Dream. (...) White America embraced Thanksgiving because a majority of that population glories in the fruits--if not the unpleasant details--of genocide and slavery. They feel, on the whole, good about their heritage: a cornucopia of privilege and national power. Children are taught to identify with the good fortune of the Pilgrims. It does not much matter that the Native American and African holocausts that flowed from the feast at Plymouth are hidden from the childrens version of the story - kids learn soon enough that Indians were made scarce and Africans became enslaved. (...) We began this essay by saying that the day grows nearer when the almost-four-centuries-old abomination [Thanksgiving] will be deprived of its reason for being: white supremacy. We firmly believe this. The electronically-interconnected world works against the Bush mens insane forcible drive to global hegemony, while creating the material basis for (dare we say the words) brother- and sister-hood among humankind. It becomes ever clear that the fruits of millennia of human genius cannot, for too much longer, be captured and re-packaged for the enrichment of a few-and certainly not by a cabal that cannot see beyond the bubble-boy mentality of its own warped history. The dim outlines of an emerging far more democratic world order can be seen in the sometimes tentative, but sometimes dramatic actions of progressive movements and nations that are determined to construct a fairer and freer way to live. As the world witnesses the brutality, stupidity and sheer incompetence of the piratical cabal that is currently at the helm of the United States, it becomes apparent to all how urgent it is to formulate and implement a common, alternative human project. The end of history that the Bush men have triumphantly announced is really the end of themselves, through a process they have accelerated with every deranged action and every delusional strategy they have undertaken since 2001. They are like men in quicksand. Their infliction of a global scourge of militaristic white racism will sink them. Eventually it will wither to a mere prejudice rather than a world-threatening menace. And when that day comes, it will--at long last--be time for a global Thanksgiving. - Read also the related article on this below... Blind Obedience to the Canons of Capitalism
The Mercury Thing (MARCH 2, 2006)
Evidence is mounting that vaccinations may have played a part in the skyrocketing autism rate (...) "There is no doubt that the number of reported cases has dramatically increased, from three or four cases per 10,000 20 years ago to one in 166. And according to the best data we have, which is from California, where there's a fixed set of diagnostic criteria and a good reporting system, cases have increased every year that they've been counting--until last year, when there was a slight decrease," says Adams."That could be a statistical blip, but coming after an unbroken string of increases, it may be significant."The numbers from California may provide an argument against increased awareness and reporting as the sole cause of the jump in autism cases: If the trend in California holds, that will seem to support the theory that increased vaccination, and specifically increased childhood inoculations with vaccines containing mercury, is at least partly responsible for the reported rise in autism and other neurological disorders (including ADD, ticking and hyperactivity) and in immune disorders in American children since 1989. The vaccination argument, which is waged with intense conviction on both sides, was made in some detail by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in an article jointly published last June in Rolling Stone and at Slate.com.
High Court to Weigh Climate Change Case
The Supreme Court hears arguments this week in a case that could determine whether the Bush administration must change course in how it deals with the threat of global warming. A dozen states as well as environmental groups and large cities are trying to convince the court that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate, as a matter of public health, the amount of carbon dioxide that comes from vehicles.
Global Warming Goes to Court
The New York Times writes: "The Bush administration has been on a six-year campaign to expand its powers, often beyond what the Constitution allows. So it is odd to hear it claim that it lacks the power to slow global warming by limiting the emission of harmful gases. But that is just what it will argue to the Supreme Court tomorrow, in what may be the most important environmental case in many years."
Supreme Court clashes on climate change (Nov 29)
(...) The court heard oral arguments in the case on Wednesday but will rule only sometime next year. Massachusetts brought the suit, backed by California, New York and several other states, to try to force the EPA to regulate exhaust emissions from new cars. The EPA says it does not have the authority to regulate such emissions, under federal law. Even if it did, the EPA says, it would refuse to do so because of continuing uncertainty in the science of global warming, and because unilateral US action could reduce America's bargaining power in international negotiations on reducing emissions. CLIP
The Science Is Unambiguous - It's Now Time to Act
David Miliband writes: "Climate change raises issues of science, economics and politics. By the month the debate moves on: 2007 will be a key year. And the science is now unambiguous. At the recent 12th Annual United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Nairobi, no country challenged the consensus: climate change is man-made, it is happening now, carbon levels already in the atmosphere are dangerous, and if we carry on catastrophic climate change will become more, rather than less, likely."
Global Warming Urgent Say Unions for 10,000 EPA Workers
Union representatives for more than 10,000 US Environmental Protection Agency scientists are calling on Congress to take immediate action against global warming, according to a petition that calls for an end to censorship of agency scientists and other specialists on topics of climate change and the effects of air pollution.
Farm Animals More Damaging To Climate Than Cars (Nov 29, 2006)
Rome (AFP) - The livestock industry contributes more to the greenhouse effect than cars, the UN food and farming agency said in a report Wednesday which also slammed this sector as a major source of soil and water degradation. "The livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent than transport," said the report by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).By this yardstick, livestock now accounts for 18 percent of man-made carbon emissions, driven by the surge in demand for meat and dairy products, FAO said.Global meat production is set to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, according to a UN projection. Milk output is projected to soar from 580 million to 1,043 million tonnes over the same period."When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for nine percent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases."It generates 65 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide, a gas that is 296 times more effective at trapping solar heat than carbon dioxide (CO2), the biggest greenhouse-gas by volume. Most of this pollution comes from manure.Livestock also accounts for 37 percent of all human-induced methane, which is 23 times as warming as CO2 and is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and for 64 percent of ammonia, a big contributor to acid rain.Not only that, but livestock's demand for feed crops contributes to biodiversity loss. The report proposes to increase the efficiency of livestock production and feed crop agriculture, and to improve animals' diets to reduce fermentation and consequent methane emissions. -- Livestock accounts for 37 percent of all human-induced methane, which is 23 times as warming as CO2 and is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and for 64 percent of ammonia, a big contributor to acid rain.
Europe's Finest Forest Put at Risk by Road "Disaster"
One of Europe's last areas of unspoiled forest is facing an unprecedented threat from the construction of a road through some of Romania's most precious and diverse countryside. Environmentalists have warned the route could prove catastrophic for endangered species of animals and plants living in the southern Carpathians. "This road will be the beginning of the end," said Gabriel Paun, program campaigner for Greenpeace. "It is a disaster."
Carbon Emissions Show Sharp Rise
The Global Carbon Project says that emissions were rising by less than 1% annually up to the year 2000, but are now rising at 2.5% per year. It says the acceleration comes mainly from a rise in charcoal consumption and a lack of new energy efficiency gains.
Melting Ice May Release Frozen Influenza Viruses (Nov 27, 2006)
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, November 27, 2006 (ENS) - Long-dormant strains of influenza, packed in ice in remote global outposts, could be unleashed by melting and migratory birds, according to Professor Scott Rogers at Bowling Green State University. Chair of the Department of Biological Science, Dr. Rogers is in the middle of a two-year, $139,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.We've found viral RNA in the ice in Siberia, and it's along the major flight paths of migrating waterfowl, whose pathways take them to North America, Asia and Australia, and interconnect with other migratory paths to Europe and Africa, explains Rogers. The virus that Rogers and his collaborators have found is closest to a strain that circulated from 1933-38 and again in the 1960s.Viruses, he says, can be preserved in ice over long periods of time, then released decades later when humans may no longer be immune to them. For instance, survivors of the worldwide flu pandemic of 1918 had immunity to the responsible strain, called H1N1, but that immunity has died with them, meaning a recurrence "could take hold as an epidemic," said Rogers. (...) Rogers points out that it remains to be demonstrated that the frozen viruses are still alive. But "we think they can survive a long time" in ice, he reiterates, saying that tomato mosaic virus has been found in 140,000 year old ice in Greenland. CLIP
Check the comprehensive Climate Crisis Coalition website
http://www.climatecrisiscoalition.org as well as their Newsfeed ...
Bowing to the Inevitable (Nov 26, 2006)
The Washington Post, November 26, 2006. "As the Bush administration debates much of the world about what to do about global warming, butterflies and ski-lift operators, polar bears and hydroelectric planners are on the move. In their separate ways, wild creatures, business executives and regional planners are responding to climate changes that are rapidly recalibrating their chances for survival, for profit and for effective delivery of public services... A newly published synthesis of 866 peer-reviewed studies of the effect of climate change on wild plants and animals has found what its author, Camille Parmesan, an assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas at Austin, describes as a 'clear, globally coherent conclusion.' Flora and fauna are migrating north or climbing to higher ground if they can, said Parmesan, whose paper appears in the December issue of the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. If they cannot move, she said, their numbers are often declining, their health is getting worse, and some are disappearing altogether...
Global warming may explain India's extreme storm rise: study (November 30, 2006)
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A rise in the number and strength of "extreme" rainstorms in central India could be linked to global warming, a new study in the journal Science said. Five Indian meteorologists studied the rise in frequency of extreme rainstorms -- those which deliver more than 100 millimeters (3.94 inches) in a day -- in central India over the past five decades. While they said that average annual rainfall has generally gone unchanged, there was a 10 percent increase each decade in the number of heavy rainstorms (more than 100 millimeters a day) and a doubling over the five decades of very heavy storms (more than 150 millimeters a day).They said further that the four largest storms in each June-September monsoon season have intensified on average by 10 percent in the 1950-2000 period. CLIP
Thank El Nino for mild Atlantic hurricane season (Nov 30, 2006)
MIAMI (Reuters) - The surprisingly mild 2006 Atlantic hurricane season ended with a whimper on Thursday and forecasters said it was too early to know if El Nino will last long enough to flatten next year's hurricanes too. The unexpected formation of the Pacific warm-water phenomenon that hampers storm formation in the Atlantic turned what was expected to be another above-average season into a pussycat.The official six-month season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produced only nine tropical storms and hurricanes, below the average of 10 and dramatically fewer than the 16 or 17 some researchers had predicted back in May. "We caught a break this year," said Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.But like many weather researchers, Bell is still waving the hurricane warning flag."We're still in an active hurricane era. These periods last 25 to 40 years and we're 12 years into one. We've got a long ways to go." The mild 2006 season provided welcome relief for millions of people in the Caribbean and along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts who endured two blockbuster years in 2004 and 2005.Last year produced a record 28 storms including Hurricane Katrina, which killed some 1,500 people on the Gulf Coast and caused $80 billion in damage. CLIP
THROWAWAY ECONOMY IN TROUBLE
One of the distinctly unhealthy economic trends over the last half-century has been the emergence of a throwaway economy. First conceived following World War II as a way of providing consumers with products, it soon came to be seen also as a vehicle for creating jobs and sustaining economic growth. The more goods produced and discarded, the reasoning went, the more jobs there would be. (...) The throwaway economy is on a collision course with the earths geological limits. Aside from running out of landfills near cities, the world is also fast running out of the cheap oil that is used to manufacture and transport throwaway products. Perhaps more fundamentally, there is not enough readily accessible lead, tin, copper, iron ore, or bauxite to sustain the throwaway economy beyond another two or three generations. Assuming an annual 2-percent growth in extraction, U.S. Geological Survey data on current economically recoverable reserves show the world has 18 years of reserves remaining for lead, 20 years for tin, 25 years for copper, 64 years for iron ore, and 69 years for bauxite(...) Given the 12,000 tons of garbage produced each day in New York and assuming a load of 20 tons of garbage for each of the tractor-trailers used for the long-distance hauling, some 600 rigs are needed to move garbage from New York City daily. These tractor-trailers form a convoy nearly nine miles longimpeding traffic, polluting the air, and raising carbon emissions. This daily convoy led Deputy Mayor Joseph J. Lhota, who supervised the Fresh Kills shutdown, to observe that getting rid of the citys trash is now like a military-style operation on a daily basis. (...) Garbage travails are not limited to New York City. Toronto, Canadas largest city, closed its last remaining landfill on December 31, 2002, and now ships all its 1.1-million-ton-per-year garbage to Wayne County, Michigan. Ironically, the state of New Jersey, the recipient of some of New Yorks waste, is now shipping up to 1,000 tons of demolition debris 600 milesalso to Wayne County in Michigan.The challenge is to replace the throwaway economy with a reduce-reuse-recycle economy. For cities like New York, the challenge should be less what to do with the garbage and more of how to avoid producing it in the first place.
UN food planes, helicopters bring relief to flood victims in Somalia and Kenya (Nov 22, 2006)
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today launched a regional air operation with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to transport humanitarian workers and aid to more than 1 million people in Somalia and Kenya hit by the worst floods in years, reports Trend. "The hundreds of thousands of people driven from their homes in both Somalia and Kenya by the floods need our help right now and delivering assistance by air is the only option with large numbers of them cut off by the floodwaters," WFP Country Director in Kenya Burkard Oberle said." The floods knocked out bridges and have made many roads impassable so we urgently need funding for this operation to get the planes and the helicopters in the air," he added. (...) In Somalia, it is estimated that 900,000 people will need food and other assistance in the next three months because of floods. Conflict, poor roads and the harsh environment hamper aid operations, and heavy rains in Ethiopia raise the prospect of more widespread flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers. "Even without the floods, Somalia is one of the most difficult places to deliver assistance in the world," WFP Country Director for Somalia Peter Goossens said. "So with the waters still rising, this operation is the only way to get food and other assistance to those who are in very desperate need." If the flooding worsens, WFP will mobilize more aircraft, depending on the needs. A WFP-chartered Boeing 747 will in the next 24 hours airlift the first of 190 metric tons of high energy biscuits from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, to Nairobi, Kenya's capital, from where it will be flown to the worst-hit areas. In Kenya, some 200,000 people in the north and coastal areas who were being fed by WFP cannot be reached by road, while 160,000 mainly Somali refugees in three camps at Dadaab are cut off from supplies with WFP-contracted trucks stuck in mud en route. In Dadaab the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has been forced to withdraw all its workers to higher ground. The UN estimates that up to 1.8 million people are affected by floods in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Cholera outbreaks have been reported and the toll from diseases such as malaria is expected to rise. In Ethiopia, more than 360,000 people have been affected by flooding in the country's Somali Region. The UN World Health Organization has sent 24 Emergency Health Kits to assist the flood response. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland has approved an allocation of nearly $12 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund for flood response in Kenya and an additional $3 million to help flood survivors in Somalia.
Floods death toll rises to 34 in Kenya
NAIROBI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The worst floods in decades have killed 11 more Kenyans in the last two weeks, bringing the death toll to 34 since last month, the Red Cross said on Wednesday.Torrential rains have battered the Horn of Africa region in recent weeks, killing hundreds, uprooting thousands more and triggering a humanitarian disaster. Somalia and parts of neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya have been particularly hard hit. (...) The situation is worse in Somalia, where more people have lost their homes but security problems have restricted efforts by aid agencies to help them." In some areas people are sitting on dykes, completely surrounded by water and have no access to drinking water and food," the International Committee of the Red Cross said. In a statement on Wednesday, it said it was airlifting tarpaulins to 350,000 Somalis in the worst affected areas. Weather experts expect the rains to continue into January.
FDA Approves Fluoride In Bottled Water (11-28-2006)
FDA announced last week it will allow fluoridation of bottled water to assist in the prevention of dental caries (cavities), prompting praise from the American Dental Association and concerns from anti-fluoride groups. Bottled water containing between 0.6 and 1.0 mg/L total fluoride will be eligible to bear the following claim: "Drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of [dental caries or tooth decay]." The claim is not allowed with water intended for infants, FDA said. (...) However, FDA's decision didn't please groups opposed to fluoridation, who claim that fluoride can cause negative health repercussions even in the small quantities present in water. "Modern studies also link fluoride to arthritis, allergies, kidney and thyroid dysfunction, bone damage and cancer even at the low levels dentists claim is optimal to reduce tooth decay," said Paul Beeber, president of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. "Adding fluoride to bottled water implies to the American public that FDA studies give fluoride a clean bill of health--and that's not true," he said. Its very sick !!!
Daring rescue of whale: Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks (December 14, 2005)
A humpback whale freed by divers from a tangle of crab trap lines near the Farallon Islands nudged its rescuers and flapped around in what marine experts said was a rare and remarkable encounter. "It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," James Moskito, one of the rescue divers, said Tuesday. "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun." Sunday's daring rescue was the first successful attempt on the West Coast to free an entangled humpback. It was a very risky maneuver...because the mere flip of a humpback's massive tail can kill a man. "I was the first diver in the water, and my heart sank when I saw all the lines wrapped around it," said [James] Moskito. "I really didn't think we were going to be able to save it." Moskito said about 20 crab-pot ropes, which are 240 feet long with weights every 60 feet, were wrapped around the animal. Rope was wrapped at least four times around the tail, the back and the left front flipper, and there was a line in the whale's mouth. Moskito and three other divers spent about an hour cutting the ropes with a special curved knife. The whale floated passively in the water the whole time, he said, giving off a strange kind of vibration. "When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me," Moskito said. "It was an epic moment of my life." When the whale realized it was free, it began swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one.
Experts: Fragments an ancient computer (Nov 30)
ATHENS, Greece - Imagine tossing a top-notch laptop into the sea, leaving scientists from a foreign culture to scratch their heads over its corroded remains centuries later. A Roman shipmaster inadvertently did something just like it 2,000 years ago off southern Greece, experts said late Thursday. They claim to have identified a handful of puzzling metal scraps found in the wreck as the earliest known mechanical computing device that pinpointed astronomical events. CLIP
Omega-News Collection 25. November 2006
From: "Magi" <email@example.com>
Subject: Part of my "mission"
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006
Dearest Jean - the latest mailing has me rejoicing. You know, don't you, that we've "pulled it off." It's only a mopping up job from now on. I am forever appreciative of your Work and feel compelled to send you this account of what happened to me (part of it, at least) in 1974 - and which relates strongly to what is happening now. I've had a strange life - LOL - which makes perfect sense in the Higher Realms but has made me feel like a secret agent behind enemy lines for years - until recently.
With love & appreciation,
Many extraordinary events took place. One of the most dramatic ones was when my co-worker and I went through a black hole in space - he in a physical ship (I believe it was Venusian) and I joining him in consciousness. Because we had such incredible love for each other it was possible for this to happen. (We seemed to have known each other forever: One vision I had was of us here at the beginning of life on earth, hiding in various animal bodies, playing hide & seek.) I travelled at immense speed, lights flashing past me. Later, when I saw the movie Star Wars I saw visuals very much like the experience. It seemed that going through a black hole in space while in a space ship had never been successful, but because of our intense, "death-defying" love it was felt that we could pull it off. At the end of the experience the words in my head were: "Through the void into Infinity into ..." and I couldn't bring the last word to consciousness. I now have a hunch it might have been "eternity.".
I was told that my Partner had lost his left arm during the event but there was great jubilation nonetheless. Recently I went to a "reader," who told me that a powerful one-armed man was with me, asking "Are you ready?"
In what I've referred to as the end of the Play, my off-planet worker and I came together "in the mind." I had asked my friend to leave me alone because I knew something was about to occur that could not have a "witness." My "Venusian" and I worked together by me radiating immense love towards him and then, when guided, becoming totally still to receive the love coming from him. It was "mind sex," and eventually the two of us re-United in consciousness there was a shout of ecstacy throughout the Universe (Universes?) and what looked like sperm shot through the sky. I had the feeling we were "seeding a new dimension" . It was all accomplished by an intense and irrefutable love energy. While we were drawing closer and closer together I was conscious that we were being monitored on some huge board. We appeared as small flashing dots. A voice said, "Look, they're trying to do it on love alone. He's not using a sky-hook." Someone else said, "That's impossible" and the first voice replied "Just watch." As we united I felt myself being lifted off the earth. A male voice said "Religioso." After the "reunion," some of these space brothers asked "Can we stay and play a while." I totally love that question, because as I saw it, this Planet becomes the playground of the Universe - the R & R spot for everyone..
Just before that final experience I had been given a vision of the "Shift" and how it would occur. It appeared to have the effect of creating at least three separate, parallel "earths." What seemed like electric fire (I felt it as an "ascension flame" - a phrase I had not heard at that time) that swept over the entire planet. Places and people that were attuned to love were instantly glorified, those that were hateful simply disappeared and a third, new and exquisite creation manifested instantly. It felt like the "New Jerusalem" energy.
The entire experience felt "normal" to me - more normal than most day by day happenings. It was as though I was finally here and able to do what I had come to do.
The next time I "showed up" was 23 years later, in 1997 in relation to helping ground the next Solar dispensation - having to do with "the Lion of Judah" but a NEW energy. the Keys of Enoch speaks of this. At the time I had a vivid dream/vision of a lion inside a triangle inside a circle inside a square. It shimmered throughout infinity and is described in "Keys."
Two other incidents, which I forgot but which have relevance:
At one point I was alone on a beach at Tswassen, where the ferry from Victoria comes in. I found myself building a small fire and putting certain things in it, including some of my hair. Incredibly, the scent from the smoke was like beautiful incense. I kept repeating silently the same sentence:
"If it takes forever, I will free this man."
I heard what I can only describe as the sighs of angels all around me. In retrospect, they could have been sighing for a couple of reasons - like "when will she get over this." LOL At the time I felt they were offering love and protection
The True Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
This is the CHRIST speaking, January 2006.
The true KINGDOM of HEAVEN on earth.
I would that you could see and experience the world as it really could be for you. The living world, the entire creation ringing with joy. Your world has been created by LOVE, designed by LOVE to meet the personal needs of every single living entity as it has evolved over the millions of years of existence. If only you could become aware of this glorious joy and glowing LOVE as you walk in your garden or countryside.
If only you could enter into the consciousness of a magnificent tree as it stands straight and tall, spreading its branches for the birds to alight upon it and make their nest. If only you could enter into the consciousness of a bird as it finds the best nesting place, experience its pleasure and feel its love for the tree which provides a home and shade.
Everywhere, there is a reciprocity of love flowing between living things, plants, insects, birds, animals, fish, and their environment. Only the predators put themselves outside this love consciousness.
Study the eyes of the predators, one and all, and compare their fierce intensity with the eyes of the non-violent herb and grass eaters there you will see the ferocity of the one and the tranquillity of the other.
As I said when I lived on your earth:
The eyes are the lamp of the soul And what you have not realized is that all eyes radiate to the world the inner quality of being. They radiate the inner consciousness which blesses what it sees or shrivels it up with its own bad temper.
When you live entirely in your human consciousness, your thoughts, habitual modes of speech, your continual assessment of people and externals, you are unable to partake in this JOY of EXISTENCE which spontaneously wells up in the consciousness of all non-violent living things - felt by all peaceful living things, - unless denied sustenance by drought.
You cannot feel it because your minds have developed along the lines of logic and reason and you act according to your will, imagination, desires and ego - and all of this mental actvity blocks your spiritual mind at the top of your head; it prevents sixth sense contact with the beautiful world in which you live and which you do not remotely understand at all. You can see the bodies and the activities of insects, birds and animals, but you cannot enter into the consciousness of their mostly innocent, uncontaminated vitalizing life force.
You may think their consciousness is possibly like yours. But you would be wrong - because all living things other than humans, live by intuition - and communicate in a way which is impossible to humans. Yes, they communicate very clearly - over long distances. Yes, they communicate and rejoice together, more than youll ever know.
It is the Hermit who sits with his begging bowl and meditates who may soar into infinity and experience the joy and the glory of Divine Consciousness in which WE, you and I, ALL live and draw our eternal life and being. The Hermit can experience it in the silence and stillness of his mind, and can be uplifted into such ecstasy that he has no need of worldly living - indeed, he runs away from it.
People will say: How wonderful, he has given up his life for God. But this is an erroneous perception. He gives up normal daily living to find the TRUE LIFE of GLORY out of which all creation has taken its form and being. There can be no greater experience of a glowing radiance and spiritual ecstasy than this.
But - it is escapism offering great rewards and also defeating the purposes of existence in your world.
It is marvellous and wonderfully uplifting to rest in the effulgence of absolute Love and Tranquillity for a while and possess knowledge of this wonderful dimension of eternity for yourself. Here your mind may enter into transcendent facets of universal knowledge.
YOUR HUMAN LIFE TAKES ON NEW LUSTRE, LIGHT AND JOY AND GREATER MEANING. But it is not your true purpose in life.
Your true purpose on earth is to EXPRESS in thoughts, words, deeds and desires the DIVINITY in which you have your being.
You can do this through meditation, through cleansing your mind of negative thoughts, by reaching out to others during the day to offer them a smile of friendliness, recognition of their being - that they too are ALIVE and are therefore important - co-existent with yourself, no matter what their status is in life.
What a tremendous joy it is to be able to love the man who has come down to rags, possessing nothing of material things, forced to live by begging - just as much as you may be able to love the man who has made untold wealth, prestige, and lives a life envied by others. This ability to love each and everyone without reservations, is indeed DIVINE LOVE - pure unconditional love. It is a quality of mind and heart where all sense of superiority or inferiority no longer exists.
Why should this bring one so much joy?, you may ask.
It gives you joy beyond all imagining because you have risen high above the demands and critical senses of the self which judge and demean others.
What tremendous liberation of spirit you will experience when you can, at last, be insulted or defrauded by another but can still look through his words and actions and perceive his basic divinity. You now rest in a state of pure tranquil acceptance of what the human world may try to do to you and you never cease smiling - because yours is a world of sunshine and spiritual light created by the Divine
and you are aware that those who try to hurt you have not yet managed to find this sacred world conceived and fashioned by Pure Love.
Knowing this so surely, so clearly, how can you NOT have only the deepest compassion and concern for them as they struggle, sometimes bravely , with their enmeshing ego?
As you learn to love all states of human being equally, you will come to intuit the actual state of earthly being of each person and will be able to perceive for yourselves what is valuable in life and what is mere ego frosting for comfort and prestige.
You will no longer be led astray or even moved by outward show.
If you study Letters 4A and 4B, you will be able to clearly see exactly why I say the world is made by LOVE, IN LOVE and sustained by LOVE. When you fully understand why this is so, it is possible that you will go further in realization and will see that to entertain any thoughts contrary to LOVE shuts you out of the basic Reality of Existence - it places you in a shadowy world where you can no longer see the world created by Divine Consciousness after the Big Bang - you can only see the IMAGES of that living world and cannot feel their joy.
Dwell for a moment on your world as it is today - the average mentality of men and women governed by ego - and then think of the joy and beauty of WHAT REALLY IS just beyond your normal vision - out of sight because of human thought - and HUMAN BEHAVIOUR.
All of my Letters are directed only at helping you lift yourselves out of any present misery you may be enduring and to make genuine contact with Divine Consciousness which will immediately set about rebuilding your health, strength and inner direction towards higher goals of existence. You can come out of your hell - but only YOU can do it for yourself. YOU must do the work initially but you can invite Divine Consciousness to enter your mind and heart and give you added strength to ensure you succeed.
As more and more people of a like-spirituality and spiritual perception bond together to seek the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, so will there be little pockets of spirit luminescence lighting up that dark world of yours, inviting more and more of its members to join you in your happiness.
How do you cleanse your consciousness? Remember that if you rely ONLY on your own human consciousness, you are calling up your ego to drive away your ego thoughts - and this is impossible. Ego cannot overcome ego. You have to wake up to the realization that above the human consciousness is the Super Consciousness of Divine Consciousness described in Letters 4A and B, 5 and 6. In Letter 4 B - page 21-24.
You will never be able to enter into the consciousness of plant and insect life, because yours is a world of logical thought. But you can enter into Heaven on earth by learning how to get in touch with Divine Consciousness and inviting It to fill your mind and heart, giving new direction to your thought life and then to your future life and activities as well.
I long for you to find true freedom from the ego and enter into the transcendent joy of Divinity whilst still on earth.
To download the various letters mentioned above, please go at http://www.christsway.co.za/letters_eng.htm
"I discovered the LETTERS about 2 and a half years ago. They have been the source of tremendous spiritual growth and knowledge over this time. And I myself have proved conclusively that daily study and the putting into practice of what CHRIST teaches us in his LETTERS produces wonderful spiritual, mental and even physical changes in one's conduct, attitudes and vision of what life is about. Knowing that one is 'daily contributing to the spiritual evolution of the entire world order' is awe-inspiring but it is TRUTH."
- Valerie Melfi <firstname.lastname@example.org> who has translated all Christ's Letters in Spanish - You may download them all for free from her Spanish website: http://www.caminodecristo.com - and if you know other Spanish-speaking persons who could like to access this exceptional material from Christ, please bring this to their attention ;-)
"If you have gained some insight or comfort from Christs articles, it would be greatly appreciated if you would share it with the Recorder. In this way, everyone can contribute to the growing strength of CHRISTS WAY and give encouragement to others. When we know we have heard Truth and share it with others, we come into the Flow of Spirit within our daily lives."
Please e-mail your feedbacks to Recorder at <email@example.com> and visit http://christsway.co.za/ - NOTE from Jean: I'm sure the wonderful being, now 86 years old, who dedicated so many years of her life to preparing for this important mission and transcribing those letters telepathically communicated to her by Christ will be delighted to receive your comments. You are welcomed to send them to me as well if you'd like to share them with the entire list as part of a coming compilation.
MOST EXCELLENT BLACK AND WHITE DESCRIPTION OF WHAT IS AND WHAT COULD BE. MUST READ AND SHARE...
Forwarded by "David" <firstname.lastname@example.org> who also recommended this: "If you think that psychiatry has nothing to do with you, then think again! I have just seen a film that has been produced by the Citizens Commission of Human Rights which convinced me that the field of psychiatry is possibly one of the most terrible evils that exist in this world and yet another example of the global mission to control us all. If you are in any doubt as to the 'conspiracy' against us you just have to watch this film. Visit http://www.cchr.org/ - The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a non-profit, public benefit organization dedicated to investigating and exposing psychiatric violations of human rights. It also ensures that criminal acts within the psychiatric industry are reported to the proper authorities and acted upon."
Imagine yourself standing on a bridge between two worlds. On one side of the bridge is an upside-down world. Why is it upside-down? It is upside-down because people have lost their intimate connection to the whole, and feel isolated and separate from society. Even their thoughts are fragmented. That world is upside-down because fear has trumped love as the dominant emotion-even though love is what we all seek. It has been turned topsy-turvy because sources of news and entertainment paint dark pictures of violence and murder instead of celebrating the best that people can bring to life.
In the upside-down world more money is spent on war than on all social service programs-for children, the elderly, education, the homeless, the hungry, the disabled-combined. The good people of the upside-down world willingly consume toxins through their water, air and food supply and wonder why they feel tired and ill most of the time.
In the upside-down world people say they value children, yet parking lot attendants make more money than child-care workers and sports figures make more in one season than educators do over an entire career. It is an upside-down world because children are taught computer literacy but not emotional literacy. Faced with an inability to cope in a contradictory world, kids act out their unresolved emotions. The upside-down answer is to give them drugs rather than honestly dealing with their issues. Having taught our youth to self-medicate through pharmaceuticals, we jail them later after they have taken illicit drugs to numb the feelings they never learned to express.
The world is upside-down because people kill each other to control limited underground resources-oil, ore, minerals, water and precious metals-while they ignore unlimited resources above their head like the sun and wind which can be harnessed for an endless supply of energy.
Trust is a rare commodity in the upside-down world and intentional deception is commonplace. Our institutions-government, religion, media, education-claim to provide comfort and aid to society while in fact serving their own interests. In this crazy world, despair turns to desperation. We feel more alone, more isolated, and ever more over our heads-upside-down. The world feels like it is spinning out of control, into chaos and collapse.
The Other Side of the Bridge
On the other side of the bridge, there is a world that is Right Side Up. People walk in balance with the earth and honour all living beings. People know that everything and everyone is interconnected. They realize that love is to be treasured and shared as the highest form of acceptance.
The people in the Right Side Up world teach their children that emotions are to be expressed, not repressed. They learn that it is safe to speak their truth, and trust is a natural outcome of their relationships. In the Right Side Up world, food is more wholesome and nutritious because the seeds are not altered and the food is not processed with a range of untested chemicals whose names are unpronounceable and interactions unknown. People grow their own flavourful food, rich in nutrients in their own backyard or community garden. Rain is not heavy with pollution because people in the Right Side Up world do not rely on burning oil and gas for energy. Instead, they count on the power of the sun, wind and tides as well as other clean renewable energy sources for their energy needs.
The Right Side Up world values diversity and self-expression. Communities celebrate the human spirit through their art forms, which have become a way of life, blended harmoniously with spirituality. Humankind rejoices in the spirit within every one and every thing-and we have evolved beyond our fascination with darkness and evil.
The Right Side Uppers adhere to a Second Bill of Rights that gives all people.
The right to a useful job that pays a living wage for adequate food, clothing and recreation
The right for every businessperson, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition
The right to a decent home
The right to medical care and the ability to achieve good health
The right to a good education
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment
Does this sound like the impossibly idealistic ravings of a left-leaning lunatic? Think again. The Second Bill of Rights was proposed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his State of the Union speech on January 11, 1944. How far we have regressed in sixty-odd years!
Yes, the Right Side Up world encourages acceptance, tolerance, and freedom to live the way one wants as long as it harms no other. Conflict is met with compassion and human unity is the guiding principle for society.
You are standing on this bridge between two worlds-one is upside-down, the other is Right Side Up. The bridge is about to collapse. You must make a choice to go in one or the other direction. Which side would you go to?
Most people would choose the Right Side Up world. It is the obvious choice for a better place to live in. Yet, so many people view the Right Side Up world as idealistic and unattainable, and thus accept living in the upside-down world. Is it the gravity of fear that holds them in this destructive state? Is it lack of faith? Or have the forces of the upside-down world so skewed our perceptions that we do not believe a Right Side Up world is possible?
We live in an amazing age. It is a point in the evolution of humankind when a massive shift in consciousness is taking place. It is happening in nearly every facet of our global society. These are the insights and views of the leading thinkers of our time giving their impressions on what the coming shift means and how it will impact not only our immediate time, but the lives of future generations.
The shift is occurring whether we embrace it or not, whether we believe it or not. The question is whether you will be a willing participant and active proponent of the shift, or if will you struggle to hang on to an outmoded, broken world that serves the darker parts of our being. By choosing to believe in the possibilities of the human spirit, by embracing the shift, you can become free to express yourself and work for a balanced world and a whole-hearted life.
The choice is yours...
CIA role claim in Kennedy killing
New video and photographic evidence that puts three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination has been brought to light.
21 November 2006
The evidence was shown in a report by Shane O'Sullivan, broadcast on BBC Newsnight.
It reveals that the operatives and four unidentified associates were at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles in the moments before and after the shooting on 5 June, 1968.
The CIA had no domestic jurisdiction and some of the officers were based in South-East Asia at the time, with no reason to be in Los Angeles.
Kennedy had just won the California Democratic primary on an anti-War ticket and was set to challenge Nixon for the White House when he was shot in a kitchen pantry.
A 24-year-old Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, was arrested as the lone assassin and notebooks at his house seemed to incriminate him.
However, even under hypnosis, he has never been able to remember the shooting and defence psychiatrists concluded he was in a trance at the time.
Witnesses placed Sirhan's gun several feet in front of Kennedy but the autopsy showed the fatal shot came from one inch behind.
Dr Herbert Spiegel, a world authority on hypnosis at Columbia University, believes Sirhan may have been hypnotically programmed to act as a decoy for the real assassin.
The report is the result of a three-year investigation by filmmaker Shane O'Sullivan. He reveals new video and photographs showing three senior CIA operatives at the hotel.
"What were they doing there? It's our obligation as friends of Bob Kennedy to investigate this."
- Paul Schrade
Three of these men have been positively identified as senior officers who worked together in 1963 at JMWAVE, the CIA's Miami base for its Secret War on Castro.
David Morales was Chief of Operations and once told friends:
"I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard."
Gordon Campbell was Chief of Maritime Operations and George Joannides was Chief of Psychological Warfare Operations.
Joannides was called out of retirement in 1978 to act as the CIA liaison to the Congressional investigation into the JFK assassination. Now, we see him at the Ambassador Hotel the night a second Kennedy is assassinated.
There have been calls for a fresh investigation into the shooting
Monday, 20 November would have been Bobby Kennedy's 81st birthday. In Los Angeles, his son Max has just broken ground on a new high-school project in memory of his father on the old Ambassador Hotel site.
Paul Schrade, a key figure behind the school project, was walking behind Robert Kennedy that night and was shot in the head. He believes this new evidence merits fresh investigation:
"It seems very strange to me that these guys would be at a Kennedy celebration. What were they doing there? And why were they there? It's our obligation as friends of Bob Kennedy to investigate this."
Ed Lopez, a former Congressional investigator who worked with Joannides in 1978, says:
"I think the key people at the CIA need to go back to anybody who might have been around back then, bring them in and interview them, and ask - is this Gordon Campbell? Is this George Joannides?"
This report was shown on Newsnight on Monday, 20 November, 2006.
Killing plunges Lebanon deeper into crisis (Nov 24, 2006)
(...) On the morning of the Gemayel assassination, Syria announced it was re-establishing diplomatic relations with the American-backed government in Iraq, signalling that it wanted to be in the Middle East diplomatic game.Bashar al-Assad was looking as if he was in a good position. His friends in Hezbollah gave Israel a bloody nose in the summer. Relations with Iran are strong and Western countries seemed to be competing for his attention. Syria has acted in ways that appeared to be against its own interests in the past.It is possible to speculate that President Assad and his advisers believed that the Americans were so desperate to get some Arab help in Iraq that they would look away if Syria started getting up to its old tricks in Lebanon.There are fears the killing will deepen sectarian fault linesBut, until the assassination, many new options seemed to be opening up for President Assad.Would he really have wanted to close them down? Would it really have been in his best interests to order a political killing in Beirut for which Syria was always likely to get blamed?What if the order came from Syria but not from the desk of the president? Again, it is possible to make an argument that President Assad has enemies who might want to discredit him at the moment when foreign leaders were remembering they had his phone number.But if not Syria, who? In the last few days in Beirut I have had heard theories linking Israel, the United States and other Lebanese Christian leaders with Mr Gemayel's assassination, for a variety of reasons - to remove a rival in the case of the Christians, to spread confusion and dismay for the others. CLIP
Civil War In Lebanon - By Robert Fisk in Beirut
Why did Gemayel die just hours after Syria announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Iraq after a quarter of a century? Why has Nasrallah threatened street demonstrations in Beirut to bring down the government when Siniora's cabinet had just accepted the UN's tribunal to try Hariri's assassins?
What makes Israel a likely suspect in Gemayels death (23 Nov 2006)
Syria is a convenient fall guy for Gemayels death - (...) In truth, Israel will benefit in numerous ways from the tensions provoked by the assassination, as the popular and angry rallies in Beirut against Syria and Hizbullah are proving.
- First, and most obviously, Hizbullah -- as Syrias main political and military friend in Lebanon -- has been forced suddenly on to the back foot. Hizbullah had been riding high after its triumph over the summer of withstanding the Israeli assault on Lebanon and routing an invasion force that tried to occupy the countrys south.Hizbullahs popularity and credibility rose so sharply that the leaders of the Shiite community had been hoping to cash in on that success domestically by demanding more power. That is one of the reasons why the six Shiite ministers walked out of Sinioras cabinet. Despite the way the Shiite parties political position has been presented in the West, there is considerable justification for their demands. The system of political representation in Lebanon was rigged decades ago by the former colonial power, France, to ensure that power is shared between the Christian and Sunni Muslim communities. The Shiite Muslims, the countrys largest religious sect, have been kept on the margins of the system ever since, effectively disenfranchised.With their recent military victory, this was the moment Hizbullah hoped to make a breakthrough and force political concessions from the Sunnis and Christians, concessions that indirectly would have benefited Syria. With Gemayels death, the chances of that now look slim indeed. Hizbullah, and by extension Syria, are the losers; Israel, which wants Hizbullah weakened, is the winner.
- Second, the assassination has pushed Lebanon to the brink of another civil war. With a political system barely able to contain sectarian differences, and with the various factions in no mood to compromise after the spate of recent assassinations, there is a real danger that fighting will return to Lebanons streets. This will most certainly not be to the benefit of Lebanon or any of its religious communities, who will be dragged into another round of bloodletting. Hizbullahs underground cadres who took on the Israeli war machine will doubtless have to come out of hiding and will pay a price against other well-armed militias. The benefits for Syria are at best mixed. A possible benefit is that a bloody civil war may increase the pressure on the United States to talk to Syria, and possibly to invite it to take a leading role again in stabilising Lebanon, as it did during the last civil war. But, given the continuing ascendancy of the hawks in Washington, it may have the opposite effect, encouraging the US to isolate Syria further.Conversely, civil war may pose serious threats to Syrian interests -- and offer significant benefits to Israel. If Hizbullahs energies are seriously depleted in a civil war, Israel may be in a much better position to attack Lebanon again. Almost everyone in Israel is agreed that the Israeli army is itching to settle the score with Hizbullah in another round of fighting. This way it may get the next war it wants on much better terms; or Israel may be able to fight a proxy war against Hizbullah by aiding the Shiite groups opponents.Certainly one of the main goals of Israels bombing campaign over the summer, when much of Lebanons infrastructure was destroyed, appeared to be to provoke such a civil war. It was widely reported at the time that Israels generals hoped that the devastation would provoke the Christian, Sunni and Druze communities to rise up against Hizbullah.
- Third, Syria is already the prime suspect in Hariris murder and in the assasination of three other Lebanese politicians and journalists, all seen as anti-Syrian, over the past 21 months.The US exploited Hariris death, and the widespread protests that followed, to evict Syria from Lebanon. Syrias removal from the scene also paved the way, whether intentionally or not, for Israels assault this summer, which would have been far more dangerous to the region had Syria still been in Lebanon. Despite the looming threat of the UN tribunal into Hariris death, from Syrias point of view the accusations have grown stale with time and threatened to prove only what everyone in the West already believed. With the walk-out by the Shiite ministers from the Lebanese government, the investigations were looking all but redundant in any case. Gemayels assassination, however, has dramatically revived interest in the question of who killed Hariri and brings Syria firmly back into the spotlight. None of this benefits Syria, but no doubt Israel will be able to take some considerable pleasure in Damascuss discomfort.
- Fourth, the Israeli government has been under international and domestic pressure to engage with Syria and negotiate a return of the Golan Heights, an area of Syrian territory it has been occupying since 1967.With it would be resolved the fraught question of the Shebaa Farms, still occupied by Israel but which Hizbullah and Syria claim as Lebanese territory that should have been returned in Israels withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. The status of the Shebaa Farms has been one of the main outstanding areas of dispute between Israel and Hizbullah. President Assad of Syria has been hinting openly that he is ready to discuss Israels return of the Golan Heights on better terms for Israel than it has ever before been offered. According to reports in the Israeli media, Assad is prepared to demilitarise the Golan and turn it into a national park that would be open to Israelis. He would probably also not insist on a precise return to the 1967 border, which includes the northern shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. Traditionally Israels leaders balked at this idea, and provoked popular fears by conjuring up the vision of Assads father, Hafez, dipping his feet in the lake. But if negotiations on the Golan are desperately sought by the young Assad, Israel shows no interest in exploring the option. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has repeatedly ruled out talking to Damascus. That is for several reasons:
* Israel, as might be expected on past form, is not in the mood for making territorial concessions;
* it does not want to end Syrias pariahs status and isolation by making a peace deal with it;
* and it fears that such a deal might suggest that negotiations with the Palestinians are feasible too. Peace with Syria, in Israeli eyes, would inexorably lead to pressure to make peace with the Palestinians. That is most certainly not part of Israels agenda. Gemayels death, and Syria being blamed for it, forces Damascus back into the fold of the Axis of Evil, and forestalls any threat of talks on the Golan.
- Fifth, pressure has been growing in the US Administration to start talking to Syria, if only to try to recruit it to Washingtons war on terror. The US could desperately do with local local help in managing its occupation of Iraq. It is unclear whether Bush is ready to make such an about-turn, but it remains a possibility. Key allies such as Britains Tony Blair are pushing strongly for engagement with Syria, both to further isolate Iran -- the possible target of either a US or Israeli strike against its presumed ambitions for nuclear weapons -- and to clear the path to negotiations with the Palestinians. Gemayels death, and Syrias blame for it, strengthens the case of the neoconservatives in Washington -- Israels allies in the Administration -- whose star had begun to wane. They can now argue convincingly that Syria is unreformed and unreformable. Such an outcome helps to avert the danger, from Israels point of view, that White House doves might win the argument for befriending Syria.
For all these reasons, we should be wary of assuming that Syria is the party behind Gemayels death -- or the only regional actor meddling in Lebanon.
Cheney Escalates Lunatic War Drive Against Iran (Nov 26)
Lyndon LaRouche minced no words in discussions with colleagues on Nov. 22, accusing Vice President Dick Cheney and the "Israeli Mafia" of being behind the latest destabilization of Lebanon-the assassination on Nov. 21 of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. LaRouche cited other Israeli provocations since the Lebanon War of July 2006, including a string of confrontations with French peacekeepers, and threats to attack German ships in the Mediterranean that are part of the Lebanon peacekeeping effort, as "state-of-mind" evidence of the war intent. Things have become so tense between the French and Israeli governments over the Lebanon crisis, that French soldiers serving in the Lebanese peacekeeping mission are now authorized to shoot at Israeli Air Force jet fighters overflying Lebanon, after a failed Paris meeting in mid-November between French and Israeli military officials. LaRouche warned that the climate is being set for an Israeli military raid on Iran's purported nuclear weapons sites, which would lead to a mobilization of support for a larger attack on Iran, involving the United States and other nations-with the quiet but enthusiastic backing of many frightened Sunni Arab regimes, which are being stampeded by the Cheneyacs in Washington into this suicidal stance. LaRouche characterized the Gemayel assassination as a signal of Israeli plans to launch a military strike against Iran in the near future-at the urging of Cheney and his own masters within the Anglo-American "war party." CLIP
"America's moment in the Middle East is about to end" - By Mike Whitney
There are no "accidents" in Middle East politics. This week's assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister, Pierre Gemayel can only be understood in the context of the ongoing struggle between the competing political forces in the region. Presently, the United States is the big loser in this regard due to its failed campaign in Iraq.
U.S. plans to boost military help for Lebanon
The Bush administration plans to give the fragile Lebanese government more military aid and other support, fearing more bloodshed after this week's political assassination, said a senior U.S. official.
U.S. general says building up Abbas's guard (Nov 24)
The United States is building up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's forces but is not preparing them to confront Hamas, the U.S. security coordinator between Israel and the Palestinians said. CLIP
COMMENT FOUND AT http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/indx.php : The US warmongers are doing this on behalf of israel to stir up civil war & massacres among the Palestinians. We are now entering the final phase of the zionists' genocidal plan for Palestine: first they want to "iraqify" Gaza. Then they will do the same to the West Bank. Finally they will "transfer" the survivors of this double holocaust to Jordan.
Pierre Haski writes: "The assassination of a public personage in Lebanon is always a way of putting political messages across. Those who ordered Pierre Gemayel's murder most certainly chose their moment." He analyzes the murderers' message to Lebanon, the UN, the US, and France.
Jordan's king warns three civil wars loom in Mideast (26 Nov 2006)
WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Middle East is on the verge of three civil wars -- in Iraq, Israel and Lebanon -- unless strong action is taken urgently by the international community, Jordan's King Abdullah warned on Sunday. With U.S. President George W. Bush heading to Amman this week to talk with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Abdullah said "something dramatic" must come from that meeting to stop violence spinning out of control in Iraq."I don't think we're in a position where we can come back and revisit the problem in early 2007," he said on ABC's "This Week." But the United States must also look at the "big picture" and seek comprehensive Middle Eastern solutions involving all regional players, he said -- indicating this should include Syria and Iran."We're juggling with the strong potential of three civil wars in the region, whether it's the Palestinians, that of Lebanon or of Iraq," the Jordanian king said. CLIP
Also from: http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/112206EA.shtml
Will Forests Adapt to a Warmer World?
By Stephen Leahy - Inter Press Service
20 November 2006
Toronto - Deforestation remains the greatest current threat to the world's forests, claiming 10 to 15 million hectares of tree-covered areas every year, but climate change may represent a bigger challenge in the long term, scientists say.
"We're like a two-year-old playing with fire ... We're messing around with something dangerous and don't really understand what will happen," says William Laurance, of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Balboa, Panama, in reference to climate change and the Amazon rainforest.
Forests and other forms of life are now living on an "alien" planet where the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are higher than they have been for a million years.
These unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases are creating a new, hotter planet with weather that is much more extreme than in the past.
What does this mean for the 20 percent of the Earth's original forests that are still standing? Some scientists believe forests will grow faster in a warmer world. Others say they are more likely to burn, or suffer from disease or die from drought.
Laurance and his colleagues have shown that the higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are changing the very nature of the existing forest in the Amazon.
"Trees in the rainforest are growing faster and dying faster, and changing in species composition," he said, adding that the long-term implications of these changes are not known.
Researchers predict that the Amazon region will become hotter and drier, much like last year's record drought where Amazonian rivers dried up and wildfires burned large areas of the surprisingly dry forest.
Rainforests are very vulnerable to consecutive years of drought, warned the US-based Woods Hole Research Centre recently. The Amazon cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down, reported Woods Hole researchers in Santarem, a city on the Amazon River in Brazil.
One of the reasons is that rainforests are rain-making machines. About half of all the rainfall in the Amazon is almost immediately returned to the atmosphere as water vapour via plant respiration. That helps to maintain cloud cover and produce frequent rainfall, especially in the dry season when forests are most vulnerable to droughts and fires, says Laurance.
If the forests dry out too much, they cannot put water vapour into the air, creating a cycle of less and less precipitation.
"In the Amazon, some models suggest that the system could destabilise once more than 30 percent of the forest is lost," said Laurance, acknowledging that this idea is conjecture.
Brazilian scientist and climate expert Carlos Nobre, of the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), has said that 40 percent is the tipping point where the world's greatest forest will irreversibly turn into savanna. About 17 percent of the Amazon is already gone.
Although much smaller in area, the cloud forests of the Andes mountains contain nearly twice as many plant species and four times as many endemic plants as other parts of the world. Conditions there are harsh, with cool to cold temperatures and poor soils, so plants grow slowly. Scientists believe that most plants there will not be able to survive the rising temperatures already underway - which may climb five degrees Celsius by 2100.
"Trees and plants can't move up mountains very far because of the increasingly poorer soils," says Andreas Hamann, a forestry expert at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Species migration for trees can be as slow as a few metres per century, but temperature hikes in North America would require a northwards shift of a 150 km to 550 km for many existing forest ecosystems by 2100.
Rapidly changing temperatures are pushing forest ecosystems out of equilibrium, says Hamann, who recently completed studies on the impacts of climate change on Canadian forests. "It could take 2000 years to re-balance once temperatures stop climbing."
However, "it's not the temperature rise that is the big problem for forests in the short term, it is the changes that come with higher temperatures," Hamann explains.
Higher temperatures are changing weather patterns and producing more extremes, including longer droughts and huge forest fires.
In 2003 alone, Siberia lost 40,000 square kilometres of boreal forest to fires. Alaska and Canada experienced their worst fire year ever in 2004.
Canadian Forest Service researchers say 2.6 million hectares are being lost to fire every year, a huge increase from the more than one million hectares lost in the early 1970s. They have predicted that climate change will create still drier conditions in Canada's and Russia's boreal forests, making future increases in fires a virtual certainty.
Nadezhda Tchebakova, of the Russian Academy of Sciences Forest Research Institute, goes further, predicting that the boreal forests will become so dry by 2090 they will turn into steppe, or grassland.
But climate change will not be the end of forests.
Reforestation and natural regeneration have dramatically increased the amount of forest in at least 22 countries, according to the report published Nov. 13 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. China and India, for example, have more forest cover than they did 15 years ago. Much of the US northeast is nearly all forest now, when 50 to 100 years it was farmland.
"Demand for paper and wood products are down and there is an increased interest in reforestation," says study co-author Jesse Ausubel, of Rockefeller University in New York. These new forests do not have the biodiversity of original, old-growth forests, but they "offer the chance for biodiversity to return".
More climate change related coverage
Fragmentation Quickly Destabilizes Amazon Rain Forest (November 27, 2006) http://tinyurl.com/y4y7cf
Trees on the edge of deforestation in the Amazon trees perish within decades of forest fragmentation, imperiling the entire ecosystem within such fragments. - The towering--and tiny--trees of the Amazon can live for hundreds of years. But a 22-year study of what happens when the rain forest is sliced up by timber cutting, cattle ranching and soy farming has revealed that survivors in various fragments do not last for long. "In just two decades," notes William Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, who led the study, "a wink of time for a thousand-year-old tree, the ecosystem has been seriously degraded." Since 1980, researchers have been studying 40 different one-hectare plots in nine rain forest fragments in central Amazonia near Manaus. Covering roughly 32,000 individual trees composed of 1,162 species, 24 of the hectare plots rest near the edges of the remnant fragments while 16 lie deep within intact interiors. Comparing the two reveals that trees located on the edges of such fragments quickly perish, dying nearly three times faster than their interior peers. "When you fragment the rain forest, hot winds from the surrounding pastures blow into the forest and kill many trees, which just can't handle the stress," explains team member Henrique Nascimento of Brazil's National Institute for Amazonian Research. "Also, winds build up around the fragment and knock down a lot of trees."
Amazon Rain Forest May Reach Point of No Return Within 10 Years (June 26, 2001)
The destruction of the Amazon rain forest may become irreversible much sooner than expected, according to a new study presented yesterday at the joint conference of the Geological Society of America and the Geological Society of London. Whereas scientists generally agree that the outlook for world rain forests is grim, they debate when the ruination will be complete. Current estimates for the Amazon River Basin rain forests put doomsday at 75 to 100 years from now. But the new model, developed by James Alcock at Penn State University, moves the date ahead to merely 40 to 50 years from now. Moreover, Alcock says the destruction will reach a point of no return in only 10 to 15 years. CLIP
Selective Logging Fails to Sustain Rainforest (October 21, 2005)
A four-year, comprehensive survey of the Amazon Basin in Brazil reveals that selective logging--the practice of cutting down just one or two tree species in an area--creates an additional 60 to 123 percent more damage than deforestation alone. Combining field surveys with data gathered from a satellite-imaging system that has a resolution as fine as one tree, scientists at the Stanford, Calif., research department of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C., determined that not only have traditional analysis methods missed more than 50 percent of the damage caused by timber harvest, but that selective logging results in 25 percent more greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere than previously thought. CLIP
Satellite Data Reveal Drought in Amazon Rain Forest (April 06, 2004)
Forwarded by "Lise Jacques" email@example.com">
From: ecetiwebmaster firstname.lastname@example.org">
Date: Nov 26, 2006
Subject: Petition to Stop the chemtrails
Folks we are being bombarded by a toxic soup which has been validated by several researchers. Children, Elderly and people from all walks of life are suffering flew like symptoms, gastral intestinal, memory loss and yes even death. Time to put an end to it with the people who we sent to work on our behalf not some military or alphabet agency with genocide as an agenda.
To: U.S. Congress
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States of America, pursuant to the Bill of Rights, Amendment One, which gives the right of the American people to petition the United States government for a redress of grievances, hereby state the following:
WHEREAS, unmarked aircraft are daily painting American skies with bio-hostile substances; and
WHEREAS, aircraft which carry no identifying markings can not be identified as American and are, therefore, presumed to be hostile aircraft; and
WHEREAS, these unmarked aircraft have been proven to be emitting substances which drift to the ground and are hostile to the health and well-being of American citizens;
THEREFORE, it is concluded that Americans are, and have been for years, under attack and have become the victims of BIOCHEMICAL WARFARE.
FURTHER, the United States government has allowed, and is continuing to allow, these unidentified aircraft to release harmful substances over American soil, which have been proven harmful to the American people; and
WHEREAS, the United States government has neither satisfactorily explained nor proffered any compelling reason(s) why it is in the interests of the United States government to allow harm to the majority of its people with these disease-producing, potentially lethal emissions; and
WHEREAS, when asked about the situation, the United States government has engaged in evasion, deception, and stonewalling the American people in their pursuit of the truth of this matter.
THEREFORE, it is presumed that the aircraft either belong to the United States government and are operating under the direct command and with full knowledge of the United States government or, in the alternative, the United States government has knowingly and willfully conspired with an outside, hostile group to allow harm to American citizens.
THEREFORE, it appearing that the United States government is violating numerous rights of its citizens and in so doing is in a state of treason against its citizens, it is up to the American people to exercise their rights and hold the United States government accountable for its actions or inactions, as the case may be.
CONSEQUENTLY, the people of the United States of America declare the following,
TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT: Pursuant to the Bill of Rights, Amendment One, we, the people of the United States, declare that we are grieved over the presence of "chemtrails" in the airspace over the United States and hereby petition the United States government to take immediate action to cease all chemtrail activity in the airspace over the United States of America.
We, the People, further DEMAND an immediate, thorough and honest investigation into what the substance called "chemtrails" actually consists of and discover the true purpose of spraying America (and its people) with harmful substances. Such investigation will include independent, impartial experts, as well as ordinary citizens.
The Chemtrails Petition to U.S. Congress was created by and written by Cheryl Nelson O'Brien (email@example.com).
Some of the comments posted by people who signed this petition:
"Chemtrails are criminal acts against our planet and every living being on it. I want this current government and all others involved to cease and desist, be brought to trial, and convicted for crimes against humanity and all other living beings. The zeitgeist of the '60's is back, the new revolution has begun. The American People will stand against facism and dictatorial tyranny. Watch us!!!" -- "I now have major breathing problems because of the Chemtrails in my area in recents weeks. I am now on oxygen!" -- "Chemtrail activity has gotten ridiculous over SE Indiana - the other day there was 5 planes visible at once and at least 100 chemtrails; now lots of people in the area are sick with upper respitory infections. These are NOT secondary from colds, just URI popping up out of the blue. It's shameful that our government allows this." -- "People are getting deathly sick when these planes fly over their areas, me included. Those responsible need to be held accountable" -- "Every day we are being sprayed over my little town in CA. It has to stop NOW" -- "This evening, we are getting an ariel attack. The skies are filled with huge X's, parallels, triangles, and I know this is not normal. I've been watching the skies 3 years now, and I know what's normal, and what's not."
For more info on chemtrails go at http://www.carnicom.com/
On the flu threat - By Connie Fogal (Nov 22)
It is important to have some significant information to assist all of us personally as we face the threats of another serious flu. I am forwarding articles written about the US scene with the U.S. administration's recent threat of the use of military force to quarantine exposed/infected individuals and communities. Be reminded that in Canada one new law following 9/11 (Bill C7) gives our Minister of Health dictatorial powers to force vaccinations. There is no resort to parliamentary discussion or approval, or opportunity for dissent on that force. (...) The message I want to emphasis is that all of us need to take a steady careful look at all the scare hype of the mainstream media and of our leading politicians. Much has been written and said about "terrorism" to convince people to give up their liberties- although we were never given a chance to vote on these liberty-stripping laws. The same applies to this health issue. What I am urging is that we not let ourselves be duped by anyone.
Also from: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2006/11/24/p12396
Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs'
Not that George W. Bush needs much encouragement, but Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new target for the administrations domestic operations -- Fifth Columnists, supposedly disloyal Americans who sympathize and collaborate with the enemy.
The administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements, Graham, R-S.C., told Gonzales during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Feb. 6.
I stand by this Presidents ability, inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I dont think you need a warrant to do that, Graham added, volunteering to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize this alleged threat.
Senator, a smiling Gonzales responded, the President already said wed be happy to listen to your ideas.
In less paranoid times, Grahams comments might be viewed by many Americans as a Republican trying to have it both ways ingratiating himself to an administration of his own party while seeking some credit from Washington centrists for suggesting Congress should have at least a tiny say in how Bush runs the War on Terror.
But recent developments suggest that the Bush administration may already be contemplating what to do with Americans who are deemed insufficiently loyal or who disseminate information that may be considered helpful to the enemy.
Top U.S. officials have cited the need to challenge news that undercuts Bushs actions as a key front in defeating the terrorists, who are aided by news informers in the words of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com Upside-Down Media or below.]
Plus, there was that curious development in January when the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a $385 million contract to construct detention centers somewhere in the United States, to deal with an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. [Market Watch, Jan. 26, 2006]
Later, the New York Times reported that KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space. [Feb. 4, 2006]
Like most news stories on the KBR contract, the Times focused on concerns about Halliburtons reputation for bilking U.S. taxpayers by overcharging for sub-par services.
Its hard to believe that the administration has decided to entrust Halliburton with even more taxpayer dollars, remarked Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California.
Less attention centered on the phrase rapid development of new programs and what kind of programs would require a major expansion of detention centers, each capable of holding 5,000 people. Jamie Zuieback, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, declined to elaborate on what these new programs might be.
Only a few independent journalists, such as Peter Dale Scott and Maureen Farrell, have pursued what the Bush administration might actually be thinking.
Scott speculated that the detention centers could be used to detain American citizens if the Bush administration were to declare martial law. He recalled that during the Reagan administration, National Security Council aide Oliver North organized Rex-84 readiness exercise, which contemplated the Federal Emergency Management Agency rounding up and detaining 400,000 refugees, in the event of uncontrolled population movements over the Mexican border into the United States.
Farrell pointed out that because another terror attack is all but certain, it seems far more likely that the centers would be used for post-911-type detentions of immigrants rather than a sudden deluge of immigrants flooding across the border.
Vietnam-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said, Almost certainly this is preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters. Theyve already done this on a smaller scale, with the special registration detentions of immigrant men from Muslim countries, and with Guantanamo.
There also was another little-noticed item posted at the U.S. Army Web site, about the Pentagons Civilian Inmate Labor Program. This program provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations.
The Army document, first drafted in 1997, underwent a rapid action revision on Jan. 14, 2005. The revision provides a template for developing agreements between the Army and corrections facilities for the use of civilian inmate labor on Army installations.
On its face, the Armys labor program refers to inmates housed in federal, state and local jails. The Army also cites various federal laws that govern the use of civilian labor and provide for the establishment of prison camps in the United States, including a federal statute that authorizes the Attorney General to establish, equip, and maintain camps upon sites selected by him and make available
the services of United States prisoners to various government departments, including the Department of Defense.
Though the timing of the documents posting within the past few weeks may just be a coincidence, the reference to a rapid action revision and the KBR contracts contemplation of rapid development of new programs have raised eyebrows about why this sudden need for urgency.
These developments also are drawing more attention now because of earlier Bush administration policies to involve the Pentagon in counter-terrorism operations inside the United States.
Despite the Posse Comitatus Acts prohibitions against U.S. military personnel engaging in domestic law enforcement, the Pentagon has expanded its operations beyond previous boundaries, such as its role in domestic surveillance activities.
The Washington Post has reported that since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Defense Department has been creating new agencies that gather and analyze intelligence within the United States. [Washington Post, Nov. 27, 2005]
The White House also is moving to expand the power of the Pentagons Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), created three years ago to consolidate counterintelligence operations. The White House proposal would transform CIFA into an office that has authority to investigate crimes such as treason, terrorist sabotage or economic espionage.
The Pentagon also has pushed legislation in Congress that would create an intelligence exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information about U.S. citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies. But some in the Pentagon dont seem to think that new laws are even necessary.
In a 2001 Defense Department memo that surfaced in January 2006, the U.S. Armys top intelligence officer wrote, Contrary to popular belief, there is no absolute ban on [military] intelligence components collecting U.S. person information.
Drawing a distinction between collecting information and receiving information on U.S. citizens, the memo argued that MI [military intelligence] may receive information from anyone, anytime. [See CQ.com, Jan. 31, 2006]
This receipt of information presumably would include data from the National Security Agency, which has been engaging in surveillance of U.S. citizens without court-approved warrants in apparent violation of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act. Bush approved the program of warrantless wiretaps shortly after 9/11.
There also may be an even more extensive surveillance program. Former NSA employee Russell D. Tice told a congressional committee on Feb. 14 that such a top-secret surveillance program existed, but he said he couldnt discuss the details without breaking classification laws.
Tice added that the special access surveillance program may be violating the constitutional rights of millions of Americans. [UPI, Feb. 14, 2006]
With this expanded surveillance, the governments list of terrorist suspects is rapidly swelling.
The Washington Post reported on Feb. 15 that the National Counterterrorism Centers central repository now holds the names of 325,000 terrorist suspects, a four-fold increase since the fall of 2003.
Asked whether the names in the repository were collected through the NSAs domestic surveillance program, an NCTC official told the Post, Our database includes names of known and suspected international terrorists provided by all intelligence community organizations, including NSA.
As the administration scoops up more and more names, members of Congress also have questioned the elasticity of Bushs definitions for words like terrorist affiliates, used to justify wiretapping Americans allegedly in contact with such people or entities.
During the Senate Judiciary Committees hearing on the wiretap program, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, complained that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have not been briefed on the scope and nature of the program.
Feinstein added that, therefore, the committees have not been able to explore what is a link or an affiliate to al-Qaeda or what minimization procedures (for purging the names of innocent people) are in place.
The combination of the Bush administrations expansive reading of its own power and its insistence on extraordinary secrecy has raised the alarm of civil libertarians when contemplating how far the Pentagon might go in involving itself in domestic matters.
A Defense Department document, entitled the Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support, has set out a military strategy against terrorism that envisions an active, layered defense both inside and outside U.S. territory. In the document, the Pentagon pledges to transform U.S. military forces to execute homeland defense missions in the
The Pentagon strategy paper calls for increased military reconnaissance and surveillance to defeat potential challengers before they threaten the United States. The plan maximizes threat awareness and seizes the initiative from those who would harm us.
But there are concerns over how the Pentagon judges threats and who falls under the category those who would harm us. A Pentagon official said the Counterintelligence Field Activitys TALON program has amassed files on antiwar protesters.
In December 2005, NBC News revealed the existence of a secret 400-page Pentagon document listing 1,500 suspicious incidents over a 10-month period, including dozens of small antiwar demonstrations that were classified as a threat.
The Defense Department also might be moving toward legitimizing the use of propaganda domestically, as part of its overall war strategy.
A secret Pentagon Information Operations Roadmap, approved by Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for full spectrum information operations and notes that information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa.
PSYOPS messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public, the document states. The Pentagon argues, however, that the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences becomes more a question of USG [U.S. government] intent rather than information dissemination practices.
It calls for boundaries between information operations abroad and the news media at home, but does not outline any corresponding limits on PSYOP campaigns.
Similar to the distinction the Pentagon draws between collecting and receiving intelligence on U.S. citizens, the Information Operations Roadmap argues that as long as the American public is not intentionally targeted, any PSYOP propaganda consumed by the American public is acceptable.
The Pentagon plan also includes a strategy for taking over the Internet and controlling the flow of information, viewing the Web as a potential military adversary. The roadmap speaks of fighting the net, and implies that the Internet is the equivalent of an enemy weapons system.
In a speech on Feb. 17 to the Council on Foreign Relations, Rumsfeld elaborated on the administrations perception that the battle over information would be a crucial front in the War on Terror, or as Rumsfeld calls it, the Long War.
Let there be no doubt, the longer it takes to put a strategic communication framework into place, the more we can be certain that the vacuum will be filled by the enemy and by news informers that most assuredly will not paint an accurate picture of what is actually taking place, Rumsfeld said.
The Department of Homeland Security also has demonstrated a tendency to deploy military operatives to deal with domestic crises.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the department dispatched heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their work in Iraq, (and had them) openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans, reported journalists Jeremy Scahill and Daniela Crespo on Sept. 10, 2005.
Noting the reputation of the Blackwater mercenaries as some of the most feared professional killers in the world, Scahill and Crespo said Blackwaters presence in New Orleans raises alarming questions about why the government would allow men trained to kill with impunity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to operate here.
In the view of some civil libertarians, a form of martial law already exists in the United States and has been in place since shortly after the 9/11 attacks when Bush issued Military Order No. 1 which empowered him to detain any non-citizen as an international terrorist or enemy combatant.
The President decided that he was no longer running the country as a civilian President, wrote civil rights attorney Michael Ratner in the book Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. He issued a military order giving himself the power to run the country as a general.
For any American citizen suspected of collaborating with terrorists, Bush also revealed whats in store. In May 2002, the FBI arrested U.S. citizen Jose Padilla in Chicago on suspicion that he might be an al-Qaeda operative planning an attack.
Rather than bring criminal charges, Bush designated Padilla an enemy combatant and had him imprisoned indefinitely without benefit of due process. After three years, the administration finally brought charges against Padilla, in order to avoid a Supreme Court showdown the White House might have lost.
But since the Court was not able to rule on the Padilla case, the administrations arguments have not been formally repudiated. Indeed, despite filing charges against Padilla, the White House still asserts the right to detain U.S. citizens without charges as enemy combatants.
This claimed authority is based on the assertion that the United States is at war and the American homeland is part of the battlefield.
In the war against terrorists of global reach, as the Nation learned all too well on Sept. 11, 2001, the territory of the United States is part of the battlefield, Bush's lawyers argued in briefs to the federal courts. [Washington Post, July 19, 2005]
Given Bushs now open assertions that he is using his plenary or unlimited powers as Commander in Chief for the duration of the indefinite War on Terror, Americans can no longer trust that their constitutional rights protect them from government actions.
As former Vice President Al Gore asked after recounting a litany of sweeping powers that Bush has asserted to fight the War on Terror, Can it be true that any President really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?
In such extraordinary circumstances, the American people might legitimately ask exactly what the Bush administration means by the rapid development of new programs, which might require the construction of a new network of detention camps.
THIS WAS WRITTEN OVER A YEAR AGO BUT, IN LIGHT OF THE MID-TERM ELECTIONS RESULTS, SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE FULL ATTENTION OF THE US PUBLIC, CONGRESS AND SENATE AS MANY ARE DOING RIGHT NOW.
The White House Criminal Conspiracy
by Elizabeth de la Vega - Published on Sunday, October 30, 2005 by TomDispatch.com
Legally, there are no significant differences between the investor fraud perpetrated by Enron CEO Ken Lay and the prewar intelligence fraud perpetrated by George W. Bush. Both involved persons in authority who used half-truths and recklessly false statements to manipulate people who trusted them. There is, however, a practical difference: The presidential fraud is wider in scope and far graver in its consequences than the Enron fraud. Yet thus far the public seems paralyzed.
In response to the outcry raised by Enron and other scandals, Congress passed the Corporate Corruption Bill, which President Bush signed on July 30, 2002, amid great fanfare. Bush declared that he was signing the bill because of his strong belief that corporate officers must be straightforward and honest. If they were not, he said, they would be held accountable.
Ironically, the day Bush signed the Corporate Corruption Bill, he and his aides were enmeshed in an orchestrated campaign to trick the country into taking the biggest risk imaginable -- a war. Indeed, plans to attack Iraq were already in motion. In June, Bush announced his "new" pre-emptive strike strategy. On July 23, 2002, the head of British intelligence advised Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the then-secret Downing Street Memo, that "military action was now seen as inevitable" and that "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Bush had also authorized the transfer of $700 million from Afghanistan war funds to prepare for an invasion of Iraq. Yet all the while, with the sincerity of Marc Antony protesting that "Brutus is an honorable man," Bush insisted he wanted peace.
Americans may have been unaware of this deceit then, but they have since learned the truth. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in June, 52% of Americans now believe the President deliberately distorted intelligence to make a case for war. In an Ipsos Public Affairs poll, commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org and completed October 9, 50% said that if Bush lied about his reasons for going to war Congress should consider impeaching him. The President's deceit is not only an abuse of power; it is a federal crime. Specifically, it is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States.
So what do citizens do? First, they must insist that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence complete Phase II of its investigation, which was to be an analysis of whether the administration manipulated or misrepresented prewar intelligence. The focus of Phase II was to determine whether the administration misrepresented the information it received about Iraq from intelligence agencies. Second, we need to convince Congress to demand that the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the administration's deceptions about the war, using the same mechanism that led to the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the outing of Valerie Plame. (As it happens, Congressman Jerrold Nadler and others have recently written to Acting Deputy Attorney General Robert McCallum Jr. pointing out that the Plame leak is just the "tip of the iceberg" and asking that Fitzgerald's authority be expanded to include an investigation into whether the White House conspired to mislead the country into war.)
Third, we can no longer shrink from the prospect of impeachment. Impeachment would require, as John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney, author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George Bush and co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, has explained, that the House pass a "resolution of inquiry or impeachment calling on the Judiciary Committee to launch an investigation into whether grounds exist for the House to exercise its constitutional power to impeach George W. Bush." If the committee found such grounds, it would draft articles of impeachment and submit them to the full House for a vote. If those articles passed, the President would be tried by the Senate. Resolutions of inquiry, such as already have been introduced by Representatives Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinich demanding that the Administration produce key information about its decision-making, could also lead to impeachment.
These three actions can be called for simultaneously. Obviously we face a GOP-dominated House and Senate, but the same outrage that led the public to demand action against corporate law-breakers should be harnessed behind an outcry against government law-breakers. As we now know, it was not a failure of intelligence that led us to war. It was a deliberate distortion of intelligence by the Bush Administration. But it is a failure of courage on the part of Congress (with notable exceptions) and the mainstream media that seems to have left us helpless to address this crime. Speaking as a former federal prosecutor, I offer the following legal analysis to encourage people to press their representatives to act.
CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1030-25.htm
More on this in...
Elizabeth de la Vega, Bringing Bush to Court (Nov 28, 2006)
Elizabeth de la Vega, Indicting Bush (Includes her actual indictment document)
Elizabeth de la Vega | Part II: The Indictment
Elizabeth de la Vega constructs a fictional indictment of the Bush administration based on criminal facts. She writes: "We're here today in the case of United States v. George W. Bush et al. In addition to President Bush, the defendants are Vice President Richard B. Cheney, former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice - who's now the Secretary of State, of course - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. It's a one-count proposed indictment: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371."
Give the Gift of Impeachment for the Holidays
From Greg Palast - Monday, November 27, 2006
Can't decide what to give for Xmas or Xanukkah? Why not, IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT? Get this brilliant compendium of articles, Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney, introduced by Howard Zinn -- with the complete investigation of high crimes and hijinks compiled by America's top investigative journalists -- including my own list of indictable offenses: "The OTHER Downing Street Memos." CLIP More on this at http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/345/81/
As long as there has been a U.S. military, people have been leaving it. That choice has never been more appropriate than today. Individuals who signed up to defend the United States are engaged in a war that was sold on the basis of lies, was entirely unnecessary, is making us less safe, has nothing to do with defending anyone, and which involves the horror of slaughtering men, women, and children by the hundreds of thousands. The majority of Americans want the war to end and just voted accordingly in the Congressional elections. The majority of Iraqis want the war to end. The majority of American service men and women in Iraq want the war to end. And taking part in this war is illegal, whether you are ordered to do so or not. Approximately 6,000 Americans have refused to report for duty or deserted in order to avoid taking part in this war, or to avoid taking further part in it. Many have objected to the stop loss program that requires them to serve longer than they had agreed to. Others have objected to the rationale behind the war and the horrors that are part of it. Many are best able to support their families by avoiding military service that is poorly compensated. In the cases we know the most about, one motivation for desertion that is clearly absent is cowardice. While quiet desertion tends not to result in any penalty, public opposition and resistance often means prison. CLIP
New Downing Street Memos From Down Under
David Swanson writes: "On February 27, 2002 - just five months after 15 Saudis, 2 Lebanese, and 2 Yemenis flew airplanes into US buildings - Trevor Flugge, who was then chairman of AWB, the Australian Wheat Board, a private corporation, told AWB's board that John Dauth, who was then Australia's ambassador to the United Nations, had revealed to Flugge the plans of the US and Australian governments for war on Iraq. Tragically for war profiteers everywhere, somebody took minutes of the meeting."
NOTE from Jean: This powerful and hard-hitting critic of the American society, its mindless gluttony and its glaring inequalities has really touched millions of people as it is already posted all over the Web (Over 35,000 results on Google!)
Blind Obedience to the Canons of Capitalism: Sick Societies, American Dalits, a Nation of Lady Macbeths
Sunday, 26 November 2006
By Jason Miller
[Authors Note to Establish Context: I composed this on 11/24/06, the day after Thanksgiving]
Tell me where do I belong in this sick society?
.Look at yourself instead of looking at me. With accusation in your eyes. Do you want me crucified for my profanity?
.Tell me the truth and Ill admit to my guilt if youll try to understand. But is that blood thats on your hand from your democracy?
-Ozzy Osbourne, Youre no Different, 1983
Bow your heads and drop to your knees, brothers and sisters! Feel the power of the Holy Dollar coursing through your being as you humbly offer your prayers, exaltations and gratitude to Mighty Mammon!
Lay the perpetual argument to rest. There is no separation of church and state.
It is indisputable that the United States is one nation, under God. Our nation worships the unholy trinity of the Dollar, Acquisitiveness, and Opulence with the fanaticism of the Inquisitors.
Tis (officially) the season to be greedy
Yesterday, most of us initiated the Holidays by performing the annual rite of gratitude. Millions gave thanks for living in a nation which has become obscenely corpulent by suckling at the teats of genocide, slavery, and imperialism.
Sandburg once christened Chicago hog butcher for the world. Accounting for a mere 5% of the worlds population while gluttonously devouring a quarter of the worlds resources easily qualifies the United States as hog to the world.
According to UNICEF, 30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.
That is about 210,000 children each week, or just under 11 million children under five years of age, each year (1).
While millions of children are starving to death, we in the United States grapple with afflictions born of over-indulgence. Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions as we wantonly indulge our edacity. As a result, the United States is facing an alarming rise in cases of Type-2 diabetes and a significant decline in life expectancy (2).
What collective behavior better symbolizes our gluttony than Thanksgiving? Gorging ourselves to the point of nausea (while millions were grappling with starvation) yielded at least one humane result yesterday. We relieved 265 million Earth-bound avian creatures of their misery (3). How rewarding to recognize the good that came from our disgusting act of over-indulgence.
The Sandman Cometh
As we slept off the ill effects of our swinish binge, visions of sugar plums, MP3s, PS3s, Hummers, Escalades and all manner of goodies gamboled about in our dreams, fueling our lust for more, more, more
and as the new day dawned, tens of millions of true believers arose with renewed spirits, ready to adhere to the edicts of the high priests of Capitalism.
Into the Maelstrom
Embracing the delusion of individualism in the midst of lifes undeniable web of interdependence, the unwavering disciples charged into the fray to avoid the unthinkably tragic fate of dying without having the most toys.
With the wild-eyed desperation of meth addicts pursuing their next fix, obedient consumers joined the hordes of shoppers assailing malls like Vikings plundering unsuspecting coastal villages. Armed with credit card spending limits exceeding their annual salaries, the loyal foot-soldiers buttressing the economic tyranny of US fascism stampeded to indenture themselves to Visa.
Corporate retailers reveled in the glory of the biggest shopping day of the year.
Acts of Heresy
Delivering an invective that would awaken the most comatose conscience, the Grinch once admonished us of our dereliction of even a semblance of temperance:
That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been about. Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage. You see what I'm saying? In your garbage. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice... The avarice never ends!
Yet his poignant reminder of our moral bankruptcy fell largely on ears deafened by the overwhelming din of Madison Avenues powerfully alluring appeals to our greed and narcissism.
While abstractions like Seusss Grinch had already penetrated the briery thicket of deeply inculcated narcissism densely entwined around my social conscience, my commitment to dwelling in a spiritual realm approaching the antithesis of our indoctrination reached new heights this Thanksgiving.
One way I have found to exercise my values and beliefs is to donate my time, energy and money to homeless shelters. And Thanksgiving 2006 was my first opportunity to serve meals to indigent human beings. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Kansas City Rescue Mission for the allowing me to participate.
At one point in my evening at the Mission , I had the distinct honor of breaking bread with human beings who were engaged in an epic struggle to avoid drowning in a sea of wretchedness.
I met a black man named David. His face bore deep scars of an unknown origin. Adorned in dirty, disheveled clothing, David obviously hadnt had the luxury of a shower, hot meal, or bed in awhile. I quickly concluded that life had brutalized David. Looking defeated, and perhaps tired of living, he spoke softly with his eyes cast downward. David had a gentle nature about him. And he was surprisingly articulate as he quietly informed me that his day had not gone quite as well as he would have liked. Apparently David is a master of the understatement.
Seated to Davids right was William. In stark contrast to Davids morose countenance, Williams face beamed with an inexplicable radiance. Sparkling like polished gemstones, his eyes captivated me. Clean-shaven and dressed in unsoiled casual business attire, he could easily have passed for a shelter employee or another volunteer. Yet when he spoke, his voice was even more subdued than Davids. And his halting speech and child-like observations suggested that William was socially, emotionally, or intellectually challenged in some way.
I smiled and chatted with them. Small talk about things like the weather and football. They seemed more intent on eating than talking, for obvious reasons. I offered to get bring them more food. William accepted, but David declined. As the meal ended, I shook their hands, thanked them for the privilege of eating with them, and wished them well in their struggle. I wanted to embrace them and tell them that everything was going to be all right very soon. But social taboos and my deep reluctance to lie prevented me from doing so.
Later, I worked in the kitchen. My task on the assembly line was to ladle heaping portions of sliced potatoes onto each plate. A capable, authoritative figure named Marx directed us volunteers as we strived to satisfy the onslaught of hungry people. Based on his appearance, demeanor, and role in the kitchen, I assumed he worked for the shelter.
However, I eventually discovered that Marx was newly enrolled in the Missions program. He told me that meant that he had become a Mission resident who was on a path to long-term sobriety and reintegration into society. As I left that evening I confided in him that I had hit rock bottom thirteen years ago. I told him how much I wished for his success.
In all we served over 130 individuals that night. The Kansas City Rescue Mission is a mens shelter, but some of the men had brought female companions along for the Thanksgiving meal.
Exhausted, yet feeling fulfilled, I spoke to as many Mission clients as I could once the meal was served. Some acted shy, a few were a bit surly or even hostile, but most of them appeared genuinely happy that another human being took a moment to acknowledge them with kindness and respect. Their responses affirmed the Mission coordinators observation that most homeless human beings have become conditioned to being invisible in our society and sorely ache for the fulfillment of basic human social needs like recognition, dignity, and compassion.
[The United States is a classless society? Tell that to our homeless people
. Human beings who share much in common with Indias Dalits or Untouchables]
In retrospect, I realize I could have done more to buoy their spirits. I neglected to remind them of some incredibly hopeful aspects of the United States, including:
1. our robust economy
2. our ownership society
3. the money that will be trickling down to them any time now
4. the invisible hand of the free market that would lift them out of their economic despair
5. and how safe they are now because the federal government is diverting so much funding from social service programs to the War on Terror
Yet I can console myself with the virtual certainty that they will learn of such pleasant fictions through at least one of the MSMs many vehicles for delivering its opiate-like agitprop to the masses.
As I returned to my modest apartment to share the rest of the evening with my family, my eyes welled with tears. An overwhelming feeling of anguish threw me into a brief period of mental torpor. A tsunami of empathy flooded me with despondence. Intense memories of the hells of addiction, unmanaged bipolar disorder, self-hatred, homelessness, loneliness, hopelessness, and despair forced their way to the forefront of my conscious mind. Less than fifteen years ago I too had teetered on the edge of the abyss.
Through prolonged perseverance, and by the grace of the Higher Power of my understanding, I had managed to reclaim my soul, my mind, my family, my dignity, and my humanity. And now my challenge is to toil onward in my spiritual journey. Contemplating the trials people like David and William would endure as they pursued a similar course, and mourning the ones who would fall short, I felt a profound wave of despair wash over me.
As I ate my belated dinner, the turkey and pumpkin pie that typically delight my palate might as well have been sand. Contradicting years of conditioning, I felt my excitement over the Chiefs evaporate as quickly as dry ice on a scorching summer afternoon. I watched the game with a dearth of enthusiasm. As the television blitzkrieged my psyche with visual and auditory paeans to riches and consumption, my indifference toward acquiring unnecessary material possessions metamorphosed into repulsion. My passion and commitment to social justice and human rights redoubled.
In short, my spirit took a further evolutionary step last night. And for that precious blessing, I am deeply indebted to a group of human beings whom we have tossed aside like sacks of fetid garbage.
Like it or not, they are human
Viewing our homeless as fundamentally flawed in some way eradicates a scathing indictment of the sacred tenets of Capitalism, relieves guilt, and quells fears of sharing a similar fate.
But these are human beings who are no different than me. Or than you.
Which brings me to Ozzy Osbournes apt rhetorical question.
Where do I belong in a sick society?
Sick indeed. The social, political, and economic systems of the United States (and its mimics, like India ) inflict untold suffering on innumerable human beings. Aside from condemning billions in developing countries to lives of abject poverty via its neoliberal economic exploitation, the most prosperous (and reputedly most benevolent) nation in history leaves an unconscionable number of its own to wallow in economic despair.
Bearing in mind the nearly boundless resources of the United States , consider the following:
Accomplishing a logic-defying feat, the wealthiest nation in the world has attained the highest rate of homelessness amongst developed countries. 3.5 million human beings experience homelessness each year in the United States . Almost a million are homeless every night.
In the most heavily militarized nation in the history of the human race, 30% of its homeless men are military veterans. What happened to support the troops? Obviously once military personnel return home, the slogan changes to good riddance to bad rubbish.
Ready for some shock and awe on the home front? According to the National Mental Health Association, on any given night, 1.2 million children are homeless in the United States (4).
What was that about a sick society?
While a complex network of power elites in an array of industries, corporations, government entities, the media, and think tanks bear the brunt of the responsibility for our malevolence, we cannot evade our complicity in buttressing the institutions that sustain our criminal class. This group is no intangible Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Many of the principle culprits are readily identifiable. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, the Walton clan (which collectively still owns 38% of Wal-Marts stock), William Kristol, Henry Kissinger, and a host of others are guilty of the direct (or in some cases indirect) infliction of human misery on par with the likes of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il. And we have collectively enabled the twin evils of fascism and imperialism by deifying money.
Motivating large numbers to take the radical step of divorcing themselves from the worship of material prosperity appears to be a nearly unattainable goal. At least until many more people have experienced significant pain.
Yet those of us intent on evoking drastic changes in the prevailing paradigm are not impotent sans mass participation. Like the forces of wind and water erosion, the steady action of even a relative few can flatten mountains over time.
Jack Kemp once observed:
"The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society."
Familial obligations, the formidable military power of the establishment, and a reticence to engage in asymmetric warfare may limit ones viable options in waging opposition against the powers that be, but there is no compulsion to unconditionally bulwark the Kleptocrats and their attending sycophants.
We the People, one person at a time, one day at a time, have it within our power to undermine and subvert a system premised on hubris, savage militarism, nationalism, exploitation, and rapacity.
Simply by embracing ways of being which are antithetical to maintaining the malignant status quo:
1. opposing evil through non-violent means (5)
2. practicing compassion
3. recycling and living frugally
4. having a healthy sense of humility
5. respecting human rights and dignity
6. finding a reasonable balance between excess and asceticism
7. acting with a modicum of selflessness and concern for the collective
8. working toward a more just and peaceful global community
9. developing a concern for the environment
10. placing people before profits
11. devoting oneself to critical, independent thinking
12. consistently practicing the Golden Rule
13. committing to honesty with self and others
It is not too late to tell [ourselves] the truth, abandon the idolatry of affluence, and wash the blood thats on (our) hand(s) from (our) democracy
Remember, Humankind and Mother Earth are counting on us!
Please make a donation:
Kansas City Rescue Mission : http://www.kcrm.org
City Union Mission : http://www.cumission.org
Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He writes prolifically, his essays have appeared widely on the Internet, and he volunteers at homeless shelters. He welcomes constructive correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/
From: "WRM - World Rainforest Movement" email@example.com">
Subject: WRM Bulletin 112 - Biofuels: A serious threat masked in green
Date: 28 Nov 2006
WRM Bulletin 112 - November 2006
The serious problem of global warming, the rise in oil prices, the dependency of industrialized countries on oil reserves beyond their frontiers, the interests of agro-business always eager to expand its profits, "western" lifestyles consuming huge amounts of oil - particularly with regards to transport - are at the root of the appearance of fuels derived from plant crops. The model presenting them - large scale, functional to globalization, consolidating the ransacking of the peoples' natural assets - offers a "solution" to the energy crisis implying a 360º degree rotation - that is to say, so that everything can continue exactly as it was...
Biofuels: A serious threat masked in green
Replacing fossil fuels by biofuels (produced from plant biomass) may seem a step along the right path to avoid worsening climate change. However plans for their production and use not only leave this problem unsolved but make many others worse.
The biofuels to be adopted are biodiesel (obtained from oilseeds) and ethanol (obtained from fermentation of plant cellulose). Among the many possible crops for this purpose are soybeans, corn, colza, groundnuts, sunflower seeds, oil palms, sugarcane, poplar and eucalyptus trees.
Because the major consumers in the North do not seriously consider reducing their disproportionate consumption of fuels and because in most cases they do not have sufficient arable land to supply themselves with raw material to produce their own biofuels, their governments and companies are planning to promote, basically in the countries of the South, crops to produce biodiesel and ethanol.
It is important to note that in the forest areas of the South, this policy will not imply any change related to oil or gas exploitation, which will only be stepped up as fossil fuels will continue to be the main component of the energy matrix in the countries of the North. However, the biofuel business will add new impacts to those already existing in the forests.
As proof of the above it is enough to mention soybean and oil palm which appear as the main candidates for large scale biodiesel production. The former has become the main cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and in Paraguay, even before it started to be produced for energy purposes. The latter is also the main cause of deforestation in Indonesia and is having an impact on the forests of many other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Furthermore, technologies are already being developed to convert timber into ethanol (with the use of genetically modified organisms) and thus the biofuel industry will promote an even greater expansion of fast growing monoculture tree plantations both in forest areas - increasing deforestation - and in grasslands.
Both deforestation and the change in grassland use imply releasing the carbon they store. To this are added the emissions from growing, processing and transporting the biofuel itself, mostly done on the basis of oil and other elements releasing greenhouse effect gases: the manufacture of machinery used, the fuel used for its operation, the production and use of chemical fertilizers and agrochemicals, the trucks and ships transporting it to its destination, etc. That is to say, the net carbon balance in areas given up to the production of biofuels may even be negative, thus increasing the concentration of greenhouse effect gases in the atmosphere which is precisely what this change intended to avoid.
Summing up, the use of biofuels in addition to not solving the problem of climate change also implies an adverse effect on equally serious problems.
In fact, dozens or hundreds of millions of hectares of fertile land will be concentrated in the hands of large trans-national corporations and will produce fuel instead of food - in a world where hunger and malnutrition are already serious problems in themselves.
During this same process they will evict millions of farmers and peasant smallholders who will mostly migrate to shanty towns around the large cities. The forests will no longer ensure sustenance to millions of people who depended on them and will be replaced by soybean, oil palm or other energy crops. Water will be polluted (from the use of agrochemicals) or disappear (due to the plantation of fast-growing trees), local fauna will be seriously affected by the enormous green deserts that will no longer provide them with food, the native flora will be eliminated and replaced by vast monoculture plantations and many local species will be contaminated by the genetically modified crops used in such monoculture plantations, while the soil will be degraded by these plantations and the use of agrochemicals.
It would seem evident that this is not a good solution, either for the people or for the environment. However, it is an excellent business opportunity for large companies operating on a national level and in particular for large tansnational corporations. Among them are those associated with the production and marketing of agricultural products for export, biotechnology and chemical industries (that are able to increase their sales of transgenic material and agricultural inputs) the automobile industry (that can continue growing under a "green" mantle), the new companies arising from the biofuel wave and the oil companies that are becoming involved in this new and lucrative business.
For this reason, so many governments, aid bodies, bilateral agencies, multilateral agencies and international experts are involved in the promotion of this absurd solution: in order to serve the interests of these powerful economic groups who dictate global policies in their own favour.
Finally, it should be noted that biofuels in themselves are not a problem. More, within a social and environmentally sound approach they may serve to satisfy part of the energy needs of our countries and, in particular, of local communities. The central problem is the model that they intend to implement, characterized by large scale, monoculture plantations, massive use of external inputs and transgenic crops, mechanization and export to feed the North's disproportionate energy consumption.
It is therefore essential to face this new threat hanging over the peoples and the ecosystems of the South and incorporate the issue of biofuels into the struggle for the defence of forests and biodiversity, against the advance of monoculture and transgenic crops, for food sovereignty and for the peoples' right to decide their own fate.
Much more on this issue including...
BIOFUELS: A 360º ROTATION
a.. The energy crisis and a bad solution
b.. Large-scale biofuels: Good for the power, bad for the people and the climate
c.. Who does the biofuel business benefit?
d.. The pulp industry and the biofuels boom
BIOFUELS ON THE GROUND
a.. Brazil: Energy sovereignty vs. food sovereignty
b.. Cameroon: Oil palm plantations fostered by new biofuel market harm local livelihoods
c.. Colombia: Biodiesel from oil palm
d.. Indonesia: Oil palm expansion for biofuel bringing more exploitation than development
e.. Malaysia: The huge cost of a cheap fuel
...To be archived at http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/112/viewpoint.html
Also from: http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/112906EC.shtml
Scientists Fear Results of Collapsed Ice Shelf
By John Henzell
29 November 2006
The Ross Ice Shelf, a raft of ice the size of France, could collapse quickly, triggering a dramatic rise in sea levels, scientists warn.
A New Zealand-led drilling team in Antarctica has recovered three million years of climate history, but the news is not good for the future.
Initial analysis of seafloor cores near Scott Base suggest the Ross Ice Shelf had collapsed in the past and had probably done so suddenly.
The team's co-chief scientist, Tim Naish, said the sediment record was important because it provided crucial evidence about how the Ross Ice Shelf would react to climate change, with potential to dramatically increase sea levels.
"If the past is any indication of the future, then the ice shelf will collapse," he said.
"If the ice shelf goes, then what about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet? What we've learnt from the Antarctic Peninsula is when once buttressing ice sheets go, the glaciers feeding them move faster and that's the thing that isn't so cheery."
Antarctica stores 90 per cent of the world's water, with the the West Antarctic Ice Sheet holding an estimated 30 million cubic kilometres.
In January, British Antarctic Survey researchers predicted that its collapse would make sea levels rise by at least 5m, with other estimates predicting a rise of up to 17m.
Naish, a sedimentologist with the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, said the drilling team had banked on recovering about 30m of sediment core a day but was far exceeding that.
In one day this week the team, organised by Antarctica New Zealand, retrieved 83m, containing climate records spanning about 500,000 years.
"We're really getting everything we've dreamed of. What we're getting is a pretty detailed history of the ice shelf," he said.
"You go from full glacial conditions to open ocean conditions very abruptly. It doesn't surprise us that much that the transition was dramatic.
"We know from the Larsen Ice Shelf (which collapsed on the Antarctic Peninsula in 2002) that they go extremely quickly." The cores had to be sent from Antarctica to get a definitive date, but the indications were the team had reached sediments laid down about three million years ago.
"Once the date is more precise we'll be able to look at what the ice shelf was doing during periods when we know from other evidence that it was 2deg to 4deg warmer than today," Naish said.
The team's project manager, Jim Cowie, said the unexpectedly rapid progress of drilling came after decades of experience in Antarctica.
This included a preliminary sediment recovery project run by Antarctica New Zealand at Cape Roberts and involved researchers from seven countries.
Disemboweled, Then Torn Apart: The Price of Daring to Teach Girls
By Kim Sengupta - The Independent UK
29 November 2006
The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.
Mr. Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces.
The day we arrived, an Afghan policemen and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni City during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously.
But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this conflict. At the village of Qara Bagh, the family of Mr. Halim are distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head: "They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that, it would be haram. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us."
Fatima Mushtaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious "night letters". Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a particular source of hatred for Islamist zealots.
"I think they killed him that way to frighten us, otherwise why make a man suffer so much? Mohammed Halim and his family were good friends of ours and we are very, very upset by what has happened. He came to me when the threats first began and asked what he should do. I told him to move somewhere safe. I think he was trying to arrange that when they came and took him," she said.
The threats against Ms. Mushtaq also extend to her husband, Sayyid Abdul, and their eight children. "When the first letters arrived, I tried to hide them from my husband," she said. "But then he found the next few. He said we must stand together. We talked, and we decided that we must tell the children. So that they can be prepared, but it is not a good way for them to grow up."
Ms. Mushtaq is familiar with the ways of the Taliban. During their rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. The Taliban beat them for teaching the girls algebra.
Women in Afghanistan
By Christian Parenti
28 November 2006
With the resurgence of the Taliban, women in Afghanistan are once again rated by the United Nations as being "among the worst-off in the world." Learn more about their plight in the companion piece to Christian Parenti's larger article "Afghan Autopsy."
Under the Taliban, women in Afghanistan were severely oppressed. The idea of their liberation was used to sell the Afghan war as a war of liberation. But the condition of women in the new Afghanistan is precarious at best. While the Taliban's members were oppressive moralists who forbade kite flying and listening to music and, at times, the education of women, they did at least impose a type of simple law and order. The new regime, in contrast, is marked by general insecurity in which women are the most vulnerable group.
In Kabul many professional women no longer wear the burka, but many still do. In the countryside a severe version of purdah - the Muslim principle of secluding and protecting women - is so strictly enforced that many men never touch or see a woman other than their mothers or pre-pubescent sisters and cousins until well into their late 20s.
For most women the only thing that has changed since the fall of the Taliban is that there has been an increase in insecurity. It is common to read or hear reports of women being abducted by gunmen who rape and sell them. There is no functioning law and order in Afghanistan - NATO forces are too thinly spread and the local police are little more than uniformed criminals - thus women have almost no protection other than that provided by armed fathers, brothers and husbands.
One feature of post-Taliban life has been a rise in prostitution. The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan claims that as many as 25,000 Afghan women worked as prostitutes just after the fall of the Taliban. Many, many thousands still do today.
Instead of dealing with the problem of sex trafficking and abuse of women, the Karzai government launched a highly symbolic crackdown on Chinese-run brothels in Kabul. In March 2006 the government raided 11 brothels and deported 47 Chinese women. The raids made for great political theater but did not really address women's need for economic support and protection from predators.
In the countryside, poverty has been linked to a small but notable increase in the sale of child brides. Marrying off girls as young as 11 to men in their 30s and even older has been common in Afghanistan for centuries. But now with drought and war leaving family economies in ruin, daughters seem to be sold off with greater frequency. The Taliban insurgency has burned down hundreds of schools where girls were educated. And recently Safia Ahmed-jan, the provincial director of Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs in Kandahar, was gunned down by Taliban fighters.
True, women hold 27 percent of the seats in the National Assembly and one-sixth of the seats in the Upper House. But most Afghan women remain illiterate, impoverished and vulnerable to political and criminal violence. Only 15 percent of Afghan woman can read. The United Nations has described Afghan women as being "among the worst-off in the world." On average, women in Afghanistan die at least 20 years younger than women elsewhere.
Most rural Afghan women have no access to healthcare during pregnancy. One UN report noted: "Afghanistan's Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is estimated at 1,600 to 1,900 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which is one of the highest in the world." All basic poverty measures put Afghanistan near the bottom of the UN's Human Development Index, and women are still at the bottom of Afghan society.
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Campaign for Afghan Women & Girls
Sign a petition to support the Afghan Women's Empowerment Act of 2006
Rape by Nigerian forces 'endemic'
Amnesty International, the human rights group, has accused Nigerian police and soldiers of raping women and committing acts of sexual violence with near impunity.
AN AMAZING EXAMPLE OF COURAGE IN THE FACE OF EXTREME ADVERSITY AND OF UTTERLY MISGUIDED POLICIES AND ACTIONS ON THE PART IF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT. THIS WOMAN - SHARMILA - IS JUST AS HEROIC AS HER ROLE MODEL, THE MAHATMA GANDHI, AND SHOULD BE CELEBRATED WORLDWIDE AS A TRUE DEFENDER OF PEACE AND HUMAN DIGNITY.
Force-Fed Sharmila Fights On for Freedom From Armed Oppression
By J. Sri Raman - t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Thursday 30 November 2006
It was a small, double-column story tucked away into an inside page of a newspaper that came as a sharp, stinging reminder of a saga. Visiting Iranian human-rights activist Shirin Ebadi, said the story, on Tuesday called on the much less known Irom Chanu Sharmila, a woman from India's State of Manipur, on a hunger strike in a New Delhi hospital.
Hunger strikes, which Mahatma Gandhi popularized as a form of protest, are common enough in India. This, however, is a different case. Sharmila, a 34-year-old woman, has been on a hunger strike for over six years. Or, more correctly, she has been force-fed, as she has fought on since 2000 for freedom from armed oppression.
Sharmila's single, specific demand has been for the scrapping of a draconian law titled the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, or the AFSPA. The law has posed a dire threat to the liberty, life, and dignity of the people in Manipur, one of the insurgency-prone tribal states in India's northeast.
Sharmila's epic fast started on November 6, 2000, four days after men of the Indian armed forces reportedly opened fire on ten youths waiting at a bus stand in Malom, near the airport of Imphal, capital of Manipur, and killed all of them. The AFSPA empowered the men in uniform to kill those merely suspected to be the country's separatist enemies.
To Sharmila and to other Manipuris, the atrocity did not come as a shock. The AFSPA did not only give even officers of the lowest rank in a "disturbed area" such a license to kill for the sake of law and order, it also authorized what functioned as an occupation army "to destroy any shelter, from which armed attacks are ... likely to be made." On "reasonable suspicion," any person could be arrested without a warrant, and so could any premises be entered and searched. Obviously, these provisions made a host of human rights abuses possible, and the hapless people of the state had not been spared any of them.
While the victims of the Act belong mostly to weaker sections, women have been particularly vulnerable to its abuse. By all local accounts, rape-and-murder sequences had been made to look like part of routine anti-insurgency investigations even earlier.
The Malom incident, however, created the psychological moment for a major popular movement against the Act. And it made Sharmila join the struggle. When she sat in a public place and declared her resolve not to "drink a drop of water" until the AFSPA was withdrawn, she encountered some ridicule. It turned into respect, and something like reverence, as she continued the fast through days, weeks, and months.
Over the years, she has become a living legend. Or a legend kept alive by force-feeding on behalf of armed forces. Nose-fed and tube-fed, she has continued to emulate the example of the founder of India's freedom from colonial rule, whom a nuclear-proud New Delhi hails as the Father of the Nation with despicable hypocrisy. Arrested and re-arrested, moved from prison to prison and from hospital to hospital, she has refused to call off her fast, making November 6 an anniversary of Manipur's struggle.
The fast has continued despite the fluctuations in the movement. Sharmila returns like a painful memory whenever the movement shows resurgence, but her struggle does not cease when the media turns its attention to other matters.
I wrote of her last in these columns over two years ago ("Manipur's Magnificent Struggle," August 22, 2004). The main focus then was on another woman activist, Thangjam Manorama Devi, who had been raped and murdered. As I reported, a unit of the armed forces had taken 32-year-old Manorama "into custody as a suspected separatist," and she never returned to tell what had transpired. According to reports that call for an inquiry into what might have remained one of many such cases and complaints on record, "the soldiers had pumped bullets into Manorama's genitals to cover up the gender part of their crime."
This led to a protest by nude Manipuri women against naked militarism outside the camp of the unit Assam Rifles, with the demonstrators daring the soldiers to rape them en masse. The protest drew countrywide attention, but so did Sharmila's continued and dignified fast against the crimes of many years against the Manoramas of Manipur.
The mandarins of New Delhi , of course, have managed bigger crises. They got over this one simply by setting up an inquiry by a retired judge of India's Supreme Court. But, the contents of the Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission, submitted in June 2005 and stated to contain strictures on the armed forces, have been neither divulged nor discussed in public.
The mainstream media outside Manipur might have forgotten about Sharmila forever, but for her success in smuggling herself out of Manipur and into New Delhi last month. The first thing she did in the country's capital was to visit the Mahatma's tomb, and then she proceeded to continue her fast at a public spot. The official response was predictable. In a midnight swoop, the police arrested her and put her in the prestigious All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Meanwhile, in Manipur, they registered a police case against her under section 125 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). This provision deals with a threat to the security of the president and the prime minister of India (which this fasting, fragile woman's presence in the capital is supposed to represent)!
In the high-profile hospital, she continued to be force-fed, under heavy armed security. Neither the AIIMS nor any other authority has seen fit to issue a bulletin on her health, though sources close to her say that she feels weak and that her bones have become brittle. A medical manual I consulted says that "long-term use of nasal steroids may cause fungal infections of the nose or throat." It also warns that nose-fed intakes may enter one's bloodstream and adds: "This may have undesirable consequences that may require additional corticosteroid treatment. This is especially true for children and for those who have used this for an extended period of time."
Also relevant to Sharmila's case is a recent statement by 250 medical leaders on force-feeding in remote Guantanamo Bay. The March 11 issue of British medical journal The Lancet carries a letter by these leaders, condemning the practice of force-feeding detainees, "strapped into restraint chairs in uncomfortably cold isolation cells, to force them off their hunger strike." Attorneys for the detainees are said to have reported extreme suffering among their clients as a result of painful force-feeding methods via nasal tubes and prolonged shackling in the restraint chairs.
A report on the statement notes that US military officials have acknowledged the use of such aggressive tactics in order to break hunger strikes at the detention facility. The Indian authorities have not denied force-feeding their detainee, either.
Sharmila is more than a Manipuri activist. She and her struggle, for freedom and against armed occupation and oppression, are metaphors with a larger meaning.
A freelance journalist and a peace activist of India, J. Sri Raman is the author of Flashpoint (Common Courage Press, USA). He is a regular contributor to t r u t h o u t.
THIS COULD BE AN EVEN BIGGER THREAT THAN BIOTECHNOLOGY!
Boom in Nanotechnology Poses Consumer Risks, NRDC Warns
Products Made with Nanoparticles Growing, But Safety Studies Lag
Natural Resources Defense Council, Nov 27, 2006
Natural Resources Defense Council
202/289-2405 or 202/997-1472 (cell)
WASHINGTON - November 27 - The explosion of consumer products made with nanotechnology, highlighted today by an independent report, is raising growing concern among scientists and health experts that too little is known about potential health risks. Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of materials one-billionth of a meter in size -- larger than atoms, but much smaller than a cell.
While such advances hold the promise of breakthroughs in biomedical treatments, energy efficiency and many other fields, the very real potential risks posed by nanoparticles are largely being ignored, according to Dr. Jennifer Sass, a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
"Nanoparticles behave unpredictably and could harm human beings, wildlife and the environment," Sass warned.
A report released today by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars found a 70 percent increase since March in the number of consumer products made with nanotechnology, such as food containers, stain-resistant clothing, eyeglass coatings that reduce glare, and even more durable tennis balls. In all, more than 350 such products are now on the market, according to the center's Project on Emerging Technologies. (For the report, go to http://www.nanotechproject.org/consumerproducts.)
"In the face of such a significant jump in the number of everyday products containing untested and unlabelled nanoparticles, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving much too slowly to ensure that they are safe," Sass said. "We need to know about the short- and long-term risks, especially since we're already wearing stain-resistant nanoparticle clothing, applying nanoparticle cosmetics and sunscreens, and swabbing our babies' bottoms with nanoparticle baby wipes."
The most prevalent nanomaterial today is nanosilver, which also is widely used as a pesticide. Today nanosilver is found in 47 consumer products -- nearly double the number from just eight months ago.
Samsung, for example, sells a new kind of washing machine that releases nanosilver ions during the wash and rinse cycles to kill bacteria. And Sharper Image is marketing nanosilver-treated slippers, socks and food containers that the company says are "anti-germ, anti-mold and anti-fungus."
Last week, the EPA announced that it plans to only regulate nanosilver products that are advertised as germ-killing. In a recent letter to the agency, NRDC asked it to review all consumer products containing nanosilver and require manufacturers to register such products as biocides. (For a copy of the letter, go to http://www.nrdc.org/media/docs/061127.pdf )
Although very little is known about the risks associated with nanotechnology, laboratory tests have proved worrisome. Animal studies suggest that nanoparticles can cause inflammation, damage brain cells and cause pre-cancerous lesions. (See http://www.nrdc.org/health/science/nano.asp )
"The genie is out of the bottle," Sass said, "and that's all the more reason the agency needs to move quickly to put some standards in place to protect the public."
NRDC's concerns are shared on Capitol Hill. At a hearing this fall, members of the House Science Committee criticized the Bush administration for moving too slowly to develop a research program on nanotechnology. "There is too much at stake to continue to dally," Reps. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), the committee's chairman and ranking Democrat, said in a November 15 statement.
Major Scientific Journal Warns of Hazards of Nanotechnology (11/16/06)
WASHINGTON, D.C.Society is in danger of squandering the powerful potential of nanotechnology due to a lack of clear information about its risks, conclude 14 top international scientists in a major paper published in the November 16th issue of the journal Nature. The paper, Safe Handling of Nanotechnology, identifies Five Grand Challenges for research on nanotechnology risk that must be met if the technology is to reach its full promise. The spectre of possible harmwhether real or imaginedthreatens to slow the development of nanotechnology unless sound, independent and authoritative information is developed on what the risks are, and how to avoid them, said Andrew Maynard, the papers lead author and chief science advisor with the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, and his co-authors write. We are running out of time to get it right. Last year, more than $32 billion in products containing nano-materials were sold globally.
By 2014, Lux Research estimates that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology, asserts Maynard. If the public loses confidence in the commitmentof governments, business, and the science communityto conduct sound and systematic research into possible risks, then the enormous potential of nanotechnology will be squandered. We cannot let that happen. Fears over the possible dangers of some nanotechnologies may be exaggerated, but they are not necessarily unfounded, say the authors. Recent studies examining the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials in cell cultures and animals have shown that size, surface area, surface chemistry, solubility and possibly shape, all play a role in determining the potential for nanomaterials to cause harm.The paper outlines Five Grand Challenges to stimulate research that is imaginative, innovative, timely and above all relevant to the safety of nanotechnology. They include the development of:
1. instruments to assess environmental exposure to nanomaterials
2. methods to evaluate the toxicity of nanomaterials
3. models for predicting the potential impact of new, engineered nanomaterials
4. ways of evaluating the impact of nanomaterials across their life cycle, and
5. strategic programs to enable risk-focused research
It is generally accepted that, in principle, some nanomaterials may have the potential to cause harm to people and the environment, according to the authors. Yet research into understanding, managing, and preventing risk often has a low priority in the competitive worlds of intellectual property, research funding and technology development.Maynard and his co-authors conclude that if the global research community can take advantage [of the research opportunities before us] and rise to the challenges we have set, then we can surely look forward to the advent of safe nanotechnologies.
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